Pearl and Flossie



It had been almost 10 years since Quinn had lived in her hometown. After graduating high school she had immediately gone to college to study architecture and then lived with her boyfriend in Chicago only returning for brief visits. However, after their nasty breakup, she decided to move back to the very small town in Virginia she had come from. It was almost as she remembered. One thing she did notice was how many more people seemed to walk around smiling. And not only that, they all seemed to have impressive Hollywood smiles, much more than you would expect from such a small town in the middle of nowhere.

After a week or two back, she had lunch with a childhood friend, Charlotte. Charlotte seemed the same as always, as they had kept in touch the past several years, with one major difference. When she sat down and smiled, she had a mouthful of orthodontia that seemed out of place with the rest of her fashionable self. Quinn was surprised. “Your teeth were already fine, do you really need them?” Charlotte laughed. “I guess you noticed.” She bared her teeth, showing the full glory of her metal mouth. Not only was she not wearing Invisalign, they were chunky and made of metal, almost completely covering her teeth, with a set of pink rubber bands tying her top teeth to her bottom. “It’s a bit of a long story. Do you remember Dr. Whites?”

Dr. Whites and his wife, who went by Dr. Mary, were the only dentists in town when Quinn and Charlotte were growing up. Their office was a converted home that they still lived in the top floor of. “They retired a few years ago.” Charlotte continued. “But their daughter took over the practice. Remember Pearl?” Quinn vaguely remembered Pearl Whites, who went to school with them. Perhaps it was because her parents were feared and resented by the local children, or because she was a strange-looking nerdy girl who always talked about science, but Pearl didn’t seem to have many friends growing up. “She’s still a general dentist, but she also specializes in orthodontics. Remember those big metal braces her parents made her wear in high school?” Quinn chuckled, even though Charlotte’s braces were probably more noticeable than Pearl’s ever were. “Anyway, apparently she’s actually very successful in her field. She graduated dental school early, and wrote a bunch of papers on orthodontics before working here. But now she’s doing a study on women 25-35, and giving free treatment to any willing participants.”

“And you agreed? Why?” Quinn raised an eyebrow. “Well, the study only lasts a couple months, apparently her methods work very fast. But the results are so surprising. It’s like if someone’s teeth are 80 percent perfect to begin with, she can bring them up to 100, and they come out looking like a celebrity! And to be honest, it would get her to stop pestering me at every appointment.” She rolled her eyes at the last point. “But you’d be surprised, almost every girl we went to school with has had them by now, it’s like she’s finally popular a decade later.” Quinn raised an eyebrow again. “Well I’m not getting them, that’s for sure.” Charlotte chuckled, showing another rubber and metal smile. “Suit yourself then.”


Over the next few months, Quinn seemed to notice more and more women around town with the same beaming perfect smiles, and if not that, they had the same grisly steel appliances as Charlotte. It was almost like a zombie apocalypse, and sometimes Quinn even thought she noticed judgmental looks when people saw her unbraced yet apparently less than perfect smile. Eventually, Charlotte got her braces off.

They met again for lunch, and Quinn almost didn’t recognize her. It wasn’t just that Quinn had gotten used to the braces, but Charlotte’s new smile made her look like a whole new person. Her teeth were not only perfectly straight and aligned, but her teeth were so white they seemed to glow. It was like they had completely changed the shape of her face.

“Wow, you really do look great” Quinn admitted. Charlotte gave a stunning smile. “Thanks, I’ve been getting that a lot. It’s not just the braces, she and her hygienist are really great at helping with cleaning and whitening. Have you met them yet?” Quinn rolled her eyes. “I’m not exactly jumping at the chance to go to the dentist. And I’m definitely not becoming one of Pearl Whites’ dental lab rats or whatever.” Charlotte smirked. “Well, that’s fair enough. Though Pearl isn’t as bad as her parents. I almost look forward to her appointments.” Quinn sighed. It had been a while since she had seen a dentist though.

When she got home, she looked up nearby dentists. She groaned when the Whites office was still the only one in town. It did have five star ratings everywhere she checked online though. Reluctantly, she called the number on the website. A strange lispy voice answered, and helped schedule an appointment for the following Friday.

