Don't Try This At Home

The summer before my sophomore year of high school, the dentist referred me to an orthodontist. The orthodontist glued brackets to my bent teeth and promised they would be off in about two years. What was two years ended up being three, and during those three years, my mouth was stabbed repeatedly by shifting wire. I would smash wax against my back teeth to stop the protruding wire from jabbing my cheeks, but the saliva would make it fall off. 

The orthodontist told me that if the wire ever got bad to come in,no appointment necessary, to have it trimmed. But these things never happen when it is convenient for your schedule. So one day I had the tiny rapier poking the back of my mouth right as the orthodontist office closed for the weekend. Daddy always (halfway) joked with me about if it bothered me so much to grab the pliers and cut it off myself. 

That day I had enough. I pushed aside the Yellowbook and pads of paper until I found the pliers in the miscellaneous drawer. I soaked them in generic brand rubbing alcohol for a few minutes in a floral Dixie cup, rinsed it off, stretched the side of my mouth with my finger, and positioned the pliers on the tiny piece of wire that strayed from the brackets. I clamped down on the handle and I heard a tiny snap and recovered the small silver piece.

I always liked DIY projects. 

Gretchen writes for Quail Bell Magazine, aspires to one day be an English teacher and writer, but now thinks she could get away with being an orthodontist on the side, and she doesn't charge a copay. You can see more of her adventures on her website: