Snaggletooth

Serious question: If you could change any one thing about yourself physically, what would it be? I know this is a controversial question. There are varied and strong opinions, both for and against surgery or measures to alter the body that we have been given. I certainly don’t want this post to become a heated argument about the plastic surgery industry… that’s not where I’m headed.

I only mean this post to be a confession from me, Peach, who has had a serious issue with something about her physical person since she was about twelve.

My crooked front tooth.

It’s there. I know it is. I see it in photos. Correction: it’s the FIRST thing I see in photos of myself, no matter what outfit I’ve donned or how good of a hair day I’m having. I only see that damn tooth. It jumps out at me the second I lay eyes on the picture, taunting me with it’s jaunty, off-kilter state. And I curse my younger self for refusing to get braces when I should have.

But I had good reason. You see, if I’d have gotten braces in middle school it would have changed the direction of my life, all the way to present day. I am not being dramatic. It’s true. But that’s a story for another blog post.

On the occasions when I’ve gathered the courage to express my insecurity about my wonky tooth to trusted friends, the answer from them is inevitably the same: shock, confusion and the statements “I never even noticed!” or “But it’s what makes you YOU!” or endearingly from the fiance, “I LOVE THAT TOOTH. DO NOT CHANGE IT.”. My instinctual reaction to those statements is always the same. They’re just being kind. Those are friendly white lies to make me feel better. Of course they see it and they think it’s hideous. 

The worst is when someone actually points it out. Or to my horror, they ask me if Snaggletooth has gotten even more crooked. With every occurrence of spotlighting it, my level of insecurity has grown exponentially.

Looking at pictures of myself taken in the past year or so, I can see that there is an obvious trend. I’ve stopped smiling in pictures. All I can manage is a close-lipped smirk that shows my laugh lines and my dimple… but not my tooth. For a perfect example, just look at my blog header. I don’t want to see that tooth in pictures, nor do I want anyone else to. I hide it.

But after making excuse after excuse to postpone this step for over twenty years, I’ve finally made up my mind to change the behavior by fixing the issue. And what was it that gave me the kick in the ass I needed?

I’m getting married.

Our wedding day next year is going to be the happiest day of my life and you bet your ass that I’m going to be full-teeth grinning nonstop.  That doesn’t worry me so much, but what keeps me awake at night is the photography. When I receive my wedding pictures, I don’t want to methodically pick apart every picture taken of me that day that shows my teeth… Snaggletooth captured for all to see, for years to come. I don’t want to cringe at every open-mouthed laughing shot because I’m blinded to everything captured except that. And I don’t want to be immune to the beauty of every other detail and memory, simply because I’m insecure about a seemingly small physical flaw.

I wish I were brave enough to not care. I wish I were strong enough to say “screw what everyone else thinks”. I’ve tried. Twenty years of trying, and it’s not working.

So I am doing what I feel is best for me. I’ve decided to take measures to fix my Snaggletooth.  It started with the wisdom teeth removal. That was a necessary pre-requisite, in case you were wondering why ANY sane mid-thirties woman would voluntarily undergo such torture. That sucked. A LOT.  Once healed, I chose Invisalign. I’m about a month in, and I can’t pretend that the process isn’t painful or tedious or annoying. It is, all of that. But I’m taking this step for me and it will be worth it.

Snaggletooth - 50Peach.com

Snaggletooth - 50Peach.com

Snaggletooth - 50Peach.com

The molds that get sent off for the making of the clear trays. Cool!

One would think that I’d be all kinds of empowered after taking this big step. But because of the level of shame I feel, I’ve told very few people that I’m doing Invisalign. I’m frightened of their reactions.  Whether it’s to tell me I’m stupid for caring so much, or to tell me I shouldn’t have spent the money, or worse – to poke fun at the clear trays that surround my teeth and make it difficult to speak normally.  I may put on a brave face, but any of those criticisms will hurt me terribly. Yes, I know I’m being a giant chicken about it, but I’d rather not divulge unless asked and I’m extremely cognizant of making sure to enunciate my words carefully. So far, so good. Except after a few glasses of wine. Yikes.

