Random Thoughts on Thursday: all about teeth

Teeth. Funny little things, without which we would struggle to do a lot of things. It’s all about teeth here this week…

~ Porter-the-kitten lost a fang the other day. Do you know how I know? Because I found it on my kitchen bench. If I was typing this on my phone, this is where I’d insert the wide-eyed “what the…?” emoji. On the bench. Ew.

~ it’s apparently unusual, but a six-year-old can teeth. Tiny has his adult molars coming through, and he’s like a baby, shoving his fingers in his mouth as frequently as he can. The dentist we saw yesterday has told him he shouldn’t, and I’m hoping her words will stick where mine haven’t.

~ Pickle has over-crowded teeth, and hypomineralisation, which combine to give him extra-sensitive, extra-vulnerable little chompers. Add in the fact that he loves sweet things and is a reluctant tooth-brusher, and you have a recipe for disaster. Luckily, his wee mouth is clear so far, but we need to be extra-vigilant from now on. Try telling that to the nearly-four-year-old who wants to be Mr Independent!

~ it’s been over six months since my braces came off, but sometimes I still feel like they’re there. Phantom braces?? Is that a thing??

~ kids all around us are losing their baby teeth but Tiny’s are holding fast. I’m quietly loudly glad about this, as wiggly teeth give me the heebie-jeebies. I’m sure my own didn’t bother me as a kid, but now…the sight of a near-vertical tooth makes me want to vomit. Husband will be dealing with the wigglers, that’s for certain.

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Adult Braces: the final chapter

My teeth were freed from their bracketed prison exactly two months ago. I love my “new” teeth. I don’t do it so much now, but for a long while I did a double-take every time I brushed them because I was convinced that they weren’t actually my teeth.

IMG_2655 They felt weird – long and slimy – and loose; for almost 19 months, there’d been so much pressure in my mouth from the brackets, wires and rubber bands, and suddenly, it was just my teeth and two permanent wire retainers.

2 Lake Tekapo (13)

I lisped for around two weeks, which made me giggle; my tongue would catch on the top retainer wire. It took me a while to trust that I could eat properly again. Straight after getting the braces removed, I walked along to see my husband at work, then bought two new lipsticks. I never used to wear lipstick because I didn’t want to draw attention to my ugly teeth; now, I wear it every chance I get because I want my teeth to stand out. I paid for these babies, and I’m going to show them off.

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At night, I wear a tight plastic retainer on both sets of teeth. They’re like a mouthguard, only much thinner and lighter. They make me gag, but once I’m asleep, I don’t notice them. I’ve stopped worrying that the teeth have moved, but instinctively still flick my tongue over the surfaces to check for food stuck in the braces. Some habits are hard to break.

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A good friend commented recently about a photo she’d seen of me on social media: “Your smile was huge!” I don’t feel embarrassed about my smile anymore, and for that reason alone, I’d say that the total cost was money very well spent.

Adult Braces: 17 months in

When I scattered carrot seeds into the vegetable garden recently, one of my first thoughts was about how much I loved pulling carrots straight from the garden, rinsing them with the garden hose and munching them on the spot. Then I remembered that braces wearers aren’t supposed to bite straight into those crunchy orange morsels, for fear of bending a wire or breaking a bracket. The joy of planting those seeds was slightly dampened, but I consoled myself with the fact that at least my boys could enjoy the experience, even if I couldn’t.

A week later, I had a routine appointment at the orthodontist. “How do you like your teeth?” she asked. “Is there anything you’re not happy with?”

“Are you kidding??” I grinned. “I love them! They’re so much better than when I first came to see you!”

Lake TekapoEmily laughed, in a I-should-hope-so kinda way; as she bent the upper wire and re-fitted it, she told me we’d be making the next two appointments at this visit.

“Oh, okay,” I replied, thinking she was just being extremely efficient because we’re approaching Christmas and holiday season. I was slightly disappointed; she’d mentioned aiming for having the braces off before Christmas.

“Yes,” she said. “One in seven weeks, then one the week after so we can take your braces off.”

I was speechless – stunned – momentarily, but as a big smile spread across my face, I found my voice. “Really?? That’s so great!”

Friday 20th November is D-Day for unveiling my new-and-improved choppers. To say I’m excited is an understatement – even though I hardly notice them anymore, knowing my time wearing braces is almost finished is such a relief. It’ll be weird, and I know I’ll ulcerate my tongue by playing with the permanent retainers I’ll be fitted with, and I’ll probably think my beautifully-straight teeth are hideously stained, but not having to think about rubber bands or worry about food getting stuck in the wires is going to be amazing.

Smiling is going to get a whole lot more fun, too.