It was one of those days where Lucy just didn’t want to get out of bed. Lucy had plenty of those days but today was slightly different - this was the day of Lucy’s six monthly check-up at the dentist. Lucy hated going to the dentist, as she had gotten older she had developed a mild phobia about dental visits. She had little to worry about - her teeth were in pretty good shape and at 27 years of age she only had one filling. She lay there contemplating what lay ahead for her - the only plus point about going to the dentist today was that she didn’t have to get up early and go to work. Her appointment was at 10.00am and she figured she would have a lie-in. However, with her worries about her impending appointment she had not slept well and had woken early. She had woken early and lay there contemplating her dental appointment. It was 8.00am and her boyfriend, Simon, had already left for work giving her a kiss on the cheek, wishing her luck as he left. “Hey, good luck with your dentist appointment and don’t forget it’s the new dentist in the courtyard just off the High Street,” he said as he left and then popping his head back around the bedroom door he added almost as an afterthought “I really look forward to seeing you later”. This last comment momentarily puzzled Lucy but then she let is go as a loving touch from her boyfriend. Their old dentist had retired and closed his practice earlier in the year and they had both joined a new dentist who had set up in town a few months ago. Simon had been to the new dentist 2 weeks ago and came back full of praise about Dr Kessler and the surgery. Of course it would have been a different story if he have had to have any treatment Lucy thought. She decided to get up and face the day; peering through a gap in the curtains she noticed it was a lovely
sunny day outside. Normally the sun made Lucy happy but any happiness was halted by the mounting trepidation of her impending trip to the dentist. She went to the bathroom, showered and came back put on her make up and brushed her shoulder-length blonde hair in front of her dressing table mirror. Peering into the mirror she pulled her full red-lipsticked lips back and smiled a wide smile showing all her teeth. They were bright and even and she leaned closer to the mirror to examine them. No problems there she thought and suddenly her confidence was lifted as she continued readying herself for the day ahead. She put on a tight white tee shirt, short black skirt and black stockings. Not too casual but not too formal either she decided as she pulled the stockings up her long tanned legs. Her appointment was at 10.00 and all being well she would be in and out by 10.15. She wasn’t due to be at work until 1.30pm, so she figured she had the rest of the morning to go shopping and get those new shoes
she had seen in the shop last week. The thought of spending the remainder of the morning shopping cheered her up and she momentarily forget about the dental check-up. She went over to her cupboard and picked out her high-heeled black leather bar shoes. She slipped her left foot into the tight leather shoe and pulled the bar strap across her foot through the buckle, pulling it tight before locking it in position. She did the same with right foot and then put her feet together and making sure her shoes were clean. She had one last look at herself in the wall length mirror - she looked stunning with her long tall legs perched on high heels disappearing under a thigh length skirt. She adjusted her hair, smiled to the mirror and went down stairs to get some breakfast. She made some coffee while listening to the radio and ate half a banana - she didn’t feel much like eating and her earlier nervousness had returned. She glanced at the clock on the wall - it was 9.15. “Okay lets gets this over with - its only twice a year” She left the house knowing that she was going to be at the dentists early. It was only a ten-minute drive into town but she wanted to get this minor ordeal out of the way so she could get on with the remainder of the day. She pulled her silver coupe into the dental surgery car park and now she was feeling really nervous. She parked and sat in her car for a few minutes listening to the radio but she couldn’t concentrate and decided to get in the surgery early - if she got in early perhaps she could be done early and she could get to the shops sooner. She walked nervously up to the surgery her heels tapping on the ground as she walked slowing across the paving slaps. She walked into the surgery noticing that there was no one in the waiting area. It was a brand new surgery and it looked very modern. It was sparsely but tastefully decorated with elegant furniture and a few modern paintings on the walls. At the reception desk was cheerful looking woman in her mid-forties who smiled at Lucy as she approached. Lucy managed a nervous half-smile back. “Hi, Lucy Stevens to see Dr Kessler” she said quietly. “Take a seat Miss Stevens and Dr Kessler will be with you shortly. His previous patient cancelled their appointment so he shouldn’t be too long” said the receptionist. “Thanks, the sooner I get in the sooner I can get out,” said Lucy with a nervous smile. She walked over to the waiting area and took a seat near a pile of magazines. The magazines were all recent and not the usual well thumbed copies that are usually found in surgery waiting areas. Lucy picked up a copy of Vogue and started to flick through it, but she found she couldn’t concentrate what with appointment becoming ever closer. Just as she was putting the magazine down the surgery doors opened and into the waiting area walked a young dental nurse - she was tall with light brown hair tied back in a pony tail and wearing the customary white uniform. She walked across to Lucy. “Miss Stevens?” she smiled. As she smiled she revealed braces on her upper teeth, small metal brackets and wires glinting in the light. She must be brave, thought Lucy, wearing braces at her age. Lucy guessed the age of the dental assistant was around 22 and thought it was unusual to see someone of her age with braces. Particularly someone who appeared very attractive and besides, Lucy couldn’t see much wrong with her smile even though it was partially obscured by metal. She got up and followed the dental assistant through the doors and into a small corridor. She was then led into the dental surgery itself where there was the usual dentists chair and equipment. As with the waiting area the surgery was very light and airy and certainly made her feel more at ease. “Take a seat and Dr Kessler will be with you in just a minute” Lucy walked over and sat on the dental couch, her long legs stretching out in front of her. The dental assistant placed a plastic bib on Lucy and then went to the side of the room where she looked like she was mixing up something in a small bowl. Lucy sat there for about a minute but it seemed like an eternity before Dr Kessler walked in. He was a middle-aged man of about 50 with greying hair and glasses. He had a serious look on his face as he walked over and sat on his chair next to Lucy. “Now then Miss Stevens lets take a look at you,” Dr Kessler said as he pressed a button on the side of the chair that made it and Lucy recline. He brought the light over and pointed it in her face. “I have your records from your previous dentist and it would appear your teeth are in excellent shape so this shouldn’t take too long. Open up and we’ll take a look” Lucy spent the next 30 minutes with her mouth open as the dentist probed and checked every conceivable part of her mouth. He then took some x-rays and even some impressions (The gooey impression material was what the assistant had been mixing up). This surprised Lucy but she figured he was just being thorough as it was her first appointment so was not unduly concerned. Finally she was able to close her mouth and the dentist got up. The nurse who had been out of the room walked over and showed him what appeared to be the x-rays. The dentist studied them carefully before coming back towards Lucy. “It would appear that there is a small cavity starting to form on one of your lower molars. It’s a good job we have can treat it now before it becomes too serious ”Lucy looked shocked and slightly concerned. Her heart began to pump fast. “Don’t worry it won’t take long and I’ll give you some gas so you won’t feel a thing. I see from your records that you are nervous about dental treatment but this gas will make you relax. Lie back for me and we will get this little job done for you. ”Lucy felt sick inside and wanted to leave but she had no choice but to lie back and accept what was coming to her. Her chair was reclined once more and the assistant brought the gas mask up to her face. Lucy could smell a sweet smell and suddenly she seemed to loose the feeling in her body. Worryingly though she still
seemed to have full senses in her face and mouth. She bit her tongue and could feel her teeth. She wanted to say something but the mask was strapped to her head. Meanwhile Dr Kessler and the assistant were to the side of the room making reparations. Dr Kessler walked back towards the couch and sat down next to Lucy. “Now then, it’s time for me to come clean” he said. “There is in fact nothing wrong with your teeth and you don’t have any cavities. So there will be no fillings for you today” Lucy looked relieved and thought that he must have had made a mistake when looking at the x-rays. “In fact your teeth are in generally excellent shape. However, they are a little crooked and you do have a slight overbite that needs some work. Your smile would be much better if these problems were rectified don’t you think?
I have therefore decided that you would benefit from some orthodontic treatment.” Lucy looked horrified and she tried to say something but she couldn’t speak with the mask still strapped tightly to her face. She was having trouble comprehending what Dr Kessler was saying and the gas clouding her head wasn’t helping matters. “Actually the need for your orthodontic treatment was more of a joint decision...your boyfriend, Simon, came to see me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I could work on your smile. He thought it was about time you learnt some discipline and at the same time correct the imperfections in your teeth. He therefore asked me to put you in braces...you see you need a lot a discipline when you are fitted with braces.” Lucy’s eyes widened in horror as she stared at Dr Kessler. “Yes, that’s right I’m going to fit braces on your teeth and I’m afraid that you have little say in the matter.” Lucy was totally shocked. “When your boyfriend asked me I said that I needed to examine you first but now that I have seen you I can certainly see a need for you to be put in braces. You are very pretty but you could be so much more attractive with straight teeth. Simon is paying me for your treatment and he had asked that I carry out whatever treatment is necessary. In fact he has specifically asked that your braces be made as complicated as possible, so no ceramic braces for you I will be fitting you with standard metal ones!! You will be getting fixed upper and lower metal braces with bands on your rear teeth and brackets on the front” “Naturally we knew you would never willingly agree to be put in braces thus my act with the cavity and the gas.
The gas has temporarily paralysed your arms and legs but the nerves in your face and mouth are unaffected so you will be able to fully experience the fitting of your braces” Lucy tried to move but found that Dr Kessler was right and she could not move from the chair. She stared at him half in anger half in horror. Again she tried to say something but found her speech blocked by the mask. “Now if you stay calm Miss Stevens, I will remove the mask and ask you to open your mouth for me so that we can begin the process of fitting your braces. Debbie can you bring the equipment over for me?” The Dr removed the gas mask from Lucy’s face. She didn’t open her mouth but she was in such a state of shock that she had little resistance to her mouth being forced open by the Dr Kessler’s fingers. As he opened her mouth he inserted a thick rubber wedge between the back teeth on the left hand side. He did the same on the right hand side so that Lucy’s mouth was now wedged wide open. Through the gas haze Lucy had partly regained her senses and gargled in protest but before she could make too much noise a large plastic device was put into her mouth behind her lips. The device stretched Lucy’s pretty pink lips to expose all of her teeth. “OK, now we are ready to begin. I’m sure you would like to know what I am fitting in your mouth so I will try to explain as we go along” Debbie, the young braced dental assistant, wheeled a pedestal over to Dr Kessler and then sat on a chair to the side of him. Lucy looked to her side at the pedestal and saw a stainless steel tray holding a whole multitude of evil looking equipment. On the tray there were several sets of pliers, some small hammers, metal probes, wires and other metallic apparatus. Also on the tray was a plaster model of some teeth that she assumed were hers that had been taken from the earlier impressions. Tears began to well up in Lucy’s eyes and she didn’t know whether she wanted to be angry or frightened. Debbie cleaned Lucy’s teeth with a high-pressure water washer, and then meticulously dried each one with a gentle blast of air from a small metal tube. She smiled her metallic smile at Lucy as she was working. “Don’t worry the Doctor is an expert in orthodontics and is a pioneer of revolutionary treatment” said Debbie after noticing the tears in Lucy’s eyes. “He will be very careful with your teeth, you see I speak from experience,” she said pointing to the metal in her mouth. Dr Kessler reappeared at the side of Lucy. “Can you please hand me the first of the metal bands and the band driver please Debbie?” he said. “The first process is to fit these metal bands onto your molars,” he said showing Lucy the small shiny band. “The tube here at the side is where the wire is anchored and these hooks at the side of the tube is where I will add some attachments later. Normally I would have created gaps between your molars with spacers to make it easier to fit the bands but as you are a special patient I have not been able to do that. It will therefore be slight more difficult than normal to fit these and you will have to bear with me.” The first band was slotted over Lucy’s first upper molar and checked for size. It was then taken out of her mouth and filled with a resin. It was placed over her molar once more and then Dr Kessler began to tap it into position with a small hammer. Each tap resonated through Lucy’s head as slowly the band was forced over her tooth. The further the band got over the tooth the greater the resistance and the Doctor had to tap harder to move the band over the tooth. Lucy could feel every tap and the pain increased. Finally the steel band was seated over the tooth and Lucy could feel its edges digging into her gum. He did the same to the second upper molar and then fitted two more bands over the same molars on the other side of Lucy’s mouth. He then worked on her lower teeth fitting four more bands on the lower molars, two on each side. The tortuous process of wedging the metal bands on to Lucy’s teeth had taken a little under an hour and already her mouth was beginning to ache as she could feel the bands uncomfortably wedged between her back teeth. “That’s the banding finished. In the old days all of your teeth would have been banded but now we use these metal brackets, which are much easier to work with. I will now start gluing brackets to each of your remaining teeth,” said Doctor Kessler holding a small shiny square metal bracket between his fingers showing Lucy what was coming next. Debbie the assistant once again dried Lucy’s teeth with a blast of air and then began to apply a substance that felt as if the enamel was being scraped away from her teeth. She then applied the glue that would hold the brackets firmly on Lucy’s teeth. Once the glue had been applied to each tooth Dr Kessler began
to attach the brackets. He worked at the upper jaw first placing each bracket with a small pair of pliers and then meticulously manoeuvring it into the correct position with a small pointed probe. It took about 45 minutes to complete the upper teeth and he then repeated the process with the lower teeth until finally all of Lucy’s teeth were fitted with the square metal brackets. An ultraviolet light was shone into Lucy’s mouth and this she was told would harden the glue so that the brackets would be fixed firmly to her teeth and could not be removed without a special releasing agent. “Now I’m going to remove the wedges and lip spreader from your mouth so you will be able to relax for a few minutes. You may want to rinse your mouth to get rid of the taste of the bonding glue” As the lip spreader was removed from her mouth Lucy’s lips slowly returned to their normal position, although her top lip got stuck on the neat row of brackets on her upper teeth. She could now feel the cold steel brackets behind her lips and they felt very large and sharp on the soft skin of her mouth. She felt around her mouth with her tongue, feeling first the smooth inside of the metal bands on her molars. She then ran her tongue slowly around her upper teeth from the sharp edges of the outside of the molar bands to the equally sharp brackets on each tooth. What has happened to my mouth thought Lucy. I can’t live with this all this metal. She desperately wanted to look in a mirror to see what the Dr had created in her mouth but there was none within reach. She found that movement had now returned to her body and she sat up to rinse her mouth with the water fountain next to the chair. She was glad to swill some water around her mouth to get rid of the bitter taste of the cement. Lucy turned scowled at the Doctor venting her full anger “What have you done to my mouth, I can’t wear braces, I’m 27 years old, what will people say?” She had trouble speaking not only because her mouth was dry but because of the new obstructions in her mouth. “I can’t go around with all this metal in my mouth - please take these braces off immediately - there must be some mistake here!!” “There is no mistake I can assure you of that. I’m afraid that you have no choice but
to be put in braces. I have a contract with your boyfriend that I must fulfil and that means you have been signed over to me for orthodontic treatment. I will use whatever orthodontic methods I need to straighten your teeth to give you a perfect smile. I don’t care whether you are 27 or 57, age doesn’t come into it – plenty of adults wear braces these days” “But I don’t need orthodontic treatment, my teeth are fine, remove these things immediately so I can leave and find another dentist who will treat me properly.” She said pointing to the metal in her mouth. “I cannot let
you leave my office until you have had the full braces fitted. I have instructions that you are not to leave here until you have been put in braces and I can use what ever method I feel appropriate to carry out the treatment - including heavy sedation if you do not wish to comply.” “Please!!” Lucy begged “There must be a mistake -
surely you don’t have the right person” As she spoke she found that her lips get getting caught on the sharp edged brackets that were fixed firmly to her teeth. “I assure you that you are the right person, Lucy - look I can show you the contract I have with Simon” He picked up a piece of paper from the tray and gave it to Lucy. As she read the contract tears welled up in her eyes - it was true - the Doctor had a contract with Simon to put her in braces and she had absolutely no say in the matter. But why was Simon doing this to me she thought. “You can’t hold me here” Lucy sobbed, “I’m leaving and finding someone to take this crap off my teeth”. She got up off the couch and was about to stride towards the door when the Doctor pulled a large long needle from his pocket. “If you try to escape I will sedate you with this needle - that will render you unconscious for several hours and I will complete the fitting anyway – who knows I may just decide to replace those brackets with more of those painful metal bands!!” Lucy looked at the needle and, not being too fond of injections, decided against making a run for it and slowly climbed back into the chair. Tears now ran down her cheeks as she sat waiting for the rest of her braces to
be fitted. “I’m so glad that you have decided to comply now Miss Stevens please open your mouth for me and I will continue with your braces” Lucy once again reluctantly opened her mouth only for it to be filled with the rubber wedges and the horrible lip spreader that stretched her lips away from her teeth. “I’m now going to put the arch
wires into your braces - these are the wires that will move your teeth into the ideal position”. He held up a U-shaped wire so that Lucy could see what would be going into her mouth next. As he held it in front of her face Lucy noticed that there were some complicated bends in the wire as well as what looked like small hooks. Dr Kessler pushed the wire into Lucy’s mouth and onto her upper teeth - he lined up the wire with the centre on the brackets before locating the tubes on the rear molar bands, he then pushed the wire into the tubes and Lucy felt a small click as the wire was pushed home. “That look’s like a perfect fit to me, now I will install your lower archwire - as you can see it is very similar to the upper arch wire”. He showed Lucy her other archwire and as with the first one it looked like it was adorned with hooks and bends in the wire. He moved with wire towards Lucy’s mouth and again located it in the brackets before slotting the ends into the tubes on the lower molar bands.
