I had braces back in the day. Four long years of them, actually. In fact, I tend to think about this period of my life as "The Time I Had Brace For Four Long Years."
It left an impression.
I really thought I "remembered" the whole braces thing too. After four nearly unending years, it seemed like I would be some sort of bona-fide expert, surely.
So when my daughters got their braces, about 2 years ago, I appointed myself to the esteemed position of Fount Of Orthodontic Wisdom.
"Yes, you can still chew with your mouth closed, thank you muchly."
"You absolutely CAN still eat those baby carrots. Chomp away, kiddo."
"No, brushing your teeth has not gotten harder. You just need to do a better job."
All of my wisdom was prefaced by snappy little anecdotes that generally began with the immortal phrase: "When I had braces." I truly thought I remembered what having braces was like. I did. Really.
Well let me tell you, Karma is a fickle lady, my friends. She likes to poke us in our behinds when we get a little too high and mighty.
(Or when we're just plain wrong.)
I decided to jump on the orthodontic carousel of fun once again; this time by choice. I now sport a shiny row of brackets on my lower teeth. As they put the brackets on, I smiled to myself even as my teeth were being chained into a tightly locked cage complete with coils.
"I've got this," I thought. "I remember all of this. This will be nothing."
I smiled the whole way home. "See girls? Like I said: this is nothing."
And I really thought that---
until I tried to eat the first carrot.
until I tried to chew with my mouth closed without ripping up my cheeks.
until I tried to get away with just simply "brushing" my teeth the usual way.
Turns out folks, some things just aren't as easy with braces. And apparently I had selectively forgotten some other little gems about having brackets in your mouth. (Did you know that you can brush your teeth for a full 5 minutes and still have crud tangled up on those things? Go figure.
So now I'm relearning this thing that is braces. (And I am remembering some of the stuff I forgot.)
Changes have been made around here too.
Veggies are offered raw or cooked.
Proximal brushes have been added to our brushing routine. (These things are nifty, by the by.)
And we have instituted a "Chew With Your Mouth Open (as long as we're at home and no one else is with us)" policy at the table.
I have also retired from my position of Fount Of Orthodontic Wisdom. That title is still open at our house. I think it will remain unfilled for quite a while.