I thought I was just going in for a consultation when I went for my appointment with the orthodontist this morning.
I had seen the orthodontist before and he had talked about braces then, but the last time I talked to my dentist about getting my teeth straightened we were still planning to go down the Clearstep route. I knew that plan would have to change — Clearstep have gone into administration since that last chat — so I was expecting to just discuss the options.
He was expecting to fit top and bottom braces.
This did not help my anxiety levels. I do not react well to unexpected events.
A few controlled breaths and some rapid rationalisation and I agreed to have one of the braces fitted to give me a chance to adjust to wearing them.
With great (Austrian apparently, though he sounds stereotypically German) efficiency, he fixed the brace in place. And that’s when the anxiety washed over me; the nurse was quite concerned at how white I had gone, but she was really good and kept chatting to me until I got a handle on things again.
I know it needs doing: the anxiety leads to clenching problems and my bite isn’t as good as it could be, the overlap on some teeth makes it hard to keep them shiny clean and, a long way behind in last place, being straighter will make them look nicer. I just wish I’d known it was going to happen before it did.