I enjoyed just exactly a week of teeth liberation. No braces, no plastic tooth coverings, no foreign objects in my mouth all the time.
Well all that’s over. Yesterday I was fitted with upper and lower retainers at my orthodontist’s office. I’m supposed to wear them 24 hours a day for six weeks, and each night after that.
Of course, they feel awkward and have already rubbed a sore spot on my tongue. In fact, the best they feel is awkward. I woke up this morning with my mouth actually *hurting* and it felt so good to take the damn things off for coffee and breakfast.
And then there are The Rules:
- Don’t drink anything except water when wearing the retainers.
- Don’t eat when wearing them.
- Brush your teeth before putting them on after you have eaten or had anything to drink other than water.
- Brush the retainers before you put them on each time.
Which means the whole rigamarole of taking them out to eat or drink. Of course, it’s gross to do it in front of anyone so I have to find a bathroom or some private place to do that. Then after eating and drinking comes the second act of the rigamarole – again in a bathroom of course: brushing my teeth and cleaning the retainers and putting them back in.
It can be challenging enough when I’m just at work and going places around town. Anyone who’s sized up the ladies’ room in a restaurant, service station or office building with the idea of brushing teeth in it knows that there are some of them in which teeth brushing is just not gonna happen. Ewww. Of course all that is extra fun when traveling, as I will be for two weeks. In Thailand. Where we are told not to brush our teeth with the tap water.
I just hope I don’t end up ruining my nice new straight teeth. I keep reminding myself that during my two year adventure in orthodontistry, almost every single person I’ve talked to who had braces at any age? Spontaneously advised me to be sure to wear the retainers, and some of them added that they didn’t wear theirs enough and regretted it.
But, oh golly, right now it sure does hurt.