Last summer at work we had a few days that consisted of assisting a lot of people in line and as I looked at each line of people, I fixated on their smiles, particularly those that were gap-toothed.
That was the thought in my mind each gap-toothed smile I saw and each time, the thought that followed was, “But wait, I have a gap-toothed smile I often try to hide.”
I have a love hate relationship with my gap.Who wouldn’t? We’re told from a young age that a good smile, a perfect smile is straight teeth all right next to each other.
At around 13 or 14 I got metal braces, when the gap came back in my 20s, I got bonding, in my early 30s when part of the bonding cracked, I had surgery to remove part of my gums followed by two years of Invisalign. Keeping my two front teeth together was a full time job, literally. I’d have to wear some time of something in my mouth to ensure they didn’t move. I wasn’t that dedicated and so by my late 30s, the gap was back and I, for the most part, gave up.
Now, years later, I don’t think about my gap much. Sometimes when I see it in pictures, I get a little insecure and in those moments I’ve given Lumineers some thought, but just in passing. If my teeth wanted to touch each other, they would’ve stayed where I suffered to push them. I am meant to have a gap-toothed smile. It’s part of who I am. I get jokes—like the time a friend gave me a pencil to use in place of a toothpick—but I also get compliments. A lot of them.
So today I celebrate mine and other gap-toothed smiles.