Guys, guys, guys, guys, guys.
Words cannot even describe how ecstatic I am to finally be 100% braces free.
I think it would be best to simply quote that civil rights guy:
"Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, [I am] free at last."
Ohh, wait a minute! I was about to make a joke about how I actually know that that's a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., but then I remembered that today is MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY!
I mean, what are the odds that exactly seven months post op would be the birthday of the man who said the quote that I've been planning to use for exactly this moment for months now?
Seriously, someone calculate that.

Anywhoodleedoodle, last Thursday I got my braces off during school.
When we went into the office I was extremely nervous that they would decide I wasn't ready (those rubber bands? Yeah, I wore those for, like, a day) and wouldn't take them off. I kept finding bad news in all that orthodontic jargon that I've--sadly--come to understand after all these years in that chair.
One ortho kept saying to the other stuff like, "Let's do a holley." I don't know what a holley is! I don't know, but it sounded bad! But soon enough those horrible, terrible pliers came into my line of vision and my fears were calmed.
That is, until my ortho very blatantly told me, "This is going to hurt."
And hurt it did. Apparently the clear braces are much more difficult to pry from your teeth than the regular ones are. There was a horrible crunch and some jerking with every single tooth (let me tell you a story in a minute!) but then I was free. It made me kinda nervous because I still feel like some of my teeth (specifically my upper right 2; you know the one) are really... weak, I guess, but it wasn't terrible.
When we got to my bottom teeth that only had regular braces, I didn't even realize my brackets were coming off until he was half way through!
The whole office was happy for me.
I'm not even exaggerating. The WHOLE office knows that I've been the problem child for the past decade.The receptionists came back. The assistants hugged me. Even someone in the waiting room knew about me. I'm practically famous in the world of orthodontia.

When *Brandi took me to get my pictures and X-Rays done she showed me all of my old pictures.  They're depressing. And precious, in a way.
The pictures from when I was little are pretty cute I guess, but you can still tell there's something wrong with me. Once we got to the ones where I'm older though... It honestly looks painful. I don't know how I lived like that. It made me feel so much better when we got to my post op pictures.  My eyes look better, I have cheek bones, my nose is mostly straight, and you can see the nine screws in my face!
I so wish I could feel those.
She then got me all fitted for my retainer and we left.

*Before leaving I told Brandi that I was glad she was there to see me get my braces off since she's the assistant that's worked with me the most over the past two and half years. She told me once, about six months into my braces (after my surgery for my upper right 2, when we were in the process of moving it half way across my face and turning it around) that they really loved to see just how much the "people like me" end up changing. Basically she nicely told me that they really like seeing how much prettier they make the ugly ones. I'm not gonna lie, they pimped me out. So I told her I was glad she was there and she told me, "Oh, yeah. You know we all rotate between patients, but when I saw you on the list a few days ago I got you. The other girls know to stay away; you're mine."
I love her.

When we got in the car I was like, "I need music for this."
I'm not convinced that it can be entirely a coincidence that the first song I heard on the radio after being released from bondage was "I'm Sexy and I Know It." It can't be.
We went to Milo's to celebrate (!!!) and then I was back to school to show off my **not-so-pearly whites.
It was fabulous. My teeth are fabulous. I'm fabulous. Life's fabulous.

**We're working on those teeth though. I'll let you know next month how I think my whitening toothpaste is working!

Last Thursday we went back and I got my retainer.
It's obscenely purple.
I love it.
I also have a retainer on the backs of my bottom teeth, but there's no way I can get a picture of that for you. But last week when I was cleaning my room I found my old p̶a̶l̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶e̶x̶p̶a̶n̶d̶e̶r̶ torture device I told you about in my first post. Look!
I've really got to get rid of that thing. The stench from it... It permeates everything.

This last weekend I went with my youth group from church to the Scott Dawson Strength to Stand conference in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It was amazing (We saw LECRAE and KJ-52 and NEWSBOYS!) and we all got the opportunity to grow in Christ together. Less importantly, we also got the chance to take lots of pictures. Lots and lots of braces free pictures!

Remember when I said I had friends now that I'm pretty?
<----- First post-braces friend over there!


I mean, look at this guy.
Very few people take kindly to me touching their hair at a concert without their knowledge. At first we were "mad" at my friend when her flash went off in his face. She *swears* she turned it off, but it turned out to be a blessing that it went off anyway. If it hadn't, we never would have known how cool he is.
Go Tim!

And now... my favorite time... FEEDING TIME!
And don't think I forgot about your story! Did you know that in the first century C.E. (It's no longer acceptable to use B.C. and A.D. Now it's correct to use C.E. for common era and B.C.E. for before common era) there was a woman named Appolonia who was tortured by Pagans for her faith? When she refused to renounce her faith in Christ, the Pagans crushed her teeth with pliers one by one until they were all gone. And I think I had it hard! After they did that, they built a fire before her and threatened to throw her in it if she didn't renounce her faith. Instead of betraying the Lord she JUMPED INTO THE FIRE. Whoa.
Supposedly she's the Patron Saint of Dentistry, but since I'm not Catholic I won't claim to know anything about that.

Love you all and have a wonderful braces free month.
Unless you still have braces. Then... um...
4/5/2012 06:44:12 am

Haha! Congratulations on your free braces month! Your smiling face is everywhere, and it's contagious. It's heartwarming to know how the people support you. Hmmm.. You remind me of an actress, and a pretty good one too: Jennifer Garner!


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