Again Lucy felt a slight click as the Doctor inserted the wire into the tubes. “Now I am going to tie those archwires in place for you and you may feel some pressure on your teeth as I tie them down.” Debbie the assistant handed him a clear plastic envelope containing the wire ties and he pulled one out before giving the envelope back to Debbie. He wrapped the thin tie wire around the bracket and archwire on Lucy’s upper front tooth and gave it a couple of twists with some pliers. As he twisted the tie wire Lucy felt pressure on her front tooth as it was pulled toward the archwire. He repeated the process with the next tooth, until all of Lucy’s teeth had been tied to the arch wire. As he completed each tie the pressure Lucy could feel on her teeth increased and still the process continued as he wrapped a wire tie around each bracket in turn and gave it a twist with the pliers. He moved on to Lucy’s lower jaw and continued the process and now the pressure in Lucy’s mouth was becoming almost unbearable, it felt like her teeth were being pulled out of her mouth. She was also alarmed to see that she had the ends of the wire ties sprouting from her mouth. “Surely he’s not going to leave me like this” thought Lucy wondering what she looked like with all the metal that was being strapped into her mouth. Dr Kessler finally finished tying the arch wire to each bracket and picked up a larger pair of pliers from the tray. He then reached to the back of Lucy’s mouth and bent the end of the arch wire that was protruding from the molar tube with the pliers. As he twisted the end of the wire Lucy’s whole head moved with the movement of the pliers and she could feel the wire tightening further on her teeth. He clipped the ends of the arch wires that were protruding beyond the molar tubes. As he clipped the wire a jolt of pain shot through Lucy’s newly tensioned teeth. He did this to each end of the arch wire with Lucy grimacing with each clip of the pliers. He then, with a smaller pointed pair of pliers, began clipping off the excess ends of the tie wires, much to Lucy’s relief who was glad to see that she wouldn’t be walking around with all that wire protruding from her mouth - as if she didn’t have enough metal in her mouth already. The pressure being applied to Lucy’s teeth by the newly installed arch wires was already causing her some discomfort and rather worryingly she could feel part of the arch wire rubbing against her upper gum at the front of her mouth. “There that’s your arch wires attached, it won’t be long now I will soon be finished with your braces. Now I just need to attach a power thread that will pull your teeth together”. Debbie handed Dr Kessler a spool of wire and he began to unwind some of the thin wire. He clipped a long length of wire off with the pliers and handed the spool back to Debbie. He then inserted the wire thread into the back of Lucy’s mouth and wrapped it around the back bracket that was welded to the first molar band giving it several twists with the pliers so that it was firmly attached. He then began running the wire around each bracket working from the back to the front teeth and around to the other side of Lucy’s mouth where the wire was secured to another rear bracket. He then ran the wire back around the brackets in the opposite direction. With each twist of the wire Lucy could feel the pressure on her teeth gradually increasing - it felt like her teeth were being pushed and pulled in all directions. He secured the end of the wire around the same back bracket that he started on and snipped of the remaining excess wire with his pliers. He then repeated the whole process on Lucy’s lower teeth. Finally the lip spreader and rubber were removed from Lucy’s mouth and her lips slowly returned to their position in front of her teeth. Lucy could feel the brackets behind her lips pushing against the soft skin. They felt so big behind her lips and she ran her tongue around the front of her upper teeth to see if they really were as big as they felt behind her lips. As she did so she could feel the rough edges of the brackets and the smooth arch of the wire. She then ran her tongue around the outside of her lower teeth again feeling the same combination of rough and smooth as she had felt on her upper teeth. Running her tongue around the inside of her teeth she could feel the smooth warm metal of her molar bands. “There, that’s your braces finished” said Dr Kessler. He reached down to Lucy’s mouth and inserted his fingers behind her lips to expose her teeth with their new braces. He examined his handiwork before asking Lucy to bite together. She did so and he continued his examination making sure there was no contact between the upper teeth and lower braces. “That’s fine” he said releasing her lips. “That’s it - you are now free to go but I want to see you again in 2 weeks time to see how you are getting on with your braces and to begin to activate some pressure in your wires. Please make an appointment with Claire at the reception desk and I know you won’t forget your appointments because Simon has told me that he will ensure you keep to your scheduled appointments. Debbie will tell you how to care for your braces and will give you some special wax in case you experience too much discomfort, although I should warn you that some pain is unavoidable with new braces” “B-b-b-but… iss that it?. How long do I have to wear thesse bracssess for? And what do you mean activate pressure – it already feelss like my teeth are being pushed back into my mouth!!” stuttered Lucy. “You will be in braces for at least two and half years followed by period of retainers. It will be a long treatment and now that the braces have been fitted I expect your full cooperation. If you miss any appointments or mess me around in any way your treatment will only be prolonged. I will see you in again in two weeks time, goodbye for now Miss Stevens.” “Two and half yearss!!” With that the Doctor left the room with a sly smile and left Lucy with Debbie who proceeded to explain to Lucy about caring for her newly braced teeth. She handed Lucy a handheld mirror while she began explaining how to care for her teeth with the braces on and it was then the Lucy saw for the first time the mess of metal that had just been strapped to her teeth. Slowly she brought the small mirror up to her face and gingerly bared her teeth into it. She almost dropped the mirror as the mass of steel shone back at her. She couldn’t bare to look any further, she quickly closed her mouth and put the mirror down on the table while Debbie continued her explanation. Lucy didn’t hear what Debbie was saying, about keeping her braces clean and what not to eat, she was still in a state of shock after seeing her braces in the mirror. She left the surgery in a daze forgetting to book another appointment as instructed by the Doctor. As she walked trance-like to her car she could feel her lips sticking out over her braces. The braces were pushing her lips forward and she was having difficulty keeping her lips closed in front of her teeth. Her whole mouth felt foreign to her and somehow much smaller and the pressure on her teeth was unbelievable. Three hours after she had entered the surgery Lucy returned to her car and all thoughts of her getting some retail therapy with a visit to the shops had long been forgotten. She got into her car and drove home still in a trance like state, keeping her mouth firmly closed and her gaze away from the rear-view mirror in case she caught a glimpse of her new metal mouth. When she got home she got out of her car and ran quickly inside in case any of her neighbours saw her. The last thing she wanted right now was to meet anyone she knew! She closed the front door quickly behind her, glad that she was now in the privacy of her own home. She ran her tongue around her mouth once more to feel the braces hoping that they didn’t feel as bad as they had done previously – they still felt large and rather obtrusive. Also she noticed that the sensation of pressure on her teeth had gradually built up during her drive home and her teeth were starting to ache with a dull pain. Curiosity suddenly got the better of her, she dropped her bag, threw her jacket on the chair at the bottom of the stairs and ran upstairs to the bedroom. Inside the bedroom Lucy stared at her reflection in the wall length mirror. She moved closer until her nose was almost touching the mirror. She looked at her lips that now felt rather large being pushed forward by the metal obstructions behind them. Indeed looking in the mirror she could she that her lips looked larger and almost puffed up. She noticed that her lips no longer met in the middle and she could see a metallic glint in the gap between them. Lucy took a deep breath as she gathered up the courage to open her mouth and reveal the braces, and then slowly she pulled her lips back to reveal all of her teeth in the mirror. The sight that greeted her almost caused her to faint and she let out an audible gasp. Where once she had a nice set of white teeth she now had metallic mess of brackets and wires. She could hardly see her teeth – she could see parts of her upper teeth behind the brackets and wires but her smaller lower teeth seemed to be almost totally covered in metal. On each tooth was a large metal bracket and running through the brackets was a straight thick silver wire. Criss-crossing from bracket to bracket was a thinner thread-like wire and holding the archwire firmly in the brackets was more thread like wire wrapped around the archwire and the outside of the bracket and twisted tight. The arch wires ran straight across Lucy’s upper and lower teeth. Looking more closely at the wire she noticed the complicated hooks and bends that she had previously observed in the dental surgery before the wires had been fixed to her teeth. On the upper wire there were small hooks that had been soldered to the wire between the incisors and canine teeth. Between the canine teeth and the first bicuspid the wire had been bent into an elongated spring shape that extended up and over her gum line. On the lower wire there were the same soldered hooks and more springs that mirrored the uppers ones, extending into the lower gum. The brackets on her canine teeth and bicuspids were slightly different from those on her front teeth as they had a small upright vertical piece with a tiny rounded ball on the end. Still baring her teeth into the mirror she cautiously brought her index finger up to her mouth and carefully touched the metal bracket on her upper front incisor. Lucy thought the braces would be painful if she touched them and she was right. Touching the braces with her finger enhanced the steadily increasing aching in her upper and lower jaws. She ran her finger gently back and forth along her braces feeling the contrasting smoothness of the tight steel wire and then the angular sharpness as her finger passed each bracket. She touched the soldered hook feeling its sharp pointed end and then traced her finger over the wire spring up towards her gum. She put her finger in the corner of her mouth, pulled back her lips and turned her head so she could get a better glimpse of the braces at the back of her mouth. As she did so she saw two metal bands side by side wrapped tightly around her molars. On the first band there was, what appeared to be, an ordinary bracket but on the back band there was a square tube holding the wire in place. Above the tube was another hook, thicker than the hooks on the wire at the front of her mouth, and below it was a slightly larger round tube that did not appear to be holding anything. The thick wire hook extended up into the gum-line and was pointing towards the back of her mouth. She pulled her lips downward and spied a similar arrangement on her lower molars. The bands almost completely covered the molars and the back of her mouth seemed to be entirely filled with metal. Lucy took a step back from the mirror and stood there with her mouth closed for a few seconds. She then suddenly beamed her biggest smile into the mirror but all she got back was a major metallic gleam from her new metal mouth. That was enough for Lucy and she burst into tears – she collapsed on to her bed, buried her head in her pillow and sobbed uncontrollably. 30 minutes later Lucy got off the bed having been brought around to the fact that she was due to go to work this afternoon. Lucy had a senior position in a PR firm and she had an important client coming into see her that afternoon. However, she had already decided that no matter how important the client was there was no way she was going to work today. Her face was red from her crying and her tears had stained her make-up but that was the least of her concerns, it was what had been fitted in her mouth that worried her most. Having to face her colleagues, or any other person come to that, with her braces was not something Lucy was ready to deal with. She composed her self and decided to phone her office. “Hi, Ssussan, itss Lussy” “Oh hi Lucy, how was your dental check-up –no fillings I hope” “Actually I had to have ssome quite major work done at the dentisst and I’m really not feeling too good right now. Can you do me a big favour and cancel my client for thiss afternoon?” “Uhh, sure – are you okay, you have never cancelled one of your appointments before and it is one of your primary clients?”, queried Susan “I know, I know – I really don’t want to cancel but I feel awful. Pleasse do me thiss favor and I will make it up to you I promisse”, pleaded Lucy “Okay, okay – but you owe me one. What was it that was so bad at the dentist anyway?” “You will ssee tomorrow but itss not good. Look I’ve got to go and lie down, I will ssee you tomorrow if I’m feeling any better, bye”. With that Lucy quickly put the phone down not wishing to extend the conversation any further. This was the first real conversation she had had since the braces had been fitted and she was alarmed to discover she now spoke with a slight hissing sound when pronouncing words with an “s” sound. Again Lucy went over to the mirror to take another look at her braces to see if they were as bad as
they had looked earlier. She smiled her metal smile into the mirror and the brackets and wire gleamed back, specks of light shining off the metal. Lucy had never thought about wearing braces, she was always of the opinion that she had pretty straight and even teeth and there was no need for her to have them when she was a teenager. Certainly her dentist at that time had never recommended that she see an orthodontist. She remembered that some of her friends had braces at school over 10 years ago but she was pretty certain that they never had such complex braces as the ones she now had on her teeth. Still looking into the mirror Lucy practiced speaking, “Hello my name iss Lussy Sstevenss – Lussy Sstevenss, Lussy Sstevenss” she said through the metal. She groaned as she realized that she couldn’t even say her own name without making the hissing sound. Having eaten very little all day Lucy went downstairs to the kitchen to make a sandwich. The aching in her upper and lower teeth was increasing and she wasn’t sure whether she would be able to eat but she was so hungry that she thought it was worth trying. She cautiously opened her mouth, manoeuvring her lips around her braces as she did so, and took a small bite out of the cheese sandwich. Immediately a bolt of pain shot though her upper and lower teeth and she winced as she gently chewed on the small bite of sandwich she had taken. She continued taking small nibbles out of the sandwich and gently chewing but could only manage to eat half of it before the braces-induced pain got the better of her. She took a couple a pain killers to numb the pain before spending the rest of the afternoon wandering about the house moving from mirror to mirror examining her braces in each one. She tried to do some work on her laptop but she could not concentrate due to the ever increasing pain. It got to the point where she could hardly bring her jaws together without experiencing any pain so she took some more painkillers. At one point in the afternoon there had been a ring on the doorbell but Lucy didn’t want to face anybody with her braces so she hid from view and let the doorbell ring until the visitor went away. By late in the afternoon the painkillers she had taken had made her feel drowsy and she decided to lay on the couch where she slowly drifted to sleep. Sleeping on the couch Lucy felt the sensation of her lips being moved and pulled apart. It felt as though someone was pulling her lips and lifting them away from her teeth. Was she dreaming of her visit to the dentist, had the experience with the lip spreader left her traumatized? The she felt her lower lip being pulled – surely she must be dreaming. And then she felt someone touching one of her brackets and then the wire and then a jolt of pain and suddenly she was awake….. “Ssimon!!!” she hissed as she sat upright on the couch, “You basstard!!” “Hi darling, just thought I would examine my investment while you were sound asleep” “You arssehole, look what have you done to me, w-why, w-whatss your motive?” “Wow, you certainly look cute in braces” Simon said smugly “It looks like Dr Kessler has
done a good job on you” “You utter basstard, I want you to phone that Dr Kessssler and assk him to take thesse braces off ass ssoon ass posssible” she shouted “Thiss hass got to be a joke, right?” “Sorry Luce there’s no joke here its for real. I’ve always thought that your teeth could do with a little straightening so I’ve decided that you should wear braces” “Great, don’t you think you sshould have conssulted me firsst” she said sarcastically “Actually I’ve always had this thing for women with braces and I always wondered what you would look like with braces. Knowing how much you hate going to the dentist I knew you would never agree to wear braces so I came up with this little plan with Dr Kessler. I paid a large sum of money for this and I reckon its well worth it. God, you look so cute and that little lisp the braces give you is so sexy!!.” “Sso you’re telling me you’ve paid for me to wear bracess jusst to ssatisfy ssome perverted dessire you have?” “Well, yes and no. Yes I think the braces add something to your already stunning beauty and they do really turn me on, but you have always had a little overbite and slightly crooked teeth so I thought your smile could be made that much more attractive. Also I think wearing them will instill some discipline in you. You see I have been a bit concerned about the amount of time you have been spending with those guys from your office recently and I was alarmed to see you flirting with Bruce and Mike at that last party we went to. So hopefully those braces you have fixed firmly in your pretty mouth will dent your confidence and put a stop to any future flirtations.” “You basstard”, she repeated once more, “whatss to sstop me walking out of here right now and leaving you as I have a good mind to. I could eassily find ssome other dentisst to remove thesse awful thingss!!” “Well, there really is nothing to stop you walking out but perhaps I should tell you that Dr Kessler used a unique bonding resin on those braces of yours and he is the only one who has the agent that will release the bonding resin. The wires are anchored to your molars where they are locked in place in special tubes and cannot be removed without the use of a special tool which is only held by Dr Kessler. To put it briefly those braces will stay wired in your mouth until I decide that they should be removed” said Simon with an evil grin. Lucy groaned and looked totally horrified. “You could walk out right now but those braces would stay on your teeth forever, I have a unique contract with Dr Kessler and he is the only person on the planet who can remove your braces!!” “I don’t believe you are doing thiss to me, you creep!!”, with that Lucy span round and slapped Simon hard in the face. Simon was slightly stunned but her managed to grab Lucy by the wrist. “Now, now Lucy any more of that and you could find that you spend much more than two and half years in braces. If you do not show discipline I may even have to instruct Dr Kessler to make some alterations to them to make them more uncomfortable or ask him to add some additional pressure to them at your next appointment!! I am going to be perfectly reasonable but if you do not do what I ask you to, if you continue your recent excessive socializing, those braces will remain on your teeth for a long time and, believe me, I can easily get them altered to cause you more discomfort and embarrassment. You could say that your braces are under my complete control, now come here and let me inspect my investment.” Simon forcefully pulled Lucy towards him, “Open up and give me a big smile!” Lucy clamped her mouth shut and tried to pull herself away from her boyfriend, but he had a firm grip and pulled her closer to him. He grabbed her free wrist and brought together with her other wrist, holding them together in the vice-like grip of his left hand. He then reached towards her mouth with his right hand wanting to get a feel of the braces but she turned her head away and kept her lips firmly closed. She could only turn her head so far and soon Simon’s right index finger had forced its way between her full lips and he was exploring the complex metal behind. However, it was difficult to fully explore the brackets and wires when Lucy was being uncooperative and not moving her lips. “Lucy open your mouth properly and let me feel your braces”, he instructed. Lucy would not cooperate. Simon released his grip on her wrists and immediately Lucy slapped him hard around the face once again. “OK, Lucy, you have asked for, it looks as though you don’t believe me. You wait there while a make a quick phone call.” Simon walked over and picked up the phone and began dialling the number while Lucy watched him with some curiosity. He glanced at her as he waited for the call to connect and she nervously brought a finger to her mouth touching the braces. “Hi, could you put me through to Dr Kessler please” Lucy’s eyes widened wondering what Simon was up to now. “Hello, Dr Kessler, its Simon here – let me just say what a wonderful job you did on Lucy today. Her braces are perfect. I was concerned that she wouldn’t cooperate but I think we now need to demonstrate to her that we have complete control of her braces as she is already showing some indiscipline. Can you bring the next stage of her treatment forward and increase the pressure in the wires at her next visit?” Simon continued his conversation with Dr Kessler as Lucy looked on. “Great, we may also have to look at bringing the headgear phase forward. What’s that you say, she didn’t arrange another appointment – I guess she was in a state of shock. Two weeks time will be fine, May 14 at 9.00 am. I will make sure she turns up. Thanks again. Goodbye!” Simon put the phone down and turned to face Lucy. “Due to your indiscipline the tension in your braces will be increased more than intended when you next visit Dr Kessler. You have an appointment on May 14 at nine in the morning and I will be accompanying you to the surgery to make sure that you attend and that you get there in good time. Now I am going to feel your braces.” “What!! My mouth iss already killing me, I can’t eat becausse my teeth are sso ssensitive” “That pain will gradually die down over the next few days but I did warn you that if you don’t cooperate then more pain from your braces will be the result! Now let me feel your braces”. Simon again pulled her towards him so that they were face to face. Lucy's resistance this time was not as strong as she was still trying to fathom out exactly what was going on. Simon brought his hand up to Lucy’s face and forced his index finger between her lips. Lucy kept her mouth closed but there was less resistance this time. With his finger between her lips he slowly rubbed his finger back and forth along Lucy’s braces feeling the same jagged brackets and smooth wire that Lucy had acquainted herself with only a few hours earlier. With two fingers he moved her lips apart to get a better view of the metalwork that was now part of Lucy’s mouth. He took a long look, fascinated by the neat rows of brackets and the complicated mess of wires running through them. He wondered how the braces felt to Lucy on her teeth and whether they were causing her any discomfort. From just looking at the braces Simon thought they must be uncomfortable to Lucy. Simon touched the archwire between her upper front incisors. He pushed it gently with the end of his finger and Lucy immediately winced in pain and tried to pull away from him. He pushed it again looking for movement in the wire
but there was none and he was satisfied that the braces were tight on Lucy’s teeth, just as he had requested. Then with both hands at the back of Lucy’s head he pulled her face close up him and began to kiss her. He could feel her trying to pull away but he held her firm. With his lips pressed up against her puffed-up lips he pushed his tongue in behind them and started a further exploration of her braces. The kiss lingered, with Lucy still trying to resist, as Simon felt his way around Lucy’s braces with his tongue. He was surprised how jagged and rough they felt on his tongue, even more so than they had felt with his finger. Running his tongue slowly around the braces Simon was sure that he could taste the metal that was now wrapped around Lucy’s teeth. Simon finally finished his kiss and released his grip on Lucy. She immediately pushed him away from her, a single tear running down her cheek. However, Simon had another surprise for her. “You had better get used to kisses like that because I will need plenty more to keep a check on my investment. Oh, I have one more surprise for you today, my boss is holding a party at his place tomorrow night and we are invited. Of course I accepted his invitation and you will be coming with me. Everyone from work is going and it will be a perfect opportunity for you to show off your new braces!!”
