We are nearing the end of my braces saga. As of today, I have two weeks (you have to imagine me saying this part in a really high-pitch voice) left with braces. Looking back on my two years with braces, I've learned some things... both about braces and also about being a good dentist.
Dainty little Sesame to start this post:
1. Patient has to want it. Coming in every 3-4 weeks is hard work with a full-time job... and who doesn't? Sometimes I had to skip class to make it into my appointments. Also difficult was: wearing elastics. Not eating popcorn or nuts. It's a wonder anybody gets perfect teeth because even as a dental student, keeping up with all the rules was hard.
2. Flossing is hard work. These Platypus Flossers changed my life! But even then, carrying a toothbrush and flossers everywhere can be exhausting. I have a little more kindness when a patient admits to not flossing because I get it.
3. Not knowing is the scary part. When I go to get cleanings, I am completely at ease because I know what's going on. During my ortho appointments, I've jumped at the mirror touching my lips- because I have no idea what was going on. I've learned to explain what I'm doing as I'm doing a procedure- as simple as pushing their tongue or retracting their cheeks- so nothing is a surprise.
4. Our teeth and bone are part of our crazy wonderful bodies. Orthodontists are magicians. How did my teeth move? How did my bite close up? It's craziness.
5. Patience is virtue. Two years is a long time. I wonder if I knew what I was getting into that fall morning two years ago. I promise update with more pictures of my changing bite soon- the before and after when my treatment is complete.
There you have it, lovely readers. And for those of you who've had braces, how did you celebrate your day of freedom? I'm thinking corn on the cob followed by crunchy (caramel?) apples...