Friday, January 21, 2011

Adult Braytheth

I had my first appointment with an orthodontist.

Have I mentioned that I'm 39 years old?

I sat in a waiting room with a bunch of mouth-breathing 13-year-olds and wondered if this was my future. Would I be a mouth-breather? Would I curl my lips away from my teeth in what was either a hormonal sneer or a tender-lipped evasive maneuver?

Oh lord.

I'm 39 years old and I'm about to wear braces for the next year and a half.

Have I mentioned that I'm in advertising?

Thank goodness most of my creative presentations are done via the phone thanks to my out-of-state client. But you can still hear a mouth-breather over the phone, right? And I haven't even considered the lisping yet.

Can you hear me pitching a new headline? How about, "Thervice with a thmile!"

Or maybe it won't be that bad? I've never worn braces. Does everyone lisp? The orthodontist also informed me that I'll need to use rubber bands to correct my bite. I'm assuming that means I'll have rubber bands scissoring across my mouth. I seem to recall my sister intentionally shooting rubber bands across the dinner table when we were kids. That could add some excitement to meetings. If anyone says anything remotely annoying, I can just fire off a round of wet rubber bands across the conference table.

*Thwack thwack thwack!*

The account people will be grabbing their faces, confused and momentarily disarmed by an elastic saliva assault from creative.

"I think you need to reconthider thothe creative changeth, my friend," I'd say. Then I'd narrow my eyes and menacingly open my mouth. "Do we underthand each other?"

The good news is that even though I'm not a candidate for the clear plastic Invisalign® braces, I can get clear crystal braces. I prefer to think of them as "designer braces." Mine are called Radiance® and as the brochure assures me, "Radianth ith confidenth."

They're made from "pure sapphire." So basically I'll have bejeweled teeth. Bling, if you will. The brackets themselves should be invisible (from a reasonable distance) and the only thing you'll be able to see is the wire. Allegedly.

In any case, it's definitely better than having a mouthful of metal. And to be honest, I feel fortunate that I have the opportunity to get my teeth fixed at such an advanced age.

*Reaches for cane.*

Before I can get the braces, however, I have to have some work done on my teeth so they're strong enough to endure a year and a half of orthodontic treatment. I've got to swap out my thirty-year-old fillings and have some work done on my gums.

(Some of you just cringed in sympathy for me. For that, I thank you.)

But never fear. There will be a photoblog once I get the designer grill.


  1. Go for the top picture. As an aside, you can always rubber band attack your husband the next time he hacks your Facebook.

  2. Stealth braces make it more tolerable, I'll grant you that. But in every picture I have with my adult braces, you can see the slightly-protruding upper lip. And your lips don't quite close the way they normally do. And you'll rub your tongue raw at first touching the braces over and over.

    Basically you're in for 18 months of daily annoyance. Which sucks. But the payoff is sublime. You'll love your new teeth.

    In the meantime, still looking forward to the pics. ;-)

  3. Good news is you won't be eating much - hurts like a son of a bitch, especially with rubber bands. TOTALLY WORTH IT though.

  4. I don't think you need braces. But I want Fred to give you trombone lessons once you get them.

  5. I remeber WAAAAAAY back when I had braces. They were just coming out with the colored rubber bands and my Dr used the neon colors as a threat to me if I didn't brush properly. Now? They are all the rage. If only I'd known, I could have been a trend setter at the tender age of 13.

  6. Soobs: *Jumps up and down* Fun!

    Richard: I knew it! I knew I'd wind up doing that weird lip thing.


    Cat: I'm actually kind of excited about the weight loss potential. Is that wrong?

    misterarthur: Thank you for not noticing my 100% overbite. And I don't think I'll be playing any wind instruments anytime soon. Very funny.

    DevilsHeaven: I read an article (while I was getting a mold of my teeth made) that said that last year when the Detroit Tigers were doing so well a bunch of kids in the Detroit Metro area were all getting blue and orange rubberbands.

    I will not.

  7. invisible braces, i had gold ones.

  8. Thith ith awethome for you! I know it'th not ideal, but imagine the end rethultth! You'll look fabulouth!

  9. Uggghhh...I had braces, and they sucked if those balls were also wearing braces and your braces on your teeth became interlocked with the braces on those balls...
    I just remember how miserable and sore I was the first day I got them...sheeeeeeiiiiiitttt... good luck, lady person :)

  10. You'll lisp at first, but after you get the scar tissue built up from the metal cutting the inside of your mouth to shreds things start to even out. Just spend a few days after you get them talking all the time, recite the Gettysburg address (forward and backward) to your kids, turn the closed caption on on your TV and treat the family to your own version of what they can already hear perfectly fine.

    The more you talk the quicker you'll get used to the hardware (sorry Fred).

  11. I bet braces have come a long way since when we were kids. I bet they don't even have that thing where they stick a jack-type-thing in your mouth and "crank" it tighter. *shudder*

    The dentist told me a year and a half too.

    Five years, Mandy. Five years.

  12. The worst thing you can do is try to hide them. You just end up looking silly and making it more obvious. Like Svaha said, just talk as much as possible at first to get through the lispy, painful patch! I had a friend with the clear ones and you really could not see them in pics! Make sure to brush often especially after red sauce or wine and stuff to keep them from staining! Trust me, you don't want yellow brackets! You won't be sorry you did this in 18 months! I PROMISE! Good luck!

