Cosmetic Procedures

July 25, 2011

Two little stories and some questions:

1) The other day, I saw a picture of myself and remembered I need braces. I had braces as a teenager — it was actually my freshman year of college — but they have since gone a bit wonky on top. I confess, I was never good about wearing my retainer. : )

2) Our friend Olya came to visit last week. During one conversation she mentioned that eyelid surgery, botox and fillers were really popular where she lives — even for women in their twenties. I was shocked! I’m not sure I know any one in real life who has tried any of these procedures.

Both of these stories have me thinking. Yes, I would definitely be interested in having my teeth fixed and no, botox has never crossed my mind, but they are probably equally invasive. It makes me wonder, what do you consider cosmetic surgery? What’s okay with you and what’s not? Are botox and breast augmentation the same in your book? How about teeth whitening? Or laser treatments for spider veins? Are there any lines you draw when considering cosmetic procedures? Maybe nothing that requires general anesthesia? Are cosmetic procedures common where you live? If yes, are women secretive about it, or is it out in the open. I’m so curious!

Also, back to my teeth for a minute, are braces on a 30-something too tacky to even think about?

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{ 185 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Janette July 25, 2011 at 6:27 am

My mother-in-law just got her braces off, and she’s in her late 40s! She’s so glad she did it. Braces are much less noticeable nowadays and it didn’t look out of place on her. She just feels so much more confident now!


2 Susan July 25, 2011 at 6:41 am

If I had the money I would certainly be doing non-invasive stuff, like laser vein therapy, teeth whitening, etc. I’m in my early thirties, and would not rule out Botox down the road, although it does scare me a bit. After children I will most likely need breast reduction (like my mother), so I’m prepared for that, which is a big surgery. I had terrible teeth as a child, had braces twice, and really should get them again now. Invisalign is a great option for adults, as long as you don’t need major changes I think. ;)


3 Heather July 25, 2011 at 6:41 am

I have two good friends who both got braces in their thirties. Neither of them had to wear them very long and all of us got used to them right away so that they weren’t a big deal at all. I’m also considering – thumbs down to retainers ;)


4 Béa July 25, 2011 at 6:47 am

A friend of mine recently had the invisible version of braces (can’t remember the exact name). After less then a year and two different phases she is done with it and happy.
Very different from what my experience as a teenager indeed…
People around us are pretty opened about these questions, mind you, it’s the Netherlands….
Personally, I am not against any procedure for myself or others, but :
A. am a tad too scared of surgery and anesthesia or do not feel the need enough to go over that fear. despite my big left ear and long nose.
B. wouldn’t dare trying anything serious botox or face changing surgery (unless corrective) which I often think take people further than they need without them being able to see it.
I’ll like to reread this comment in few years though….


5 Rik July 25, 2011 at 6:49 am

My friend’s mom just got her braces off…she’s in her 50′s and looks fabulous! She got the clear kind so they weren’t as noticeable. I think you should go for it! What better time than now?

As for other cosmetic procedures, I’m not really sure. My mom had her boobs done after 5 babies, and after one myself, I can see what she means by “deflated”. :) It’s one of those things, though, that is kind of like tattoos and piercings. Why change your body when it’s such a gift in the first place? But then again, the braces, etc. Kinda the same thing. So, who knows?


6 Aliesha July 25, 2011 at 6:53 am

I am thinking about getting Invisalign, which are basically a series of retainers that are used to straighten your teeth instead of bulky braces. I too had retainers as a kid (although never braces), and I too NEVER wore them like I should, and I believe my teeth are more crooked today than they have ever been! Sigh…


7 Juliana July 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm

I had invisalign and loved it. worth every penny


8 sarah July 25, 2011 at 6:58 am

go for the braces. i had them in my late 20′s and may get them again some time. my cousin just got hers off, and she’s in her early 40′s. and as far as changing me, i’m happy the way i am…..but braces are a fine option for just that pretty smile.


9 Renata Gomide July 25, 2011 at 7:00 am

I also had braces as a teenager and my teeth kind of shifted back a little. So in my thirties, right before my wedding I decided to go for Invisalign. Best decision ever. Very discreet and easy maintenance and I was done with them in 7 months. Now I just wear the last retainer every other night, to sleep and that’s it! I love the result! :)


10 Emily July 25, 2011 at 9:28 am

I have the same story, Renata. Braces in high school, teeth shifted, so recently at age 38, I got Invisalign. It is spendier than braces but worth it because no one can really tell I’m wearing them, which I like. There’s nothing like a beautiful smile…. I say, DO IT Gabrielle!

As far as everything else, to each their own. If it makes you happy and if you’re smart and safe about the procedure, then great. I do, however, agree that less is more. I’ve done botox a few times and probably will again. I want to look my age, just the relaxed, refreshed version of my age.


11 Kim Kaas July 25, 2011 at 7:01 am

You are never to old to take pride in your appearance. I put my braces on for the second time when I was 31. It only took about 18 months the second time around and he put on the clear for no extra cost. I am so glad I did it. Go for it! You only live once.


12 leslie July 25, 2011 at 7:03 am

lots of people I know (my age) have braces. not so many with cosmetic procedures, but there are some. the friends of mine that have had them done either had breast augmentation or a tummy tuck, both of which scare me to death. not for me! :)


13 Elaine July 25, 2011 at 7:07 am

I had braces as a teenager, and again at age 47. I am a teacher and unconsciously grind my teeth while I sleep.

MANY times, I was told my braces made me look younger! Better yet, my headaches and ear pain went away afterwards.

Go for it, DM!


14 Robin @ our semi organic life July 25, 2011 at 7:13 am

I’m only in my 20s but the most I’ve ever had done was get an ugly mole removed before my wedding. That was cosmetic not medical. Someday I’d like to have laser hair removal on my legs and maybe eye correction surgery (only cosmetic if you think I look bad in glasses!).


15 Susan July 25, 2011 at 7:20 am

My mom got braces in her 50′s! And never regretted it. She even had the full metal tracks! Now you can get very discrete braces that are much easier to deal with.


16 Christine July 25, 2011 at 7:21 am

My mom had braces in her late 30′s and I didn’t think it was weird at the time (I was about 10, it was the late 1980′s), but with Invisalign out now it is even less weird. I’d definitely recommend that, I have a lot of friends that have used them with amazing results.

I lived in the OC for 6 years, not to mention being a beauty blogger, so I think my idea of what is “ok” is a bit skewed. I have a lot of friends that have had things done, an ex-sister in law that is now one of the preferred Botox docs in the LA area for strippers (!!! Apparently she doesn’t dilute as much as other docs?? I don’t know, this doesn’t come up in my medical practice. Not much botoxing in the PICU) and just the overall increased availability of these things as I get older has somewhat changed my perspective.

Currently, my view is that it is completely fine to do whatever you feel comfortable with, that makes you feel better about your body, but also looks NATURAL. So, my friend that got implants after her kids deflated her via breast feeding… that’s totally fine since she went B cup and it looks like she should be that size. Our mutual friend that went DD on her size 2 body and wants to upgrade to E… meh, not so ok in my book. Same for Botoxing your face in to a frozen state (half of Orange County is like that and it made it a bit odd to go to the mall), lasering your teeth ultra white (remember the Friends episode with Ross’s glowing teeth? The correct shade is the same as the whites of your eyes), etc.

