Fashionista Mia gets some unflattering news from Katie’s mom, Dr. Brown: She needs braces. And just when Mia thinks things can’t get any worse...they do. Her teacher is concerned that Mia is squinting in class. A trip to the opthamologist confirms it: Mia needs glasses, too! Mia is miserable until her stylish mom comes to the rescue with a plan and a very chic middle school look. And her wonderful Cupcake Club friends reassure her that glasses and braces don’t get in the way of all they really see: the same old Mia.
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Mia a Matter of Taste
Okay, Mia, open wide.”
“Open wide” might be two of the scariest words in the English language, don’t you think? Because when you hear them, it usually means a dentist is about to look into your mouth.
Not that I have anything against dentists. My dentist is Dr. Brown, though I normally call her Mrs. Brown since she is my friend Katie’s mom. She’s supernice, and I’m sure most dentists are perfectly nice people. I just don’t like the stuff they have to do.
Anyway, the person asking me to open wide wasn’t even Mrs. Brown. It was her assistant Joanne, who is also really nice. She’s tall, and she wears her blond hair up in a ponytail all the time, and under her blue scrubs I can always tell that her clothes are very fashionable.
Joanne must have noticed the nervous look on my face.
“It’s cool, Mia. I’m just taking some X-rays. This doesn’t hurt at all. You know that, right?” she asked.
I nodded. “Okay.”
I opened wide, and Joanne stuck this white square thing into my mouth and told me to bite down. Then she straightened the heavy gray apron covering me and left the room. I heard a quick buzz, and then Joanne came back in and took out the square thing.
“You know, this really isn’t that flattering,” I joked, looking down at the apron.
She laughed. “Just a few more shots and you can take it off, and then you’ll be ready for the runway again, okay?”
Joanne was right—the X-rays didn’t hurt at all, but I was glad when they were over.
“Dr. Brown will be by in a minute to go over them with you,” Joanne told me. “I’ll send in your mom, okay?”
“Thanks,” I said, and inside I felt a little bit relieved. Up until a couple of years ago, I lived in Manhattan. Mom and Dad worked during the day, and my babysitter always took me to the dentist. Now we live in the suburbs, and Mom mostly works from home and has her own company, so she has more time to do stuff like this. It’s nice having her around, especially at the dentist’s.
“How’d it go?” Mom asked as she came into the room.
“My teeth are superclean,” I said, flashing her a smile. “And Joanne said it doesn’t look like I have any cavities. So I’m thinking I deserve some kind of reward for being so awesome.”
Mom raised an eyebrow. “You want a reward for not getting any cavities?”
“I was thinking a trip to the mall would be good,” I said.
“Well, you don’t have to twist my arm for that,” Mom replied. I guess it’s a good thing we both love shopping!
Then Mrs. Brown came in. She has the same friendly brown eyes as my friend Katie, but Mrs. Brown’s light brown hair is cut short, with long bangs that are stylishly angled across her face.
“It looks like you’re cavity free, Mia, but let me take a look in person, okay?”
I nodded and opened my mouth again until she was done.
“Very good,” she said with a nod. Then she looked at me, and then at my mom. “But we should talk about your X-rays.”
She pressed some keys on the computer on the table next to me, and the pictures of my mouth popped up. It was really weird to see how long the roots were underneath my gums, and I turned my head away. My teeth looked too creepy!
“Mia’s got some crooked teeth on her bottom jaw, and her top jaw as well,” Mrs. Brown said, pointing to the screen with the end of her pen. “Her bite is misaligned, which can cause problems down the road. I’m recommending you see an orthodontist. I’m not sure, but Mia may need braces.”
A cold chill went right through me.
“Braces? Seriously?” I asked. It sounded more like I was squeaking, because I was so upset.
“Well, as I said, I’m not one hundred percent sure,” Mrs. Brown said. “But it’s very likely.”
I looked up at my mom. I could already feel my eyes starting to well up with tears. I started shaking my head. “No way! I cannot get braces. I will die!”
“Mia, it’s okay,” Mom assured, putting her hand on my shoulder.
Mrs. Brown gave me a sympathetic look. “I understand. Nobody wants to hear news like this. But by correcting your teeth now, we can help make sure your mouth stays healthy for a long, long time. I have some brochures I’ll give you, so you can find out what it’s all about.”
Then she turned to my mom. “I know a great orthodontist over in River Glen. I’ll get you her card.” She smiled at me. “She’s the same doctor Katie used when she had her braces.”
Mrs. Brown left, and I looked at Mom. “Please tell me this isn’t happening!”
“There’s no need to panic yet, Mia,” Mom said. “Let’s wait and see what the orthodontist says before we start worrying, okay? And anyway, braces aren’t so bad. Katie had them! And your cousin Marcela had them, remember?”
Marcela is a junior in high school now, but she had braces when she was my age. I definitely remembered them. How could I forget a mouth full of metal and wires? I shuddered.
“She was always complaining that they hurt,” I pointed out. “And when we all went to that farm she couldn’t eat a candy apple, and she cried.”
“That’s just what you remember. I know that most of the time, she was fine,” Mom said, and then she quickly changed the subject. “Hey, we should get out of here and get to the mall!”
Mom’s strategy worked—at first. I never get tired of going to the mall. Since my dentist appointment was right after school, I was kind of hungry, so Mom got me a vanilla mango smoothie at Smoothie Paradise. I sipped the delicious tropical goodness through a straw as we slowly walked around, window-shopping.
“Well, if I get braces, at least I can still have smoothies,” I remarked, and Mom smiled.
“That sounds more like my Mia. Stay positive!”
But I ruined my own mood by bringing up the braces, and it didn’t even help when we went inside Icon, my favorite shop in the whole mall. They had all the new summer styles on the racks, in tons of bright, almost fluorescent colors.
I held up a neon-yellow sleeveless dress. “Wow, you could wear this in the dark and people could see you for miles,” I said. I actually look good in yellow, so I brought the dress to the mirror and held it up to my face.
I posed and smiled, and then suddenly I got a vision of myself in the bright yellow dress with a mouth full of blinding silver metal.
“I can’t wear this if I get braces!” I wailed. “It’s too much! Aliens in space will be able to see me.”
“Oh, Mia, that’s not true,” Mom said, trying to reassure me, but it was no use.
“If I get stupid braces, I won’t be able to wear any of the new summer styles!” I complained. “I might as well go live under a rock somewhere!”
Mom sighed. “Come on, let’s go to the candle shop. I think you need some calming scents.”
I could feel tears stinging my eyes as I followed Mom out of Icon. And the scent of misty mountain sandalwood candles (my favorite) did not help one bit. I was convinced braces were going to ruin my life!