When the day came, Quinn found herself nervously biting her lip on the way to the old Whites office. Childhood bahçelievler escort memories came flooding back of the constant sound of drilling, with Dr. Mary barking her infamous rants on proper flossing and the evils of soda pop that could be heard from the waiting room. Quinn did not envy the patients with braces, who were taken to a special room in the back of the house for their treatments, and would complain at school about Dr. Whites’ painful methods and Dr. Mary’s strict rules. Except for Pearl of course, who worked as an assistant in her teenage years and wore her orthodontia with pride, excitedly repeating her mother’s lectures to anyone who would listen.

Even though she swore she could smell the dentist office smell from down the street, the house did look nicer than she had remembered. A garden had been planted out front, a rainbow pride flag hung in an upstairs window, and a tooth shaped sign had been put up, showing the names Dr. Pearl E. Whites, DDS and Flossie Park, RDH.

Quinn took a deep breath and stepped inside. The door jingled as she walked in, and the same lispy voice told her to come over to the window. She noticed the waiting room had been updated from the dingy 80’s decor, and actually had a pleasant minty smell, with pop music quietly playing in the background. But what she saw in the window almost made her run away.

A woman in her late 20’s sat at the window. She was somewhat busty, and wore a tight white buttoned dental uniform. Her hair was dyed blonde and was tied in pigtails with pink scrunchies. Her nails were were painted pink, and her earrings were shaped like tiny teeth. She also had pink eyeshadow and gorgeous red lipstick with a perky smile. However, her lips awkwardly rested around the objects of Quinn’s horror. Jutting from the corners of her mouth were a set of metal bars, reaching around her face and connecting to pink cloth straps on the back of her neck and top of her head. Also coming from her lips were a set of blue rubber bands, connecting to another metal device in front of her mouth, this one framing her face with metal bars, connecting a white plastic cup on her chin to a light blue plastic pad on her forehead.

“You mutht be Quinn!” The woman smiled, revealing a set of pink, white, and blue braces, with an intricate set of matching rubber bands. Her voice was very high pitched, but as she spoke Quinn noticed the bars from the corner of her mouth were actually a pair, one on the top teeth and one on the bottom, which moved apart as she spoke. She held out her hand and Quinn awkwardly shook it. “I’m Flothie, the dental hygienitht.” Flossie must have noticed the look on Quinn’s face and giggled. “Right, the headgear. Patienth rarely get prethcribed anything like thith, and only have to wear it at night. I wear mine at work, it feelth appropriate for a dental offithe.” It was hard to understand Flossie as she spoke through her orthodontia, and Quinn was almost hypnotized by the way the appliances moved when she talked. “I’ll take you in, Dr. Whiteth wath very ecthited to hear you were coming!” Flossie gestured to a hallway and Quinn nervously followed.


Flossie was surprisingly tall when she stood up, almost a head taller than Quinn. She briskly walked down the hallway with perfect posture, her heels clicking on the linoleum. Quinn couldn’t help but notice the way her pigtails and headgear seemed to bounce slightly as she walked. Flossie stopped and gestured towards a doorway, and Quinn entered.

It was a small room with a single chair. Though it had been given a more modern look since Quinn was a teenager, it still felt cramped with walls of white cabinets and educational posters, a couple of ferns, and the chair, which was a light shade of purple. Quinn took a seat, as Flossie took a paper bib out of a drawer and gently clipped it around her neck. “Dr. Whiteth will be with you in a moment. She’s almotht done with a patient, I’ll tell her you’re here.” Flossie left and closed the door behind her.

Quinn nervously tapped her fingers on the armrest and looked around the room. The chair had built in trays and cups stuffed with scary looking metal instruments. The posters mostly seemed to depict normal hygiene tips, except for one which showed diagrams of women wearing different types of headgear, each one looking like more of a medieval torture device. On another wall was what looked like a group of personal pictures. They included a couple of pictures of Pearl’s parents, a few showing pets, and a picture of Pearl and Flossie smiling and wearing swimsuits at a beach, Flossie looking naked without most of her devices. Strangest of all however, was one photo of what appeared to be Flossie in a dental chair, a plastic device holding her mouth open to fully show her braces and what appeared to be a rubber strap wrapped around her forehead, with an unusually excited look in her eyes.

While Quinn was processing this, the doorknob turned. bala escort “Quinn Moretti! It’s been too long!” Pearl had the same round face she always had, though was beaming a jarringly beautiful smile from ear to ear. Quinn could swear she could count all 32 teeth. Her signature pigtail braids from high school had been traded for an almost military buzz cut, and she seemed to have gained some muscle tone on her short, stocky frame. She was wearing a dental uniform similar to Flossie’s, with a molded blue medical mask dangling around her neck, and a pair of dental loupes propped up on her forehead.

