Here’s some non-pretentious stuff for my blog (I know, I know). This is about my personal struggle with the shame and insecurity brought about by having REALLY crooked teeth up till last year. That was when at the ‘old’ age of 26, I finally saved up enough money to get adult braces. Here’s my story, which is overly dramatized and yes, I know it’s not a big deal. Shut up.

If you don’t smile and laugh, then you’re a weirdo. Unless you have a disability of course, but then people would still think that. But sometimes you just don’t because of one reason…

That reason is of course crooked teeth. More crooked than the management of Enron and Richard Nixon combined. My teeth were so crooked that I was essentially a hermit, staying indoors and barely interacting. That’s probably why I’m such a charmer to this day.

I am of course, speaking from experience. When I was a wee lad, I really didn’t give a crap what people thought of my teeth. It was just teeth. I socialized as normal, and even when people made fun of me, I was too ignorant to be self-conscious and hence to care. It was only when I got older did my awareness and hence the self-consciousness and shame, kick in. Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.

Why Some People Have Crowded Teeth

In the situation where kids are involved, the twelve signs and signs and symptoms and warning signs of such teeth and jaws that develop incorrectly are observed around 5 years of age. That’s pretty damned early.  A couple of the causes will be what are known as myofunctional habits. Examples of such habits are:

Mouth breathing, which is, by the way, associated with low intelligence. So don’t do it, but also don’t do it because it messes up your teeth. Another culprit is pressing your tongue against the back of your teeth and sucking your thumb. These don’t seem enough to move your teeth; but over years, trust me, it can cause some really crooked teeth.

The lower grade levels were grade. I was the teacher’s pet; the little boy that every teacher loved. I was the class clown and the favorite. Nobody cared about my teeth; in fact I think it just added to my charm.

But as Icarus found out, the higher you go, the hotter it gets. Once I reached middle school, things changed, and not for the better. My peers teased me mercilessly, especially at out of school social events. It led to mild depression and very high levels of stress. Bottom line: not fun.

This Is How Bad It Got

Middle school and high school were hell. The teasing was unrelenting and merciless. I prayed daily for quality orthodontic treatment so I could get braces, but my parents simply could not afford it, no matter how distressed my predicament made them. So goes the economic realities of life.

Needless to say, I did not do very well with the opposite sex. In fact, to say I did poorly would be a severe understatement. No girl would every want to be seen with ‘Buck Teeth McGee’; my unfortunate nickname that still pops up every now and then. Now that I’ve gotten my teeth fixed though, I really don’t mind.

At Least I Got a Best Friend

I did meet a cool guy on campus when I went off to university though. We eventually became housemates and he’s one of my best friends to this day. He never once mentioned my teeth in a negative light. He was a true bro and always tried to refer me to the best orthodontists in Edgbaston, Birmingham, where I was studying at the time.

Finally Seeing an Orthodontist and Getting Adult Braces

After graduation and getting a job, I was finally, after several years to save and toil away in my ‘cosmetic dentistry / braces fund’. Of course, I had scoped prices out long ago. I had a budget and a plan to achieve it.

There are two days I will never forget. The first was putting my braces on for the first time. The second was taking them off 2.5 years later and gazing into the mirror, seeing a row of perfectly straight teeth for the first time. I won’t say that I cried, but it is possible that a manly tear dripped down my cheek.

And that is the story of how I got adult braces. With great looking teeth now, I can run this blog and be as pretentious as I want. So there.