Posted by: amamasblog | December 12, 2007

Braces for Mama?

I had a dental cleaning today- about six months late.  I am usually very good about going to the dentist every six months, but the time has gotten away from me. Last time I was there, (which was almost a year ago), I mentioned to my dentist, Dr. K, that I wake up sometimes with aching teeth.  He told me that is a sign of clenching teeth in your sleep.  We talked about a night guard, which will prevent it, but I never made a decision about it one way or another.

I have tried to become more aware of my mouth to see if I was clenching my teeth during the day, and I didn’t really notice it.  It also seemed like the days I woke up with sore teeth were fewer and fewer, so I liked to think mind over matter was working.

After the hygienist was done scraping and cleaning, Dr. K came in.  She told him everything looked fine, but there was one tooth where the gum around it looked inflamed.  After checking it out, he told me the tooth was loose, and he said he couldn’t believe how “off” my top bite was.

He poked around, made me do that tap,tap, thing so he could see my bite and he told me my top teeth were seriously out of alignment.  He “sandpapered” some of the offending teeth down a bit, and told me to try that.  I couldn’t believe it!  My mouth and jaw felt so light- like a lot of pressure had been released.  I hadn’t realized how tense my jaw was, and evidently it was because of my bite problem.

Dr. K told me I need a consultation with an orthodontist, because the “sandpapering” was just a temporary fix.  He said the teeth will keep moving back out of alignment, and pretty soon I’ll be right back to where I was.  He said he was pretty sure I was going to need braces!  He gave me two referrals.

I was a bit stunned!  Braces, at MY age?  Evidently I am a thirty-something mother with two young children, going on 12.  I had braces from the age of 13-17; most of my teenage years, and now I am facing the possibility of having them again-some 20 plus years later!

Dr. K told me the misalignment could be causing me to clench my jaw too.  He told me which tooth was loose, and of course I immediately had to wiggle it, and he told me not to wiggle it or play around with it- it could fall out!  WHAT?!  Now I am not only a thirty-something mom, with a 12 year old’s mouth, I am going on 70, where my teeth (or at least a tooth) is in danger of falling out. 

While I was gathering my free toothbrush and free sensitive toothpaste (yes, I have sensitive teeth on top of it all), the hygienist told me the good news was (really, there is good news in all of this?) I was young, (I had to hold back a laugh there), we were catching it early, and she said with the proper treatment, my teeth and loose tooth will have the pressure taken off of them, and the ligaments and tissue can grow back correctly and not be loose anymore.  So maybe I am not facing dentures before the age of 40.

I walked out of the exam room, pretty stunned.  I was making my next appointment in 6 months, (look what happens when I slack off and miss my cleanings!) and Dr. K came up to me and said, “Please, please call the orthodontists today.”  He told me this was very serious and could cause me a lot of problems down the road if I don’t take care of it.  He told me if by chance I don’t need braces, then I would definitely need the night guard.

Still stunned, I came right home and called the orthodontist.  I have an appointment the second week in January.  Joe and I have almost every insurance possible, but of course we don’t have insurance for adult orthodontics.  He had braces too, when he was a teenager, and we have orthodontic insurance for the kids.  Who would have thought we would need adult orthodontic insurance?  Our days of wearing braces were  behind us- or so we thought. 

If I do have to have them, I hope I can get the clear ones, although I hear food and stuff shows up in them more- lovely.  My two adorable teenage cousins just got braces, and they have bright pink ones, and lime green.  Somehow, I just don’t think those colors are appropriate for someone my age. It would look like a box of crayons exploded in my mouth.   But I don’t think I can take being called “metal mouth” again in my thirties…let alone what my boys will think.  Ryan notices everything.  They will probably think I am a robot taking over their mama’s mouth.

Oh, good times are ahead for me and my mouth!



  1. WOW! Sounds like that hurts!! My sister is getting Invisalign for a jaw problem too. Crazy. I’d be floored too 🙂

  2. wow. what a surprise that must have been!

    i have a history of grinding/clenching my teeth. i used to have a night guard several years ago, but my new dentist wants me to get another one. i should probably go make that appointment as i’m overdue for my 6 mo. chk up too. it’s hard to find the time to take care of yourself when you’re a mom, isn’t it?

  3. Holy Cow! I’m stunned too: after all those years w/ our dentist, who would’ve thought?

    I grind my teeth too…hmmmmmmmm.

    Don’t worry about the adult braces; there’s two teachers in my building that have them and my friend Steph just got hers taken off. I think it’s more common than it used to be.

    I’d worry more about paying for them: maybe you can ask Dad??? 🙂

  4. […] has to go back to work on Monday, and I have an appointment with a doctor for second opinion about me possibly needing braces.  I’ll blog more about that next week.  I also have a few more projects to wrap up for […]

  5. […] Braces Update I had an appointment with the orthodontist my dentist recommended today, to get his opinion on whether or not I need braces. […]

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