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So, I’m the mom with braces.

by Meagan Francis on March 16, 2012

If you’ve seen me in person over the last couple of years – or taken a really, really close look at some of my pictures – you might notice a quick flash of metal when I smile.

No, I haven’t morphed back into a teenager…I’m a mom with braces.

I never had braces as a teen, actually. My teeth never seemed crooked enough to warrant them, though they did stick out a little, and a dentist assured my parents that my wisdom teeth wouldn’t be a problem. But in my early 20s, my wisdom teeth decided to become a problem indeed. They slowly started coming in, shoving all the rest of my teeth forward. I have a small jaw, and there just wasn’t room for four more teeth. My teeth seemed to get more crooked by the day.

Finally I had the wisdom teeth removed. They’d never actually emerged all the way, but the damage was done anyway: my two front teeth, which had always been a bit crooked, now outright stuck out – forming a distinct “V”. You can see them in this picture, taken about four years ago:

That wasn’t so bad on its own, though that V seemed to get deeper every month. The other issue was that my bottom teeth overlapped, and I was starting to get that long-in-the-tooth look I’d always associated with middle-aged people. My dentist told me I was developing gingivitis because I wasn’t getting down into my gumline well enough when I brushed and flossed. (I had to admit I rarely flossed my bottom teeth because it really hurt and bled every single time.)

I’d tossed around the idea of getting braces since my early 20s, but when I realized that my crooked teeth weren’t just giving me a messy smile but possibly an unhealthy one, I got serious about the idea.

Still, there were some obstacles. For one thing, it seemed kind of like a frivolous thing for a 30-something mom of five kids to do. Second, I wasn’t sure I could justify the investment, and I was a little worried about walking around with a mouth full of metal for years.

But I got tired of feeling bad about wanting to do this thing for myself. I’d never really felt good about my smile – and why shouldn’t I? Eventually, I knew I’d be getting braces for most if not all of my kids. But first it was my turn.

After a few consultations I found myself drawn to Damon System braces because they had a great reputation for being more comfortable, less visible, and quicker-acting than traditional braces.

In fact, I was so impressed by the company that I wrote to them and said, “You need to hire a mom blogger to write about having braces!” And they agreed.

So I’ve had my Damon braces since December 2010. For the most part, I’ve been amazed at how easy it’s all been, and how quickly I’ve seen big changes in my smile. Here’s me the day after I got my braces on – wow, you can really see how crooked my teeth were then! (And you can hardly see the braces at all!)

and this was me in December, one year after getting them on. By the way, I’m still wearing the braces in the below picture. Can you see them?

I’ve been writing every month about the experience -how I got over my reluctance to get braces as an adult how other people have reacted, what it’s like to eat wearing braces, even how I keep my braces clean in public – for the Damon Experience blog. Since I’m writing for Damon, they covered the cost of the treatment. But now that I’m over a year in – and quickly nearing the end of my treatment! – I would absolutely do it all over again, even if I had to find room for it in the family budget and save for several years.

I’m actually kind of shocked when I take an up-close look at how crooked my teeth used to be. My new smile feels more “me”, which is good, because I like to laugh a lot. Within a few months my braces will be off, and I’ll be riding into the sunset with my new smile…or something like that.

If you’re a mom with braces, or you’re thinking about getting braces, please follow my journey at the Damon Experience blog! And if you’re a mom who doesn’t need braces but you’re just considering doing something nice for yourself, I hope you’ll be inspired to make it a reality. You may not have the time, money, or energy right now, but if it’s really important to you, it’s important enough to try to figure out a way to make it happen eventually. Hey, it took me ten years to make it happen, but I’m so, so glad I did.

Have you been considering doing any “selfish” or “frivolous” things for yourself – like getting braces! – but feel guilty or hesitant? Share here!

*My treatment costs are covered by Damon Braces. I was not compensated for, or asked to write, this post.

 

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

michelle s. March 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm

My husband was the dad with braces and now my daughter has them. She has been in hers less than a year and there is already talk of getting them off. They are Damon System too. Not only that… they see Dr. Damon (Jr). We are lucky enough to live in the town where he lives and practices. :) They are amazing.

