Like many people who had braces in their tween and teen years, I stopped wearing my retainer in college. I mean, who wants to make out with someone and then put in a night guard? (Just kidding, I was studying.) Here's the funny thing about teeth, though: if orthodontia can move my teeth into place, my teeth can move back. So after wearing braces in junior high and high school, I find myself in my mid-30s with mouth full of metal. Yes, that's right. I'm a mom with braces. And honestly, it's really different this time around.
A few years back, I started to notice that my bottom teeth were moving. Unfortunately, as a single woman on a teacher's salary, I just couldn't afford to do anything about it. More recently, however, I've simultaneously picked up some work to supplement my husband's income and become more self-conscious about ye olde snaggletooth. I finally decided to go in for a consultation. I would have liked something more subtle, like Invisalign, but traditional brackets were significantly less expensive. Last month, I walked out of the orthodontist's office with metal braces (lilac bands, thank you very much) on my bottom teeth and went back to my day job as a mom. Let me tell you, being a mom with braces is weird.
Don't get me wrong. I'm incredibly grateful that my finances and access to dental care allow me to have my teeth straightened. At the end of the process, I'll not only be more confident about my smile, but I'll also avoid dental health problems in my golden years. But that doesn't mean I have to like the process, so fellow braceface mamas, feel free to whine along with me.