Do These Braces Make Me Look Young Again?
My eight-year-old is currently involved in a unit of study at school called "Pioneer Days." For months the children learn about the pioneers, their journeys, and the effect they had on our young, quickly growing country. As part of the unit the children are grouped into families, with era-appropriate names, gender roles, and jobs. My son is his family's Pa, a blacksmith named Jedediah.
Jedediah (it's important to stay in character) recently informed me that way back then there were no dentists on the pioneer trails, so if you had a toothache you went to the blacksmith and he knocked it out with a hammer. I'm really hoping there were at least pliers involved, but that's beside the point.
The point is that dentistry and orthodontics sure have come a long way since then. They've even come a long way in the 35 years since I first had braces. I'm 40-something now, and recently decided to get them again. When I first had them I was a young, buck-toothed girl wearing Laura Ingalls inspired dresses. I had a full mouth of metal, a huge supply of dental wax, and headgear. After about a year of orthodontia my family did our own pioneer trek from New York to Arizona, and the new dentist (new to dentistry and new to us) decided I was done. He took my braces off and sent me home. He did not send me home with a retainer, and no one knew to ask for one.
It is now many years later, and you would never know I ever had braces. After pondering this expensive, painful, lengthy process for several months I decided to bite the dental bullet and commit to a straighter smile. I had the same chalky teeth imprints I had when I was a child and some very modern digital panoramic x-rays. Those x-rays were sent to a multi-million dollar lab where the diagnostics were plotted on a computer and sent back to my orthodontist. I suspect you could launch a space shuttle with those equations.Continued on the next page