Diary of a 1L
Sunday, January 25, 2004
Here's another plea for advice from an anonymous reader:
Recently my dentist has recommended that I get braces to correct a jaw problem. I had braces in middle school and am dreading getting them again now that I'll be starting professional school. I'm already pretty dorky and have enough trouble in social situations without adding metal to my teeth. Do you have any recommendations on how to mitigate the next year and a half? Is there some way to trick myself into thinking that I don't have braces?
Future Metal Mouth
Well, I've never had braces. If you've ever seen my teeth, this probably comes as no surprise. So any advice I could muster would come from "book-learnin'" rather than actual experience. Here are a couple of web sites I've found with information for adults with braces:
But lemme think...I saw a young woman about my age at a party recently, and I first thought to myself: "She's very tall and kind of oddly young-looking." And I thought and I thought, and she left the room and then came back and I finally realized she had braces. It took me a really long time to notice! It usually does. I don't know who has toupees and who doesn't. I would also have no idea if people had certain kinds of plastic surgery. So there's my first point: people won't notice as much as you think. I think that goes for both genders.
Second, if you're starting professional school soon (do you mean law school?) it must have been a long time since you were in middle school and thus it's been a long time since you last had braces. Have you thought about how advances in orthodontic technology might make it an easier go this time around?
Also, grown-ups aren't as cruel as middle schoolers. When I really think about it, I really love being an adult. Most adults are pretty decent to each other, even if they don't really like each other. Plus you can choose who you want to associate with.
I guess I'm focusing on your subjective impressions of what it will be like having braces again because it sounds like you don't have a choice in the matter and thus don't have a choice as far as the physical effects and limitations go.
So think about this: a kid in middle school in 1992 with braces may be a "metal mouth". But there is every reason to believe that an adult professional student with braces in 2004 will not be a "metal mouth" in any significant sense of the term.