by Pierre Le Roux
This week I heard the three words I hoped never to hear again. They bring back painful memories both literally and figuratively. Memories of embarrassment, inability to eat certain foods, one week in every six weeks of physical pain, wax, chapped lips and having to accessorize my fag bag with toothpicks, a tooth brush and toothpaste. This week I was told “You need braces” again and I almost died! I had braces before and never thought I’d see the day that I had to go back to that, but alas I have no choice.
You see this week I went for my regular teeth cleaning and checkup at the Dentist. Admittedly the Dentist is not my most favorite medical practitioner to see, hence my obsession with my dental health. I have never had a cavity in my whole life and I never plan to experience the horror of being inflicted on a root canel. To avoid the dental drill I brush my teeth twice, sometimes more, a day and floss and do everything I can to keep my gums and teeth healthy. So with this week’s visit I wasn’t expecting any bad news or nasty surprises and that is the thing with optimism and expectations – neither have ever served me well.
Towards the end of what was a rather uncomfortable teeth cleaning session my Dentist, the genius that he is, decided to compare my current X-Rays with that of my previous visits and discovered something ominous. He doubled check the X-Rays and with an alarmed expression checked my mouth and said “I don’t think you are going to like what I am about to tell you” and he was right I didn’t and I proceeded to throw a hissy fit and almost broke down crying. “Braces! Really?! I’m turning 34 this year I can’t be wearing no God Damn BRACES!” are just a few boorish things that flew out of my mouth. After I dropped a few more F-bombs, he managed to calm me down.
“It’s not that bad” he said “There are many adults that get braces these days, it’s almost fashionable”. Yea right, braces at my age is hardly a fashion statement and besides that they will clash with all my outfits! Apparently I am experiencing what they call an “Orthodontic Relapse”, which is just a nice way of saying you are fucked for two years and if you’re single you will stay that way! There was no good news that day, my teeth are moving again and they will not stop by themselves and, whether I liked it or not, if I ever want to smile again on a photo I would have to get fucking braces.
Quite depressed I arrived home and started to Google braces. These days you get invisible ones that you can remove for eating and for other things that requires an unoccupied mouth, but they are expensive and knowing myself I’d probably not wear them 80% of the time which defies their purpose. You also get porcelain ones that are less noticeable and could be a more viable solution. However, they break easily and due to their fragility could increase your braces hell by double. So the most viable option is the standard metal mouth braces which one can brighten up with colorful rubber bands giving you a pretty scary rainbow smile – come on let us all jump with joy!
I’m still depressed and is looking forward to my first appointment at the Orthodontist on 3 February at 2:30pm with the contempt and enthusiasm it deserves. I’ll be 36 when my braces come off, that’s four years from 40! For the next two years I’ll be getting my braces adjusted next to 13 year old kids, be eating corn on the cob with a knife and fork, not be able to smile after eating lunch or dinner because there will be food that needs to be dislodged and my personal favorite – I’ll be setting off metal detectors at airports. All fabulous things I have to look forward too. The only upside to this is the fact that I will definitely lose weight.
As one of my more favorite medical practitioners was injecting my annual Botox touch-ups, she said something that made sense. Vanity comes with a price, a fair share of pain and a whole lot of sacrifice. Our metamorphosis of what we want to be on the inside and outside is never complete and there are always some things we would want to change. Some things are by choice and others are not and peace should be made with that. I choose not have the ability to frown as it’s highly overrated but I don’t have a choice about the braces. With just over a week before my reunion with the Orthodontic industry I will make a concerted effort to make peace with the impending fact that I will be getting braces. Fucking braces!
Till next time.