I'm a full-time medical physicist, a working mother of one, a wife, and a writer - all that you can gather from my "regular" profile. I'm also 26 years old and about to join the ~25% of orthodontic patients who are adults.
I've known I needed braces since I was 11 or 12. I vaguely remember having - and breaking - a retainer when I was in 3rd grade. I had a graft done in 6th grade to move tissue from the roof of my mouth and supplement the very low gumline on my lower incisors. I guess the next step after that was braces, but I refused.
My parents didn't have much money but they would have gone ahead with it if I had been willing. (My younger brothers later both had braces.) I think I was trying to save them the money - after all, my teeth weren't that bad, I thought. I also didn't want to mess with braces.
I made it through middle school and high school, marching band and prom, college and my wedding without braces, and I considered myself lucky. Then it became more of a stubbornness issue - I've made it this far! My teeth are fine!
A series of events over this past year, culminating in the extraction of all 4 wisdom teeth - the last barrier to braces - led me to a consult with an orthodontist. I was impressed enough with how far technology has progressed and what options I was given that after 14 years of delay I'm about to take the plunge.