My teeth are supposed to… touch?

I admit to having a pretty crappy memory, but I cannot remember any point in my life when my front top teeth touched my front bottom teeth. Even when I jut my lower jaw out to meet the top one. The teeth themselves had flayed so far out that they still wouldn’t touch. I’ve used my back teeth to chew for as long as I can remember.

Well, over the last month, I’m proud to report that MY TEETH TOUCH (when I jut my jaw out). The first time it happened I thought I had something in my mouth. Those teeth haven’t felt sensation like that, well, ever. And then they only just grazed in passing. Now, I can put them together and when I chew food, I’ve actually had it a time or two where I chewed “too hard” and hurt my teeth a little as they bashed into each other. Well THAT’S going to take some getting used to.

Ortho appt next week where *hopefully* I’ll get the final okay that Dec 21 will be my surgery date. I probably won’t get that confirmation yet (at the last appointment, he said it would probably be October before we know for sure), but I’m optimistic. I also have a couple of friends from the east coast who may be coming out to help, so I want to, you know, let them make travel plans. But I’m not in charge.

Anyway, WEIRD.

Life with Braces

When you see people with braces, I think there’s the idea that you’ve seen them after they’ve had braces on for a while. At least, when I see people with braces, it looks like their teeth are mostly straight and just in need of tweaking. So the braces themselves look like a more-or-less straight line of metal. Mine look horrifying.

They’re like a picket fence where every third slat is either dug way into the ground, sticking way up, or tilted off to the side. There is nothing appealing about them at all. The top one are transparent (but having silver-colored wire really negatives the “transparency” of them) and the bottom is silver. They still look like somebody randomly stapled things to parts of my mouth. I know it’s been three days, but man I will be a happy man when these come off.

I’m having very little pain associated with them, thankfully, other than some mild headaches and massive fatigue. The fatigue could be unrelated, who knows, but I feel so drained. Might be because I’m eating probably 50-60% of the calories I normally do because it takes forever to eat. I’m a slow eater to begin with, but combine that with using only my wisdom teeth to chew right now, and it’s pretty boring to watch me eat. Hopefully by next week I’ll be on a more “normal” diet.

Also, flossing sucks. There, I said it.

This really isn’t all that bad, though I don’t like the feeling that there’s something stuck in my teeth (that’s the best I can equate braces with – the feeling that my mouth is full of something it shouldn’t be). Only a few more years!

The Final Day of Oral Freedom

Tomorrow I go to my orthodontist Dr. O to get my braces put on. I personally don’t care about aesthetics all that much (though when I look at the pictures taken in-office of my teeth from the underside, I find that this is not at all true), but I did opt to get the clear braces instead of the “normal” ones. First, they weren’t any different in price. Also, I want to make some of these transitions easier for my kids. They don’t like change all that much, and considering how much change I’ll be going through in the next year, if I can ease them into things, it’ll be better for everyone involved.

Braces aren’t a big deal – it seems like half the kids in the country have them when they’re growing up and they do just fine. However, in trying to actually make this entire process a truly healthy one for my face/teeth/jaw, I’m likely going to cut out soda. I was initially going to say for the entire duration, but I’m going to be realistic – especially since my boss was nice enough to buy me 2 large cases of Dew when I moved into my new office a couple of weeks ago. But the plan is to cut it out nonetheless because soda + braces = not a good combination down the line. I will also probably enjoy AT LEAST two pouches of microwaved popcorn tonight while I still don’t have to pick out the remnants later.

Truth be told, I’d been on the verge of cutting it soda (again) anyway. On the way home from my San Francisco trip with Landen, I bought a 1L bottle of Dew, and by the time I’d finished, my stomach was just miserable. I know, I know, moderation. But I used to have more than that every day with no ill effects. I guess a lifetime of not giving a crap about my insides has caught up to me. So the soda will be gone for at least a while – if all goes well through it will be through this summer.

Then we play the waiting game – see just when I’ll have to have my teeth removed to create more room for pulling/tugging, etc. There’ll be some flexibility with time, which is a good thing as I have a couple of MAJOR disc golf tournaments coming up (a 3-day A tier right in Tahoe at the end of June, and Worlds in August) and I’d rather not be dealing with extreme mouth pain during those events. As it is I’ll be dealing with the fact that I’ve become terribly out of shape.

I will take some “before” pictures of my mouth/face (in addition to the ones I’d already taken in Dr. O’s office) and probably post them. I am less sure about posting pictures of my recovery after surgery. a) they won’t be pretty and b) as was evidence by my ill-fated “DPOD” experiment, when I put a daily responsibility on myself, I fail, and that’s without coughing up blood every day. But three years from now, it’ll be nice to look at a before/after comparison.

So yeah, let’s roll. Feel free to comment along with these posts. When it comes to surgery time, I’ll appreciate the banter, even if it’s Aaron saying I have a dumb choice of something or other (pain meds?)