Last month we asked our readers to tell us your most embarrassing orthodontics story.
You responded and… yowza… there were some really embarrassing and weird stories. We’ve whittled the submissions down to four cringe-worthy finalists and now it’s up to readers to vote for your favorite.
The winner will receive professional teeth whitening sessions for two from Rosslyn-based VCO Orthodontics. The runner-up will get a professional teeth whitening session for one.
These stories may be ugly but there is good news: if you or your kids need orthodontic treatment, the modern ortho techniques employed by VCO’s Harvard-educated founder, Dr. Crissy Markova, make for a much better experience than you might have gotten back in the day.
Here are the finalists:
The scene: middle school in the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid 1970s.
The facts: I will admit that I didn’t wear my headpiece at night like I was supposed to. I was warned but didn’t believe the ortho. He said he would wire it in if I didn’t wear it.
The other fact: our choir was invited to sing on the local TV station, and I had a solo.
Next ortho appt: the ortho wired in my headpiece. I begged him not to. The next day I was in the TV studio in SF singing. With a big lisp. ” I THAW three THIPS come THAILING in on CRETHMATH DAY…..” Yep, lovely.
Once a few years ago I had an accident that required the repair of two broken teeth. While the operation itself, shots of novocaine and all was 100% successful, it was made most unpleasant when the saliva suction tube fell out while I was waiting for the orthodontist and the technician stepped away for a few minutes. I realized it had fallen out after my mouth started swelling up with spit, and I couldn’t swallow it because it built up too quickly that I was worried I would choke. All I could do was sit there and be frustrated that I had to essentially spill like a cup of my own spit onto the floor. Turns out those suction tubes are super important if removed for 5 minutes!
Back in fifth grade after I had my braces taken off I was given a retainer to wear. It was pizza day for lunch and I discretely took my retainer out, wrapped it in a napkin, and put it on my lunch tray. When I got home from school my mom asked where my retainer was and I realized I had thrown it away with my lunch tray. We hopped in the car, drove to the school, and I got in the dumpster to pull out the lunch trash bags. We sifted through a few bags, and found my retainer! She soaked and cleaned it and I went back to wearing it the next day.
Well my experience was terrible in the 80s and continues to haunt me. I had an appliance that was supposed to bring my lower jaw forward and it puffed my cheeks like a chipmunk. During my first week of middle school (living in Florida and I am female), someone asked me if I was chewing tobacco. I am now 48. A year ago, I was diagnosed with “short roots” attributed to the fast track method of orthodontia implemented in my early teens. Because of this, I now need to wear a retainer nightly so I don’t lose my front two bottom teeth.
So which embarrassing story has your vote?
Voting closes next week on Wednesday, Oct. 19. Good luck to the entrants!
Readers will vote on their favorite story (don’t worry, we won’t use your last name if you don’t want us to) and you could win professional tooth whitening sessions from VCO — perfect for anyone who has a special occasion coming up or who just wants to get rid of some stubborn coffee stains.
Send the short version of the story to us at [email protected], with a relevant photo if one is available. The new deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 4.
See more details on the contest here.
Reconnecting with friends. High school football games. Successfully asking out that crush on a lunchroom dare.
Of course there were some embarrassing memories, too. Crushing social awkwardness. Acne breakouts. Waking up looking like this…
Yeah, so orthodontics have made some advances over the years.
A modern ortho doc, like VCO Orthodontics’ Harvard-educated founder, Dr. Crissy Markova, has all sorts of modern tech and techniques — from 3D digital modeling to take the gagging out of fittings, to the latest from Invisalign, to accelerated orthodontics to make your braces work faster. She works with patients of all ages, from adolescents to adults.
As school gets underway, Rosslyn-based VCO is sponsoring a contest to help us remember the good ol’ days. Regale us with an embarrassing story from your braces-wearing days, and you could win free, custom professional tooth whitening from VCO. (They do that, along with some other services, too.)
Here’s how it works:
- Share your (true) embarrassing orthodontics story with us via email, Facebook, Twitter or the comments below this article.
- If you have a photo to go along with it, bonus points! Be sure to send that, too.