Lucy woke up early the following morning having slept very little. Simon had left the house early to go to work leaving her alone to prepare for her first full day in braces. Simon caressing both her body and her braces had kept her awake initially and then the dull pain in her mouth prevented her from getting much sleep. She had taken some painkillers through the night, which had helped to ease the pain, but her first night in braces proved to be a long one. As she climbed out of bed she felt around her mouth with her tongue. Her mouth was very dry and the sharp edges of her braces were stuck to the inside of her lips. The dryness made her braces feel even worse and she was glad to swill a glass of water around her mouth. She was desperate to brush her teeth to get rid of the strange rancid partly metallic taste in her mouth, but Lucy found that brushing her teeth was now a difficult exercise with much of the tooth enamel being covered in metal. Her teeth were still very sensitive and she carefully manoeuvred the toothbrush around her teeth. Every so often she would catch part of the braces with the brush causing a jolt of pain to shoot through her teeth. She found the brushing her teeth was now a major exercise and taking around five times longer than normal. She inspected her braces in the bathroom mirror, light glinting off the brackets and wires, and was dismayed to find that brushing her teeth had enhanced the sparkle from them. Every time she looked at them they looked worse and she was not looking forward to walking out of her house to face the outside world with her braces. She really did not want to go to work and face her colleagues but she could not afford to take more time off. She could not hide away for the two and half year sentence that had been imposed on her by the braces. She accepted her fate and got ready for work. Putting on her make up Lucy looked for a lipstick that would not draw attention to her mouth and opted for a subtle pink shade rather than the deeper red colour that she usually wore. She put on her black business with a short skirt, hoping that people would look at her shapely legs rather than her face. Lucy took a deep breath, as she got ready to face the outside world with her braces. She opened the front door and walked quickly to her car hoping that none of the neighbours would see her. Fortunately there was no one around and she got in her car and drove off to work. When she got to her workplace Lucy sat for a while in her car trying to pluck up the courage to walk into her office to reveal the new additions to her mouth. Her heart was beating quickly and she felt a little sick. She looked into her rear view mirror and smiled showing the full set of braces. This made her even more nervous and she almost contemplated leaving and driving straight back home. She knew she had to go into the office and get this over and done with. She looked into the rear view mirror once again and practiced covering her braces with her lips. When she relaxed her face the braces pushed her lips apart showing a glimpse of the shiny brackets and straight steel wire on her upper front teeth. She puckered her lips and closed them around her braces. She took a deep breath though her nose and checked her appearance in the mirror for one final time. She locked her car and walked slowly across the parking lot to the reception area of her office, her heart beating faster the closer she got to the main entrance. As she was walking towards the office she was looking about in case of any of her colleagues were around. She walked though the main doors into the reception. Ashley, the young receptionist, said good morning to her but she just smiled without opening her lips and walked quickly by to the lift in the foyer. She eventually reached her office, relieved to have not seen anyone she knew, she walked quickly across the open-plan room but it was early and many of her colleagues had yet to arrive. She sat down at her desk and started to sort her work out – she had several clients to see today and there was much to do, but just as she was getting into her paperwork she was disturbed by someone approaching her desk. “Hi Lucy, are you feeling better today?” It was Susan, her assistant. “Oh, hi Ssussan, yesss I’m feeling a bit better today thankss” replied Lucy without looking up. She mumbled her reply trying not to open her mouth too much. “Did anyone missss me yessterday?” “No I don’t think so. Mr Taylor was not too bothered about your cancellation yesterday, he has rescheduled for Monday afternoon.” “Great, thankss for doing that for me” said Lucy still not looking up. Then came the dreaded question… “So what was the major work that you had done at the dentist yesterday – I couldn’t help noticing but your lips look a little puffed out and you don’t seem to be speaking clearly, are you still in pain?” enquired Susan. “I have got to get this over and done with” thought Lucy. She took a deep breath, looked up from her desk to face Susan and smiled a big smile showing her full mouthful of braces. “Oh my god, you got braces!!” exclaimed Susan in surprise, “you didn’t say you were going to get braces” “Well it wass a kind of ssuprisse to me alsso” lisped Lucy, “My new dentist noticed that I had ssome major jaw and teeth alignment problemss and recommended that I sstart a coursse of orthodontic treatment. The jaw problemss were apparently very severe and he wanted to fit the bracess ass ssoon ass possssible. The treatment wasss unavoidable but I musst admit it wasss a bit of a sshock and I sstill haven’t really come to termss with the fact that I now have bracess. He ssaid he could sstart the treatment yesterday and I reluctantly agreed – it all happened sso quickly”. Lucy was lying of course, but there was no way she was going to tell people the true story. The fact that she had been forced into having braces fitted, the fact that the braces had been cruelly imposed on her by her boyfriend, the fact that the braces were being used to instill some discipline in her, the fact that her boyfriend was using the braces to dominate her… “ So how do they feel, they are certainly very…..noticeable!” “Yess they do sstand out a bit don’t they – the tingrin was not exactly the kind of look I was after. They are a bit uncomfortable at the moment but hopefully I can get used to them.” “Why did you get metal braces, didn’t you want the clear braces that you can
get?” “Well I would have liked clear bracess but my treatment is complicated and it can only be done with metal bracess” She lied again. Susan leaned towards to Lucy to get a closer look. “What’ss the matter?” asked Lucy “Nothing, I’m just curious that’s all. I never had braces when I was a teenager and I was just getting a closer look. Do they hurt, can you eat with them ok – they certainly look kind of uncomfortable?” asked Susan pointing towards her own mouth. "Ass I ssaid, they are a bit uncomfortable - everything in my mouth jusst feelss a bit wierd. And no I can't eat anything much at the moment I think I need the pain to reduce before I attempt to eat anything ssolid. At least the bracess may help to keep my figure in shape", Lucy joked. Inside she still felt utterly miserable but she was putting on a brave face in front of her colleague. “Aahhh” cooed Susan with a look of sympathy on her face, “How long do you have to wear them for?” “2½ yearsss” said Lucy glumly “2½ years, that seems like a long time” “Let me tell you, right now it sseemss like a lifetime. Apparently the pressssure in the wiress hassn’t been activated yet and the orthodontisst ssayss that he iss going to do that at my next appointment. The bracess are hurting my mouth ass it is sso God knowss how it will feel when he tightenss them, I’m not ssure I can sstand 2½ years of thiss!” “Aahhh” said Susan once again showing more sympathy “I’m sure you will get used to them soon. Can I…..can I have another look at them….give me a smile?” “Ssussan, no!!” “Oh go on, I’m just curious that’s all. I just want to see what you are going through. Give me a smile, you are going to have to show them off, you can’t hide them for the next 2½ years.” “I guessss you’re right” sighed Lucy and she looked up at Susan and gave something that looked more like a grimace than a smile. The braces sparkled, catching the light from the bright office lighting. It was only a quick glimpse of the metal that was fixed tightly to her teeth and she quickly closed her mouth once again. As she closed her mouth her top lip got caught on the upper row of brackets. She looked away from Susan and pulled her lip off the brackets with her finger so that it returned to its normal position in front of the upper teeth. Lucy felt slightly better having revealed her braces to her colleague but that didn’t stop her from trying to keep a low profile for the rest of the day. Of course she couldn’t hide the fact that she had braces and gradually through the day each of her colleagues found out that she was wearing braces. Most of them, like Susan, expressed surprise that Lucy hadn’t mentioned that she was getting braces. Lucy told them the same story that she told Susan and found that her colleagues were very sympathetic and understanding. Lucy was normally a very active person in the office, walking around chatting to people, enquiring about clients and generally being very proactive in her work. Today she kept herself to herself with her head down at her desk trying to get on with her work although she was having difficulty concentrating due to the tension and throbbing in her mouth. Every so often she would run her tongue around her teeth feeling the braces checking to see whether they still felt as awful as they had done previously. Then she would put her finger in her mouth running it along the smooth warm wires. She picked at one
the brackets with her fingernail testing its bond on her tooth but it was stuck firm and she feared she would break the nail if she plucked at it too much. Just before lunch Bruce, one of the young high flyers in the company, came down to see Lucy. He was more than a little surprised to see her in braces. Bruce was someone that Lucy was very fond of and was embarrassed to show off her metal smile in front of him.
Prior to her bracing she only had eyes for her longtime boyfriend, Simon, but this did not stop her innocently flirting with some of the men she worked with. Today however there would be no flirting. Simon would have been pleased to see that the braces had had the desired effect. After teasing her about her braces Bruce asked if she wanted to go to lunch. Lucy often went to lunch with Bruce and some others from the office because she enjoyed the company but today she just didn’t feel up to it and besides, she still wasn’t sure whether the braces would allow her to eat anything. So she politely declined the offer and continued working through lunch.
Not only had the braces placed a restriction on her mouth but it also appeared as though they were restricting her socially too. Lucy was relieved when her first day at work with braces was over. She got in her car and was looking forward to getting home and spending the evening curled up in front on the TV. It was then that she
remembered that Simon was taking her to that party and her heart sunk. All she wanted to do was hide away with her braces, but she realized that Simon was taking her to a party where she would have to chat to people and socialize. With the braces on her teeth the last thing she wanted to do was socialize. Simon was waiting for her when she arrived home and for the second day in a row he had a surprise for her. This time, however, it was a more pleasant surprise as he gave her two gift-wrapped presents. She still hadn’t forgiven him for putting her in braces but she always liked to receive presents, so she grudgingly accepted them and carefully removed the gift-wrapping. Inside the first of the presents were the black high heel ankle strap shoes that she was intending to buy after her dental appointment but she hadn’t felt much like shopping after her bracing. In the second parcel was a beautiful short black dress adorned tastefully with tiny sequins that gave it a sparkling quality. “I hope you like the shoes and dress” said Simon seeking for approval. ”Yess….yess….they are lovely” replied Lucy “I know you hate me for putting you in braces so I thought I would try to cheer you up. I thought the sparkly dress would go with your braces.” “Ummm, I guess sso” “I want you to wear the shoes and dress tonight to the party” “But do we really have to go I’m not really feeling up to it” whined Lucy. “Yes we are going” said Simon forcefully. “Come on we must get ready as we don’t have much time. I want you looking your best tonight.” “Itss difficult to look your besst when you have thiss much metal in your mouth!” said Lucy pointing towards her braces. “Oh believe me ….. you do look at your best with braces!”. Simon pulled Lucy towards him and gave her a kiss on the lips. She didn’t resist like the day before but was caught unawares when Simon’s tongue forced its way between her lips and began to caress her braces. The kiss didn’t linger as long as the one the previous day and when Simon sensed that Lucy had had enough he let her pull herself away. “What if I was to say that I didn’t want to go to your party?” “I thought you were starting to understand why I had you put in braces”, said Simon with a sigh. “I know I am being hard on you but I bought you some gifts, I want you to look beautiful and I want you to come to the party. You could refuse if you wish but I may just have to put in another call to our friend, Dr Kessler… there is much more he can do to your braces to make them even less pleasant for you, trust me. Now, go and get ready for the party, I want to see you in that dress!” Lucy sulked away upstairs taking the dress and shoes with her. When she reappeared over an hour later she was wearing the dress and shoes and she looked absolutely stunning. Simon was waiting for her “You look great, give me a twirl” Lucy twirled around showing off the new dress and gave a shy smile to her boyfriend. He was right the new sparkling black dress complemented Lucy’s new sparking smile. When they arrived at the party most of the other guests were already there. The party was being hosted by Simon’s boss as a “thank you” to his staff for successfully delivering a major project on time. Most of the guests were from Simon’s office and there were a few others who were just friends of the host. Simon led, Lucy with his arm around her waist, into a large lobby area where the other guests were chatting and enjoying pre-dinner drinks. For the next hour Simon appeared to take great delight in introducing Lucy to just about everybody there. To Lucy this was some kind of mild torture as, of course, this meant that she was forced to smile whenever greeting somebody. She had the option of not smiling but Lucy was a sociable person and she did not want to appear impolite by keeping a stern expression on her face. When she smiled she tried to hold her top lip over her upper teeth to keep her braces covered but the wires and brackets pushed her lips apart and a glimpsed of the metal always seemed to shine through. Lucy was sure that people were staring at her braces. This made her feel very self-conscious and she stood by Simon’s side and let him do most of the talking. No one really commented on her braces, but that was probably because they could not see them. Lucy was doing a good job hiding them and other than a quick smile she was trying to keep her mouth shut. Just as they were making their way through to the large dining area Lucy glimpsed a familiar face walking towards them. At first she struggled to put a name to the face but then as she realized who is was she felt a sinking sickly feeling in the pit of her stomach. The face was that of Dr Kessler. At his side was a tall elegant looking blonde who was several years younger than the Doctor. “Hello Doctor, what a pleasant surprise it is to see you here” said Simon shaking his hand as he greeted him. “Good evening Simon, please call me John. And how are you Lucy – how are you getting used to your braces?” said the Doctor as he turned to greet Lucy. “I am fine thank you Doctor, but that’ss no thankss to thesse bracess you put me in!” “Oh don’t worry you will soon get used to them. I expect you must still be pretty sore but that soreness should pass within a few days. I’m due to see you again in a couple of weeks for your first adjustment aren’t I?” “Yess, I’m really looking forward to it” said Lucy very sarcastically “Now, now Lucy, sarcasm will get you nowhere. Its unfortunate that I will have to increase the pressure in your braces slightly more than I was intending but we think it will be for the better, don’t we Simon?” “Oh yes, very much so Doctor! I’m sure Lucy will soon become more accustomed to her braces” replied Simon “Good, by the way can I introduce you to my wife, Alicia?” said the Doctor putting his arm around the attractive blonde lady at his side. “Hi pleased to meet you both”, she said with a broad smile. It was her smile that immediately attracted Lucy’s attention. As Alicia was married to a dentist Lucy was expecting to see a perfect set of pearly white teeth but when she smiled Lucy noticed straight away the shiny metal sparkle from her teeth. She was wearing braces too! Lucy did a double take diverting her gaze away from Alicia’s eyes down to her mouth. “Simon, can I have a quick word in private please” said Doctor Kessler motioning Simon to one side. “We will leave you ladies to get acquainted”. They moved away from the two ladies to begin their private conversation. Lucy wondered what they were talking about and found herself alone with Alicia. “I understand that my husband put you in braces yesterday – how are you finding them?” said Alicia looking to get a conversation started. As Alicia spoke Lucy was drawn towards her mouth and the braces on her teeth. Lucy was stood close to her and she was able to get a good look at her braces. Alicia’s braces looked very similar to Lucy’s and the arrangement of brackets and wires looked equally as complex as Lucy’s. Alicia had upper and lower metal brackets with straight wires running through them, although her archwires appeared to be much thicker than those that Lucy had tied tightly into her mouth. As with Lucy’s braces, Alicia also had a thinner wire criss-crossing around the brackets. Behind all the metal her teeth looked perfectly straight and Lucy could not see why she needed braces, unless of course she was nearing the end of her treatment. Lucy thought that she ought to reply to Alicia’s question before it became too obvious that she was staring at her braces. “Yes, I got them put on yessterday – I haven’t really had time to get ussed to them yet. I ssee that you have bracess too, are they your hussbandss work?” “Yes, John put me in braces around 6 months ago. As well as my husband he is also my dentist and orthodontist. He was examining my teeth for a routine check up one day and then totally out of the blue he said that I needed braces. I had always thought that my teeth were pretty straight but he said that braces would be good for me. He used some pretty strong persuasion to get me to go ahead with the treatment and by the time I left his office that afternoon I found myself in full upper and lower metal braces. It was somewhat of a shock to suddenly find myself in braces with
all this metal wired into my mouth.” That sounds a very familiar story Lucy thought to herself, remembering all too vividly her experience of the previous day. “I guess this is what happens to you when you get married to an orthodontist”, joked Alicia pointing towards her braces and grinning a big metal smile at the same time. As she grinned Lucy’s attention was again drawn towards Alicia’s mouth. This time it wasn’t just the metal in Alicia’s mouth that caught Lucy’s attention,. but the two white elastic bands, one on either side of her mouth, that stretched from just behind the canine teeth to the back lower teeth. The elastics appeared to be held on the brackets on the canine teeth but, with this initial brief glimpse, Lucy could not see whether they were fixed on the lower teeth as they disappeared below Alicia’s lower lip line. Lucy smiled without opening her mouth. Unlike Alicia she was not confident enough to be smiling openly with her braces. “Ssorry but I couldn’t help noticing that you have elasstic bandss on your bracess” “Yes, John put them on at my last adjustment a few weeks ago. I think they are horrid, I don’t like them at all but John says if I don’t wear them my treatment time will be extended by a long time. They pull on my teeth constantly and it makes it even more difficult to speak and there is like this springy sensation whenever I open my mouth. Like I said – I should never had married an orthodontist!” she said grinning again. Lucy could see the elastic bands stretching as Alicia spoke and thought how uncomfortable it must be for her to have to jaws connected by elastic bands. With that thought Lucy casually brought her finger to her mouth and felt around the brackets on her canines and it was with a sense of dread that she felt the small vertical piece on the end of the bracket with the smooth rounded end – she hoped she was wrong but this appeared to be the hook over which elastics like Alicia’s could be connected. Just as she was feeling worriedly around her braces the two men returned and they made their way to the dining area. The two couples soon found that they were sat on the same table. “Oh no that’s just what I need”, thought Lucy “an evening around a table with my orthodontist.” Lucy and Simon sat opposite Dr Kessler and Alicia at dinner table. Having Dr Kessler sitting across the table made Lucy feel very uncomfortable, it made her feel as though she was being examined, as though the Doctor was observing her and her braces. Since she had been put in braces Lucy had not really eaten a full meal, instead nibbling on a quick snack was about the best she had managed. Her teeth were still very sore and with all the metal clasped tightly to them she hadn’t been able to eat anything substantial. Lucy sat there sipping gently on a glass of red wine
worrying about how she was going to be able to nibble her way through a three course meal. As she sipped on her wine Lucy looked across the table at Alicia and was curious as to how she was going to eat with those elastic bands stretching between her upper and lower teeth. When the first course arrived Lucy was watching Alicia with interest. Dr Kessler was busy talking to Simon and Alicia casually put her fingers in her mouth as if she was about to remove the elastics. Then Lucy noticed Dr Kessler lean in towards his wife and tap her discretely on the arm. Alicia quickly took her fingers away from her mouth and she glanced towards her husband to see him shaking his head as if to say “you leave those elastics where they are”. “Alicia doesn’t like the elastics that I put on her braces a few weeks ago, do you honey?” said Dr Kessler. “The elastics are an important part of her treatment and there have been a couple of occasions recently where I have caught her not wearing them. Isn’t that right darling? He said smiling at Alicia. “Yes darling I have been caught out a couple of times, but they are simply horrid. It took me ages to get used to the braces and then you go and make me wear these elastic bands which are just so awkward and uncomfortable especially when it comes to eating!” “You know you must wear the elastics at all times, even when eating, otherwise your treatment will go on much longer than it should. It is important that the pressure is kept on your teeth as I have told you so many times before. Of course if you don’t want to wear them there is something else slightly more permanent that I could use” “ok, ok…you see this is what I have to put up with having my orthodontist around me all the time!” joked Alicia, the white elastic bands on either side of her mouth stretching as she smiled. The last thing Lucy wanted to talk about over dinner was braces. However, her curiosity got the better of her and she asked a question that she wasn’t sure whether she wanted to know the answer to. “Dr Kessssler?” she enquired tentatively, “will I have to wear elasticss on my bracess?” Dr Kessler and Simon enchanged a quick glance across the table. “After your initial resistance I am pleased to see you are now taking an interest in your braces, Lucy” said Dr Kessler. “Letss jusst ssay thatss itss a kind of forced interesst” replied Lucy with a touch of bitterness in her voice. “Well, in answer to your question I can confirm that elastics will form part of your treatment, but it will be a few months before I attach them to your braces” That was not what Lucy wanted to hear. Having braces was bad enough but having elastic bands in your mouth as well as all that metal sounded horrible to Lucy. She looked across the table where Alicia was nibbling on a piece of bread chewing in a very mechanical fashion. Lucy could see that she was having great difficulty in eating properly with the elastic bands on her braces. “Elasstic bandss to add to all thiss metal – thatss just great” said Lucy rather sarcastically. The evening went on with the remainder of dinner being served. Lucy with her new braces and Alicia with her elastics took noticeably much longer to eat their food than the other guests. Although it was wonderful food, Lucy could not enjoy it as she struggled to eat it with all the metal wrapped around her teeth and she left half of her main course. Even the taste of the food seemed to be tainted by her braces and Lucy wondered whether she would ever be able to enjoy eating while she was in braces. After dinner Simon spent much of the time speaking to Dr Kessler and left Lucy to chat with Alicia. The two girls struck up a quick rapport, which was probably helped by the factor of the metal in their mouths. As soon as the formalities of the meal were over both girls left the table together and went straight to the bathroom. As soon as they got into the bathroom they went immediately to the mirror and standing side by side they leaned towards their reflections and bared their braces. “Uhhh…..aren’t they jusst ssooo grossss” said Lucy as she inspected her braces, looking for any food debris that may have got caught in the brackets and wires. She ran her finger carefully over her upper braces as she stared at her reflection in the mirror. “All thiss metal, thesse brackets are jusst ssso big and all thesse wires look sso …..messy and complicated. I jusst hate them!” “Yeah, that’s what I used to think about my braces but I have kinda gotten used to them. Sure they are a pain, they make you mouth sore, they stop you from eating what you want to eat but they become part of you after a while. Just wait until you have been in braces for six months like I have, you’ll see what I mean” said Alicia, doing the same as Lucy and making sure that no embarrassing pieces of food were caught in her braces. “These elastic bands though are a different matter! Here take one of these” said Alicia as she handed Lucy a toothpick. “Thankss, lookss like you have come well prepared for dealing with your bracess” said Lucy as she noticed Alicia pull a toothbrush from
her purse. “Lets just say it comes from experience” said Alicia with a smile. Lucy then watched with a great deal of interest as Alicia reached into her mouth and carefully unhooked the white elastics bands from each side of her mouth so that she could begin brushing her teeth. “Hey I have enjoyed your company tonight….how do you feel about meeting up ssometime. I would really like to sshare your experience of bracess sso that it may help me deal with mine. Do you want to have lunch one day…..” suggested Lucy while Alicia was busy cleaning her braces. “Sure… I would love to” said Alicia after she had finished her cleaning “Give me call, here’s my number” As they left the bathroom their Dr Kessler was waiting with their Alicia’s coat. “I think its time to go honey, I have a busy day in the surgery tomorrow” he said placing the coat around Alicia’s shoulders. “Goodnight Lucy, I look forward to seeing you for your first adjustment in two weeks time”.
