Bracing news

The youngest finally got her outrageously expensive braces on Monday.

She has been VERY grumpy ever since about how they look and feel.

Much like her mum is about the bill. But I felt cornered by her mouth-breathing-induced overbite, missing-front-tooth agenesis and teen vanity conditions.

As I watched the braces being laboriously glued to her teeth, I tried to recall what it was like to get mine in my early teens.

(Mainly because I’d forgotten to charge my phone beforehand, so I couldn’t look at social media and was VERY bored.)

But all I could remember were little snippets of being in the orthodondist’s chair, a flash of Dr Cerny’s face and mistakenly thinking his daughters were named after cars because he’d called them Portia and Mercedes.

Also that it hurt a lot whenever they got tightened.

Oh and being one of the first kids in Australia to get a permanent brace. My teerh drove Dr Cerny to his wits end. Every time he tried to remove the braces the front ones started fanning outwards again, Chad Morgan style.

Finally, he copied a new-fangled idea he’d seen at an overseas conference and glued a permanent plate to the back of my teeth to keep them in place.

Thirty-five years later, as I sat twiddling my thumbs in the NIB Dental Clinic, it didn’t look like orthodontic technology had changed much.

Although, one thing that has changed is that pets can get braces now too … I also reminisced about the time the vet informed me that Charlie the Moodle needed them.

Oh yes, dog orthodontics really do exist and they look like this …

When I told my sister about Charlie needing braces … and she finished laughing … she said: “That would only happen to you.”

Luckily it didn’t happen to me, just for once. Charlie’s teeth corrected themselves … though we are currently trying to avoid Bilbo needing dental surgery for gingevitis.

Have I mentioned that you should not get a dog? If I had my time over …

Anyways. The youngest has a mouth full of metal … and attitude …

I got up early yesterday morning to make her a big batch of mashed potato, she sipped soup for breakfast and we’ve all had lots of eggshells to walk on.

Hang on! I’ve remembered something else that has changed in 35 years … how much your private medical fund gouges you on the rebate on the damn braces.

I’m still outraged that you only get a maximum of $1500 back after an $8000 outlay. Yes, yes, I know some of you are on much better private medical plans than mine, I’m so thrilled for you.

But most of us only get the $1500, which is yet another reason that private medical is pretty freaking farked these days. Why bloody bother?

The whole system is heading for a fall, I reckon.

OK … better go make some more mash  …

Song of the day: Flying Lizzards “Money, that’s what I want” (oooh this is a good ‘un from the vault)


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  1. Oh I feel for you and the youngest. I too had braces for a year when I was 13. I remember how they hurt when tightened. But it was worth it in the end! And I’m getting pretty fed up with the private health thing. They keep raising my premium and seem to be shaving off things I’m covered for. Like they just announced I’m now not entitled to anything vascular-related unless I up my cover – I feel like I should just put that money into my own special health savings account every month! $1500 out of $8000 is appalling!

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