  13. ChrisCross: Gold braces should be invisible, I agree.

    Fragrant Liar: Thank you. I'm sure I'll agree with you in two years.

    Organic Meatbag: Thank you for not thugarcoating it. Meatbag person.

    Svaha: Then you mean, proceed as usual.

    Steam Me Up: Don't turn my love into hate.

    Besides, he said robots were making my braces! Magical brace-making robots who will cut my time in braces up to 30% or something like that.

    Robots, Becky. Robots.

    Jules: My sapphire brackets cannot stain! They said so! But the clear rubber bands can stain so your advice holds.

  14. I'm cringing at what all this will do to your wallet!

  15. "...disarmed by an elastic saliva assault from creative."

    This might be the single best line I've ever read in a blog.

  16. Well...I just celebrated my 44th birthday, and the end of my second year with my braces. I'm hoping to get mine off by this summer. Some advice if you are so inclined to tkae it:
    **Brush like a maniac after eating every meal.

    **Use a sonic toothbrush-seriously.

    **Forget about biting into any hard foods (especially fruits/veggies) and just know that you have to cut everything into bite size pieces.

    **When you can't tolerate the searing pain inside your cheeks/lips/sides of your tongue - use your wax! - at least for a day or two until it heals a bit, then it will start to scar over and you can go wax free.

    It really is worth the pain...and then roughly $4000 you probably paid. Thats how much mine were.

    Good luck!

  17. I had metal in my mouth for 9 years. Because of it my teeth are total crap, and they're once again crooked. I got a shit orthodontist, bummer. On the plus side, I won't have to spring for invisilign because pretty soon they'll just hook me up with dentures. Suh-weet.

  18. Sweet Cheeks: Yes, I've already been informed I'll need a Sonic toothbrush and a WaterPik. I'm starting to get nervous about the multiple references to "scar tissue" building up.


    Amelia: 9 years? 9 YEARS? That's like almost a decade. Now I'm told that they use robots to make your braces so treatment is faster. I'll report back on that.

    It's Pam: This pleases me.

  19. It's official. You just like to torture yourself. I thought so, and now I'm positive.

  20. Braces will forever remind me of a joke I heard when I was in 7th grade.

    "What do you call a slutty , mean black girl with braces? A black-n-decker pecker wrecker?"

    Why do I have to remember that?

    You will look hot all dazzlied. And you might have to relearn how to do up the hubby.

  21. I admire your adventure into orthodontia. I have a crowded group of teeth on the bottom and have played with the idea of having one of them pulled for years.



  22. I AM cringing for you - the thought of dental work always makes me a little clammy. Honestly, if it's anything more than a cleaning I have to take about 3mg of ativan...

  23. You can add a tiara and be a princess!

  24. This was hilarious! I loved the "Thervice with a smile!"
    But seriously, good for you. I need braces for my bottom teeth, but I'm too vain. Instead I'll live the rest of my life with uneven bottom teeth thinking, "I really wish my teeth were straight." I give you so much credit!

  25. I cracked up, you just need a pair of glasses to push up your nose with your lisp, freckles, and some crazy untamed hair.

    No, not everyone lisps.

  26. Just LD: I want to keep my teeth! Torture is dentures!

    Nice Peace: I was waiting for someone to be the first to make an oral joke. I'm surprised it took this many comments...

    Pearl: Pulled? Pulled? No, no, no. Pulling is not the solution for crowding! You don't want to look like a character on Deliverance.

    Venom: You have Ativan?

    Jules: Sparkles!

    Sandra: I haven't done it yet. We'll see how "brave" I am in the following weeks and months.

    Ad Astra: Thank you for answering my question.

  27. They'll be weird at first, then you'll get used to them, then it will feel weird again when they first come off. That's about it. I so wish I had mine done at your age. Getting mine so young resulted in my teeth (particularly my wisdoms) just shifting everything and making my smile look more fu*%ed than it did in the first place. What a waste. It also didn't help that my orthodontist made my bottom teeth into the shape of a square. He was a douche. I suspect your orthodontist is better though. Yep, it's smart to do them now.

  28. I had braces for a year when I was a kid. Those days are completely erased from my memory, it was a lost year of my life.

  29. It will be like wearing Kate Middleton's engagement ring on your teeth. How fancy...

  30. Braces weren't that bad. It was when they sliced my gums away from my teeth after I got the braces off that continues to haunt me.

    On the bright side, my teeth are still straight and I only had them for 18 months.
    (nine YEARS????? )

  31. Christina's World: I'm glad to hear I'll get used to them. I hope the 18 mos. goes by quickly...

    Robert the Skeptic: Maybe I can get some sort of Eternal Sunshine treatment after the braces are done?

    Logical Libby: Yay sapphires!

    Vic: I'm going to Eternal Sunshine that gum-slicing business you just mentioned.

  32. If anybody gives you a hard time, you can say, "Why you gotta get all up in my grill?" This is gonna be great for your street cred.

  33. It doesn't matter whether you're old or too young to have braces. What matters is that you are ready to face the challenge of having to go through a year and a half of pains with those steel wires.

    dentist darrington wa