- We’ll pick out our favorites, then publish them for our readers to see and vote on.
- The person getting the most votes will get free, custom tooth whitening from VCO for two — treat a friend or significant other. Runner-up will get tooth whitening for one.
The deadline to submit is
Monday, Sept. 26 Tuesday, Oct. 4. Good luck digging up those old memories!
Local Man Wins ‘Ultimate Fighter’ — Arlington native Ryan Hall has captured the Ultimate Fighter title for his weight class after soundly defeating Artem Lobov in the Octagon on national television Friday. [Fox Sports]
New Ballston Apartments Rent Quickly — Less than a year after it opened, The Maxwell, a 163-unit luxury apartment building on N. Glebe Road in Ballston, is now 93 percent leased. [PR Newswire, Multifamily Biz]
County: Don’t Worry About Orange Tubes — Arlington County is telling residents not to worry about the orange plastic tubes they may see sprouting from the ground. The tubes are not part of a nefarious terrorist plot, they’re conduits for Arlington’s upgraded fiber optic traffic signal system. [Arlington County]
Local Nonspeaking Youth Present at Conference — Three nonspeaking Arlington students gave 10 minute TED-style talks at a disability advocacy conference in Portland, Oregon earlier this month. [Growing Kids Therapy Center]
Pet Photo Contest Cancelled — Our Dress Your Pet Like a James Bond Character photo contest has been cancelled. The contest was to promote a James Bond-themed New Years Eve event in Ballston that has since been cancelled due to a regulatory issue. Those who have already submitted photos for the contest will be contacted soon and given a consolation prize.
Arlington County high school students can now submit their entries for the 2016-2017 Vehicle Decal Design Competition.
Now in its twelfth year, the annual contest is open to all students who live or go to school in Arlington.
“This contest is an opportunity to practice your design skills, as well as participate in the workings of local government,” Susan Anderson of Arlington Treasurer’s Office said in a letter to students. “It is truly a unique accomplishment for all the winners to highlight on their college applications and resumes.”
The letter also explained the winning design will be displayed on registration stickers on more than 160,000 vehicles and will become a part of a decal exhibit at the county administrative building.
Submissions are due to the Treasurer’s Office on Nov. 30 at 5 p.m, either via e-mail or a mailed CD.
Each design should be in JPEG format and have a resolution of no less than 300 DPI. Next year’s decals will have a red background with the design measuring 1.5 inches by 2.25 inches. Students must also submit an application with a short essay describing the design and why it visually represents Arlington. More detailed submission instructions are available on the county’s website.
After the submission period closes, a “Citizens Panel” will select four finalists — each will receive a cash prize — to be announced on the county’s website on Dec. 10. Residents will then vote for their favorite design online or by mailing a paper ballot to the Sun Gazette newspaper.
Voting will be open for approximately five weeks, and the winner is expected to be announced at a County Board meeting on Jan. 26, 2016.
Last year’s design contest winner was “A Nod to History” by Yorktown High School student Tommy Casey.
