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When I was very young, they had to catch me as I ran by in order to scrub the grubbiness off my face and body. There was a lot of scrubbing necessary because I was a decidedly grubby tomboy urchin.

A few years after that, I became such a total tub inhabitant that it took much banging and shouts through the bathroom door by my brothers and sister to get me out so that they could ‘use the facilities’. This did not endear me to them.

As time went by, I accumulated more and more bathroom ‘necessities’ to adorn or engulf myself in. Bubble baths, scented oil baths, bathing salts, scented talcum, Coppertone instant tan (it was orange on everyone I knew, but we kept at it anyway), sun-in for ‘natural’ blond streaks, skin cream, emollients, exfoliates, Nair hair removal (which has a much improved scent now – it used to last as long as the chemical smell of a perm—days!) and razors and shaving cream (fortunately they began selling to women so I could stop buying the ‘manly’ scented ones). Razor shaving enabled me to carve a swatch of skin a quarter inch wide and 15 inches long in a single stroke.

Sharing a family bathroom meant that I carried my personal toiletry items in and out with me in a large (and larger) basket/bag. Getting my own place meant I could keep all my bathroom stuff IN the bathroom. Decadence! There was room to accumulate more, so… I did.

Fast-forward to ‘now’.

To this growing mass of ‘necessities’ I now include anti-aging creams, gels, exfoliates, toners, and cleansers. And more talcum’s, oils, foot callus creams and shower sanders, apricot facial scrub, and orange-based shampoo and rinse (which really does help my fine, thin hair feel thicker and stronger while relieving scalp itch). I keep a supply of ‘natural feeling’ hair spray, mousse, sculpting hair gel, and de-frizz products, too.

I do not wear as much make-up as I used to. I can do a full war-paint face makeup (from moisturizer to final coat of lipstick) in about two minutes. I used to say the same about my dental care but now…

What takes up the largest footprint on my bathroom counter is not the gels, creams, make-up, or talc. The largest single toiletry section is for my teeth. I have a Oral-B electric toothbrush mounted on the wall, and under it I now have a Waterpik oral health thingamabob to shoot water at my gums. It has 6 different tips, one of which is to clean my tongue.

I blame my dentist for this imbalance in toiletry space allocation. Since I am in hock to the tooth fairy (the results are now in -literally- and I am happy with the result, so this isn’t really a complaint) the permanent implants and the gums under them need kept clean so that they stay healthy… a waterpik isn’t a luxury, it is a responsible financial purchase! No, I cannot claim it as a deductible for tax purposes. (Rats!)

Once you add dental washes, ‘sensitive teeth’ toothpaste, gum massagers, christmas-tree-shaped proxy brushes and the tooth whitening system I recently began using, my 15″x18″ bathroom counter top is FULL.

On the other (slightly wider) side, the left side of the sink, my husband has space for his toiletries. He also has an electric shaver, prescribed ointments, creams, and (recently) a counter top electric toothbrush. Although he also has the shared small bathroom wastebasket on his side of the counter, his side is nowhere near as crowded as mine.

So why do I keep finding HIS hairbrush on MY side??

My dentist does that. My dentist does that LITERALLY.

The teeth that were torn out (before they fell out) last January left me toothless on top. (picture a toothless hag witch with a big wart on her chin and nose… I did) I aided and abetted in this endeavor because I am a vain, shallow, female-of-a-certain-age who equates dentures and other dental appliances as a scarlet letter A branded in glowing letters on my face. Dentures and partial dentures were for OLD PEOPLE (and ugly hag witches). *I* am not an ‘old people’ (I keep telling myself) (shut up lotions, potions, creams, and retinol-A infused emollients overflowing my bathroom cabinet… silence, I say!)

But I digress… ahem…

Toothless, yes, but only for a moment. They immediately screwed in a set of teeth. Yes, I said, screwed in. Let me tell you, a Black and Decker electric screwdriver in your mouth is a very strange sensation to feel (and hear).

The first set was horrible, even for temporary teeth. The compensation set was slightly better. Today I got to see the work-in-progress, final set of screw-in teeth for me.

(gasp!)

They look… real! They look like my own teeth might have if I had proper dental care and orthodontics at a much earlier age. And whitening. And boatloads of cash.

