Oh dear sweet lord, I just found my orthodontic appliances. Yes, in the top drawer of my dresser, which I'm cleaning out for the first time in *cough cough*.
Three sets; each designed to space my young palate and jaw in a different way to accomodate my many, many teeth in my small, small mouth. I had a series of these mouthpieces over nine years. The only thing I liked about them was that they weren't train tracks*. I had an unholy fear of getting train tracks.
The last time I wore an appliance was 1982.
*The reason I didn't get train tracks was that my dentist didn't believe in pulling permanent teeth to create space. He was convinced it ruined kids' profiles, and I know what he means. Lots of kids in my high school, lots!, had their second bicuspids removed by their orthodontists, and definitely got a slightly sunken upper lip as a result. Can you tell I spent a lot of time at the dentist's office? Over those nine years, I went to the dentist to get the appliance cranked, or to have impressions taken, or to have baby teeth removed. Full disclosure: I find dentistry to be quite fascinating** (which is only one reason why I kept my appliances), and also my mom worked for several dentists over many years.
**Last time I went to the dentist (December), the hygienist told me about a friend of hers who is a dental anthropologist - an amazing field of science. After I mumbled an enthusiastic wow, she said to me, now don't get excited, my friend hardly makes any money at all. She can look at your molars and tell you what part of the world your ancient ancestors came from, but she hardly makes anything for it.