Surprisingly, the trickiest parts about Invisalign are 1. Social settings that involve food or drink. You cannot eat or drink anything other than water when they’re in, so removal is necessary for parties, movies, dinners, wine nights, etc. The extended amounts of time make it impossible to have the trays in for 22-23hrs per day  and 2. COFFEE. I’m a sipper. I like to drink my multiple cups of joe at a leisurely pace throughout the morning. Instead, I now have to pound my coffee like a champion frat boy and hoover every meal to get the trays back in. Ugh. This makes for a not too pleasant Peach. This shit better be worth it.

I’ve done a lot of Mighty things this year, but this bucket list item is up there with making me feel the most vulnerable. But there’s no turning back now. I have a year of slight inconvenience ahead in trade for a lifetime of feeling better in my own skin. This is my choice, and I choose to be proud of my smile on my wedding day and every day afterward. I’m grateful that my fiance, despite loving me especially for that Snaggletooth, fully supports me in my decision.  He understands.

To the friends who have been gentle with me during this month, thank you. To those of you reading, thank you for letting me share my secret.

~Peach

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Snaggletooth

13 Responses

  1. I think you’re brave for taking the steps to make yourself happy. I think you have a beautiful smile in the pictures I’ve seen and I’m sure it’s lovely already since you are a genuine person and genuine smiles are beautiful no matter what’s up with your teeth.

    Now this coffee thing. That would be a 100% deal breaker for me.

    Michelle Longo December 10, 2013 at 9:02 am #
    • Michelle, I knew you’d get it with the coffee. It’s its own level of torture. However, I thank you so much for the kind words. I heart you and stuff. You rock. xox

      50Peach December 10, 2013 at 9:13 am #
  2. Good for you. I know I have lots of company when I say I have never noticed anything about your smile other than its beauty and radiance. Having said that, our smiles are a huge part of how we present ourselves to the world. It’s awesome to feel great about your smile. I hope this procedure adds to your happiness on your wedding day, and after.

    Romanlily December 10, 2013 at 10:00 am #
    • Thank you, darlin’! Your kind words made my day. Hugs to you.

      50Peach December 11, 2013 at 10:27 am #
  3. Cheers to

    Netstr December 10, 2013 at 10:13 am #
    • mwah!

      50Peach December 11, 2013 at 10:26 am #
  4. Peach, I was thinking of you this morning as I updated my blog header to include a photo of myself. I thought about what you wrote when you did the same, and I convinced myself that it was ok to be scared but it was not ok to not do it.
    And then you posted this.
    I have been wanting Invisilign for YEARS! I too have a snaggle tooth – and why do people feel it’s ok to ask about it?
    Anyway, you are my hero. There is everything right with wanting to feel 100% comfortable in your own skin.
    I look forward to following this journey.
    Thank you for sharing, as always!

    MoxieBride December 10, 2013 at 12:24 pm #
    • Aw, it’s lovely to be thought of by Miss Moxie! Your new header is gorgeous and I love it! Well done, you.

      Cheers to our snaggleteeth and boo to those who call us out on them. :) Thanks for sharing with me, too. xox

      50Peach December 11, 2013 at 10:26 am #
  5. I, honest to goodness, wish that I could have surgery to pin my ears back. I curse my parents for not having them taped. I also pray that someday, there will be a surgery to fix my wondering eye…. My left eye kinda does it’s own thing. A LOT. And everyone says the same thing- it makes me: ME. Or they’ve “never noticed it”. But I hate both things. More than words. So I get this. On a deep level. I have cried a million times over both. And I have to do an eye check on all pictures I post. And my hair ALWAYS covers my ears. You’ll never see them out. Not ever.
    Oh how I adore you, and all of your HUMANNESS. You’re just an awesome chick. So real. And kinda inspiring. Cheers pal. Do what makes you confident. You are SMOKIN. For real. So beautiful.

    Carrie December 11, 2013 at 3:41 am #
    • Thank you for sharing your humanness too, Carrie. Our own physical imperfections affect us all in our own ways but you are indeed beautiful, my friend. Love back to you. xoxo

      50Peach December 11, 2013 at 10:22 am #
  6. I also never noticed it but I also have the same exact issue.
    Congrats on doing something about it.
    As long as I’m playing, I’m worried it screw up my embouchure.

    Russell December 13, 2013 at 9:53 pm #
    • *would*

      Russell December 13, 2013 at 9:53 pm #
    • Funny – I never noticed yours either!! :)

      50Peach December 28, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

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