Saturday, December 6, 2014

Going Straight

Dave, in solidarity

Stuff happens when you're not paying attention. I put on an old comfortable dress the other day, the one with an Empire waistline. An Empire waistline is situated high, just below the bust line. Unfortunately, since the last time I wore the dress, the waistline and the bust line have changed sides, with the bust now playing in the shadowy end of the field.

Meanwhile, I woke up the other day to discover that a third of my face is now habitually resting on the pillow next to me, like a close friend. I can actually see some of it, without using a mirror.

Both of these happenstances might have seemed like a disaster a few decades ago, but I don't plan to do anything about either of them. My philosophy is to let all my components play as they see fit and just hope they're all rounded up in time for dinner.

So this business with my teeth is nothing I would ever change for cosmetic reasons alone. My chewing teeth are well-behaved, but the front ones are tripping all over each other like they're in a stampede in Pamplona. My left front incisor has knocked its neighbor clean out of the running. It's ahead by a neck. Behind those, it's all pushing and shoving and coarse language. There's nothing attractive about this, but what bothers me most is that the insides of my lips are getting shredded by the sharp edges. My dentist only takes pictures of the molars, so we don't have a record of the whole set, but I think this has to be a recent development. Maybe all those face-plants on the pavement have gotten everything on the skedaddle.  I didn't notice any loosening at the time, but my teeth might have gotten together and decided they'd be safer in someone else's face, and now they're gettin' the hell out of Dodge.

I don't want to get braces, even though they are a lot better than they used to be. The kids who had braces fifty years ago looked horribly  uncomfortable, and so did their parents. They cost, like, a couple thousand dollars, or about what you'd pay for a small house if you didn't need a rec room, and they were made out of cattle fencing and razor wire. Every so often the victims had to go to the orthodontist, who sent in a team of tiny rude inmates to yank it all tight. Then they were sent home wired with explosive rubber bands and dread. After a couple years the teeth were set free provisionally but still had to be locked up at night. It was a horror show.

Now braces are adorable little dots in decorator colors glued to the teeth and connected with gossamer and good intentions. They look like something the kids would do just for the jazz of it.  I'm not signing on just yet. It's still expensive, and if I wait long enough they'll have a satellite able to straighten them remotely using GPS and the magnetic field. It'll be cheaper, too.

54 comments:

  1. Both of my daughters got braces, you described perfectly the fun experience! This was not that expensive... I still have one kidney left!

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    1. One kidney left, add in a vasectomy--and you're golden!

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  2. Teeth do move in old age. Why not get a series of plastic teeth molds to wear at night? Still expensive, but less. Teeth are the key to good health so I would consider fixing them. Not a new car, but a new smile.

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    1. Never heard of them. You really think that would persuade these teeth? Hmm.

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    2. Invisalign is what they are called. Way more comfortable than regular braces, but still pricey.

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  3. After reading this my tongue immediately went to my own tectonic shift next to a canine. When it's picture taking time, I always turn my head to avoid looking like the relative we might have left behind in the Ozarks.

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    1. Until I took a photo at approximately the above angle about a year ago, I had no idea my teeth were this bad. I didn't think they looked so weird from the front. I showed the photo to Dave, incredulous, and he was all "oh, yeah. That's how they look," like it was old news, but he loves me anyway.

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    2. We already know he loves you because he lets you take silly pictures of him and stick 'em on your blog. Nice one today, by the way! You're both good sports.

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    3. I used to hate photos of myself, but I've sure gotten over it taking so many for this blog. Not that the pictures got any better. Just my attitude.

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  4. You could sell some of those gold teeth in the back while the market is still high...but then there is that chewing thing...never mind.

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    1. Yeah, I have no trouble eating, apparently, so that's good.

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  5. Sagging tits and shifty teeth seems to be a combo.
    Too bad there' s no way to market that one.

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    1. Gotta be. I mean, have you seen what people do to themselves now to look good? Some pretty weird shit.

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    2. Yeah I forgot about all the nip n tuck ads and have better smiles too!
      Weird shit has me wondering about parasites!

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  6. One of my kids had braces only 15 years ago, and it was every bit as bad as you described, but on the plus side he went from overcrowded and twisted to straight and even. So there is the end result to look forward to. I would check out Tabor's suggestion if I were you. Because I'm chicken like that and would avoid braces too. Or get ahead of the crowd and start eating only soft food like the old folks and I do - my bigger issue is TMJ but the softer food solved my problem of biting into my lip where my canine - like yours - is throwing its weight around. Or hey, how about a liquid diet - all the beer you can drink!

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    1. Now you're cooking with gas, as they used to say in the old days.

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  7. I had braces. It is sheer torture. Spend that money on an Appalachian trail hike and just don't look in the mirror. You are far from unsightly, especially age-adjusted. We should all be so lucky..

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    1. Thanks hon--but I really am fine with the way they look. It's the lip-shredding that bothers me. They actually push my mouth open while I sleep. And I know they're getting worse. At least the molars match up!

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  8. Yeah, mine are making a break for freedom, too, and I'm just gonna let 'em go. I had the cattle-fencing-and-razor-wire as a kid, and no matter how pretty they make braces now, they're still pushing around teeth that are firmly lodged in bone and I bet it still hurts like a bitch. I will go to my grave content in the knowledge that at least my body will be easy to identify by my screwed-up teeth.

    So I'm not avoiding braces out of cowardice. It's selflessness, pure and simple.

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    1. You are very kind to body-identifiers; I've always said that about you, and if I haven't, I'm going to start.

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    2. Aw, thanks. Now I've getting the warm fuzzies.

