That is the question of the day.
This morning Madeline and I headed up to Edmonton for a follow-up appointment for her and a consultation for me with the orthodontist. She gets to wait a year for some grown up teeth to come in before the long road of mouth reconfiguration for her. I get to make a decision. And it is not an easy one.
From what the doctor said to me, I was in the first generation of orthodontics being a routine thing. There was no understanding of what those undergoing orthodontic treatment in the 1990s (when my over-sized, crowded adult teeth were coming in) looked like 20 years down the road. I had braces for a few months in grade 3 and then braces again from grades 6 to 9 and wisdom teeth out in high school. I wore my retainer every day after grade 9 for a long time, slowly weaning down as instructed, still wearing it in university and even after we were married. But I was never told that I should wear my retainer once a week forever, as I later found out I should’ve been.
And so some crowding has started and continues to get worse. I have one tooth on the bottom that is getting pushed out and it’s starting to decay. I don’t care that I have a crooked tooth. I care that the tooth is decaying and also wearing down my upper teeth.
I found out today that I what I got done in junior high was a “camouflage treatment”. It straightened my teeth but didn’t fix the problem. I guess what I needed back in the 90s was jaw surgery to move my lower jaw forward. This came up today when I commented on my double chins (a proud Norwegian heritage on BOTH sides of my family!). Apparently it’s not just a flabby neck problem, it’s that my jaw sits too far back. So because of that problem not being addressed and my lack of retainer retention and who knows what else, I now have the choice of whether or not to get braces for the third time in my life.
I’m torn because it will cost a lot of money. I’m torn because I don’t care about the cosmetic look of my mouth. (Though the idea of me big smile being filled with braces for a 18 months does make me sad.) What I care about is decay and movement in my mouth that could lead to more teeth trouble down the road. Marc says I could get a lot of dental work done for the price of the braces… so I’m torn again! Plus, I kind of want to wait until after my Masters’ grad in April to get the blasted things on as well.
So… To brace or not to brace. That is the question.
I would appreciate any feedback, especially from those with dental knowledge or who have gone the orthodontic route later in life.