Friday, May 6, 2011

mini rant ending in doubleplusgood news

If there's anything that I hate more than dentist appointments, it's orthodontist appointments.

At least there's nothing intrinsically embarrassing or taboo about being 20 years old and seeing your dentist. In fact, in most circles I run with, that's an encouraged behavior.

However, braces on adults are like.... Well, they're like braces on adults.

Adults with braces - they all look like this. Even me.
I remember when I was 11 years old, we had family portraits done for the church directory. I remember my age only because my mother was still pregnant with my brother at the time - I, unfortunately, do not have any savant-like powers of memory.

Our photographer was a fairly run-of-the-mill gay man. He had nice hair. Very put together outfit. Effeminate, but only just so. He was appropriately nice.

But you know what? I was convinced that this 27-year-old man was a pedophile. For one reason and one reason alone: he had braces. With lime green rubber bands.

I, apparently, have an intense aversion to adults with braces. Why do I hate this oddly specific subgroup of people so much? To be honest, it's probably out of deep-seeded childhood envy. That even the fucking adults could get braces, while I, destitute (read: alcoholic spendthrifts for parents) child that I was, could not even dream of getting braces because they were such a distant fantasy.

I was finally presented the gift of straight teeth (or, at least in its current state, the gift of painful orthodontia) less than two weeks after I graduated high school. This was only because my mother finally left my step-father. Gone were the days of utilities being cut off and groceries being left un-bought in order to fund his porn, alcohol, and drug addictions. Finally, true necessities like cosmetic dentistry could be had, y'know, as opposed to those other "necessities" like paying off debts and affording a new place to live...

From the beginning, my relationship with orthodontia has been strained, at best. First, I envied it. When I finally got it, I loved it. That love quickly faded as I realized that, not only was I at least a year younger than my peers in my first year of college, but there was now no denying it because of the immaturity tattooed to my teeth.

I've been at war with my orthodontist since I first laid eyes on his balding head, flashing chili pepper necklace, and circa-1973 button-up - apparently it was Cinco de Mayo that day.

Before the teeth-moving could even commence, I had to wear an appliance permanently affixed to the roof of my mouth which was 'turned' every evening so that it would get wider and wider until my jaw learned to deal with it and get wider, too.

I'm sure this was their inspiration.
Of course, this appliance was put in about a week before I was kicked out, with my mother being the only person who knew how to 'turn' the wretched thing. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, I go into my second orthodontist's appointment only to get severely scolded for not turning my appliance every day. The actual braces would have to be delayed another month.

Since being kicked out, I've rarely attended my appointments on time. My mother always made the appointments, forgot to tell me that she had made the appointments, and the orthodontist's office would then call her contact number to let her know about my upcoming appointment. None of this information ever being relayed to me, of course.

After I turned 18, I tried my hand at setting my own appointments, being my own person, independence, the whole shebang. Not that it was any better because my crippling social anxiety at the time wouldn't even allow me to pick up a phone, let alone make an appointment without having someone hold my hand throughout the call.

When I finally progressed to the point where I could make my own appointments without having panic attack upon panic attack, I wasn't allowed to go to my appointments because my mother had stopped making payments. And we're back at square one. And feel the control she still has over you. And flashback to everything you've been working so hard to get away from.

I had another appointment yesterday. The first in 9 months because I finally got my mother to make a payment.

Me: So.... I'm moving mid-July. To Miami. Is there any way my braces would be ready to be taken off by that point? If not, is Invisalign an option? Regardless, once I move, I don't want visible braces anymore.

Dr.: Well you haven't been to an appointment in 9 months. Musta been real busy, huh? We've already wasted over a year. You could've already had them off by now. Exaggerated sigh. I suppose if you wear your rubberbands every day like you're supposed to and you come to all of your appointments on time, then we can have your braces off before you move.

Um, thanks?

It is good news, albeit in a particularly douche bag package.

My teeth with finally be straight.

I'll be able to smile for the first time with teeth - though I'm not sure I know how.

My dentist will stop bitching at me to floss and I'll stop responding with, well, you see, I have this fucking metal contraption affixed to my teeth that kind of makes it near-impossible to floss in under an hour.
Seriously, doc? Don't act like you can ignore these motherfuckers.
I will actually look my age again.

etc. etc. puppies and kittens shitting rainbows and world peace.

The point is, it will be good.

The other point is, that in order for this rainbow cumming scenario to happen, I have to wear my rubberbands. Doubles on each side and inside to outside on each side. Basically, I can't open my mouth because I have four rubberbands limiting my jaw from opening more than minimally and I can't fully close my mouth because there are rubberbands going in between my teeth, preventing me from closing my teeth together.

Yeah, yeah, I can take them off to eat. Psssh. They're a pain in the fucking ass to take off and put on. Not only that, when I do take them off, my teeth are so sore I can barely chew anyways. Since I actually have to wear them, or risk not getting my braces off, I will be dutifully wearing them at all times.

Liquid diet.

Awwww yeahhhhh.


  1. Orthodontics are evil. I too had the spacers (definitely inspired by the pear of anguish), and then head gear with braces, and then braces AGAIN in high school for three years. It was only supposed to be 2 years at most, but my orthodontist died and left no one to take over his practise. And apparently my parents just forgot that the braces would have to come off at some point?
    I went and had them removed on my own.

    Good luck with your orthodontics! And make sure you wear your retainer!! I stopped wearing mine and my teeth have gone straight back to epic English-Irish crookedness.


  2. omg yes! please please wear your retainer... i let mine slide all the way into non-use and now i'm going crooked again and there's nothing to do because the damn thing will not fit. Also had the spacey thingy... such a disturbing little torture device... i would never turn every day and then in the week leading up to a dentist appointment i would have to go up by like four notches a day, every day, oh the sweet agony. i felt like i was a witch during the inquisition. they may has well have dunked me in a duck pond ad checked me for a 11th toe. eish. the pain. but yes; braces. not sexy. straight teeth and a great smile; def. sexy. :)

  3. @Mich

    ah! head gear. i was lucky enough to not have to suffer that.

    i live in constant fear that my geriatric orthodontist will die and something similar will happen.

    @miss margaret

    the most i did was two turns in one day. i thought my eyes would burst from the insane head pressure.

    to both of you lovelies,

    yes, i do plan on wearing my retainer as instructed. i never want to have to go through braces again. ever.