October 27, 2010 4 Comments
Just got back from the dentist, and the trip was an UTTER, mind-blowing success.
Near the end of my visit, the Dentist asked me if I’ve gotten my teeth whitened a few times before in the past, to which I promptly responded by sitting up a little bit taller, looking him straight in the eye, and triumphantly declaring, “I’ve NEVER gotten my teeth whitened. Ever.”
Dentist and Hygienist, in unison, “Really?! Those are nice teeth. And your gums look great!”
(Of course I realize that by saying this, my teeth are probably going to crumble and just drop onto my tongue without rhyme or reason, leaving me toothless AND eyebrow-less, the latter apparently being a sympton of hitting 30, at least with my genes. I should have paid more attention as my mom’s eyebrows slowly became less and less existent, but I was more focused on avoiding the silent daggers she was so skilled at shooting right at my heart from her eyes.)
Anyway, my teeth! This exclamation of genuine surprise and admiration by Mr. Dentist and Ms. Hygienist made my day. Nay, to be truthful, it made my year!
To understand the reason why this is such a big deal to me, you have to get a little bit of history and context.
I have been tooth and dentist-anxious ever since my traumatic bout with braces and lower jaw surgery (they literally broke my jaw, moved it forward, and wired me shut for about 2 months in which I was only able to eat pureed food. Gross. I’ve had people ask me whether it was a great way to lose weight and my immediate response is to burst into tears, run as far away from them and the memory of pureed chicken as I possibly can, and curl up in a corner to soothe myself back to sanity).
In addition to what comes along with standard braces treatments, I had a pin surgically implanted into the roof of my mouth and tied to various upper and lower teeth to move my teeth as needed to close my bite, because, as my orthodontist found out the hard way, my teeth (like my feet in the presence of dance music) LIKE TO MOVE!
And, I won’t go into the pain of the gum grafts I had to get done because one of my teeth decided it just didn’t like living in my lower gum anymore and so it torqued out so far that the root of the tooth became totally visible, and because all the trauma to my teeth and gums caused recession in some areas. Oh wait, I just went there anyway.
You get the picture. My teeth and I have had issues, and I’m still considering therapy. I don’t understand why they have to be so STUBBORN and DISOBEDIENT. Why do they have to oppose EVERYTHING and constantly challenge the rules?
I get it now.
This jaw and tooth trauma lasted the better part of 6 years, during which dentist visits were frequently un-pretty, and occasionally painful.
(At one point my jaw pain was so bad that my eyes glazed over, I mentally checked out and went to a better place in my head, and became unaware of anything for the next few hours until I was able to get in and see the surgeon, who promptly gave me a Valium or something that would knock out a horse in order to bring me back to life. Trust me, I’ve had a baby – without the assistance of drugs, may I add – and the jaw pain that day WAS WORSE).
Some people believe in one tooth fairy. I believe in many. The team of people who did my surgery, othodontic work, and dental work to get me to where I am today (biting into sandwiches is now a possible thing) are ALL my tooth fairy. Thank you, wherever you are.
Anyway, to celebrate today’s victory and a new phase in my toothdom, I am right now as we speak digging into a masterpiece that looks very similar to the picture below, except with double the amount of jalapenos. Awwww, yeah. Burn, baby, burn.