Straighten Out With the Tween Scene

A million years ago when I was in college, there was one place you could go where you knew that you would always find a friend. That place was a bar called Ruloff’s. For my 14 year old daughter and others her age, the social equivalent is not yet a place to share a pitcher of beer with their besties (at least not to my knowledge), but her orthodontist. No joke, the place to see and be seen by teens and tweens in San Francisco is absolutely, unequivocally Warren Orthodontics in West Portal.

There are no refreshments. There is no dance floor. I’m talking just a man in a Hawaiian shirt that runs the show like nobody’s business. Unlike most doctors’ offices, this isn’t a place you show up unshowered just to open your mouth and say “ahhh”. I mean, your crush could be seated right next to you! Is this why it takes 3 months to make your initial appointment? Perhaps, but it also could be the attentive service and diligent work that Dr. Warren and his staff provide once you are a patient. Broken brackets, emergency visits and adjustments are provided for first thing in the morning.

Now back in its original location, but with a completely spiffed up décor, Warren orthodontics sits above street level just outside of the Muni station. Floor to ceiling windows not only provide patients with a bright, cheery atmosphere, but give us pedestrians a great view of dangling feet hanging off hydraulic chairs. Of course, this is just a tiny glimpse of the social interaction that’s really taking place!

After nearly 2 years of scrambling to school late and ditching classes early to have wires tightened, a smile straightened and a social life embellished with impromptu meet-ups with friends past and present, yesterday marked the end of an era for my kid. Will no braces mean less of a social life? I highly doubt it. But it does mean that this very busy practice has room for one more gapped-tooth grinner to jump into the hot seat in this bustling tween scene.

Warren Orthodotics 15 West Portal Ave., San Francisco, CA 94127 415-681-2418

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