Because I’m in my thirties and I’m not afraid to be confident in what I like about myself without feeling like I’m just being conceited, I’ll share with you all that I think I have pretty great teeth. Not only are they almost completely free of cavities (that’s something you’re born with or you’re not, I think, for the most part), but they are pretty white and nearly perfectly straight.
But that has not always been the case. Oh no, it has not.
Let’s talk about a few things. First, I was 8. My mom had cut my hair into an awful half-of-my-head-is-bangs haircut, which is why you are literally only getting the picture of my mouth. Secondly, I had clearly only lost 4-6 teeth in this picture, as on the top, I’ve only got 2 permanent teeth…things went way downhill from here as more permanent teeth arrived. Conjure up an image and I’m sure you’re not far off.
My multi-step orthodontia began, I believe, in 5th grade. A couple of baby teeth pulled, a frenectomy (remember when Bennett gave himself one?), braces, some permanent teeth pulled, and braces again. And then 2 wisdom teeth pulled. It was a glorious few years for me, as you might imagine *eyeroll*.
But, I never doubted it was worth it. See picture above, imagine it worse, and then compound those thoughts with the fact that I was a preteen/teenage girl and a tad insecure, and you’ll know why. I was so thankful that my parents believed that fixing my teeth was a necessity.
Matt often joked that our kids wouldn’t get braces. Until I pulled out an old picture to remind him how bad my mouth was, and asked him, “Would you have HONESTLY given me a second look if my teeth looked like that?”
I don’t remember the exact answer, but I think we all know what it was. And I don’t think he was being shallow…those teeth were a hot mess.
And so it begins for the next generation. For in 3 weeks, Luke has his first orthodontics consultation. He was the one that I thought would need a frenectomy, but he had such nice spacing in his baby teeth that I thought we might escape needing major work done.
The baby teeth came out, 8 permanent teeth came in, some of them super wonky, and here we are, investigating how much braces are going to set us back.
Knowing that Bennett’s mouth, minus needing a frenectomy, looks identical to mine when it was full of baby teeth does not comfort me. There is absolutely not enough room in that mouth for as many teeth as he’ll have.
Who knows about Jack Henry. His baby teeth spacing is like Luke’s, but now I know not to get excited about that.
So, to my children, I say: I have this fantasy of turning our current under-utilized office space into a craft room for me. But instead, we’re going to straighten your teeth. You. Are. Welcome.