I Couldn’t Stand That My Dog Had Better Teeth Than Me (So I Got Braces)

Looking at my beautiful dog Rufus’ teeth every time he licked me was painful. Not physically painful, but emotionally painful. This may seem strange, and even downright weird, but the truth is that it was painful because I was jealous of my dog. Specifically, I was jealous at how straight and perfectly formed his teeth were, while mine looked like a row of dilapidated fences.

Growing Up With Crooked Teeth

Fact is that kids are merciless and cruel. They’ll find your weakness and go straight for the jugular. With how bad the state of my teeth was, my metaphorical soft belly was exposed. There was no mercy, and I was given daily verbal eviscerations on said condition.

My parents weren’t really of much help. I could tell they pitied me, but I was still too young to get braces; I still had my baby teeth after all! They sold me hope that once my adult teeth started forming, all would be well and I would have nice, straight teeth.

Alas, this did not come to pass. In fact, as each baby tooth fell out and a larger tooth took it place, one thing became evident almost immediately; my mouth was too small for the full 32 teeth. They cramped and pushed at each other like delinquents in a crowd, and the result was none too aesthetically pleasing.

Depression and much moping set in. The tooth fairy was a cruel joke; what did I care about 50p for a baby tooth when what replaced it was so much more monstrous? Life just did not seem fair to 11 year old me.

I Finally Visited the Orthodontist

When I turned 16, my parents agreed to get me braces. They had hesitated for years as braces weren’t cheap and growing up in the council flats, we obviously didn’t have much money. But I already knew this and had started slaving away at part time jobs since I was 13. I took my 3 years of savings, added that in to some of my parents, and finally I was on my way to correcting my teeth and hopefully improving my self-image.

And that’s how nervous 16 year old me ended up in the offices of probably the best orthodontic centre in Edgbaston, Birmingham. They also offered aesthetic dentistry and cosmetic dentistry services as well, which all apparently mean the same thing. How confusing.

How My Life Improved After Getting Orthodontic Treatment

Now of course, orthodontics isn’t an instant fix. It’s a process that lasts many months. It’s uncomfortable, painful, and extremely inconvenient. But for me, I would go through ten times the pain for what it did for me.

I wore those braces for 3 years. I later found the average person only really wore braces for 18 months to 2 years. My dental condition was so bad that my treatment had to be extended. Even then the orthodontist pushed the limits, tightening my braces more than the usual prescription every month. It was all so painful, but all so worth it.

Here’s what orthodontics did for me.

My Self Esteem Reached the Levels of a Normal and Well Adjusted Human Being

Do you know the level of self-consciousness you can achieve when you have one of the ugliest grills in the game? I kept my mouth firmly closed in every group picture I ever took as a kid, making me look even less friendly than normal. Worse, because my teeth protruded out so much I looked like I wasn’t smiling because I had food in my mouth.

The freedom I got from finally being proud to give a wide, friendly smile in pictures and to other people did wonders for my social life. This created a positive feedback loop where because I looked friendlier and more approachable (because of the smiling), people became friendlier and thus I became friendlier. My social circle must have quadrupled after I took off my braces.

I Realized That We Are All Animals

On a deeper philosophical level, getting what could be characterized as a cosmetic treatment really showed me that for all our blustering, humans really are animals. If someone has an ugly smile, does that mean that he or she is a bad person? And does a nice smile equate to friendly, open, and trustworthy?

No it does not. Yet the reactions I got before and after my treatment were so stark it almost made depressed again. I’ve read that obese people who lose weight and become fit go through a similar revelation. Oh well, I suppose until the day we evolve into pure energy, I will continue to be happy with what my orthodontist did for me.

I Finally Have Better Teeth than My Dog

And yes, on a side note I finally have better teeth than my dog. Not Rufus, who is long dead, but my current dog, Trey, who has a set of canines just as good or better than Rufus. But you know what; it’s still not as good as mine.

Important PSA: Sexual Assault Trauma and PTSD

In light of recent revelations on sexual assault in Hollywood circles (and many other places that have yet to come to light), I must interrupt our regular content to share this important message. This is an issue I simply cannot ignore, dogs or no dogs.


The Scary Prevalence of Sexual Assault, and How Hypnotherapy Can Help Victims Heal

There is an uncomfortable truth that is not talked about, and that is sexual assault is becoming rampant nowadays. Women are reporting sexual assaults cases in overwhelming numbers over the past few years. On the other side, the statistics of sexual harassment for men are varying because of how underreported it is, it can’t be possible to get a sense of the number of men who have been sexually assaulted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that according to their research findings one out of ten women they interviewed answered “yes” to being asked if they have ever been forced to have sex against their will. More so, research taken from other independent organizations estimate that one out of four females are sexually assaulted before they get to eighteen years of age.

Women and girls who are sexual assault victims often experience varying challenges due to the traumatic experiences. You find sexual assault is one of the main causes of the traumatic experiences in lives of people today. The effects of the sexual assault trauma can last for a long or a short period depending on the person involved or the situation. It can be difficult for sexual assault victim to deal with anxiety, stress and depression this act comes with. This in turn makes them to develop a mental health disorder known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

People who undergo traumatic events such as sexual assaults in their lives feel a sense of anxiety, fear, loss, and panic. When these feelings continue for a prolonged period of time it affects the quality of life that they live, this is what is referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder.

PSTD is characterized by the experiences such as nightmares, painful events, inability to cope with situations or events that remind an individual of the trauma and increased fear or anxiety. Flashbacks usually intensify the physical reactions to the reminders like the rapid heartbeat from time to time and the apathy are also very common with PTSD.

Sexual assault is the main cause of this condition but it can also be caused by events like natural disaster, the death of loved one, war, domestic violence, kidnapping, childhood issues and abuse, airplane crashes and many more. You find that any life shuttering event can also result in PSTD, as well.

You should note that PTSD is transmittable but it treatable. In simple words, this means that you can also develop PTSD if you have actually witnessed or experienced any life-threatening event. For example, when a family member is harmed, another family member who is around may develop PTSD.

Note that you can also develop this condition if you watch TV programs, news or movies which have visual presentations with terrifying events. Therapists can explore the causes and the vulnerabilities to ensure they develop an accurate approach to their individual patient for healing and recovery.

How Hypnotherapy Can Help PTSD Victims

Hypnotherapy can be used to help sexual assault victims to heal and recover. Hypnosis from which the term hypnotherapy is derived is a state of the deep peace and relaxation and therefore it is a premier remedy for stress. Competent and qualified hypnotherapists will show their client how to start or induce the state of self-hypnosis, and they will also instruct them both in and out on how to access this state every day.

Especially when their symptoms from the past are triggered by stresses that comes with daily living. Psychologically, PTSD patients have a high probability of developing self-destructive behaviors, psychoses, and eating disorders. Hypnotherapists are highly skilled in helping and diagnosing sexual assault victims with the destructive behavior symptoms and other associated disorders.

To wrap up the loose ends, it is worth to mention that sexual assault victims suffer both psychologically and physiologically. This simply means that their brain functions and activities are altered somehow. PTSD sufferers are more likely to become delicate and sensitive even to the normal life experiences. More so, victims tend to overlook the physiological effects as they mistake them as if they were usual physical issues such as dizziness or headaches. As mentioned earlier, the hypnotherapist can be able to provide sexual assault victims and other PTSD sufferers with care in a manner that they can be able to change the physiology of their brain to normal.