It was a last second decision, really.
Or maybe it was a decision I made in my head years ago.
I took Emma in for an orthodontic consultation and I walked out with bottom braces for the next ten months.
I don’t know what happened. I was sitting there, talking to the orthodontist about Emma’s smile. I said I wish I wore my retainer. One x-ray and a quick quote later – BOOM.
I picked a seat in between two middle schoolers and started to decline. Right there, a 33-year-old public service announcement: wear your retainers, kids. And worse, my own kids took video on my phone. I had a laughing audience.
I sent a picture text to Scott when I was done. My phone rang.
Scott: Please tell me this text is photoshopped. What the hell did you do?! I thought you were taking Emma in!
Me: Well….it’s all because of one tooth, really.
Scott: This is real? You have braces on right now? You look like you’re 15!
Me: Oh, do I? Thank you. Hey, do I have a lisp?
Scott: I didn’t know you were getting braces! How much did those cost?
Me: It’s way cheaper than you think. I got a discount for being a returning customer. And it’s considered a “fix.”
Scott: Fix what?
Me: My one tooth.
Scott: What tooth?
Me: Ugh, Scott. The one tooth that never kept its act together. It went all sideways. It looks like I’m missing a tooth sometimes when I smile or talk.
Scott: I’ve never noticed it. Show me a picture.
Me: No. I know how to hide it. I delete pictures if I see the missing tooth. I’ve been hiding it for years.
Scott: I had no idea you were so self conscious about this. I guess apparently enough for braces? BRACES? BRACES. Metal ones.
Me: Oh, and a retainer for my top teeth. Just at night. She could tell my one top tooth is starting to protrude. We made a retainer today. She saved me from snaggletooth, Scott.
Scott: Your dumbass would buy a snow cone in the arctic.
Me: It was included in the price! Now I feel vain.
Scott: Hey, if it makes you happy…whatever.
Me: Am I vain?
Scott: No, you’re not vain. Look at you. You hit puberty all over again. You have braces on.
Me: Hey, Emma and I will be in braces at the same time!
Scott: Goodbye, brace face.
To answer your questions – yes, they hurt. But no pain, no Hollywood smile.
I’ve lost about 5 pounds in two days because of the “braces diet.” I forgot how much food I can’t shovel into my mouth. I’m surviving with protein shakes, soup and sucking on an occasional barbecue chip.
I spend at least 30 minutes brushing and flossing my teeth, twice a day. The biggest difference between 13-year-old me and 33-year-old me is screw you, coffee and red wine. Adult teeth staining is a real thing.
I’ve already broke a bracket by ripping off a tag with my teeth. I bought a new bikini. I’m fishing in the Bahamas this week. And they say barracudas are attracted to metal. I can’t wait to explain this one to my orthodontist.
Scott, I’m bringing pliers so you can cut the barracuda off your 15-year-old wife’s lip.
Have you ever gotten adult braces? Would you? Are you self conscious about something you’ve never told anyone about? Do you still wear your retainer? I’m already impressed if you do.