I Owe My Smile to Dr. B
When I was in grade 8, like so many other kids, I got braces. Thankfully I didn’t have braces for very long, but I didn’t love the experience. I don’t think anyone does.
Weekly trips to the office to sit and have the metal fiddled with, a bit of soreness for a day or so, and repeat.
I didn’t love how I looked in braces.
I missed eating my favorite foods, like apples and popcorn, and I felt self-conscious.
Now as a pediatrician, I see kids feeling the same way today.
But you know what? I am SO glad I got them.
My teeth are straight, and they align well (that was the biggest issue for me, my top and bottom jaws didn’t align well), and I can eat all my favorite foods. It may have seemed like a nuisance but was worth it.
I remember my year in braces well.
Every week or two I would trek over to the orthodontist’s office, sometimes even walking from school on my own (this was a HUGE deal for me that year, going myself to an appointment felt very ‘big kid’), and I would sit in one of the four chairs placed in a circle, and wait for the orthodontist.
Dr. B would check each kid, one by one, make adjustments, and make us laugh.
We were all so close together, you could hear the jokes he told the kid right next to you. And then he would tell the same joke to you, as though you hadn’t just heard it. It was so silly that it was funny.
And this is how I spent every Wednesday or two, for a year.
As a pediatrician now
As a pediatrician now, I realize how incredibly talented Dr. B was.
He was an expert, and spent years in school honing his expertise long after dentists have graduated.
In my field of pediatrics, we not only go to medical school, but also spend 4 years studying pediatrics, and then, in my case, I spent another 2 years focused solely on emergency medicine.
Orthodontists are the same.
After becoming dentists, they become even more specialized, and experts in correcting bites, occlusion, and how the teeth come together. That’s some impressive knowledge!
I know how challenging it can be to ensure I see patients every week when needed, but he was always there for me to provide care, advice, and checkups to ensure the best possible results.
He saw almost all the kids in my community. He was the ONE orthodontist everyone knew, he had thousands of patients and he was a master.
And now, my teeth look pretty darn nice because of his care.
Now, as I am looking for an orthodontist for my 9-year-old (boy that happened far sooner than I was expecting!), I am learning that the landscape has changed!
Did you know that virtual helpers, apps, and artificial intelligence options are being pitched as options instead of an orthodontist?
No thank you.
I can’t imagine replacing generations of practice, years of learning and expertise with algorithms or AI. A real orthodontist is for me.
I hope I can find one as great as Dr. B for my kids!