Remember how fun it was to be a pre-teen with braces? Yeah – I have no recollection of that either. Though I do remember being a pre-teen, that the awkward period of time that we now call “tween.” And BOY was I awkward. Shy, generally unsure of myself and several inches taller than the other girls in my class (and some of the boys) – adding braces to the equation just gave me one more tiny cross to bear: I never liked smiling.
And that’s just sad. Buddy the Elf wouldn’t understand (“I love smiling, it’s my favorite!”) Sorry – with Christmas fast-approaching, the Elf quotes are flying fast and furious around here. But back to braces – I did have them. And I was not best pleased about it.
We saw the writing on the wall when my grownup teeth started coming in, big gappy spaces and some “twisting.” So it was no surprise when I was sent to the orthodontist.
Here is a fairly decent representation:
Why the duck? I have no idea. We must have been at a lake. But within a couple of years when my teeth had fully grown in, those smiles would become few and far between.
I remember sitting in that chair for an hour as they cemented each tiny piece of metal to my teeth. And then the tightening of the wire (ouch!) Not to mention the fact that this was the ’80s and no one in the dental profession wore face masks, so I got to breathe in the aroma of everyone’s afternoon coffee.
I think this picture best expresses my feeling on the matter:
There are braces behind those unsmiling lips. And no, I have NO pictures where you can see my braces. I either refused to show teeth or I disposed of the incriminating photos when I was teenager. Vain much? Oh – and please don’t judge the caked on makeup. My mother let me experiment to my heart’s content and was rewarded with a teenager who wore little more than dab of lip gloss.
Those terrible brace face years were all worth it in the end. By the time I was in high school, the braces were gone and I could smile to my heart’s content:
Just look at those beautiful pearly whites! But avert your eyes from the bushy brows (what? I did say it was the ’80s).
Pre-teen Kate definitely would have preferred to use Invisalign and been part of the “2 Million Smilestone” (as mentioned above, they’ve straightened two million smiles and counting). Not having a mouth full of silver would have been a good reason to smile. I’ve known about this “new alternative to braces” for a while now – and if I ever need to fix dental issues again, I’m going wireless!
(If you’re curious, check out the Invisalign Cost Calculator: http://clvr.li/QUpqO3)