Appearance Isn’t Everything–But Smiling With Confidence Helps

Smile Brilliant on bettysbattleground.com

When I was a kid, my mother and my orthodontist conspired to ruin my smile. Okay, okay, they conspired to fix my smile. I had a terrible overbite, crooked teeth, and massive crowding. So at the tender age of eight, I was fitted for braces and spent the next several years dreading my monthly visits to get them checked and tightened. The flip side of getting braces so young, of course, was that when most kids were getting them on, I was getting them off.

At the rebellious age of 13, my smile was beautiful. Seriously, I got compliments all the time. But the retainer I was directed to wear was one of those hard plastic ones. I was supposed to wear it any time I wasn’t eating or drinking–and it completely disgusted me. I thought it looked like my teeth had a seal of saliva over them at all times. And the idea of popping out that thing in front of my friends so that I could eat horrified me.

Maybe–maybe–a few years older would have provided me with enough perspective to understand that the retainer was salvaging my glorious smile. As it was, I never wore it during the day. Sometimes I wore it at night, but those occasions grew fewer and fewer. My teeth began to slide and crowd again, and the compliments lessened. Then I had kids, and began requiring numerous daily cups of coffee to function. So on top of crooked teeth, my teeth became stained. It’s hard enough to smile when you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, but when you’re also devastated by the thought of your own teeth, you develop a mastery of closed lips.

As of now, I still have the crowded teeth–maybe one day I’ll afford to fix that–but I was recently able to trial a home whitening product that changed my perception of my smile more than I honestly thought was possible without spending thousands of dollars.

This is a sponsored post, which means I received compensation in the form of money or trial products in exchange for an honest review–however, Betty’s Battleground is very selective about who I accept as sponsors (seriously–just ask all the PR people who constantly email me). This is still part of the same honest and relevant content you’re familiar with.

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Is Your Obsession With Grammar Hurting Your Writing?

Sometimes, proper grammar makes writing worse. Find out how, and how to avoid it, on bettysbattleground.com

As many of you are already aware, writing is a very important part of my life. If you check out the tagline, this blog isn’t just about PTSD and mental illness, it’s about living and parenting with PTSD. Living and parenting with PTSD means self-care, at least it should. And for me, self-care means devoting time each day to writing.

I’m saying all this, essentially, to justify what may seem like an off-topic post. It might be totally off-topic for you, but for me, and for recent guest writer Brandi Kennedy, writing is very much intertwined with life with PTSD. Today, the aspect of writing I’m going to discuss is grammar, and whether proper grammar equals good writing. If you think the answer is obvious, I urge you to continue reading. You may learn that the issue is not as black and white as we were taught in grade school…

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