Alex had her braces adjusted today and I knew she wouldn't be able to chew normal food for the next several days. So, I cooked congee. That's something she can manage.
It's Alex's second time to get braces. The first time was after we had moved to the suburb. The lady dentist-orthodontist was recommended by I-don't-remember-who, her clinic was ten minutes away, she wasn't expensive, so... She was convenient, in other words. Alex was in high school then. Short version: it didn't turn out well. After years of monthly check-ups and follow ups, Alex's incisors where still not in line with the rest of her teeth. We thought we had done something wrong. Alex thought she had done something wrong. The fault lay elsewhere but we wouldn't know that until later.
Ten years passed. Alex wanted to try dental braces again. She had saved up and she was splitting the expenses with us. Fifty-fifty. We weren't going to ask for recommendations again. Speedy took Alex to our family dentist. Far away in the city and in the neighborhood where I grew up. Two hours (or longer when traffic is worse than the usual) going there and two hours driving back. But these people we know. Have known for a long time. A husband and wife team — he a dental surgeon and she an orthodontist. The husband was the girls' first dentist.
We missed this couple terribly after moving to the suburb. But between work, school and everything else that parents and children do, the long drive and terrible traffic were just, well... The thought of the stress of going the distance repeatedly was how we landed in the clinic of the first orthodontist.
So, back to the far-far-away but much-much-better dental clinic. Alex was told that the reason the the old braces didn't work was because they were attached BEFORE her wisdom teeth had come out. So, even after two years of braces and a couple of years of retainers, her teeth just realigned themselves to where they were before. The entire process has to be repeated.
It's annoying, really. Beyond annoying, in fact. Because dental braces cost a lot of money and because having them can be painful and uncomfortable. We wasted money on the first dentist, and Alex had to go through all the discomfort for nothing. We should take our money back and the bloody dentist should have her license revoked. The thing is, we can't find her anymore. Likely, hiding from patients she had ripped off with her incompetence.