A few years ago, a close friend of mine gave me the nicest compliment. She told me that she really appreciated my self care and how at peace I seemed to be with myself. I listened to her go through her insecurities about her appearance and how she seemed to group the fact that because I seemed confident with my outer appearance and my flaws that I carried that it must mean that I cared for myself. She then asked me:
“Why though, won’t you fix your teeth?”
It was such a direct and pointed question. I have had crooked teeth my entire life (cue J.Cole) . As I got older, the urge to get braces was there but because I couldn’t afford it, I decided to just accept that this was my look. Past relationships were with men who told me that my teeth made me beautiful and because I was supposed to be this Black, natural, self confident woman, I should just be ok with the fact that my smile wasn’t perfect and somehow that made me more secure than the next woman.
My appearance shouldn’t matter and that meant I cared for myself.
As I go through this self care journey, I am realizing that it isn’t just about accepting your flaws and loving yourself. Loving yourself is having the determination to take care of your health by working out to stay fit. It is saving money so that you can buy a home. Self care is making improvements without guilt to your appearance. Being a Black woman in the natural community, it is almost ostracized to make any changes to your physical appearance. We can take self improvement as not being secure in your own skin as opposed to the wanting to refine what’s already there.
And that’s ok.
It is even more judged as a mother. We are supposed to live for our kids, right? No, mama. Self care is doing what makes you happy so that it means that you can be the best version of yourself for your children.
We can take self improvement as not being secure in your own skin as opposed to the wanting to refine what’s already there.
So here I am. I’m a grown mama and a part of my self care was to finally fix my teeth. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t love myself or that I lacked confidence. Same as wearing make up doesn’t mean that I don’t think that I am already beautiful.
Starting this journey wasn’t easy. I searched for a dentist in my city that would allow me to make payment plans as opposed to paying for everything up front. I wanted to support a Black owned dentistry as well as having the option for non traditional braces. There are options for ceramic braces, Invisalign, Turbo or “fast” braces, and metal braces.
After some searching, I learned about Fabulous Smiles of Atlanta, owned by Dr. Danielle Greene, DDS. Did they accept insurance? Check. Payment plans. Check. Black owned? Check. Even better, Dr. Danielle Greene was also a mother. I was sold. So we started the process and it has been the most amazing experience thus far.
I opted for the Turbo braces which are able to correct your smile in as little as six months. We are only three months in and my teeth have shifted significantly.
What I love about going to Fabulous Smiles of Atlanta is that everyone there is so welcoming. Most of the dentists also wear braces that they have maintained themselves. Dr. Danielle Greene has been such a pivotal part of the movement to Black dentistry here in Atlanta and her business success speaks for itself.
Do I feel silly being so grown with braces? A little bit. But the end result is my bigger picture. And now that I have them, I see so many other moms that have taken the leap to get braces for themselves. Self care is not just about accepting where you are in life, it is having the ability to apply change for self improvement.
As a part of our partnership with Fabulous Smiles of Atlanta located in the West End, we want to offer you a few incentives if you are in the Atlanta area. If you are interested in dental work, including but not limited to braces, teeth whitening, wisdom teeth removal, and basic check ups for yourself or your child, you can call 404-758-0770 for a free consultation. You can also receive 10% off of any service by mentioning Black Moms Blog. Dr. Danielle Greene also offers payment plans for braces and free teeth cleaning for those that have PPO insurance. You can visit their website here.
Tell us below, what ways are you taking the time for self care?