Since the dawn of my mouth, there was a destiny bestowed upon it that I did not choose:
My mouth would be crowded, very crowded, with words, jokes, boys, smiles, laughter, and what this blog is about… my teeth. It all started in 1985.
In the beginning, biology said “let Becki have a mouth…” My baby teeth began to arrive in all their uncomfortable glory and then they began to be knocked out, one by one, by an apple, my little brother’s fist, a string my dad tied to it. Thus began the arrival of my ‘adult’ teeth, a set of chompers that had their own course of action in mind.
They came in crooked.
I have crooked teeth, or as my orthodontist calls them, crowded teeth; a term I actually much prefer because it sounds less like a defect and more like a party that all of my pearly whites are trying to push to the forefront of my mouth for. Regardless, whether crowded or crooked, snaggled or hooked, they are not straight. This is something that has bothered me ever since I realized this was something that could be bothersome. (Mainly when I started becoming interested in boys…)
When I was eight, my mother asked me if I wanted to get braces. Let me repeat that… I was eight and my mother asked me if I would prefer having a mouth full of uncomfortable metal or to just live life as I was already used to. That’s kind of like asking an eight year old if they would prefer broccoli or candy for dinner. It’s a rhetorical question, so I- of course- said no way! and ran back out to roll in dirt and kick all the neighborhood boys’ asses at baseball. This was an answer that sixteen year old Becki would eventually regret giving, and although it would become my biggest insecurity throughout my life, I managed to sort of shelve the issue to the back of my mind and only harp on it when a group of boys in high school decided to constantly harp on it. (I’m looking at you Patrick and Matt.)
I’ve never had an insecurity that has really overtook or affected any part of my life in a huge way. This is a blessing. However, my teeth were always the one thing I was most self-conscious about and for years I planned on doing something about it. Problem was? I usually took all my hard earned waitressing money and spent it at the bar on shots of whiskey. I was way more concerned with getting drunk and getting laid and honestly crooked teeth never hindered either of these things for me. So, like my insecurity, I shelved the plan and just kept using that phrase that people use to avoid actually working at anything: one day…
In 2009 into 2010, big things started to happen in my life. All of my ‘one days’ started turning into ‘todays.’ I went back to school like I had said I would one day do. I changed my eating habits and lost 25 pounds like I said I would one day do. I started working with kids like I said I would one day do. I quit drinking as much like I said I would one day do. I stopped having one night stands like I… uh, never mind that one.
For the first time, I was proving I was awesome aside from telling the best whore jokes at the bar or taking the most shots of whiskey and still standing. I couldn’t walk past a mirror without shooting myself the finger gun, winking, and saying could you be any more perfect? (Um, I still can’t avoid doing that…) Then I would smile and -boom- the answer became obvious; yes, yes you could.
(Alright, hold it. I know at this point people are letting whimsical sayings such as you’re perfect the way you are and blah, blah, blah, run through their minds. Nobody’s perfect? Great. Awesome. Save that mumbo jumbo for your inspirational status updates. Nobody’s perfect-whatever- but teeth sure can be.)
So about four months ago, I set up a consultation with my now orthodontist. I figured since I’m a twenty-seven year old adult, I would try and get Invisalign, the wireless, clear trays as opposed to actual metal braces for aesthetic reasons. I received a packet in the mail, got excited because the doctor seemed hot, finally went in to see him at the actual consultation, and realized he must have had some glamour shots done because he did not look like the picture he was sending around. Anyway, he proceeded to hold my mouth open, and crowd it with instruments, x-rays, and wax, and eventually about a month ago, I had invisible braces made of plastic, lining my teeth like mouth guards trying to hold the crowd back.
Invisalign, so far, has proved to be relatively low maintenance, and as I have had it for a month, some pros and cons have been slowly popping up:
- They are more or less invisible. Unless you’re sucking face with me or gazing deeply into my mouth, you probably can’t see them.
- I can still eat whatever I want. I just have to take the braces out.
-They provide ample opportunities to gross people out like casually pulling them off your teeth and placing them in someone’s water glass at a fancy dinner or convincing young children that you can pull your teeth out.
- I floss and brush my teeth like 10 times a day.
-I don’t really snack anymore because the work is not worth a handful of potato chips.
-Uh, they’re straightening my teeth…
- Blow Jays. Yep, if you’re trying to steal a base with a fella, there’s nothing quite as sexy as saying “please excuse me while I take out my braces” and then yanking them out as a trail of saliva strings from your face. And if you leave them in? Well, then expect them to cut up the inside of your mouth and as you raise your head from his lap, expect to be swallowing blood in addition to other unmentionable liquids. Or spitting out blood, whatever your method. (Okay, that is a little bit sexy…)
- Getting drunk can be a challenge, (although have no fear, I have prevailed). Mainly because you’re supposed to wear the trays in your mouth for 22 hours a day, and when I drink, I like to drink for like 8 hours of the day… straight.
Although, at this point, I am far from an expert on these things as I have only had them a month (I’ll keep you posted), I’m learning, and there is one big benefit to bleeding from fellatio and having to do power hours with whiskey…
Soon, my mouth will not ever be described as crowded because of my teeth pushing around in a frenzy, but only words, smiles, and boys pushing around, fighting for the front seat, of my crowded mouth.