I always knew vanity would lead me to pain and bankruptcy. Enter : Adult braces.
Yes, I’m now an adult who wears braces. I have joined the Narcissistic hoards of One-Direction-Members, Tom Cruise, and Cheryl Cole by sacrificing myself to cosmetic dentistry when I’m old-enough-to-know-better.
Up there with adults who suck their thumbs and wear pigtails, you’ll find me getting asked for ID at the bar and mistaken for the work-experience kid… Yeah, I’d say my braces have helped me regress back to teen-tantrums and cliquey-mayhem … But I never really left that life-stage, so I can’t.
Right now, I’m 2 months into the year-long process, which will take my chaotic mouth from the shadowy, abstract gray below, to the realigned white:
What a mess! Why now? My teeth have declined over the last few years. I have a maverick crown on one of my front canines (thanks to an accident with a slide aged 10), and this tyrant has been forcing himself to the front of my mouth, pushing my other front tooth out of the way and threatening the whole structural integrity of my smile.
This has narrowed my arch, lead to Malocclusion… and all other kinds of Dentic jargon! I’ll never be mistaken for an American with this orthodontic nightmare. Hence why I’ve renounced a year of eating properly for this procedure.
How does it work? Luckily, my braces are clear, like this:
So it’s like wearing a see-through-gum-shield: I lisp like crazy!
I’m supposed to wear this contraption for 22-hours-a-day, everyday. Imagine not eating for 22-hours-of -the-day, like some urchin from Les Miserables! I have friends writing to Amnesty International on my behalf. You’d think I’d be wasting away, but alas – I spend these sacred two-hours of my schedule feasting like a Medieval king on 9,000 calorie meals and the heads of my enemies.
Besides that, I’m supposed to drink only clear substances like water for 22-hours-of-the-day, so that my crystalline braces don’t stain. As if I’d demote myself to water-drinking, farm-animal-style. Of all the things to turn me to vodka, who knew it would be my crooked smile
and not my crooked soul!?
Every 10 days I replace the current tray with a new one, which slightly alters my gait and crooked teeths that little bit more. It’s painful for the first night-or-so then your teeth succumb to the consistent bending and give-in, hopelessly, until you abuse them with a new tray 10 days later.
If the lisping, gumshield-like braces weren’t the height of unattractiveness? The ceramic buttons the dentist welds to your teeth to act as pressure-points certainly are. It’s pretty lucky I’m not single – else I’d have no hope of ever getting laid again. And what’s worst? This ugly, awkward phase is costing me money – every month I give-up a larger fortune to this cause than some of my friends pay for their mortgages. If only I could move into my mouth, and be content in the impression that it was earning me collateral.
I’m currently on my sixth tray – that’s one fifth of the way through the process, as yes, you worked it out – there are 30 trays in total. 24 more reasons to whine for the next 10 months… Can I see a difference yet? YES. Already. You will find me checking the readjustment of my incisors constantly through-out the day – in spoons, mirrors, windows, other-people’s-shades… I’m all over it. People think I’m deeply engaged with their conversation and ideas, but no, I’m just assessing my teeth in the reflection of their glasses.
It’s still a LONG way before I have Meghan Markle’s smile … When the braces are done, I need some serious whitening and more veneers. But we are getting there. Slowly.