Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Courtney vs. Teeth

Well, I promised more of a story behind my horrible luck with teeth. Have I mentioned that I am a full grown adult and I still have to use flouride after I brush like you used to do as a kid at the denist twice a year? Yep, that's me.

My teeth are constantly staging a revolt against me. It's like one tooth goes bad and so it turns all the others against me as well. There is a little tooth army in there and their weapons are plaque and sugar. Yum.

Well to explain my teeth I must go back to what, first grade? In first grade I was in the process of losing my teeth like every other young child in America. Unfortunately for me, I was super late at losing my teeth. By the time I hit second grade I had only lost 3 teeth or so on my own, and my permanent teeth were coming in behind my baby teeth. I was literally going to look like a shark if they didn't do something, with my baby teeth in the front row and my permanent teeth growing in behind.

So, thus began my many trips to the dentist. I started having teeth pulled. It was a regular occurance, just an ordinary thing to go to the dentist and have them give me shots and nitrous and then for them to rip my teeth out with a root the length of half my pinky finger. I remember the cracking of my teeth as he would literally grab pliers and yank my jaw around by my tooth in an attempt to dislodge the stubborn piece of enamel. I think if my parents' had been all sentimental and kept all of my baby teeth they would have had a hard time losing them. I seriously think they were an inch long, they looked like bear teeth. Or talons. I would then spend the next two days biting on gauze to stop the bleeding, eating soft foods and only chewing on the other side. (They usually pulled a matching top and bottom tooth on the same side so I could have a little area to chew.)

So this continued all through second grade until they decided I needed braces partway through my second grade year. Yes, braces. On only my two front teeth. I couldn't believe it. I remember coming back from the orthodontist and running out to the playground to find my best friend, Spring. She was hanging upside down from the monkey bars and all I could do was run out there with my hand over my mouth. I remember her asking me if they had knocked out my two front teeth, so I uncovered my mouth to show off my front teeth in all of their new shiny metal glory. I don't know for sure, but I think she may have been a little jealous. This was when braces were still "cool" and you would unfold paperclips and put them in your mouth pretending you had a retainer. Well, I got the real deal. And at the time, they were cool. It was later on when they weren't and you got called "brace face" all the time.

They continued pulling my teeth out through the years. I only lost my first three and my last four molars. I had my braces off in 3rd grade and then put back on in fifth and I kept them all the way until 8th grade. During that time I had a headgear, which i vividly remember the searing pain that would cause my jaw and face, as well as a lip bumper (designed to do the same thing a headgear does, just all the time instead of a night only thing). I never had the rubber bands, which I secretly wanted. I do however remember getting to pick rubber band colors to go around the braces. That was the cool thing to do. You know, pick orange and black because it's almost Halloween, or pick red and blue because it's near Independence Day. The possibilities were endless.

By the time I hit eighth grade, my bottom teeth were so far forward that they were worried that my teeth might possibly fall out the front. I guess they might have continued to stage an upheaval and just jump right off. So, I went in for gum surgery. To do this they literally cut some of the tissue off of the roof of my mouth, and transplanted it to the front part of my bottom teeth to 'reinforce' it. Then to get the bleeding to stop on the roof of my mouth they burned it. Awesome, huh?

After I finally got my braces removed, I had retainers. For a long, long time, those retainers were my arch enemy. At least they were clear molds but it was harder than heck to talk with them in. Not only that but the first thing I would do in the morning would be to take them out and sit them on my nightstand. I would forget about them, but our schnauzer at the time, Angie, did not. She would chew them up and I would be forced to return to the orthodonist with my tail between my legs to get new ones.

I am finally to the point where I don't need braces, retainers or teeth pulled anymore so you would think I'd be good, right?


In the past few years I have had an insane number of cavities. At one point I had SIX in one visit. I left crying, because I was going to have to get two crowns in just that one visit alone. I figured at the rate I was going I would be in dentures by 35! In an effort to save my teeth, my dentist (who I LOVE despite him pulling every.single.baby.tooth) recommended that I buy the over the counter flouride toothpaste and use that after each brush and floss, in an attempt to make sure I am getting the flouride I need.

And it has helped! Since I have started using the flouride, I have not added a crown yet! I have been holding steady with my four crowns, all up top. I have had a few random cavities filled (when I say random, I even mean one that was making a hole in the back part of my front tooth-I'm telling you, my luck sucks.). I am a constant work in progress, because I have been slacking ever since Camden made his appearance. It just seems like I flop into bed exhausted and the last thing I want to do is follow a seven minute tooth routine before going to sleep.

So here's hoping that come October, I don't have to get more crowns! And that I will start using my flouride religiously again!

1 comment:

  1. My mouth hurts from reading all this :(

    I heard that pregnancy/nursing really does a number on your teeth. Is that when you had the 6 cavities?