Author Topic: Story: Mark in Braces  (Read 3502 times)

Offline Maarten1992

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Story: Mark in Braces
« on: 16. January 2024, 00:44:04 AM »
Part 1 of a new story, hope there is some people enjoying it, let me know.

Chapter 1: A start, encouragement from a colleague

It all started with a casual office conversation between Mark and Emily. As colleagues in their mid-30s, they often shared anecdotes during coffee breaks. One day, while discussing work over a cup of coffee, Emily noticed Mark glancing curiously at her Invisalign trays.

"Mark, have you ever considered fixing your teeth?" Emily asked, tapping the barely noticeable aligners in her mouth.

Caught off guard, Mark chuckled, "Well, I never really thought about it. My teeth are fine, aren't they?"

Emily, with a mischievous glint in her eye, began sharing her journey of achieving a perfect smile with Invisalign. She described the convenience and discreet nature of the aligners, emphasizing the transformative impact on her confidence.

Mark, intrigued, leaned in, "So, you're telling me these little trays can straighten teeth without anyone noticing?"

Emily nodded, "Absolutely! I've been wearing them for a few months now, and it's been a game-changer. Dr. Martinez, the orthodontist, is fantastic. If you ever decide to explore it, I highly recommend her."

Mark, now genuinely curious, asked, "But doesn't it take a long time? And are they comfortable?"

Emily explained, "It does take some time, but it's worth it. And as for comfort, they're much more manageable than traditional braces. Plus, you can take them out when you eat, so no restrictions on your favorite foods."

As Emily continued to share her positive experiences, she added, "And Mark, I have to say, your smile would really improve if you get your teeth and bite fixed. It's incredible what modern orthodontics can do."

At home, after the day of work, Mark could not shake the idea, he always had valued Emily's opinion highly and if she was doing it without much efforts, maybe he should as well. He registered with Dr. Martinez' office online and planned an apointment.

Chapter 2: First time at the Ortho

A few weeks passed by and Mark hadn't given it much thought, but then the day was there for his first visit to the ortho.

The sunlight streamed through the large windows of the orthodontist's office, casting a warm glow on the sleek, modern furniture and the soothing pastel-colored walls. Mark sat nervously in the waiting area, flipping through a magazine as he waited for his turn to see the orthodontist. At thirty-five, he had finally decided it was time to address his long-standing dental concerns and get that perfectly aligned smile he had always wished for.

As Mark was called into the examination room, he couldn't help but feel a mixture of excitement and anxiety. The orthodontic assistant, Sarah, greeted him with a friendly smile (showcasing her perfect teeth) and led him to the dental chair. The room was equipped with state-of-the-art technology, making Mark momentarily forget his apprehensions.

Soon after, Dr. Lisa Martinez, the orthodontist, entered the room with a warm and professional demeanor. Mark found himself instantly put at ease by her calm presence. As he settled into the chair, Dr. Martinez began to examine his teeth, discussing potential treatment options.

"You've been considering Invisalign, I see," Dr. Martinez remarked, glancing at Mark's dental records. "It's a popular choice, but I'd like to discuss another option that might be more suitable for your case."

Intrigued, Mark listened as Dr. Martinez and Sarah explained the benefits of traditional braces, highlighting their effectiveness in addressing specific alignment issues. They went on to discuss advancements in orthodontic technology that had made traditional braces more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

As they spoke, Mark began to reconsider his initial preference for Invisalign. Dr. Martinez and Sarah were thorough in their explanations, addressing his concerns and demonstrating how traditional braces could provide him with the results he desired.

"I know it's a big decision," Dr. Martinez said, "but traditional braces offer precise control over tooth movement, and in many cases, they can achieve results more efficiently."

Sarah added on a friendly yet practical tone, she emphasized the importance of discipline required for Invisalign, particularly noting that it often proved challenging for adults, especially men in their 30s, to maintain the necessary consistency. Sarah pointed out the advantage of traditional braces in this regard, highlighting that they didn't need to be removed and reinserted for every meal.

Mark appreciated their honesty and expertise, and as the discussion unfolded, he started to see the advantages of the traditional braces option. The orthodontic team's professionalism and genuine concern for his dental health made him feel confident in their recommendation.

As Mark made his decision to go with traditional braces, Dr. Martinez and Sarah nodded in approval. They began preparing for the next steps in his orthodontic journey. Sarah handed Mark a stack of paperwork, including consent forms and treatment agreements.

"Before we proceed, Mark, we'll need you to go through and sign these documents," Dr. Martinez explained, pointing to the forms. "They outline the details of your treatment plan, expectations, and some essential legal aspects. It's a standard procedure to ensure transparency and clear communication."

As Mark prepared to sign the legal documents for the traditional braces treatment, Dr. Martinez and Sarah subtly encouraged him to proceed without delving too much into the details. They assured him that it was a standard procedure, emphasizing the efficiency and success of their treatment plans.

"You're in good hands, Mark," Dr. Martinez assured him with a reassuring smile "and I am sure your colleague has told you all about us by now". "Our team has a high success rate with traditional braces, and we're confident in the results we can achieve for you. The paperwork just formalizes our commitment to your treatment journey."

Sarah chimed in, "And trust me, most patients find that it's a smooth process. Our priority is your comfort and satisfaction throughout this entire experience."

Feeling a sense of trust in the expertise of the orthodontic team, Mark didn't scrutinize the documents as thoroughly as he initially intended. He quickly skimmed through the paperwork, trusting that the professionals knew what was best for his dental health.

With a nod of approval, Mark signed the documents, and the orthodontic team promptly moved forward with scheduling his first appointment for taking impressions and pictures. He couldn't shake the feeling that he had made the right choice. The confidence and persuasion of Dr. Martinez and Sarah had convinced him that traditional braces were the optimal solution for his dental needs. Little did he know, the journey to his perfect smile had begun, guided by a team that was not only skilled in orthodontics but also adept at navigating the human psyche to ensure their patients embraced the recommended treatments with trust and confidence.

Chapter 3: Impressions

Mark arrived at the orthodontist's office for his appointment to have impressions and pictures taken. The receptionist guided him to the same modern examination room he had been in before, but this time, Sarah, the orthodontic assistant, would be overseeing the procedure.

As Mark settled into the chair, Sarah entered the room with a no-nonsense demeanor. Her approach was efficient, almost clinical. She prepared the impression materials and carefully explained the process to Mark.

"Alright, Mark. We're going to take impressions of your teeth today. It might feel a bit uncomfortable, but it'll be over quickly. Open wide, please," she directed, her tone leaving little room for discussion.

Mark, though initially excited about starting the journey to a perfect smile, felt a pang of uncertainty at Sarah's stern demeanor. As the process began, he couldn't help but squirm a little under the pressure of the impression materials. Sarah worked swiftly, avoiding any unnecessary conversation.

He tried to make small talk, "So, how long will I need to wear braces? Will it be very noticeable?"

Sarah remained focused on the task at hand, providing vague responses. "The duration varies, and the visibility depends on the type of braces. Dr. Martinez will probably discuss the details during your next appointment."

Feeling a bit uneasy, Mark continued, "Are there any potential side effects or complications I should be aware of?"

Sarah's responses remained curt, "Complications are rare, and Dr. Martinez will go over everything at the appropriate time. Just try to relax, please."

As the impressions were completed, Sarah briskly left the room, leaving Mark to wonder about the journey he had just embarked on. The initial excitement was now clouded with a sense of unease, and Mark couldn't help but question the straightforward approach of the orthodontic team, especially Sarah's reluctance to address his inquiries.

Shortly after, however, Sarah returned with a small tray of colorful acrylic samples. "Now, Mark," she said, her tone softening slightly, "let's talk about the fun part. You get to choose the color for the acrylic parts of your braces. We have a variety of options here—bright colors, pastels, or something more neutral. It's a small way to make the process a bit more personalized. Any preferences?"

Mark, intrigued but still puzzled, asked, "Colors for braces? What are they for?"

Sarah hesitated for a moment, her expression showing a hint of uncertainty. "Well, Mark, I'm not exactly sure of the specifics of your treatment plan and we cannot ask Dr. Martinez today as she is not in unfortunately. The colors are just a way to add a bit of personalization to your braces. It can be a fun aspect of the process."
Then Sarah briefly mentioned, "Oh, and we'll be placing separators between your molars today so that we can start installation at your next appointment. It's a standard part of the process to create space for the braces." The mention of separators added another layer of uncertainty for Mark, who was left contemplating the upcoming steps in his orthodontic treatment and the mystery that seemed to shroud each part of the process.

Sarah further explained the necessity of creating space for the upcoming placement of bands. With a deft touch, she skillfully inserted the small elastic separators between Mark's molars, creating a sensation that was more awkward than painful. Mark couldn't help but feel the odd pressure between his teeth as the separators did their job.

With that, Sarah left the room, leaving Mark to ponder the colors he had chosen and anticipate the next steps in his orthodontic journey, now with even more questions about the nature of his upcoming treatment.

Mark returned to the office after his visit to the orthodontist, a mix of thoughts swirling in his mind. He found Emily at her desk, engrossed in her work.

"Hey, Emily, got a minute?" Mark asked, pulling up a chair beside her desk.

"Sure, Mark. What's up?" Emily responded, setting aside her work for a moment.

Mark hesitated for a second before diving into the details of his orthodontic visit. "So, you know I went to Dr. Martinez's office today. I was thinking about Invisalign, but they convinced me to go for traditional braces."

Emily's eyes widened in surprise, "Really? Traditional braces? What changed your mind?"

Mark went on to describe the persuasive arguments from Lisa, the orthodontist, and Sarah, the assistant, about the effectiveness of traditional braces for his specific case. He explained the quick decision-making process, the signing of legal documents, and the scheduled appointment for impressions and photographs.

Emily listened attentively, her curiosity evident. "That's quite a twist. Are you okay with the decision?"

Mark shrugged, "I guess. It just happened so fast. They were really persuasive, and before I knew it, I was signing up for traditional braces. It's a bit overwhelming."

Emily chuckled, "Well, you're in for an adventure, my friend. Traditional braces have their charm, too."

Mark smirked, "Charm, you say? I hope you're right."

Chapter 4: the big day

The day arrived for Mark's appointment to have his braces installed. Nervous anticipation lingered as he entered Dr. Lisa Martinez's orthodontic office. The receptionist greeted him warmly and ushered him to the examination room, where Sarah, the orthodontic assistant, prepared for the installation.

"Good to see you again, Mark. Today is the day we get those braces on and kickstart your journey to a beautiful smile," Sarah said with a friendly smile. She then continued with the installation process, pointing out the combined biteplate (silver and blue as requested) and expander. "You will get to carry your chosen colors with you every day.". She went on to explain the purpose of each component with precision, guiding him through the process.

"Now, Mark, we'll also be fitting you with a Herbst appliance. It is a mechanism that connects your upper and lower jaws and pushes the lower forward, playing a crucial role in adjusting your jaw position. And finally, of course, we will put on the brackets. Ready to get started?"

Mark, though apprehensive, nodded in agreement. The orthodontic team worked efficiently, firstly installing the appliances in the roof of his mouth, then the herbst and finally the metal brackets on each tooth. The process, while a bit overwhelming, was smoother than Mark had anticipated.

As the installation concluded, Sarah handed Mark a small mirror. "There you go, Mark! Take a look at your new braces. The journey has begun."

He first looked at the brackets, which seemed larger than any he had seen before, and the Herbst appliance was very present as well, connecting on his lowe canines. Luckily the biteplate was not so visible but the silver and blue could certainly be seen clearly from some angles.Yet he could clearly feel it with his tongue and it seemed quite in the way when speaking. The initial discomfort of the new additions was unmistakable.

He looked at Sarah, who stood by, ready to assist. "Well, what do you think?" she asked, a hint of excitement in her voice.

Mark, still adjusting to the sight, managed a hesitant smile, "It's... different. I didn't expect it to be so... noticeable."

Lisa, with a reassuring tone, chimed in, "Mark, it's the beginning of a transformative journey. The braces will do wonders for your smile and bite. In no time, you'll get used to them."

As Mark continued to inspect his reflection, he couldn't deny the significant change. The braces were more pronounced than he had envisioned. The reality of embarking on this orthodontic adventure settled in, and Mark couldn't help but wonder how others would perceive his new metallic companions.

"Remember, Mark, there might be some discomfort initially, but that's completely normal. You'll get used to it in no time. Now, let's talk about the ligatures—the small bands that hold the wire in place. We have a variety of colors for you to choose from. Do you want to continue with the blue and silver theme, or perhaps try something different?" Sarah inquired, holding up a selection of ligature colors for Mark to consider.

Overwhelmed by the look of his braces, he just went for dark gray, catching a slightly disapointed look from Sarah.

Chapter 5: A coffee

After leaving the orthodontic office with his newly installed braces, Mark decided to treat himself to a cup of coffee at his favorite café. As he approached the counter to place his order, he realized that speaking with the new braces was more challenging than he had anticipated.

"Can I get a medium Americano, please?" Mark tried to articulate, but the expander and biteplate in his mouth made his speech sound muffled and unfamiliar. The barista gave him a friendly smile, patiently asking him to repeat his order, whilst Mark's self-consciousness was growing. He apolegised for the difficulties with his speech and tried to repeat slowly, and it worked.

While waiting for his coffee, Mark found a secluded corner to sit and reflect. As he sipped on his drink, he couldn't help but examine his own braces in the reflection of the café window. The vibrant blue and silver upper biteplate, the visible brackets, and the ligatures were a stark contrast to the image he had grown accustomed to seeing in the mirror.

Mark pondered if he had made the right choice. The initial excitement of starting his orthodontic journey now mingled with the practical challenges of adjusting to the changes in his mouth. The difficulty in speaking, the pressure on his teeth, and the visibility of the braces, including the Herbst appliance, raised doubts about the path he had chosen.

In that quiet café corner, Mark found himself questioning whether the journey to his ideal smile was worth the visible and audible challenges he was experiencing. He wondered if he should have opted for a more discreet option like Invisalign, as Emily had suggested earlier.

Chapter 6: First time in the office

On Mark's first day back at the office with his newly acquired braces, he couldn't help but feel a mix of self-consciousness and anticipation. As he settled into his desk, the familiar routine of emails and meetings unfolded, but with a subtle undercurrent of curiosity from his colleagues.

It wasn't long before Emily, his persistent colleague and Invisalign advocate, spotted him from across the office. Excitement lit up her face as she made her way over, eager to see the transformation Mark had embarked on.

"Mark! You told me yesterday was the big day. Let's see those braces!" Emily exclaimed, her enthusiasm bubbling over.

Mark, slightly hesitant, revealed his braces with a self-conscious smile. Emily's eyes widened in surprise as she took in the sight of the visible metal brackets, the Herbst appliance, and hints of the upper biteplate.

"Whoa, Mark! I remember you saying traditional braces, but I didn't realize you were going all out with them and what's that?" Emily gestured towards the Herbst appliance, it makes you look a bit like a robot with all that metal. I told you , invisalign like I did is the way to go,it's practically invisible!"

Mark, feeling a bit exposed under Emily's surprised gaze, explained again the reasoning behind his choice and the recommendation from Dr. Martinez. He described the various components and how each played a specific role in his orthodontic treatment plan.

Emily, still taken aback, couldn't hide her shock. "I had no idea it would be this... visible and intricate. My Invisalign is practically invisible, and I don't have all these additional things going on in my mouth."

As the conversation unfolded, Emily couldn't help but notice the difference in Mark's speech. "Is it difficult to talk with all that metal in your mouth, Mark? Your speech sounds a bit... different."

Mark, realizing the impact on his speech, nodded with a hint of concern. "Yeah, it's taking some getting used to. Dr. Martinez said it would improve over time, but it's definitely an adjustment."

Emily, now more persistent, urged, "Mark, I really think you should reconsider. It is great you are finally fixing your smile, but this is a lot more visible than I ever expected. Maybe you should get a second opinion or explore other treatment options. It's your smile, after all."

She added, "And think about dating, Mark. It might be tough to find a date like this. I mean, it's a big change, and not everyone might understand."

Mark, appreciating Emily's concern but committed to his decision, replied, "I signed a consent form for this treatment plan, Emily. Dr. Martinez who you recmmonded so warmly said it's the most effective approach for my case. I just need to give it some time."

Throughout the day, Mark navigated the office with newfound awareness of the attention his braces attracted. As he faced curious glances and questions from colleagues, he realized that his orthodontic journey had become more than just a personal transformation—it was a visible statement that invited scrutiny and conversation.

Chapter 7: Whispers in the Office

As Mark continued his work at the office with his newly acquired braces, the initial curiosity from colleagues evolved into hushed discussions and quiet whispers. Emily's concern had sparked a ripple effect, and soon, others were sharing their thoughts about Mark's visible orthodontic journey.

One afternoon later that week, Emily and a few colleagues gathered in a corner of the office, discussing Mark's braces with varying degrees of candor.

"I can't believe he went for those traditional braces. They're so... noticeable," remarked one colleague, casting a furtive glance towards Mark's desk.

"Yeah, and those bars at the side also look pretty intense. I wouldn't want that in my mouth," added another, her voice barely above a whisper.

Emily, who had started the conversation with genuine concern, found herself caught between defending Mark's choice and acknowledging the validity of their observations. A mischievous glint in her eye, she responded, "Well, he did say it's the most effective treatment. Maybe he's just trying to make a bold statement with his dental fashion, or lack thereof."

The whispers continued, and soon, a colleague chimed in with a remark that added a new layer to the conversation. "You know, my friend had a Herbst appliance like that when we were twelve. She only got it because she wasn't wearing her rubber bands as instructed. It was like a punishment."

The revelation about the Herbst appliance being used as a form of correction rather than a standard treatment prompted mixed reactions. Some colleagues exchanged curious glances, wondering if Mark's case was similar, while others began to question the intentions behind his choice.

Emily, overhearing the discussion, interjected, "Hey, I just suggested he consider fixing his teeth. I didn't push him into getting those braces."

A colleague, with a raised eyebrow, corrected her, "Wait, Emily, didn't you mention Invisalign? You were pretty adamant about that, weren't you?"

Emily, realizing the error, backtracked, "Oh, yeah, that's right. I suggested Invisalign, not these metal braces. Well, his choice, I guess."

The conversation left an uncomfortable atmosphere lingering in the air. Emily's misrecollection added a touch of skepticism to her involvement in Mark's orthodontic journey. The whispers in the office continued, fueled by the mix of genuine concern, speculation, and now, a subtle questioning of Emily's role in influencing Mark's choice.

Chapter 8: A Lunchtime Challenge

As the whispers in the office continued, Mark decided to take a break from his desk and join a colleague for lunch in the office cafeteria. As they settled into a corner table, Mark couldn't ignore the curious glances from other colleagues who had undoubtedly heard about his recent orthodontic adventure.

With his tray of food in hand, Mark sat down, attempting to navigate the challenge of eating with the Herbst appliance and upper biteplate. As he took his first bite, the metal components presented an unexpected challenge, making the simple act of chewing a more intricate process than before.

His colleague, sensing the struggle, couldn't help but inquire, "Mark, is everything okay? It looks like you're having a bit of trouble there."

Mark, smiling awkwardly, replied, "Yeah, just getting used to these braces. They make eating a bit more... interesting."

Unbeknownst to Mark, the lunchtime challenge had attracted the attention of nearby colleagues who were now subtly observing his every move.

Seizing the opportunity, one colleague decided to playfully tease Mark about his speech, saying, "Hey Mark, can you say 'sally sells seashells by the seashore' for us?"

Amused by the request, Mark attempted to articulate the tongue-twister, but the expander and biteplate added a distinct lisp to his speech, causing his colleagues to burst into laughter.

Embarrassed but good-natured, Mark laughed along, realizing that his orthodontic journey had become a source of amusement for those around him.

The teasing continued as another colleague chimed in, "Seriously, Mark, why did you go with such a visible option? I thought braces were supposed to be discreet these days."

Mark, still adjusting to the changes, explained, "Well, my orthodontist recommended this treatment plan for my case. It's a bit more involved, but apparently, it's the most effective way to straighten my teeth."

His explanation, however, didn't deter the questions and playful remarks. Colleagues began to ask more challenging words, encouraging Mark to showcase his evolving speech patterns.

Chapter 9: The Office Presentation

As Mark embraced the daily challenges of navigating conversations and lunches with his new braces, another unexpected social hurdle presented itself—delivering an office presentation. Assigned to lead a team discussion on a critical project, Mark couldn't escape the nervous excitement that came with public speaking, amplified by the recent changes in his speech due to the Herbst appliance and upper biteplate.

As he stood in front of his colleagues, a mix of familiar faces and those who had only heard about his visible orthodontic journey, Mark felt the weight of their collective gaze. The office projector displayed his slides, and the room fell silent in anticipation of his presentation.

Mark began articulating key points, attempting to speak with clarity and confidence. However, the bite plate and expander, created more than subtle impediments in his speech. The lisp that had become a part of his everyday interactions now took center stage in a more formal setting.

Colleagues exchanged glances, and a few stifled chuckles echoed in the room. Mark, acutely aware of the shifting atmosphere, continued with his presentation, determined to power through despite the unexpected social challenge.

During the question-and-answer session that followed, a colleague raised their hand and, with a playful smile, asked Mark to pronounce complex technical terms. The room erupted in a mix of laughter and good-natured teasing as Mark navigated the intricacies of his newly acquired speech patterns.

Despite the lighthearted atmosphere, Mark couldn't shake the feeling of vulnerability that came with presenting in a professional setting while undergoing a visible orthodontic transformation. The social challenge, distinct from the lunchtime banter, highlighted the need for resilience and self-assurance in the face of public scrutiny.

Chapter 10: A Tinder Encounter

Mark had almost forgotten about it, but a few weeks ago he had matched on Tinder with someone who seemed promising — She was out of town, but was returning this week and they had set a date in the agenda for Friday. Mark was in doubt now if he should call it off or give it a try, but they had clicked in the app and he hadn't had many dates recently so he just decided to keep it.

Excitement and nervousness blended as Mark prepared for their first date. He had chosen a trendy café, hoping for a relaxed atmosphere to ease into conversation. As he arrived at the meeting spot, he saw his date, Jessica, sitting at a corner table.

The initial exchange was pleasant, filled with laughter and shared interests. The initial exchange held promise, but it didn't take long for the elephant in the room – his visible braces – to dominate the conversation.

As he sat down at the coffee shop, Mark noticed her gaze linger on his braces, a reaction he had grown accustomed to. The initial exchange held promise, but it didn't take long for the elephant in the room – his visible braces – to dominate the conversation.

"I didn't expect... you know, the braces," she remarked, her words carrying a mix of surprise and a hint of disdain.

Mark, trying to keep things light, responded, "Yeah, adulting with braces, right? Not the trendiest look."

She didn't hold back, a smirk forming on her face as she remarked, "Honestly, it's a bit much, don't you think? Wasn't this in any of your profile pictures? You should have mentioned it. And aren't those types of braces for kids? Shouldn't you have gone for something more adult?"

Mark, feeling the weight of the situation, tried to explain the adjustment phase, "Well, it's a recent thing, and I didn't think it was that big of a deal. Still getting used to it."

The conversation lingered in an uncomfortable silence, and sensing the undeniable shift, Mark decided to gracefully conclude the date. "I appreciate your honesty. It was nice meeting you," he said, offering a polite goodbye.

As he left the coffee shop, Mark couldn't shake the feeling that his braces had not only altered his appearance but had also become an unexpected hurdle in the dating realm, leaving him to navigate the complexities of his orthodontic journey in a way he hadn't anticipated.

Chapter 11: The First Adjustment

A few weeks after the Tinder encounter, Mark found himself sitting in the orthodontist's chair for his first adjustment appointment. The office buzzed with activity as the orthodontic team prepared for the day's appointments.

As Mark waited, he couldn't shake the lingering discomfort from his recent dating experience. The visibility of his braces had become a social hurdle, prompting him to reevaluate his decision. The idea of facing more challenges in his personal life made him uneasy.

When Dr. Martinez and Sarah, the orthodontic assistant, entered the room, Mark hesitated but then gathered the courage to voice his concerns. "Dr. Martinez, I've been thinking. Is there any way we could switch to Invisalign? It might be easier for me socially, you know?"

Dr. Martinez listened attentively but then reminded Mark of the consent form he had signed. "Mark, I understand your concerns, but we've discussed the most effective treatment plan for your case. You signed a contract to cooperate with the treatment as I see fit. Invisalign might not achieve the desired results, and we need to stay on track for the best outcome. Also it is highly doubtful you would have had the discipline that is required for a treatment with clear aligners"

Mark's hopes deflated as he realized the commitment he had made when signing the consent form. The reminder of the signed contract weighed on him, and he reluctantly nodded in agreement.

Sarah, sensing Mark's disappointment, tried to offer some encouragement. "Mark, I know it's an adjustment, but remember, this is a temporary phase." With a hint of sympathy, she added, "Well, they say beauty is pain, right? But don't worry; it'll all be worth it in the end."

As Mark settled into the orthodontist's chair for his first adjustment, he couldn't help but feel a mix of anticipation and apprehension. The orthodontic team, led by Dr. Martinez and Sarah, prepared for the next phase of his treatment.

Dr. Martinez began by examining Mark's progress, checking the positioning of the brackets and the movement of his teeth. After a thorough evaluation, he decided it was time to advance to the next set of adjustments.

"Mark, we're progressing well, and it's time for a few changes to continue the alignment process. We'll be introducing thicker wires on both the top and bottom braces today," Dr. Martinez explained, motioning to the array of orthodontic tools.

Mark nodded, understanding that the thicker wires signaled a step forward in the treatment intensity. As the orthodontic team worked efficiently, he couldn't help but marvel at the intricate process that was gradually transforming his smile.

Once the new wires were in place, Dr. Martinez turned to Mark with a smile. "Now, let's add a bit of color to your braces. Any preferences for the ligature colors today?"

Trying to not draw more attention to his teeth, Mark chose the navy blue ones, not as boring as gray, but also clearly too visible.

With the colorful ligatures in place, Dr. Martinez continued the adjustment process. However, there was one more element to introduce—a new addition that would further enhance the effectiveness of Mark's treatment.

"We're also going to add some triangular rubber bands to assist with the alignment of your bite," Dr. Martinez explained, holding up the small, stretchy bands.

Mark, though accustomed to the routine of adjustments, felt a sense of novelty as he was handed a small container of triangular rubber bands. Sarah demonstrated the proper technique for attaching and detaching them, emphasizing the importance of consistent wear.

"Mark, you'll need to wear these as instructed—usually, 24 hours a day. But you can take them off for eating and brushing your teeth. Here, give it a try," Sarah said, guiding him through the process of carefully hooking and unhooking the rubber bands.

As the adjustment appointment concluded, Sarah handed Mark a mirror so he could inspect the changes. The thicker wires, the blue ligatures, and newly added triangular rubber bands created a mosaic of progress in his mouth.

Chapter 12: Catching up with Emily

Mark, still adjusting to the latest changes in his orthodontic treatment and the pressure from the new wires, decided to catch up with Emily. He valued her opinion and thought a friendly conversation might offer a fresh perspective on his journey. Little did he know that Emily had her own ideas about his treatment.

As they met for coffee, Emily wasted no time expressing her concerns.

"Mark, we need to talk," Emily began, her tone serious. "I had a conversation with Dr. Martinez because, well, I'm really worried about the social aspects of your treatment. You've got a tough road ahead."

Mark, curious and slightly apprehensive, nodded for her to continue.

"Dr. Martinez explained to me that this treatment plan is crucial for the best results. She even went into detail about the contract you signed, binding you to follow this plan precisely," Emily shared, her eyes reflecting the weight of the information.

Mark, a bit puzzled, admitted, "I wasn't fully aware of the details, but I trusted them to guide me through the process."

"Did you really understand what you were signing up for, Mark?" Emily questioned.

