94-Year-Old Still Hasn’t Gotten Orthodontist to Remove Metal Bar from Bottom Teeth

In a living, breathing ode to passivity, 94-year-old Roberta Lewis still hasn’t gotten the orthodontist to remove the permanent retainer from her bottom teeth.


“Ugh,” says Lewis. “They just never took it out. I know I should do it, but is it really worth making a whole appointment?”


“Plus, I’m pretty sure my orthodontist is dead by now,” Lewis adds. “And finding a new one just seems like more trouble than it’s worth.”


Despite the fact that the ancient permanent retainer — installed before Lewis got braces 78 years ago — has zero dental or orthodontic benefit, Lewis remains lukewarm about the prospect of taking an active role in its removal.


“Well it makes it impossible to floss between those teeth,” Lewis admits. “And it hasn’t done anything to keep them straight either. The thin metal has really just moved with them over the years, interestingly enough.”


“However, I just see it has a highly ignorable part of me now,” she adds. “It’s seen war, it’s seen social change and upheaval, it’s seen 15 presidents, and it’s also seen a fair amount of dentists, none of whom have said anything about it, so I guess it’s sort of just fine?”



At best, Lewis hopes to serve as a beacon to all the young women out there who still have their permanent retainer for some reason years after getting off their braces.


“What I would tell young people is: Don’t worry about it. You’ve got plenty of time,” Lewis says. “Maybe I’ll get it off when I’m 95; maybe I’ll get it off when I’m 99; maybe I’ll die with it. What can you do?”


At press time, Lewis called to ask us if this story would go as viral as 94-year-olds in PPE going to vote or refusing the vaccine, and we told her probably not.