Vanity, Vanity

People tell me I have a great smile.

I agree. But I can’t take credit for my smile. I owe it all to my parents and their willingness to fund years of orthodontic work.

Now, I’m not sure how much my parents paid for my braces when I was a kid, according to Cost Helper, people average paying about $5,000 for braces. I bet my parents had to pay more. Not only did I need braces to fix my excessively crooked teeth, I was born without a tooth on the bottom and needed to make room to add a fakie. Whatever it was, the running joke remains, “Mom and Dad re-mortgaged the house to pay my orthodontist.”

So, I take good care of my teeth. Or at least I try to.

One time I fell off my bike and landed on my face. I thought I was going to lose my two front teeth. I was riding along the trolley tracks in Astoria, Oregon, got caught in the groove, and flew over my handle bars. BOOM on my face.

A few weeks later, they put this sign up near where I fell:

Unfortunately, my helmet didn’t do much to protect my mouth. My tooth went through my upper lip, gauging a hole which eventually healed, but left a small bump of scar tissue. If you’re paying attention, you can feel it when you kiss me. The day after my bike accident, I sat in the dentist chair and listened with horror at his prognosis: “Everything looks fine now, but your two front teeth could be dead, so they might turn black and fall out anytime in the next few years.”


Since my bike accident happened almost 4 years ago, I’m pretty sure my teeth are not going to turn black and fall out. Still, I’d like to find someone who is going to love me *unconditionally* before that happens….if that’s going to happen….

Because, I have this theory – if you have bad teeth, no one will love you. Unless you are British. Now, I know my theory doesn’t apply to everyone, but it applies directly to me  (and pretty much all of these people who chimed in on the Plenty of Fish Smile Forum).

So much of my personal vanity is wrapped up in my teeth.  Which is why I hated having a chip on my front tooth. It was a teeny, tiny chip that I’d had since high school and you could barely see it, but I wanted to get it fixed, so I went to the dentist. My dentist had to make my itty bity chip a little bit bigger to fill it. Which was fine – until the filling fell out!

Then, I had a significant chip in my front tooth! It was almost bad enough for me to want to call into work sick. But, I realized I was being vain. I decided the chip wasn’t so bad, barely noticeable from this angle, in which I accentuate the size of my nose to make the chip appear smaller:

Then, I started thinking of how the chip might add some character to my smile. I thought it might be kinda cute:

Then, I thought I could even go as far as to feel sexy with a chip in my tooth.  So, I let my hair down, unbuttoned the top of my nightgown and tried to overshadow the chip with some real bedroom eyes.

No. No I could not work it.

There was, in fact, no bedroom in my eyes and nothing sexy about the chip in my tooth. I had to get it fixed.

After a day in the office where I tried to avoid smiling at and talking to all of my coworkers (something I found much more difficult that I thought it would be), I had an appointment to get the chip fixed.

First thing this morning, I drove to the dentist. The tooth was a little sore, so she numbed me up and went to work fixing it. I was so impressed with how great it looked afterwards that I snapped a quick picture on my phone.

Eh, I was still pretty numb.

But, now the numbness is gone, the nightie is back and my smile is fully operational once more!

Which is good because I smile a lot. It is the number one tip for effective flirting, after all.


About ermodi

i like champagne and nachos. i watch people’s mouths move when they talk to me and judge if they are a good kisser i like to write with fine-tip Sharpies because i think it makes me look confident i bite my nails i think doing the dishes is a very lonely chore i think “autumn” is the prettiest word in the English language. i believe in love – or, at least something that resembles love, but i don’t trust this idea of forever.
This entry was posted in Advice of the Solicited and Un Kind, Featured, Hope Chest and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Vanity, Vanity

  1. Very interesting, Maureen. I must say I’m liking the ‘numb’ pic 😉 But you’re really cute chipped and chipless 🙂

  2. T says:

    New hair color? I love it!

    I had a gap when I was a kid. Thanks to braces I now have a “perfect” smile. Sometimes I miss the gap.

  3. Brenda says:

    Regardless, you have a beautiful smile. The numb pic is kind of funny.

  4. Bongo says:

    OMG I’m loving this ..making me chuckle….you have a beautiful smile…As always…XOXOXOXO

  5. Love your sense of humor, Maureen. I found myself laughing throughout this piece. Despite what some may say, it is very difficult to write funny. You do so in spades. Still smiling even several minutes after finishing the entry.

    Good stuff!


  6. colleen says:

    You are gorgeous AND funny!:) What a great post, it definitely made me smile!

  7. Thanks for making me smile this morning, Maureen! 🙂 Yes, we are all vain about some aspect of our bodies, I do believe. For me, it’s my hair.

    Love your smile, girl!


  8. Savira says:

    made me smile and I have a gap between my 2 front teeth!

  9. sukanya says:

    dont even get me started about my teeth…i started paying attention to them only after i moved to the US…had no choice as they were in very bad shape. did a lot of work, paid through my nose, got hubby dear worried in the process-he envisoned us becoming broke eventually. things are a lot better now…just wish i had taken care of them much sooner.

    great post…made me chuckle! and you are gorgeous, tooth or no tooth.

  10. Ermodi says:

    thanks for all the comments, everyone! Glad I could bring smiles with my tale of vanity, woe and a chip that might be cute, but sure as heck wasn’t sexy! haha

  11. Pamanner says:

    You look adorable with and without chip! Orthodontics can be very expensive! My son is hopefully done and my daughter is next. YIKES xo

  12. Sylvie says:

    Oh my god, the did NOT put that sign up cause of you did they? That’s a crazy detailed signed, and specific. If you come here looking like this cyclist, this is EXACTLY what will happen to you! Lol…Erin, you do have a great smile. 🙂

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