Monday, July 26, 2010

Thut Up!

This is the story of how straightening my teeth made me a crappy teacher.

Two years ago, I decided that my teeth were terribly crooked and I should spend several thousand dollars to get them straightened. In reality, they were barely out of line but at the time I thought my teeth were the key to success in life and they had to be absolutely perfect. Since the crookedness was so minimal, my dentist said I would be a good candidate for invisalign.

Invisalign is two plastic trays, molded to your teeth. Each few weeks you get a new set of trays that move your teeth into their new, straight place. They’re supposed to be great because they’re clear and no one knows you’re wearing them! Unlike bulky, obvious braces, invisalign is supposed to make everything wonderful and get you perfect teeth in a jif.

This is what you look like with braces:

Nobody tells you that invisalign can give you a lisp and make basic speech awkward until you adjust to having a ton of plastic in your mouth. My first day with the trays, I walked into 3rd grade and promptly realized I could not pronounce the most basic sounds. Sounds like “SHHH,” which is basically 70% of my daily speech to children. “Shhh” became “Thhhh” and I was so frustrated in trying to get the kids to listen to me with my new lisp and sore mouth.

“Lithen! You guyth need to lithen! Thhhhh!!!! Eyeth up here! I’m thpeaking!”

Do you know how hard it is to talk about fracthunth? And Thothal Thtudieth?

By noon, my mouth could barely do any more of the gymnastics required for basic lessons. The kids were out of control. I didn’t want to talk. My tongue refused any more acrobatics just to reprimand anyone. Miss P was down and out.

The next day, I thought I might start off my introduction by telling the kids I sounded a little weird because of the invisalign. This did nothing. Aside from the weirdness of having the kids SUPER interested in my mouth because I told them about the trays, they still didn't listen and I still had a lisp. Only now they knew why.

So for the first month of my teeth straightening odyssey, until I learned how to speak with them in, the children under my care were basically nuts.


  1. That is too funny! I teach hearing impaired kids and most of my kids in one class were hard of hearing. They kept telling me I was talking too loud and I disagreed. Well then one of my ears got clogged with wax and was completely closed. Got it cleaned out after a day and BOY when I heard myself I was talking loud. My ear had slowly clogged with wax and I had compensated by talking louder!