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Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm March 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I’ve talked about getting braces for years…we’ll see! One of these years we might actually get around to it.

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Tiffany March 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I’ve wanted to get braces for a long time. I’ve even thought of contacting a company to see if they would sponsor me to blog for them, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to be that public with it. You may give me courage for both braces and pitching a company to blog it. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Tragic Sandwich March 16, 2012 at 6:15 pm

My teeth are fine in terms of braces (I also didn’t have them as a tween/teen, and then I was lucky enough that, although my wisdom teeth were problematic, they pushed things around just enough to close up the gap in front–but not enough to be a problem in a new way).

But I do want to get my teeth whitened, and I’m well on the way to actually making that happen.

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danielle March 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I had them as a teen and am really thankful I did. I was just talking with the man the other day about braces and the amazing feeling of brushing your teeth after getting them off. It’s an unforgettable feeling (or at least it was for me). Enjoy the awesomeness :)

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Candice March 17, 2012 at 7:13 am

yes! in fact, i am considering braces at this moment. i’m considering invisalign but it’s almost double the price of the usual metal/ceramic braces we have available here in Singapore. so..i really need to work on the family budget. ;)

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Cindy March 17, 2012 at 11:58 am

I also was the mom with braces and it has made a tremendous difference in how I feel about myself. The only problem was I waited until after the kids graduated from college, feeling that it was now my turn. By that time the front teeth had worn down so much that I needed to have them capped which doubled the cost of the project. So my advise would be to do the braces as soon as possible.

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RLR at Mom's Magic March 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I had braces as an adult – and it was for the second time! It does feel a little odd being the mom with braces, but after I got mine about 4 other moms I know got them, too. I’d like to think I started a trend :)
I started my own personal blog (since taken down) about my experience – I wish I’d thought to pitch to company!
I will add for those considering it – my braces were virtually pain-free (compared to when I had them 20-ish years ago) and not many people noticed them. Getting my retainers was much more noticeable, in fact. It’s definitely worth it – for the health of your teeth!

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Adventures In Babywearing March 18, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I love that you are sharing your journey about this. AND like I said before- I don’t even notice you have braces.

Steph

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Jen in MN March 19, 2012 at 10:26 am

Yes!! About 4 years ago I took the plunge and got cosmetic crowns put on my top front 6 teeth. It was a LONG time coming, and the expense was considerable, but I am so, so glad I finally got it done. I had a fair amount of crookedness going on amongst those teeth and also one of them was quite yellowed/discolored due to a root canal a few years prior. The combination is what threw me over the edge! My hubby was hesitant at first that we spend the $$, but I insisted and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself. I tell him that to this day and we both agree we’re glad I did it! I have so much more confidence in my smile and that is worth quite a bit. Oh, and for the $$ we used the Care Credit card with 12 months interest free. We paid it off in that time frame so at least we didn’t have to pay any interest. I am so glad I did it before we started having kids….but I will still find a way to do it now!

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Rebecca C April 8, 2012 at 11:32 pm

My husband is going in for his impressions for Invisalign this coming Thursday. :) My parents are actually going to pay for part of his treatment since we couldn’t get ortho insurance for an adult around here. I’m really excited for him, though he isn’t looking forward to having them (he IS looking forward to the results). He has the beginnings of periodontal disease, because he can’t clean his teeth well enough the way they are. Also, he gets migraine headaches because the alignment of his jaw makes his TMJ awful.

The fact that we even have to do this now, in his mid-20s, drives me batty. His mom has said she regrets it now (which mollifies me a little ;) ), but they never got him braces as a kid, despite him really needing them. Three times when he was growing up they could have gotten him braces, instead they poured a new driveway, got his little brother braces, and bought a widescreen HD TV. Now we get to pay substantially more, because insurance only covers kid orthodontics (adult ortho is solely cosmetic my butt!), and he has bad dental health from not being able to get them completely clean. Arrrrgh.

Okay, rant over. :) I really do love the in-laws, but they are not good financial role models.

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Paul Thompson September 25, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Wow! I am speechless with the result of your braces treatment. Your smile looks lovelier and more radiant than ever. It’s surely a commendable journey for you. You proved that nothing’s ever too late. You are truly an inspiration for all the mothers out there.

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