As daughter number one frequently reminds anyone who raises the subject, it was all my fault. She might never have needed braces had her father not chased her around a restaurant as a small child, causing her to trip and bang her front teeth into the edge of a chair. The shock wore off quickly, but it soon turned out that poor Delaney's gnashers had become calamitously bent.
There is a remarkable X-ray that cruelly illustrates the eventual thrust of her two front teeth on a gravity-defying trajectory; one day, I'm sure, People magazine will offer me millions for reproduction rights. That will be but a drop in the ocean compared to the amounts I've had to fork out in dentistry bills to re-direct my poor teenager's bite in a less vampirical direction.
She went to her New York orthodontist for a check-up the other day, and her corrected bite was pronounced "fabulous". She'll be out of the braces shortly. I shan't be chasing her around any more restaurants.