Never in a million years did I think I'd be posting a timeline of my teeth transformation. For a few pesky chunks of whatever the hell they're made of, they've caused me a lot of grief throughout my 23 years. I mean, health-wise they've stayed in fairly good nick - especially considering during the ages of about 10 to well, now, the majority of my diet has consisted of e-numbers and additives, but in terms of emotional grief..let's just say my gnashers and I haven't always been the best of friends. Never in a million years did I think I'd get to the point where I actually felt even at ease about my smile, let alone feeling confident.
Now for some people, the appearance of my teeth back in 2009 might look like nothing, but as I'm sure you all know, kids can be harsh. And if it wasn't for them, I probably would have grown up gap-toothed and gummy without a care in the world. Instead, I grew up with nicknames such as 'goofy' and 'Bugs Bunny' accompanied by a series of insecurities that stuck around for over a century.
editing out without any real thought. I don't know if I wanted it gone to get rid of the chip itself, or because I wanted every trace of my old grin gone for good. Regardless of why, I knew it was time to get it gone for good.
So when I was offered up the chance to get a free treatment at the Elleven Dental Practise in London (who, by the way, treat everyone from Ferne Cotton to David Gandy) I said yes, yes, yes. I've never been a fan of dentists to say the least, but I was assured that this would be like no other dental appointment, and boy, were they right. The practise itself was huge, and the treatment room (which equates to about the size of my current house) looked more like a hotel than anything else. Think full-length sofas, floor to ceiling windows and the most beautiful ornate balconies. Normally I would rush out of a dentist as soon as possible, but this time? I was quite happy to stick around and enjoy myself. That's right, I did just say relate the word 'joy' to being at the dentist.
Anyway, onto the treatment. Originally I was expecting to get my teeth contoured (a fancy word for re-shaping), but after a short consultation with my new favourite dentist he told me that contouring was out of the question, and that he didn't want to file down my teeth in order to create something that didn't exist: perfection. He took a closer look at me and quickly realised that my orthodontist from years ago had left a lot of glue on my teeth from the braces. Over a period of around four years, this discoloured slightly, leaving me with discoloured parts of my teeth that even I - self-consious Steph the spy - didn't pick up on. He gently filed away at the front of my teeth for the next twenty minutes. My teeth had never looked so white. Then, we moved onto my chipped tooth - the last part of my 'imperfect teeth from the past' that had got me down for so long. Within a few minutes my tooth was filled with a composite filling, shaped accordingly to balance out my two front teeth, and that was me done. Operation Teeth transformation: Complete.
This is actually the first time I've ever even looked at my own 'teeth transformation' (let alone shown it to anyone), but if you told me the teeth in the last photo belonged to the same person in the first I'd have laughed in your face - whilst covering my mouth of course.
Thank you so much to everyone at Elleven for closing the book on this teethy chapter of my life. I guess good things do happen to those that wait - or at least, those that go to a really great dental practice. Still waiting on Gandy though..
It wasn't until 2011 that I finally made it to the top of the waiting list for braces. I'd been metaphorically perched on that waiting list for four years, unable to do anything but just sit around and hope that my time would come. There was no way I or my family could afford to pay for them privately, so I just had to stay hopeful that the NHS would make me a brace face before my eighteenth birthday. Anytime after that and I would no longer qualify for free orthodontic treatment. Thankfully, a few months before I hit the big 1-8 I got called in for my consultation. A few weeks later and I was a fully fledged metal mouth - rubber bands and all.
I'll spare you the next few years of my teeth transformation, since a lot of you will already know the pleasures of having braces tightened and having the wires scratch the inside of your mouth on an almost hourly basis. It sucked, but it was absolutely one of the best things I ever did for myself. Almost three years later - right before I started University - and I was able to get the go-ahead to have them removed. As you can see, it was quite the improvement.
But as you can also see, I didn't quite stop there with my teeth. I was happy with what I had for a little while, but then I became fixated on the idea of having perfect pearly whites like I saw in the magazines. Pretty tough, considering I was necking around five cups of coffee a day and five glasses of red a night (#unilife). I tried every whitening treatment on the market - both professional and uh, potentially damaging, and finally I came across a routine that worked, that was safe enough for me and my teeth.
By this point I was more confident about my mouth than ever before. Without even thinking about it I began to find myself smiling more and laughing more without even attempting to cover my teeth. My new gnashers didn't just make me look different - they made me feel different too. For the first time in my life I could look at myself in the mirror and think - you know what - I might not be perfect, but hey, I ain't that bad either.
And that was that, I thought. But if you read my recent post on why I decided to change myself in order to love myself, you might remember that I mentioned I had one final thing done - almost like the final piece of the puzzle. As a blogger I see more photos of myself than most. I see every pore, every pimple, every imperfection. Soon, I set my sights on a slight chip in my front tooth that I'd had right since the start, that I had been
HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR CONFIDENCE HAS CHANGED IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS?