Quick backstory (for those who care)
I’ve been wearing a dental retainer at night for about 13 or 14 years, ever since I finished my orthodontic treatment. It was a pretty traumatizing experience for me…I had to get surgery to get compacted teeth pulled down. I’ll never forgive that jerky oral surgeon who didn’t explain anything he was doing to terrified 13-year-old Roxy, and then finally when I started literally kicking, said, “I’m ripping your gums out now.”
I spent the whole time in the chair with tears streaming down my face, trying not to move but I could feel it! ;_;
So that was the surgeon, but other than him, I went to my main guy who I got bad vibes from…I went from what I thought was a normal bite besides crookedness, to a HUGE UNDERBITE, and then he was like, “You need surgery AGAIN.” I was like, “Mom, wtf, change orthodontists NOW.”
So we did! 😀 YAY responsive parent. <3 LOVE YOU, Mom. This other guy said I DIDN'T need surgery, and he fixed my underbite, made me hunky dory and sent me on my way.That is my perspective from a teenager's point of view. In hindsite, I'm sure I really had no clue was what going on inside my mouth.
BACK TO THE PRESENT:
SO .....! 13 years later. My retainer, which I wear only at night, is....really gross. There's black build-up and white plaque build-up that I can't get out no matter what I soak it in or scrub, so when I went for my dentist appointment, I made an appointment with their resident orthodontist.
So naturally, I was super nervous today that he'd look at my teeth and tell me I need some adjustment. I sat clutching my electronic dictionary, because who knew what specialized medical terminology he'd throw at me?
Our conversation went something like this (in Japanese):
doc: Okay, so first let me look at your teeth. *peer* uh huh. Okay bite down. uh huh. okay you can sit up.
Roxy: *sits up*
doc: So you didn’t have your teeth pulled?
Roxy: Excuse me?
doc: It looks like you didn’t have your teeth pulled, right?
Roxy: Um, pulled? Right? Why would they be pulled?
doc: Pulled and then aligned.
Roxy: Aligned? To make them straight?
Roxy: Um, pulled, put back in and then made straight?
I felt like trying to get an answer was like pulling teeth. HAR HAR HAR
Roxy: Sorry, I don’t know what you mean. I had braces.
doc: Yes, me too, but I also had “ekisutolakushion.”
Doc: ekisutolakushion. That means ‘pulling out.’ So there are two kinds of treatment.
Roxy: There are?!
doc: Yes. “ekisutolakushion” and blah blah blah.
Roxy: ……………………………………OH extraction!!
doc: Yes 😀
Roxy: And then you put the teeth back?!
doc: NO!!! -_-;;;;; blah blah blah blah.
Roxy: Sorry, I have no idea what that means.
doc: ^_^ You just take them out and then that makes room for the other teeth that are crowding around in there. Then you straighten the rest of the teeth. It’s used for bad cases.
Roxy: There’s no big hole?!
doc: Nope. It’s as if there are three chairs but there are five people trying to sit down. So one way is to make two people go elsewhere, so the three people can sit comfortably on each chair. Another way is to force everyone to squeeze in next to each other on the seats, but inevitably, the guy on the end has only one butt cheek on the seat, so he keeps trying to push his way back onto the chair. That’s why people WITHOUT extraction have to wear retainers, because it’s easy for non-extraction cases’s teeth to return to how they were.
Roxy: OH WOW, that is a super good example. O_O;;; *thinks* So THAT is why I probably had that underbite, because the first orthodontist was trying to enlarge my bottom jaw to make room for my lower teeth which were crowding, and why if I don’t wear my retainer for a week or more, I feel like one starts moving again. Maybe the old doctor wasn’t an ass like I thought?
doc: So would you like me to make you a new retainer to replace…this?Roxy: yes, please! 😀