Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Medieval Torture from Hell

It has been a month since I had the medieval slow torture wires from hell, also known as adult braces, fastened to my very sensitive and now wallowing in self pity teeth. Having had braces when I was a child, I assumed I knew what I was in for, but the human mind can be one deceptive devious bitch. Like natural child birth for women their minds supposedly let them forget the pain and trauma of pushing a watermelon through something the size of a lemon, therefore allowing them to go through the same torture again; getting adult braces seems to be rather similar. You selectively remember some discomfort but it is not until your mouth is filled with wires and jagged edged metal pieces that the true reality sinks in. This is what I have been dealing with the last four weeks and still have to endure for the following 13 months.
Having adult braces is not a fashion statement! Even though I opted to get the porcelain braces that are less conspicuous there’s no way of really hiding the fact that you have a metal mouth. Firstly, the first couple of weeks I was practically classified as disabled. I had to learn to speak again and sounded like I was drunk or retarded every time I opened my mouth. I couldn’t really eat anything solid because I was in pain and only had 4 available teeth with which to chew. I also lost the ability to smile, because every time I did my braces would scratch my inner lips and/or my lips would get caught on my braces. This not only caused a fair amount of pain, but also left me looking like some kind of psychotic serial killer showing people the teeth I was going to use to cannibalize them with combined with a forced frozen uncomfortable unflattering smile.

But having adult braces isn’t all bad. The inability to eat and chew your food properly is the best diet I have ever been on. I have lost at least 5 kilograms to date and baby food is starting to look and sound really scrumptious! There have been times that I was absolutely famished, had strange noises bellowing from my stomach and forced myself to sit down and at least try to finish a whole plate of food. I have only managed to do that once. Eating takes me ten times longer than usual, chewing has become a skill I had to master with some effort and some days half way through my meal I just give up – eating should not require such a tremendous amount of concentration and dental agility. And then there’s the downside.
Combine braces with food and inevitably you end up with embarrassment. Just last week I mastered the skill of actually eating a hot dog. Yes people if you have braces certain foods require “techniques” to eat and Oh Boy it ain’t pretty. I managed to eat a whole hot dog which took me twenty one minutes and thirty five seconds (I timed it!). Washed it down with a Coke, and then rinsed my mouth out with sparkling mineral water. I then left to attend a meeting. The meeting itself was quite taxing and after leaving it, for some unbeknown reason, I decided to check my teeth in my car’s rear view mirror. Lo and behold, half of the hot dog was firmly lodged in my braces and on my front teeth none the less. I spent 90 minutes talking to people trying to be all professional and such with food stuck in my wires. God only knows what they must have been thinking! But none of the bitches said a damn thing, although I think they had quite a good chuckle after I left!

As you can now clearly see food is a major issue in my life right now. I am constantly hungry craving thinks I am not allowed to eat. If I can’t suck it, swallow it whole or if a morsel needs more than 5 minutes of careful chewing I don’t touch it. But there is an upside. One meal can last you a full day. Even though I do my best with a wide range of specially designed gadgets to dislodge my breakfast, lunch and dinners from my food magnets there will always be a couple of pieces strategically hidden that dislodges during the course of the day. This in turn conveniently allows you to have a taste of your previous meals at the most inconvenient of times. It’s like cows regurgitating their food only I’m not a damn cow. And then there’s the dental hygiene issue.
My dental hygiene routine has become super complicated. What took me five minutes twice a day now takes me 30 minutes and that’s why I have been late for work so frequently. I refuse to get up 25 minutes earlier because of it. Being a smoker (yes, I have not quite yet) I may be prone to gum infections due to my railway tracks in my mouth. So now I not only brush my teeth from all 1000 angles I also have to brush my gums, rinse my mouth with a special mouth wash and try to floss. We wired and tortured folk have a special type of floss. It’s 20cm long, consists out of three parts and using it requires dexterous fingers, extra mirrors and a shit loud of patience. Flossing will add an additional hour to your routine and that’s only when you become quite good at it. This past weekend, when I had some time to burn, I tried it. After an hour I only managed to floss four teeth, got the floss stuck in three of my braces and ended up crying on the bathroom floor like an emotionally disturbed child covered in my own spit and a little bit of blood. I have not flossed since!

Braces have changed my life, my diet and some days it negatively affects my mood. I dream about steaks, eating out in restaurants, get nightmares about restaurants, obsessively check my teeth before meeting meetings and day dream about taking pliers and removing them. I have only 13 more months of this to go, and 13 months can be a very long time. I keep on reminding myself that it will be all worth it in the end, but when faced with my arch nemesis which is the flossing kit I am not so sure I am going to make it!

Till next time.

Sherry Vine's Parody You're a Home


Jason Shaw said...

Oh my dear boy, I tried so hard not to laugh and chuckle at your predicament, but you've written such a wonderfuly humours and interesting post, I can not not give my chuckle muscles a serious work out. Thank you for taking me on this trip of nashers and teeth wires.

Tell me, what's it like to kiss with them things on?

Much love.

Pierre said...

@Jason Shaw, sometimes laughing at our predicaments are what gets us through it. Just call me Ugly Betty but with a better fashion sense! With regards to the kissing, and I am sure you're wondering about the "other" things, this requires technique and practice too!

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