Show us them pearly whites

by clumsylawyer

So, tell me.  What’s wrong with this photo?

Photo taken by Best Man P during a recent ‘mini holiday’ we all had in Northampton.

Other than the fact that my hair is being blown rather attractively all over the place owing to us being in a soft-top, and the fact that my hand’s doing something quite strange, and the fact that a fair amount of my skin seems to be quite red, there’s something else.  You may not have spotted it, so I’m going to help you out here.

Crudely edited in Paint.

My bottom teeth are kindof on the discoloured side.  Now, I know you can’t really see much from this photo because my hair’s covering my mouth, the actual teeth are fairly small and I’m pulling a weird face but trust me when I say it wasn’t pretty.

I’ve had a difficult relationship with my teeth all my life.  As a tiny child, I had a beautiful smile.  My milk teeth grew in perfectly, without a hint of any gaps between them, but that was the indicator of a much bigger problem.  Whilst my jaw was absolutely perfect for housing delicate little milk teeth, my mouth was apparently very ill-equipped for permanent teeth.  I don’t currently have any pictures of my from my pre-teens (although I’m sure my parents have a few somewhere), but here’s a fairly accurate artist’s impression.

“Lisa Needs Braces”. Image from

I used to be a regular at the dentist’s.  None of my baby teeth fell out of their own accord – I used to have them pulled by the dentist.  I got very used to having anaesthetic injections in my mouth, had countless x-rays and was prodded and poked and told I’d need braces, which I got at the age of 11.  I was also told that if my wisdom teeth ever decided to grow in, I’d need those out too, because there was simply not enough space for them.  Despite all of this, I was never concerned about going to the dentist, probably because my childhood dentist was awesome (big up to Mr Evans!).

My wisdom teeth did come through and after months of severe pain, recurring infections and more x-rays, they were finally pulled out.  I was told to swill with antiseptic mouthwash for three weeks.  It was the mouthwash which stained my teeth up pretty badly, and it made me self-conscious about my teeth, which were starting to look like I never cleaned them (trust me, I do!).  Although you can rarely see my bottom teeth when I smile (you have no idea how long it took me to find a recent photo which had those teeth in it!) I definitely wanted to do something about it, if possible.

So, on Wednesday, I paid a stupidly large sum of money to have a dental hygienist shoot very cold water at my teeth and scrub them with an electric thingy.  I was dubious as to whether it would work, but it did!  I also had the dentist remove the last of my braces (a splint wire behind my top front teeth) and am finally brace-free after over 12 years!

Bonus, second unattractive photo of the post. I’m actually jutting my jaw forward so you can see those cleaned teeth in this one.  It gives me jowls :/

So, although I don’t often stick my bottom teeth out, it’s reassuring to know that, in case I’m photographed mid-talking or laughing on the wedding day (or, y’know, making a face, which is equally likely) it won’t be the case that my filthy teeth are hogging all the limelight.  It’s also handy that I’ve had it done just before I start my new job and have to try and reassure people that I’m professional (although more on that in a later post).  I’m not going to have them whitened, but having had them cleaned has effectively done the same job.

Is there something you’ve been meaning to get done, which has been spurred on by the wedding?  And do you plan to whiten your teeth before your big day?