Monday, 21 October 2013

Returning To The Nineties

As I approach the terrifying age of 34, I've regressed twenty years and just had my second brace fitted. Back in 1992 I had train tracks glued onto the top and bottom of my exceedingly gappy enormous bolder-sized rabbit teeth. Two years later when my teeth were deemed corrected, I remember the strange sensation of running my tongue over smooth enamel, falsely believing I'd never have to wear a brace again.

Fast-forward eighteen years and my rather stubborn teeth suddenly decided to re-wonk themselves, despite the metal bar still glued behind them. Having already been through the delights of having a brace once before, I've always been over-protective about my teeth, even giving up smoking when I thought it was affecting my gums. Seeing my teeth re-goofying themselves really annoyed me and I've been contemplating re-arming them once again for some time.

Temporarily working in my last school, I came across two teachers preparing for their weddings by getting braces and one of my best friends has also since strapped up. Finally finding an orthodontist that was marginally more reasonably priced, I did the deed two weeks today and I'm already counting down the days until its removal: five and a half months remaining if all goes well....

Having it fitted was an odd sensation. Wearing science lab style perspex safety specs, my mouth was held open by something the orthodontist described as like a scuba mask, ensuring my teeth remained dry while the tracks were glued. My mouth was stretched open for so long, it felt numb like I'd been administered an anaesthetic.

Once the metal bar behind my teeth and the rubbery mouth jack were removed, all feeling instantly returned and I had the odd sensation of being able to feel the smooth surface of the back of my teeth for the first time in two decades. The brace itself was rather more discreet than the silver grey of the nineties, easier to clean and as I've already had four adult teeth removed and been through it all once before, the entire experience less traumatic.

The first few days after I'd armoured up, my gums were tender and eating exceedingly messy. In addition to my beloved chewing gum, I'd been advised to avoid curries or foods with tomato sauces and was really starting to feel rather sorry for myself. Without walking around with teeth caked in food, snacking was out. My morning routine included packing a toothbrush for work and toothpaste/mouthwash now have their own special place in my classroom. Water is a necessity with every meal in order to attempt to swill out trapped foods. Without being melodramatic, it is safe to safe my life has changed considerably. How much so, only time will tell over the coming weeks...

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