Hate Thy Braces
The author is currently suffering from a severe case of toothache. For reasons unfathomable even to herself, she wishes to stay anonymous. We, at Ideas Evolved, hope that she combats her problem soon and writes for us again, but in a happier mood.
It is no mean feat to sit and pen down an article when pain is slicing through your head… Your lower jaw line feels like it is being pulled towards the heavens , your cheekbones feel tight with tension, and every time you open your mouth to speak, elastic bands holding your teeth together attempt to rebel against the motion. But here I am, my fingers typing away at the keyboard, with a heavy stretch of pain pervading through my teeth, the consolation of a nap later helping me go on.
In case you haven’t already guessed, yes, I also have the curse called “braces.” (The title was a dead give-away I think =P)
As an expert on the receiving end of this curse, I will go on to unravel some interesting facts/information about my “condition” and if you think I missed out any point or wrote something untrue, enlighten us all by all means
1. They love blatant lies
Dentists are, by far, the most optimistic creatures on Earth. The speculation about the duration of any treatment is always on the lower end of the practical range, sometimes optimistic enough to be the half of the true time period needed to pull a particular treatment off. MY dentist promised my parents that my teeth would take a year and a half to fix, even a year if I behave myself! I have now been visiting the doc since more than 3 years, the prospect of my metallic smile turning human nowhere near. *curses*
2. It is an unorganized mess
Or at least my dentist’s routine is always in one, or maybe that happens thanks to his receptionist/schedule manager. Or something. The point I am trying to make is that they don’t know how to manage the patients effectively through the day. They always, ALWAYS make us wait! Even if we are early, or on time, or late. The routine never changes. Or maybe it’s the fact that they give precedence to older patients out of respect, but that isn’t fair, is it? Considering the 40-minute drive that takes me to the clinic, and the list of errands that need to be run on the way back, and even the fact that I go out of my way to be on time (no, that part is not exactly true =P I try my best to be late but my dad always makes sure that we leave on time O.o) And then they say a particular thing will take so and so minutes, but it takes almost the double. Did I mention dentists are insanely optimistic? I should have said delusional.
3. Meet the super long syringe
For those of you who are scared out of their wits when faced with the prospect of getting an injection, well this is even worse. See, what happens is that they mean to numb the jaw so that the more hard-core treatments would not hurt. So what you experience is a long syringe plunging into your jaw, and a sensation of that syringe as if growing within your skin, about to come out the other end. As if once is not enough, they do this a few times to different spots and then wait for the anesthesia to do it’s magic. Once your face feels heavy, they get the green signal to begin their sadistic practices. And one would have thought that after a few times, you’d get used to the idea of the syringe trespassing upon our jaw’s privacy, but no matter how confident you feel about it, the minute you feel the prick, you’d jump out of your seat and your heart would do a back-flip! And then it would make a journey of a few inches – in and out in an excruciatingly long beat.
4. Ligatures, Separators, Brackets Et Al.
Yes, I have started to use technical jargon here. But that’s why I am here in the first place, to enlighten you. Those colored bands that you people see on every tooth, those aren’t called bands; they are ligatures. And they aren’t worn for fashion people, they actually have a purpose: to keep the wire tightly in its place. Then there are separators, tiny rings that are inserted between teeth to create space and MAN, THEY HURT!!!!! Like mad. They make eating next to impossible, even rice! And they are one of the most effective headache-inducing things that a dentist could employ. Now brackets, well, those are the metallic squares attached to each tooth. THEY are used to give the wire a path, and placed in such a way that the constant tug of the wire would eventually align the teeth. Oooh! Power chains. Sounds interesting, no? These are plastic chains, attached to hooks of the brackets, used to pull the teeth back, fill spaces, etc. And finally, elastics. This one is simple; they are like miniscule rubber bands. And I used them for the first time yesterday and OMG, I hate them!!! Attached to one hook at the lower end, and one on the hook of the upper molar, they are supposed to pull my lower teeth outward and upper teeth inward but that’s not all! They look ridiculous and make opening my mouth horrendously agonizing!
5. The mouth is a fascinating thing
You must be thinking of all the wrong reasons =P No, really. It is. Imagine yourself, lying on that seat, with a couple of faces interestedly peering into your mouth. And it’s not because you have a beautiful smile, or because you have luscious lips, but because the team of dentists and assistants present are animatedly discussing the progress of upper retraction, the ways of activation, what’s right or how wrong… with one person occasionally consulting the “histo-sheet” and check-marking the to-do list. The worse your teeth, the more fascinating they are. To the extent that your dentist would invite his student to come and look. How cool! And all you can do is close your eyes and act indifferent. So you are an artifact full of life, what more can you do?! If by accident you manage to open your eyes, you’d see 4-5 faces, uncomfortably close, and carefully perusing the inside of your mouth. *shudders* It couldn’t get worse.
6. Thy dignity must always stay intact
That means that even if a group of people are fascinatedly staring at your teeth or counting the number of cavities, or your dentist is pulling and pushing at your face, drilling your teeth, or heartlessly inserting new ligatures to the brackets, forgetting that you TOLD HIM YOU HATE TRANSPARENT LIGATURES, you MUST not lose your temper. Try to maintain a semblance of control, even when your jaw is bleeding and your dentist says “zor say rinse karo” or even when you feel like screaming with the agony of an extraction (the anesthesia can only do so much) or when you are getting annoyed with the ridiculous proximity with the man bending over you, you MUST act cool! You MUST ignore the people who are making a party out of treating you. You must be able to talk even though you have cotton stuffed in the side of your mouth after a painful extraction. You must control the urge to sneeze at a particular crucial time when you can’t move your mouth for fear of your tongue accidently bumping into that drill-like thing acting away at your tooth. You must not jump out of your seat when you get scared out of a particularly long syringe. It’s part and parcel of the condition my folks. You gotta deal with it.