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On the subject of braces
I was at the dentist Saturday morning and one of the reoccurring questions I always get is “did you have braces?” They ask for 3 reasons, there are 4 permanent molars missing from my mouth, my teeth are fantastically crooked, and the dentist wants to increase their bottom line.

The hygienist didn’t fail me as she perkily asked away while she was looking in my mouth. {Heavy sigh.} The answer that question is yes, I had braces as a teenager, I had them on for longer than any fashion statement should be worn (7 years!), and buy cheap canada goose lodge vest is generally not a pleasant buy cheap canada goose lodge vest I like to remember. But, every six months buy cheap canada goose lodge vest gets thrown back in my face because the dentist has trained his hygienists to up-sell the hell out of that service. Though, on a side note, I’ve never been asked about teeth whitening, and good goodness I could benefit from that up-sell and I could maybe fit it into my budget, so I have no idea why they’re keeping that gem away from me.

I got my bright and shiny braces on when I was 13, in 8th grade. I demanded to have them removed from my teeth when I was 19, a sophomore in college. I think I was the test-dummy at my dentist’s office. No, really. I say this because my sister who is 2 years younger than me got her braces on after me, when I was 15 and she was 13. And, then had them removed about 3 years later when I was 18 and she was 16. WAY before me, and no demands had to be made on her behalf. We had the same crowded little mouths, but the dentist took two completely different approaches to our orthodontic alignment procedures. Guess who got the short end of the stick.

Fast forward 25 years later and my bottom four front teeth are still a jumble and up on the top I have some gaps and a slight over bite. Hence the question I get asked every time I am at the dentist’s office. After I try not to roll my eyes (I’m a professional at this, ask anyone) and answer the question “yes I have had braces, it’s a long story, I don’t have any money, so unless it’s free…” I get the same response every time “oh, Invisalign only takes a couple of years and it’s only $150(ish)/month.” (What part of that does she think is free?)

Now, I know they’re just doing their jobs, and have no idea of our financial situation, but it just gets depressing and exhausting after a while. I mean, can’t they put a note in my folder? Like “if you up-sell this woman one more time she will spontaneously combust.” Or, “DANGER, don’t up-sell this woman, you’ve been warned!”

Sometimes I just shut up and let them do the job I’m there for – the free (with insurance that’s not-so-free) teeth cleaning. But, sometimes, I start to mention that we did pay full price out of pocket, because our insurance doesn’t cover orthodontics, for my daughter’s braces and then again for my son’s braces – which are still attached to his teeth, so we’re still paying our monthly bills for that. And, that we went to the orthodontist that their office recommended to us, so I’m sure they got their nice little kick-back from that, too (no, I don’t say that out loud, but it’s definitely happening in my inner monologue). And usually with that chunk of information they clam up and get down to the business of cleaning my teeth, because they’re obviously not going to offer to help pay for my kid’s orthodontics, let alone the Invisalign they want me to invest in.

Oh, and this visit also brought the comment “your teeth still have mamelons, you must be really laid