Mark, now feeling a bit cornered, responded, "Well, I trusted Dr. Martinez's expertise. If she believes this is the best way to achieve the results, I'm willing to go through it, even if it's more challenging than I initially thought."

"Mark, there's something I need to tell you," Emily began, her expression a mix of straightforwardness and matter-of-factness. "Before you started your orthodontic treatment, I had a playful conversation with Dr. Martinez. It was meant to be a prank, a harmless joke. I asked her to push for traditional braces for you, thinking it would be a funny surprise. But Mark, I never imagined it would turn out to be this extensive. You signed those documents, and in the end, you're responsible for your choices."

Mark, stunned by Emily's revelation, took a moment to process the information. "Wait, so you're telling me that my entire orthodontic journey started as a prank? And now I'm dealing with all these challenges because of it?"

Emily nodded, her acknowledgment evident. "Mark, you're an adult responsible for your choices. It was meant to be a lighthearted joke, and I thought you'd end up with something much less noticeable. I never intended for it to be like this."

In an attempt to make amends, Emily hesitated before offering, "Look, Mark, I know it won't change things entirely, but as a sort of compensation, I'm willing to switch from my Invisalign to metal braces. Maybe we can go through this journey together, and it might make things a bit more bearable for both of us."

Mark replied, "I don't know if you having metal brackets is making my treatment easier, but at least indeed we have something in common then and can support each other better."

Offline Christian

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Re: Story: Mark in Braces
« Reply #1 on: 16. January 2024, 01:43:21 AM »
wow. Impression Story, i like your Style. Thumbs up!!
 Wer Spott und Ironie in meinen Beiträgen findet darf behalten was er findet ;-)

Offline anton08

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Re: Story: Mark in Braces
« Reply #2 on: 16. January 2024, 08:27:28 AM »
Congratulations! A very well writte :)

Offline napacaster

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Re: Story: Mark in Braces
« Reply #3 on: 16. January 2024, 18:21:58 PM »
Nice story.

Offline brface

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Re: Story: Mark in Braces
« Reply #4 on: 16. January 2024, 22:12:47 PM »
I agree, nice story, go on  ;)

Offline castleg

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Re: Story: Mark in Braces
« Reply #5 on: 18. January 2024, 11:06:31 AM »
nice story, keep going

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Mark in Braces
« Reply #6 on: 31. January 2024, 08:15:18 AM »
I hope there is more of this story coming.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Story: Mark in Braces
« Reply #7 on: 13. February 2024, 02:34:47 AM »
Will you be writing about Emily changing to metal braces? I can’t wait to read more!

Offline Maarten1992

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Re: Story: Mark in Braces
« Reply #8 on: 16. February 2024, 22:50:51 PM »
Will you be writing about Emily changing to metal braces? I can’t wait to read more!

Working on it ;) cannot promise much for her treatment though...

Offline Maarten1992

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Re: Story: Mark in Braces
« Reply #9 on: 21. February 2024, 00:25:15 AM »
Part II

Chapter 13: Emily follows suit

It was only a few weeks later when Emily walked in with a confident smile, she was just back from a 2 week holiday and now was proudly displaying her new set of metal braces. Mark, still processing the unexpected turn of events, couldn't help but be intrigued by the small, sleek Damon System brackets that adorned Emily's teeth.

"Hey Mark, check these out!" Emily exclaimed, pointing to her braces. "I told you I would go for it. Dr. Martinez helped me switch from Invisalign to these metal braces. They're actually not as bad as I thought, and they're not that visible at all. What do you think?"

Mark, though slightly happy for Emily, couldn't suppress a twinge of jealousy as he compared her discreet metal braces to the more noticeable and complex orthodontic apparatus he wore. "Wow, Emily, I guess they look pretty ok on you! I didn't expect them to be so small and sleek, but cool that you made the switch."

Emily chuckled, "Yeah, turns out some of the issues I wanted to fix couldn't be fully addressed with Invisalign anyway. These metal braces offer a more precise solution."

As they chatted about Emily's newfound experience with metal braces, Mark couldn't help but voice his own perspective. "Well, Emily, it's great that you found a solution that works for you. But let's be honest, these are quite different from what I'm dealing with. Your braces are small and hardly noticeable. Mine are much more visible, and I have all these extra components like the biteplate and this herbst. It's not exactly the same experience."

Emily, sensing Mark's slight jealousy, tried to reassure him. "Mark, I get it. Our experiences are different, but we're still going through this journey together. And who knows, maybe my braces will start causing more trouble than yours!"

Despite Emily's attempt to lighten the mood, Mark couldn't shake the feeling of being overshadowed by her seemingly more manageable brackets. Emily, noticing his feelings, added, "You know, the only downside is that I can't pick any colors for my braces since they're self-ligating. But other than that, I'm super happy with them. No more thinking about removing and putting in aligners!"

As the office buzzed with the usual activities, Emily couldn't contain her excitement about the positive experiences she'd had with her new metal braces. Gathering a few colleagues during a coffee break, she decided to share her recent adventures in the world of dating.

"Guess what, everyone? I updated my Tinder profile with pictures of my new braces, and you won't believe the response!" Emily exclaimed, a genuine enthusiasm in her voice.

Colleagues gathered around, curious to hear more about Emily's newfound dating adventures. Mark, who happened to be in the vicinity, overheard the conversation and couldn't help but be intrigued.

"It turns out, showcasing my braces didn't deter potential matches; in fact, it became a conversation starter. Guys seem to appreciate the honesty, and I've been getting more matches than ever," Emily shared, a bright smile on her face.

One colleague chimed in, "Seriously? I thought having braces would make dating more challenging."

Emily shook her head, "Not at all! It's all about confidence. Embracing who you are, braces and all, can be a real game-changer."

As the conversation continued, the topic naturally shifted to Mark. Colleagues turned to him with curious expressions, wondering if he had a similar experience.

"So, Mark, are you thinking of giving the Tinder strategy a try with your braces?" one colleague playfully teased.

Mark, caught off guard, chuckled nervously. "Well, I haven't really thought about it. My dating profile isn't exactly focused on my braces."

Another colleague chimed in, "You know, Emily's onto something. Being upfront might just work in your favor. Braces are a part of who you are right now, and confidence can be attractive."

Mark, feeling a sense of transparency, admitted, "Actually, I do have pictures of my braces on my profile. Due to some earlier misunderstandings, they're quite visible. But so far, it's not really working out well for me."

"Well, Emily, your braces look quite sleek and minimalistic. Mark has a bit more going on there," the colleague remarked with a playful tone. "Maybe it's understandable that you're getting more attention, Emily. Your braces are almost like a fashion accessory!"

Then, with a thoughtful expression, the colleague added, "I mean, I can imagine dating someone who's lisping and has so much stuff in their mouth all the time could be challenging. It's not just about looks, right?"

Chapter 14: 2nd Adjustment

Mark, fueled by a growing sense of frustration and the recent revelations about the origins of his orthodontic treatment, entered Dr. Martinez's office for his second adjustment visit with a determination to confront her.

"Dr. Martinez, we need to talk," Mark declared, a stern look on his face as he took a seat in the orthodontic chair.

