At Namine’s dentist appointment, it was time to switch out the colored rubber bands which serve to straighten out her teeth. Namine had chosen red to go with her planned Halloween costume. She had intended to go as a zombie at least once, but due to time and weather constraints, she ended up going as a cat and a crazy cat lady. (I didn’t even think about how the two costumes coincided at the time. It’s funny how these things work.)
Prior to the appointment, Namine had said that she wanted to pick a new color. She was leaning toward orange, since it’s autumn — although you’d never know it with all that Wisconsin snow on the ground — but she changed her mind at the last minute. (As my mom likes to say, it’s a woman’s prerogative!)
The new color Namine picked is gold. That’s what the dental hygienist said, anyway. It’s more of a pale yellow color (as far as I know, since I am color blind), but she still preferred it over the other color options.
I must confess, I stuck my foot in my mouth a bit. When Namine announced that she picked gold as her new braces color, I said unthinkingly, “So you’re going to get a grill?”
Namine asked, “What’s a grill?” (Of course she knows what a grill for cooking is, but she also understands context. In this context, that of having braces, the term “grill” meant nothing.)
I honestly did not know what to say. Sensing my hesitation like a hunter stalking a deer, the dental hygienist piped up, “Yeah Dad, what’s a grill?”
I still was at a loss. “Some… people… have metal covering their teeth so they look shiny. It’s usually gold or silver. They call that a grill,” I said.
“Oh,” replied Namine, “then yes. I’m going to get a grill!”
What have I done?
After the rubber bands were in place, the dentist had one more thing to discuss with us. Now that Namine’s teeth are much straighter — not done, not yet, but improved — it is now time to adjust her bite, as well. To that end, she has to wear a rubber band hooked from a bottom brace to a top one.
After the dentist demonstrated to us how to hook the rubber band into place, Namine expressed her dislike. “It makes it hard to talk,” she said. I wondered if it would cause her to talk less, especially given her penchant for using sign language. So far, it has not — and she was reassured with the knowledge that she would get used to it. (I can speak from experience, having had to deal with both braces and those rubber bands.)