Personally, I’ve been using Crest white strips lately for a little whiteness boost, I have an at home hair laser machine and wish I could afford the pro version (I’m tired of that extra time in the shower) and I love going for a professional facial. I’m not really likely to do anything more invasive that those things. I’m trying to take care of myself, use good anti-aging skin care products and wear sunscreen everyday. I hope to never be tempted by a face lift!


17 Genevieve July 25, 2011 at 8:41 am

I’m with you on the breast augmentation, Christine. Well put. Gabrielle, get the braces…it is temporary and will be worth it for years! Love the picture of your daughter!


18 Beth July 25, 2011 at 7:21 am

I’m getting clear braces next week and I’m 41. I can’t wait. I should have had them when I was a kid and I’ve put it off as an adult until now. The plan for me is also to have a permanent retainer behind my teeth when the braces are removed.
Otherwise, I’m happy with my wrinkles – no Botox for me. I believe they add character – and I can raise my eyebrows!


19 Jessica July 25, 2011 at 7:22 am

do the Invisalign, instead of metal braces. I think they are more for adults?

As for the cosmetic surgery…we live on Miami Beach…South Beach actually and it is waaaaay to common and so the norm. I myself have not had any procedures (besides braces when I was 11), but I have many friends who botox, plump up their lips, break their noses (ouch!), lipo thighs and of course the breasts! I have to admit, sometimes I feel like I’d love to get a breast augmentation, but then I fall back into the thinking that God made me this way and that’s just fine with me. Plus, I have a daughter (and a son) and I was her (him) to be proud of their bodies and not give into the pressure of perfect that unfortunately surrounds us.

As for my friends who have done these things, they are still wonderful people and have great depth of character. Each of them has a different reason for their procedure and I’m not judging them. I just have to do what’s bets for me.

Lastly, the most disturbing thing is at least 75% of the radio advertisements in Miami are for cosmetic procedures. That gives you an idea of just how common it is. Even the radio DJs do promos. It’s rampant (and sort of groses me out to hear about vaginal rejuvenation at 8am with my kids in the car). Anywho…


20 courtney July 25, 2011 at 7:23 am

I had braces 3 times, a palate expander, and 13 teeth pulled. I suppose braces are usually just cosmetic, but it’s such a common thing. I really don’t think it’s wrong to do something if it will legitimately give you more confidence (like straight teeth). I had breast reduction when I was 19– it was largely to help back problems, but a huge aspect of it was cosmetic as well. I think it was one of the best decisions I have ever made– even at such a young age.
I’ll admit I’m all for the “mommy makeover” and I think a little botox never hurt anyone. I want to always look natural– I would never want anyone to be able to tell just by looking at me I had any “work” done. But there is a very fine line between vanity and just wanting to look your best. If I had to get braces as an adult, I would definitely do invisalign! Maybe because I’m vain. :)


21 McKenzie July 25, 2011 at 7:27 am

I know quite a few women who had braces again in their thirties and maybe forties, including my mom and I think she was in her thirties when she did it again. It’s not too long to look a little dorky. But you do seem to have a beautiful smile as it is, I would never think you needed them again.


22 Gerri July 25, 2011 at 7:28 am

I had braces as a kid, never wore my retainer, and had to get them again at 23. HATED IT. And it didn’t help that I’m a high school teacher — I didn’t necessarily like sharing that characteristic with my students. However, I see adults all the time with braces — no biggie. Go for it if it will make you feel better. I had the clear kind (which weren’t all that clear to me), but they have the Invisaligns, too (which are pretty much invisible). See if you’re eligible for those (I heard they’re considerably more expensive, though).

As for cosmetic procedures, I’ve never had a desire to do Botox or anything like that, but I do plan to get my teeth whitened one day. I’m a big tea drinker, so you can imagine that my teeth are not as white as they should be. Also, I won’t say I’ll never have a procedure that will make me *ahem* slimmer in some places. I don’t PLAN to, but I’m not going to sit here and say “never!” As for adding anything to my body — no need, honey. I have plenty in all the areas folks tend to add to! :)


23 whoorl July 25, 2011 at 7:28 am

I am TOTALLY thinking about braces! Like you, I had them in my younger days, but my teeth could use a little straightening. I know a few adults who have used Invisalign with great results!

As for the rest, I live in Orange County, so you can guess how common cosmetic procedures are. ;) (psst…EVERYONE) However, I haven’t caved yet!


24 SweetBeaker July 25, 2011 at 7:30 am

hi gabrielle!

i am 31 and have braces! grr! started with invisalign, but due to some stubborn teeth we have to go the conventional route. it’s definitely worth it. just never thought i would be married with a little one AND braces.



25 Leigh Ann Phillips July 25, 2011 at 7:30 am

My teeth are pretty crooked. My parents never wanted to shell out for braces. I don’t want to shell out for them now either. I have a friend who had a boob job and that’s all I think about when I see her.


26 allysha July 25, 2011 at 7:31 am

I totally need braces, and am thinking about it. But other kinds of stuff? Nah- I’m even reluctant to die my gray hairs, isn’t that so funny?


27 M. Peterson July 25, 2011 at 7:31 am

Traditional braces on a 30-something married mother…yes, a bit tacky. I’ve heard great things about Invisalign, though! My 65 yr old boss at my former job even had them and I never knew until one day I walked into his office when he had the mold thingy out.


28 sarah July 25, 2011 at 7:34 am

i say go for it on the braces–if you’re not sure about whether you’ll feel strange as an adult with regular braces, there are a lot of other options these days. definitely nothing wrong with straightening your teeth if they bother you.

as for cosmetic procedures, i’d say that there are definitely a few fine lines between many of the procedures available today. there are invasive vs. non-invasive (for example, botox vs. breast augmentation–to me both are purely cosmetic but one is much less invasive than the other). there are also procedures that i think can be classified as cosmetic, but that solve a real medical issue. rhinoplasty as the solution for a deviated septum that causes breathing issues being one, and upper eyelid surgery for someone whose eyelids have actually drooped to the point of cutting off some peripheral vision. if a true medical issue exists, many times health insurance may actually pay for the procedure. so yes, i think that there are a lot of subtle differences between procedures, and i tend to take the stance that the choice of whether or not to have something done is up to the individual and none of my business. although i am pretty much completely against having something done that isn’t medically necessary if your body has not finished maturing (i.e. breast augmentation for teenagers).


29 Mary July 25, 2011 at 7:34 am

Definitely agree with the comments – braces are perfectly fine to consider in your 30s. I got mine in my 20s – once I got a job and could pay for them myself! I have friends who just got theirs off – they are almost 40. It may be more difficult for people in different professions (i.e., a CEO of a bank might have a tough time pulling off braces), but I think most people can manage just fine. ;-)

I personally wouldn’t do botox or other types of cosmetic procedures, but it’s an interesting thought that it might not be that different than getting your teeth straightened or whitened. Hadn’t really thought of it that way. I guess everybody does what makes them comfortable, and most people can’t afford to spend money on such things anyway. I always say “to each his own”, or “Chacun son goût”.