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  9. Teeth? I am pretty certain that mine were supposed to go in someone else's head. And they know it. And are NOT happy.

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    1. Yeah. Someone with a larger head. Which in my case is just about everybody.

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  10. I am the mortified 'owner' of new braces for the *third* time in my life (priorly as a kid and in my 20s to solve the movement after my wisdom teeth were taken out in my teens) at age 6**. As the one front tooth was pushed farther and farther out, I heard my lisping more and more. I hated to hear myself. But as the dentist reminded me, teeth give our faces structure as we age. I knew it couldn't go on. I want them and my face in the right place "as I age." At least I have some dental insurance coverage so it will *only* cost me five grand and change. I think you will have to do something, Murr, because eventually there will be bite consequences and teeth will get broken. This isn't really just a rant - I was intending to write you and JZ about this.

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    1. I wonder. My chewing "bite" is just fine. I suspect I can blunder along like this for a while yet. But you might be right. My dentist seemed to think it was just a cosmetic "problem" so maybe I'll be okay.

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  11. My left upper quadrant is on the move forward.

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    1. It has a name. "Mesial drift." Yet another of the ten thousand things that happen to people who live long enough that you never knew about.

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  12. I had braces as a teen, but then my front teeth went wonky in my late forties. So I had braces again, but only the center front 8 top and bottom. No biggie and certainly less expensive than full braces. I would take a motrin before they were adjusted and then had no problems with pain.

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    1. I'll just bet they'd have to wire up the whole shootin' match. There's no room for my front teeth as it is.

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  13. My teeth haven't shifted yet but rats, now they've read your post it's probably given them ideas and tomorrow morning they'll be all over the shop and laughing merrily at my consternation.

    I didn't have braces as a youngster but I was fascinated by the kids who did. They wore the removable ones and I always admired the way they managed to eat with their braces in.

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    1. Oh for god's sake. You let your teeth read these posts? Don't you know Murrmurrs is NSFT?

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  14. Mine were always pretty straight so I guess I was lucky, but I have noticed they are starting to migrate a bit. Glad I am not alone. Also glad I still have them.
    There was that time they met a fist and got a small chip, but the dentist rounded that off and made it look fairly normal.

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    1. No one has ever hit me. I did get dropped on my head once.

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    2. Your explanation makes sense. Mine is that she did divorce him.

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  15. I had braces when I was in high school, and I really don't remember them being that bad, but it was over 40 years ago and my mind isn't what it used to be, so maybe that's it. I too am of the age where I don't worry what stuff looks like any more, but if my teeth were tearing up my mouth, I think I'd seriously consider doing something about it.

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    1. Of course, braces tear up your mouth, too, I imagine!

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    2. Nope. They don't. The orthodontist gives you a packet of wax and you wad little pieces of it and put them on any wires/metal edges that bother you until the orthodontist fixes the problem, or your teeth move.

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  16. I suppose it's rude to feel relief that I'm not the only one with a bad case of mesial drift but it's nice to know I'm in good company. Here's an interesting fly in the ointment you don't appear to have yet encountered: Given a choice between a root canal with no guarantee of success because of a vertical crack and just jerking it out at a fraction the cost- well, I'm down a back molar. This seems to have stopped and even reversed a bit of the pushing and shoving to the front. Go figure.

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    1. Replying to my own comment: on the bottom, where I have even both wisdom teeth, things are all a jumble. Perhaps the solution is fewer teeth. Now I want to see photos your other commenter's teeth.

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    2. I thought maybe when I had my last wisdom tooth pulled, a couple years ago, things would relax. Instead, all the rest of my teeth got nervous and shoved toward the front.

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    3. My son had one molar removed from each quadrant before having braces on, because he had that much in the way of chompers and that little room. Yours don't look like his did before surgery, though!

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    4. Mine would have plenty of room if everyone would just take one step toward the back, like orderly people.

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  17. I'm working on a list (actually a book) of all the things that happen to our bodies if we live long enough. I'd never heard of mesial drift. You may be in one of my footnotes!

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    1. I'll bet you have a whole chapter called Foot Notes.

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  18. About 75% of my chewing teeth packed up and left home many years ago, so the incisors and eye teeth have had to take over their jobs. They've coped rather well, but are badly in need of sprucing up. I just wish the miracle of a third complete set would start growing in for me. I would be SO much more careful of them!
    I never had crooked ones though, I have a wide jaw, plenty of room.

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  19. I'm reminded of a neighbour I had close to 40 years ago, she'd had one of her front teeth pulled out because it was crossed over like yours, but worse; the other teeth all moved along to fill the gap and every time she spoke or smiled I wondered what was so odd about her until I worked it out. Then I mentioned it and she told me it was cheaper than braces and most people don't notice.

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    1. Just my luck my teeth would affect being British, and "mind the gap."

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  20. Aaah, Terry Thomas and the Tube!

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  21. As usual, you've explained something I didn't know. I had braces at age 44, and it took longer than it does for kids but I was so happy with the results. Then I fell on my face and couldn't wear my retainers for a while, and very rapidly my teeth marched back where they came from, more or less, and the retainers no longer fit. I doubt that retainers or trainers can move adult teeth, but if you find that they can, let us know!

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    1. Here's another idea. Why don't we quit falling on our faces? It's never as much fun as it sounds.

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  22. By the way men aren't immune to age drift: we develop man tits, our stomachs expand and our balls drop toward our knees; our muscles atrophy and we do well to remember where we stored that extra six pack.
    Bit for some reason all this doesn't seem to bother men... except where the hell did I put that six pack I bought before the snow storm.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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