November 18 10

There’s this girl on America’s Next Top Model. We’ll call her Chelsey. Mostly because that’s her name. But, you know, she’s now interchangeable with the likes of Lauren Hutton and Madonna and Anna Paquin (only they are actually famous and Chelsey is merely a contestant on a reality tv show, but I digress). At least that’s what Tyra Banks said when she convinced poor Chelsey to get her gap shaved to…um, what? Make her look more like a model?

To me, this seems like absolute madness. I mean, I get it. In fact, makeover week is my absolute favorite on ANTM. I love counting how many times the models cry and are devastated that they have had a cut/a color/a weave that they don’t like. And don’t get me started on when they start whining about their itchy weaves. But, dudes, that’s HAIR. It grows back. It can be dyed back. When you get the fated, I’m sorry, you are no longer in the running to becoming America’s Next Top Model, you can do whatever you want to your hair. But you giant GAPTOOTH? That shit is there for good, unless you want to slap some braces on.

I really hope she wins.

So, no, I will not be asking Santa for a giant gap in my teeth this year.

Because I? Really want braces. I do.

And I need them too. Just ask my BFF…she’s also a dentist. Heh.

You see, I once had braces put on my teeth. I was eight (EIGHT!) and they put braces on my front four teeth. But, here’s the thing? Forcing a third grader to wear braces is not always the smartest idea. Because in third grade, when you are starting to go from cute little munchkin to all-around awkward – where your limbs are too long and your nose is too big for your face  - adding metalmouth into the mix? NOT COOL.

So, the pliers and I? We became good friends. And my mother got so frustrated that she was all, “FINE! YOU DON’T WANT BRACES…I DON’T CARE! LET YOUR TEETH FACE EACH OTHER!” So, thinking that I had won this battle, I lived my life without getting a full mouth of braces.

But now I realize that I won nothing. It was my mother who had won. Well, at least her bank account had won. Because now if I want to have braces, guess who has to pay for them?

Just guess.

Here’s a hint. It’s not my mom.

I hate my teeth. So much so that I do this.

A lot.

I wish I didn’t. I wish my first instinct wasn’t to keep my hands in front of my mouth when I talk or when I am looking at people. I wish that when I see pictures of myself like this

I could see my good features, my smile, my dimple, my eyes, my skin, my hair…something other than my crooked teeth. But sadly? It’s all I see.

PS. This is for all of you. The things I do for you, OMG.

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  1. Wow your teeth look very straight. I had braces for seven years (6th-11tg grade). And because I didn’t wear my retainer for the rest of my life my teeth are crooked. Imagine how I feel.

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    Comment by Tammi Marie on November 18, 2010
  2. I had lots and lots of teeth work done. And now at 44 years old, my teeth are doing what they want, once again. Maybe it’s giving in to old age, or maybe it’s defeatist to say “oh well”…but honestly, I don’t notice people’s crooked teeth, and I know it won’t convince you of anything to tell you that you are absolutely beautiful – I mean, fer real – crooked teeth or no….

    But my lord, you are absolutely beautiful, crooked teeth or no. Fer real. :-)

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    Comment by Josette at Halushki on November 18, 2010
  3. ali, you have great teeth! Please dont put a hand over your mouth when you smile!

    I had a HUGE GAP in my front teeth when I was alittle girl. You could almost stick another tooth in there.
    I hated it.
    I always smiled with my mouth closed.
    Then I got braces from 12-16..
    being a teen with braces when you are as it is awkward was NOT fun. But when they came off I had straight teeth.
    Of course, over time there was a small gap in my teeth again in the front.
    Only I noticed it.
    And so now I get my teeth bonded so you wouldnt be able to tell that really, I am a gap toothed girl.
    My husband hated when I bonded my teeth.. so did my mom. They said that I lost a part of who i was. maybe they’re right.. so what i’m sayign to you is.. love who you are- imperfections and all.. bec it makes you..you.

