Walking into the stuffy waiting room, horrible memories of excruciating pain and screaming children filled my mind.
Then I was called back.
Sitting to my right was a 15-year-old boy with horrible acne and buckteeth. On my other side was a tween with food in his braces.
You guessed right; I was at the orthodontist.
On the last day of finals this semester, I discovered that my bottom retainer was broken. As someone who was cursed with dreadful teeth in my youth, I value my retainers greatly.
From the second until ninth grade I went through lip bumpers, headgear—for four years—retainers, pallet expanders, spaces, 12 teeth being pulled, braces and more. Then, on May 2d, 2006, my braces were taken off and for the first time I had strait teeth. I have religiously worn my retainers since, until this past week when the one broke.
“We can get it repaired, but it will take three weeks since we have to send it out. Or we can get you a plastic one in an hour,” my orthodontist said.
“I’m not waiting three weeks, but the plastic ones are notoriously worse than the metal ones. If my teeth shift the plastic retainer won’t put them into place,” I said.
After going back and forth, my mom suggested that we get both, because that was the only solution that would calm me down.
Leaving the doctors office, I looked back and the metal-mouth youngsters and thanked every God there is in every religion that I was out of middle school.