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Follow Up to “51 with braces”

“51 with braces” – I wrote that blog on July 7, 2013.

What? Did you guys think I wouldn’t give an update? 🙂

Last week, I went for my first consultation. I was asked what my expectations were.

“To have all the spaces in my teeth closed except for the front gap.”

“How much of the gap do you want to keep?”

“Huh?” I wasn’t quite sure how to answer because I had never considered the thought of ever having it closed. “What do you mean?” Basically, if I wanted a lot or a little closed. I responded “as little as possible.”

“That’s possible.”


The two things that make me special in my own head is my left-handedness and my gapped tooth smile.

My teeth will only be imprisoned for 18 months because the time it would take to completely close my gap is not needed (isn’t that great?). Another plus is no obvious problems other than the need to push back and pull together (wisdom teeth still intact). I must admit it warmed my heart to hear that although my teeth are spaced, I have taken pret-ty good care of ’em. That’s always a good thing to hear from your dental provider, right? Anyhoo, I chose Invisalign (clear aligners) which lessens my visits compared to having the metal mouth look. I’ll get a supply of (I don’t know how many) and will have to change them bi-weekly. They will be installed by my third visit. The second visit covers the teeth impressions, x-ray images of my face – that was amazing how the contraption swirls around your head and you see the images right before your eyes! They also took still photos, which are not going to be a pretty sight, given the way my mouth was stretched.

One more thing and I’ll let you go.

I’m leaned back in the chair, mouth open wide enough to swallow a large snow globe, upper teeth covered with gooey guck for impressions when the kid notices another kid choosing a bright and colorful retainer case.

“My dentist doesn’t have those colors,” she says.

“Oh, would you like one?” asks the assistant who was timing my impression.

“Ooh, yes, can I?!” So The Kid goes over and starts rummaging through the retainer cases. “Oooh, what pretty colors!” She’s enthralled.

At this point, air is going down my throat; I can’t swallow, and I’m listening to her go on and on about the freakin’ colors when I wanted to yell, “Choose one already, will you!”

“Oooh, can I have the pink one?!”

“She said, ‘take one!'” I thought in my head. I literally gagged. Never try to speak when your mouth is forced open and your top teeth are covered with molding!

“Oh, I’m sorry, mom!”

Double doink!

Bottom line – I’m getting my mouth taken care of and taking you along for the ride, and for those of you who mentioned you’re interested in Invisalign too, I’ll keep you updated and with photos to boot!

Please feel free to share your own dental stories (horror or not).

Thank you for following!


51 with braces

I’m seriously considering getting braces.

I say that with a bit of trepidation for the following reasons: braces will eventually close the sentimental gap between my front teeth – the gap I’ve come to embrace, love, and more importantly, remind me of my mother’s gapped-tooth smile before dentures.

But, I don’t want my gap closed. It’s the characteristic I love most about my face, my smile.

Why braces now, you ask?

Reason #1: I am becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the other gaps in my mouth. My teeth are doing something I can’t explain. Ah, maybe they are, maybe not – could be they’re just getting older like the rest of me. I can’t say they’re shifting and I can’t say for sure the other gaps are getting bigger, but when I examine my teeth closely – and I mean thisclose to the mirror, I notice a difference. I wonder if an orthodontist would put braces on the top row of either side of the gap from left to left and right to right without touching my center teeth… I would look like a fool, right?

Reason #2: Retirement! If I retire at age 55, so does my dental coverage, which means I gotta get it in before then. Let’s say, I have to wear braces for the next two years. I don’t have problem teeth; they only need to be pushed back and gaps (top and bottom) closed. It’ll probably take me those two years to pay my portion of the bill – at least that’s how it was for the kid’s braces.

Speaking of the kid, she asked, “Why do you want braces at your age?”

I immediately took offense. “You think I’m too old for braces? You think you’re the only one who can have a beautiful smile?”

She was like, “No, but you’re gonna be 61 by the time you finish wearing your retainer…”

Why’d she give me eight years to wear a retainer?

As I explained to her in my other blog, “Conversation with my kid…explaining that awkward stage,” there is something that folks in their 40’s & 50’s would like to change about themselves, and that includes me as well. You’re never too aged to improve upon yourself – another teachable lesson for the kid.

My mom had this saying back in the day that I used to question only because I was too young to understand. She’d frequently say, “If I live and nothing happens…” then she’d add whatever she needed to add. I now get it that time is not always on our side.

Well, this is my saying, “If I live and nothing happens, I’m gonna get me some braces!”

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