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    Comment by Gemini-Girl on November 18, 2010
  4. First of all, you’re probably the only one who notices that your teeth are crooked; you (and your teeth)look great in that picture!
    Then again, I’m probably the only one who notices what a freaking weird nose I have; at least, that’s what I tell myself.
    As for Chelsey: I can totally understand keeping a gap in your teeth because it’s part of what makes you unique — awesome, be you! — however, letting some supermodel convince you to make the gap bigger is just frickin’ nuts.

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    Comment by Jessica on November 18, 2010
  5. EXACTLY, Jessica. It’s one thing to embrace what you’ve got and love it…but to make it bigger? Seems crazy to me.

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    Comment by ali on November 18, 2010
  6. Ok, what? I’m sorry but those teeth look perfectly straight. Maybe a close-up would reveal a tiny bit of crookedness? But your teeth look like a toothpaste commercial in that picture. I also refused to get braces as a kid. My teeth are crooked-ish (definitely WAAAY more noticeable than yours) but I’ve decided it’s not worth the time or money to make them straight. Especially when I take into account how much I hate going to the dentist and how much time in the dentist/orthodonist’s chair braces would mean! That said, if it’s truly important to you and you can afford to correct the problems you have, no reason you shouldn’t.

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    Comment by Shannon on November 18, 2010
  7. Shannon. It was too hard to find a picture, because it’s my bottom teeth that are REALLY crooked…and i’m telling you, they are really bad. but I work really hard to cover them up.

    and the front four are straight, because, remember, those are the four I had the braces on..but the other ones, are really crooked.

    I promise, I wouldn’t make it up. my dentist has been wanted to brace-ify me for YEARS!

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    Comment by ali on November 18, 2010
  8. I think your smile is lovely.

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    Comment by OHmommy on November 18, 2010
  9. Aw, I love you and your snaggle tooth, AliMartell.

    (Is that a snaggle tooth? Probably not, but it sounded good)

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    Comment by Meghan on November 18, 2010
  10. To be 100% honest, I’ve never thought twice about your teeth. Your face it too pretty to worry about your teeth.

    Also, that sounded much better in my head than it’s sounding written in a sentence, but you get what I’m saying. I hope.

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    Comment by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on November 18, 2010
  11. What? Your teeth are SO fine! I had braces for four years and your teeth are still more straight than mine!

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    Comment by Loukia on November 18, 2010
  12. I’ve never thought about your teeth either. However I think about mine everyday. Hate them. They’re not crooked but they are stained from too much flouride as a kid and all this barfing I insist on doing whilst pregnant.
    Meth teeth without the meth? I haz em.
    But I’m going to believe that if I’ve never noticed your teeth you’ve never noticed mine.
    Lie to me if you have.

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    Comment by moosh in indy. on November 18, 2010
  13. 1. You need to install a subscribe to comments so people can see your replies.

    2. I’ve never noticed your teeth, even when you smiled nice and big. I think you have a great smile.

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    Comment by Avitable on November 18, 2010
  14. Do whatever you need to do to feel comfortable in your skin, but please know that the crookedness (which I can BARELY notice in the last picture, seriously, not just humoring you!) doesn’t show even a little bit when you smile. Your smile is gorgeous, for realsies.

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    Comment by Diane on November 18, 2010
  15. I have some more-and-more-all-the-time crooked teeth happening on the bottom – last year I looked into that whole invisalign braces system… and then decided that maybe it’s okay.

    Your teeth are perfectly fine, girl. I get you though – if it will make you feel better to do it, then go. (But you TOTALLY don’t need to!!)

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    Comment by Grumble Girl on November 18, 2010
  16. I had braces put on for the first time when I was 23 and I had them until I was 25, trust me being an adult with braces was not a particularly fun experience but ultimately I am really glad I did it despite all the pain, the not being able to eat curry for 2 years and the stupid palate expander that was the bane of my existence at that time. Once they came off, for the first time in my adult life I was no longer embarrassed by my teeth and instead of hiding them as I used to all the time, I actually smile for photos! It’s super expensive, but it’s something that will change the rest of your life, so worth thinking about!
    (Also, my teeth were waaaaaay worse than yours, like seriously worse!)

