Fourty months ago a talented but troubled new artist emerged on the music scene and convinced me to finally do something about my disorganized smile. I figured I'd get some of those Invisalign things and fix my teeth while I sleep. Turns out I was being an idiot.
Fast forward through three years of braces, four tooth extractions, dental surgery, a ton of cash and more embarrassing anecdotes than I care to recount. Now look at me... I'm Retainer Boy!
Growing up, my sister and I both looked like we belonged in the "Before" chapter of the "Big Book of British Smiles", yet only she got the parental-sponsored orthodontia. I imagine my folks looking at their only baby daughter playing with her dolls; then over to their second of three sons, sewing portières for Barbie's sitting room. (What kind of "dream house" has no interior doors?) Both kids homely as sin. From a simple investment standpoint, they didn't need Suze Orman to tell them where they'd be getting the most potential grand-baby bang for the buck.
But even two months after the braces came off, I'm not finished. There's still one last gap. Ironically it's the same gap that convinced me to seek help four years ago when I was flipping through my iPhotos and thought I saw Amy Winehouse. (To be fair, I was really, really wasted when that picture was taken.)
Why after all this work am I still rocking my Amy gap? My Orthodontist explained it to me this way: my teeth are indeed all in the right place and facing the right direction. He actually used the analogy of soldiers standing in formation. If you have two skinny soldiers next to each other there's bound to be a gap, and forcing them together will break the formation and probably violate don't-ask-don't-tell. Morale will suffer, gums will recede and teeth will go AWOL. You don't want that. What you really want to do is bulk those skinny soldiers up.
|Goodbye Amy gap, you|
The journey is nearly complete. Today my little soldiers become a band of brothers, bonded by shared experience, forbidden desire and some sort of super strong cement. Bonded for life or until I bite a raw carrot.