Dr. Martinez, always composed, looked at Mark with a professional demeanor. "Of course, Mark. What's on your mind?"

Mark, unable to contain his feelings any longer, decided to address the scheming he believed had taken place. "I know about the conversation you had with Emily before my treatment started. This whole thing was a prank, and I don't appreciate being a pawn in your little game. I want out of this treatment plan."

Dr. Martinez, maintaining her composure, responded, "Mark, I understand that emotions are running high. However, the treatment plan we agreed upon was based on your specific orthodontic needs. It's designed to achieve the best results for your oral health and aesthetics."

Growing more desperate, Mark pressed on, "But I never saw this treatment plan! I don't even know what's in it, how long it will take, or what I'm supposed to go through. Can you at least show me the details of what I signed up for?"

Dr. Martinez, understanding Mark's concerns, sighed and explained, "Mark, I apologize if there has been a lack of clarity. Let me show you the treatment plan and go through the details. We can discuss any questions or concerns you may have."

    Phase One: Fixed Appliances (Brackets, Herbst, Expander, and Biteplate) - 12 to 18 Months
        Brackets: Traditional braces will be applied to the teeth for initial alignment.
        Herbst Appliance: A Herbst appliance will be used to address specific bite issues.
        Rapid Palatal Expander: A palatal expander will be utilized to widen the palate gradually.
        Biteplate: as long as necessary a biteplate will be installed to protect the bite and assist in minor correction.
        Duration: Approximately 12 to 18 months for the initial alignment and preparation.

    Phase Two: Herbst and Expander Removal, Introduction of Cervical Headgear - approximately 12 Months
        Removal of Herbst, Expander, and Biteplate: Once the initial alignment is achieved, specific appliances will be removed.
        Cervical Headgear Introduction: A cervical headgear will be introduced to further address bite concerns.
        Brackets Adjustment: Continued adjustment with traditional brackets for fine-tuning.
        Duration: Another 12 months for refinement and detailing.

    Phase Three: Removal of Equipment, Transition to Retention Phase (removable Hawley retainers) - to be determined
        Removal of Appliances: As the desired alignment and bite correction are achieved, all orthodontic appliances will be removed.
        Transition to Retention Phase: Hawley retainers will be provided to maintain the achieved results.
        Duration: The timeline varies, with a focus on stability and post-treatment maintenance.

As Dr. Martinez concluded the explanation of the comprehensive treatment plan, Mark sat in the orthodontic chair, absorbing the information. The shock on his face was unmistakable as he processed the lengthy timeline and the introduction of cervical headgear in the next phase.

"Dr. Martinez, this plan... it's longer than I expected. And the headgear—I wasn't prepared for that. How often will I have to wear it?" Mark inquired, a hint of worry in his voice.

Dr. Martinez, recognizing Mark's concerns, leaned forward and began to address his questions with a calm demeanor. "Mark, I understand that the treatment plan might seem extensive, but it's designed to address your specific orthodontic needs comprehensively. As for the headgear, once the Herbst and expander come off, patients often find the headgear to be a lighter nuisance. It won't be a full-time requirement, and the duration will be determined based on your progress."

She continued, "The headgear is a valuable component for further bite correction. It might feel unfamiliar initially, but many patients adapt quickly. We'll work together to ensure your comfort and make adjustments as needed."

Mark, still processing the information, asked, "So, it won't be all day, every day?"

Dr. Martinez nodded, "Exactly. The headgear will have specific usage instructions, and it won't be a constant requirement. It's part of the refining process to achieve the best possible results for your bite and overall oral health."

As the conversation unfolded, Dr. Martinez addressed Mark's concerns, explaining the rationale behind each phase of the treatment plan and emphasizing the adaptability of patients to the various orthodontic appliances. Mark, though initially shocked, began to see the plan as a tailored approach to achieving lasting results.

The adjustments itself turned out to be rather uneventful, Mark sticked with the navy blue ligatures and also the wires and rubber bands stayed as they were. Did not feel like progress at all, but Sarah assured him that they cannot switch wires every adjustment anyhow and that she did she the progress in his teeth.
Chapter 15 Aligning with Emily

The next day at the office, Mark found himself discussing his comprehensive treatment plan with Emily, seeking her insights and perspective. As they sat in the breakroom during their lunch break, Mark unfolded the detailed phases of his orthodontic journey.

"Emily, I wanted to talk to you about my treatment plan. Dr. Martinez laid out this extensive plan with phases, headgear, and all. It's longer than I anticipated," Mark admitted, a mix of uncertainty and curiosity in his expression.

Emily, who had been through her own orthodontic experiences, listened attentively. "Mark, I knew about your plan. I had a conversation with Dr. Martinez a while ago as I was also curious when i saw you get to the office with that mouth full of appliances of yours."

Mark, surprised, asked, "You knew about this? Why didn't you tell me?"

Emily, with a mischievous grin, responded, "Oh, I didn't want to spoil the surprise! But seriously, I thought it would be more fun to see your reaction when you found out about all the phases and headgear."

Mark, feeling a bit taken aback, said, "Well, it's not exactly what I'd call 'fun.'"

Emily chuckled, "Come on, Mark! We're in this together. At least we can be the dynamic brace-face duo of the office."

Mark, deciding to get some practical information, asked,

"Speaking of headgear, do you know how many hours I'll have to wear it? The orthodontist never really answered that question," Mark inquired again, seeking more specifics.

Emily, leaning back in her chair, crossed her arms, and playfully replied, "Oh, the elusive headgear hours. Well, brace yourself, Mark—it's probably more than you'd like to hear. But hey, it's a small price to pay for the perfect smile, right?"

Mark sighed, "I suppose so. I just wish I had a clearer picture of what's ahead."

With a twinkle in her eye, Emily couldn't resist a slightly meaner touch. "Just imagine, Mark, strutting into the office with your headgear on. You'll be the talk of the town! Colleagues will crane their necks to catch a glimpse of the office heartthrob turned orthodontic superstar."

Mark raised an eyebrow, not entirely convinced. "Superstar, huh? More like orthodontic spectacle."

Emily chuckled, her tone slightly more biting. "Come on, Mark! You'll rock that headgear. Picture it—meetings, presentations, and coffee breaks—all with the not so subtle charm of orthodontic elegance."

Mark, trying to visualize it, shook his head. "I don't know about that, Emily. I can't imagine anyone finding headgear charming."

Emily, still reveling in her playful fantasy, winked with a hint of teasing, "Well, we'll just have to wait and see, won't we? Who knows, it might become the hottest trend in the office!"

As their banter reached its conclusion, Emily added with a sly grin, "At least, with the other appliances gone, people will understand what you say again. Small victories, right?"

"Anyway, if I remember correctly you still have quite some time to go untill that headgear of yours comes around the corner, wasn't it like at least 12 months for phase 1?"

Chapter 16: The Curious Intern

As the afternoon sun streamed through the office windows, Emily sat at her desk, engrossed in her work. Suddenly, the intern, Julia, approached her with a concerned expression.

"Emily, have you noticed that Mark seems unusually moody today? Is everything okay with him?" Julia inquired, her curiosity piqued.

