Invisalign Changed My Smile And My Life

Invisalign Changed My Smile And My Life

A big smile can make a big difference.
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The first time I knew I wanted to change my smile was in the fall of my sophomore year at a networking event for a professional organization I am in for my major. I really enjoy networking and going to these events just to get my name out there and see what people are doing with their degrees. However, this specific event was the most awkward and uncomfortable experience of my entire life.

So when I first walked into the room I immediately already felt awkward because I was overdressed. But hey I guess being overdressed is better than being underdressed right? A woman who was invited to speak at our event was standing by the door. I smiled at her and she went, "oh...are you here for the event?" Which I was kind of thrown off by because like, where else would I be going dressed up like this and why did she look surprised? "Yeah?" I responded now confused thinking I walked into the wrong room or something. "Oh! Okay. So you're a freshman right?" Now I'm really confused because this event wasn't just for freshman. It's already awkward having acne flareups and gaps in my teeth that make me look younger than I am, but it's even more awkward to have someone point it out. Not that she directly pointed it out, but it was still really awkward. I'm a sophomore so technically she wasn't very far off but I felt like at that point forward I wasn't being taken seriously.

I know this woman was probably also, if not more, awkward and uncomfortable as I was when I told her I was a sophomore. What she said rang in my head for a couple weeks and I couldn't shake the feeling that people didn't take me seriously because of my smile. Which sucked because I take these events seriously. So when I went to my dentist for a regular check up and cleaning, I had asked what we could do to correct my smile. Reguar metal braces were out o the question since I was trying to not look like I'm 12 anymore and metal braces would make me look even younger. That's when he brought up Invisalign.

The first couple weeks of Invisalign were rough I'm not gonna lie. Since you have to take them out to eat or drink, the first couple weeks every time I took them out it felt like I was ripping my teeth out. Which is very unpleasant. But after a couple weeks I got used to taking them in and out all the time and the pain went away.

I'm a little more than halfway through my Invisalign "journey" I guess you could say and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Just since the end of February, my teeth have changed so much and I love the results. I feel so much more confident in my smile. I've had lots of people ask if I would recommend going through this whole Invisalign experience. And my answer everytime is yes. If you're looking for a sign to ask about Invisalign this is it. Do it.

Cover Image Credit: Daniel Frank, unsplash

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Dear Girls, You Are So Much More Than Your Jean Size

Even when it feels like you're not.

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Trust me, I know how it feels. I know what it's like to constantly think about food. I know what it's like to be driven insane trying to follow a ridiculous diet. And I also know what it's like to feel beyond guilty that 80 percent of the time I do eat that piece of cake I promised myself I wouldn't. I know how it feels to stand in front of the full-length mirror in your bathroom and choke back tears because your thighs look way too big in the new shorts that you were so excited to wear. I've felt insecure, I've felt hopeless, and I sometimes have a hard time holding my body confidently when I walk into a room of strangers.

We've all felt it.

But there are times when some of us feel it so strongly we just want to burst. Times when we simply can't handle the thought of being inadequate, unattractive or not enough. These feelings can lead us to desperate measures, and we do things we never thought in our right minds we would do. Insecurity holds great and ugly power, and oftentimes it can twist the truth. Sometimes, it can even twist us.

The first day my best friend called me and told me she had made herself throw up, I cried on the phone. I knew this girl inside and out, had grown up alongside her for the past 14 years. This wasn't her, this just wasn't something she would do. Yes, of course I knew this girl.

But at the same time, I had no idea what she was dealing with.

I didn't understand what it was like to have people telling me each successive day that I wasn't enough. That I would never make it unless I lost 10 pounds. That I didn't have the right "look" to be an Olympic-level athlete.

Day in and day out, my friend was degraded with these words and notions conceived from nothing but the expectations of society and the culture of a brutal sport.

The first words I said to her and the only words I can really, truly offer to any girl struggling with this are, "It's not worth it." Because it just isn't. Compromising your physical, mental and emotional health is not worth being the best at your sport. It's not worth becoming a prima ballerina, fitting into size two jeans, getting boys to like you, becoming part of a sorority, being a model or looking great in a bikini.

What is worth it is you.

I know that sometimes as a girl it is so hard to realize that you are more than just a body. But you are. You are more than just skin and bones. You are a million stories of where you've been, a million visions of where you want to go. You are the kind words you've said to strangers passing by, you are your favorite books, and the quotes hung up above your bed frame. You are the songs you play over and over again till the lyrics are second nature. You are the tattoo you've always wanted to get on your forearm. You are your mother's daughter.

Don't simplify yourself to just a body. You are so much more than that.

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