I was prepared for some cavities when I visited the dentist today. I hadn't been in four years, and it seemed fair that my punishment should be some form of payback for neglect. What I had not anticipated was being sent to the orthodontist. Dentists have never bothered me; I hate going to the orthodontist.
My childhood orthodontist was a ginormous man (yes, it's true that a word bred from 'gigantic' and 'enormous' is necessary - neither one alone will do). I'd like to think my mouth is of an average size. Each of his fingers was the size of a pickle. Try to ram a couple of those bad boys into my mouth, and it was bound to be an unpleasant situation. Not to mention, the experience of braces. I bring this up not because I believe it was unique to me but rather because I'm fairly certain everyone in the 90's had a run-in with the medieval torture devices. Adding colors didn't help. Attempting to shoot small rubber-bands from the back of your mouth to the blackboard didn't help. They were awful. The retainers post-braces were equally hideous and produced more saliva than any human being should need to produce in a lifetime, let alone puberty.
I survived. I'm grateful to my parents for their efforts in making me a presentable human being with a decent smile.
Today, when the dentist recommended I see an orthodontist, I fought an urge to pitch a fit - I mean full-blown "you can't make me do it, I'm a grown woman, I hate you all, why can't you fix my mouth without inflicting pain, I won't go, you'll never make me" fit.
Still, that was the recommendation, after several discoveries in my chops. I mentioned that my jaw pops every time I open my mouth and occasionally it locks on the way open. I also mentioned being slightly annoyed that I had a bottom tooth that seemed to be more visible at the front of my mouth (due to crowding they informed me). And, to top it off, I managed to demonstrate to the dentist that I could bite in multiple ways - first bite was baseline and every one after that was different - I bit, I smiled, I bit again, I pretended to chew food, I bit and bit some more - everything was different. Somewhere in that process it was determined that I had a funky bite in the back of my mouth.
To the orthodontist!
I'm sorry to say that when this is all said and done my husband may find himself waking up next to a human being with a drool-inducing mouthguard and more equipment on her head than a football player - sexy, ain't it?