Emily glanced over at Mark's desk, noticing his furrowed brow and tense posture. "Yeah I know, and I think I also know why, he just is back from the Ortho and they discussed his full treatment plan"

"Orthodontic treatment plan? How do you know about that?" Julia asked, intrigued.

Emily hesitated for a moment before responding, "Well, let's just say I'm privy to some insider information. But the thing is, Mark probably just discovered the full extent of his treatment plan. He might not have realized what he signed up for."

Julia looked puzzled. "Wait, so you're telling me he agreed to braces without knowing the details? That doesn't make sense."

Emily sighed, shaking her head. "I know, it's the most stupid thing he could have done. But sometimes people make impulsive decisions without fully understanding the consequences."

Julia's curiosity piqued further. "What's so bad about his treatment plan anyway?"

Emily leaned in, her voice lowered as if sharing a secret. "Well, the big issue he got is, he's going to have to wear headgear."

"Headgear?" Julia's eyes widened in surprise. "I thought that was just something from movies and old cartoons. People still wear that?"

Emily nodded solemnly. "Yes, they do. And while I do enjoy poking a bit of fun at his braces, headgear is nothing to make fun of. It's one of the least enjoyable aspects of orthodontic treatment, to say the least."

Julia couldn't hide her disbelief. "Will he have to wear it to the office? That would be ridiculous, right?"

Emily sighed, her tone serious. "Knowing Mark's orthodontist, she can be pretty strict. I wouldn't put it past her to require him to wear it during office hours. Poor guy."

That afternoon Julia decided to give it a shot to cheer up Mark. "Hey Mark, I heard from Emily about your orthodontic treatment plan. She mentioned something about headgear? That sounds pretty intense," Julia blurted out, her words catching Mark off guard.

Mark's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "Oh, she did, did she?" he mumbled, feeling a pang of irritation at Emily's loose lips.

Undeterred by Mark's subdued response, Julia pressed on, eager to offer some encouragement. "Well, you know, I had a boy in my school class who wore headgear. He got bullied a lot, but he did manage to fix his overbite. So, maybe it's not all bad?"

Mark forced a polite smile, though Julia's attempt at reassurance only seemed to deepen his unease. "Thanks for sharing, Julia. But I'm not sure if that's quite what I needed to hear right now."

Unaware of her misstep, Julia continued with unwavering enthusiasm. "And hey, from what I've heard, headgear is usually just for a few months, right? You'll be back to normal before you know it!"

Mark's forced smile faded as he shook his head. "Actually, it might be a full year in my case," he admitted, his tone heavy with resignation.

Julia's eyes widened in shock, her attempts at cheer now falling flat. "A year? Oh, wow, I had no idea. I'm sorry, Mark. I didn't mean to make things worse."

Mark offered Julia a small, understanding smile. "It's okay, Julia. You were just trying to help. I appreciate the sentiment."

Feeling a mix of frustration and curiosity, Mark approached Emily's desk after Julia's well-meaning yet awkward attempt at cheering him up.

"Hey, Emily, can I talk to you for a moment?" Mark asked, his tone tinged with concern.

Emily looked up from her work, sensing Mark's somber demeanor. "Of course, what's on your mind?"

Mark hesitated for a moment before diving in. "I couldn't help but notice that Julia knew about the headgear. Did you tell her?"

Emily sighed, realizing her slip-up had caused Mark further distress. "Yeah, I did. I'm sorry, Mark. It just slipped out in conversation."

Mark frowned, feeling a surge of frustration. "I would've appreciated it if you hadn't shared that information. It's kind of personal, you know?"

Emily nodded, her expression apologetic. "You're right, I should've been more careful. But don't worry too much about it. By the time you're getting your headgear, Julia's internship will be long over. It won't be an issue."

Mark sighed, feeling slightly reassured by Emily's explanation. "Okay, I guess you're right. Thanks, Emily."

As Mark turned to leave, a hint of exasperation crept into his voice. "You know, Emily, if you're really envious of my braces, you're always welcome to swap. Just keep in mind, you'll also need to take the expander and herbst too."

Emily chuckled at Mark's playful yet pointed remark, realizing she had inadvertently opened herself up to his teasing. "Fair point, Mark. I think I'll pass on that offer for now."

Chapter 17: 3rd Adjustment

As Mark settled into the orthodontist's chair for his third adjustment appointment, he couldn't shake the nagging thought that had been lingering in his mind since his conversation with Emily. Maybe there was a way to expedite his treatment and lessen the time he'd have to spend wearing headgear.

"So, Dr. Martinez, I've been thinking," Mark began tentatively, meeting the orthodontist's gaze. "Is there any way we could start with the headgear sooner rather than later? Maybe just at nights to begin with?"

Dr. Martinez raised an eyebrow, her expression thoughtful. Beside her, Sarah, the assistant, stifled a chuckle at Mark's eagerness.

"Well, Mark, that's certainly an ambitious proposal," Dr. Martinez replied with a hint of amusement. "But I'm afraid it's not quite as simple as that. Starting headgear too early or wearing it only sporadically won't achieve the desired results."

Mark's heart sank at the realization that his plan might not be as feasible as he had hoped. "So, what are our options then?"

Dr. Martinez leaned forward, her tone serious. "We could consider starting you on headgear in combination with your current appliances, but it would need to be a serious commitment from the start. Less than 12 hours a day won't effectively address your orthodontic needs."

Mark nodded, understanding the gravity of the situation. "I'm willing to do whatever it takes to speed up the process, within reason."

Dr. Martinez nodded approvingly. "I appreciate your dedication, Mark. Let's aim to start the headgear in about five months, once we've made some progress with your current appliances. In the meantime, we'll continue with your adjustments as planned."

As Mark's braces were being adjusted and checked in the orthodontist's chair, the question that had been nagging at him for days finally surfaced.

"Dr. Martinez," Mark began tentatively, "is there any chance that Emily might also need headgear?"

Dr. Martinez paused, adjusting her posture slightly as she considered Mark's inquiry. "No, Mark," she responded calmly, "Emily's bite is perfectly aligned, and there's no indication for headgear in her case. It's quite uncommon for adults to require such treatment, particularly when their bite is as ideal as Emily's."

Mark nodded, accepting Dr. Martinez's explanation. Before he could voice another question, Dr. Martinez continued, her tone shifting slightly.

"Actually, Mark, I wanted to mention something about Emily's treatment. It's unfortunate that we had to transition her from Invisalign to brackets," Dr. Martinez stated, her expression reflective.

Mark's interest piqued at this unprompted revelation. "Was that Emily's decision, or was it based on her treatment needs?" he asked, eager for clarity.

Dr. Martinez sighed softly, her gaze thoughtful. "The decision to switch Emily from Invisalign to brackets was based on her treatment results," she confirmed, her voice tinged with regret. "While Invisalign is a popular choice for many patients, in Emily's case, we found that brackets would provide better control and precision for the necessary adjustments."

Mark absorbed this information, a sense of understanding dawning within him. "So, it wasn't Emily's choice to switch?"

Dr. Martinez shook her head, her expression sympathetic. "No, Mark. It was a decision made solely for the sake of optimizing her treatment outcomes and ensuring the best possible results for her dental health."

