Saturday, February 06, 2010

Brace yourself

The orthodontist has told First Born he's a borderline case but will probably be able to get braces on the NHS. But here's the thing ... his teeth really aren't bad. The incisors are very slightly out of line but that's it.

So he needs to decide whether he wants to have a mouthful of heavy metal train track braces for a year followed by several years wearing retainers at night to correct a very slight misalignment that would have no health consequences.
'Top and bottom?' I asked. 'Because his bottom ones look perfect to me.'
'Yes, we'd do both,' she replied. (Her own teeth were very white and very straight.) 'We want him to have a perfect smile, don't we?'

Do we? Perfection. Are any of us perfect? Can we be possibly be so without painful corrective measures? Should we even want to be? Aren't imperfections what make us unique and distinct from each other? If we have the attitude that every small 'imperfection' has to be dealt with, is there not a risk we could all end up as bland anodyne versions of the same template?

What is a 'perfect smile' anyway? I'd've thought that has to come from within, not be the result of straight teeth.

What do I know ... if he wants them, of course I'll support him and I have urged him to think carefully.

Anyway, while I'm talking teeth I thought I'd share this story my mum once told me about her mother.

Apparently, the whole family made a rare trip to the seaside and my grandmother went for a paddle. Don't ask me how, but somehow she managed to lose her false teeth in the sea. Gallantly, the men set up a search party.

No chance, you'd think. Yet some time later one of my uncles emerged from the sea, proudly holding up a set of gnashers.
What are the odds against that, would you reckon?

But if you want real improbability, wait for the punchline.

They weren't hers.

8 comments:

Queenie said...

I think he's already got a perfect smile. And I love the grandmother story; that's priceless.

Nicky S (Absolute Vanilla) said...

LOL! Why did I just know they weren't going to be hers! As for perfect teeth, I had the opportunity to wear metal in my mouth and said no, I don't regret it at all. Perfect gnashers seem, somehow, unnatural.

BarbaraS said...

I knew they wouldn't be...

So I bet that in the end, he opts not to bother. It's those little imperfections that make us all unique. I know, I've a mouthfull of teeth that go every which way. But I can still eat me food. And that's what teeth are for, in the end. :)

Debi said...

And you all have perfect smiles as far as I'm concerned ...

Leslie Hawes said...

Well...did you throw them back?

Debi said...

It was long before I was born, Leslie. There's no one left for me to ask ...

Liane Spicer said...

I agree 100%. I remember reading a few years ago about a UK singer who was advised to 'fix' her perfectly normal (to me) teeth before her US marketing campaign. Seems everyone now has to have the US standard issue 'perfect' teeth. Not to mention the other body parts. Butt-fat in your lips, anyone?

One of my favourite actors is Willem Dafoe, whose teeth seem to give some people nightmares. The rest of us find him unique and sexy.

Loved the granny story!

Dennis said...

It is true that nobody is perfect. However, we need to consider that people have different preferences. Some like to wear braces while others don't. My buddy, John has been wearing braces for a year now and its refreshing to see him proud of wearing his braces. As for me, I'm just grateful that in Germantown, dentists would let you decide if you want to wear braces. But of course, they'll give you the benefits of wearing one and IF YOU REALLY NEED ONE. Oh, before I forgot, I need to make dental reservations for next week. Got to call Dentists Germantown clinic right away. Thanks for sharing this interesting post! Smile!