Brace Yourself

A year and a half ago I had braces put on my teeth. It was something that should’ve been done forty or fifty years earlier and finally reached a critical point when some of my teeth loosened and my dentist said, “If you don’t do something about your bite, you’re looking at a whole mouthful of implants.” I weighed the cost, difficulty, and length of treatment of implants versus that of braces, and the brackets won. “I bet I’m your oldest patient,” I told the orthodontist when he installed them.  “Nope,” he said. “I have lots of adults. In fact, there’s one who’s eighty-five.” I was stunned, and quietly vowed to adopt that person’s attitude toward longevity and health. The countdown began and the very day before I was to have the brackets removed, the coronavirus hit Washington State full-on. Everything was put in lockdown mode, dental and orthodontic offices being some of the first to go. The upshot is, I’ve still got the braces. With the current uncertainty of things, I can see the possibility of me dying, being cremated, and my family having to pick out little pieces of metal as they scatter my ashes.

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