If you follow me on Instagram and watched my Insta stories last week you might have noticed something different about me…
I got braces! At 26 years old. For the first time.
I have hated my teeth my whole life. They’re crooked, my mouth is narrow, and I have an overbite. On top of the cosmetic problems the shape of my mouth also causes me to be a mouth breather and affects my sinuses. I’m on three allergy meds year round because of how my upper jaw impedes into my nasal area. It’s a party. 😉
Where other kids complained about having to get braces, I begged my dad for them. But he was a single parent and we didn’t have the money, so they didn’t happen. And as I got older, I became more and more self-conscious about my smile.
I realize this is a total first world problem, but everyone my age has nice teeth. Getting braces as a kid is pretty standard these days, so to not have a nice smile is something that is very noticeable and sets you apart… in a not good way.
I went for a braces consultation in my early 20’s and was told that not only do I need braces, but because of my age and the fact my jaw is no longer malleable, I also need jaw surgery. (The procedure is called a Le Fort I and involves breaking your upper jaw into three pieces.) My parent’s insurance wouldn’t cover jaw surgery and it was not something I was able to afford on my own as a college student, so I filed the information away and went back to sucking up my insecurities about my teeth.
Enter now. Josh and I have stable jobs, my insurance covers jaw surgery, and even offers a discount on orthodontia. So here I am at 26, with a metal mouth, looking at nine months of braces, followed by jaw surgery, followed by six more months of braces. And I could not be happier.
It’s going to be a journey, and one I’m excited to share with you. Five days into braces and I am currently on a soft food only diet and coating my mouth with dental wax every day. Everyone’s telling me it will get better, and slowly but surely it is.
It feels sort of weird to get braces in your 20’s, visiting a dental office clearly designed for kids, where the parents in the waiting room are closer to your age than the patients, but I know it will all be worth it in a few years. Braces will eventually be a distant memory and I’ll have the smile I’ve always dreamed about. At the end of the day, I decided 26 was way too young to stop pursuing my dreams.
Questions of the Day: Did you have braces as a kid? Any other fellow 20-something bracefaces? What’s something you always wanted that you had to make happen later in life?