Sitting across from my new orthodontist I stared in horror at the skeletal structure of my jaw and head. I never thought I’d see my skull in this much detail before I became extinct. I mean, really, what was that all about? Why did the guy have to take so many photos of my head and then slap them up on the wall for all to see? Well, even if it was just my mom and I in the room. Sheesh, I felt exposed.
And, then all of a sudden, I saw it. This slanted shadow jutting out from under my upper lip (in the x-ray, I mean). The orthodontist took out his best pointing pen, tapped on the film with all deliberateness, and said, “That one’s impacted. Is your left canine tooth loose?”
I stared back, my eyes glazing over. I couldn’t breathe. Instinctively, I reached up to feel the last hold-out of my childhood teeth. “No,” I replied weakly. Good grief, I thought to myself, I was fourteen and still had baby teeth. What would my friends think if they knew?
“Well, it’s gonna have to come out and soon; at least before we put your braces on.”
My stomach churned. My hands broke out in a cold sweat. With Christmas just two weeks away, all I could pray for was a miracle and not one that came in the form of a gaping hole in my head. No, all I wanted for Christmas were two front teeth (one for the tooth fairy and another for me). Phew.