30 Kristen E July 25, 2011 at 7:42 am

Braces on your teeth are very different to me from injections or surgeries. I don’t see them as any different from the braces I had to wear as a child to straighten my legs. But when you start cutting or injecting things, that to me crosses a line. I’ve had several surgeries, but all were medically necessary – I’d never consider a surgery simply to make myself look better. To me, it’s a form of pride that bugs me. We’re all made in God’s image – do we think we know better than God what we should look like? It bugs me. I wish we as women could be accepting and happy with our bodies. Take care of them, yes. Exercise, eat right, dress nice, sure. But surgically modify? Unless you have a health problem, I don’t see the point.


31 Ann July 25, 2011 at 7:44 am

I’ve seen women our age where braces. My bottom row are getting crowded because I never had my wisdom teeth removed. The dentist wanted me to get invisiline (sp?) after having my bottom wisdom teeth removed but the oral surgeon told me I didn’t need to! So unless they start going sideways I’m not doing it. I wore braces on top and I had the most hideous headgear to wear at night. I wasn’t good about wearing my retainer either. On the other things: I may consider spider vein removal in the future if it gets worse, I say no to botox, and If I can’t see well in the future I may get an eyelift. Gravity is really a bummer sometimes!


32 Denise July 25, 2011 at 7:45 am

I had braces applied at the age of 51. I did not need them until my wisdom teeth belatedly made an appearance in my 30′s. I lived with a crooked tooth for 15+ years because it didn’t move. Then it did. It was either a buttonhole in my upper lip to accommodate it, or braces. After almost three years they are off. My teeth are relatively straight and I am religious about wearing my retainers. The amazing thing is the full range of motion I now have in my jaw as well as the absence of the clicking noise I had developed when eating. All plusses. It was not vanity at all, but a somewhat necessary procedure to help ensure a pain-free jaw in my older age, I think.


33 Sarah H July 25, 2011 at 7:52 am

I’m totally against procedures. I think that people should be more “real” than they are. But then I look down at my belly- the abdominal muscles of which still haven’t fused together 2.5 years after having my last kid and I think- “I really need a tummy tuck”". So obviously I can see why people want to have stuff “done”, but I wish that we could all be happier with our bodies.

Teeth are another story. Go braces!


34 kim July 25, 2011 at 7:55 am

Had braces as a child (upper only) and they have slowly moved back. Just visited a new dentist and found that all my teeth problems are due to the poor alignment. So, it will be braces for me!

As for other procedures — I have considered breast reduction/lift but have a fear of general anesthesia. Can’t imagine being a mother (to 3 so far) and dying on the operating table. And, for what? So that my breasts look more perky? For shame.

Botox is something that is on my mind. I have a friend who has used it in the past and was happy with the results. It would probably be okay if it was used sparingly, you know?


35 Crystal ( July 25, 2011 at 7:56 am

I think braces are totally different. Yes, they are cosmetic in that they make a prettier smile but straight teeth are also less prone to decay b/c they are easier to clean. Plus, teeth that are out of alignment can wear and cause tooth damage. And I think insurance should cover the full cost of braces the same as for cleanings.

As for other cosmetic surgeries, to each his own, but I opt to age as gracefully and naturally as I can. I think some people who have had plastic surgery look unnatural and kind of freakish (perhaps the ones who have had too much). I wouldn’t want to look any different than God intended…unless I get a turkey neck. I might do something about that ;)


36 Sara July 25, 2011 at 7:58 am

I had the clear “braces” known as Invisaligners a couple of years ago. Even though I am in my mid-30′s, it is the best money that I have ever spent. I always wanted and needed braces but was never able to have them until recently. Straight teeth have made such a difference in my confidence. I actually smile for pictures now!
All of these little procedures are a personal thing. If it makes you feel better, go for it. Thanks!


37 Barchbo July 25, 2011 at 8:01 am

My aunt just got her braces off and she is 53! She never had them when she was younger and she is glad she got them. Never too late in life to love your smile!

To me, cosmetic procedue is anything that breaks the skin – in jection, cutting, needles, etc. I love the idea of fillers, but while long-term effects are still unknown I will stick to my Sonicare facial brush!


38 Ale July 25, 2011 at 8:04 am

Braces are supposed to move your teeth so they won’t deteriorate too much during the mastication… They also have aestethical effects of course, but they first goal should be to (re)position your teeth correctly in your mouth, so the top ones “opposite” the bottom ones while you eat! I wouldn’t consider braces an aesthetic/cosmetic treatment.
Cosmetic surgery in my opinion is only for people who think that their bodies aren’t “right” (including people who want to change sex). I would never never do it, but if someone is old enough, aware of the risk and of the possible consequences and really really motivated, why not?


39 Amy G. July 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I sure wish our medical/dental insurance company saw it that way. Braces are terribly cost prohibitive for us right now and my 10 year old daughter really needs them. The only other option they are giving us for her tooth problems is extraction. She had 2 permanent teeth that are coming in behind other teeth… awkward!


40 jodi July 25, 2011 at 8:05 am

That’s such a good topic! I’ve always thought about those procedures and tried to figure out where I stand on them. I’m totally ok with braces and teeth whitening but when it comes to breast augmentations and really invasive things like that, I don’t know if I could do it. In my opinion it comes down to the motivation behind doing those things.


41 Sylvia July 25, 2011 at 8:06 am

I love that you brought this up because it drives me crazy when people assert their righteous indignation on women who choose to have their breasts augmented or their lips Botoxed, yet these are the same people (usually also women) who have had braces, color/cut their hair, shave/wax/laser their bodies, and otherwise alter their appearance on a daily basis.

I don’t think the cost of surgery can be scorned (you know: How can you spend $$$ on new boobs when there are starving people in the world?). After all, how much money is spent on a lifetime of coloring your hair or buying makeup, or a new car, or remodeling your kitchen? And I don’t think the love-what-God-gives-you argument holds, either (unless you never wear makeup, never do anything to your hair, never get braces for yourself or your children), because let’s face it: 99% of us do things to ourselves on a daily basis that change what God naturally gave us, whether permanently or not. And if we’re doing it daily, then it might as well be permanent, right?

Like another commenter, I think the real question is not whether cosmetic surgery/procedures are questionable, but whether or not UNNATURAL procedures are questionable. Getting your breasts augmented to a natural size after nursing children, and covering said-new-breasts in a conservative manner except when you’re in the bedroom with your significant other: I can’t begrudge that. We all do things to change the way we look; as long as these things are somewhat natural and relatively modest, I see no problem with it. I’ve never had anything that’s considered “cosmetic” done, but you better believe I slap on my undereye concealer and mascara every morning! :)


42 cause haun July 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm

well said!


43 Kate Coates October 4, 2011 at 6:38 am

Right on.


44 Jen @ committed. July 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I’ve thought a lot about this debate, especially because I want a happy, healthy, confident young daughter.

I want her to feel secure in herself without putting too much emphasis on her appearance. My mom took me to get electrolysis on my eyebrows at 15, and every few weeks I’d come home with ice packs on my face. Nobody teased me about my eyebrows, but my mom was embarrassed of her own, and thought she was helping me. But once we started getting treatments, was self-conscious about the eyebrows I had and in pain over the parts I got rid of.

It’s a fine line to model good behavior–I shave, wax, wear makeup, get haircuts, paint my nails. I may even consider some type of surgery when I’m done having babies, so I can feel like myself again. But I hope to never put those pressures on my daughter. If she asks for help or guidance, I’ll happily give it to her. If she’s fine with herself, I hope to let it be.*

I like your message of keeping things “somewhat natural and relatively modest,” so your best self shines through. I think that’s the best & healthiest message for our kids and ourselves.

