Invisalign ~ A Boomer’s Journey, Part 1…
I am not one to fear trying new things or to challenge myself.
At age 57, I actually set out to try many new things, 57 things to be exact, to celebrate my 57th year; things that were from a tiny bit to a tremendous bit outside my comfort zone.
Things like skydiving (on my 57th birthday and I am terrified of both flying and heights), pole dancing lessons (oh, my!), surfing lessons (in the winter), competing in a Half Ironman (as a novice swimmer, cyclist, runner), writing a children’s story and posting it on this website (putting it all out there!), zip-lining (that height fear again), a cake decorating contest (I’m just not that Mom or Grandma) — a total of 57 things in 52 weeks.
I had the year of my life!
So why was coming to either braces and ultimately Invisalign such a delayed journey, me at its teeth-straightening precipice at age 63, a Grandma of 11, soon-to-be 12?
Well, life had gotten in the way, albiet in a very, very good way, with my 30-year teaching career, being a wife, a Mom and then a Grandma and Caregiver to my elderly Mom.
But I had never forgotten the first moment that I learned that I had crooked teeth, from maybe a well-meaning adult, and I use that term well-meaning with an *asterisk because it maybe wasn’t all that well-meaning.
I was 14 years old or so, speaking with this woman whom I knew quite well. Her husband was with us, too. I remember where we were. I remember the details, all of the details, nearly 50 years later. This woman and man had children around my age, and a younger daughter. The daughter was a bit rebellious. I was just a good kid, never in trouble and always studying and reading and babysitting for neighbors and all that. This woman was looking at my mouth as I talked. I remember this.
Then I knew why.
She looked at her husband and said, “Sharon has crooked front teeth. I never noticed it before.” She was almost gleeful as she added, “So she’s not that perfect kid.”
I had crooked front teeth and this woman had discovered the secret of her concept of imperfection right there. In me.
I spoke to my parents about it that same day and they looked and looked and couldn’t quite see the big problem, and that was that. Braces way back then weren’t the norm.
But I never forgot.
Crooked front teeth didn’t by any stretch control my life, but I never forgot that awkward, rather cruel moment of someone else “mentioning” it to me.
And as a young teen, an older teen, a college student, a young woman, a high school teacher, never forgetting means catching a passing glimpse a mirror and seeing the “flaws.” It means hoping that photographs don’t catch a bad angle at your wedding. It means thinking about crooked teeth at weird, random times, like at a dance or on a first date (my husband to this moment loves my crooked teeth!) or standing before a classroom of high school students.
The never forgetting means Mama vigilance in taking care of my own children’s dental and orthodontic health, and three of my four kids did need orthodontic work.
Then, all of these decades later, as a retired English Teacher/Reading Specialist, wife, Mom, Grandma, Caregiver and co-founder of a blog, Mom Generations, with my two adult daughters and appearing in more photos and videos and attending more (blog-related) events than I had ever dreamed in my life… that never forgetting kinda crept in again.
Unfortunately, too, I was involved in a car accident last summer that exacerbated the not forgetting. The impact of the collision jarred my jaw, causing pain for which I couldn’t find relief.
This time, I made it a personal quest to research an orthodontic treatment process that would straighten my teeth, fit comfortably into my life and alleviate the jaw pain.
I found Invisalign and a wonderfully caring, respectful (because I’m a “talker” and ask a zillion questions!), compassionate and patient orthodontist, Dr. Gregory Pezza, DMD, MSD and his state-of-the-art practice at Pezza Orthodonics in Cranston, RI.
Let the 18 months of straightening begin (with a peek at my first “crooked front teeth” Invisalign custom clear aligner) – yes, at the age of 63 and doing something a bit outside-the-box for me…
Stay tuned for: Invisalign ~ A Boomer’s Journey, Part 2!