Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I was 8 years old when we moved from East Rochester, New York to San Marino, California. It was the middle of my third grade year when I started to attend Valentine Elementary School. Our house was directly behind the school yard, which made it really convenient if we were running late. (Like on that morning my mother told me that I couldn't leave for school until I had eaten my oatmeal. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't stomach that odd texture, and so I sat in front of my bowl, rather defiant. We heard the bell ring. My mother said, "You better hurry up, that's the bell." But I couldn't do it. The late bell rang. My mom finally gave in and let me leave. I haven't ever eaten oatmeal since that day ... fyi.)
My teacher's name was Mrs. Terry, I quickly developed a crush on John Dobbins, and I found a best friend - Kathy Christensen. Kathy was one of ten children in her family. All the boys names begin with a C and all the girls names begin with a K: Cory, Kelly, Kathy, Kim, Christopher, Kristy, Karen, Clay, Covey and Kerry. And it seemed like half of them had braces on when I moved there. I wanted braces in third grade real bad, like Kathy had. I wished for braces all the way through 12th grade, even though I didn't need them. My teeth were not your perfect shade of white, except for the really big glowing white spot on my front left tooth, which I was very self conscious of, so I wanted the braces basically to cover up my teeth. (May I just say how fabulous the ability to teeth whiten is?)
My friend Delanie's mother owned a dental office for a few years while we were in high school and one day she asked me if I wanted the dentist to fix my front tooth. I was all over that! He tried to paint it with something, but it didn't work very well. In fact, it didn't work at all. Bummer.
While I was attending BYU, I was working at Mrs. Fields's and I remember very distinctly the day a customer looked at me and asked if I had a dove tatooed on my tooth. Really? Since my middle name is Dove, I really should have just said, "I did. Isn't it fabulous?"
A few years later, after I was married, my dentist at the time asked me if I had ever thought about fixing that white spot. Well yes I had. Pretty much everyday. He and I discussed different options for fixing it. I could get a veneer ... except that that tooth was already slightly in front of the other front tooth and with a veneer it would protrude that much more. He suggested a crown, which would mean drilling my tooth to a point and capping it. I didn't love that idea, but I decided to do it.
The day of the appointment, I was reclined in the chair, my dentist was ready to go to work and I said, "Wait. No. I can't do it. I changed my mind. I'm sorry." He was the coolest dentist ever so it wasn't a problem. He agreed that if I wasn't 100% sure, I shouldn't do it. I was worried about it looking like a cap right smack in the center of my smile.
It wasn't until I had had all five of my children, had moved to Utah, found another fabulous dentist who happened to ask me on one visit, "Do you want to do something about that spot on your front tooth?" that I finally got the result I wanted. I had just had a crown put on and he said if I had an extra 20 minutes he would fix me right up. And that he did. (He carved out the part of the tooth that was super white and then filled it up with a resin material and you would never even know that spot had exsisted, unless I pointed it out and told you to look really close. He became one of my heros that day.)
My little Sophie has been begging for braces for at least the past four years. The difference between Sophie and me is that she really did need braces. Last week, she finally got them. And she is soooooo happy! And I am soooooo happy for her! (They sure aren't the braces of yesteryear though ... kids used to call you "Brace-Face" for a reason.)
Posted by Polly Wood at 3:04 PM