You can thank my brother Joe for the title of this post.
And I obviously have a problem with consistency.
Back in the day, when I was in grade school, we had a big slide that we would run up during recess. One day while I was running up it, I fell on it face first and cracked my front tooth. Half of the tooth broke off. I got it repaired, thankfully, and stopped running up the slide.
Over the years, the false part of my tooth started to stain from coffee, pop, whatever. I started to get very self-conscious of it. Little kids would ask me about it, and I felt like when I smiled, people were looking at it and wondering. It was my very front tooth after all!
I started smiling with my mouth closed, and would try to cover my mouth when I laughed. I didn’t always remember to be self-conscious, but enough that it soon became more natural to hide it than to forget about it. If you look back at most of my posts, my mouth is usually closed.
A few years ago I asked my dentist about getting fixed. He said that it was considered cosmetic, so insurance wouldn’t cover any of it, and it would cost at least $1000-$1200. Not a lot for some people, but that was a lot for me. I tried saving but of course just could never save up that amount, or least couldn’t justify spending that amount all at once.
Kind of forgot about it and kept smiling with my mouth shut, until a couple of months, I was answering some questions on a blog post, and I mentioned how I would love to get my tooth fixed. I never really talked to family or friends about it, I figured it was just something I had to deal with and didn’t want to make a big deal about it. So, I finished my post and blogged it, and promptly forgot about it.
A few nights later, boyfriend Steven and I are watching TV and both on our computers. I get an email from the boyfriend which says how proud he is of me for all my hard work, and that he would like to pay for my tooth. So very sweet and touching and unexpected. First, I loved that he emailed me while we sitting there together. Second, I knew he read my posts sometimes, but it was still a surprise, especially since I had forgotten I had even mentioned it!
I went to the dentist to discuss it, and the dentist told me that because it was actually breaking down and so old that the insurance would pay for part of it. Joy! I ended up getting a brand new replacement crown, after hours of torture…not really, but I did have to bite down on a piece of gauze for 5 minutes, and if you know anything about me, you should know that I DETEST having fabric or materials in my mouth, and especially hate having to bite down on it. SHUDDER
It was still quite a bit of money, and I haven’t been able to truly express to Steven how much his gift means to me. I’ve been trying to reteach myself to smile without covering it up, and without being self-conscious. It’s very hard but it’s a good kind of difficulty. I know it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme, and that it’s pretty much all vanity on my part, but I did have issues with it.
I was always jealous of beautiful smiles I saw everywhere. I hated when I would forget in a picture and then all I would see was my ugly front tooth. When I was talking to friends about it, most said “I never even noticed your front tooth!” Very sweet and supportive. But, we all have our own issues, and we all have appearance issues. This was a major one for me. Sometimes I could forget about it, and other times it would make me extremely sad. I realize that might not make sense, for it to be forgotten about sometimes and a major issue other times, but it’s true. That’s just how I am!
Sorry for the wordy post, just felt the need to explain some of this.
Seriously though – learning how to smile again? It’s really a wonderful experience. When the dentist handed me the mirror to see my new tooth, I actually cried, and made the dental assistant tear up a bit too. Argh, I’m a bit teary now. Shut up.
Ready for cheese? First picture shows the old tooth, which is actually a bit hard to see. Second picture is a major goofy picture sporting the new tooth. And please ignore how truly weird I look in both pics. You are looking at the teeth only!