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    Comment by Vicki on November 18, 2010
  17. Ali,

    Your teeth are beautiful and also I’ve never noticed them before. So that must mean there’s nothing wrong with them. Or I would have totally made fun of you about it by now.

    I love you and your face.

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    Comment by Shauna on November 18, 2010
  18. YOU GUYS.
    I am loving all of your comments about this…but I SWEAR, this isn’t a fishing post. It’s not…please tell me how pretty i am and how my teeth are lovely.
    It’s about ME talking about something that really, truly bugs me down to my core.
    Thank you for letting me talk about it!

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    Comment by ali on November 18, 2010
  19. Adam…I don’t know how to do that…subscribe to comment button. HMMM…
    something to talk to my designer about..because if I did it myself, I’d break it.

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    Comment by ali on November 18, 2010
  20. Wow, your teeth look great! I’m very self-conscious about my teeth too. I was in orthodontics of all kinds (pulling teeth, expander, retainer, braces, etc.) and then I got the braces taken off. I got a retainer but 5 months later had my wisdom teeth out, which resulted in lots of complications and I wasn’t allowed to wear the retainer. By the time I was allowed, it didn’t fit anymore…now I wish we’d gone back to the orthodontist and gotten it fixed, but that was a long time ago!

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    Comment by Bethany on November 18, 2010
  21. Ok I see the bottom are a little bit crooked, but at least it’s the bottom and not the top. The bottom doesn’t usually show in smiles. Not trying to tell you you are wrong, but I really think it’s fine. You probably are a candidate for invisalign. Only people with hardly any crookedness are candidates for that. I’m not, and like I said I had braces for 7 years, yes I’m bitter. If you DO do it, you have to wear that retainer at night for the REST OF YOUR LIFE.

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    Comment by Tammi Marie on November 18, 2010
  22. Ali, I get this. I mean, your teeth look pretty straight to me, but I’m the same way, they look straight to other people but I know that 3 of my bottom teeth cross each other (because I didn’t wear my retainers after 3 years in braces (I had them until COLLEGE)).

    I don’t want braces again, but I’d sure like it if they magically got straightened out again. Maybe that invisalign stuff? Anyways, I think we’re always more conscious of what’s going on with ourselves than with others. Which doesn’t really make it better as much as it makes it continue to be annoying. Sorry dude.

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    Comment by Overflowing Brain on November 18, 2010
  23. Honest to god, your teeth aren’t noticeable until you get right up in your business. But if straight teeth would make you feel more confident, then go for it!

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    Comment by MonsteRawr on November 18, 2010
  24. I think you have a beautiful smile. You really have to get close to see any imperfection. You’re gorgeous Ali – just let us tell you :)

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    Comment by Heather on November 18, 2010
  25. I think you have a beautiful smile but I’m pretty sure everyone has something that looks just fine to everyone else and totally awful to ourselves. I had braces as an adult and paid for them myself and I am happy that I did that every single day. I love my teeth now!

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    Comment by Kate on November 18, 2010
  26. Seriously? I have no idea what you’re talking about. You have a beautiful smile!
    And that model is a little crazy, as is Tyra. Not a good move.

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    Comment by Laura on November 18, 2010
  27. Your teeth don’t look at all crooked to me! And I have also been seriously perplexed by this new trend of ‘gap-toothed beauties.’ WTF??

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    Comment by Camels & Chocolate on November 18, 2010
  28. I’m with you… I went for an “adult” consult and it would cost…drum roll…..15 THOUSAND dollars, breaking my jaw and having it wired shut for 6 weeks…
    I’ve decided to learn to love my less than perfect teeth…
    But I hear you..
    P.S. You have very nice chicklets I must say. ;)

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    Comment by suzanne on November 18, 2010
  29. I had braces as an adult almost five years ago. SO glad I did it, but I should have left them on a little longer because my teeth moved a little. STILL better then they were before. Oh! Have them put permanent retainers on you and wear the fun colored bands. :-)

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    Comment by Edie Kate on November 18, 2010
  30. i had a huge gap and it sucked ass. my older daughter has my teeth. i’m going to have to start giving plasma in order to pay for her braces because i don’t think gaps are sexy.

