When I was 17, I went for braces on my teeth. I should have had them years before, but, as was typical with my mother, it wasn’t considered a priority until the free treatment deadline loomed…
The process was horrid. The orthodontist was slapdash and rough, bruising the inside of my mouth and cheeks. The cement used on the brace anchors was slapped on and covered my teeth where it shouldn’t, leaving a rough feeling all over my enamel. It was painful, very painful.
Every check up during the 18 months left me crying and sweaty-palmed. Wires would rub my cheeks where they weren’t trimmed down and on my final visit, the metal ring/clamp around my back tooth was removed with so much force it cracked my tooth and I was in agony. The orthodontist referred me to a colleague to have it repaired free of charge, but I didn’t trust him and now feared dentists.
I had a root canal done privately (my only treatment up to that point) and was sedated with tramadol during the process. It was ok. I don’t remember much from the procedure, only the bill – £480.
That was 12 years ago and since then, I’ve only been to the dentist once – around 6 years ago for a check up. The experience of my orthodontist left me with a phobia and even thinking about the dentist now makes my teeth and jaw hurt. Right now, typing this, I have a shooting pain in my jaw that I know is psychosomatic. The tang of the antiseptics and mouthwash assails me, and the sharp jabbing on my teeth and gums is as vivid today as it was 15 years ago.
Today though, I’ve pulled on my big girl panties and booked in for a check-up on Monday. Pregnancy can do very bad things to teeth. The change in hormones paired with breastfeeding and a nutrient sucking vampire-esque baby can leave teeth prone to cavities. I don’t want that. I have that one root canal and that’s it. Except…the last few weeks I’ve had some sensitivity when eating hot and cold foods, and now I’m worried. So, I’ve bitten the bullet and decided that if I need any work doing – now is the time. Not only is it free until Logan’s first birthday, but if there are any issues I need to get them sorted before they get worse and before any sibling. I don’t want my teeth to crumble and fall out.
Wish me luck. I will need it.