Life and orthodontistry

I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it before but orthodontistry is rich with analogies for life situations.

As an adult I’ve had to wear braces on my teeth, and they are teaching me so much.

The reason for wearing braces is to straighten things out. In my case, to stop the misalignment of my teeth causing me pain. (Do you see where I am heading ?)

There is no doubt that my life was misaligned a year ago. I was looking for love in the wrong places. The misalignment caused pain, not just to myself but to others.

These past months have been a straightening out process. A continuing adjustment and re-adjustment of the alignment. A sequence of small changes, leading to one day, the perfect smile ….

When a brace is on it is checked and adjusted every four or five weeks. Depending on the movement of the teeth, pressure is put on different areas. The actual tightening itself is painful. Each tooth hurts as the wire is fixed in place and the tension is added. Everything moves to a new position and although for a few days it hurts a great deal, after a while you become used to the new position. Eating is difficult until you learn how to do it with the new shape of things.

It’s just like my life. God keeps tightening the brace, adjusting the pressure, focussing on a different part of my life which needs to move or change.

On Friday the tightening of the two coincided – the real brace and the metaphorical life /God adjusted one.

It was hard for me to ignore the parallels. I guess when I think about how good God is at communicating to me visually, it should be no surprise that in this year of major personal adjustment I have in my mouth, a tangible, physical,  reminder, of the greater work He is doing in my life.

Having a misaligned life has been incredibly painful. Although the process of repair has also hurt, it is, I know, for my good.

I don’t want to have the perfect smile at the end of my life. I want to see the perfect smile.  15 months ago I told the other that I didn’t want to have him in my life anymore because I wanted to run the race.  This is still my goal. I want to see the face of God and see the perfect smile as He says these words to me,


This is a long term process. There are no quick fixes.

For now I am working on the re-alignment every day.

And I am looking forward to the perfect smile.


9 thoughts on “Life and orthodontistry

  1. I think you are so brave. Seriously, giving up the other when he was the source of human comfort and affirmation had to have been the greatest God moment of your life. I know I had a moment like that 7 years ago (did I already tell you about that). I told the Lord “I was done with my marriage, it was over. The love was about gone.” He gently agreed with me and said “I know this Susan but you love Me.” He showed me to stay. To hang in. To TRUST. And that He would sustain me. O! the grace He has given. Today is so much different than it would have been IF I hadn’t heeded the Master’s gentle voice that August day. xo

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I had braces as an adult too. an apt metaphor. I still should be wearing my retainer at night but I don’t and things are getting slightly misaligned. that happens in life too, when feel like we are finished being straightened out and let down our guard, or stop daily seeking God and his gentle adjustments misalignment is just around the corner. Thanks again for a beautiful post. Hopeful50 I can relate to your comment too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Martha thank you for reading and letting me know that you ‘get’ the metaphor ! It’s such a strong one really isn’t it? I need the daily reminder as I brush my teeth to keep allowing the alignment to progress.


  3. I love your analogy :). When we agree to go to the heavenly orthodontist, it may cause pain, but you’re right–we have a perfect smile of love waiting for us when we complete our journey :).


  4. Beautiful analogy. “Well done good and faithful servant.” I think we all want God to day those words to us as we have tried our very best.


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