Spring cleaning uncovers many hidden memories and treasures. Some bring me back to the moment, awakening emotions, some happy, some not. Some of those memories trigger other memories, and I am transported back to a distant moment in my life.
Today, as I flipped through a photo album, desperately seeking a photo of my younger self in braces, I found only shots of me prior to the braces and after the braces. Not a single photo of me wearing them. It doesn't surprise me, since I have only a handful of photos of myself as a child.
I DID come across this one, where I was missing my top front teeth, and I recall wishing for my front teeth for Christmas that year. I also remember how I used to stick my tongue out through the huge gap where all of my front teeth, both top AND bottom, were supposed to be! The memories flood back. A chocolate Santa in my stocking. I was forbidden to eat it, but I did it anyway. A tooth came out covered in the melted chocolate. The dress was one my grandma made. A red button-up shirt and coordinating skirt that attached at the waist with small squares of velcro at the front, back, and each side.
I think beyond that phase of being "gappy" to the phase of braces. Not a fashion I flaunted, but rather one that haunted me for way too long. The painful sores on the insides of my lips, the failed attempt of covering the sharp brackets with little balls of wax. The pain of snagging a wire on carpet while hiding under a bed, which led to an entire row of brackets being ripped off of my teeth. Returning to the orthodontist to have them replaced the next day was PURE torture. I would have given anything to have left them off.
So many visits, getting more brackets, tightening the wires, and the embarrassing and uncomfortable experience of having head gear. I secretly cursed the person who invented this cruel device. Not only was it physically painful, but emotionally, as well, sitting on the couch in it, all the while having the family sit there, teasing and taunting. I hated it with a passion.
Finally, the torture ended, one week before my 8th grade graduation, but my teeth were far from straight, and I was never given a retainer to wear.
I shake my head and my thoughts float to the not-so-distant past, recalling my daughter's fearful reaction to my smile. My crooked teeth scared her, and she would grab my face, covering my mouth with both hands so she couldn't see my teeth. My feelings are hurt all over again, the way they were as a child, being tormented over my hideous head gear and pathetic attempts at playing my clarinet while brackets dug deep into my lips and made them bleed.
After a huge financial setback with Pickle's dental health, we decided to invest in dental insurance, so we could get braces for him in the future...or so I thought, when hubby told me "Now you can go get braces.", and SugarPlum added "Yeah, and go fix your yucky teeth!" I nearly cried.
The thought of going through that again is not one I cherish! Luckily, modern technology has introduced Invisalign, and it's around the same cost as traditional braces. It is also covered the same as traditional braces, by insurance!
I'm feeling optimistic about this option, and I have attended two Invisalign events this past couple of months to get answers to my questions, and to see real results on patients who have completed their treatment. I wish this had been around 20 years ago! And I feel grateful that my son will not have to experience braces the way I did the first time around!
My first introduction to Invisalign was through Bloggy Bootcamp, where the discussion focused on Invisalign Teen. Of course, I was thinking of how my son would have to wait SO LONG to get his crooked teeth straightened, but in one of my two recent lessons on Invisalign Teen, I learned that he could get them in his pre-teen or early teen years, depending on when his teeth are all done growing in!
When I attended my first Invisalign event in L.A., I was thrilled to discover that adults are having amazing results from Invisalign, as well. Knowing that I could truly get my teeth straightened after all these years, regardless of a failed attempt with traditional braces in my childhood, made a huge impact. Even better is the fact that I won't have to go through a bunch of pre-treatment in order to get started with Invisalign. I simply need to get fitted, then they will make the trays, and all I will need to do is follow the treatment plan and be consistent in wearing them.
I can also continue with my current dental hygiene routine, without the same challenges I faced as a child with braces. I can take the aligners out to eat and to brush my teeth, and if my son decides to play an instrument, such as saxophone or trumpet, he can take them out to practice and perform, without the fear of having to give up something he loves, the way I had to with the clarinet!
I'm so glad he won't have to worry about being teased and called names as a result of his aligners...they'll barely be noticeable!
My next mission is to locate an office that is covered by my insurance, so I can get an evaluation done!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts, memories, and opinions are my own.