There comes a point in almost everyone’s life when you need to see an orthodontist. I happen to work for one. And 99 percent of “everyone” needs braces. I happened not to need them when I started working at Dr. Gellerman’s, but things turned out the way they did and, in the end, at age of 24, I got braces.
Just got my braces – feels like miniature rail road tracks got stuck to my teeth. Weird. Not comfortable but curious to touch them and stretch my lip as far as I can to cover them completely. Stared in the mirror at them for hours, run my tongue over them, examined every little part, found the perfect way of smiling where I look more cute than terrifying; tolerated some mocking and laughing from my family. You see, my brother just got his braces off a month ago. I was the one who talked him into it, he hated me all the way through his treatment, and now he can get his revenge.
My friends don’t know yet. Well… I figured I may as well parade my braces and be proud than try to hide the fact, that I got them and be ashamed. So I did get the metal ones and I plan on getting colors on them later in the treatment. Moreover, my smiling picture with braces now is my profile picture on Facebook to make sure everyone knows I got braces. I know people would respect my courage and craziness and won’t say a word but smile. And I will smile back with my metal mouth. At my dance class I showed them off to my dance teacher. Smiled with my new smile to one of our patients who owns a deli and happened to have braces too. Paraded my “new Bling Bling” in front of the cashier at the grocery store (who happened to have same exact braces as me and smiled back at me kind of saying “we’re in the same boat”).
My first meal – happened to be yogurt which was running freely under my wires and covering my braces in sugary sweet strawberries and milk; banana was a tough one – mushy and soft getting stuck where it should not. After dinner, which was more of a solid food, I learned how to manipulate my tongue to make sure I swallow sushi, not tuck them in under my wires for everyone to see.
I think my co-workers struggle the most with my new metal accessory. It was hard as it is to understand what I said and what I meant before I got braces (as English is my third language) and now it’s almost impossible. Braces added a lisp and a charming almost whistling sound to my words…I feel like a snake with two rows of teeth.
Come the night…teeth start “itching”, can’t really bite the way I used to any more. I don’t even know if I slept at night.