Who’s the Daddy? column

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There’s been much wailing and gnashing of teeth in these parts during the past week over the sudden removal of a piece of perfectly crafted metal that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing every day.

Yep, our 14-year-old daughter has had her braces taken off.

Thanks to some brilliant work by her orthodontist her teeth – which before the treatment looked like Stonehenge after an earthquake – now resemble something off a toothpaste advert. Honestly, they’re that perfect they make you sick.

Just over two years ago, after being on the waiting list for yonks, our eldest daughter was taken on by an orthodontist about five days before we were about to bite the bullet and break the bank to go private. Put it this way, her hockey gumshield looked like a half-eaten Snickers bar – something had to be done.

But before he could start work she needed to have four healthy white teeth removed because her mouth was too small to fit them all in.

And what a painful summer that was, as we made four trips to our regular dentist to get four teeth pulled one by one. Still, she got a nice TV for her room out of it from us for being so brave. So what she lost in teeth she made up for in Freeview.

After the foundations were laid, on went the scaffolding. And every eight weeks or so we went back to have the metal in her mouth tweaked, pulled and prodded. And each time she came away with a different colour braces – even special festive ones one Christmas.

These things take time and progress was glacial. Tectonic plates move faster than teeth in braces. But her orthodontist and the nurses were always helpful and cheerful which was a massive help.

But then the big day finally arrived and our eldest climbed into the orthodontist’s chair as a little girl and a few snips later she sat up and beamed at me, looking every inch a Latin American princess.

Oh dear, I thought. Now the trouble really starts. Better get my game face on for the gaggle of dopey, teenage lads who’ll be beating a path to our door now that Braceface (her words, not mine) has gone for good.