And Gabrielle–don’t sweat getting braces! They’re not like 20 years ago–most of my friends have/had them and have been thrilled with the result.

(* we’ll see if this holds in 13 years!)


45 Barb @ getupandplay July 25, 2011 at 8:10 am

I think the general anesthesia rule is a good one. I’m not a fan of anything that is life-threatening and that includes being put under for a procedure. I’m not utterly against it for myself one day but I would very carefully consider it before taking the plunge (which I think is how the majority of people are!)

There’s a cute lady in my ward in her 70s who recently had braces. And she still looked great! You have to take care of your teeth, they’re important! :)


46 Sylvia July 28, 2011 at 7:35 am

I completely see what you’re saying about drawing the line at general anesthesia. Why put yourself at risk for something optional and cosmetic?

On the other hand, don’t we all put our lives at risk every time we get behind the wheel? Of course, if we’re driving to work, that’s a chore that must be done. But if we’re driving to have dinner with our friends, or to the movie, or to Vegas, isn’t that unnecessarily putting our lives in danger?

Just a thought. But I definitely see where you’re coming from.


47 Kelly July 25, 2011 at 8:11 am

Our society has made us all go haywire to “fix” our imperfections! (I’m going to go ahead and blame Hollywood for that) I don’t know why I have no problem with teeth whitening/braces, but I don’t. After all, I had braces solely for cosmetic reasons in high school. Actually, I could use them again because my dog ate my first retainer, and my second retainer never fit right, so instead of going back and making the doctor do it right, I just stopped wearing it. I draw the line at plastic surgery-unless it’s medically necessary. (ex. You’re in a bad car accident and your face needs to be reconstructed. OR, you have to have a mastectomy-because if I had breast cancer, I would just tell them to “TAKE ‘EM OFF! I CAN GET NEW ONES!) For what it’s worth, those are my two cents. Everyone is beautiful in the eyes of the Creator!


48 Susie July 25, 2011 at 8:11 am

My sister in-law is in her late Forties and she just got hers off. It’s not just cosmetic. Teeth shifting can cause problems. I don’t think it’s tacky at all.
I would love to have tummy tuck! Even if I could afford it I don’t think I could go through with it. For me it feels ridiculous to put myself at risk when I have 3 kids for vanity sake.


49 Sherri July 25, 2011 at 8:21 am

I think braces are fine. A number of my friends in their 30s and 40s have them. I am actually considering them as well – had braces as a teen – now teeth have gone a little crooked and can feel odd or uncomfortable at times (I’ve heard pregnancy can contribute to that – gums get so soft, etc.). I would erase spider veins or whiten my teeth – would also consider breast reduction. Botox? Hmmm… not sure about that.


50 amy July 25, 2011 at 8:27 am

I know I am biased because I am a dentist, but in most cases, I don’t think braces are cosmetic. Yes, the result is wonderful, and there are a few patients that want them to correct minor issues, but when the teeth are correctly aligned, it is usually so much easier to clean the gums correctly, to have less debris get caught in the teeth and also, if the bite is corrected, often times there is less stress on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Again, I know I’m biased. As for botox and other things, I am against it for myself, I live in southern california and am shocked at the number of people who do their breasts and get other procedures. I don’t think it’s worth the risk, especially if you have children. Although as I get older, I’m curious about non-surgical procedures, like lasers, but gee, so expensive. My mother is all for that stuff, but my husband, thinks there is something crazy about women who do those things.


51 Lillie July 25, 2011 at 8:31 am

I take pride in my appearance but, often pause when I do something that changes my appearance….asking myself why what I have isn’t good enough. I do not wear makeup because I think it is odd to “paint” my face to make myself look different than I am. I sometimes wear nail polish but, always pause to ask myself why. The gray hairs started about a year ago. I don’t think I’ll cover them but, am wise enough to never say never. I had braces as a child and think it is interesting that I never thought of braces as “changing” my appearance but, now realize that is exactly what I did. There is a line somewhere and I am aware that I move it to fit my needs. Today, I am wearing a necklace and as I put it on asked myself why I needed jewelrey to adorn myself. I left it on.


52 Jen July 25, 2011 at 8:32 am

I just got a mole removed on my face. I also have ptosis. So once my eye starts to really droop, I will definitely get an eye lift. Once I stop breastfeeding I will also get my teeth whiten. So, yes if it makes you happy, I’d say go for it!


53 Arrica M July 25, 2011 at 8:32 am

I have mixed feelings concerning cosmetic procedures. I find it is a very personal and controversial topic, everyone having their opinion. I personally have my “considered” procedures and my “never- to- be considered” procedures…all theoretical for now.

I have several friends that are now under the care of an ortho and wearing braces. If you are worried about looking juvenile or tacky you could consider invisi-line.
Orthodontic care is not only cosmetic. If your teeth are misaligned it can cause great discomfort and possibly TMJ or worse. After having just completed ortho care for all but one of our 6 children, my husband and my teeth/jaw are now giving us trouble…
$o our ortho office will be renaming their office after us very soon, I’m $ure. ;)


54 Mary July 25, 2011 at 8:34 am

I vote for getting braces regardless of age. I had mine as a teen, but if I hadn’t, you can bet that I’d have them now!

Plastic surgeries for the sake of looking more attractive have never really been something I considered doing myself. I don’t have any problems with them in general, but just not for me. However, a breast reduction WILL happen for this girl someday. When I am 100% certain that we’re done having children and I have cash in hand, I’m doing it. Less back pain, increased ability to exercise and easier clothes shopping are just a couple of the reasons I’ll go through that surgery.


55 joanne July 25, 2011 at 8:35 am

i think braces and fixing problems with your teeth are a lot different than botox and injections and plastic surgery. your teeth are functional things that need to be relatively straight and uncrowded in order to work properly, it’s not necessarily a vanity issue. the plastic surgery things and botox kind of stuff just don’t sit well with me. maybe i’ll feel different in 10 years, though!


56 Marivic July 25, 2011 at 8:38 am

I would say go for the braces. A periodontist-friend of mine told me that the reason someone older would get braces aside from aesthetics was to make sure the teeth were straightened and the roots would not touch each other as this made teeth deteriorate and eventually fall off in older age. It’s a way of preserving your teeth!

As to all the other things, I’m too scared of needles and anesthesia and wouldn’t risk anything specially since I have young kids.


57 Merrick July 25, 2011 at 8:43 am

I agree with several of the other comments. Invisalign is the way to go. My little sister just finished her year in them with fantastic results. My older sister and I are so jealous that she never had to deal with the big bulky silver brackets in high school like we did!


58 Mary July 25, 2011 at 8:57 am

Oh trust me, there are women you know who have had botox. It’s all over groupon these days, selling like hotcakes! I have never had the procedure, but I have sisters and in-laws who have, and none of them live in L.A. or the OC. While it is widely accepted on reality t.v., it is still considered ‘extreme’ by many people, which is why I think many women who have the procedure don’t talk about it.
I don’t think botox is a big deal, however, I have seen how one relative has become ‘addicted’ to it and now her face is looking quite unnatural. When used in moderation, to make someone feel a little better about themselves, I say it’s fine.


