Orthodontist Daddy

For Throw Back Thursday, I was thinking about some of the Built Ford Tough Shenanigans from years past. This one is a doozey!   #TBT

I got braces when I was in the 5th grade.  At the time, my Mom was working with General Motors, so my Mom and I lived in Michigan and my Dad stayed in DC.  There was no way my Daddy was going to relocate to Michigan on a whim, so he stayed and worked in DC and my Mom and I were in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.  We did A LOT of traveling back and forth. Funny…but I never realized that we were doing something “different.”   Ok…back to the braces. I had regular orthodontist appointments and was on track for my seemingly 10 year plan…LOL.  Maybe not 10, but back then braces were definitely a commitment.  Well…this plan took a major turn in 1981.   President Ronald Reagan had been elected and he appointed my Mom to his cabinet.  She had to move back to DC IMMEDIATELY!!  . (There is a whole other story about me living in Michigan ALONE for 3 months to finish out school…before I started SEVENTH grade.  More on that one in a separate post.  We have always been special.)

Well, my regularly scheduled orthodontist appointments took a backseat since I was living in, now Detroit, with a “roommate” who was a grown woman whose boyfriend was a Detroit Pistons basketball player and my Mom moving back to DC.  When I finally moved back home in May of 1981, I hadn’t been to the orthodontist in months. I had one of those spacer things in the roof of my mouth, where you had to insert a small, key like tool and adjust it nightly. Well…those adjustments had ended and now the spacer thing was just a pain in my cheek. Like, for real.  A wire was poking my cheek and there was no amount of wax that I could put on to stop the irritation.

One day my Dad and I were home chillin’…probably watching baseball.  I was whining and crying about my braces hurting.  I had been complaining about it for weeks. For weeks, my Mom kept telling me and my Dad that she was going to ask for some orthodontist referrals. She was busy….I guess the other Reagan in her life had her doing some important things. 🙂   My Dad was like “I’ll look in the yellow pages”  (remember those BIG ASS books that they would throw on your front step…LOL)  My Mom was like “oh NO you WILL NOT find Regan’s orthodontist in the yellow pages!”

So… no orthodontist plus wire sticking into cheek plus Regan crying plus hot summer day equals Dr. Daddy.   Dr. Melvin Ford, Orthodontist to the rescue. On this day, my Dad had had enough.  He wasn’t waiting any longer for an orthodontist referral.  I whined one time too many.

Daddy:  Regan, come on.  Let’s go in the living room

Me:  Ok, Daddy

Daddy:   Sit here.  I’ll be right back.   We had a yellow velour chair in the living room.  It was really low to the ground and cozy.  My Dad went outside to the garage.

Me:   I sit down..eyes kind of teary.  But relief had already settled in…UNTIL….

Daddy:  OK, look at me.

My Dad had some tools.  Yes, TOOLS.  Some stuff he pulled out of whatever tackle box or tool box he found in the garage.  I don’t know exactly what tools, but they had grips and clips and were big and metal.

Me:  Relief was gone…my Daddy was about to operate on me.   OH YEAH…he had a little flashlight that he held in his .MOUTH.

Daddy:  OK…Regan open and point to where it hurts.

Me:  I open my mouth and stick my finger inside and show my Daddy where my cheek is in pain.

Daddy:   Ok, baby. Sit still.

My Dad proceeds to shine the flashlight in my mouth.  He is holding a pair of wire cutters, I guess.  The next thing I knew the bracket on my back molar was CUT and hanging on the left side of my mouth.  I am then relaxed…because I was like “Wow…Daddy knows what he is doing!:”  Next, he takes a break and has to check the other side of my mouth where this spacer thingy was attached.

Daddy:   Ok Regan…sit still

Me:  (I nod my head)

Still with that flashlight in his MOUTH…he continues on the other side of my mouth with the wire cutters and then another thing…I guess pliers.   CUT. SNAP. DONE!!  The spacer thingy is now out with the back brackets cut in half.

Daddy:  Ok Baby…go brush your teeth.

Me:  I am elated!!  I felt FREE!!!  No more spacer thingy.  No more back brackets.  HEAVEN!!!

My Dad rinses the thingy and puts it in a zip-lock bag.  We go back to watching the ball game.

Later that day…

Mom comes home.  I am super EXCITED!!!  I run to meet my Mom and immediately show her that my braces thingy is GONE!!!    Opening my mouth WIDE!!!

Me:  Look Mommy!!  Daddy took my thingy out!!!

Mommy:  WHAT?!?!?

Me:  It was hurting so bad.  Daddy got something from the garage and cut it off.

Mommy:  GARAGE???  Now opening my mouth and inspecting it like a Momma Bear

Me:  Yup!!!  I don’t feel the wire anymore.

Mom:  MELVIN!!!

Daddy:  Yeah Babe…

Mom:  Mel…did you take off Regan’s braces?

Daddy:  You got that right.  My Baby was crying all day.  I couldn’t take it anymore.

Mom:  Mel….umm…do you know how much that thing cost???

Daddy:  I do not.  It’s in a ziplock bag in the junk drawer.


Daddy:  C’mon Regan, let’s go get a slurpee

Aint’t we special???   LOL


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