“Do you think red wine will stain my clear braces?”
This is an actual question that I texted my mom last night. Because I am now living simultaneously as a 13-year-old and 31-year-old.
I got braces last week. This is my third round.* I would like to think now that I’m in my thirties I can accept these braces with confidence and grace. (All the magazines say you have more confidence in your thirties, right?!) But let’s be real: getting braces at any age older than 12 sucks. In an effort to be positive I’ll admit that braces now suck decidedly less than braces when you’re 18 and heading off to college, which also happened to me. See – Positivity!
I was not so positive at my orthodontic appointment last week. Adult braces come with a host of questions and concerns you don’t have as a pre-teen. The aforementioned red wine conundrum, for instance. The reality of repeatedly being head-butted in the mouth by a rambunctious two-year-old. (Seriously. I need a mouth guard.) The fact that in my mature age, all this stuff hurts more and takes longer to recover from.** As I was contemplating all these not-positive things, one of the assistants approached me and asked, “Are you excited?”
I furrowed my brow and looked into her soulless eyes. “Yes. I am STOKED. I am SO EXCITED to be a grown-ass woman walking around with a mouth full of metal. I’m going to look completely ridiculous but EVERYTHING IS AWESOME.“ (I realize that as a woman who hasn’t washed her hair in four days, perhaps I don’t have much credibility when it comes to concerns about my appearance, but alas. Vanity is a funny thing.)
I didn’t say any of this, partly because I gathered this person might not understand sarcasm. Instead I un-furrowed my brow and silently chastised myself for the brow-furrowing in the first place. Those forehead wrinkles aren’t getting any smoother.
Then it hit me. The upside to all this – I’M GOING TO LOOK SO YOUNG! 31-year-olds don’t have braces! Mothers of two don’t have braces! No one is going to notice all my wrinkles when they’re staring at my flashy orthodontic appliances! Sure, it’ll be more an, “Awkward Teen,” young than an, “I’ve Discovered the Fountain of Youth,” young, but I’ll take whatever I can get.
I can picture it now: I’m at the park with the kids. I start chatting with another mom. She asks me if I’m the nanny. “No! I’m their mom!” I’ll exclaim in mock-surprise. “No! You look too young to be their mom!” she’ll reply. I’ll tilt my head back and laugh, and then lean in close. “My secret,” I’ll whisper, “…is the braces.” Mic. Drop.
So ladies, if you’re worried about signs of aging, no need for expensive creams or chemical injections into your forehead. Just slap on some braces and you’ll take years off your face! #Winning
(But really… Does anyone have any insight into the red wine thing?)
*For the record I have perfect teeth, but my jaw is all sorts of messed up. I need braces for an upcoming corrective jaw surgery.
**This is not science – that I know of – but makes sense, right?