Lucy sat quietly in the passenger seat as Simon drove the car through the morning traffic. It had been two weeks since Lucy had been put in braces and now Simon was driving her to her first check-up with Doctor Kessler. While Simon was in a good mood, singing along to the music on the radio, Lucy was quite the opposite. She had hardly said a word all morning as she nervously awaited her first appointment with Doctor Kessler. The morning rush hour traffic was heavy as usual and Lucy was secretly hoping that they would become stuck in a long traffic jam, which would delay them so much, that she would miss her appointment. She nervously played with the bulky metal brackets that were fixed permanently to her upper front teeth, rubbing her finger on the rough metal between her lips, thinking back to that day when the Doctor had fixed all that horrible metal in her mouth. Lucy still had not become fully accustomed to her braces. Although the pain had dissipated after a few days, she was still having difficulty eating and she still made that little lispy hissing sound whenever she spoke. Lucy was always a happy smiley type person but her braces had changed that and whenever she laughed she had got into the habit of covering her mouth with her hand to hide the braces. Quite often when she was talking to someone she found herself speaking from behind her hand, self consciously covering the metal in her mouth. In her office she would casually flirt with some of the men but the braces now prevented her from doing that. Lucy was an attractive girl and sometimes in the street a passing man would give her a wink and a smile and she would smile back. On the few occasions that had happened since she had got the braces she would smile back only to see the look of surprise on the man’s face as he glimpsed the mess of metal in her mouth. Her mouth had been very sore for the first three or four days after her bracing with the inside of her lips and sides of her mouth suffering from the sharp foreign objects that were poking into them. Her back teeth in particular had ached where the metal bands had been forced between them. Now Lucy was preparing herself for more pain and discomfort. She was worried about what the Doctor was going to do to her braces and how much he was going to tighten them. She was especially concerned whether the Doctor would carry out his threat and add additional pressure to her braces. In direct contrast to Lucy, Simon had enjoyed her first two weeks in braces. He had enjoyed the affect that the braces had had on Lucy and seeing the metal fixed tightly on her teeth gave him immense pleasure. So much so that he had barely been able to leave Lucy, or her braces, alone. On some occasions Lucy had resisted his advances but then Simon had quickly reminded her of why she was wearing the braces and what the consequences would be if she resisted or didn’t do as he asked. There were a couple of times where he had to threaten Lucy with some
modifications or further tightening of her braces but as her braces were already causing her so much discomfort and embarrassment she was quick to comply with her boyfriend’s wishes. Sadly for Lucy there were no major traffic hold ups and they soon were pulling into the parking lot of Doctor Kessler’s surgery. Lucy remembered the last time she had been here and felt that same heavy feeling in her stomach. “Here we are, plenty of time to spare, we didn’t want you to be late for your appointment did we?” said Simon with a smug grin on his face. “I wonder what our friend Doctor Kessler has in store for you today? Remember he is going to have to tighten those pretty braces of yours a little bit more than he was intending after your discretion on your first day in braces!” “How could I forget, you have consstanly reminded me of that over the lasst two weekss” said Lucy glumly. “Shall we go in, I can’t wait to see what the Doctor is going to do to your braces? Who knows perhaps he is going to fix even more metal in your pretty mouth” said Simon excitedly. “I don’t think itss possssible to get any more metal in here” said Lucy pointing towards her mouth. “Oh, I don’t know, I’m sure the Doctor has his ways,” said Simon teasing Lucy. “Come on, let’s go in”. “But aren’t we a bit early” said Lucy still looking for ways to put off her impending appointment with Doctor Kessler. “It won’t do any harm to be a bit early, perhaps the good Doctor is ready for you now. You may even be his first patient of the day.” Simon eagerly made his way through the surgery doors, while Lucy trailed behind him sulking to herself as she contemplated what the Doctor might do to her braces. Simon stood to one side as he waited for Lucy to sign in at the reception window. “Hi, Lucy Sstevenss to ssee Dr Kessssler” she said quietly announcing herself to the receptionist. The last time she said those words she thought she was going for a simple check up, but little did she know that she was to end up in braces. This time she knew she was going to get her braces adjusted but it was the adjustments that were going to be made to them that concerned her. “Oh hello Miss Stevens, you’re here for your first adjustment to your braces aren’t you?” said the receptionist with a smile. “I think the Doctor is ready for you, would you like to go through?” “Thankss” replied Lucy and made her way to the double doors that led through to the Doctor’s surgery with Simon following close behind. As they entered the surgery, Doctor Kessler was already sat down alongside the dental chair looking as though he was eager to get started. His assistant, Debbie, was stood beside him arranging some tools on the mobile pedestal. Debbie smiled a metallic smile as they walked in. “Good morning Lucy, morning Simon and how are we today?” said the Doctor greeting them simultaneously. “Great thanks John,” answered Simon. Lucy didn’t bother to answer, but instead she sulked her way over and sat in the leather dental chair. Her mouth was extremely dry and she ran her tongue nervously around the sharp edges of her braces. As soon as she was in the chair the Doctor immediately began to recline it and Lucy found herself staring up into the bright spotlights. Simon stood out of the way at the side of room watching with interest. “Right Lucy, as you know, I am going to make a few adjustments to your braces today. I am going to have to replace both of your upper and lower archwires and insert some secondary wiring that will add some pressure on your both your upper and lower front teeth. I am not going to wedge your mouth open this time as I sure you will comply with my wishes and open your mouth nice and wide for me. So, can you open up for me please?” Lucy cautiously opened her mouth and the Doctor inserted his fingers behind her lips to inspect her braces. He thoroughly checked around Lucy’s braces and then inserted the plastic lip stretcher behind her lips to keep them away from her teeth. Debbie handed him a small pair of pliers and he began to cut out the wire ligatures that were criss-crossing between the brackets. As he snipped the power thread there was a loud click as the pressure in the wire was suddenly released. He then began cutting out the ligatures that had been holding the archwires tightly in the brackets. As he snipped each ligature, Lucy could feel the pressure being relieved from her teeth. Once all of the ligatures had been removed, the Doctor inserted a strange looking tool in the rear of Lucy’s mouth to release the archwires from the grasp of the molar tubes. With the archwires released he pulled them out of Lucy’s mouth so that her braces were now free from the tension that had been causing her so much pain. Lucy’s teeth felt numb now that the pressure was removed from her braces, but she soon discovered that any respite from the constant pressure induced by the archwires would be short lived. “I have removed your archwires and I will now replace them with some heavier gauge wires so that we can begin moving your teeth. The wires you have had in so far have only really been applying a relatively small amount of pressure, just to give you time to get used to your braces”, the Doctor explained. “These new wires though are an entirely different matter”. He showed Lucy her new archwires, which were similar to her previous ones, with the same hooks and loops, although these new wires were visibly thicker. Doctor Kessler slotted the upper archwire into Lucy’s upper braces, carefully sliding the ends into her molar tubes. As he pushed the wire through the tubes, Lucy could feel the ends pushing into her cheeks. With the upper archwire in position, the Doctor added the lower one before tying each of them tightly in place with wire ligatures. Now with both archwires tied in Lucy could feel a noticeable increase in the tightness in her braces and she knew she would be in for more pain and discomfort. “I am going to replace your power threads,” said the Doctor before he set about criss-crossing an unfeasible amount of ligature wire around Lucy’s braces. When had finished fixing in the upper and lower power threads Lucy could feel her teeth being pulled together and it felt as though her teeth were being pulled in all directions. “Now I am going to add that secondary wire that I told you about earlier which will pull your front teeth back.” Simon watched with interest as Debbie handed the Doctor a spool of wire which was similar in its flexibility to ligature wire but thicker. He snipped a length from the spool and inserted it into Lucy’s mouth, tying one end of the wire to a hook on her upper rear molar band. He pulled the wire tight before tying the other end to a high hook that was welded to the archwire between the canine tooth and secondary incisor. He twisted the end of the wire to pull it tight and repeated the procedure on the opposite side of her mouth, before adding similar wiring to her lower braces. The secondary wiring ran parallel to the archwire tied on hooks so that it went above the brackets, and just below the gum line, on Lucy’s upper teeth, and below the brackets on her lower teeth. “Is that tight enough for you, Lucy?” he asked. Lucy nodded in confirmation; already feel the pull of this new addition to her braces on her front teeth. “Well, in that case I will just add a bit more pressure,” said the Doctor ignoring Lucy’s nodding. Lucy looked horrified as he
reached into her mouth and twisted the secondary wires once more with his pliers. She groaned in pain with each twist of each of the four secondary wires. He snipped off the ends of the excess wire before leaning back to admire is work. Debbie removed the lip spreader from Lucy’s mouth and handed her some water, which she gratefully swilled around her mouth. Lucy’s teeth felt very sore, much more so than when she had first been put in braces. She ran her tongue around her braces and could immediately feel the heavier archwire. Moving her tongue along the side of her upper teeth she could feel the taught secondary wire strung between the hooks on her front and rear teeth. Closing her mouth she could feel her lips being pushed apart by the braces behind them, the addition of the heavier archwire and secondary wiring pushing her lips out slightly further than previously. The Doctor inspected Lucy’s braces for a final time and sat up on his stool as though his work was done. Lucy pushed herself up from her reclined position and was about to get off the chair when the Doctor said “Please stay where you are, I haven’t quite finished with you yet. Lay back in the chair as I have just one more procedure to carry out.... Lucy had a concerned look on her face as she lay back in the chair wondering what the Doctor was going to do now. She was desperate to get out of the surgery, not only to escape the grasp of her orthodontist but also to see for herself what alterations had been made to her braces. From feeling around with her tongue it felt like there was much more metal strapped to her teeth than before. Surely, Lucy thought to herself, he wasn’t going to add anything else to her braces as there was no room to get any more metal in her mouth. Debbie collected something from a work surface at the side of the room, smiling at Simon who was still observing proceedings from his standing position. Lying in the chair Lucy craned her neck to see what Debbie was handing the Doctor, but she couldn’t quite see what it was. The Doctor worked on the item with some pliers just out of Lucy’s view, her concern and curiosity growing as he continued worked on the item. Then the Doctor turned around to face Lucy holding the next addition to her braces before him. It took a few moments for it to sink in as Lucy stared in horror at the curved thick shiny bars of the steel facebow that he now held before her. “What the hell isss that?” she said angrily. “This is part of your headgear, it’s your facebow.” “There isss abssolutely no way you’re putting that in my mouth”, said Lucy, her hissing lisp now made slightly worse by the new alterations to her braces. “Just like when I put you in braces, I’m afraid that you have no say in the matter” the said Doctor firmly. Lucy frowned at him and looked across at Simon who was nodding his head back at her as if to confirm what the Doctor had just said. “B..b..but……no way, there isss no way I’m wearing that, thiss metal you have fixed in my mouth and forced me to wear iss bad enough but you won’t get me to wear that horrible thing! I’m a twenty sseven year old adult women, I can’t wear headgear” “It’s in the contract. I need to use headgear to move your rear teeth back to create some room for the front teeth that are being pulled back by your braces. If you aren’t going to cooperate then we may have to sedate you and you could find that I decide to wire it in so that it cannot be removed. At first we will trust you to wear it voluntary using your braces to discipline you should you fail to wear it for the required length of time. Now just lie back and I will get this over and done with”. Lucy remained motionless, laid out on the chair staring blankly into space, as tears began forming in her eyes. The Doctor seemed to know that Lucy wouldn’t open her mouth for him to insert the facebow, so he reached towards her mouth and using his latex gloved fingers parted her lips. Lucy continued staring into space, not moving, still in shock at this latest orthodontic nightmare that was about to be forced upon her. As he brought the facebow closer towards her face Lucy began shaking her head trying to move it away from the impending imprisonment of the headgear. Simon seeing what was happening came across to the chair and with the firm grip of both hands he was able to hold Lucy’s head still enabling the Doctor to continue with his work. Debbie also came over to assist and re-inserted the lip spreader to expose all of Lucy’s braced teeth. The Doctor lined up the inner U-shaped bar of the facebow with Lucy’s upper jaw and began to slide it over her upper braces. He squeezed the ends of the bars gently to line them up with the tubes welded to Lucy’s molar bands and gently slid the facebow home. He wiggled the facebow to make sure that it was properly inserted, Lucy’s head moving as he did so and she let out a moan as it sent a jolt of pain shooting through her upper jaw. With the facebow inserted in Lucy’s mouth, Debbie removed the lip spreader. “Ssonn of a bitch!” she scowled at him angrily but the Doctor just smiled back at her. The inner bar of the facebow was a good fit, closely hugging the upper archwire of Lucy’s braces. The welded join between the inner U-bar and the outer cheek bows was just where Lucy’s lips would have met were they not being pushed apart by the mess of metal behind them. Lucy tried to close her lips around the facebow, finding the smooth cold steel of the metal bars between them. Her lips had previously been pushed forward by her braces, but they were now being pushed even further forward by the facebow that had been attached firmly to the upper molar bands of her braces. As she ran her tongue around the sides of her upper teeth, Lucy could not feel the jagged edges of her braces, but instead she could now feel the smooth metal of the inner part of the facebow. Feeling around her upper front teeth she could still feel the uncomfortable mess of brackets and wires that made up her braces, but just in front of them she could feel a large piece of smooth metal where the outer cheek bows were welded to the inner bars of the facebow. As the Doctor brought Lucy back to an upright sitting position in the chair she looked down her nose towards her mouth. She could see her upper lip sticking out so that it now looked unfeasibly large. Below her upper lip she could see the curved steel bars of the facebow protruding from either side of her mouth. Lucy wondered what she must look like with the horrible facebow sticking out of her mouth and she breathed heavily inwards to stifle a sob as another solitary tear ran down her face. “Now I just need to attach the cervical neck strap to your facebow, Lucy. The strap is elasticated and will pull on the arms of the facebow to move your rear teeth backwards,” explained Doctor Kessler as he finished bringing Lucy to the upright position. “Will black be okay for the colour of the neck strap?” Lucy was in no mood to comply with the Doctor any further today. She had not yet accepted the horrible shining braces that were clamped tightly to her teeth and there was no way that she was going to accept that she would have to wear the headgear. She stared angrily forward, blinking back tears, refusing to answer the Doctor and keeping her gaze away from that of her smiling boyfriend still sat beside her. She couldn’t care less what colour neck strap she was going to have because there was absolutely no way she was going to wear this headgear. “Yes, black will be fine, John” responded Simon. It was then that Lucy realized the question was never intended for her. Simon had chosen to have her put in braces, he and the Doctor had total control over her braces and it therefore seemed appropriate that he also choose the colour of her headgear neck strap. Debbie picked out a plastic packet from a drawer at the side of the room and unwrapped it to produce a black satin neck strap. It was about 1 inch wide, padded with a type of foam and with a thick piece of elastic running through it. On each end of the adjustable elastic straps were plastic ringlets, which would connect to the facebow. Debbie walked over and handed the Doctor the neck strap. He briefly examined it before reaching over to place it around Lucy’s slender neck. To make it easier for the Doctor to place the neck strap, Debbie was holding Lucy’s thick straight honey coloured hair up and clear of her neck. The Doctor placed the padded part of the strap around the rear centre of Lucy’s rear neck. He then pulled each one of the elastic straps towards Lucy’s reddened cheeks and simultaneously clipped each ringlet over the hooked ends of the facebow. There was a positive click as he connected the neck strap, and as he did so Lucy could immediately feel the bars of the facebow pulling on her molars and the padded neck strap pressing against the back of her neck. The Doctor adjusted the straps on each side of the neck strap and Lucy felt a slight increase in pressure. He parted her lips to inspect the metallic combination of braces and facebow before leaning back looking satisfied with his work. “There, that’s it you are free to go, Lucy. You must wear the headgear for a period of at least 12 hours each day during the week and for 18 hours per day at weekends. Debbie will give you instructions on how to remove and install your headgear and I will see you again in one month’s time for your next adjustment” “There isss no way you can get me to wear thisss awful thing” said Lucy angrily as another tear formed in the corner of her right eye, her speech further distorted by the foreign metal bars that now surrounded her upper teeth. “That is correct we cannot force you to wear it, but if you don’t wear your headgear as I have prescribed, your treatment and your time in braces will be significantly prolonged,” Replied the Doctor. “You can’t do thisss to me, I’m not wearing it” “It sounds to me like you need a little bit more persuasion. You will recall that when I first fitted the braces on your teeth I told you that you needed a lot of discipline when you are wearing braces. That discipline can manifest itself in many ways. To give you a few examples, as you have already discovered you need to be disciplined with your diet as the braces restrict what you can eat, braces can restrict you socially; you need to comply with your appointment schedule. Wearing headgear also demands a certain level of discipline and compliance from the patient. You must wear it for the required length of time each day, and I will soon be able to tell at your future appointments if you have not been wearing it as I have instructed. Of course you have Simon to watch over you as well and as he is paying for your treatment I’m sure he will make sure you are wearing your headgear.” “Sso what happens if I don’t wear thiss thing,” said Lucy pointing to the metal protruding from her mouth, “ my treatment time getss lengthened – big deal. It seemsss like you and Sssimon are going to keep me in bracess for asss long asss you continue to get pleassure from your twissted little game….” “I was just coming to the persuasion part” said the Doctor interrupting Lucy in mid rant. “Wearing your headgear will be voluntary and you will be able to remove your headgear whenever you want. However, should I find that you have not been wearing it as instructed I have a little method I can use to ensure your compliance with the treatment” “Which isss?” asked Lucy bitterly. “If you don’t wear your headgear then I will wire it into your mouth to ensure that you can’t remove it and you will wear it all of the time. I can use tie wires to wire it to your molar bands and there is no way you would be able to remove it. You would have to live in headgear for 24 hours a day, eating, sleeping, drinking and working with those facebow bars in your mouth, but I won’t carry out that procedure providing you wear it as I have ordered. I guess this is a kind of test to see how disciplined you can be.” Simon looked on with a smile on his face as he listened to the Doctor issue his threat to Lucy. Lucy looked completely stunned as she listened to what the Doctor was telling her. She could not take any more and, trying to hold back the tears, she immediately got off the chair and quickly marched across the surgery and out of the door, her high heels clicking progressively faster as she left the office. Simon hastily offered his thanks to Doctor Kessler and Debbie before leaving to catch up
with his distraught girlfriend. When Simon caught up with Lucy he found her outside by the car crying. She was fumbling with the straps of her newly installed headgear, desperately trying to free herself from its grasp. Lucy turned her back to him as she saw him approaching. “Lucy, leave your headgear alone!” he ordered as he grabbed