School Bus Cameras Stop Issuing Tickets — The stop arm cameras on Arlington public school buses are no longer sending citations to those who drive by the buses while the stop signs are activated. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring determined that Arlington does not have the legal authority from the General Assembly to issue summonses from school bus cameras by mail. [Washington Post]
Laundry Room Fire at The Shelton — Yesterday around 6 p.m. a dryer in a laundry room at The Shelton apartment building (3125 24th Street S.) in Nauck caught fire. The fire was reportedly controlled by a sprinkler system, but not before filling the third floor of the building with heavy smoke and prompting an evacuation. [Twitter]
Last Weekend for Hudson Trail Outfitters — The local adventure retailer Hudson Trail Outfitters says this will be their last weekend in business. The company, which has a store on Pentagon Row, is offering 50-80 percent off remaining items. [Hudson Trail Outfitters]
Rep. Beyer Wins Spelling Bee — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) won the National Press Club’s annual Politicians vs. Press spelling bee Wednesday night. Beyer won by correctly spelling “apostasy” in round 23. The win keeps the spelling bee title in Virginia, after Sen. Tim Kaine won last year. [Politico]
‘Most Interesting Man in Arlington’ Contest — Don Tito in Clarendon will be hosting its first ever “Most Interesting Man in Arlington” contest Saturday night. Hosted by Mel, of 107.3’s morning show, the contest will judge based on looks and a series of challenges. [Clarendon Nights]
Discover Cherrydale This Weekend — The Cherrydale Business Alliance will hold its second annual “Discover Cherrydale” festival on Sunday afternoon. The event will feature vendor booths, a beer garden, food trucks and various family-friendly activities. [ARLnow Events]
Red Top Given Green Light for Stickers — An Arlington County Board-ordered review of new stickers on the back window of Red Top taxicabs has found no safety hazard. Lou Gatti, a long-time cab driver who is now an industry critic and who was the one who raised concerns, was disappointed by the findings. “There are no checks and balances in this industry, except for me,” Gatti is quoted as saying. “I can’t understand why no one seems to care about the facts and the laws, except me.” [InsideNova]
Blue Line Issues This Morning — A faulty switch near the Pentagon prompted Metro to route Blue Line trains over the Yellow Line bridge for a significant portion of this morning’s rush hour. [Twitter]
Arlington Ranks High for Tax Burden — Arlington County has the second highest overall tax burden in the nation, according to stats compiled by the website NerdWallet. Arlington’s high median income and high real estate costs factored heavily in the calculation, which includes federal, state and local taxes. [NerdWallet, Washington Business Journal]
Trevor Noah Performs in Arlington — Comedian Trevor Noah performed his first stand-up comedy show since being named the next host of The Daily Show last night in Arlington. It was the first of seven sold-out shows Noah is performing this weekend at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse. In writing about the performance, the New York Times described the Drafthouse as “about a half-hour drive outside Washington, with drinks far cheaper than most places in the District.” [New York Times]
Amsterdam Falafelshop Offers Pot Pairings — Amsterdam Falafelshop, which has a location in Clarendon, is offering a “pot pairing menu” in time for 4/20. Also on April 20, the restaurant will offer sandwiches for $4.20. [Washington City Paper]
Arlington Resident in Voice Contest — Tara Cannon, an Arlington resident, is among the singers hoping to get a guaranteed audition for The Voice, via an online voting contest on NBC 4’s website. [NBC Washington]
Fairlington 5K Road Closures — Arlington County Police are planning on shutting down a number of roads Saturday morning for the second annual Fairlington 5K race. The roads are expected to be closed between 7:00 and 9:30 a.m. [Arlington County]
Cherry Blossom Race Closures — Police are planning on closing the Memorial Bridge and Memorial Circle to traffic Sunday morning for the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K. The closure is scheduled to be in place from 5:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Voting began this morning in the contest that will determine the design of Arlington’s 2015-2016 vehicle decal.
The winning decal will appear on more than 160,000 windshields next year.
The decals were designed by Arlington high school students. The four finalists above — entitled “Hats of Our Heroes,” “A Nod to History,” “Barcroft Community House” and “A Day at the Farmers’ Market” — were chosen from 113 student entries.
The student behind the winning entry will receive $750 from John Marshall Bank. The other three finalists will receive $500.
Arlington residents can vote for their favorite on the county website. Voting closes at midnight on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015.
A 9-year-old boy wearing an Arlington County Police Department t-shirt may not seem like a symbol of authority. But for today, he is.
This morning Police Chief M. Douglas Scott swore in Patrick Omberg, the winner of the inaugural “Chief-for-the-Day” essay competition.
“Today is National Night Out, so Patrick you’re going to work until about 10:00 or 11:00 tonight,” Scott joked during his speech at the ceremony.
Outside the police department in Courthouse, 9-year-old Patrick Omberg took an honorary police oath, read an excerpt of his winning essay and received a commemorative plaque before standing for pictures with police and his parents.
On July 8, the Arlington County Police Department announced the contest, which they plan to hold every year from now on. ACPD asked for essay submissions from children, ages 8 to 12, that answered the question: “What does it mean to be a police officer?”
