bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘teeth’

Brace Yourself

Karen bolted in the house after visiting the dentist last week and screamed, “I get to have braces!!!!!”  She was thrilled.  I remember being excited to get glasses.  That didn’t last long.  Saying “Four eyes are better than two” got really old, really fast.  But, I knew saying anything like that to her was useless.  Plus, why burst her bubble?

The dentist said that she has a misaligned jaw, so that her bottom teeth are over her top teeth on the side.  (Or something like that.)  He’s mentioned this almost since her first visit, so it seems legit. 

HOWEVER, he also mentioned as an aside, “Oh, and you might want to take Mark to the orthodontist too.”  Really?  Tom was the one that took him, so I don’t know why the dentist recommended it, but Tom said it seemed like an afterthought.

One of my best friends has a daughter in high school whose dentist just told her she needed braces.  And, after she went to the orthodontist, he agreed.  She started to cry.  Why?  Well, these days no one has braces in high school.  Everyone gets them earlier.  And, even though my friend had asked the dentist his opinion years ago, he never mentioned it before now.  The orthodontist couldn’t figure out why she would be upset.  Idiot.  He obviously doesn’t have teenage daughters.

My friend and I got to talking and wondered, “Does anyone NOT “need” braces these days?”  We were discussing her daughter’s problems, and they didn’t sound life-threatening, so we wondered why she just didn’t go ahead and wait until she was in college, or out, for that matter.

Tom and I neither one had braces.  The reason he didn’t was because he was one of six kids, and money was tight.  In fact, he got all his major dental work done while in the Army.  I didn’t get them because my issues were not a big deal.  My bottom teeth are a little crooked, but if I decide to fulfill my dream of becoming a pop star or act in a movie opposite George Clooney, I’ll get major work done like the rest of Hollywood.  But, we don’t wake up with major jaw pains.  Kids don’t run away screaming, “They’re hideous!” after seeing our teeth.  We survived without ever being “metal mouths.”  Maybe I should invest in these the next time I’m in Boca Raton.  Seriously?

Now, I know there are completely legitimate reasons for braces.  And, I do believe that Karen probably needs them. 

But, does everyone???  What are your experiences/opinions?

Smiles, Everyone! Smiles!

I have a confession to make.  I have not had my teeth cleaned in a over a decade.  I know.  Gross.  I know a lot of people fear going to the dentist.  And I am certainly among them.  I have had two wisdom teeth removed in the past nine years, but no cleaning.  So, obviously, I’m not afraid of the pain.

It’s the sounds.  EeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeee!  Yikes!  Sends me into a state of Rigor mortis.  I would come out of there as stiff as a stiff.  My muscles would ache from the tension.  Seemed hardly worth it.  I’ve been blessed with good teeth (thank you, Dad).  And, I brush, brush, brush so that I don’t HAVE to go to the dentist. 

I make sure the kids go (well, actually, Tom does, but I would do it too).  The other day I took my daughter for a follow-up and she was really nervous.  Afraid it would hurt.  (They were filling a pit)  After she was done, I told her I was really proud of her and that I would make an appointment myself. 

YIKES!  I timidly went up to the window and asked for an appointment.  The receptionist smiled and said, “Sure we can get you in on Monday!”  (four days away)  YIKES!  YIKES!  YIKES!  I took a deep breath and said, “Okay.”

After four days of anxiety, I got up Monday morning and everyone in the house said, “Good luck!  You can do it!”  I don’t think I’ve had that much support since I gave birth to my daughter! 

I took my mp3 player and cranked it up.  The hygienist was extremely nice and completely understood.  In fact, she told me at one time, “Okay, I’m going to use a Sonic “something or other” and it makes a high-pitched squeal, so crank it up!!!”  I could still hear it, but it was in the background of Aerosmith, so I was good.

Best news of all, NO CAVITIES!  My dentist even said, “Hey, for someone who has been away for so long, your teeth look good.  Like someone who wants to avoid the dentist!”  I do have to go back for another follow-up cleaning.  It has been so long, she couldn’t do it all at once.  I’m not at all worried.

As long as my mp3 player is juiced up, I’m all over it.  I even promised to come back in 6 months.

Thank goodness for technology.  And Aerosmith.

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