by Christopher Piehler

Christopher Piehler

How do I know it’s summer? Because orthodontists are taking longer and longer to return my calls. This is not because they are rude (or on vacation), but because they are so busy during this time of year that they lean over a patient in June and, when they look up, it’s September.

Now, there are at least three common-sense explanations for a seasonal surge in case starts: 1) Summer is when kids don’t have school, so they are more available, especially for the longer appointments that come at the beginning of treatment; 2) Because they are not in school, kids (and their parents) are more willing to add a tin grin to their appearance during the summer, when they won’t face daily scrutiny (and potential mockery) from their peers; and 3) Summer is the most logical time to get braces put on because any discomfort patients might feel at the beginning of their treatment won’t affect their performance in school or cherished extracurricular activities.

All three of these are quite logical reasons why adolescent patients would wait until the weather gets hot to address their malocclusions, and why orthodontists would feel like the summer flies by in a blur of bonding. But I have another theory for why the months of June, July, and August seem to pass by faster than, say, the third week of February: Time moves faster in the summer.

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We all experienced this as kids: The final school bell of the year rang, and we barely had time to throw on our bathing suits and jump in the pool before we had to put real clothes on again for the first “back to school” shopping trip.

So it might be July right now, but if form holds it will be September tomorrow, which means that we here at Orthodontic Products are already planning for 2010. And we’d like your help. We’ve added several new features this year (our Tech Guides, podcasts, webcasts, and the Money Matters e-newsletter). Which of these do you like? Dislike? What topics would you like to read more about?

If you have a few seconds during your summer rush, please write and let me know how we can be more useful to you.

Christopher Piehler