Every day or so I like to look at my Facebook Memories. That’s because I haven’t posted on there very often in the last few years. Mostly my Instagram shares go on Facebook as well. I don’t tend to add Status updates anymore. Which leads me to something very odd. A memory that I don’t remember happening or why it happened.
The first memory from seven years ago isn’t a big deal. At the start of January- BC property assessments are released. I’m always interested in seeing what our home value is as well as the neighboring properties. This year ours is the highest on the street. which is good and bad. We will have to pay full taxes with no discount this July.
But it was the next two statuses that I have no recollection of. SURGERY ON MY GUMS? What was that about? I had my wisdom teeth pulled out prior to Facebook even being created. So it wasn’t that. I still have all my teeth and have never had a root canal. My wife and kids don’t have any idea either.
Seriously though? What did I get done to my jaw? Why is it I was able to complain on social media, yet I have no idea what it was that happened? The comments are from my friends just poking fun at me. I am at a complete loss.
The on way to resolve my confusion is to ask my dentist on my next visit about the work I had done. But if I do that, my embarrassment level will be too high and I’ll need to find a new dentist. I don’t want to do that, I like our dentist.
So perhaps this “memory” shall remain a mystery to me.
This year has started off like most of my previous years. Relaxing and lazy. My wife and I are enjoying some tv marathons and video games. Kids are still home from school- they even get an extra week for added Covid Protection. The food is still in abundance and the house is at a good level of cleanliness.
Later this evening I will be back at work for my regular work week. A stint of night shifts to get the year under way. Night shifts in the winter aren’t too bad. Of course nights are a bit colder and make your teeth chatter. However, I get home in the morning while it’s still dark, which makes it easier to fall asleep. I miss out on what little sun there is for the day. Sometimes I’ll sleep with my blinds open because the light doesn’t bother me.
But as the month and year move forward, I realize that again I have no Resolutions to work on. Perhaps it’s the fear of failure that prevents me from wanting to change anything. Or maybe I just like my comfort zone. I also tend to just “fix” myself when I really need it. Quitting bad habits or starting new hobbies- I just do that when I feel like it.
The one thing I do at the start of January is start a new toothbrush. This year we went fancy pants and got the Philips Sonicare cordless electric toothbrush. Normally I just open the one my dentist gives me. So an electric toothbrush is new and different. Healthy teeth and gums are important.
That’s it for my quick thoughts about day 2. No real changes. Nothing super exciting. Just dental care.
It’s been a few years of orthodontics, but yesterday our middle child had her braces removed. Her older sister had hers removed back in December of 2018, read about it here: Brace Yourself, and she has been smiling more ever since. I’m hoping that this too will happen for our middle.
Naturally, I had to take a “Before” picture. Darwin was doing her best to hide the braces behind her smile. But you could sense the joy that was about to unfold as she walked into her final orthodontist appointment.
This is the obligatory “After” picture. Notice how she is showing more teeth! Finally, after a few years of braces, tightening, and suffering, she has a reason to smile.
The braces are off! Now, and for years to come, she will have a beautiful smile. And our pocket book will be full once more… until our youngest goes in.
When I was younger, I had to get braces for my teeth. It was obvious from birth that I’d need them. Seriously- my mother was Scottish and my father was Czech. Both of them had false teeth by their early thirties. My baby teeth were okay, but those adult teeth were messed up something fierce. So my parents forked over a few thousand dollars to repair my smile.
After years of going through puberty and wearing metal in my mouth, I was ready to be good looking. Only that never happened. Once my braces were off- within a few years my wisdom teeth came in and shifted my lower teeth and made them nice and crooked. But I don’t really care now. I’m not trying to impress anyone anymore.
It seems my wife’s genetics and mine weren’t so kind to our offspring. Or our pocketbook for that matter…
I bring this up because our oldest daughter has been wearing braces for a few years now. On Thursday, the orthodontist removed them. Her “agony” is overtaken age 16.
She can’t stop smiling now. I think she is happy about how her teeth have straightened out. I’m happy that we will have smiles in our Christmas photos! I’m also happy that those payments for child number one’s teeth are behind us. Now to focus on the other two.
After ten years, my dentist discovered that I have a cavity forming. But he wanted to watch it to see if it was going to get worse. Two years went by and not much change. But my dentist has decided to work on it anyways.
I booked this spot during my vacation. So I get to enjoy the morning in the Dentist’s office. Early start so that the rest of my day won’t be shot. Speaking of which- this was the second needle getting stabbed into me this week.
