Saturday, August 9, 2008

Three weeks ago, something cool happened

It's hard to believe that it's been three weeks already and I haven't written about this. But that was part of the plan. Not to write about it. To have something that was just mine, that wasn't a status update on Facebook, that wasn't Twittered, that wasn't mentioned on one of my blogs. Something special. Something that could actually be a surprise.

And man, was it a hard secret to keep. I have a big mouth, and this is something that has to do with my mouth, so it was even more difficult to shut up about, so to speak.

Three weeks ago today, I went to see my orthodontist for a ten-minute check-up. He just wanted to see how my teeth were progressing so we could talk about the potential of getting my braces off in the next month or so.

He looked at my teeth and said, "They're perfect. Take them off!"

I looked at him, puzzled. "So, I should make an appointment to get the braces taken off, then?"

He said, "No. Take them off now."

"You mean, right now?" I asked, incredulously.


"But I don't even have my camera with me!" I cried.

I am such a blogger, jeez.

Next thing you know, they're coming at me with pliers and a drill. Two hours later, I was brace-free and grinning ear to ear. I'm sure the grinning had nothing to do with all the painkillers I downed before I'd let them come at me with the pliers and drill.

So, what was the first thing I did with my new metalless mouth? Well, I didn't eat corn on the cob, like I had originally planned, because the lady with the pliers told me that I should wait for my teeth to settle into the bone more - she was worried that eating anything too hard would pull them out of alignment. I couldn't argue with her on that one, because once you've gone through everything that I have, you don't want to take any chances.

I don't remember what I ate, but I do know how awesome it was to brush my teeth for the first time without all that metal in my mouth. It was so...easy. Brushing your teeth is awesome! The brush feels so good against your teeth and gums. I don't know why we don't do it all the time, like for fun:

Imaginary friend in alternate universe where teeth brushing is uber cool: Hey Bella, what do you want to do this weekend? Live music, hanging at the pub, going to a movie?
Bella: Why don't we all get together and brush our teeth?
Imaginary friend: Why didn't I think of that? That's the Best Idea Ever!
Bella: And get this, after we brush, we are totally going to floss!
Imaginary friend: Hooray!!

And flossing! Oh, my, flossing! Why did I ever not floss before? It's practically effortless. Just glide that string between my nicely spaced teeth and I'm done in a few seconds. People who have never had braces don't understand how awesome flossing is. Once you have to maneuver around wires and brackets for a few years, you want to do it all the time when it's easy again.

After all the gratuitous oral hygiene, I did something that I've wanted to do for the past year and a half. I told my boyfriend that I had something important to show him and that he had to come over right away.

Once he walked in the door, I kissed him.

You see, the entire time we've been together, I've had braces, so I didn't know what it was like to kiss him without them. A year and a half is a long time to wait for that kind of thing.

And I must say it was worth the wait. The boyfriend is a very good kisser, even better when he doesn't have to worry about my wires digging into my lips.

As for my other friends, I didn't post my news online because I wanted to show them myself. I thought they would just notice right away, but none of them did. I had to resort to staring at them and grinning like a maniac until their fight or flight instinct kicked their brains into high gear and they exclaimed, "Oh, you got your braces off!"

Yes, yes I did. Thanks for noticing.


nabukay said...

omigosh is this for real? wow i am totally jealous right now. i agree with the teeth brushing, can't wait for that day! oh my goodness well done. snif snif.

Katherine said...

one word...FAB-you-lous!

Kiwikaren said...

That is fantastic news Bella! You did incredible to keep this information away from your blog for sooooooooooooo long ... doubt I could do it.

Enjoy every moment of your naked bite!

Working From Home Today said...

Hi Smiling Bella,
Yes, Schmutzie was correct, I had jaw advancement surgery. I had it back in 1993 in SK. I wish I could say differently, but my story is not positive. Keep in mind that I don't think it's this way for everyone.

I did experience nerve damage from the surgery, I still can't feel the half of my lower lip. But that's a minor discomfort and if it were the only side effect, I wouldn't sweat it much.

The bad part for me is that over the last 15 years, my jaw has experienced severe deterioration. It's cost me thousands of dollars to be diagnosed and treated. I recently got to see Toronto's best expert on the subject. She was so amazing, so knowledgeable. After lots of testing, the diagnosis is that I will experience severe arthritis for the rest of my life. I have one more bone scan to see if it will get worse as I age. Fingers crossed, it won't.

The kicker is, of course, the associated pain. I've been prescribed industrial-strength pain relievers but I don't like the side effects. I take them only on the very bad days, about once a week and no more. The rest of the time I rely on my hard mouth splint, Shiatsu and exercise. It all helps immensely. I owe so much to the experts I've found.

I am guessing it's not like this for everyone. But I honestly don't know what I would say to people contemplating this surgery. I'm still so angry about it. I can't wait to go back to SK, where I fully intend to take my scans and MRI's into the office of the oral surgeon who conducted my original surgery. It's a conversation we need to have.

Of course, I can't prove the damage is related to the initial surgery because, as I'm told repeated by the country's best experts, adequate long term studies have never been done.

My firm belief now is that this one of the most complex joints in the human body. It should not be handled by orthodontists.

Meanwhile, I look forward to reading your blog. I suspect I'll find some excellent advice.

Congrats on your braces!

stephanie said...

AHHHHH!! Are you SERIOUS??? Pictures! Pictures!!

Congratulations! This is my dream.

holski said...

congrats Bella!
Like Steph.. this is also my dream.

Oh no!
The germans will be devastated! ;)

chinderella said...

All I can say is : YAY!!!!!!!
That's fantastic!

Bad news for the German fetishists, though.



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