In Which I Get My Braces off and Blush

Are you ever hung up about your appearance?  Come on, I know you are.  Everybody is.

I am over six feet tall.  I was five foot eleven when I was eleven.    I’m not saying I had any more issues than anyone else, but they were my issues, and to me they were big ones.

In addition, I had a huge space in between my front teeth, but those of you who are, um…, older, know that back in the day, not everyone got braces.  I did not.

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Over the years, what that meant was that I had to explain to kids, including my oldest grandson, that I had not lost a tooth, no matter what they thought.  Not a huge issue, but one that still made me feel…less.  Know what I mean?  I learned, a long time ago, to smile without showing my teeth.  I don’t know what I was thinking in this picture.

Anyway…all that changed a year ago, in February.  It appeared that the only treatment for the TMJ that accompanied my RA and made me miserable was braces.  At my age!  I was appalled at the cost, which was far more than we paid for the kids, and they had both their uppers and lowers done. I only got the upper, referred to as one arch. Desperate to get rid of the pain, though, I got the braces.  And they have helped.

Today, eleven months later, I got my braces off.  It was much easier than I thought.  Susan snipped the wire and twisted the brackets and…poof!  They were gone!  A little polishing was required, and she took an impression for my retainer, which I will get this afternoon.

The doc surprised me with balloons and a bouquet of flowers, both of which were nice.  My first thought was that now I knew why the braces cost so much, but then I thought, “You know what?  It is a big deal. ”  He  made me even happier when he donated at least a hundred pencils for the kids at school.  They will get his name out there, and I won’t have to buy more this year. (I am easily pleased, I guess.)

Or maybe not.   I have been wondering for a long time  if I can learn to smile with teeth.   I got my permanent front teeth when I was what….eight?  I have been smiling with my mouth closed for a long time.

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These are most of the ladies with whom I work.  They really do smile like they are doing in this picture, which is part of the reason that I love my job as much as I do.  Sharon and I, on the left, are the senior members of the group.  What I noticed, when I looked at the picture, was that they all smiled showing their teeth except, you guessed it–me.

I know.  I think about it too much.  I thought I would get over being a teenager at some point!

So…the doc is not going to reshape my gums or my front teeth, some of which he has ground off, until the end of March.  Therefore, when I met the hubby for lunch today, I was not ready to smile.

Except he said, “Come on, let me see.”  Then he listened to me for a while.  Then he was quiet.  But before he left to go back to his tax class, he said, “Come on.  Smile.”

And I did, even though I could feel myself blushing.  We’ve been married over thirty years, so why I was blushing is beyond me.

What the hubby said was, “That looks good.  And see?  You can smile and show your teeth. It looks good.”

Hmmm…..

I guess you can unlearn some habits that, even though they’re not necessarily bad, are not what they should be.  I guess you’re never too old to change.  I’m guess I’m glad that the big old space is gone and that the pain is better, but I think I’m happier, at this stage of my life, to be relearning how to smile.  How many people get that chance?

The oh-so-expensive orthodontist gave me a certificate for a free 8×10 to show off my new smile.  I’m not going to get it until he rebuilds my teeth, etc., but I will get it.  In the spring.  And I’ll post it so you can see.

In the meantime, though, I’ve got to go.  I’m gonna find something to smile about.

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4 Responses to “In Which I Get My Braces off and Blush”


  1. 1 Tena January 13, 2009 at 3:17 am

    Oh, what a wonderful post. I really enjoyed it. 🙂 And, congrats on your new smile! How wonderful for you at this stage in life. Robin McGraw, watch out! Here comes the smiling Becky! She’s hot! 😀

  2. 2 Becky January 13, 2009 at 6:51 am

    Thanks, Tena. Your comment gave me smiling practice.

  3. 3 Cindy Swanson January 13, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Good for you! I loved your post. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on my blog!

  4. 4 Lou (Linda) August 20, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    And thanks for commenting on mine, too! Yes, I am happy with my smile, and I’m sure you will get used to yours, with teeth showing, in time! GET TO SMILING and show them off! 🙂


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