Saturday, January 23, 2016

My Love Affair with Dentistry

When I was 14, I was in my 4th year of orthodontia and my first year of Water Polo. Mishaps ensued.

I am pretty sure that my front tooth was murdered as a result of extreme front tooth movement, combined with blunt force trauma to the face. It was really bound to happen at some point, since at that point in my life my passions included (in this order): Straightening out the God awful mess that was my teeth, Acne cream and Contact Sports. Oooooh to be young again! I would share a picture of me during this time in my life, if only so you could share in a laugh, but they are all at my parents house. Who'd want that in their OWN house? C'mon!

Long story short, my original pearly white was replaced by a fake pearly white. When I played Water Polo at Oregon State University, my crown (Toothy, as I lovingly referred to it) was a common injury amongst young women with my particular skill set: Kicking-ace and jotting down contact information.
2 out of 5 girls in this picture suffer from FFT (Fake Front Tooth). Bet you can't guess who! The sign of a good dentist. 
**Please note, in 2009 everyone had a flip phone. Flip phones were in.**

This past month or so, I my husband pointed out to me that there was a crack in my crown. When I went to the dentist he said that no, he could not just "spackle it over, or something." I figured it was worth asking... If you can do it to a wall to get your deposit back on an apartment, it seemed natural enough to me! So at 29, it was time that I part ways with the 2nd adult front tooth I'd ever had. 

Yeah, I know it's ridiculous to be sentimental about ones front tooth. I have met normal people before... But I am a girl that wears her retainers to bed every night. They are red and sparkly, like Dorothy's shoes! The orthodontist did not think it was hilarious when I was getting them made, but I've met few orthodontists that see me as more than the my parents' excellent dental care plan. 

In 4th grade, I found out that I had impacted canines. My lower set of adult canines were growing together.... in my jaw.... like Heathcliff and Katherine... trying to come together and ruining everything in their path. So at the end of 4th grade, I had my first oral surgery. The oral surgeon tried to find an example case he had worked on to share with me... he could not find a SINGLE CASE that was as bad as mine in his fancy photo book of doomed canines. 

From there, it was brackets and wires and yanking, oh my!! I would go for months at a time without eating solid food. I literally gave up gum for 2 years, no questions asked, because chewing was such a beez. Not only did I have a set of bottom chompers that were the marvel of every orthodontist I visited (3) and oral surgeons (1), I had a gap in my front teeth that was a thing of beauty. It took 4 years of agony to correct this nightmare. And then what did I do???? I decided it was time to take up the face smackingest sport I could thing of!

So after I had a new front tooth, did I wear a mouth guard? Or take it easy? NOPE!!! But every single time I got hit in the face, I ran my tongue through my mouth to make sure that everyone was accounted for. And they always were!! 

So, to conclude, there is no moral to this story or heart-warming ending. Just the knowledge that I have earned my beautiful smile with years of heart ache and pain; and the deep DEEP hope that my children inherit my husbands teeth: Perfectly straight and not a brace in sight. 

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