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Author Topic: Short Story: Why That Colour?  (Read 587 times)

Offline duncombec

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Short Story: Why That Colour?
« on: 18. March 2021, 01:29:47 AM »
There is one question my orthodontist does not ask. There are plenty that he does not answer, but there is one question he doesn’t ask. From the way people go on about it, you’d think it was as standard a question for orthodontists as asking ‘how are you’, or ‘have you worn your elastics’. But no. It is a question he does not ask. He never asks what colours you want with your braces.

The absence of this particular question does not imply that he doesn’t use coloured ligatures and powerchains, and instead leaves his patients with nothing other than pure metal. He uses colours alright, just like every other orthodontist, he just doesn’t let the patient decide. He can’t see what all the fuss is about, apparently.

There is nothing special about my braces. I did not need an activator, a bionator or a Fränkel appliance. I don’t need a headgear, or a herbst appliance. I will not be requiring a tongue crib, expanders, bite blockers, holding arches or any of the other appliances that are pictured on his ‘What’s In My Mouth’ board that takes up half a wall in the waiting room. I just have my classic metal brackets and archwires, and elastics. Apparently I’ll need powerchains fairly soon, to start closing everything up nicely. I’ve never even seen half of those appliances in use, but they are up there anyway, perhaps ‘just in case’. There is nothing exciting about my braces, or my treatment, at all. Unless you count the fact that my orthodontist does not ask what colour ligatures I want.

Not just me, either. I have never spoken to anyone who is or has been a patient of this guy who has ever been asked that question. The strange colour combinations and odd choices were not theirs; they were his. It’s not just ligatures and powerchains either. He doesn’t seem to have normal coloured elastics in stock either. Ever. The first time I was given my 400 elastics for the period between appointments, I was shocked to find the wild colour selections. Me being me, I started laboriously sorting them out, making sure that I had each colour together, and whilst I may be forced to wear blue, or green, or pink, or purple, or yellow elastics, at least I could wear two of the same colour. But there is something about sorting 400 elastics, the another 400, that just gets boring. There wasn’t going to be let-up, so I might as well just get with the system and wear them, incongruent colour pairings and all. After all, just because I had one yellow elastic, one purple elastic and alternating green and red colours, someone else had one red, one green, and alternating yellow and purple colours to make up for it.

Most of the time they were random. I had been fortunate, in a way, that I had never yet been given anything I considered really embarrassing (like the guy he gave baby blue to once... I almost shudder at the thought), or really awkward, like the ‘I don’t clean my teeth properly after salad’ dark green. But somehow… somehow, I always get the ‘seasonal’ selections. You name it, I’ve been subjected to it. Black and Orange for Halloween. Red and Green for Christmas. A sort of dark pink (which I actually quite liked) for Valentine’s Day. Yellow and Green for Easter. I’ve even been subjected to ‘college colours’. I sat there in the waiting room with another year’s worth of ‘cerise’ (pink, to you and me) for Valentine’s Day wondering what would be next. It was a bit early for Easter this year… maybe something random, for a change?

Of course. Of course. I hadn’t realised the date, had I? With an appointment on St Patrick’s Day, what other combination would I get but orange and green. Not only that, they are my first foray into powerchains. A thick elastic cable of green on top, and orange on the bottom. But not only that, I’ve been given my first ever bag of monochrome elastics. For once, the entire bag is all one colour. I hardly need state which colour they are, if you’ve ever come across an Irish flag before. I have 400 bright white elastics to tug my teeth into the right position for the next six weeks. The end of April. Do I dare guess? In the meantime… where did I leave my Guinness…

Please Note: Is it expressly forbidden to post this story - or any other story of mine - to 'The Archive'.

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Re: Short Story: Why That Colour?
« Reply #1 on: 18. March 2021, 05:25:38 AM »
This is an interesting idea! I don't know if I could handle having an orthodontist who didn't let me pick, but instead gave me seemingly random colored ligatures.

Thanks for the short story!