Grace’s Braces

I have a pair of brown Mootsies Tootsies. I love those casual pumps. They look good with my French Trench.

Over the weekend in the Twin Cities, I met a guy who plays guitar with Dr. Mambo’s Combo.

While cruising with our teen granddaughter on Lexington Avenue, we heard Little Richard sing, “Tutti Frutti.” Amelia was so amused by the 1955 hit and its opening cry of, “a-womp-bomp-a-loom-op-a-womp-bam-boom,” that she sniggered all the way through the song.

Some people say Paco’s Tacos is the best Mexican restaurant ever and last week the Herald ran a story about the aggie baggie, a farmer’s solution for the grain storage problem.

In some parts of the country there’s a cleaning company called Sweaty Betty and a clothing store known as Passion for Fashion.

Since we’re on a roll with the rhymes, let’s do one more. Today I want to tell you about:

Grace’s Braces.

Like Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, they’re red and yellow and green and brown and scarlet and black and ochre and peach and ruby and olive and violet and fawn and lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve and cream and crimson and silver and rose and azure and lemon and russet and grey and purple and white and pink and orange.

And, blue.

Grace, 12, in the photo above, is our second granddaughter. She’s a Ruby Girl like me because she, too, has a July birthday. The violin on the wall beside her belonged to her great grandfather. On Christmas Eve, he played, “Silent Night,” on it in church.

Grace is a violinist, too.

About six weeks ago, Grace got braces.

I recall that a few years back, she was a little put out by all the attention her older sister received when she got braces. Now it’s Grace’s turn to be pampered.

For starters, four teeth had to come out of Grace’s mouth so there’d be room for the braces to move the others where they need to be. She was sent to dream land just before two top teeth and two bottom teeth were pulled.

Grace recalls that day. “The main doctor was really serious,” she said, “like really into it and telling us, ‘this is what could happen to you.’ But the two nurses were really, really nice. It took six minutes to get them out and it was sore afterwards.” 

Next came “spacers,” Grace tells me. “hey put spacers in between your teeth, these little blue things that make space for the wires to go in between. Then you wait about two weeks because after the spacers you have to put the bands on. The bands are silver things that go around the back. But one of my spacers wasn’t put in right so they had to fix that and keep that one in there for another week. Then in two weeks I got my braces on.” 

The day the braces went on, I received a short and sweet text message from Grace. It read: “Pray for me. I can’t even tell you how it feels.” 

I took that to mean it was pretty unpleasant and I did pray for her.

“It was really weird,” Grace says now. “When I first was brushing my teeth, it felt like I wasn’t brushing my teeth but my braces. The braces feel like they are sticking out an inch. But it’s not that bad when you are a week into it. The first week you can’t bite anything with your front teeth and if you eat something really crunchy, like chips, a wire could come out. That’s happened twice but you can put them back in yourself so that’s not a problem.”

This Ruby Grandma thinks the one who came up with the idea of Technicolor braces was pretty insightful. Color makes them fun to wear because you can match your shirt with your braces.

“You get to switch the colors around,” Grace said. “Right now I have yellow and orange, fall colors. I’ll change them the next time I go in, probably pink and blue or blue and green.” 

And so, as with all things, the passage of time is the key.

“Let’s see,” Grace said. “It feels like I’ve had my braces for years already. I like the colors. I like that they’re straightening my teeth already. I dislike having to remember to put on rubber bands. I dislike how my orthodontist has to crank on them every five weeks. It’s hard at first to eat with braces, but after about three or four weeks they start to not hurt.” 

Does Grace have any advice for other kids who are facing this part of growing up? Indeed she does. It’s this:

“Brace Yourself.” 

Until Soon

1 Response

  1. I hope Grace keeps some wax on hand. I HATED braces. If she thinks they are bad now, wait till the rubbing of the braces starts giving her cheek and lip sores. (Hence the need for wax). She has my sympathy.

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