Oral Care and Health Daily

Why I Chose Braces at 30

It was a big step, but as much about inner confidence as outer beauty.

All my life, I lived with very crooked teeth. In fact, one dentist told me that mine were the worst teeth he ever saw.

But once I found out I was having a baby, I started thinking about getting them fixed. Pregnancy just changed my perspective; I kept thinking, “How will I be able to tell my child to take care of his teeth if I don’t?”

Still, though the baby was reason enough for me, I was nervous. I worried about what braces would look like. I’m a legal assistant, and I meet with new clients all the time. Would they think braces make me look like a teenager and less professional?

Making the Decision
As soon as my son was born, I put my fears aside and decided it was time. My dentist took dental X-rays and estimated that it would take about 24 months. That seemed like forever, but my dentist said mine was a special case: Because I have a complicated set of teeth -- with something called a crossbite, which is trickier to fix than an overbite or an underbite -- it would be a long road.

Nevertheless, I decided to go through with it, and the procedure began: First, I had four teeth extracted and noticed an improvement right away, especially in my upper teeth. Then, I had the brackets installed. And now, I’m well on my way toward a better smile. I’m 32 and my dentist thinks the braces will come off this summer. The next step is to file two of my teeth, and then I should be all set.

Would People Call Me ‘Brace Face’?
My biggest worry about the process wasn’t the pain. It was what people would think. But I have yet to receive a negative comment!

My husband (who has a perfect smile I’ve always envied!) has been great. When I first told him I wanted to get braces, he said, “You don’t need to do that -- you look beautiful the way you are!” But when he saw how serious I was later, he got on board -- we’re financing them, and he’s OK with that.

And best of all, I even inspired my boss to get his own teeth straightened!

Should You Get Braces Too?
Whenever anyone tells me they are thinking about braces, I’m very encouraging. I know I held back because I was afraid nothing could be done. Now, if you’re stuck in that same place, I’ll tell you this: Getting braces isn’t just about beauty. Braces can show you that real improvement is possible. You just need to be patient and do your part -- show up for all the appointments and take extra-good care of your oral health.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, and I’ll confirm it: It’s a big investment in both time and money. But the results are worth it! I never realized how hard I always worked to hide my teeth when I smiled. Yet, these days, I am always grinning! I’m more sure of myself, and it’s spilling over into other areas of my life too. I started working out for example, thinking, “If I’m trying to get a better smile, why not go for a better body?”

In the end, making the decision to get braces is all about priorities. And to me, the extra confidence is worth every penny.

Photo Credit: @iStockphoto.com/Juanmonino



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