The Perfect Smile

It’s simple, you lose your baby teeth, grow some adult ones and if they’re not straight enough, you spend three years of your life with a mouth full of metal. Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky.

I sat in the waiting room after an hours drive hoping to hear some good news. When I was called in to see the dentist however, I was in for a surprise. ‘For starters, I’m not even going to look at your teeth, because I won’t be treating you’ she said.

Wait… What?

‘Oh don’t take it personally’ she said. ‘I’m pregnant! I don’t want to get you started and then go have my baby and leave you with no one to take care of you.’ Once again I gave her a baffled look. What was the point of driving all the way here just to be told you can’t help me? Again, she seemed to know exactly what I was thinking. ‘I only found out this morning that I had an appointment with you, if I had known earlier I would have called. You see, the receptionists don’t know I’m pregnant.’

Oh for god sake.

I came to see if I was eligible for Invisalign braces but I walked into a friggen soap opera.

‘Can you at least tell me how much it will cost?’ Out of curiosity I had turned to my dear friend Google to get a rough idea of costs. I had been informed that Invisalign would cost between $4000 and $6000. Oh boy was I misinformed. ‘Seeing as you’re not with a health fund, it will cost you roughly $8500.’

I was instantly filled with dread. My hopes were shattered. I have no job, no money, no hope. How could she tell me how much it would cost if she hadn’t even looked at my teeth? After hearing the horrible news I was lead back to reception to book another appointment with another orthodontist. My dad was waiting for me, when I told him the cost, he was shocked, but mostly angry. ‘What a waste of time! We had to pay $60 for you to be told she’s not even going to look at your teeth?!’ You could say the trip home was pretty hard for me, I felt so miserable.

For as long as I’ve had my adult teeth I’ve wanted nothing more than to have perfect teeth. A perfect smile. In high school, I was surrounded by kids who had braces. Kids who were lucky enough to have rich parents, or at least parents who could afford to dish out thousands of dollars to fix their child’s imperfect smile. I had to miss out however.

Smiling without showing my teeth has always been the norm for me. I was always so scared of people noticing my teeth that if I ever unwillingly opened my mouth to even laugh I would instinctively throw my hand up to cover it. To hide my biggest shame. My teeth have always made me the most insecure, so much so that when I do eventually have perfect teeth, I would just be so amazingly content with myself. Sigh.

In the case of boyfriends, my mission was clear: do not let him see my teeth, do not! Surely it would be a massive turn off. I would be short of a boyfriend and my ego would suffer a huge blow. After being with my current boyfriend for over a year, it started to seem like this was working. That all this time I’ve succeeded in keeping my teeth hidden. It wasn’t until I’m mentioned my desire of straight teeth to my boyfriend that I realised this wasn’t exactly true. ‘Your teeth are beautiful the way they are anyway.’ He said with a smile. ‘Seriously? Have you seen my teeth?!’

‘Well yeah. Of course I have.’

I may have cried tears of happiness like that sad sod I am.

Anyway, now nineteen years old, the dream of perfect teeth is more stronger than ever. But being an adult now, the last thing I want is to be walking around with metal braces. Which is why I turned to Invisalign. But oh god is it expensive, $8500? Are you kidding me? For a plastic mould that needs to be changed every fortnight? Why? WHY. Metal braces aren’t much cheaper either. Only about a thousand dollars less, their cost isn’t ideal either.

Why oh why isn’t there a third option? Like oh maybe we could inject some miracle juice into our gums that would let us stand in front of a damn mirror and move our teeth around until we’re satisfied and then it can wear off and our teeth can set and we won’t have to lose an arm and a leg?

Anyway that’s not going to happen anytime soon. Lucky for me though, my father (having some money saved away) has since told me he will pay the large down payment. That leaves me with the smaller, but still very stressful task of paying of the rest of the cost over the space of six months…

My new mission is clear: get a job, save like my life depends on it and get that perfect smile. In the mean time at least I have lots of clothes to sell… Ha.

Wish me luck.

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