17 October 2012

It's like that awkward adolescent phase, without the acne

I'm building a relationship with my orthodontist, and not in fun way. Today I had an appointment to start the redistribution of my teeth into what will hopefully be a straighter smile. I have spent all of my masticating life with "Hale teeth," a condition instantly recognized by others in the bloodline and one that will take some time to correct.

I wouldn't say that I have "bad teeth." I'm not British, after all, and I've never had any real cavities, although I have had one root canal and all of my wisdom teeth extracted. I just have crooked teeth and no room to spread them out to straighten them. If you look at the two bicuspids on the left side of my jaw (right side of the image), you'll notice they are rotated 30°-40° clockwise from their normal positions, and my front teeth have started to overlap from crowding. This makes it hard for me to brush effectively and nearly impossible to floss.
Look at those crooked, overlapping teeth--proof that I am my mother's daughter. 
My initial consultation was some months ago. It was explained to me then what was in store, but I had no idea when all this would take place, since booking appointments for ortho work is not as easy as for cleanings and regular checkups. I had my first post-consultation appointment last month. They took a bunch of x-rays, including a panoramic, and made molds from my teeth. By the time I left, my mouth tasted like I had been chewing on a rubber glove all morning.

Today's appointment was all business. I was fitted with 8 brackets, a wire, and turquoise O-rings.
You can just call me Jaws.
The whole setup is less than comfortable. It kind of feels like my jaw has been placed into a vice grip and then tightened by a blind masochist. The wire has shredded the insides of my cheeks already and I have a continuous headache that radiates from the top of my neck to my forehead. But it's all worth it, right? I hope so.

As my teeth shift, the sides of my front teeth will be shaved down to make enough room for them to be aligned side-by-side correctly. My molars can't be moved because they already fit together so well, it would mean realigning my whole mouth, which is far more work than is necessary. The estimate on the amount of time it will take to complete my smile is 6 months, but we'll see. Let's just say I'm not going to hold my breath.

At this point, ice cream and Tylenol help considerably. The dental wax I was given to coat the sharp parts is kind of like trying to fix a bent fender with silly putty. All I really want is to turn off the lights and let my face rest. It's been a long day and it started with attaching all this metal to my mouth. I'll keep you updated on how things progress. I'm thinking the comparison of before, during, and after photos will be interesting.
Gotta keep on smiling!


  1. I told you that wax crap would be useless.

  2. 6 months! Cool! I had braces for 4 years.

  3. Cool! I had braces for 4 years.