her arm and pulled her hand away from her headgear straps. “No, I can’t wear it!” she sobbed. “You must wear the headgear, Luce, just as the Doctor has ordered. It is all part of your treatment” “You…you put him up to thisss, you got him to fit me with thisss horrible thing didn’t you?” She cried, “Well, I’m tired of your game, I’m not going to play along with you anymore and I’m not wearing thisss headgear!” Lucy renewed her attempt to free the straps from the facebow but found Simon pulling her arm away once again. “It is your choice whether you wear it or not, but you heard what the Doctor said – if you don’t wear it for the specified amount of time then he is going to wire it to your braces and then you won’t be able to take it out yourself. If it is wired in Doctor Kessler would be the only person who could remove it and I’m sure you don’t want that do you?” “I don’t believe you, you can’t wire thisss into ssomeone’ss mouth… that would be just sso…. humiliating and inhuman!!” “The Doctor put those pretty braces on your teeth didn’t he and I’m certain that he could just as easily wire your headgear to them. Do you want to take that risk?” he said as if he was setting her a challenge. “Come on I had better get you to work, I know how busy you are in the office.” “I’m not going to work like this!” “Oh yes you are, now please get in the car and we will discuss this further on the way” Lucy reluctantly got in the car and then proceeded to sit in total silence as Simon drove her to her office, which was less than 10 minutes away from Doctor Kessler’s office. She sat there refusing to talk to him, the sunlight glinting off the smooth curves of the facebow that protruded from between her lips and wrapped around her face. She was so silent it was almost as if she was gagged by the headgear. They were soon at Lucy’s workplace and Simon brought the car to a halt in front of the main doors. He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek just above the facebow. “I want you to walk into your office wearing your headgear and I want to see you wearing it when I pick you up later tonight”, he said, almost like he was giving her an instruction, and then added “I am going to be doing my best to make sure you comply with Doctor Kessler’s schedule for wearing your headgear”. Lucy remained silent, apparently ignoring him. “Hey don’t worry, it doesn’t look that bad. I actually think it looks pretty cute!” he said before stroking his finger slowly along her facebow. Lucy was grateful that there was nobody around at the entrance of her office to see her walk in with her new adornment. She took a quick look around to make sure no one was approaching; she swiftly unclipped her seatbelt and got out of the car. Simon waved at her through the windshield but she continued ignoring him and headed quickly through the main entrance and into the reception area. The receptionist at the front desk immediately recognized her. “Hi Lucy, how are you to…. oh my!” she exclaimed as she noticed that Lucy was wearing headgear. Lucy kept her head down and walked by without acknowledging the receptionist. She passed through the security door and headed straight for the ground floor bathroom. She was relieved that the bathroom was empty and she walked straight over to the mirror above the washbasins. Just like when she first saw herself in braces, the shock of seeing the headgear strapped to her head was almost too much for her. Looking at herself in the mirror, Lucy could see the wire bars of the facebow springing from her mouth and running around the sides of her cheeks where it was clipped to the black elastic of the neck strap. The black neck strap went behind her ears before disappearing under her thick long blonde hair. Her lips were parted and she could not close them with the join of the metal facebow between them, her lips were also being pushed apart by the braces and inner bars of the facebow behind them. Immediately in front of her lips two loops, one on each side, had been bent into the facebow to act as some kind of spring. Rather cautiously Lucy opened her mouth to inspect her braces. With the facebow bars attached to her upper braces there was now even more metal in her mouth than before. The inner bars of the facebow followed the line of the upper archwire, and just behind her canine teeth a small loop was formed in the thick wire of the facebow. She looked closely at her upper braces to see where the headgear was attached and she could see that it was slotted into the round tubes that were welded her molar bands. She could feel the headgear pulling heavily on her back teeth and that, combined with the increased pressure from her newly tightened braces, resulted in her mouth feeling very sore and uncomfortable. She was desperate to remove the headgear to relieve some of that pressure and to enable her to go to her desk without any of her colleagues seeing her wearing it. Lucy looked to see how the neck strap was connected to the facebow and noticed that hooks on the end of the facebow connected to plastic rings on the end of the elastic strap. She quickly began fumbling with the plastic ring trying to unhook it and free herself from the bondage of the headgear. Pulling the elastic she was able to unhook one side of the facebow and immediately the pressure was released from her back teeth. Lucy gave a sigh of relief and unhooked the other side of the neck
strap. She now turned her attention to removing the facebow from her mouth and grabbing it by the welded piece she tried to pull it out. There was no movement and she began to pull it harder. There was still no movement and now she began to panic wondering if the Doctor had already wired it to her braces. She pulled it harder still and finally she could feel it start to slide out of the tubes on her molar bands. There was a slight grating sensation through her upper teeth as she gradually pulled it free from the buccal tubes. Once it was out of her mouth she quickly put it together with the neck strap in her handbag. With the facebow out of her mouth Lucy could once again feel the rough surface of her bulky braces behind her lips. She leant in towards the mirror to inspect her braces more closely to see what alterations Doctor Kessler had made. Lucy hadn’t thought it possible to get any more metal in her mouth but she was proved wrong by the sight that now greeted her. There was now even more wire in her mouth than before. The archwires were noticeable thicker and they were still tied in the wire ligatures with more ligature wire criss-crossing around the brackets, but now there was also the secondary wiring. The secondary wiring was slightly thicker than ligature wire. On her either side of her mouth, on her upper and lower teeth, it was attached to high hooks in front of the canine teeth and then running parallel to the archwire ran above the brackets to her molars where it was anchored to another hook. Lucy cleaned off her mascara where it had run when she had been crying and reapplied her makeup. She touched up her lipstick and then stood back and smiled her widest metallic smile in the mirror. She gave out a deep sigh of resignation as she accepted the fact that the braces were fixed firmly on her teeth and there was little she could do about it. Lucy had spent an uneventful day at work where she had found it difficult to concentrate. All of the time she could not help but think about her braces and the awful headgear that she now had to wear. Her colleague, Susan, had asked her how her orthodontist appointment had been and Susan looked at her sympathetically as Lucy explained that she had had even more wire fixed on her teeth. However, she didn’t tell any of her colleagues about the headgear. Her teeth had become increasingly sore throughout the day as she felt the pressure being applied to her teeth from her newly tightened braces. Her teeth had been very sore when she first had the braces put on, but following this adjustment the soreness she was experiencing was much greater than before. At 5.30pm she left the office and Simon was waiting for her in the car. She climbed in and Simon gave her a little kiss on the cheek as she sat down in the passenger seat beside him. He looked much more pleased to see her than she did him. “Hi honey, did you have a good day at work?” and then he asked, “Why aren’t you wearing your headgear, Lucy?” “I’m not wearing it, you can’t make me wear it” “Didn’t you listen to what the Doctor said to you this morning? If you don’t wear your headgear he is going to wire it into your mouth. Surely you don’t want him to do that do you?” Lucy looked across at him with her wide blue eyes and shyly shook her head. Simon continued “Perhaps I should point out that if you don’t wear it for the required length of time each day then you will leave me little alternative but to tell Doctor Kessler. I am paying a lot of money for your orthodontic treatment and I want to see that it is done correctly”. “Now” he said forcefully, “I suggest you put it on!” “No way, it’s horrible, you just can’t make me wear it…..it will be so humiliating!” Then, before Lucy had time to react, Simon snatched her small black leather handbag that was resting on her lap. “Hey, give that back!” she said angrily “Hmmm, I bet you have hidden it inside here” he said peering into the handbag, “Let’s see, ahhh here we are….” He pulled the thick silver wire of the facebow out of the bag followed by the black satin neck strap. “Now, put this on immediately or I will drive you to Doctor Kessler’s office and ask him to wire it in because at the moment you are not looking like you are going to comply with his instructions”. “You wouldn’t……would you?” “Just watch me….”. With that Simon drove the car with speed away from Lucy’s office and out onto the highway heading in the direction of Doctor Kessler’s office. Soon they were in the street where his office was located and Lucy looked rather nervously across at her boyfriend still not sure whether he was making an empty threat. Then as they reached the entrance to Doctor Kessler’s office Simon pulled into the parking lot. Lucy now realized that he was not messing around and became noticeably jittery. “Here we are. I’m sure Doctor Kessler can squeeze you into his schedule and it won’t take too long to wire the facebow to those pretty braces of yours.” Lucy now realized that he was being serious and just as Simon was about to get out of the car she quietly said “alright, I’ll wear the damn thing” “Ah, that’s what I wanted to hear!” Lucy picked up the facebow and neck strap from the dashboard where Simon had placed it before he embarked on his drive. Lucy pulled a small make up mirror from her bag and bared her metal mouth into it. The brackets and wires shone back at her as she brought the facebow to her mouth and gently slid the inner arch over her upper braces. She wiggled it slightly and carefully squeezed the ends of the prongs as she located them in the round tubes that were welded to her molar bands. With the ends located in the tubes she gently pushed the facebow into place feeling the slight grating sensation as it slid into position. She adjusted her lips as she got reacquainted with the metal that once again protruded from her mouth. Her lips were dry and stuck to the metal facebow and she had to free them with her tongue. She stared into the small makeup mirror looking at the cruel metal in her mouth, running her tongue around her braces and over the facebow as she did so. Then before she had time to react she felt Simon’s firm grip on the back of her head as he forced her to face away from him. He took the neckstrap from her hand and swept her thick long hair away from the back of her neck, bringing the black satin neck strap up to it. He then connected one end of the elasticated strap to the hook on the end of the facebow. Then he pulled the other end of the strap and slipped the plastic ringlet over the hook on the other side of the facebow. As soon as the strap was connected Lucy could feel the steel facebow pulling on her molars. She momentarily winced with pain as she felt the pull of the headgear, her mouth already sore from the newly tightened mass of metal on her teeth. “OK, I’m now wearing my headgear, I hope you are sssatisssfied! Can we pleassse go home now?” “Yes I’m very satisified with my cute metal mouthed girl” he said as he gently stroked the cool metal of Lucy’s facebow “but we aren’t going home just yet. Seeing as I’m putting you through all this with your braces I thought I would take you to the mall to do some shopping….you know, to treat you to a few nice things.” “The mall!!” Lucy exclaimed, “I can’t go there wearing thisss headgear! What if sssomebody I know ssseess me like thisss” Simon was already driving the car out of the Doctor Kessler’s parking lot and out onto the highway. “I’m sorry but you have no choice. You have to wear your headgear for 18 hours a day at weekends so there are going to be times when you have to wear it in public. What better way to make a start with your public wear than by going to the mall!!” Soon they arrived at the mall and Lucy had initially refused to leave the car, as she did not want anyone to see her wearing the headgear. Being seen with braces was bad enough, but orthodontic headgear would be ten times worse. Lucy thought that you didn’t even see many kids wearing their headgear in public let alone a 27 year old woman. However, Simon had again threatened to take her back to Doctor Kessler to get her headgear wired in. She was still refusing to move when Simon suggested that he would phone the Doctor to arrange for him to make her braces even more uncomfortable. Reluctantly she left the safe cover of the car and soon she was walking nervously through the mall with Simon holding her hand, seemingly taking great delight in his girlfriend’s obvious discomfort and embarrassment. Lucy was walking along very nervously, devoid of her usual self-confidence, the thick wire protruding from her mouth glinting under the bright lights of the mall. She was looking around praying that she didn’t run into any of her friends or work colleagues. She was convinced that people were staring at her and whenever she saw a handsome looking guy she bowed her head and looked at the ground to avoid any eye contact. She wondered what she must look like – an attractive twenty-something woman walking along wearing headgear! Simon insisted on dragging her into as many clothes shops as he could. Particularly embarrassing for Lucy was the shoe store where Simon made her try on several pairs of shoes. The young store assistant gave Lucy a look of sympathy and Lucy gave her a half smile from behind the facebow, the metal of her braces showing between her lips. With each pair of shoes that she tried on she walked very self consciously up and down the store, wearing her short business skirt and tight white top and, of course, her new headgear. Lucy desperately wanted to leave the shoe store and every time she walked up and down, trying out a new pair of shoes, she was convinced that everyone in the store was looking at her with her headgear. Her pain was prolonged by the fact that Simon insisted on slipping each pair of shoes on to her feet and then fastening any buckles for her. She would usually take ages finding shoes, normally sampling several pairs but today was different and she quickly found a pair of high-heeled sandals that she thought she liked which Simon
bought for her, almost as if he was placating her for what he was putting her through with her braces and headgear. They were making their way back through the mall to the parking lot and Lucy thought that her torment would soon be over but then suddenly Simon grabbed her firmly by the arm and dragged her into a trendy wine bar. The bar was busy and full of suited city types enjoying a post work drink. This was the last place on earth that Lucy wanted to be but Simon led her over to a stool by the bar and asked her what she wanted to drink. Lucy scowled at him, her eyes full of hate and thought spitefully about ordering the most expensive drink available but settled on a soda water with lots of ice. As Simon ordered the drinks Lucy shyly kept her head down trying to avoid eye contact with any of the sophisticated young people around the bar. This was the type of bar that she would normally go with her own work colleagues but wearing her headgear it was just a too humiliating place to be. Simon
returned with their drinks and sat down beside her. “Jussst what do you think we are doing here? Are you deliberately trying to humiliate me?!” she hissed at him through the mass of metal on her teeth. “No, of course not my braces babe. I just fancied a drink that’s all and I thought it would be a further good opportunity for you to be seen in public with your headgear!” “Don’t you think I have been exposssed to enough embarrassssment already today!” “You must wear your headgear for the times specified by Doctor Kessler and that means you will have to wear it in public at some time. See this as an introductory session to your public headgear wear” Lucy scowled at him once more and then attempted to take a sip of her soda water. As she was lifting the glass up to her mouth she realized that she had not yet tried drinking with her headgear on and momentarily paused as she considered how she would get the glass past the facebow bar. She carefully brought the glass up to her lips but then there
was a chinking sound as the glass hit the metal facebow. Resting the glass on her lower lip she tipped her head back slightly and slurped the soda into her mouth past the metal obstruction between her lips. The facebow just got in the way and caused her to dribble slightly as she tried to take in her drink, further adding to her overall embarrassment. She sucked in a piece of ice and gently swilled it around her mouth in an attempt to ease some of the soreness that was gradually increasing and taking over her teeth and gums. The pain induced by her newly tightened braces was much more intense that when she first had them fitted and now she also had a dull pain in her molars from the pull of the headgear on her molar bands. Simon seemed to take an eternity to finish his drink but Lucy was grateful when they were eventually able to leave the bar and head for home. Simon made Lucy wear her new headgear all night and only allowed her to finally take it off the next morning before she left for work. The braces and now the headgear were making Lucy’s life miserable and she didn’t know how she was going to be able to manage, but it seemed there was little she could do about it. She was certainly not looking forward to her next appointment with Doctor Kessler.
Monday morning four weeks later and Lucy woke early to find that Simon had already left for work. She hadn’t slept well and was still very sleepy as she crawled from her bed and made her way slowly into the bathroom. She had that same rancid taste in her mouth that she had woken up to every day since she had been wearing braces. The throbbing pain in her molars and the pressure against the back of her neck gave her a constant reminder of the headgear that she now wore in bed, not that she needed much reminding of the metal bow that stuck out from between her lips. In the four weeks since she had been given the headgear she had reluctantly been wearing it, trying to comply with Doctor Kessler’s instructions. Actually, it was Simon who had been making sure that she was wearing it 12 hours each day, and 18 hours on a Saturday and Sunday. Whenever, he wasn’t around, when he was out or away on business Lucy freed herself from his headgear regime. Usually, as soon as she saw his car leave their drive, she quickly released the elasticated neck strap and pulled the facebow from the tubes that held it around her teeth, grateful to be free from the pressure that it exerted on her teeth and also the humiliation that this thick wire around her face imposed on her. She would have liked to do the same with her braces but of course, they were fixed tightly and irremovably on her teeth. The pressure and soreness that her braces put on her teeth had gradually dissipated since her last appointment four weeks previous but at 9.00am today she was going back to see Doctor Kessler and she knew that the discomfort and pain was likely to return. The fact that she had her orthodontist appointment today probably explained why she had not slept well but she had not been sleeping well ever since she had been made to wear the headgear at night. She was actually dreading the appointment and was scared about what the Doctor was going to do with her braces today. She hoped that any adjustment wouldn’t be too painful but above all she hoped that he wouldn’t be adding any more metal or wiring in her mouth. Her mouth was full of metal brackets and wires as it was and she jokingly thought to herself that she wouldn’t be able to close her mouth if he put anything else in there. She approached the bathroom mirror and immediately reached up to the neck strap of her headgear to release it from the facebow. As soon as she unhooked it, the elastic strap that was stretched around the back of her neck shrunk back to its normal length, and the pressure on her back teeth suddenly went away. She opened her mouth slightly and grabbing the facebow in front of her front teeth pulled it free from her mouth. A small glob of saliva hung from one of the prongs as she pulled it out of her mouth. She rinsed the facebow under the cold tap before placing it and the neck strap in a plastic sealable pouch. She had better remember to take it with her for her appointment or she thought she may get some extra treatment from Doctor Kessler. Leaning towards the mirror she put her teeth together and smiled a big smile to reveal all of her braces. She leant in close to inspect them, looking at the stainless steel brackets stuck to her teeth and the thick straight wire pulled tight running through them. She looked at the complicated ligature wiring that laced the wires to the brackets and then pulling her lips back further took a look at the secondary wiring running from the high hook near her front teeth. As she smiled she looked at her teeth behind the metal and noticed that her upper front teeth seemed be aligned in a straighter arch that before, although rather worryingly large gaps had formed between her canines and her bicuspids. She ran her finger over her upper and then lower braces and wondered with some trepidation what alterations the Doctor would be making to the cruel metal that was fixed to her teeth. Lucy arrived in the waiting area of Doctor Kessler’s office 10 minutes early. After signing in with the receptionist she sat down in the waiting area to wait nervously for her call to see the Doctor. She was glad that her scheming boyfriend, the reason why she had braces on her teeth, was not with her. Simon would surely have taken great delight in observing her discomfort at her orthodontist appointment had he not had to attend an important business meeting. He had briefly threatened to reschedule her appointment just so that he could accompany her to watch her have her braces adjusted, but decided against it, instead insisting on his own full inspection of her braces when he got home. As Lucy sat waiting, the frosted glass door between the waiting area and Doctor Kessler’s surgery opened. Lucy looked up expecting to see the Doctor’s assistant to call her through but instead out walked a girl in her late teens and her mother. The girl was about 17 to 18 years old, a tall blonde attractive girl who looked like a cheerleader type. She was visibly distraught, she was stifling her sobbing and her eyes appeared to be reddened from crying, and as she walked into the waiting area her mother was trying to comfort her. “Hey, don’t worry, honey, they honestly don’t look that bad…. it will only be for a couple of years …..your father and I both agreed that you needed braces….wearing braces will be good for you and improve your appearance in the long term”, Lucy could hear the girl’s mother saying in her attempts to comfort her. Lucy continued watching as the mother arranged the next appointment for her daughter with the receptionist, while the girl stood to the side choking back tears. Between the girl’s lips Lucy could just see a mess of metal brackets and wires and she guessed that the pretty girl had just had the braces fitted. She looked at the distraught girl and thought back to the day when she had been put in braces. She remembered how she had felt knowing that she had steel clamped tightly to her teeth and there was absolutely no way she could remove it, and now she knew precisely how the poor girl was feeling. Lucy put her index finger between her lips, nervously feeling her braces as she wondered what Doctor Kessler would be doing to her today. Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted as the door at the side of the waiting room opened once again and out popped the Doctor’s assistant Debbie. “Hi, Miss Stevens, would you like to come through please”, said Debbie as she smiled her own metallic smile at Lucy. Lucy let out a sigh of resignation as she rose from her seat, returned a smile without opening her mouth – the wire on her braces still managing to show between her lips - and followed her through to the dental surgery. Debbie instructed Lucy to take a seat in the dental chair and told her that the Doctor would be with her in a few moments. Lucy hated the chair it reminded her too much of all her past bad experiences of the dentist and in particular her recent visits to Doctor Kessler. She climbed onto the leather chair, clasping her small handbag, which contained her neck strap and facebow knowing that she would probably have to present her headgear to the Doctor for inspection. She laid on the chair her long legs stretched out in front of her, and she put her feet together looking at the fashionable black leather ankle boots she was wearing today. Her tension grew as she awaited the Doctor and as she waited Debbie was arranging the