59 Summer July 25, 2011 at 9:02 am

Living in Dallas, my idea is probably a bit skewed too. I’m in my 20′s, and almost half of my friends my age have had something done (breasts, laser hair, lipo, lips, botox, tummy tuck, etc.). I’m okay with whatever makes you feel good, buuuuut…. I agree that it should look natural. I also think maybe one should try working out before lipo, but maybe I’m just crazy like that.

As for myself, I’m waiting until I get a little older. I am having a photo facial this year to get rid of some age spots (hopefully), but I’m staying away from botox for as long as possible. I’m sure I’ll eventually cave. I also think I want a boob job when I’m 41 – I feel like 1) If I ever decide I want them, I’ll for sure be done having kids by then and 2) I feel like I’ll need a literal and figurative lift at that point. :)


60 Camaron July 25, 2011 at 9:02 am

My mom got braces in her 40′s. It wasn’t a big deal because she had kids going to the ortho at the same time. I had braces in HS, but wasn’t good withmy retainer either. And now having my own babies my teeth are shifting again. I really want them, but I’m thinking it might be better to wait until I’m done with babies. :)


61 Emily Price July 25, 2011 at 9:06 am

Go Braces! I must state that I am bias…my husband is an orthodontist. He has many adult patients, and yes, there’s many options. My advice is to go and get a consultation with an orthodontist (not a general dentist) when you get back in the states. An orthodontist has 2.5 to 3 years of additional training than a general dentist. He or she will give you options based on the type of treatment you need. I have noticed that a lot of people are suggesting Invisalign. Keep in mind that Invisalign is for limited types of treatment, in other words, they are not for everyone. They are clear retainers/trays that you have to wear 23 hours a day. Personally, the clear trays would drive my nuts. You can often get better results with metal or clear brackets.

Also, I don’t think braces should be put in the same category as other cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentation, Botox, and lipo. Orthodontic treatments do not just take care of cosmetic concerns. In fact, most orthodontist are more concerned about tooth health and gums, not just straightening the teeth. Bad bites and crowding can contribute to gum recession, bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear on the tooth, headaches, and jaw joint pain.

So long story short, go for it Design Mom! I am not sure where you will be “landing” once you move back to the states, but if you end up in Utah or Colorado I can give you many recommendations for FANTASTIC orthodontists!

If you are interested in learning more about orthodontics, check out (the American Association of Orthodontics website) or you can go to my husbands website at

Emily Price


62 Macarena July 25, 2011 at 9:13 am

Here in Guatala permanent eye liner is really common, apparently it hurt quite a bit in the moment but you will wale up with “make up” face for 5 years in a row witout worrying about it. Cosmetic surguries are common also but no one will say they had it.


63 Lynne July 25, 2011 at 9:17 am

I recently got invisalign braces at 38…always had spaces in my teeth but never had braces to correct when i was younger. They are definitely a commitment to wear but they are WORKING! and working fast. I highly recommend them!


64 Cris Marsh July 25, 2011 at 9:18 am

I whiten my teeth (molds made at the dentist and the whitening compound from the dentist). I drink tea and I do not like what it does to my teeth…
I have friends who had braces in their 30′s not a big deal. I am wondering if a product like invisalign might be a good option.


65 Heidi July 25, 2011 at 9:22 am

Your questions really have me thinking this morning. I’ve always thought braces are no big deal (I’ve had them myself) teeth whitening, no big deal (I’ve used crest white strips in the past but no dental whitening procedure). But, when it comes to botox or breast augmentation, I say no way. And this is coming from someone who is an ‘almost a.’ I’m probably on the fence about some other treatments you mentioned. I think overall, society has trained us to believe that there is a certain look to acheive to be attractive. I think it’s so much more important to be happy with what you look like AND what others around you look like. I have several close friends and relatives that have a very different look, maybe looks that wouldn’t be considered attractive but that’s what gives their appearance such character! It would be sad to see them change that!
BTW, I can’t say that I noticed your teeth needing straightening. :)


66 Ellen W July 25, 2011 at 9:24 am

As I’ve gotten older and given birth to 2 kids who were both breastfed, I have become less critical of cosmetic surgery. I have no desire to have larger breasts, but could see in 10-20 years that it might be nice not to be droopy in the chest. I work out at the Y with plenty of older women who are in good shape and there really isn’t much you can do to keep the girls from heading south over time.


67 S. Fox July 25, 2011 at 9:24 am

Definitely go for braces if you are really thinking seriously about it, it’s better to get it off your mind and it’ not a big deal like surgery.

I did the laser vein treatment on my legs and it was totally worth it. The spider veins really bothered me and now they are gone. It wasn’t all that expensive either.

Draw the line at some of the big facelift procedures that look creepy.


68 jennifer r. July 25, 2011 at 9:39 am

I had braces as a teenager, but went back at 35 to get them again as my teeth shifted enough where it bothered me. The orthodontist recommended invisalign and it was much faster and much less painful than the original brace tightening of my teens, and it had the bonus of preventing my chronic teeth grinding. My coworkers at the time were shocked when I confessed – nobody even could tell, except one person noticed a slight lisp every two weeks or so (which happens for a day or two when you get a new set of aligners and your mouth adjusts). Interesting fact i learned in the process: your teeth are likely to shift during pregnancy. Even apart from the aesthetic component of having one’s teeth straightened, you may be better of for it in terms of preserving the health of your teeth. The shifting can make you more vulnerable to decay and also to jaw [alignment] issues. Its definitely worth a consultation with an orthodontist at the very least.
P.S. I caught the July airing of House Hunters international – Your family is so lovely!


69 Jill V. / TerraSavvy July 25, 2011 at 9:46 am

I too had a full set of metal mouth from age 10 through 13 and over the years they have shifted just enough to drive me nuts. Now I am in a situation as an adult to try and get them all in a row again.

I am in the process of researching lingual braces – they are placed behind the teeth. I had already checked out Invisalign but they needed to shave the sides of several teeth and told me that may compromise the enamel. Not something I am willing to do.

Hopefully I will get the lingual ones on very soon! I am very self conscious about my slightly crooked upper teeth.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


70 Cammie July 25, 2011 at 9:49 am

I used to have big opinions against plastic surgery. Now I only have one or two. The big one, it seems addicting. Friends that have had it often can’t stop with one procedure (just like my friends who get tattoos) but those who do their one procedure and stop have been happy with the result.
My mom had a face lift because her face was sagging so much that she always looked mad. She looks beautiful now and natural. My mom also gets botox in her forehead, to help her from getting migraines.

I learned this past weekend that after 3 kids and loosing a full cup with each baby I (am now a 30B…have you ever even heard of a 30? Neither had I.) I was a 32DD prior to babies. The sweet 70 year old woman who was helping me suggested I get breast augmentation so that clothes will fit. I had not even considered it until she said that. Now, it doesn’t sound like a bad idea. If only surgery was not involved :)

Braces: absolutely!


71 Anne July 25, 2011 at 9:54 am

I’ve had moles removed, and am eager to get some laser hair removal done too. But these are pretty minor procedures that don’t require going under.