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    Comment by gorillabuns on November 19, 2010
  31. Come live in Ireland where those teeth are considered perfect!!:)

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    Comment by J from Ireland on November 19, 2010
  32. If it makes you feel any better, I had really straight teeth as a kid and didn’t need braces. As I got older, my teeth starting shifting, and my mouth got crowded. While my top was OK, my bottom was a jangled mess. I couldn’t even floss. I did Invisalign a year ago, and it was amazing!

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    Comment by Hilary on November 19, 2010
  33. I was a gap-tooth girl – which is actually kind of cute when you’re a kid, but not-so-much when you’re an adult (apparently unless you’re a model??). I wore my retainer religiously as a teen and even into my 20s – then I lost it and my gap grew back. My friends and family told me, at the time, that I was the only one who noticed it … but I COULD NOT IMAGINE getting married with a gap in my teeth. So I did invest in Invisalign a couple years back and couldn’t be happier.

    Anywho, I’m not trying to spam you about Invisalign or even suggest that you don’t look great in that picture of you … but if it really bothers you, it’s probably worth it to look into fixing it. If you can do Invisalign Express it’s pretty much the same price as normal braces.

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    Comment by Jen on November 19, 2010
  34. I think you have a lovely smile. And as my daughters oral surgeon once pointed out to me, “you have a perfect gum line demarkation” which is not something everyone has, or can get!

    But, like you, many adults could use a little tweaking on our teeth.

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    Comment by The Mayor on November 19, 2010
  35. Of course, these days all the third graders have braces, and those who have to wait are the odd ones. Both my kids lost the dental derby. My son got his braces at 12, my daughter got her first set in fifth grade; they’ll come off in a few months and then go back on in a year or so, just in time to make an appearance in her Bat Mitzvah portraits.

    As an aside, I had a friend whose sister was a principal ballerina with a famous American ballet company. When the astronomically well-known Russian emigre director and principal dancer suggested she have her chin fixed, she went right out and had plastic surgery.

    The things we’ll do if told to do so by someone famous in the industry in which we want to become famous…

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    Comment by feefifoto on November 19, 2010
  36. I’ve never thought that you had crooked teeth! But I do that you’re beautiful, so there’s that. :)

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    Comment by Angella on November 19, 2010
  37. I’ve never noticed your teeth…but even if a 100 people tell you how beautiful you are – they’ll still bug you. It’s amazing how we all have that one thing that drives us nuts. My sister had a year in highshool of braces, glasses and corrective shoes…all at once…whoa..

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    Comment by Sara on November 19, 2010
  38. Because my mom and pops couldn’t afford them, I didn’t get braces when I should have. And now I wish they would have – somehow. My top frontr teeth overlap they are so crowded, as well as chipped, etc. I don’t smile much with my teeth showing. The orthodontist I saw recommended I get them yanked and have implants done, as he said they are too far gone for braces (yay me!). I am considering it – at least I will have perfect teeth in a jiffy!

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    Comment by emlsmom on November 19, 2010
  39. I completely agree with the craziness of created the gap. For those than naturally have it and it works for them, great!! But are you going to give this ANTM chick free dentist work if she doesn’t get famous because of this chizzle of her teeth? I doubt it.

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    Comment by Lori on November 20, 2010
  40. Your teeth are great! And they are super white! Bonus!

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    Comment by Meredith on November 20, 2010
  41. I think I got braces AND thick glasses at the same time, so I was SUPER DORK! And then I got them taken off and got contacts…and a swan emerged…well, a geeky swan. hehe

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    Comment by Rhea on November 21, 2010
  42. I think your teeth are cute! Braces at 8? What the???

    I had braces, when they were taken off my teeth were perfect… and then I continued to play clarinet and a GAP showed up between them. I likened it to David Letterman as opposed to Lauren Hutton. So stupid me got the gap bonded. If I’d only known it could have led to fame…

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    Comment by Karen MEG on November 22, 2010
  43. Your teeth are fine- your smile is fine, they’re all there, they’re white, you’re gorgeous. N’uff said.

    btw – I know who won.

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    Comment by monstergirlee on November 23, 2010
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