tools and other apparatus that the Doctor would be using in her mouth. She ran her tongue around her braces, feeling the sharpness of the metal brackets, as she again wondered what the Doctor had in store for her. “Hello, Lucy and how are you today, sorry to keep you waiting I was just examining your records”. The Doctor suddenly appeared taking Lucy by surprise and he sat down beside her pulling his clear latex gloves on to his hands, readying himself for business. Lucy’s mouth was very dry, and she became increasingly tense as she watched the Doctor examining a particularly evil looking pair of pliers. Soon though she found herself in the reclined position with the lip spreader inserted behind her lips, so that all her teeth were showing and ready for examination. Doctor Kessler spent several minutes examining the brackets and wires on Lucy’s teeth, he pulled the corners of her mouth back to inspect the steel bands around her rear teeth and then he asked her to bite together so that he could examine the relationship between her jaws. Lucy looked up at him anxiously as he poked around in her mouth. “Ok, that’s fine” he said finally, “I can see you have been wearing your headgear, although there is not as much movement in your back teeth as I would have expected. It may be due to your bone structure…..or it could be because you haven’t been wearing it as I instructed.” Lucy shook her head desperately trying to convey to the Doctor, as best she could in her current position with her lips spread apart, that she had been wearing the headgear. “Can I have a look at your headgear please?” Lucy pulled the black satin neck strap and facebow from her handbag at her side on the chair. She handed it to the Doctor who examined the facebow and then the neck strap. He fiddled with the neck strap and explained that he was tightening the elastic strap to increase the pull on her molars to encourage more movement in them. “I have tightened the strap and so if I don’t see an improvement in the movement of your molars at your next appointment I will assume that you haven’t been wearing your headgear in accordance with my instructions, and I will wire it in so that you can’t remove it!” he threatened rather ominously. Lucy nodded her head rather meekly to say that she would comply. “Now lets get to work on those braces”. The Doctor began by cutting out the complex ligature wiring that laced Lucy’s archwires to her brackets. As he snipped through each ligature Lucy could feel the pressure coming off her teeth and as he removed the secondary wiring strung between her canines and molars there was a large release of pressure. Once all the ligatures were removed the Doctor used his special tool to release the archwires from the molar tubes and he pulled them free from Lucy’s mouth. Debbie cleaned thoroughly around Lucy’s brackets while the Doctor worked on Lucy’s new archwires at the chair side. Once Debbie was done, the Doctor inserted the new slightly thicker archwires and laced them tightly to her brackets with the same complex ligature wiring as before. As soon as the new archwires were tied back into Lucy’s braces she could feel the renewed and increased pressure on her teeth. The Doctor then retied the secondary wiring, fixing it along the gum line between her canines and molars on her upper and lower teeth. Lucy groaned as the Doctor cranked each wire in turn to increase the pull on her front teeth. Then it appeared as though he was done and Lucy was relieved that he hadn’t added anymore metal to her mouth today, but then she remembered the late surprise that he had for her the last time she came for an appointment. “Bite together for me” he instructed. Lucy clamped her braced teeth together as best she could with the lip spreader still in place and the Doctor checked over her braces for a final time. “That looks good” he said. Debbie handed him something which he then brought up to Lucy’s mouth and began working at the side of Lucy’s mouth. “To finish you up for today, I’m just going to slip these elastic bands onto your braces” he said as he continued working. In the end of a pair of pointed pliers the Doctor was holding a small round white elastic band. He brought the pliers up to Lucy’s teeth and carefully looped the elastic band over the upright hook on the bracket on Lucy’s upper left canine tooth. Meanwhile Lucy was straining her eyes trying to see what the Doctor was now doing to her teeth. Just when she thought he had finished he once again starts working on her braces. He then gently pulled down on her lower lip to improve his access to her lower back teeth. Pulling on the elastic band with the pliers, he stretched it towards the lower back teeth and Lucy could feel it pulling on her upper teeth. “You remember when you asked me if you would be getting elastics for your braces?” the Doctor said as he worked with the elastic band. Lucy nodded her head as best she could in her current position. “Well, that’s what I’m doing now, I’m just attaching a couple of elastic bands between your upper and lower braces. Now, hold still and I will soon be finished!” He pulled the elastic band down to the molar band on the lower rear molar, and stretching it almost to its limit, he looped it over the downwards-pointing hook that was welded to the metal band. He then did the same on the other side of Lucy’s mouth, so that she had a white elastic band stretching from the brackets on her upper canine teeth to her lower molars on each side of her mouth. Lucy could feel a different type of pressure on her teeth, and already some soreness was starting to set in from her newly tightened braces. The Doctor removed the lip spreader and then asked Lucy to open her mouth wide. Initially when Lucy tried to open her mouth there was no movement as the two stretched elastic bands resisted any movement. She panicked thinking that the Doctor had done something horrendous like wiring her jaws together. She then exerted more force in her jaws to open her mouth and was alarmed by the springy sensation she had in her jaws. As soon as she opened her mouth, she found the force of the elastics trying to force her upper and lower jaws back together. She practiced opening her mouth a number of times, and each time she opened her mouth the elastics pulled on her braces trying to force her mouth to close. “Good”, said the Doctor. “Now, open up and I will just check your headgear following this adjustment” Lucy reluctantly opened her mouth once more and the Doctor inserted her facebow over her upper teeth and slid the wire prongs into her molar tubes. He raised the chair so that Lucy was now sitting upright and, sweeping her long hair out of the way, pulled the neck strap around Lucy’s neck. Pulling the strap tight he clipped the plastic rings over the hooks of her facebow and Lucy groaned as she could feel the increased pull on her upper rear teeth. The Doctor smiled at Lucy as he removed his latex gloves. “That’s you finished for today. You must wear the elastic bands all the time, 24 hours each day. You are not to remove them in any circumstances and that includes eating. I strictly insist that you must keep the elastic bands in at mealtimes. As with your headgear Simon will be monitoring your wearing of the elastics. If I find that you have not been wearing them at all times I will replace them with wire coil springs which you will not be able to remove and you will find much more unpleasant. OK?” Lucy nodded her head, as she explored her mouth with her tongue. At the sides of her mouth she could feel the tight elastic bands and wondered how she would ever be able to eat or speak with these new obstructions in her mouth. Debbie handed Lucy a clear plastic packet of the white elastic bands. “Here is your supply of orthodontic elastics. You must change your elastics three times each day. This packet contains 300 bands and if you run low please do not hesitate to come into the surgery and get some more,” she said to Lucy flashing her braced smile. Lucy could feel the new tightness in her wired mouth as she made her way quickly to her car in the parking lot outside Doctor Kessler’s office. She was still wearing her headgear as Doctor Kessler had told her that she must wear it on his premises whenever she came for an appointment. After being released from the chair Lucy quickly left the surgery before the Doctor decided to do any more work on her mouth. She hastily arranged her next appointment with the receptionist for four weeks time, trying to avert her gaze away from the two girls in their late-teens who were in the waiting area with their mother. Lucy felt rather embarrassed to be wearing her headgear and was sure that the girls were staring at her as she made the arrangements for her next visit. Keeping her head down Lucy rather self consciously left the office and headed for her car. Lucy walked briskly towards the sanctuary of her car where she was intending to remove the horrible metal facebow and neck strap, but just as she neared her vehicle she spotted a vaguely familiar face coming towards her. “Hey, Lucy!” the blonde woman called to her as she approached. It didn’t take long for Lucy to recognize that it was Alicia, Doctor Kessler’s wife, who Lucy had met at the party several weeks ago. Alicia smiled a large metallic smile showing the braces on her upper and lower teeth as she greeted Lucy. “Oh, hi Alisscia” said Lucy in a rather muffled voice, her speech impeded, not only by the facebow, but also by the newly installed elastic bands pulling on her teeth. Lucy tried to smile back but felt restricted by the facebow between her lips and the elastic bands strung between her upper and lower teeth and so she only managed a half smile, which looked more like a grimace. “I see that you are progressing with your treatment,” said Alicia, pointing towards the facebow that sprung from Lucy’s mouth. “Oh, yessss, that…my headgear…..Doctor Kesssler….I mean your husssband isss making me wear it asss part of my treatment”, stuttered Lucy,
embarrassed by the fact that someone had noticed her wearing her headgear. “I hate it, I’m going to take it off any ssssecond now!” added Lucy. “I’m so glad that I don’t have to wear headgear as part of my treatment, John has told me that I won’t need it during my time in braces. It must be simply horrible for you!” said Alicia with a look of sympathy on her face. “Oh it issss awful, itsss ssso humiliating to be sssseen wearing thisss thing, assss if all thisss metal in my mouth weren’t bad enough! Your husssband hasss jussst given me thesse elassstic bandsss too, and my mouth isss already sstarting to feel really sssore”. Lucy opened her mouth as best she could and pulled the corner of her lips back to show Alicia her new elastic bands that were pulled tightly between her upper canine teeth and lower molars. “Oh I know all about those awful elastics, John said I don’t need to wear them at the moment but at my last appointment he made some major alterations to my braces which were simply awful”. Alicia pulled her lower lip down to expose to lower teeth. Lucy appeared shocked as she saw that Alicia’s lower teeth were now practically covered in shining steel. “What happened to your lower teeth?” “John banded them” replied Alicia. “At my last appointment totally without warning or without any explanation he removed my lower brackets and inserted these rubber separator things between each of my lower teeth and told me to come back later in the day. Anyway, as the day went on the pain between my lower teeth increased as these things pushed my teeth apart, I was only too glad to return to his office to get these things taken out. He then proceeded to install these metal bands over each one of my lower teeth which seemed to take forever. When he was done he tied in a new archwire and I was left with all this metal wrapped around my lower teeth!” Lucy leant closer to Alicia to get a better look at the bands of steel that were wrapped around each one of her lower teeth and a look of sympathy spread across her face as she realized that Alicia’s lower teeth were almost completely covered in shining metal. Not only did the bands look horrible but Lucy also thought that they looked painful to wear and she shuddered at the thought of having even more metal in her own braced mouth. “But why did your husssband do that?” enquired Lucy. “All he said was that I deserved it” replied Alicia miserably. “He gave no other explanation. I’m just glad that he didn’t
put bands on my upper teeth, at least they are not quite so visible on my lower teeth! Anyway, I must be going I don’t want to be late….do you still want to meet up some day, you know to compare notes about our orthodontic treatment” “Oh yesss, I’ve been meaning to ssspeak with you sssince we met at that party but what with my bracesss and thisss headgear and I haven’t really felt like going out too much” Alicia nodded to show that she understood Lucy’s predicament. “I can quite understand that Lucy, how about I give you a call and we can arrange something?” “Sssure that would be great, I will look forward to it! Good luck with your appointment!” The two women smiled a metallic smile at each other as they said goodbye and Lucy made for her car. As soon as she was in and had closed the door she unhooked her neck strap to release the constant pull of the headgear on her back teeth. The strap had been tightened and she had to pull it much harder than previously to unhook it from the facebow. She grabbed the facebow between her lips and pulled on it to free it from her braces. There was a slight grating sound of metal on metal as the ends of the facebow slid out of the molar tubes, which seemed to briefly reverberate through Lucy’s sore teeth. Lucy pulled the facebow from her mouth, the metal bars dragging some saliva across her lips. She wiped the saliva from her lips with a tissue and then took a deep breath before baring her teeth into the rearview mirror. The white elastic bands strung from her upper canines to her lower molars on each side of her mouth were very visible. The elastics were hooked over the upright piece on her canine brackets. She pulled on her lower lip to get a look at her lower molars and saw where the other end of the elastic was connected. She looked at the two metal bands side by side around her molars and saw that the elastic was slipped over the thick hook that pointed downwards on her rear molar band. Still looking in the rearview mirror, Lucy practiced opening and closing her mouth a few times. As she opened her mouth she felt the pull of the elastics increase on her upper braces and she watched the elastic bands stretching each time she opened her jaws. She moved her tongue around her mouth and pushed it against the elastic bands. She then brought her finger up to the right side of her mouth and gently touched the elastic band. She briefly thought about pulling the elastic band off her braces but then remembered what Doctor Kessler had said to her about not wearing the elastics, and quickly took her finger away. She closed her teeth together and leant closer to the mirror to look at her braces. They appeared to be the same as before, with the archwire laced tightly into the brackets with the same complex criss-crossed ligature wiring. The one difference she did notice was with the upper looped springs on each side of her
mouth between her canines and bicuspids. The loops bent into the archwire and twisted around to form a spring were much higher than previously and ran high into her gum area beneath her upper lip. As Lucy closed her mouth around her braces she could feel these loops poking into the back of her lips. Once again, Lucy smiled a full smile into the rear view mirror and the complex arrangement of brackets and wires shone back at her, now augmented by the white elastic bands on each side of her mouth. She opened her mouth once more and watched as the elastic bands stretched between her upper and lower braces. As she closed her mouth her upper lip got snagged on one of the archwire loops, which seemed to stick out from her gum and caught her lip as she closed her mouth over her braces. She puckered her lips to free them from the rough metal of her braces. She groaned as she contemplated her continuing life in braces and wondered how she was going to be able to speak and eat with the elastic bands now permanently tugging on her braces. With a sigh of resignation she briefly checked her make-up in the mirror before driving off to her office. When Lucy returned home from work that evening she went straight to the bathroom to check her braces. Today’s tightening together with the newly installed elastics was already taking effect and her teeth felt especially sore. She was just inspecting her metal when she heard Simon come through the front door of their house. “Hi honey, I’m home…how was your appointment with Doctor Kessler? He called up the stairs, “Come down here I want to inspect your braces” Lucy took one last look in the mirror and then walked down stairs to greet her boyfriend. Although she felt uncomfortable about him inspecting her mouth she had gotten used to him probing her braces. When she had initially been put in braces she had tried to resist his advances but with his constant threats to make her braces more uncomfortable and more conspicuous she had given in to him. Lucy walked into the Kitchen where Simon was waiting for her. She gave him a quick kiss on the check being careful not to expose the metal on her teeth. “Hi Luce, how are you?” he said holding her as he looked into her blue eyes. “I’m fine, thanksss,”, Lucy said, speaking rather tightly. “but asss you probably already know I now have
elassstic bandsss on my brasscesss and my teeth are sssooo sssore!”. Simon looked at her mouth, excited by the glimpses of metal between her lips as she spoke.
“Okay, you know what comes next – inspection time!” he said his voice full of excitement. “Now stand over there, stand up straight with your feet together and tip your head back for me.” Lucy walked over so that she was directly under one of the bright kitchen spotlights. She put her black chunky heeled pumps together and stood straight, and reclined her head slightly. Simon walked over to her and stroked her long hair away from her face, he pushed her head back gently. “Luce, open your mouth nice and wide for me so I can see those pretty braces!” Two months ago there was no way that Lucy would have complied with such an instruction from her boyfriend. But now she was wearing braces – his braces – metal and complex wires on her teeth, which he was using to discipline her with. In the two months that she had been in braces her discipline had improved immeasurably and she was quite the model girlfriend, for she now understood that if she failed to obey he would punish her by asking Doctor Kessler to tighten, or make some nasty alterations to, her braces. Lucy did as he asked and slowly opened her mouth wide for him. He watched closely as she did so and a smile spread across his face as he noticed the two elastic bands stretching as Lucy open her mouth. Light shone off the brackets and wires as Simon peered into her mouth to inspect her braces and he peeled her lips back to get a good view of the metal on her teeth. “I’m glad that Doctor Kessler has fitted your elastics. I spoke with him two days ago and we agreed that it may be time to add the elastics but he wanted to check your progress before deciding whether to proceed with them”, he said as he ran his finger slowly back and forth across her upper teeth. “I’m glad that Doctor Kessler has fitted your elastics. I spoke with him two days ago and we agreed that it may be time to add the elastics but he wanted to check your progress before deciding whether to proceed with them”, he said as he ran his finger slowly back and forth across her upper archwire, his cock erect underneath his pants as he fondled her braces. Every so often Simon put too much pressure on Lucy’s braces causing her to wince. “Do your braces feel tight on her teeth right now?”, Simon asked as he continued feeling Lucy’s braces, running his fingers over the brackets and intricate parts that made up her complicated orthodontic appliance. “uh, huh” Lucy responded with her mouth still wide open. He pulled her upper lip up as he inspected the new higher looped spring on her upper archwire. He then ran his fingers over the closely spaced brackets on her lower teeth and pulled the corners of her mouth back to look at the elastic bands and the molar bands on her lower teeth. He then turned his attention to the stretched elastic bands and pushed them with his index finger. Lucy could feel the elastic pulling harder on her upper braces as her boyfriend played with it. “Have you changed your elastics since you had them fitted?” he asked his girlfriend “uh, uh”, she shook her head to say no. “Well we had better change them then, where are your spare elastics?” , Simon took his fingers away from Lucy’s mouth to allow her to speak. “In the ssside pocket of my handbag” Simon went over to Lucy’s handbag on the kitchen table and started rummaging around in the pocket. “Ah here, we are” he said producing the plastic packet, “and whats this….. why it’s your headgear, why aren’t you wearing it?” “I’ve only jussst got home I wasss about to put it on when you came in” “Sure you were” he said rather skeptically. “Well, you can put that on shortly, you know the rules about wearing your headgear at home, but first I will change your elastics” Lucy had stood casually with her arms folded while Simon delved into her handbag. “Ok Lucy, stand up straight, head back and open your mouth wide” “You are ssstarting to ssound jussst like my orthodontissst”, As soon as he returned to her she assumed her previous position, stood up straight, her feet together and head tilted back. “Open up” he asked and she obeyed. He reached into her mouth and unhooked the right elastic from the upright hook on her upper left canine tooth. Reaching with the tips of his fingers he then unhooked the other end of the elastic band from its anchorage hook on her lower molar. The band was wet with Lucy’s saliva as he removed it from her mouth. He did the same on the right side of her mouth, and so briefly Lucy’s braces were free from the pull of the elastic bands. Lucy opened and closed her mouth trying to exercise the jaw muscles that seemed to be under constant pressure from the elastics that pulled them together. “Keep your mouth open, Lucy,” Simon instructed. “I jussst need to exercisssse my jaw, god thossse damn elasssticsss are really pulling on my brasscesss!” “Open up”, he repeated Lucy opened her mouth once more and Simon pulled back the corner of her mouth and fiddled with the tiny elastic band as he tried to hook it over the hook on her lower molar band. Once it was hooked on the bottom he stretched it to pull it up and over the hook on her upper canine bracket. As soon as he released the band Lucy could feel the renewed pull on her braces. He repeated the same on the other side and Lucy could feel the new bands pulling on her already sore teeth. “There, how does that feel” he asked “Thossse bandsss feel ever sssoo tight on my brasscess and I can feel them rubbing againssst the inssside of my cheeksss” “Now I’ll just put your headgear on for you”.
