I just want to be pretty

by Tennia Riechers
(Illinois)

Wow there are a lot of people that need work... I know how they all feel and its horrible.

I grew up in an alcoholic family. We had free dental but my mother never took me to the dentist.

If I had a cavity that hurt I remember her chewing up newspaper and shoving it into my tooth and telling me to breathe through my nose.

If I got an abscess, she would use a needle and pop it.. I was about 8 the first time she did this. I remember getting abscesses so bad my whole cheek would swell up.

My teeth just got worse and worse, when I was 17 I took myself to a dentist.

My teeth were really bad. The dentist told me I was beautiful and shouldn't have teeth like this.. so he pulled every tooth on the right side of my mouth. It was a painful process to try and heal, both emotionally and physically.

I have never been the same since. I have been to other dentists and they have pulled more teeth. So at 25 I have a total of 18 teeth in my mouth; that includes 1 wisdom tooth on top and one on bottom, 2 of the teeth are broken and I am scared for the day they begin to ache.

I cannot afford dental implants or any dental work for that matter, my teeth have began shifting to fill the spaces and I am scared of what the future holds.

I am married to a great man, and I have 2 sons. We just got home after my husband served 4 years in the Marine Corps.

They gave us dental but not enough to even consider implants and the military pay was just enough to get by.

Now we are out and we are starting our lives over, I would love nothing more than to have a pretty smile to move forward with.

I want to be like most 25 year olds and live my life the way that I should be living it.

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