“Based on his essay, it was a pretty easy selection for us,” ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said. “Even at 9 years old, he seemed to have a good understanding of the police and for our role in the community.”
Omberg said that he wrote about how “the police keep people safe” in his essay, and although he doesn’t know if he wants to be a police officer, he was having fun as an honorary chief. He didn’t have to wrangle drunken pub-crawlers or chase down criminals, but Omberg did get a glimpse at the inner workings of the police department.
“We wanted to show him what life in the Arlington County Police Department could be like,” Sternbeck said. “We want to build positive relationships in the community. It’s been a great experience for us just as much as [it has been] for him.”
Before the ceremony, police picked up Omberg from his house in a patrol car and guided him on a tour of the police station, where they took his fingerprints and introduced him to their K-9 unit.
“My favorite part was seeing the dogs,” Omberg said.
“Do you remember what his name was?” Omberg’s father, Peter, asked his son.
“Drogo,” Omberg said, although the rising fourth-grader didn’t seem to get the “Game Of Thrones” reference in the name.
To cap off his day, Omberg would look at the station’s booking department with the sheriffs and have lunch with Scott, Sternbeck said.
“I can use all the help I can get,” Scott said at the ceremony. “So having someone like you help me [for today], is very much appreciated.”
Tips for Staying Cool — The temperature today and tomorrow (Tuesday) is expected to reach the mid-to-upper 90s. To help beat the heat, Arlington County has a list of “hot weather tips for staying cool,” including tips and resources for people and pets. [Arlington County]
Arlington Man Found Dead in D.C. — Arlington resident Michael Hrizuk, 57, was found dead on the ground near Wisconsin Avenue NW in the Glover Park neighborhood last month. The Metropolitan Police Department has not yet determined the manner and cause of Hrizuk’s death and is continuing to investigate the incident. [WUSA 9]
Arlington Hailed as ‘Suburb of the Future’ — Arlington has been transformed from a “sleepy suburb” into a “mid-size city” but has managed to reduce the volume of traffic on main streets, according to an article entitled “The Suburb of the Future is Here.” Says Brookings Institution fellow Christopher Leinberger: “Arlington is the most important suburban place in the country… If you don’t understand Arlington, you don’t understand the future of the country.” [Salon]
O.A.R. to Play Clarendon Ballroom — Rock band O.A.R., which hails from Rockville but has enjoyed national success, will play a private acoustic show at the Clarendon Ballroom on July 17. Tickets to the performance are only available via an ongoing, on-air contest on radio stations 94.7 Fresh FM and 106.7 The Fan. The band recently released its eighth studio album, The Rockville LP. [94.7 Fresh FM]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
The Arlington Police Beneficiary Association is asking Arlington middle- and high-schoolers to design a T-shirt for Police Week in May.
Students are asked to submit designs for the theme “Honoring the Fallen By Remembering Their Sacrifice,” by Friday, April 4 at 3:00 p.m. Designs are asked to be drawn in marker — with no more than four colors — on a sheet of letter paper. The winning designs will be printed for shirts during Police Week, May 11-17.
The grand prize for the contest is $100 gift card, a press release with the winner’s name and school in it and a free T-shirt with the winning design. Each school’s School Resource Officer will be collecting the submissions, which will be printed on the back of black and/or blue shirts.
Rep. Jim Moran’s (D-Va.) district, which covers Arlington, Alexandria and parts of Fairfax County, is eligible to compete in the first House Student App Challenge. The contest was created to allow high school students to engage in Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and innovation by creating a software application for any platform.
The competition is open to the districts whose Representatives decide to participate, and Moran says the 8th District of Virginia is suited to excel.
“Northern Virginia parents, teachers, and administrators have made enormous investments in challenging and reinforcing the STEM abilities of our students,” said the congressman. “Because of this tremendous exposure, our children are uniquely qualified for this competition.”
Students 13 and older must register and submit a YouTube or Vimeo video demonstration of their app by April 30. The winner will have the video displayed on House.gov and will receive a certificate of excellence.