I get nervous when anything that requires actual surgery is elective. But at the same time, I’m very much tempted by laser eye surgery. I’d love to be able to see without my glasses. Especially when it comes to loafing around on the couch or in bed watching movies (though with kids, that’s a luxury I only vaguely remember). I would also love to have breast reduction surgery (and a lift while they’re at it!). The eye thing is a bit more plausible though. I’ll likely never get anything more than that.

I had braces as a pre-teen/early teen, and I hated it. But a lot of friends had them, and I’m grateful for my teeth. I know a few people who’ve had them as adults. Time goes sooooo much faster as an adult, as we all know, so I’m sure the time in braces will just zoom by.


72 the emily July 25, 2011 at 10:01 am

I know plenty of people that have plastic surgery. Not that they shout it from the rooftops, but their close friends know/knew. One had a tummy tuck and breast lift after her twins rendered her body a little odd. I would have plastic surgery in a heartbeat if I could afford it. Spider veins, breast lift, tummy tuck, you name it. I guess it’s a little vain, but there are a few things that will not go away, no matter how much I work at it.

I would get braces if I could afford it, too. My brothers both had really bad teeth so my parents dental budget went towards them. My sisters all have great teeth but mine needed braces for sure, but I never got them. I really wish I had.


73 Iris July 25, 2011 at 10:02 am

I got a quote for invisilign — about 5k for me. I’m in my late thirties and I just decided to put it towards the implants that are surely in my future in the next decade or so!


74 Everton Terrace July 25, 2011 at 10:04 am

My mother is 64 and just finishing up the invisible retainer braces thing. She has always been uncomfortable with her crooked teeth. I thought it was silly at first but now I realize why the heck not. It makes her feel better. My husband got braces in his 30s – he and our daughter had them a the same time :) Go for it.

I am not considering any botox or anything though I had a breast reduction a few years ago and my back reminds me every day that it was one of the best decisions I ever made :)


75 Nike July 25, 2011 at 10:15 am

You should try invisalign, but if it´s not possible for you, you should find a orthodontist who can glue the brackets of your braces to the INSIDE of your teeth. Absolutely invisible!


76 Lauren July 25, 2011 at 10:16 am

I always considered braces in a more “medical” category than other procedures that change how you look, so they seem okay to me.
As far as age goes, I don’t think it matters. My grandmother got braces when she was 80 because she said she wanted to enjoy straight teeth for 20 more years :) So if you’ll enjoy having straighter teeth- go for it!


77 SueB July 25, 2011 at 10:37 am

My boss went for regular braces in his mid-40s — faster and really, I think, a little cheaper than some of less noticable types of correction. It’s been five years and he’s much happier with how he looks (and he grins more!). Being able to laugh out loud without being self-conscious will keep you younger than Botox.


78 Zoe - SlowMama July 25, 2011 at 10:40 am

Great topic, and one I’m planning on blogging about soon myself.

I had braces in my mid-20s to correct my bite (as well as to improve my smile since I was on stage). While braces do make a cosmetic change, I consider them to be in a different category than invasive surgeries or injections. Women have always, and in every culture, sought to beautify themselves. But I’m personally disturbed at the lengths many women will go today in search of perfection and eternal youth. I know a few woman who are not even in their 30s getting Botox and face lifts – and they were gorgeous in the first place. How are these women going to handle aging when they’re 50 and 60 and 70?

Here’s where I draw my own line: Nothing that requires surgery unless it’s medically necessary or beneficial. Nothing that involves injecting chemicals (or botulism!) unless it’s medically necessary. Non-invasive, health-promoting procedures that enhance one’s beauty and confidence like hair dye or make up are fine in moderation. One’s circumstances and motivations also matter.

We pay a lot of lip service to “different kinds of beauty” and “aging with grace,” but what do they really mean? Most people can greatly enhance their physical beauty simply by taking care of themselves — exercising, eating well, resting more, wearing flattering clothing, etc.


79 NolaLeBlanc July 25, 2011 at 10:44 am

I have known several adults who have had braces. I bet if your really start paying attention in public, you’ll notice that it’s way more common than you realize. Personally I have never had braces and consider myself very fortunate. However, if I thought I needed them I would get them no matter my age.

As for cosmetic procedures, I used to feel very strongly that they were unnecessary. Then I had children and was left with stretch marks that start below my belly button and continue well below anywhere you would want to have stretch marks. It was very difficult to accept that they were not going away nor were they fading (It’s been 7 years). I would love to have a tummy tuck and be rid of them forever. Never again will I judge someone for having a cosmetic procedure. If it makes you feel good and you can afford it, you should do it. Of course, I also think that less is more.


80 Malia O. July 25, 2011 at 10:46 am

I never had braces when I was younger but always wanted them since I had very spaced out teeth along with the classic gap in between the top two front teeth. Not too long ago, in my late twenties, I was having issues biting through my food, specifically thin things like chips and tortillas. My top and bottom teeth started to move away from eachother, however that happens. It wasn’t preventing me from eating but it was bothersome so since I had the money to do it I got braces, full fleged metal ones. I had actually grown to like my gap at this point in my life so I was actually a little sad to see it go but I am very happy with the results now. I think as an adult you appreciate them more (since you’re paying for them) and you take care of them better than most young children and teens do. I had mine on for a year and a half and still wear my retainers at night.


81 jerilyn July 25, 2011 at 10:50 am

TOTALLY worth it!!! Had braces as a teen, never wore my retainer and had braces again at 36. Got them off at 38. SO it is a bit of a commitment. My husband also had braces at age 38 (at same orthodontist I used) because of a more medical situation, not purely cosmetic.
About other cosmetic procedures, it is a lot of work and commitment. Nothing is as easy as it sounds. Teeth whitening was incredible painful. Went for IPL photofacial this past Saturday to reduce some ‘fine lines’ and blotchiness and, seriously, it was like they were stapling my face with a burning hot staple gun. Unbearable! Yowch.


82 Tracy B. July 25, 2011 at 11:00 am

I’ve never really though about braces as being cosmetic surgery.

I think braces are fine, and corrective cosmetic surgery is great if a person has had their face damaged by a car accident, burn from a fire, or something like that, but I don’t understand the desire to have surgery just because you want a different look.
Everyone has something about their looks that they really like, but surgery is painful, expensive and dangerous. In my opinion, it’s not worth the risk, just for something like “fuller lips” or “higher checkbones”, etc..


83 CiCi July 25, 2011 at 11:12 am

I’m not far from 40 and will be getting braces in the coming months. Periodontal issues as we age make it better to have “aligned” teeth. Without proper blood flow in your gums, you will loose your teeth sooner as you age. Lovely thought right? So I’m choosing braces (also for the second time) over loosing teeth. I’m not a candidate for invisalign, but am getting the clear ones so I don’t feel so ugh about the whole thing.


84 Erin July 25, 2011 at 11:14 am

Funny how my acceptance of Botox is directly related to my increasing age! The laugh lines and crow’s feet of my late 30′s didn’t bother me one bit, but those forehead lines I’m seeing the last year or so….ugh! I’ve given it some serious thought, which my 30-yr-old self would have found appalling. Funny how that works!


85 R. Pyper July 25, 2011 at 11:15 am

I also say “to each their own,” but I would not personally consider a boob job mostly because I wouldn’t want my kids to think I wasn’t “enough” because my breasts weren’t naturally big. There’s a lot more to me — and every other woman — than curves. But because women on TV and billboards are sexually objectified, it makes it hard for real women to measure up. We shouldn’t have to try.