“Hi Pearl.” Quinn said sheepishly. “How have you been?” “I’ve been good, I finished dental school, Mom and Dad left me the practice when they moved to Florida, and I got married! And I heard you studied architecture? And you’ve moved back?” Pearl was talking as if they had been friends for years. “Yep” Quinn replied. Before she could answer further, Flossie appeared at the doorway, towering above Pearl. “And you’ve met my lovely assistant, and wife, Flossie? And yes, that is her real name.” Flossie blushed. “Yes, I have.” That at least explained one of the pictures. “Anyway, you’re here for a regular checkup right? We’ll get started.” Flossie pressed a button and the chair leaned back.

Pearl pulled up her mask and put on a pair of gloves with a dramatic snap before shining the examination light on Quinn’s face. Flossie also put on a pair of gloves, as well as a paper mask, which wrapped around her headgear in a way far too awkward to be practical. “Open wide!” said Pearl, brandishing a mirror. Quinn complied, as Flossie turned on the suction. “You have such a pretty mouth.” Pearl muttered.

Pearl and Flossie took some x-rays, gave a quick exam, filled a small cavity. Quinn noticed how gentle they were compared to her dentist in Chicago, and especially compared to Dr. Whites and Dr. Mary. They took on a much more soft spoken tone while working, and Flossie would gently stroke her arm during the more uncomfortable parts. Eventually, Pearl left the room to check the x-rays, and left Flossie to perform a routine cleaning. Flossie didn’t seem to judge Quinn on her hygiene and seemed excited to show proper brushing and flossing on a plastic model, and even gave her a jaw massage afterwards. Eventually, Pearl came back into the room.

“Well, looks like everything’s checking out fine, we’re just about done. One last thing though, have you ever considered orthodontic treatment?” Quinn scrunched up her nose.

Pearl chuckled. “I’m not sure how much you’ve already heard about this, but even though I work as a general dentist, studying orthodontics is my main passion. Right now, I’m doing a study on women your age, and by the look of your x-rays, you would be a perfect candidate.”

“I’m not interested.” Quinn replied.

“That’s what most people say at first, but the treatment would only last about two months, and be completely free of charge.”

“Sorry, still no.”

Pearl must have noticed Quinn looking at Flossie. “I wouldn’t worry about looking like Flossie, her treatment is a special case. She was one of my first ever patients, and has been wearing some type of braces ever since I’ve known her. I’ve learned a lot from moving her teeth around, and her smile has a long way to go, but she’s happy being my little guinea pig.”

Flossie grinned, showing off her appliances once again. “I’ve been to lot’th of orthodontith in my life, but Pearl ith definitely the betht. And I’m not thaying that jutht becauthe she’th my wife.”

“Not to mention my rates of patient satisfaction, the effect my methods have on facial structure can drastically improve patient’s appearances. In fact, some of my feminizing procedures helped Flossie become the woman she is today.” Flossie blushed.

“No, I’ve made up my mind.” Quinn said.

“Ah well, if you ever change your mind, let us know.” Pearl replied.

Quinn scheduled another appointment six months later and walked home, her teeth feeling cleaner than they ever had before.

Later that night however, she was looking at Facebook. Shamefully, she looked up her ex-boyfriend, as she heard from a friend he had a new girlfriend already. As she grumpily looked through their pictures, something made her stop suddenly. “It can’t be.” she said to herself. One showed the new girlfriend smiling towards the camera, but it was a smile she had seen before. That one, impossibly perfect smile she had seen so many times, the trademark smile of one of Dr. Pearl Whites’ patients.

Without thinking, she dialed the number. Even though it was almost midnight, Flossie picked up. “I changed my mind, I want the braces.”


Flossie managed to squeeze in an appointment the following Saturday morning. Quinn was glad she didn’t ask what made her change her mind so quickly, ending the conversation with “Pearl and I are tho ecthited!”

Quinn felt a pit in her stomach. As far as impulse balgat escort decisions went, she had done much worse. She knew free treatment from a highly rated orthodontist would be an incredible opportunity for some, and that apparently, the treatment would only last about two months, and give her a smile as pretty as Charlotte’s. Her original reasons aside, this could still be beneficial long term.

