Edmond wife, small business owner and mom of four Jacqueline Farley spent most of her life covering her teeth when laughing or smiling for pictures. Although the bullying that she experienced throughout childhood stopped as she reached adulthood, her low self-esteem hung around. After getting adult braces just shy of turning 30, Jacqueline says that orthodontic treatment changed her life.

OA: What was life like before braces?
Jacqueline: Growing up, finances were tight, so dental treatment beyond annual teeth cleanings wasn’t in my family budget. Thus, my crooked teeth stayed crooked.

Going through school and always being that one kid who didn’t have a perfect smile made those years even harder. Although I learned to cope with the teasing and name-calling, my self-esteem diminished over the years. I hardly ever smiled or laughed without covering my mouth, and I never showed my teeth in pictures. I was just that ashamed of my smile!

Unfortunately, the low self-esteem carried into adulthood. The teasing and name calling disappeared, but I had very little confidence when it came to projecting joy in making new friends or even meeting new clients while building my photography business. Imagine the challenges you’d face if your job was to make others smile but you felt like you couldn’t freely do it yourself!

As a young adult, I felt like braces could only happen in my dreams.

Overtime, I learned to appreciate other positive qualities about myself and made the best of life with a loving husband, four kids and a thriving business as a family and child photographer.

What led you to getting braces as an adult?
Fortunately, finances fell into place for us, and we decided to finally invest in my smile. I’d had a lot of friends and even strangers ask me, “But you’re an adult, why get braces now? Wouldn’t you want to spend that money elsewhere?!”

I knew most folks my age would probably choose a vacation, a shopping spree, etc over braces. Those are nice things to have too, but for me, straightening my teeth so that I could share my smile and no longer hide it was going to be more than worth the time and financial investment to in turn have a lifetime of self-confidence.

My husband was so supportive (he had braces as a young adult, so he understood what I’d gone through, growing up) and from there it was smooth sailing: I made the phone call, scheduled the free consult and before I knew it, I was on a life changing path.

When I first got my braces, I felt embarrassed and thrown back in time to feeling like a teenager again. But I started to notice many other adults around town straightening their teeth too. The barista at Starbucks had them, and this mom-blogger I follow was straightening her teeth like me too. After finishing her treatment, I now take “Sunday Selfies” with my kids documenting life as a family each week with big, confident smiles!

What would you say to other adults considering orthodontic treatment?
Don’t even give it a second thought-just do it! There’s something so freeing (and probably taken for granted by most) in the ability to share a smile without holding back, because you know others will judge you for your crooked teeth.

But it’s not silly to invest in your self, because you’re SO worth it! We all spend time giving to others and can quickly forget that we need care as well. The time is going to pass anyway, so why not spend it doing something that gives you a more confident life so you can continue giving your best to everyone around you?

When I reflect upon my experience with the doctors and staff at OA, I’m almost speechless. The level of care was far beyond anything I could have ever imagined- it was like I gained a new family overnight! The 18 months I was in braces went smoothly, but anytime I had a need, I was always met with warm smiles in the office or a listening ear over the phone when I called with a concern. These folks are genuine— the real deal! Really, they gave me my life back. I’m eternally grateful for their passion and dedication to this work.