Monday, January 02, 2012

Brace yourself...

All right, I thought I'd have posted something sooner, but I'm just not that motivated to write on this blog. Maybe that should be my New Year's resolution, to write more.


I promised I'd be writing about some dental nightmares, and I certainly have a Stephen King-worthy amount of fodder. Without further ado...

On November 21, 2011, I got braces. Yes, I'm probably more than twice the age of any of the orthodontist's other patients, but I got the metal torture devices adhered to my mouthparts just the same.

Admittedly, they were a long time coming. In my early teens, I had an ortho consult because one of my canines decided it would be fun to emerge through the gum above the baby tooth. I had a vampire fang. The baby tooth stayed in place until May 2011, when the gum around it got infected because I did something stupid involving brushing my teeth with the brush in my non-dominant hand while using the other to tweet about Osama bin Laden's death. I accidentally scraped the soft bristles across the junction between the baby tooth and the fang, which made it bleed, and a few days later, swell and throb. I had already had a baby molar removed a few months before that (read all the gory details here) because it had also gotten infected, that time from an attempt to clean my teeth with a dental scaler (I'd make a terrible dentist, since everyone I touched would probably have their teeth fall out independent of my work). Thankfully, the dentist who removed the molar remembered my hairy ordeal and gave me nitrous oxide so I wouldn't try to flee the country with my manky teeth. The baby tooth came out with little pain and a sound like a chicken bone being snapped in two.

How I lost my tooth

I endured the embarrassing hole in my smile until fall, when I went to the orthodontist for a consultation. Aside from moving my fang, I also have two molars will have to be rotated 180 degrees, as well as a couple teeth that just need some slight rotation (thankfully, my teeth appear straight to the casual observer... not that anyone would be doing more than just casually observing my mouth, but still). After a series of visits over a month and a half, I finally had my D-Day, 3 days before Thanksgiving. Yeah, that was stupid of me. The worst part about having the brackets bonded to my teeth was the fact they all went on simultaneously and the ham-fisted assistant attempted to pry the wax mold off my teeth by using my fang for leverage. Seriously, these ladies think they're being gentle, but they don't know jack about being nice to the mouth of an anxious ADULT patient. The dentist who gave me the referral form for the ortho even wrote "patient is very anxious", but that apparently means nothing to this guy's office.

My teeth hurt for a month solid. I lost 3 lbs. in a little less than 2 weeks because I could barely eat anything that didn't have the consistency of applesauce (I was hoping for better results from the braces diet, but having them on over the holidays isn't helping. I mean, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and pie are all soft). The insides of my cheeks have been shredded from the hooks and overall roughness of the ceramic braces on the upper arch. I frequently wake up with a perfect imprint of my braces on the inside of my lips and cheeks, since I evidently suck my teeth while I'm sleeping. My molars haven't touched since November 20th. Even a month and a half after my bonding, I still have trouble eating a lot of foods -- even things like soft pretzels cause an uncomfortable pressure in my molars.

On the plus side, my fang has moved quite a distance. That's pretty much the only thing on the plus side, though. My teeth look pretty stupid right now, and my smile has morphed into something very Scarlett Johansson-esque (maybe I'm weird, but I HATE her smile. As an aside, I just spent the past hour looking at pictures I celebrities I resemble at apparently, I look a little like Calista Flockhart. And Portia DeRossi. And probably the rest of the cast of "Ally McBeal", who knows.). My husband doesn't treat me any differently since I became a metalmouth, and I've only gotten carded once. No one has called me names or made fun of me, though my father-in-law jokingly asked if he could call me "Tin Grin".

I suppose I should update this more often, since I feel like some readers might take a "tl;dr" approach when I post a novella like this.

No comments: