Growing up, I used to be pretty worried about my teeth because of how they looked. And I know that’s one of those things that all teenagers and college kids are concerned about. How they look. It’s all about social status, getting in a relationship, hooking up, and making new friends. During those years, that’s why looks matter so much. And if anything, it makes you feel good about yourself when you look good to others.

It’s an unhealthy source of validation, but it’s so standard and mainstream now that it’s just “the way it is.” I don’t necessarily agree with it and I definitely think it has caused very big problems with how we view beauty and status. But I’m not one who can change that.

Anyway, back to the teeth. I just find it interesting how much I used to care about my bottom row being crooked because of how it came off to others. Now? Well, now I still care about their crookedness. But I care now for a different reason: because of my dental health.

If I don’t get my teeth at least in some sort of Invisalign program or even just hidden braces (on the backside), they may get more crooked and covered up by one another. The biggest reason this is bad for my dental health is because it’s hard if not impossible to brush each tooth entirely. And this, unfortunately, can lead to cavities and other problems. Even flossing is super tough to accomplish because of how hard it is to get the floss between teeth.

What’s funny about it is that at first glance, they’re really not that crooked at all. But they do overlap one another, which is what causes the problems I’ve mentioned above. That’s why I feel the need to get them taken care of so that I don’t have rotting bottom teeth down the road.

I just find it interesting how much my mindset has shifted in a span of 10 years. What once was me caring about my looks is now me caring about my health. And quite honestly, that sort of thinking has carried over into the realm of my general health, too. Recently I picked up running again if only to lose a little weight and get back in shape. Again, that’s not to look better to impress anyone. Rather, it’s to feel stronger, sleep better, and be happier about myself (as well as not cause worse problems down the road).

So, I suppose with age comes a healthier perspective on your body and on the world. As much as I hate to admit it, all the adults had a point when I was younger: to just “wait till I’m older and I’ll see.” That’s how it goes, though, isn’t it?