Braces of Life

My daughter finally got her braces off this week!  She was extremely excited for the unveiling of her new set of pearly whites!  I was excited because of her excitement.  She couldn’t wait to eat certain foods again and most of all she was thrilled not to have food stuck in her teeth after every meal.

As the dental assistant quickly removed the braces to show us her new straightened teeth, I was amazed at the quick transition.  In two years, these two little wires moved things around precisely to have every incisor, canine, premolar and molar tooth perfectly positioned.  I never had braces myself so this process totally awed me!

I couldn’t understand the anguish and pain that my daughter was going through during these two years of braces because I never got to experience this myself.  I did see her having to take Advil after they got adjusted or after she had to wear new elastics.  I hated that my daughter had to be exposed to this needless pain just to have straight teeth, but it is something that she wanted and something that would serve her well for the rest of her life.  This pain, was just something she had to go through and there was nothing I could do to change that!

As I spend more time myself making my trips around the sun each year, I am realizing so much!  I find my children supply me with a great amount of wisdom.  Through this braces experience, and as my children age and are faced with some adult decisions and trials, I’m realizing that we are really all put on this earth to have our braces put on our teeth of life so that we can be straightened out.

We are all faced with getting our braces tightened every day.  We have challenges face us daily.  Some people are faced with more than others, but we are all being slowly shuffled around in our mouths of life so that over time we are straightened out to the place in our mouths where we belong.  A perfect smile of life.

My daughter was lucky.  She didn’t have her braces on for the expected two years.  That is because she was obsessive about the directions that the orthodontist gave her.  She made sure that she wore her elastics when she was supposed to.  If a brace broke she was at me to make an appointment and get it fixed immediately.

My son on the other hand was a total different story.  He never wore his elastics as directed by the orthodontist.  When I would encourage him to follow orders, he would remind me that it wasn’t him that wanted these braces it was me, and didn’t care if he ever got them off.  His attitude with this mouth full of metal was totally different than my daughter’s.  Due to his neglect, he had his braces on much longer than was expected.  Geeze.  I have an athlete I coach that has to have her braces on for five years because her jaw, teeth and bite are so messed up.

We are all going to have a different experience here on Earth, just like all children have a different experience with their journey in braces.  We can be like my daughter and be diligent about every little thing the orthodontist tells her so that her experience with this mouthful of metal is as painless as possible or we can be like my son, and not care about what happens to us and not learn from the wisdom of those who are directing our steps.

This is totally up to the individual.  Either way, we are going to come in to contact with these metal wires in our lifetime.  What we choose to do about them is our free will.  .  Just like I hated that my daughter was exposed to this needless pain of braces, it is hard to watch our children or any loved one experience the other pains of life.   We are all experiencing peer pressure, bullies, broken hearts, failures, and disappointments and this is hard to watch when it is someone you deeply love.  Especially our own flesh and blood.  If you are anything like me, you just want to just fix things for them, but you have to understand that that doesn’t teach them the strategies of life.  It is the person going through the turmoil that has to make the adjustments, and do the work themselves.  Parents can only be like the orthodontist and give them suggestions on what they can do to help this process move along faster.  Whether they listen to us or not is then their choice.  They have to make the effort to take direction and move forward.

If I can teach anything to my children or any loved one, as they are going through their painful time of  life’s braces and straightening out their moral compass of life it would be a quote from William Shakespeare, “Forget what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you.”

We are all going to experience the pain of having our “braces of life” on, but it is all part of our straightening out process for our souls.  Use your pain for your good.  Don’t forget the pain, but forgive the situation and learn from what it teaches you.  Try not to make the same mistake again.  If you do repeat the process.  Forget.  Forgive.  Learn.  And most importantly move on.  Eventually, whether it takes you a lifetime of braces or just a few years, you will eventually have the most beautiful and straightest smile of your life!

We all deserve this, but only you can make it happen!