When I signed on for braces, I thought I was agreeing to pay ridiculous amounts of money for some squares to be permanently glued (how are they ever going to get them off? I don’t want to know) to each tooth and then a wire would run through them. That’s it. My ortho story: “A Wire Runs through it”.
There’s much more to it than that. And each monthly visit is a little adventure. First there was the horrible metal rod (too thick to be a wire) that was lodged on the inside of my lower jaw and was all bent funny and not even symmetrical for god’s sake and tripped my tongue up a lot whenever I talked. Then, a round plastic piece was attached by metal rods to the roof of my mouth. It feels like a piece of hard candy, just stuck to the roof of my mouth for no reason.
Somehow I got used to those things. I was able to talk and eat and even forget that I had such big metal rods and a plastic flavored Werther’s Original stuck to the roof of my mouth. Last month, they took out the bottom row metal rod as an unexpected bonus. I was very happy. They said next time they would take out the Werther’s Original, and also, they were going to file my bottom front teeth. That was the first I heard that my teeth were going to be filed. Not on the tops mind you, on the sides. I can’t even imagine what type of tool has to be used to get in between each tooth and sand it down.
On Tuesday I went in. I sat on a chair island in a big room with all the seventh graders. I’m telling you, when they take the wires out and I can go floss my teeth and brush like a normal person, I’m relishing the freedom. I linger at the sink, flossing and brushing and using mouth wash, until finally they can’t stand it anymore, they’re so excited to tell me what crazy thing they’re going to ask me to do next.
On Tuesday they decided to keep the Werther’s Original in and hold on the filing until the next visit. I was disappointed with this setback, but fortunately they did decide that it was time for my top teeth to really start moving and close up the ‘Hi I’m from West Virginia’ spaces left from pulling a couple teeth. So they introduced me to a new wire. This wire looks exactly like an ordinary wire, but apparently it’s not because it has a “memory” which can only be “activated” by the orthodontist himself. The wire also shaped so that it points out into a rectangular shape in two places. This shape is expanded when it is put over the teeth and it pulls teeth together.
So this part of the wire sticks out and up across my front gums. If I’m not careful when I smile, my upper lips will hook on this wire and I’ll look a lot like Dana Carvey in Wayne’s World. Despite this unfortunate side effect, the wire is a good thing because my teeth are really hauling ass now. They fit together differently and spaces are finally beginning to close. It aches a lot though and I’ve had to take aspirin.
None of this is probably necessary. I think it’s a big practical joke concocted by orthodontists everywhere. They invent crazy things they can do to people and then see how much of it they will actually do before they have a nervous breakdown in their chair. They probably laughed and called each other up after I left “She went for it! She’s actually wearing the ‘Dana Carvey as Garth’ wire!”
It’s an adventure, I never know what contraption they’re going to pull out next when I go. All I can say is, it better be worth it!
Apr 29th 2004Uncategorized