86 Megan July 25, 2011 at 11:21 am

I just got my first set of braces last year at 28! I am so happy I did. Just get clear they are not super visible in photos. Some orthodontist don’t even charge extra for clear brackets. Although I was in target and pregnant with my 3rd baby when an employee asked me if I was 19! So it may just make you look a whole lot younger.


87 Kari July 25, 2011 at 11:30 am

I have been thinking about this issue a lot because my friends from college have a blog about it: They are working on their PhDs and researching how the media hurts women’s perspectives of themselves. Because of this, I have become more sensitive of critical comments people say about others.

I’ve considered getting a tummy tuck after having my kids because my skin resembles Kate Gosselin’s, but without having multiple kids at one time! We’ll see how I feel about that when the time comes. With anything like that, you teach your kids that they need to do anything, even extreme measures, to make themselves “pretty.” That’s not a message I want to give, especially if I have daughters.


88 Deborah July 25, 2011 at 11:40 am

I had braces in my youth, but didn’t wear my retainers much in college, and totally skipped them when I was pregnant due to gagging and morning sickness. (TMI?) I got clear braces to fix some shifting when I was 40…best money ever. I didn’t get Invisalign, because they cost a ton. You can get other brands of clear braces for a lot less. I think I only spent $1,000 and my teeth were straight again in less than a year. Plus, the last set of clear “braces” became my retainers which I wear a few times a week to keep my teeth straight. Also, those clear braces can be used with tooth whitening gel. I got Opalesence which my sister (who is a dental hygenist ) recommended.
I also had the inside of my nose fixed for a deviated septum and polps, but the outside remains the same, bump and all. I would love a breast reduction, but I’m too scared of the surgery. Botox seems pretty expensive for something that is temporary so I just try to ger smile lines instead of frown lines. :)


89 Juliana July 25, 2011 at 11:40 am

Invisalign, Invisalign, Invisalign! I had horrible teeth growing up and grew used to them, knowing that my parents could never afford braces. But, as an adult, I had jaw problems, mainly due to my VERY crooked teeth. I decided to go with Invisalign, and my teeth are PERFECT….and it only took 6 months. I swear, I’d do a commercial for them. From a complete cross bite to perfectly straight in 6 months is a miracle. If you have questions, let me know, but I would NEVER go with metal braces after having Invisalign.

In fact, if any of your readers who can see this have questions, my email is


90 Aimee July 25, 2011 at 11:42 am

I’ve read a lot of these comments and the one thing I keep thinking is if all of these women had braces when they were younger and there teeth shifted years later who’s to say they won’t shift again? It may be worth it though…even if they do shift a few years down the road.

Personally so much of cosmetic surgery seems to be wrapped up with poor self image and a desire to look perfect. I am so sad to see that so many women are feeling the need to change who they are. There is so much more to being a woman than what we look like! I would rather focus my time, energy and money on making myself beautiful from the inside out. Doing internal cleanses, eating properly, resting, pampering yourself and working out are wonderful ways to achieve this process. If I were to get anything done to my body I might feel good about it at first, but deep down inside it would come back to haunt me, just another reminder that I don’t add up to the “standard”. I want my life to be more than the outward appearance. I LOVE seeing a woman who is confident in who she is without feeling the need to add extras. Its an inspiration to me! But I understand it can be a challenge to wake up and look at yourself in the mirror when there is so much external pressure. Just think Photoshop when you start to become discontent with your appearance! And what my husband wants and needs from me most is a big beautiful smile and a joyful spirit whether my teeth are straight or not.


91 Melanie July 25, 2011 at 11:48 am

Hmmm….I don’t think braces are totally cosmetic. Just ask those with resolved headaches when they get the proper bite or the cavity-less teeth because they can now actually floss.

Now, other stuff. Not so into it.

I live in the OC. My daughters have friends who received breast augmentation for HS graduation (High School!!!).

Personally, I think the money is better spent on travel…overseas! If these girls want to be “sexy,” they should witness the confidence of European women. We’ve been fortunate enough to travel a little bit with my husband’s work. I’m convinced the most beautiful women all live in Prague. I couldn’t put my finger on what made them so beautiful because they were all different shapes and sizes. Maybe it was confidence that I saw? Maybe it was cultural? It was as though they owned their sexuality. And it wasn’t an “in-your-face-big-boobages” sexuality; it was an “I-know-I’m-a-woman-and-I-like-it” kind of sexuality.

Plus what about this from this week’s PostSecret?

I think it’s important to be healthy, but maybe not someone else’s idea of size and shape.


92 jessica July 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I had an underbite develop around 9th grade and I hated it with such a passion I hoped I’d get in a car accident and break my face so I could get it fixed. When a dentist finally yelled at my parents about TMJ and headaches and my teeth wearing incorrectly, they helped me get jaw surgery right before I went to college. But I didn’t care about the health side of it, I just wanted to look better. My jaw moved back out a bit a couple years later and I went in for surgery again, this time the doctor shortened my prominent chin while he was at it. My chin and bottom lip are permanently numb from the procedure but I could not care less. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I had to have braces four times.

I was teased mercilessly in Jr. High and High School for that jaw that stuck out. I know I could have risen above that and not cared, but I cared oh so much. My bite still isn’t perfect, but I’m so happy my jaw doesn’t stick out anymore.

Now that I’ve nursed four babies I wouldn’t be adverse to ‘breast reclaimation surgery,’ but a few things stop me: risk of something going wrong (I only have to gaze at to scare myself), the fact that implants aren’t lifetime objects, you have to get them redone, and whether or not something like that is really ‘okay’ morally.

I would love, love, love to have the hair I shave lasered off permanently just for the low-maintenance-ness of not having to shave anymore.

All that said, I can’t believe how prevalent cosmetic surgery has become in the city where I grew up (SLC). I find the pressure to look like we are 19 year old super models ridiculous and sad. I might add that if I had my boobs reclaimed (not pam anderson size, just refilled as they are saggy now), they would ‘match’ my poochy belly, cellulite bum, and rounded thighs. I’m happy with the way I look after having four children. I embrace the new curves, the softness. I think those in the spotlight who try to turn back the clock via surgical means only end up looking plastic, stretched, drawn, and sad.


93 Miz boo July 25, 2011 at 12:01 pm

They make invisible braces. Really!
I have very droopy eyelids. I’d love to get those done. I read George clooney had his droopy lids done. My sister had hers done. I can not afford it and I am too chicken tho. Bad medical experiences, I’ve had. I do not care for the botoxed Cali/NY looked at all. I know of no one in Wisconsin who has had anything done.
We are simple folk :o). Hey, my aunt did it all! I loved her to pieces!


94 Sandra Gonzales July 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm

As far as dental work or whitening, I’m on board. But I wouldn’t do Botox or face lifts. That feels like too much.


95 Allie July 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I am 28 and doing invisalign now. I had traditional braces in high school too. I am so excited to have straight teeth again. Dont put it off! I highly recommend it.


