I am a pretty confident woman. Actually, I like to think I’m a very confident woman. A positive person. Someone who loves to smile and who loves to see others smile. I like to make other people happy, and I long ago found one of the best ways is through just a smile. And I’ve been told many times over that I have a great smile.
However, when asked what my favorite facial feature is on myself, I would always without hesitation say, “My eyes!” They were hidden for years behind thick glasses until, when in college, I finally got the nerve to get contacts. (I couldn’t, prior to that, fathom putting something IN MY EYE. But now, I can practically do it in my sleep.) Even so, when wearing make-up I’d choose to feature my eyes. I’ve leaned on eye liner for years to make them stand out, and, as always told in make-up rules, I’d leave my lips alone. A little gloss, or a neutral tone now and then, but on a whole I wouldn’t accent them at all.
Strange for someone who loves to smile, right? Strange for someone with confidence.
However, deep, deep down, in a place that I never gave any power, there was an insecurity due to my teeth.
Now, I am dead serious when I say that I never gave it much conscious thought. About the only time I really gave my teeth much power was when taking a self-portrait. Let’s see if you notice what I am talking about…
Yup. In photos, my teeth were my little hidden secret. And it is in THAT action that I admit they were an insecurity. Very few people would ever make a comment on my teeth. I generally felt that anyone who did had issues of their own and were making themselves feel better by pointing out MY major imperfection. But in reality, the few people who would say anything were always very nice about it. Asking with curiosity why I’d not ever had braces. Or, in one case, giving me a high five with a smile of their own to revel their own front gap! But it would never fail… it would take a few minutes to “shake it off” when my insecurity was brought out front to my attention.
All that being said, getting my teeth fixed has been very low on my radar for years. If I hadn’t fixed them by now, what was the point?
I have a great confidence already, and my teeth aren’t exactly on my radar. My family and friends love me as I am. I’ve never been held back in life in general (as far as I know!) due to my teeth. So… what would be the point?
Then last summer, in the midst of getting a lot dental work done, my dentist presented me with an offer/option. One of my front teeth had a cavity in it, and it would need some work soon. What if we put crowns over the front teeth, and he could reshape them to be straighter through those crowns?
For me, my stomach clinched at the thought of the cost. It would be a lot of money! What on earth would I be thinking if I did this!? However, the offer was intriguing. And after some discussion with my parents and my husband, I agreed to do it.
So one day last summer, I went into the dentist for some sedation dentistry, and I came out with temporary crowns on my teeth. That looked just like my old teeth. I had seen the proposed models of what my teeth would look like in the end, and it was nice! A definite improvement.
We will skip the silly reasons why it took almost six months and one visit to re-cast my molds for the crowns, but on Monday morning I headed in for the big reveal.
And I walked out with a perfect smile. My dentist went above and beyond what he’d proposed to do for me. I keep looking in the mirror and being taken aback by my new smile. I keep running my tongue over the back of my teeth, looking for the gap that no longer exists. Occasionally I notice forming words with my lips has changed. And now… I want to wear lipstick. My old teeth-based insecurity replaced by a new smile.
Here I am at 33 with a whole new look… and here’s the funny thing. Now I feel more motivated to shed the 15 lbs I’ve put on in the last 7 years. I want the rest of my body to match the new smile. It’s made me want to care about ME more. It’s given me a boost I never in a million years thought I needed.