Building Character

It is no secret that we live in an instant gratification society. We know what we want and we want it now. We also fear discomfort and attempt to avoid hard work, which is ironic, since there is nothing more gratifying than resting in the aftermath of a difficult job done well. Despite continued experience, we forget that, most times, the final result is meaningless without the journey to get there. That’s because trials produce perseverance, and perseverance produces character. 

It is understandable for one to look out onto a field of high grass, weeds, and thorns and wish it were a beautiful, soft, uniform lawn with a colorful bouquet of flowers. However, the sip of lemonade taken while beholding the final result of the immaculate acreage is undeniably sweeter if one toiled in the dirt and completed the work alone or with loved ones alongside rather than the sip taken if one simply paid a stranger to accomplish the same task.

This phenomenon is no different regarding the course of orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics, done well, usually involves many months and possibly years. During the journey, the orthodontic patient must change eating habits, remain diligent in keeping teeth and gums clean, persevere through the soreness, and continue to be disciplined in wearing rubber bands. Achieving an excellent final result of a beautiful smile and healthy bite is hard work, but it is worth it, and not just because of the marvelous outcome, but because of the character it can build in an individual. If you are in treatment, be encouraged not to spend your time kicking against the process in negativity and uncooperativeness. Your dedication and discipline will foster more than a pretty smile in the end, and that sip of lemonade will be that much sweeter.

– Dr. T

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