96 Allie July 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Also, as far as teeth vs. other cosmetic procedures… I think your teeth are different because unlike wrinkles or breasts, the appearance of your teeth affects how people interpret your overall health, not your age or sexiness. Stained and crooked teeth correction may technically be cosmetic, but it is not at all in the same category as elective boobs and nose jobs


97 theresa July 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I have braces and I will be 50 in October….sooooo, get ‘em now! Don’t wait until you are 50 like me….and then WEAR YOUR RETAINER….
It is not a big deal and I am glad I got them…can’t wait until next year when they come off.
I would consider any lesser invasive cosmetic enhancement…going under the knife is where I draw the line, doesn’t seem to be worth the risks. Also, only if I had extra money to play with, but I think I would rather use the money for a trip to Europe than zap my spider veins!


98 heather in arizona July 25, 2011 at 12:46 pm

i wore braces for the second time in my late 20′s. It wasn’t fun by any stretch, but I really really wanted my smile back. The two years went fast and now I vow to ALWAYS wear my retainer as I do not want to wear braces again!


99 Anne July 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Can’t wait to get my braces on again, as soon as I’m finished paying for my kids’ teeth! Wish I’d never stopped wearing those retainers.

As far as other procedures go, anything that has a recovery time is off the table for me.


100 UK lass in US July 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I live in LA / Orange County area, so I see plenty of people that have had surgery etc., but none of my close friends have had anything done. If I had breast cancer I would most likely opt for a new pair, but surgery is risky and I just don’t think that I could risk leaving my kids motherless, just because I wanted some perkier boobs. Some perkier boobs would be nice, but I always remember an article about a mother who had liposuction after giving birth and died, leaving her newborn motherless. She hadn’t even attempted to see if she could lose the weight naturally and I just couldn’t understand that.

I do think that it is a shame that people don’t just want to age gracefully, though. Some of the OC women look awful with their stretched faces. Plus it feels a little strange to be living in a country where I will probaby be the only person who does not bother to dye her greys.


101 Carina Miller July 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I’m in my 30′s and have braces! some people don’t even notice I am wearing them! the rubber bands are ugly and get annoying, but who cares. i’ve had them on for almost a year and have 6 or 7 months left. can’t wait! it will be well worth it.


102 JFS July 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Happy to see a dentist / orthodontist ring in here! I’d put braces and a boob job in two completely different categories, but I suppose it depends on where you draw the line about cosmetic vs. health vs. quality-of-life. No doubt the lines are thin.

Cosmetic procedures have crept slowly into my group of 30-somethings. One friend was so self-conscious about a bump on her nose that she was reluctant to pose for photos. She had it “fixed” — the bump removed — but left the character of the nose intact, and her self-esteem soared. Another friend was always thin but hated her “saddlebags,” and after working her way up the corporate ladder plunked down for high-end plastic surgery to get rid of them. She used to wear baggy jeans, but now she’s rocking the skinnys. A third friend has always struggled with acne, and recently got laser treatments that also took the melasma off her face. She’s getting compliments for the first time about how “healthy” she looks.

What strikes me about all of these friends is that I never thought of them as having “imperfections.” But for them, these specific imperfections caused them major insecurity and made them feel disadvantaged. We shouldn’t have to define ourselves by our attractiveness, but since we do, we might as well figure out what will make us happy with ourselves and define where we draw the line. Given all the research showing that attractive people get better treatment in life — better jobs, salaries, opportunities — if this is an advantage you can afford, we know you will apply it wisely.


103 kelleyn July 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I know this is a hot topic especially within the church. I have had botox, but to help with headaches because my eyes are so sensitive to light that I tend to squint. The squinting gives me a headache. I have tried sunglasses but it doesn’t really do the trick. Next year I plan to have a breast reduction and a tummy tuck. My breast went from a 36 B to a 38 DD after 4 children. My back hurts and since my shoulders slope my bra never stays on. The tummy tuck is a little out of vanity but after 2 c-sections my tummy looks like I have a manatee attached to me. It is not pretty, but since I am getting my breast done then why not my tummy. I know it is the person on the inside that counts, but there is not one day that I wake up and am not bothered by these two areas of my body. I think as long as you don’t go over board and it makes you feel better than why not?


104 Sara July 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I don’t have a problem with braces/teeth whitening/etc. I just think some people take it too far (celebrities with perfectly straight teeth that glow in the dark). I think crooked teeth can be cute/sexy and add character. I wish it was easier in our society to celebrate our quirks…the things that make us individuals instead of the constant quest to be perfect (or close to it). That said, I’ve always wished I had smaller breasts and have considered having breast reduction surgery. I don’t know if I ever will…maybe after I’m done having kids? It seems like such a major/invasive thing to do to your body (I’m a DD and don’t have any medical issues like back pain to justify it from a health standpoint…although I think it would make running a lot more comfortable!) So I say get the braces if you want to…or celebrate your crooked teeth as something that makes you uniquely you! I think celebrities with imperfect teeth are much more beautiful…think Lauren Hutton, Madonna, etc.


105 Paul August 1, 2011 at 4:03 am

On the same page as you on this one. Celebrities take it way over the top, and as you’ve said, glow in the dark teeth. I’m really not that into “perfection” believe it or not. I also find that crooked teeth have to potential to bring a “je ne sais quoi” sexiness. In Japan, overlapping extra teeth are considered a rare beauty mark.

Even wrinkles look good and classy with some women. However, I do understand if those particular individuals might want to have either some botox or dermal filler injections done, because it’s for their own needs of what they want to look like. However, these cosmetic procedures done in moderation is the key.

Paul Johnson, Cosmetic adviser, Skin Vitality complaints


106 Kela July 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I’m 35 and have been wearing braces for the last 18 months or so. I don’t see a problem with it, especially since everyone seems to think I look 17 now that I have them! I’m too chicken to try botox, fillers or any other form of cosmetic surgery though.


107 Be Like The Squirrel, Girl July 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm

It’s interesting you brought this up. I am in my thirties and was scheduled to get braces this month. I had to cancel because I recently discovered I’m pregnant! So that’s $5K I am really going to need this year and I don’t think it will be wise to spend it on my teeth. But I probably will get them next year. I have always had crooked teeth and I’m just tired of them.

I am a little worried about being a grown woman and being taken seriously in my profession with braces. But then again, I would only need them for a few months.


108 Be Like the Squirrel, Girl July 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I had another thought about this – what message are we sending to our little girls if we can’t embrace aging? If our girls see us being insecure about our bodies, how will it affect their own body images? I am kind of a hypocrite because I want braces and I pluck out my gray hairs. I just finished reading “Cinderella Ate My Daughter” and it raised some interesting points about the messages we moms send to our daughters when we complain about being fat or try to stay as young as our girls are.


109 Lee July 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm

My mom had Invisalign at age 60. She thought about braces all her adult life but never pulled the trigger. I say go for it.


110 Christy July 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Had them at 13 then 27 and since I could not wear my retainers while prego (made me gag) wad thinking about it again at 38;)


111 Paige July 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I work in the dental field and can tell you that braces (although they do help our teeth meet up to what our standard of beauty is) are not at all just a cosmetic thing. Teeth are designed to function as a straight set, when they are misaligned you are more prone to decay, bone loss (the part the holds your teeth in), and even headaches. I would get braces whenever you possibly can. Its just a bonus that you’ll be even more beautiful! Unfortunately, great perky non-deflated breasts are just cosmetic and there are zero health benefits to getting them done….I’ve looked into it:)


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