But… they were the wax version, a preliminary fitting to make final adjustments with. My mouth and I had to let them go back to the factory so they can be replicated in something more durable than wax.

More screwing around in my mouth.

Dr. O is my dentist. My implants are on his Bucket List. We began talking about them over ten years ago and he wanted to make sure they were completed before he retired. Dr. O has been ready and able to retire anytime in the past five years… except for a few cases like my mouth.

As it is, I am in hock to the Tooth Fairy big time for the next 12 months. This is one of those ‘no interest’ loans that if you don’t pay it back in full at the end of 12 months, all the interest (and it is ENORMOUS interest) kicks in retroactively for the full amount. Ouch. Vain, yes, and I haven’t won the lottery yet. (drat! I do, too, buy tickets!)

So… I need to remain gainfully employed at least another year. I can’t retire for another seven years, but I need to stay employed for another year for the Tooth Fairy.

I think they know this.
(sigh)

Pity Parties are best attended by one. They do *not* promote wellness. They can, however, satisfy the whiny need to complain. They can delay dealing with the effort required to move on. Pity parties are useful when you really do not want to leave the Land of Denial where all is good and lovely and no one loses teeth or ages or gets wrinkles or encounters any progressive challenge whatsoever. It is NOT a desirable place to live. All that negative crap is demoralizing.

Getting off the pity party guest list requires some effort but having puppies and grandchildren are a BIG help.

Puppies console you and kiss your boo-boos.Puppy Love

Grandchildren take you out of yourself and remind you of the grand adventure to be found in your own living room…


(in the enlarged version you can see Liam’s head emerging from the far left of the tunnel)

…and in your very own back yard (cue music for Dorothy in the original “Wizard of Oz.”

The pain meds didn’t do boo, but the puppies and grandchildren made a huge difference in surviving the Pity Party. The tree smiles we put on the trees are still a fun sight from our back windows. “Painting” snow faces on the trees was our compromise because the snow wasn’t the kind you could make snow sculptures from. We tried a snowball fight anyway. The scoops of snow exploded in the air the minute they left our palms.

A call from the dentist admits that …um… additional adjustments to improve the cosmetic interim implants *was* desirable. I get to do it again this Wednesday… well, not the tooth extraction part (did I mention the pain meds sucked?) — the teeth aren’t there anymore, but the temporary bridges can be improved.

I second that. My boss will love the additional time away from work… not.

Demolition:
Farewell incisors. Farewell bicuspids and molars. It took regular infusions of Novocain to complete the five excisions, but eventually you all released your hold. You were all almost as old as I am, but of late we both know your lease on life was extended a bit too long.

My tongue wasn’t numb. It could feel the toothless gums still spurting warm blood, but my tongue (chicken!) refused to go there. Did you know that one of the reasons they add epinephrine to Novocain is to reduce and slow the bleeding? It also helps the Novocain last longer. I, unfortunately, can’t take it, hence the multiple shots into my gums to keep the level of numbness high enough to counter the ongoing dental work.

Ongoing for four and a half hours—with no breaks, two dental surgeons working in tandem and up to three dental assistants welding sucker tubes, spraying tepid water to clear out the work areas.

Reconstruction

The temporary replacement for my teeth was built from molds taken over a month ago. The resulting resin cast was over-sized and misaligned. An extra hour was spent in grinding and shaving it down to fit within my mouth and simulate teeth.

My mouth looks like my mothers dentures. The dentists are thrilled. I am not.

The final replacements will be shinier, less thick (right now the bulk in my mouth feels like a cows cud, even the incisors), and with a better alignment that wont cause my lips to protrude

I go back in a week for further adjustments. Right now the swelling and continued bleeding make it difficult to make the aesthetic refinements that would help my fragile, vain ego accept the inevitable aging (not to mention the expense–debt free for the past ten years until I took on a hefty two year chunk for this process).

DH had a lovely bouquet of gerbera daisies and freesia on the table when I finally got home.

Dixie keeps coming over to sniff at my mouth and lay her paw on my arm. Duncan trades places with Dixie on the couch next to me, sprawling his soft, furry body along my thigh.

When I finally stop whining and feeling sorry for myself, it’ll all be good. Just maybe not right right away.

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