It had been two weeks since Lucy’s last visit to Doctor Kessler, when he had added the two elastic bands to her braces. Although the soreness from her braces had subsided she still found the elastics to be quite tight on her braces and when she wore them they seemed to induce a lot of pain in her teeth. She had been quite good at wearing her elastics. She of course wore them when Simon was around and she wore them most of the time when she was at work. But she hated having long conversations with her elastics in, constantly pulling on her jaws, and in long meetings at work she often removed them. When Simon wasn’t with her she frequently removed them to try to reduce some of the soreness in her mouth. But the worst thing was trying to eat with the elastics attached to her braces. She found it almost impossible to eat with her elastics in her mouth. She found that she had to cut her food into very small pieces and eat it with a chomping like motion, which was not very graceful for a sophisticated young lady like her. She found this very embarrassing when she was eating in public places and therefore she always removed her elastics at meal times. The exception to this was when she was with Simon who insisted that her elastics remain in at all times, in accordance with Doctor Kessler’s instructions, and he particularly made sure that she was wearing them at meal times. Often he insisted on an inspection of her mouth prior to starting a meal just to make sure that Lucy was wearing her elastics on her braces. The consequence of this was that she eating very little when she was with Simon. Her braces had already restricted her diet and now the elastics were making things even more difficult for her. She still hated her headgear and, despite, Doctor Kessler’s warnings, she was only wearing it when she was around Simon. Since, the strap had been tightened it was even more uncomfortable to wear and the pressure on her molars was almost unbearable. She wore it at night when in bed and sometimes the pain was so bad that she was finding it difficult to sleep. Alicia had phoned Lucy at work one day, not long after their meeting in the parking lot, and they arranged to meet in a wine bar in the town centre after work. Lucy was keen to speak with Alicia about her experiences of wearing braces and she was perhaps more interested to find out exactly what Alicia’s husband’s motives were in carrying out his orthodontic work. Lucy had told Simon she was working late, she didn’t want him to know she was meeting the wife of his co-conspirator, the man who had put her in braces. It was a bright sunny late afternoon and Lucy wore her sunglasses as she walked into the wood panelled up-market wine bar. It was dark in the bar and she removed her shades as she looked around for Alicia. Then she saw the familiar face of her new friend seated in a booth in the corner of the bar. Alicia waved at her and Lucy smiled her metal smile as she went over to meet her. The two greeted each other, order some white wine and immediately started small talk about the weather and their jobs, but soon their conversation turned to their respective orthodontic treatment. “Hey, guess what?” said Alicia with a half grin, exposing some of the metal on her teeth between her lips. “What?” said Lucy taking a sip of her wine. “I got headgear too now, just like you” said Alicia with a groan, “I hate it!” “Oh you poor thing, I hate mine but my boyfriend makesss sssure that I wear it whenever I’m at home. He’ssss a real disssciplinarian when it comesss to my headgear!” “What about me? How do you think I feel when I have my husband who is also my orthodontist looking over me all the time. He makes darn sure that I wear my facebow and he even drags me out in public wearing it. Its so humiliating!!” “I know jussst how you feel. When I firssst met you I thought you were okay with your brasscesss” “Well I guess I was okay with them. Sure it was a surprise when I first got them and I didn’t really mind them that much. I hated the elastics but it has got
even worse since John banded my lower teeth and now he has given me this damn awful headgear. My braces seem to get worse every time I go for an appointment with him!” “I know that feeling” said Lucy with a half smile. “I can’t believe he put all thossse metal bandsss on your teeth. I only have thossse on my back teeth but to have them on all your lower teeth mussst be horrible” “Yes they are horrible, I can feel them, the metal of the bands, on the inside of my mouth constantly” Alicia replied looking rather miserable. Then she perked up noticing that they already drunk one bottle of wine while they were chatting, “Hey, we got through that quickly, fancy another bottle?” So they ordered another bottle of wine and continued chatting.
The two girls had struck up a rapport, which was helped by the fact that they were both being forced to wear braces on their teeth. Before long they had drunk the second bottle of wine and they were feeling rather tipsy. They decided to move on to a livelier bar where they continued drinking and after consuming such quantities of alcohol all their inhibitions about the metal in their mouths were gone. As they chatted they frequently laughed and as they did so there was the metal shining on their teeth, Lucy’s elastics stretching between her upper and lower teeth as she chuckled. Lucy had not laughed and smiled so much since she had been in braces as they had made her rather self-conscious. Late in the evening Alicia suggested that they go to an exclusive club downtown that she was a member of. Since she had been in braces Lucy hadn’t done much socializing but now with her inhibitions gone she was all too keen to go along with Alicia. It was long past midnight when Lucy got a cab home and stumbled, rather the worse for wear, into her bed where Simon was already sleeping. Lucy was woken all too early by her alarm clock at 7 o’clock in the morning, and she was feeling rather groggy. She could taste the alcohol on her breath and she groaned quietly to herself as she tried to recollect the night before. As the haze slowly lifted from her head she could feel the usual dull pain in her teeth that she always felt first thing in the morning. She felt up to her mouth and there was the facebow protruding from between her lips and its satin elasticated strap pulling against the back of her neck. She was confused and tried to remember how she had got into bed. She remembered the cab ride home and she remembered stumbling though the door and up the stairs to the bedroom. She remembered kicking off her shoes of and pulling herself out of her clothes and falling into bed. But she couldn’t remember putting her headgear on, that would have been the last thing she would have done in her state. Then through the haze she could vaguely recollect someone putting something into her mouth while she was semi-conscious – she could remember the grating sound as the facebow was pushed into her molar tubes and she could recall the instant feeling of pressure as the strap was connected. She struggled to recall the night before and then it came to her. It was Simon - he had put her headgear on her when she was asleep. Lucy climbed out of the wreckage of her bed and shuffled, rubbing her eyes, along the hall to the bathroom. As she made her way to the bathroom she could hear Simon speaking to someone on the phone. She tried to hear what he was saying: “Yes, okay, thanks, I’ll bring her in straight away…….how long will it take?……5 hours for the main part of the work….. but 4 hours before that for preparation……”
As she made her way into the bathroom, Lucy could still hear Simon on the phone downstairs and she wondered who it was he was talking to. She staggered over to the mirror and sighed as she saw herself. Her hair was a mess, her make-up from the day before was still on her face but was now smudged all over the place and to top it all she had that ring of steel sticking out of her mouth and encircling her face. She decided to clean herself up so she could face the day ahead and began by removing her headgear. She undid the neckstrap and gave a sigh of relief as the pressure on her rear teeth was instantly released. She then went to pull out the facebow and, grabbing it by the weld between the inner and outer bows, she pulled on it to free it from her braces. It didn’t move so she pulled on it harder. There was still no movement so she gave a firm tug on it and as she pulled with all her force she felt as though she would pull her upper jaw from her skull. She panicked and began tugging frantically as she realized that her facebow was jammed in her braces. She wiggled the facebow but all that did was put more pressure on her braces and she winced as she could feel the movement in all of her braced teeth. She pulled back the corner of her mouth to get a good look at the mess of metal on her rear teeth. She could see the arms of the facebow and the small metal tubes on her molar bands that the facebow slides into but she could see no obstruction. She pulled once more, but she could see no movement. She checked the other side of her mouth but that was the same. She poked around with her fingers trying to find what was holding her facebow firmly in her braces but there appeared to be nothing unusual back there. In a state of shock and panic, Lucy let out a scream. Simon came running up the stairs and opened the door of the bathroom to find Lucy weeping, pulling on her facebow. “Lucy what is it, darling?” he asked. “My headgear is ssstuck in my mouth….I can’t take it out”, she sobbed. “What….surely you can remove it, it just slides out doesn’t it?” “No…no…it won’t move …..look” Lucy sniffed, pulling hard on the facebow to demonstrate the problem to her boyfriend. “Here let me take a look”. Lucy for once willingly opened her mouth for her boyfriend and he looked into her mouth, trying to identify the problem. After a few minutes of pulling on the facebow and poking around her braces Simon stood back and shook his head. “Well, it looks as though it’s stuck in there good and I can’t see what the problem is. I guess you will just have to wear your headgear and hope that it eventually frees itself. I wouldn’t have thought it’s going to do any harm” “What!! Are you crasszy. I am not walking around with thisss thing sssticking out of my mouth!” Lucy said, raising her voice. “Well, ok, I guess we could call into Doctor Kessler’s office on the way to work. Come on get ready and I will drive you there” One hour later, after Lucy had cleaned herself up and put on her smart work clothes, she found herself laid out on Doctor Kessler’s chair with him peering into her mouth. She was still feeling a bit groggy from the night before and the last thing she wanted was to be at her orthodontist. Simon was watching from the side of the office as the Doctor examined his girlfriend. “Hmmm, the facebow is stuck in there good. Sometimes, the metal gets a bit tight and it binds in the molar tubes. It doesn’t seem to want to come out so I think I will have to take off your molar bands and refit them”, said the Doctor as he looked into Lucy’s mouth. Lucy was laid out on the dental chair with her mouth wide open and a lip spreader had been inserted behind her lips stretching them away from her teeth. The two elastics stretched either side of her mouth from her upper canines down to lower molars – she had put her elastics in before leaving home as she thought she had better turn up at Doctor Kessler’s office wearing them. Besides, she probably wouldn’t have got past the front door without Simon noticing that she wasn’t wearing them. She was wearing a black suit jacket, white blouse, a tight black above-the-knee skirt and a pair of black leather knee boots with a 3-inch block heel. She had put her work clothes on because she thought it would be a relatively quick exercise for Doctor Kessler to free her jammed facebow and then she would be on her way to her office. Little did she know that she was about to spend most of the day in the chair. The Doctor began by unclipping the neckstrap from her facebow, putting it to one side, before going on to unhook the elastic bands from the hooks on Lucy’s canine brackets and molar bands.
As he removed the neckstrap and then the elastics Lucy could feel the pressure come off her braced teeth. Next he went on to cut out her archwires gently snipping out the power threads and wire ligatures. Each snip resonated through Lucy’s teeth, the braces had the effect of connecting her teeth together so a snip on one upper tooth could be felt throughout the whole of her upper jaw. With the facebow in place it was difficult for the Doctor to work at her upper archwire but he used a long thin pointed pair of pliers to cut out the ligatures from underneath the thick wire bars of the facebow. With the archwires removed, the Doctor tried wiggling the facebow once more but there was still no movement and it remained trapped in the tubes on the molar bands. As he wiggled the facebow Lucy could feel the movement in her molars. “Now I am going to have to remove your molar bands and this may hurt a bit as they are wedged tightly between your back teeth” said the Doctor. Lucy looked a little concerned. “So, I’m just going to give you a little something to relax”. Then before Lucy had any time to comprehend what was going on, the Doctor had pulled a hypodermic needle from his pocket and injected Lucy in the forearm. Lucy looked startled as she saw the long needle coming towards her, but she couldn’t react in time to prevent the Doctor sticking it accurately in her arm and dispatching its contents. “What the hell are you doing!!”, she tried to say with the lip spreader in her mouth. She tried to get up from the chair but then she suddenly began to feel dizzy and quickly the room went hazy and she began to lose consciousness. The last thing she remembered was the Doctor saying “Debbie, please bring me the release formula for this girl’s braces…..” and then she passed out……
Lucy woke feeling slightly groggy. She took a while to regain her senses before remembering that she had been in Doctor Kessler’s office getting her braces attended to. Then it hit her. There was a sharp pain in her upper and lower jaws, something was trapped in her teeth, pushing them apart. All of her teeth felt very sore, she was used to soreness from her braces but this was a slightly different kind of aching with a different kind of pressure applied to her teeth. She tried to bring her hand up to her mouth to feel what it was that was causing her so much pain, but she couldn’t move her arm, it was trapped at her side. She then tried to sit up but found that she something was
pinning her down in the chair. She blinked to clear the last remnants of haziness from her eyes and craned her neck so she could look down towards her feet. She was horrified to see that a series of black leather straps had been buckled tightly across her body to hold her in the chair. As she looked down her body she could see her booted feet together at the end of the chair with a strap pulled across her ankles, there was a strap just below her knees and another above them pulled tight digging into her legs. There was a thick strap around her waist, one below her chest and one just below her shoulders. Finally there was a thin leather strap buckled around her neck, although, unlike the others, this was not overly tight so as not to restrict her breathing. Lucy strained at the straps trying to move but she found that they held her tightly in the chair. She tried to wriggle her feet but the strap pulled across her boots prevented any movement of her long legs. She turned her attention back to the strange aching sensation in her mouth and, as she tried to figure out what was different, she briefly ran her tongue around the outside of her teeth. She paused for a second as she thought her mind was playing tricks on her, and then she ran her tongue all around her teeth. There was nothing there, she could feel the smooth enamel surface of her teeth – her braces were gone! There was not a trace of them; all of the brackets, molar bands and wires had been removed. After being in braces for several months it was such a strange sensation to be able to feel the surface of her teeth once again. She checked her teeth over again with her tongue and felt that there was something trapped between each of her teeth. It was something that felt and tasted slightly rubbery and, as far as she could tell, these things were wedged in between every single one of her upper and lower teeth. As she was trying to comprehend the absence of her braces and trying to figure out why she had been strapped to the chair, the door to the room opened and in walked Doctor Kessler and Simon. Following close behind was Debbie carrying a tray full of
equipment. “Ah, good to see that you are awake now, Lucy” said Doctor Kessler as he walked towards her and took his seat beside the chair where she was restrained. Simon took a seat at the side of the room and Debbie busied herself with the equipment on the tray. “What’s going on here, don’t I have to wear my braces anymore, where have they gone….?” She asked with a puzzled look on her face. “Oh, you still have to wear braces. You see, I had to put you to sleep while I prepared you for the next phase of your treatment and you are strapped down because we didn’t want you running out on us. I know how much you dislike your orthodontic treatment”, explained the Doctor. Lucy scowled at him and squirmed against the straps that held her so tightly. “You have been unconscious for over 3 hours and that has given enough time for your preparatory treatment to take effect…” “Preparatory treatment….what do you mean?” enquired Lucy as she rolled he head over to look towards her boyfriend for an answer. “Well, while you were out cold I removed your braces, and we have given your teeth a good clean. You can probably feel some aching in your teeth and that is from the rubber spacers that I have inserted between them. I have been in consultation with Simon and he felt that your discipline has been a little lacking recently and he was particularly disappointed that you chose to stay out late last night without even telling him where you were. He was also disappointed that you were drunk when you came home!” said the Doctor, lecturing Lucy as if she was a misbehaving schoolgirl.
Lucy looked over towards Simon once again. “Just what’s going on here?” she asked angrily. Simon said nothing and let the Doctor continue with his explanation. “To further improve your discipline and to punish you for your recent lack of it we have decided to install some heavier looking braces. Those spacers you can feel in your mouth have created gaps between each one of your teeth and I’m afraid to tell you that I will now be putting you in fully banded metal braces!” “WHAT!!” Lucy exclaimed and looked over towards her smiling boyfriend, “You can’t do this to me” she said as she squirmed against the straps that held her tightly in the chair. “You are powerless and helpless to prevent it, just like when you got braces in the first place” said the Doctor chuckling at Lucy’s obvious discomfort. “Simon and I had a discussion earlier this morning and we both decided that the best thing would be for you to be put in fully banded braces at the earliest possible opportunity. We both think that you could use a little more discipline and you also deserve a little punishment for your recent behaviour and therefore we have decided to put you in some heavy duty fully banded metal braces!”
“No….no…you can’t”, sobbed Lucy. “We knew you wouldn’t come here willingly to get your braces altered and therefore when you were asleep last night, Simon, used some permanent adhesive on the bars of your facebow to secure them in your molar tubes. He knew that you would hate to be seen wearing your headgear in public and that you would come to me to get it removed. Unfortunately for you that was just a trick to get you in my chair and now I have you just where I want you!” said the Doctor rather menacingly. He then continued to explain Lucy’s treatment, “You will have fully banded braces on your upper and lower teeth and Simon has asked that I add some additional tightness in your archwires as
further punishment. The banding is a long and painful process as stainless steel bands have to be forced over each one of your teeth. Once they are fitted, you will find that the bands are not very comfortable to the wearer, and with your tightened archwires it is unlikely that you will be able to eat solid food for a couple of weeks!” “No, you can’t” Lucy screamed, again squirming in the bonds that held her. “You can’t make me wear such horrible braces!” “You have no choice, darling” said Simon from the side of the room. “Doctor I think you had better begin the banding
now” “Yes of course” said Doctor Kessler. “Now, you were unconscious for around 3 hours and that should have given enough time for the spacers you can feel in your teeth to create sufficient gaps to allow me to place the bands. Simon wanted you to be fully conscious for the fitting of your new braces and so I do hope you are going
to cooperate with me Ms Stevens, as you wouldn’t want me to put you to sleep again now would you?” “No, I will not let you band my teeth” said Lucy, sniffing back a tear. She again struggled, trying to pull her hands free from the straps that pinned them to her sides but they were so tight that it was impossible for her to move. “In that case I will put you to sleep and while you are out, I will take the opportunity to wire in your facebow!”. Debbie wheeled a tray over to the Doctor. On the tray was a transparent toolbox with several compartments and in each compartment were several tiny round metal bands of different sizes. Also on the tray was a plaster-cast model of Lucy’s teeth and several tools. Then to Lucy’s surprise Debbie appeared at the side of her and inserted the lip spreader behind her lips to pull them away from her teeth. All of Lucy’s white brace-free teeth were exposed as Debbie smiled her own metal smile at her. The Doctor picked up a hypodermic needle from the tray and showed it to Lucy. “Are you sure you want it this way”, he said to her. Lucy squirmed under the straps once more. He removed the cover from the needle and began to bring it towards Lucy’s left arm. Seeing the needle come closer, Lucy realized she was helpless and rather gingerly she opened her mouth a little. Seeing her teeth part, the Doctor inserted his fingers between them and forced Lucy’s jaws further apart and then inserted a rubber wedge between her teeth on either side of her mouth. Lucy looked scared as she felt her mouth being wedged open... Lucy was utterly helpless, strapped to the chair with her mouth wedged wide open. The Doctor checked his tools and brought the telescopic light down to shine it towards Lucy’s mouth. Lucy gargled some protest and squirmed once more but she had accepted that there was little she could do about her impending banding. “We cleaned and polished your teeth while you were out cold and so I am just going to remove the spacers and then I can start to fit your new braces. When I remove the spacers that should ease the pain in your teeth but I should warn you that the banding is no easy ride. It will be uncomfortable and it will take several hours, so lets get started shall we?” said the Doctor to Lucy. Doctor Kessler picked up a pair of pointed pliers from the tray and brought them up to Lucy’s mouth. Lucy’s eyes widened as she saw the sharp pliers coming towards her open mouth. The Doctor inserted the pliers towards the back of Lucy’s upper teeth and plucked out the rubber donut-shaped spacer from between her molars. He worked around her upper teeth picking out the spacers from between them. As he removed the spacers Lucy could feel the pressure that was pushing her teeth apart slowly dissipate, and it brought a little relief from the pain she had been suffering since she had awoken from her state of unconsciousness. With all the spacers removed, the Doctor put down the pliers and picked out a metal band from a compartment on the tray. He examined it against the model of Lucy’s teeth before bringing it up to Lucy’s mouth. Lucy looked wide-eyed at the thick round metal band that was about to be inserted in her mouth. The Doctor inserted the band over Lucy’s second upper molar on the left side. The band was too small and wouldn’t slide over the tooth so he chose another size and slipped it over the same tooth. This band slid over the molar too easily and the Doctor concluded that it was too big so he chose another sized band. This band was a very tight fit on the tooth and he had to force it on. He pulled out what looked like a small chisel and a small metal hammer and, placing the tip of the chisel on the edge of the band, he began to tap the band into place. Lucy could feel the metal band scraping over her tooth and she groaned with each tap of the hammer. “Normally, I would ask you to bite these bands into place but as you are a difficult patient, I have to hammer them into place.” He explained. He continued gently tapping on the band until it was seated over Lucy’s second molar and its edges were digging into the soft flesh of her gum. Lucy groaned as she felt the steel band being driven into place. He briefly checked the fit of the band before reaching into Lucy’s mouth and prising the band from her molar with some pliers. “Debbie, have you got the adhesive ready for the banding?”, asked Doctor Kessler as he turned towards his assistant who was busy at the workstation at the side of the room. “Yes, Doctor” said Debbie, as she finished preparing the adhesive and brought it over in a plastic mixing container to the Doctor, smiling showing her braces as she did so. “Is that the high strength solution that I requested?” “Yes, Doctor” she said obediently. “Very good”, he said. He then turned his attention back to Lucy, “Now Miss Stevens, these bands will be glued in place with extra high strength adhesive. The glue will form an unbreakable bond between the metal band and the enamel of your teeth. In fact your tooth enamel will break before the glue does and therefore these bands will be effectively permanently attached to your teeth!” Lucy tried to say “please, no” to the treatment that was about to be inflicted on her, but with her mouth wedged open, all that emerged was a pathetic gargling noise. From the whimpering and gargling noises she was making, it was almost as if Lucy was trying to beg the Doctor not to put her in fully banded braces. But as she was strapped down and partially gagged by the lip spreader she was utterly helpless. “Oh don’t worry Lucy” said the Doctor upon hearing her muffled protests, “your bands will not be entirely permanent. You see I hold a unique acidic solution which, when applied liberally to your teeth, will dissolve the glue holding the bands to your teeth, allowing them to be removed. I am the only one who holds the formula to the glue and its release solution and therefore it will be of no use trying to get another orthodontist to remove your braces because those bands will not come off. I am the only one who can possibly remove them and so they will stay on your teeth until your treatment is finished. Its exactly the same ploy I used with your old braces. We want those braces to stay on your teeth and we want you to know there is no way that you can remove them!”. He smiled at Lucy with her wide-eyed frightened expression. Debbie loaded the band with glue and then gave it to the Doctor. He brought the band up to Lucy’s open mouth, her wide eyes looking at the shiny round piece of steel that was about to be fixed in her mouth. The Doctor slipped the band over Lucy’s second molar and pushed it into place. As the band was pushed over her tooth, Lucy could feel the glue sucking the band firmly to the surface of her tooth. The Doctor pushed the band as far as he could before using his small hammer and chisel tool to drive the metal band into its final position. The band was seated tightly over Lucy’s molar and she could feel the band wedged between her teeth, its cold steel edges digging into her gums. The glue bonded in an instant making the band a permanent feature of Lucy’s mouth. Debbie swabbed away the excess glue that had been pushed out from underneath the band, before the Doctor proceeded with banding the rest of Lucy’s upper teeth. He followed the same procedure – fit a band over the tooth by a process of trial and error to make sure it was a tight fit, remove the band, load it with glue and then hammer it into its final position. The molars were banded first, then the bicuspids, canines and finally the front incisor teeth. As the Doctor proceeded to mercilessly wrap Lucy’s teeth in shining steel she would occasionally let out a whimper or groan in pain as a band was being hammered over her tooth. After about eight of her upper teeth had been banded she started softly crying to herself, partly from the pain but mostly from worrying about how she was going to look with all this new metal in her mouth. Most of the bands fitted without too much alteration but every so often the Doctor would remove the band from Lucy’s mouth before pounding it with his tiny hammer or grinding it with a small file to make sure it fitted perfectly with the contours of Lucy’s teeth. After two hours all of Lucy’s upper teeth had been banded and there was a neat row of thick metal bands lined up on each of her teeth. She could feel the bands wedged between her teeth, pushing them apart and her mouth was already feeling sore. She was hoping the Doctor would give her a break and some water but he proceeded to band her lower teeth following the same procedure as the upper teeth. Another two hours later and 28 of Lucy’s teeth, 14 on each jaw, had been banded with a thick metal band. Welded on the front of each band was a large metal H-shaped bracket and on her molars were the tubes that would hold her archwires and headgear. Much to Lucy’s relief the lip-spreader was removed and she was handed a glass of water. She would now get a first feeling of her fully banded teeth. Lucy’s arms were still strapped down at her sides and so Debbie held the glass of water to her mouth for her to take a drink. With the lip spreader removed Lucy could get the first feeling of her new braces. These felt totally different to the previous braces that she had been wearing. These seemed much larger and much more cumbersome. As soon as the spreader was removed from her lips Lucy noticed that the brackets felt so much larger and seemed to push her lips out even further than her previous braces. Lucy tried to slurp in the water from the glass but her mouth no longer felt like her own and she had difficulty sucking the water between her lips. The bands seemed to be interfering so much with her lips that she had difficult drinking the water, and this caused some to dribble down her chin. With her dry mouth now lubricated Lucy felt around with her tongue. The first thing that struck her was the strong metallic taste that filled her mouth and from which there was no escaping. With the bands on each one of her teeth, her mouth felt so much smaller and restricted. She felt around the inside of her teeth with her tongue but she could no longer feel the enamel of her teeth. All she could feel were the metal bands wedged tightly on them. She could feel the smooth cold metal of the bands which almost seemed to entirely cover the back of her front teeth, but then as she moved her tongue around she felt something that shocked her. There were some kind of sharp protrusions on the inside of her canine bands on both her upper and lower teeth. She wiggled her tongue over the protrusions trying to work out what it was. She moved her tongue around the rest of the inside of her mouth and felt that the bands on her bicuspids were smooth but then there were some more sharp things sticking out from the inside of her eight molar bands. Lucy wondered how she was ever going to be able to talk or eat normally with all this metal in her mouth and the Doctor had yet to put the wires on her teeth. She then ran her tongue around the outside of her teeth.
