My Gap-Toothed Smile

When I was little I had a gap in my two front teeth.

It was large enough to fit a nickel and a dime pressed together perfectly.

I know this because a friend handed me a nickel and asked if it would fit between my teeth. When it did easily she scoured her pockets for any more loose change and handed me both the nickel and a dime.

It fit, almost getting stuck. I had a brief moment of panic when I removed my fingers and the change stayed between my teeth.

Fortunately the change, after that brief moment of panic, fell out.

People noticed my gap and teased me about it.

I was called names to the point where I learned to hide my smile.

As soon as I was able to get braces to repair the gap, I did. I am now the proud owner of a gapless smile.

When I got older and saw a model in a magazine proudly and boldly displaying her gap-toothed smile that looked an awful lot like the smile I used to have I felt a tinge of sadness.

I had let factors outside of me tell me that there was something wrong with me that required fixing.

There were years when I was insecure about my smile and hid it behind my hand or closed lips.

So often the things that make us different or unique can also be a source of embarrassment.

I wish I’d had the confidence to own my smile with pride. I wish I had believed the one teacher who told me that my smile was beautiful.

Because it was.

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

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