When I was 29 years old, I was sentenced to 18 months of orthodontic appliances.
I didn’t need braces for cosmetic purposes. I’ve always been blessed with straight teeth. However, I’ve suffered from Bruxism since I was a teenager. Bruxism is a fancy word for teeth grinding. Say it with me now: bruk-siz-um.
But I didn’t just casually grind my teeth while I slept. No, I practically ate them. I chomped on those SOBs like they were Peanut M&Ms.
My teeth were so worn down from the constant grinding that my jaw became misaligned, it hurt, and my teeth began to shift around all crazy. The only solution was to wear braces.
Adult braces. The horror.
While I wore those braces, I had to visit my orthodontist every six weeks. But I didn’t really mind all of those visits because my orthodontist was HOT. Say it with me now: HOT.
I mean, if eyes and a forehead can make a person hot.
I never saw his face. When I had my initial consultation, I had seen a different orthodontist. But that guy transferred somewhere or another, and this fine piece of forehead took charge of correcting my bite.
I never saw his face during any of my appointments because he always wore one of those mask thingies. He also hovered over me upside down while I lay in the dental chair, but from what I could tell, he was rockin.
Stars shone in his big, beautiful, blue eyes. His hair was soft and brown and smelled of Pantene Pro-V. I could even smell his breath through the mask, and it was sweet like honeysuckle.
And his voice! Oh, his voice could charm the lock off of a chastity belt. His southern drawl reminded me of Matthew McConaughey’s sexy inflection. Anything that reminds me of Matthew McConaughey is alright in my book.
I wanted to wrap my hands around his neck and pull his face down to mine so we could share one of those weird upside down kisses like Spiderman and M.J.
Except I was married and stuff.
Plus I had braces. Brace kissing isn’t a turn on for anyone.
I know. I once kissed a kid with braces. My gums hurt for three days, and I felt as if I’d done something terribly wrong.
Anyway, I looked forward to our visits every six weeks. And during that time, he was always covered with the white mask. I just focused on those beautiful starry eyes and the soft scented brown hair and the sweet drawl and smell of flowers that escaped through the mask.
The day came for the braces to be removed. There he was, hovered over me, as adorable as ever. It was a bittersweet moment. I would finally be free of archwires and the embarassment of donning metal on my 30 year old teeth, but I would miss those gorgeous starry pupils.
“Fantastic!” he exclaimed, removing the last bracket. “You are officially debraced, and you look wonderful.”
I blushed at such kind words in such a beautiul tone, slipping from what I could imagine were sweet pink lips.
I sat up in the chair, looked at my corrected smile in the mirror, and I turned to thank him.
Oh, the horror! The disappointment! The letdown! The oddly shaped nose! The weird lip! The haphazard beard and random pieces of pube-like hair protruding from his cheeks. My orthodontist wasn’t hot at all.
And this doesn’t mean I’m shallow. It just means that he was not aesthetically pleasing, bless his heart.
I absorbed the unpleasantness and tried not to look horrified. I also tried not to scream, “For God sakes, man! Put the mask back on!”
I smiled, thanked him, and then I ran like hell to the parking lot.
I’ve been debraced for four months, and yet sometimes when I dream, I see the attractive masked figure. We run through a field of cattails, hand in hand. We laugh as butterflies surround us, Carly Simon sings softly in the distance. We embrace one another and fall to the plush green grass, and then the mask gets caught on a twig and slips from his face.
I sit up in the bed, screaming with terror. I run my tongue across my smooth teeth, and I try to go back to sleep.