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I have terrible teeth.  Like seriously bad.

Sadly, I gave those bad teeth to my son. Isn’t he handsome? Notice how his mouth is shut up tight? His teeth weren’t really as bad as mine, though he had an extra, broken tooth.  I think his smile was awesome, but it bothered him.

Mine used to bother me when I was his age. I get it. I tried to get braces. I tried really hard. Unfortunately for me, my mouth is the size of a child’s and I have a really severe gag reflex. Three tries for a mold failed and was absolute pain and vomit-filled torture. My parents and I gave up.

We won’t discuss what happened to my teeth in adulthood.  That’s another post for another time.  Let’s just say – nothing good. However, my Bishop noticed Joram’s reticence to smile and worked a miracle.  And voile, Joram now has an amazing smile!

Check out that smile! Holy cow! Joram’s orthodontist is a genius. A genius that worked on me the entire time that Joram was in braces.  First, he got me in to a fantastic dentist that I adore. The first time I went, I nearly threw up from the panic. I cried and tried to convince Caramon to take my appointment. I shook like a leaf the entire time I was at the office and I cried again when they gave me my dental plan that was well over $10,000 worth of work. Single, battling for a divorce, and utterly broke, I didn’t know how to make it happen. The office worked with me on a plan to spread it out to maximize my benefits and now I have a great mouth! When I did the last of the work a year ago, the entire staff hugged me and gave me congrats for finally having a healthy mouth.

But, the teeth were still so crowded, despite having lost quite a few teeth to make room and due to the bad shape of my mouth.  They were so tight, that it was really difficult for me to floss, and the arthritis in my hands sure didn’t help in that respect.

So I decided to go for it. I couldn’t get standard braces because of the metal and acting.  No problem, my orthodontist assured me. We worked up a plan for invisalign and my journey began in full this past February.  I cannot believe the change.

The current invisalign plan has 40 trays, each tray worn for 2 weeks.  Don’t even ask about how he managed to get those molds.  I’m telling you, he’s a genius. Also, I took two muscle relaxers and asked for a priesthood blessing before I went in.  I told my orthodontist, “I’m in it to win it, and we’ll get those molds if it takes all day!” He laughed, but I was serious.

I can’t even believe the change. I look back at those pictures and I really see how bad my teeth were.  I had accepted my mouth the way it was and thought the crooked teeth gave me character. I’m naturally quite pretty, and I didn’t let the teeth bother me any more than being half blind.  I wanted braces to give me a healthier mouth and save my teeth.  I didn’t expect what happened when I took a recent picture.

Look how much has happened in just 15 trays (30 weeks)? Amazing.  These pictures are roughly a year apart and I am excited to see what happens by the time I’m done! I’m so blessed that I can have this opportunity! I never had a problem smiling before, but now I have even more reason to smile! I thought I’d be kind of sad to lose that imperfect smile with crooked teeth, but I’m not!

Have you had braces? Tell me about your experience in the comments!  (I’d love to see pictures!)

–Lady O