On Monday night, I bit into a pear and everything changed.

I heard and felt it right away. A snap. A ping. An ouch. Something had gone wrong with the “permanent” retainer that had kept my lower front teeth in place since age 13. Yep, for all these years, two of my teeth have been wrapped in metal with a curved rod between them, cradling the back of my front teeth. Well, not anymore.

The retainer couldn’t be saved; it was so archaic that the dentist had to cut through the metal on my teeth, then buffer off a bunch of cement. When she was done, I was totally floored: not only did my mouth feel completely different, but all of me did. I keep running my tongue over the back of my teeth; a sensation I haven’t known for 25 years. I keep smiling in the mirror, thrilled not to see silver metal peeking through. But best of all? I feel lighter – like I’ve dropped a bunch of baggage. I have a feeling that little metal contraption has been messing with my energy, big time.

I know everything holds energy – especially metal {there’s a reason we’re supposed to steer clear of it when lightning strikes!}. Maybe that retainer held on to the many waves of the angst and insecurity that lived in me when it was installed, right after my braces came off. Maybe it sounds nuts, but letting go of that retainer – or it letting go of me – feels like a clearing, a cleansing of all of that.

Meanwhile, I’m very sensitive to the energy around me, but had never considered how my metal retainer may have been messing with the energy within me. Holistic dentist Dr. Paul Gilbert says any metal in our mouths – fillings, retainers, etc. – “may interfere with the natural, biological, electrical energy flow.  It’s like putting the wrong batteries in a computer or toy. Our brains produce an enormous amount of electrical energy at a very low power output. Adding even a little more power to this energy flow is disruptive to the biologically created electrical current.”

That just rings so true to me. I often forget how smart my body is and how small changes can make a big difference. Who knew an emergency trip to the dentist could help me come into my own? I had no choice but to listen to my body this time around; it literally broke through a barrier to change me for the better. Grateful…and smiling.