The Burgeoning Fang Is Subsiding

Nope, nothing like slouching toward Bethlehem. I have a Quad-Helix (dental appliance fun woo! boy I’d never wanted to say that before the age of 65) cemented into my mouth to spread my upper arch further apart. Its purpose is to correct a left-side cross-bite, making room for the toofs that want to live up there before any of them break. I’m about halfway through the 6-month period my dentist said I’d need to wear it before he installs braces (which means I might be in anime schoolgirl form in time for Halloween!). Forty-eight hours ago he yanked the appliance out (okay, unbolted it from my upper molars more-or-less gently), adjusted the wires to make it more spready, and re-cemented it in place.

I am of mixed mind about the wonderfulness of said operation.

On the one hand, my upper right canine was getting pushed steadily outward by an errant wire such that the tooth had started to resemble a burgeoning or proto-fang, as if a quarter of my mouth were vamping. This tooth has already had a hard time in life – it originally grew in at an angle, as the baby tooth it was replacing refused to budge. Thus my pre-adolescent fascination with vampires. Now that the wire snafu is handled, the fang-ish tooth has moved almost all the way back to its proper angle and my lower lip is no longer snagging on it when I smile.

On the other hand, the rest of the wires are more spready… bones are moving in my head and have already moved enough that my bite is no longer what it was – all my chewing surfaces are askew. This is awkward enough in the absence of pain. But since teeth have already moved a little bit, the extra-super spreading power of the newly adjusted wires is able to take full advantage of the situation. The sockets of my teeth are not happy. I can’t chew anything, not even a little bit of squishy pasta. I can either process food by nibbling it to mush with my incisors, or squashing it against the roof of my mouth with my tongue. Or mashing it to hell and gone with my fork, then slurping up the mess. Ah, pasta and peas in garlic cream sauce. As liquid diets go, you rock.

The pain is getting better and I’m sure by the time I hit National next week I’ll be able to eat like a normal human again. If not, there’s always the Cherry version of a liquid diet – it comes in a flask and is peach vodka, Jamiesons, or brandy-flavored. Hee. Proto-fang, I salute you.


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