Hello and welcome to the shiny new, redesigned ArchWired.com — just in time to help usher in our 20th year online! I started this website in December 2001, just as I was about to embark on my own orthodontic treatment at age 41. I wanted to write about being an adult woman in braces, mainly because I thought my experience might help others.
In 2001, the web was moving out of its infancy, and Amazon barely sold more than just books. Haha, those were the days of musical websites and magic wand cursors. I taught myself some html and started an online journal. Notice that I don’t call it a blog, because blogging wasn’t extremely popular and WordPress wasn’t even invented yet. Neither were Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat, or for that matter, smartphones. There was no such thing as an online influencer. If you’re younger than 30, you probably can’t even imagine how we lived…
Time marched on, and I got my braces off after three years. ArchWired grew from a mere orthodontic “blog” to a full-blown informational website. And along the way, I also launched DentaKit.com, which went from offering one product to offering more than 125! I was a mother of two young daughters, and needless to say, I was busy.
A lot has changed on the web in the past 20 years. Who could have predicted that Amazon would become such a force of nature, except perhaps for Jeff Bezos? If you’d have asked me back in 2001 if I’d still be doing this in 2020, I’m not sure if I could have answered you. Dot-coms have come and gone, fortunes have been made and lost, Google algorithm updates have tried to screw me over several times, but I’m still here. And now you’re here, too! Yea!
I hope to post to this blog on some sort of regular basis, maybe once or twice a month. But I don’t want to do it alone! If you’re a dental professional and you have something to say about dentistry or orthodontics, email me with your ideas for a guest blog post. If you have a website, I’ll gladly link back to it for free. If you’re just a regular person who has braces or retainers and wants to write a guest blog post, that’s great, too! One of the reasons that ArchWired is still around after almost 20 years is PEOPLE! Everyone has an experience to share, and why to go the trouble of launching your own blog when you can publish your ideas here and get a lot of worldwide visibility? Don’t worry if you’re not a good writer, because I’m a good editor!
I thought that I should probably give an update to my journal, since we last left off when my daughters were in elementary school. Well, of course they are both adults now, and my husband and I are empty nesters, still living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our oldest daughter (age 26) is a graduate of U.C. Davis with a degree in Graphic Design. In fact, she created the lovely new ArchWired logo that you see at the top of this site! She currently lives and works as a graphic designer in Melbourne, Australia. Our youngest daughter (age 23) graduated from Oberlin College (Ohio) with a degree in Sociology — but she’s really a techie. She lives and works in San Francisco in the tech field.
As for my teeth, things have been stable. I went through a period where I was having problems with reflux and coughing and couldn’t wear my retainer for a while. My teeth shifted a bit (much to my horror) but thankfully I was able to get my retainer to fit again. I also suffered some gum recession and had to go through two rounds of gum grafting, which was expensive and painful, but worth it. Despite all of that, my teeth still look pretty much the way they did the day my braces came off, and everything’s healthy. And for that, I’m grateful!
When I’m not working on ArchWired or managing DentaKit, I might be traveling with my husband of 33 years, or staying home watching classic films, news shows, or sci-fi. I have learned Tai Chi, and do that and other exercise (hiking, cycling, free weights) on a regular basis to stay in shape. When we became empty nesters, we decided to see as much of the world as we could. Over the years, we’ve been to Peru, China, Japan, Europe, Hawaii, the Middle East, Great Britain, Australia, Scandinavia, and a bunch of places in the US. The most wonderful thing about having an online business nowadays is that you can work from anywhere in the world. Back in 2001, you had to try to find an internet cafe (or if you were lucky, your hotel provided a hardwired internet connection).
I feel truly blessed and am committed to continuing ArchWired and its Metal Mouth Message Board. Before I go, I want to give a shout out to the talented Lisa of B. Unlimited. This lovely new site wouldn’t be possible without all of her amazing hard work.