As my face became numb, I listened to the dentist and all of his dentistry gossip. While he worked on my tooth I almost dozed off. No, he never put me under- I just get that relaxed and bored. The drill sound and vibration in my skull is mesmerizing to me.
After my tooth was fixed, I was back to my home renovations. Not the best vacation but definitely a productive one.
I used to grind my teeth when I slept. Sqeaking loudly as my pearly whites rubbed against one another. I put in a mouth guard now to prevent this. It has become such a habit that even when I nap, I need to use it.
I don’t know why I like it so much, but I do. I believe it stems from my childhood a bit. After my braces were removed from my teeth, I wore a retainer at night. It was so uncool and ugly- I hated it. So in order for me to use it, I psyched myself out. I played mind tricks on myself. Really, really stupid ones. If I thought the retainer was uncool, sharing this tidbit of info is even more uncool…
I have mentioned before how I had cable tv in my bedroom growing up. I would watch it until the wee hours of the morning constantly. It got to a point that I could only fall asleep with the tv on. But the shows I would watch that kept me up the latest were about alien abductions or “Unsolved Mysteries”. So paranoia would take over, keeping me up later and later.
As a pre-teen, my paranoid adolescent brain would conjure up crazy ways of not getting abducted by aliens. Such as leave the tv on so that they thought I was still awake. Or leave the lights on somewhere in my room. One Christmas I was given a psychedelic light from Radio Shack. I turned it on every night for months until the heat from the bulb finally melted the plastic.
I wouldn’t say I was afraid of the dark. But I was afraid of the unknown. Part of my falling asleep ritual became telling myself that if the lights are on I’d be left alone. The second part was making sure 99.99999% of my body was covered up. And the third was to wear my retainer because it had a metal bar in it. I told myself that this small piece of metal wrapped in a hard plastic, wedged between my upper and lower teeth would prevent the ufos from trying to zap me through my window.
All I can say is that I think it worked. I don’t remember ever being abducted by aliens as a child. Just don’t ask about when I was in my early 20’s… those were some strange times. But now I use my mouth guard regularly. I just don’t have to tell myself that it’s to prevent aliens taking me away. I do it to prevent massive headaches and sore jaw.
I usually don’t fear the dentist. Today’s visit is no different. My dental hygiene is pretty good. I brush regularly and floss. Just kidding- I never floss. I’m bad at that part and the dental hygienist lets me know every time. At the end of my visit they toss in a dental floss. I have a collection of unused floss at home, but I really should’t tell them I don’t want it.
Sticking the vacuum in my mouth sucks. #dadjokes
At one point from age 20-26 I couldn’t afford to see the dentist. I also didn’t have any dental coverage from work either. When I finally did see the dentist, I had zero cavities. Lucky me! However, I really needed my wisdom teeth pulled. One had broken through my gums and was starting to rot. Talk about pain. A pain I don’t wish on anyone. I don’t even want to write about it.
Today during my sonic cleaning, for the first time ever, the sound pierced my ear causing me to twitch. My hygienist asked if I was in pain and I explained what happened. She said that occasionally occurs. It reminded me of a toy I bought sixteen years ago by Chuppa Chups. It was a radio that you stuck a lollipop into and when you bit down, the vibrations sent music directly into your head. Coolest toy ever! It’s somewhere in my home, I think I’ll have to dig it out now.
My current dentist and his team of dental hygienists are really fantastic. They have all taken the time to get to know us. They talk about our trips to Comicons, my work schedule and what the kids are doing in school. It’s a nice feeling to know that we aren’t just a dental claim through my insurance. As a thank you I may just open this container of floss and use it. Maybe.
The perfect smile. Almost everyone I know has had orthodontics done. Some people had to wait until adulthood to get braces, others like myself, had the joy of getting them as a teenager. The orthodontist from my teenage years is now the same orthodontist that my children are seeing.
Having straight teeth is aesthetically pleasing to see, but comes at a price. The price is a few thousand dollars. It is also years of pain as your teeth get forced into position that is somehow supposed to be natural. The human mouth works hard daily masticating food numerous times throughout the day. We also spend a large amount of time speaking, singing or yelling. We show our teeth to display feelings of happiness or anger. We are often so self-conscious of our looks and how we look to others that sometimes it prevents us from sharing our true feelings. I’m convinced that it’s all a ploy from Hollywood and dentists in order to make more money and make everyone look the same.
Even after getting braces and a perfect smile, people still refuse to show their teeth. Whether you have crooked teeth, straight teeth, yellow teeth, missing teeth, etc… your smile is your smile. I have a smile that shows off my gums and an overbite. But I don’t care.
After everything is said and done, if you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it… Clap your hands.