August 14, 2018

Some Thoughts On My Teeth

It’s cute to have slightly wonky teeth in the UK, right? It shows character. But when I did a TV advert in LA last year, my teeth looked amazing in it. Why? Because they’d clearly whitened and improved them in post-production and I saw what my teeth *could* look like. The slippery slope began.

In Japan apparently it’s actually quite trendy these days to have a bit of a ‘snaggle tooth’ (when one of your front teeth pokes out slightly). Well this is what my friends told me in a Whatsapp group, when I was moaning about how my teeth had moved and I had one slightly poking outwards. Hey, my crooked smile was fashionable!

I really didn’t care at first. Don’t fix your teeth, I told myself. Rebel against the patriarchy and capitalism! I like having unique qualities! I like standing out from the crowd! I like my pokey-outy tooth! But I hate to admit, the better my career was going, the more I was in front of a camera and the more self conscious I became of my smile and how it wasn’t what it once was.

When I was younger, I sucked my thumb. I was always told to stop because it’s not a chic look (even for a 5 year old) but I found myself curling up on the sofa and sucking my thumb until I was about 8 or 9 I think. It was comforting and like most kids who didn’t have a dummy, it’s kind of your substitute, especially if you’re an anxious child. God I was such an anxious child. I remember when we learned about ancient dead Egyptian Mummys at school and I was convinced there was one in my wardrobe. The result of quite a few years sucking my thumb and pushing against the roof your mouth is that you can be left with a goofy smile. My teeth were pushed out, and I was definitely self-conscious of it for years. So my parents took me to an orthodontist. I had train track braces for most of my teenager years. Luckily there were seen as quite ‘cool’ at the time. I was obsessed with Gwen Stefani in her ‘No Doubt’ days and there’s an iconic picture of her with bright pink hair and train track braces. So I got pink train track braces. I loved them.

But then came the dreaded head-gear. I mean, the only positive thing about having headgear is it really shows who your real mates are. At sleepovers with friends, out would come my headgear bag and I’d pop it on. A material strap over my head with a big metal frame going around my face, that I clicked in, either side of my jaw. A look that not even Gwen Stefani could pull off. It was a monstrosity.

After the endless hell of braces, retainers and headgear, I remember getting my braces off when I was around 15, just in time for my big sister’s wedding where I was a bridesmaid. I was IN LOVE with my straight teeth. They looked so good. Pearly white, straight, and I was smiling widely in all the photos. I wanted everyone to see my teeth. Cheeeeeese!

The thing with teeth though, is that they move as we grow older. Apparently they move every eight years. I wasn’t told to wear a retainer forever to keep my teeth straight. And even if I did, I was 15, and I was soon going to be distracted trying cigarettes and going out late, and doing things that probably weren’t good for my body or teeth, as all teens do. So, of course, they’ve moved back.

I’m 30 next year, and my teeth aren’t bad, but they aren’t straight anymore. I hate that it’s turned back into being an insecurity, and even if most people don’t care or notice, I notice that one of my teeth pokes out a bit. I notice that my teeth aren’t straight anymore. And I decided I wanted to fix it.

I put out a tweet, asking if anyone knew of a company that could fix a slight crooked smile. I don’t need the whole hog again (thank god), I just need a tweak. I discovered a company called Your Smile Direct, a company with an office in Mayfair who take a look at your smile and digitally mock-up what your new smile could look like. They take your digital imprint and design a set of aligners for you to change every 2 week over the course of five months or so. Every time you change the new aligners, your teeth are moved again, gradually. The last set of aligners are straight so you know what you’re aiming for. Once your teeth are straight again, you were the retainer at night forever. I’m cool with that. I’m an adult now, and I’m happy to wear it each night to keep my straight smile in check.

Do you have any questions or anything you want to know about Your Smile Direct? I am going to update this blog and my Instagram with my honest ‘journey’ of how I get on. I am currently wearing the second set of aligners. I had a lisp for a day and it was a little achey for the first few days but it’s gone now, and they don’t hurt at all. I’m excited to see the changes.

*Your Smile Direct has offered me a complimentary treatment plan in exchange for blog posts and social media mentions documenting my journey with the braces. I have not been told what to say. I will be giving honest reviews and updates regarding the treatment over 5 months. *

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