It seems I’m destined to again suffer one of those horrible rituals of adolescence. No, not puberty! And no I’m not going back to my senior prom. I’m talking about braces. I endured 2-3 years of braces back in middle school and early high school and the day those things came off was one of the happier in my life. Braces had straightened my teeth considerably and removed a pronounced over-bite. However, I was still missing teeth congenitally and had two gaps on my upper palette. I knew that someday that I’d have to get costly bridge work or dental implants but I never had the money or much desire to pursue either.
Earlier this year I decided to visit a local orthodontist that came highly recommended by co-workers and friends. He recommended a treatment plan that might negate the need for costly dental fixtures. It is his hope (and mine) that by shifting a select few teeth just a few millimeters, he’ll be able to close up the gaps in about 2 years time.
Well, my time has come… I’m getting braces next Tuesday. On Monday of this week I had bands installed in preparation. It’s a quick and simple procedure, though one I don’t recall having done the first time. Small rubber bands were jammed between my back molars to slowly move my molars apart just enough to make room for the metal bands they’ll affix next week. It didn’t hurt at first, but my teeth have been slowly shifting since then and I’ve yet to enjoy a meal without my teeth aching. Oh yeah, it also feels like you’ve got bits of meat stuck between your back teeth and I’m not allowed to have ANY candy till they’re out! Three days after Halloween and I can’t even have as much as Milky Way. I am SO glad that I postponed the braces until after Joy and I came back from Disney World!
I’m not looking forward to the next two-plus years of braces, but at least this time I won’t be hounded by goonish adolescents calling me “metal mouth” or “brace face”. I just hope I don’t get stuck in airport security at the metal detector now.