Tuesday, August 27, 2013


You know how some people have quirks and there's nothing they can do about them? They just are? Well, for me it's bad teeth. I abhor bad teeth. I've been in work situations where I'm sitting directly across from someone with teeth that are so mangled that I cannot properly concentrate on the conversation at hand. Terrible teeth freak me out, and yes, I judge people with bad teeth. It's a character flaw, I know, but there it is.

So when my own teeth started going wonky a few years ago, I was a bit taken aback. You see, I've had braces. I wore them for far longer than I was initially told I was going to need to. As a kid, I had a Jewel snaggletooth. Otherwise, my teeth weren't terrible, but I couldn't abide by that tooth. In college I stopped wearing my retainer, and somehow, over time, I got a new snaggletooth on my bottom row of teeth.

After hemming and hawing for several years, I finally took the plunge and got Invisalign. I've been wearing them since mid-December 2012, and sadly, I'm not at all convinced that I like them. First and foremost, they are so damn inconvenient. You're supposed to take them out every time you eat and drink anything that isn't water. And you're supposed to wear them 22 hours a day. Well, I don't know about you, but my eating and drinking takes up more than two hours of any day. Dinner alone is more than an hour. So yeah, I don't wear them as long as I'm supposed to (I'd guess I'm somewhere in the 16 hours a day mode). My dentist said that a lot of her patients lose weight while wearing Invisalign because it's too much work to eat. Um yeah, that's not going to happen around these parts.

And going out with those damn things? Yeah, not cool at all. I either have to take them out before we leave the house, or when we're in the car, or at the table of the restaurant if I forget. Do you know how awkward that is? Lemme tell you - it's hella awkward. And then you have to brush your teeth, and the Invisalign itself, before you can put them back in. I will say this, since getting them, I floss multiple times a day and my general dental hygiene is stellar.

But the pain, oh the pain. I'm not talking normal braces pain either. I remember getting my braces tightened and my teeth hurting like hell for a day or two. What I don't remember is the migraines. I've had migraines pretty much on and off my entire adult life, but they are back with a vengeance since I've been wearing Invisalign. I often wake up in the morning nauseated and with my head pounding. It's them, I know it is.

And the cuts in my mouth. Holy cow. Half the time my mouth is filled with cuts and scrapes and various nastiness caused by jagged edges of the device. Oh, and my pronunciation of certain words? Gone. I can't say certain words anymore because to make my mouth form certain sounds I have to over enunciate and talk super slow. Sh sounds are pretty fun. Th sounds are even better.

I could deal with the pronunciation issues. And the general inconvenience of it all. But damn, these migraines. I just don't know. I'm not at all sure that fixing this one tooth has been worth all of this. I might just have to be a little bit more lenient from now on toward people with one or two bad teeth. If I hadn't paid so damn much already, I might stop altogether. But at this point, I've got thousands of dollars invested in fixing this damn smile of mine so I am going to have to see it through. But today? Yeah, today that thing is sitting in my bathroom.