So this morning I got my braces on.  Let me tell you, that is a process.  You probably guessed that much.  If you’ve had braces yourself, you didn’t need to guess, for you know already.  Anyway, I won’t bore you with details.  I was going to tantalize you with a picture, but all the ones I took with my web cam are too grainy and ill-lit to show the full glory of my mouth.  Also, I looked like a freak, but that was secondary.  Instead I will regale you with an overview of my orthodontic quest.

First the doctor showed me the x-rays and impressions they took a couple weeks ago.  Gentle readers, I already knew my teeth were messed up, but to have it right there in front of me in plaster and…photo paper…was an eye-opener, to say the least.  My lower teeth are especially crowded (which I’ve always known) and far forward (which I’d known but not known with a sure visual-aids knowledge until today).  The orthodontist said he’d never seen teeth pushed this far forward.  Never seen it, ladies and gentlemen.  Granted, this cat looks like he’s about twelve, but still…”never”!  That’s something.

I have to give the doctor credit for not scaring me at my consultation visit because learning The Naked Dental Truth was somewhat traumatic.  Suffice it to say that I am probably getting braces just in the nick of time!  Actually, that will not suffice.  He showed me my x-ray and how–good news–my upper jaw is in good shape and all we need to do is push the teeth back into place.  My lower jaw–the bad news–comes up too short, so even if we push the teeth back to where they’re supposed to be, they won’t quite line up with the upper teeth, i.e. I will still have a slight overbite, which is actually not such a big deal to me, cosmetically speaking, when I consider where I’m starting from–but then there’s this other issue (the worse news!), which is that my jaw being where it is and how that effects my tongue and all those other useful parts of my mouth, my airway (you know, for breathing and junk) is less than a quarter-inch wide…or something…narrower than the pencil he was using to draw my attention to all these fun facts, at any rate–and that is while I am standing, brothers and sisters.  So, yeah.  The only way to fix my overbite–and my airway!–is to have an oral surgeon move my jaw forward.  Crazy!

Plus, did I mention that I need to get four pre-molars extracted in order to make room for my teeth to move back to where they need to go?  I learned that at the consultation, so I’ve had time to get used to the idea.  My appointment for that is on Monday.  Good times, ladies and gentlemen.

But in case you couldn’t fill in the gaping blanks here, I did get my braces on, they are on my teeth right now, and I want to tell you, I could not be happier about it.  They’re going to be on there for at least two years, probably, but I am so excited for my final dental destiny that I can hardly stand it.  I can’t believe I almost opted not to do it at all.  I can’t believe I waited this long.  Well, I can believe it, I’m such a procrastinator, but what I really mean to say is that I wish I had not waited this long.  I was worried about my teeth feeling claustrophobic with all these wires and brackets, but they don’t.  Instead they feel…safe.  Protected.  ON THE RIGHT PATH. Finally.

Which is not to say that they don’t feel weird.  My mouth feels entirely strange.  I am going to have to do everything differently now.  I have to re-learn how to drink from a cup–I found that out after my first sip of water post-appointment.  Eating is also strange.  But we will prevail, gentle readers, my teeth and I.  And sometime in 2013, when Princess Zurg is entering high school, Mister Bubby and Elvis are in middle school, and Girlfriend is in the freaking first grade, I will know the bliss of being able to chew properly for the first time in my life.  It’s awesome to be me!

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