My Teeth

Letter to Your Younger Self

Have you ever done the thing where you write a letter to your younger self? I guess it’s a sort of journaling exercise. Any time I’ve done it, I tend to hit a few main points: practice the piano more and wear your retainer.

My Teeth

I have too many teeth and not enough mouth. That sounds a little grosser than I mean it, but it’s true. My mom had buck teeth and wore headgear to bed. My dad had braces and his whole family has/had crooked teeth.

My front two teeth overlapped one another on top and bottom. My next two teeth on bottom were behind all the others. I had vampire fangs.

This is a picture of my sister and me. Yes “and me” is correct. Not quite 11 years old.

Before braces. It’s hard to see, but I had quite crooked teeth. I remember my parents talking about braces my whole life. I got them at age twelve from a friend of the family, Dr. Bob.


I wore braces for almost four years. I think we thought it would be three. When I was about halfway through the process, the doctor asked if I wanted to remove two of my upper teeth so that I would be able to straighten my teeth faster and get out braces more quickly. I said yes. Later in life, I wished I had just suffered braces a little longer.

Memorial day camping trip to the beach. Not quite 14 years old.
Straight, beautiful teeth at age sixteen with my high school choir director. I was playing the title role in Calamity Jane and got my braces off just in time!


My bottom retainer was pink and my top retainer was zebra print. They were wire retainers. I was pretty good about wearing them, but not perfect.

Then, I went to college. I left my retainer at home first semester, and when I got home for Christmas, I tried to put my retainers in. They wouldn’t fit. In three months my teeth had already moved too much.

So, my teeth got more and more crooked. On one side of my mouth, a gap opened up where I’d had a tooth removed.

Headshots from around 2017.

Finally, I was maddened by my crooked teeth enough to get Invisalign. Around 2018, I used money I had made from directing Willy Wonka, Jr. to pay for it. I think I had used money from the previous directing gig to pay off my student loans.

Mainly, it was because I looked at my gorgeous headshots by a friend, Zach Mendez, and all I could see was that one overlapping front tooth. It drove me nuts.

So, I got Invisalign. It only took seven months, and it was totally worth it. The first two weeks were hard, then I got used to it.

Saga Continues

I asked for a permanent retainer on the bottom and a removable clear retainer on top. And I lost the top retainer. I actually lost two, because I’d asked for a backup.

But I still have my last Invisalign tray, and I just wear that at night until I go back to the orthodontist and get fitted for another retainer.


What do you regret not doing when you were young?

Do you have a crooked teeth saga?

3 thoughts on “My Teeth

  1. I regret wasting my time as a teen, by waking up at four in the afternoon, playing games till bedtime, then repeating the same thing again for months. But I guess it was necessary for me to know what being unproductive feels like, so I can avoid it. Thanks for this post!


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