All she could feel was metal. There was the same sharp edged feeling to the brackets as she had with her previous braces but this seemed to feel much worse as if the brackets were larger and sharper edged. She could feel some protrusions on them, which she assumed were hooks to hold her elastics. The new braces pushed her lips out and Lucy had to deliberately pout them out to prevent them getting snagged up on the brackets. All the time Simon was watching with interest from his seat at the side of the room, enjoying the look of distress on his girlfriend’s face as she felt around her banded mouth. “So how do you like your new braces so far? asked Doctor Kessler without really expecting an answer, “you will find them much more cumbersome and uncomfortable than your previous braces, but then that is what you deserve for being undisciplined. You have probably noticed that you have some hooks on the inside of your teeth. These are lingual hooks to which I will be added some rubber bands and
other attachments at a later date. They may make your tongue a little sore and cause you some difficulty eating and speaking but that will soon pass once you get fully acquainted with your new braces!” Lucy looked on horrified as the Doctor told her about the lingual hooks. She desperately wanted to speak but it was almost as if she was afraid to with her mouth now full of the cruel metal that was strapped to her teeth. Before Lucy had chance to say anything, Debbie reinserted the lip spreader behind her lips to expose all of her newly banded teeth. “Now I will reinstall your archwires and I have taken this opportunity to make a few alterations. These thicker steel wires will feel much tighter on your teeth than those you had previously” said Doctor Kessler rather ominously. Then, as Lucy was readying herself for the installation of her archwires and the sensation of tightness on her teeth, much to her surprise the Doctor took an impression of her upper teeth. The lip spreader was removed and a plastic mouth tray containing soft cool alignate was pushed up into Lucy’s upper braced teeth and left to harden. Lucy wondered what use an impression would be of her teeth while they were in braces. The alignate hardened and the impression tray was removed from her mouth. Debbie reinserted the lip spreader and cleaned around Lucy’s bands to remove any bits of alignate left behind. With the impression of her upper teeth taken, Doctor Kessler picked up Lucy’s new archwire from the tray beside the chair and showed it to her. It looked much like the archwires that he had used in her previous braces, although this one was much thicker. It was a thick piece of U shaped stainless steel wire and on each side of the U some high arches had been bent into the wire. At the crook of each arch the wire had been twisted around so that the arch would act as a spring. There were also four small copper coloured hooks that been welded on to the wire, two near the front and two on each side. Lucy squirmed straining against the straps holding her to the chair as she saw the wire being brought up to her open mouth. She tried to move her head away to stop the Doctor from inserting the wire but Debbie was there holding it still to enable the Doctor to continue. Lucy felt the Doctor insert the wire in her upper brackets that were welded to the bands, and slide the ends through her molar tubes. With the archwire in place he began tying it into the brackets with steel ligature wire, looping the tie wire around each bracket, twisting the ends together to hold the thick archwire in place. As he completed each tie, working from her front incisors to molars, Lucy could feel the pressure on her sore teeth. Every so often, as the Doctor twisted the ligature wire pulling the archwire firmly into the brackets, Lucy would groan and squirm in the straps as she could feel the tightness imposed by her new braces. The Doctor snipped the excess lengths off the ligature wires and tucked the ends behind the archwire before repeating the process for the lower teeth. Soon Lucy had a thick wires running across the bands on her upper and lower teeth. The wire ligature power thread was reinstalled on both the upper and lower braces, criss-crossing around the brackets, to pull Lucy’s teeth together. With the bands effectively pushing each of her teeth apart, the installation of the power thread was particularly painful as this applied the opposite force to pull the teeth together. Finally, the secondary wiring was put on Lucy’s braces, with one end of the thin flexible wire being tied to the hook near the front of the archwire and the other end anchored on a hook on the rear molar band. As before, this was done on each side of her mouth on her upper and lower braces and as the Doctor put the tension in the wire to pull on the front of Lucy’s braces, she winced in pain straining against the straps the prevented her from moving, the leather of the straps creaking against the leather of her knee high boots as she pulled against her bonds. Tears welled up in her eyes as she felt her braces being tightened and as she thought about what she was going to look like with so much metal in her mouth. All the time, Simon looked on, watching with interest, and enjoying seeing his girlfriend being put into the most complex braces, seemingly enjoying her obvious discomfort. The Doctor asked Lucy to bite together so he could inspect her bands and then with her teeth clenched together he slipped white elastic bands over the hooks on her upper canine bands and connected them to the hooks on her lower molar bands as with her previous braces. These rubber bands were thicker than the ones that had previously been attached to her braces and as soon as they were connected to her new braces Lucy could immediately feel further pull on her teeth and pressure on her jaws. Much to Lucy’s dismay the Doctor then added a further two elastic bands, one on each side of her mouth. These rubber bands connected to the ball hooks on Lucy’s first bicuspid brackets on her upper teeth and to the copper hooks welded to the front of her lower archwire. As soon as the new elastics were attached Lucy could feel them pulling at the front of her lower teeth. She momentarily tried to open her mouth but it felt stiff because of the double set of elastics holding it closed. She felt around her mouth with her tongue to feel the elastics strung between her upper and lower teeth at the sides of her mouth. Debbie came over to Lucy and lifted her head up off the chair and tied her thick long brown hair into a ponytail using an orthodontic elastic band. Lucy scowled at Debbie and tried to move away, but restrained as she was she couldn’t prevent Debbie from interfering with her hair. Lucy assumed that her hair had been put in a ponytail ready for her to receive her dreaded headgear and she proved to be quite correct in her assumption. In his hands the Doctor held Lucy’s facebow. That piece of curved thick wire had been the reason why Lucy had found herself in the Doctor’s office, but when she had arrived with it stuck in her braces little did she know that her old braces would be removed and she would end up in fully banded painful metal braces. Doctor Kessler peeled back Lucy’s lips and slowly inserted the inner bar of the facebow over her new braces. He located the molar tubes and slid the bow into place. Lucy groaned as she could feel the grating of the bars as they slide through her molar tubes that were welded to the molar bands wedged on her teeth. “Now, I know how distressed you are after being banded and therefore I am not going to wire your facebow to your braces today.” Said the Doctor looking at Lucy
with the facebow protruding from between her lips. Lucy looked back at him with water filled wide puppy dog eyes. He continued speaking to her, “but I do know that you haven’t been wearing your headgear as much as I instructed. Therefore I just want to let you know that I will be keeping a close eye on you and if there has not been an improvement next time I will wire it in so that you can’t remove it! This is your final warning!” Doctor Kessler looked over at Simon who was smiling back at him, approving of the threat that had just been repeated to Lucy over her headgear wear. The Doctor reached behind Lucy’s head and attached the black neck strap to the facebow. Lucy groaned in pain once again and wriggled in the straps as she could feel the pressure of the headgear on her molars. The Doctor smiled at Lucy who was crying softly to herself, the facebow sticking out of her mouth like a horses bridle. He held a mirror up in front of her face but she refused to open her mouth and look into it, and so Debbie came over and lifted up her lips so Lucy could get a glimpse of her new braces. Lucy closed her eyes and started sobbing, refusing to acknowledge all of the metal that was now fixed in her mouth. “Ok, Lucy, you are now free to go for today. I will see you again in 4 weeks time. Simon has already arranged your next appointment. Oh….I would advise that you stock up on painkillers because those bands will be a little painful for the next few days!” Lucy tried to close her mouth but with her teeth clad in metal it just felt like it was not her own mouth that she was trying to close. She could sense a grating of metal as she brought her teeth together as the bands and brackets on her upper and lower teeth touched. Her lips got caught on her upper brackets as she tried to close her mouth and she just felt this large mess of sharp metal and wire pushing her lips out. As she felt all around the inside of her teeth with her tongue all she could feel and taste was metal. Most of the bands felt smooth on the inside of her teeth but there were some that had some nasty protrusions sticking out of them that irritated her tongue. The Doctor was saying something to her but Lucy was not listening she was desperately feeling around her new braces trying to comprehend the cruel amount of metal and wires that she had just had fitted to her teeth. Debbie unbuckled the leather straps that had been holding Lucy to the chair. As soon as the last strap was released Lucy got up off the chair standing rather uneasily in her high chunky heeled boots. It was the first time she had been out of the chair in several hours and she paused for a few seconds to gather her senses. Refusing to take the glass of water that Debbie was holding for her, she quickly strode across the room and out of the office as fast as she could walk, the heels of her black leather boots tapping on the hard floor. Tears were forming in her eyes before she reached the door of Doctor Kessler’s office and Simon picked up his jacket, nodding his thanks to the Doctor, before following her out. When Simon caught up with his girlfriend she was leant against the car with her back to him. Her face was buried in her arms and he could tell that she was crying. In one of her
hands was the metal wire of her facebow and her black neck strap which she had removed before she had even got to the car. Simon approached her and put his arm around her waist but she refused to acknowledge him. He opened the car door on the passenger side and ushered his distraught girlfriend into the seat. She was too
distraught to put up any resistance to Simon’s attentions and soon they were driving home. Lucy sat quietly in the passenger seat sniffling and staring straight ahead, occasionally an odd tear would run down her make-up stained reddened face. All the time the aching pain in her teeth was increasing as the thick metal bands wedged between her teeth were pushing them apart and the complex wires tied across her teeth were having the opposite reaction and pulling them together. She tried to open her jaws but immediately encountered resistance from the four elastic bands stretched between them. Lucy could feel the elastics pulling on the lower wire and her upper brackets. As they neared their house Lucy finally spoke. “Why?” she sniffed, “why are you doing thith to me?” Her speech was heavily distorted from all the new metal in her mouth. “Ah, I’m pleased that you are speaking again. From your silence I thought Doctor Kessler had accidentally wired your jaws together!” “Pleath…tell me what you want from me” Lucy sniffled. “I told you before that I have had you put in braces as a disciplinary measure and, of course, a side benefit will be that your teeth will be straightened at the same time. I thought that your discipline has been lacking once again in recent weeks and therefore I have decided to have you put in some harsher braces. That is why you now are wearing fully banded braces and I asked Doctor Kessler to make sure that your wires are pulled tight on your teeth! I’m sure that you experiencing a new level of tightness in your braces right now!” Soon they arrived at their house and Simon stopped the car to let Lucy get out. “I will see you later, I have a little shopping to do” he said before driving off leaving his distraught braced girlfriend in the driveway. Lucy watched as Simon drove quickly away, she was still clutching her headgear in her hand. She brought her other hand up to her mouth and felt the painful sharp metal that was fixed tightly and irremovably to her teeth. Her braces felt so big, almost as if they covered all of her teeth and as her curiosity and concern got the better of her she quickly ran indoors and made her way to the bathroom. Dropping her handbag and facebow on the floor she cautiously approached the large bathroom mirror. She looked the reflection of herself in the mirror, noticing how large and protruding her lips looked. She looked closely at her deep red lips and noticed that they no longer met and there was a gap between them. From between the gap she could see a glimpse of the thick straight wire on her upper braces and the shining metal of her brackets and bands. Her heart was pumping fast as she slowly peeled back her lips to reveal her teeth and the braces that had been fixed on them. As she pulled back her lips to bare her teeth into the mirror Lucy was shocked at the amount of metal and wire that greeted her. Her first thought was that all of her teeth had been covered in metal because she could see very little of the white enamel showing through. She immediately closed her lips over the banded braces, as she initially couldn’t stand to look at them. However, she regained her composure and opened her lips to reveal her braces once more. Lined up perfectly in row, wedged over each tooth on her upper and lower jaws, from front incisors to rear molars, were the thick metal bands that she could feel on the back of her teeth with her tongue. The bands left a small amount of each tooth showing at the gum line and a small amount was left uncovered at the biting surface. The bands were a slightly darker shiny grey colour and filled her mouth with metal. Welded to the front of each band was a large metal H-shaped bracket. These were similar to the brackets that she had previously had bonded to each tooth but these appeared to be much larger. Running between the brackets was a thick straight wire tied tightly into the brackets with a twisted ligature wire. Behind the canine teeth there were high loops bent into the archwires and in each quadrant of the mouth was the secondary wiring running along the gum line from the canines to the molars where it was tied tightly between two sets of high hooks. On each side of her mouth were the white rubber bands, four in total, - stretching from hooks on the brackets of her upper canines to hooks on the lower molars bands and from hooks on the front of the lower wire to hooks on the upper molar bands. Lucy opened and closed her mouth and watched as the elastics stretched, forming an ‘X’ as she tried to open her jaw to the full extent but she quickly closed it as the pull from the elastics became too much for her. She looked closely at her braces, looking at the metal bands that were wedged painfully between each of her teeth. Her braces just looked so complex and painful. She watched herself in the mirror as she brought her finger up to touch them and gently she ran her fingers over her braces feeling the cold sharp edges of the metal bands and brackets, firstly on her upper teeth and then on her lower teeth. She closed her teeth together and ran her fingers over her braces once more. It was then that she experienced a feeling that she hadn’t had before. She realized that she was transfixed by the cruel mess of metal that was strapped tightly to her teeth. Without realizing it she had been stood in front of the mirror for several minutes exploring the intricacies of complexities of her new braces and for the first time she discovered that, while she still utterly hated them, she had a strange unexplainable fascination with her new fully banded braces. Lucy continued staring in the mirror looking at the complex and intricate braces that she now wore on her teeth. She looked at the neat row of bands wrapped around her upper teeth and as she did so she brought her fingers up to touch the thick metal brackets that were welded to the bands. As she touched the metal of her braces she felt a tingling sensation towards the pit of her stomach. She looked closely at the intricate criss-crossing ligature wiring that held the archwire firmly in the brackets and then she touched the thin secondary wire that was strung between the hooks in each quadrant of her mouth. This secondary wiring had been pulled tight between the hooks on her braces and as she touched it she found that it was so tight, almost like piano wire. As she leaned into the mirror and looked closely at this thin wire she noticed that it was twisted tightly like a tiny cable. As she ran her fingers back and forth across her braces
the tingling sensation grew. She quickly pulled away from the mirror, wondering why she had suddenly become so fascinated by her new braces. Her concentration was broken by the increasing tightness and aching in her jaws and she went to find some painkillers. When she came back she removed her boots and collapsed on her bed. Her day in the orthodontist’s chair had made her tired and she slowly drifted into a light sleep. Not long afterwards she was awoken by the sound of Simon coming though the front door downstairs and she could hear him calling up to her. “Lucy….Lucy, honey, I’m back….come down here….I’ve got something for you…..”, he shouted up the stairs to her. Lucy groaned, she knew that her boyfriend would want to examine her braces but she was also curious to see what he had for her. His recent surprises has all turned out to be bad for her so was somewhat reluctant to find out but her with curiosity roused she made her way slowly down the stairs to meet her boyfriend. He was waiting for her in the lounge and as she entered he made his way over to her and kissed her gently on the cheek. “So how is my metal mouthed cutie?” he said with a smirk on his face. “how do you like your new braces?” “I hate them, they are horrible and ugly and they hurt thoo much” she said rather curtly, her speech sounding rather metallic and tight as she struggled with all the metal and the elastics pulling on her jaws. Simon watched her mouth as she spoke looking at the metal that sparkled between her puffed out lips. “How long will I be wearing thethe new bratheth for?” she asked before adding rather frustratedly, “God, I can’t even thpeak properly with them!!” “You will be wearing MY braces for as long as I see fit. It will take over two and a half years to straighten your teeth and then I may decide to keep you in them for longer if I think that you need to be wearing them. I think that you look so cute in them and I think they will help your discipline, so in all probability its likely that you will be wearing them for much longer…..much, much longer! It’s a shame that I had to have you banded earlier than I originally intended but now you are in them I’m sure you are already experiencing the discomfort and inconvenience of having bands of metal with wires pulled tightly across your teeth.” Lucy noticed the emphasis he placed on MY braces. He had paid for them to be fixed to her teeth and he would decide when they were removed so they really were his braces,
although it was obviously Lucy who was wearing them. “God, I hate you thoo much”, she said angrily, “and I hate thethe bratheth!!” “I know you but there is little you can do about it. No one else can remove those braces apart from my friend Dr Kessler! Now come here and see what I have got for you. I’ve done a little clothes shopping for you because I am taking you out tonight as a kind of reward for your little ordeal today”