Apps will be judged on the quality of the idea, programming skill and implementation. Individuals or teams of up to four students can compete. Moran’s website has a list of developer tools and resources for students and teachers interested in competing.
“The U.S. is facing a shortage of 1 million STEM graduates in the next 10 years, a decade that is estimated to create 8.5 million STEM job opportunities,” Moran’s office wrote in a press release. “The House Student App Challenge seeks to address this challenge by encouraging students to create their own app and pursue an education in STEM fields.”
“Crystal Fountain” was the top vote-getter in the annual decal contest, which is decided by votes from residents — 1,409 votes this year, to be precise. The decal was designed by Wakefield High School senior Mobin Fateh. It depicts a scene in the Crystal City Water Park on Crystal Drive.
The decal will grace the windshields of about 160,000 vehicles in Arlington starting this summer.
“I took this picture of Arlington because I like the colors reflected in the fountain,” Fateh said. “The different colors also represent the diversity in Arlington. I’m grateful to be living in such a beautiful and diverse community as Arlington.”
Five finalists were chosen for the contest this year, from a pool of 50 entries. A panel of Arlington residents helped narrow them down. The four decal finalists who didn’t make the final cut were:
- Mark Love, 9th Grader at Yorktown High School, with his design “Education is a Virtue”
- Isabel George, 12th Grader at Wakefield High School, with her design “Arlington’s Namesake”
- Lena Mobin, a 12th Grader at Wakefield High School, with her design “Arlington’s Bright Lights”
- Gabrielle Young, an 11th Grader at Washington-Lee HS, with her design “Netherlands Carillon”
“This was quite a task for our Citizens’ Panel,” said Chief Deputy Treasurer Carla de la Pava. “There were so many great entries that we ended up with five finalists instead of four.”
The finalists have been chosen for Arlington’s annual Decal Design Competition and residents will have the chance to choose a favorite later this week.
The contest is open to all Arlington high school students and a citizens’ panel typically narrows down the entries to four finalists. This year, however, five finalists were named because the voting resulted in a tie.
The winning 2014-2015 decal will be announced at a County Board meeting early next year and will be affixed to about 160,000 car windshields beginning next summer.
Each student included a description of his or her design. Excerpts from each are below:
- Education is a Virtue — “I think my photograph of the Arlington Education Center and the Planetarium represent Arlington’s important focus on students and education.”
- Netherlands Carrillon — “To me, Arlington represents community and pride. I wanted to depict something in my photo that brings both to mind for me.”
- Arlington’s Namesake — “The Arlington House and Arlington National Cemetary together help to show the abudance of history that Arlington County has.”
- Crystal Fountain — “The different colors also represent the diversity in Arlington. I’m grateful to be living in such beautiful and diverse community as Arlington.”
- Arlington Landmark — “To me, it’s light symbolizes Arlington’s dreams and opportunities. My years in Arlington have showed me that I can grow into whoever I want to be.”
The Arlington County Treasurer’s Office is still updating its website with the decals and the unedited descriptions each student wrote. Residents will be able to vote for their favorite starting on Thursday and running through January 19.
An ART bus will be more colorful for the next year, thanks to the winner of the ARTists for PAL Bus Design Contest.
County Board Chair Walter Tejada and County Manager Barbara Donnellan joined in a ceremony on Thursday for the unveiling of the winning bus wrap. They recognized Annemarie Dougherty, who will be an 8th grader at St. Agnes Catholic School in the fall, for her winning design.
Dougherty offered the following description of her design:
“My picture on the bus incorporates the ‘Be a PAL’ theme because the cars, bikes and people are sharing the space and are aware of the street signs. This shows that it is equally important for pedestrians, bikers and drivers to watch out for each other and their surroundings. In addition the street is green reminding people to walk or bike more.”
The contest asked middle and high school students to submit designs in line with the theme “Share Our Streets — Be a PAL.” The 26 entries were narrowed down to three finalists and Arlington residents were able to vote online for their favorite.
The newly wrapped bus will be on display at the Arlington County Fair this weekend. After that, it will take to the streets and will remain decorated for about one year.
All of the other contest entries are on display inside the bus.