Mark just nodded, understanding what happened a bit more clearly now.

As Sarah continued with Mark's adjustment, she followed her usual routine of presenting him with the choice of colored ligatures. Mark's eyes scanned over the array of hues, considering his options.

"Another blue, please," Mark requested, his tone somewhat absentminded.

Sarah's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "Blue again?" she exclaimed, a hint of playful reproach in her voice. "Come on, Mark, let's shake things up a bit. How about we try something a little more adventurous?"

Mark chuckled at Sarah's enthusiasm, though he remained skeptical. "I don't know, Sarah. Using more than one color seems a bit... juvenile, don't you think?"

Sarah grinned, undeterred by Mark's hesitance. "Trust me, Mark, a pop of color can really add some personality to your braces. And hey, you can pick up to four colors and alternate them, like a fashion statement for your teeth!"

Mark couldn't help but laugh at Sarah's enthusiasm. "Alright, Sarah, if you think I should go for something more vibrant, suggest away, and I'll consider it."

Sarah's eyes sparkled with excitement as she scanned the assortment of ligatures. "How about lavender?" she suggested, plucking a small packet from the display. "It's still in the blue family, but with a touch of purple. I think it would complement your complexion nicely."

Mark considered the suggestion for a moment before nodding in agreement. "Lavender it is," he declared, a hint of anticipation in his voice.

With deft fingers, Sarah tied the lavender ligatures onto Mark's braces, her movements practiced and precise. Once finished, she handed him a mirror, a proud smile gracing her lips.

"Take a look," she encouraged, gesturing towards the mirror.

Mark angled the mirror to get a better view of his new color, and a pleased smile spread across his face. The lavender ligatures added a subtle yet distinctive touch to his braces, lending them a newfound vibrancy.

"Looks great, Sarah," Mark remarked, his voice filled with satisfaction. "Thanks for the suggestion."

Sarah beamed at his approval, her pride evident. "Anytime, Mark. Just remember, your smile is your best accessory!"
Then Dr. Martinez added, "Mark we see you back in 6 weeks, we did upgrade the wires so you might be in some discomfort, but it will just be for a few days" and with that the check-up was done and Mark headed home after making a new apointment with the receptionist.

Chapter 18: Encounters at the Mall

Mark wandered through the bustling mall, his mind occupied with errands and tasks to be completed. As he turned a corner, he unexpectedly found himself face to face with Emily, accompanied by a tall, friendly-looking man.

"Emily!" Mark exclaimed, surprised to see her outside of their usual work environment. "What a coincidence running into you here!"

Emily's face lit up with a warm smile as she greeted Mark. "Hey, Mark! It's great to see you. This is John," she introduced, gesturing to the man beside her. "John, this is my colleague Mark."

John extended his hand in greeting, his expression curious. "Nice to meet you, Mark. Emily has told me quite a bit about you."

Mark shook John's hand, a slight quirk of amusement tugging at his lips. "Likewise, John. I hope it's all been good things."

Emily chuckled, exchanging a knowing glance with John. "Oh, absolutely," she reassured Mark, her tone teasing.

John's eyes twinkled with mischief as he turned to Mark, a playful grin on his face. "So, Mark, you're the guy Emily mentioned, huh? The one who started braces more or less because of her?"

Mark couldn't help but laugh at John's straightforwardness, though he felt a faint blush creeping up his cheeks. "Yeah, that's me," he admitted with a good-natured shrug. "Guilty as charged."

John glanced at Emily, a playful glint in his eye. "Well, let's see them then," he declared, curiosity evident in his voice.

Mark obliged, parting his lips to reveal his braces as he flashed a smile. John's eyes widened in genuine surprise as he inspected Mark's dental appliances, his expression a mixture of disbelief and amusement.

"They're... they're as big and visible as Emily was saying," John remarked, a hint of laughter in his voice.

Emily burst into giggles at John's reaction, her eyes sparkling with amusement as she met Mark's gaze. "See, I told you I wasn't exaggerating," she teased, nudging John playfully.

John's eyebrows furrowed in bemusement as he glanced between Emily and Mark. "It's hard to believe you both go to the same orthodontist," he remarked, shaking his head slightly. "But I guess all the extra stuff is just needed in your case, Mark."

Emily nodded in agreement, her expression thoughtful. "Yeah, Mark wanted a very thorough treatment," she confirmed, shooting Mark a knowing look.

Mark chuckled, a sense of pride swelling within him at Emily's words. "I figured if I was going to do it, I might as well do it right," he admitted with a shrug.

John grinned, a glint of admiration in his eyes. "Well, it looks like you're committed, that's for sure," he remarked, clapping Mark on the shoulder. "And hey, if it gets you that perfect smile, then it's all worth it, right?"

Mark smiled, a sense of camaraderie settling between the three of them. "Absolutely," he agreed wholeheartedly. "Thanks, John."

John smiled sympathetically at Mark, his tone laced with sincerity. "I hope the treatment goes fast for you, buddy," he remarked, offering Mark an encouraging pat on the back.

Emily's lips curled into a mischievous grin as she interjected, her tone teasing. "Well, by my count, he still has at least two years to go, maybe more," she quipped, her eyes twinkling with amusement.

Mark groaned playfully at Emily's remark, shaking his head in mock disbelief. "Thanks for the reminder, Emily," he replied with a chuckle, shooting her a playful glare. "I'll be sure to send you an invitation to the big braces-free celebration once it's all over."

As they bid farewell to Mark, John and Emily exchanged a few more words before turning to continue their stroll through the mall. However, as they walked away, John couldn't help but overhear a snippet of their conversation.

"I never seen braces like that on an adult," John remarked to Emily, a note of curiosity in his voice. "With those hinges and all."

Emily grinned knowingly, her eyes glinting with amusement. "Oh, Mark is certainly the amusement of the office since he got them," she replied, her tone tinged with mischief. "But you know, I surprised myself a bit with setting this all up."

John chuckled, shaking his head in disbelief. "Well, it's certainly been an eye-opening experience," he admitted, glancing back at Mark one last time before continuing on their way. "Who knew orthodontic treatment could be so... eventful?"

As their conversation wound down, Emily and John exchanged farewells with Mark before strolling off together. However, unbeknownst to Mark, John overheard a snippet of their playful banter as they walked away.

"I've never seen braces like that on an adult, with those hinges," John remarked, his tone filled with genuine curiosity as he glanced back at Mark.

Emily grinned mischievously, her eyes dancing with amusement. "Oh, Mark is certainly the amusement of the office with those braces," she confided, a hint of pride in her voice. "I must admit, I've surprised myself with how well I orchestrated this."

John chuckled, shaking his head in amazement. "Well, I'm glad you just have the small, simple, cute metal kind," he remarked, casting a glance at Emily's smile.

Emily nodded in agreement, a fond smile tugging at her lips. "Me too," she replied, a note of satisfaction in her voice. "It's definitely much easier to manage than what poor Mark has to deal with."

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Mark in Braces
« Reply #10 on: Today at 06:00:50 »
I'm looking forward to reading what happens next.