Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Insecure Me: That One Thing, Part 2


So What Do You Do?
What do you do when your biggest insecurity has been highlighted?  I cannot cover my smile with makeup or camouflage it with clothes.  I cannot make it go away with exercise or better eating habits.  I am stuck just watching the calendar and waiting until the day when my teeth will descend and my braces will finally be removed.
Missing my two canines
 The hardest time in this journey of my life came about six months ago.  The orthodontist looked at my X-rays and I knew by her mannerisms that something was wrong.  It turned out that the canine tooth on my right side had not moved at all after three months of treatment.  It was a hard blow.  Now, not only was I stuck in these stupid braces, with two missing teeth, but one of them was not even moving.  That put my treatment behind schedule and put me into a bit of a depression.  It is pretty difficult right now to look in the mirror and see this beautiful person and then smile and see all of that disappear.  All I can see when I smile is the two gaping holes where my teeth are gone and these bulky goofy braces.  I was in a hard place for awhile but I refused to give up and I kept hoping and believing that the tooth would move.  There were days that I looked in the mirror or at pictures of me smiling (see above) and hated what I saw and there were days where it nearly made me cry, but I refused to give in to the negative emotions and I refused to shed a tear over something that in all honesty, is so trivial.  Am I a worse person because of braces?  No.  Have I hurt anyone else by not having two teeth?  No.  But I certainly have learned a lot about myself and I have found my own inner strength and that matters so much more than teeth.

After realizing that the tooth was not moving, the orthodontist changed the way my braces were anchored and used stronger (but more painful) wires to attach the chain and the braces.  At my next X-ray appointment, we saw that the tooth was slowly but surely moving at last.  It gave me hope to keep believing.
If you look really closely, you can see the tip of the left canine.
At my appointment in December, the orthodontist assistant did the next round of bite wing X-rays and found that the left canine was right at the surface.  Just a few days later, it made its first appearance in the world and you can currently see the tip of it with the naked eye!  The right one is still far from the surface, but at last it is moving and I received a jolt of faith to keep going with the process just when I needed it most.  While I still do not like the look of my smile right now, I know it is getting better and when I go to my appointment on Thursday (tomorrow!), I will be excited to show them my progress and find out what the next adjustment will bring.

6 comments:

  1. Funny how a lot you deal with coincides with my own life. I'm 31, and I need braces badly. Like you, my parents could not afford braces, so my bite is off, and I have spacial issues as well as my bottom row has been ground down to tiny little nubs of teeth. Still teeth, but tiiiiiny. And like you, until a recent dental visit, I had no idea my teeny teeth were a defect, I just figured they've always been small, so it's how my teeth are meant to be. I've had a lot of painful reconstruction, and still have more to go, but with our military insurance, braces are not at option right now. They are necessary, so you can bet as soon as I graduate school this summer and get that coveted job with my own benefits, I have to sign up for braces, too. After that, I'll need a full set of veneers, which will cost more than I'd like to spend on a car. But it's so hard to work on my makeup and have a great haircut and feel like I've got it going on, and have that confidence sucked out when I open my mouth and see teeth I've had my whole life, only now they are a defect. I guess part of being an adult is dealing with disappointing news without letting it ruin your good opinion about yourself. I can't fix my teeth yet, plainly and simply. I just have to deal.

    Thanks again so much for posting these posts. Really, they do help me deal!

    Ally

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    1. Ally, I completely agree that you can't let bad news ruin your self esteem. I'm sure in the end, your smile will look great and you will feel proud of it. It's a long and sometimes frustrating process but I know one day I'll be happy about the decision I've made and I'm sure you will be too.

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  2. Wow that is awesome. I'm happy to hear that your tooth is finally cooperating. Good luck at your appointment today.

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    1. Thanks Danielle! The appointment went well. One tooth is cooperating but the other is a late bloomer. We're hoping to see it this summer!

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  3. Seriously, if you hadn't pointed it out, I wouldn't have noticed the gaps. But I'm happy for you that the treatment is working out. :)

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