A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

political dentistry

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on June 13, 2008

I wore braces on my teeth for four years – four very long years, from age 11 to 15. My teeth were picture perfect when the local orthodontist finished with me – and the top ones still are. But despite my best efforts to remain ignorant, I have noticed that the bottom ones are shifting.

So I added “find orthodontist” to my list of Leaving Beirut activities. It wasn’t hard to do – I took the easy route and called AUB’s hospital, AUH. (The American University of Beirut, the American University Hospital – both clearly chosen before the era of cleverly chosen brand names.)

I assumed it was a small office, so after being disconnected midway through my first attempt to book an appointment, I tried to pick up where I had left off.

I’m sorry, the polite young man on the phone said to me, but I wasn’t the one speaking to you before.

Goodness, I said. I figured there was only one receptionist for the orthodontics department.

Oh no, he told me cheerfully. We have a whole football team here.

Go figure. So I made the appointment with the halfback, or defensive lineman, or whoever he was, and went in last week for an initial consultation.

The staff was incredibly nice and the machines were very up-to-date, but I felt a bit out of place as soon as I began filling out the “patient information” sheet. Its questions made it obvious that I vastly exceed the average orthodontics patient age.

I identified my family situation as “unremarkable” (i.e., my parents are not divorced) and indicated that I get along well with all family members, including any younger siblings (that’s you, Sporty D!).

And after wrestling with my conscience for some time, I decided that I am “well-adjusted” but “not always cooperative”.

Well, said my new orthodontist after reviewing the sheet, at least you’re honest.

Today I went back for my new retainer. (Yes – no return to braces for me. Sorry to disappoint those of you who were eagerly awaiting a new “Little Diamond with grille” version of the blog.)

And once again, I was faced with a choice.

What is your favorite color? asked the orthodontist, lifting his head from a drawer.

Hmm, I thought. Black for clothing, burnished gold for jewelry, brown for eyeliner – my favorites are all contextual. Why is he asking?

We have many colors for retainer cases, he said to me. Come pick one.

“Many colors”, yes – but “all colors”, no. The AUH retainer case collection currently consists of three colors:

orange. yellow. and green.

I wanted to laugh. Actually, I really wanted to take a picture. And part of me was dying to quip: did you invest in these colors after the May a7dath?

But I didn’t. I’m trying to be more cooperative. So I just picked a color and said thank you.

And just in case you are wondering: I picked yellow. For summer, and for the discipline I’ll need to remember to wear the darn thing 14 hours a day 🙂 .

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2 Responses to “political dentistry”

  1. LetUsTalk said

    let’s think…yellow …sunshine in the morning…radiating smile…not to be confused with lemon-wedge smile! Good for you!

  2. sporty diamond said

    So interesting! My bottom ones are moving the most, too…hmmm…look forward to hearing how things go for you!

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