However, she still had her doubts. Quinn always hated dentists, and shuddered at the idea of wearing a metal appliance like Charlotte’s even for such a short time. She also remembered what little she knew about how orthodontics was done at the former Whites office. Orthodontic patients were treated in what was dubbed the “braces room”, and Quinn recalled watching dental assistants leading in unlucky patients like death row inmates. Classmates would tell conflicting stories about soundproofed walls and sadistic treatments, which the doctors would neither confirm nor deny. In fact, Dr. Mary was even known to tell patients that a trip to the braces room would be punishment for unruly patients that wouldn’t take care of their teeth.

While Quinn knew the rumors weren’t true, they still made her feel queasy about Pearl’s study, but she felt to embarrassed to ask Charlotte for advice. Nevertheless, when Saturday came, she reluctantly made her way to the office.

The waiting room was empty, but Flossie was sitting at the window. She grinned when she saw Quinn, showing off another full view of her appliances. “Pearl ith getting everything ready for you in the back, you can take a theat anywhere.” Quinn nervously sat down near the window. Flossie must have noticed her fidgeting. “I wouldn’t be tho anxiouth, Pearl ithn’t ath thcary ath her parenth.”

Quinn raised an eyebrow. “You remember Dr. Whites and Dr. Mary?”

Flossie giggled. “Yeth, I wath actually a patient of theirth for a while.” She gave a small smirk. “Do you remember Ethan Park?”

Quinn raised her eyebrows again, connecting Flossie with Ethan Park. Ethan was a quiet nerdy boy she vaguely remembered from school, and also one of Dr. Whites’ more unfortunate patients. He had braces all the way through high school, and was the only one unlucky enough to ever wear headgear to school, though it wasn’t nearly as extreme as the appliances Flossie wore now.

“I didn’t like my bratheth at firtht, but when Pearl thtarted working ath an athithtant, she helped me find an interetht in my own treatment and dentithtry in general.”

As Quinn processed this, Flossie produced a thick packet of papers. “While you’re waiting, could you look over thethe and thign them for uth?”

“What are they?” Quinn asked, flipping through the thick stack.

“Jutht general termth and conditionth for a medical thtudy.” Flossie replied. “We’ll fill you in on the important parth, don’t worry.”

The packet was far too long to read in one sitting, and Quinn didn’t have the patience to decipher the legal and medical terminology. She flipped through to the end and signed where it said “Patient Signature”, then handed it back to Flossie. Flossie gave one of her metal grins and put the papers back under the desk.

A short while later, a buzzing noise came from the desk. Flossie perked up. “Thoundth like everything’th ready for you now. I’ll take you in.” Flossie stood up and led Quinn down the hallway.

As Flossie turned the corner however, Quinn’s heart sank. Flossie was indeed taking her to the infamous braces room. The clicking of Flossie’s heels stopped, and she paused. “Ith everything alright?” Flossie gave a small empathetic smile. “Yeah, everything’s fine.” Quinn replied. Flossie put her hand on her shoulder and led her down the hallway.

Flossie opened the door and ushered Quinn into the room, giving her a first look around. The walls were painted a sickly shade of hospital green, and in the center of the room was a large white chair, wider than the one in the normal exam room, with a light above it that seemed better suited for an operating theater than a dental office. On all sides were trays of sinister metal instruments, which Quinn tried not to dwell on for too long. On the counters on the wall was a collection of model teeth wearing a variety of different styles of braces, as well as a couple of styrofoam mannequin heads modeling types of headgear. Flossie gestured for Quinn to take a seat, and she complied, allowing Flossie to wrap a paper bib around her neck.

“Exthited?” Flossie leaned over to ask. Quinn shrugged, but took the moment to look at Flossie’s face. She noticed the incongruence with her gentle features and the harsh metal contraptions fixed around her soft face. She also noticed how her lips seemed to jut out slightly over her teeth, and how even her warm smile seemed almost queasy as it fit awkwardly around her appliances. For a second she wondered if she could count the rubber bands in her mouth without her noticing.

Flossie giggled and once again wrapped her mask around her orthodontia the best she could, as well as putting on what appeared to be pink elbow length examination gloves. Quinn heard the door open, and looked over to see Pearl had entered the room. “So how’s our new test subject?” She asked, giving one of her perfect ear to ear smiles.

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