Like many people I was not blessed with straight teeth. Fortunately my father’s 20 years of military service did provide me with dental insurance which helped to fix that problem. Sort of.
One of the problems I had was that my upper row of teeth (there is not an actual anatomical upper jaw) sort of caved in at the back. So before I got braces I had a device called an e-arch installed that was spring loaded to widen the top of my mouth in the back. This worked fairly well and eventually when things were where they were supposed to be they took the spring off but left the rest of the device in until I had my braces put in. (I can’t remember why we were waiting—might have been for the rest of my adult teeth to come in). Well while we waited my teeth went back to their original position. Apparently this happens in less than 10% of cases. Whoo hoo for being special. Not.
Well they finally got things back in alignment and slapped the braces on quick enough to prevent things moving again. Things worked just fine as long as the braces were on. After a couple years the braces came off and I got a retainer. They put a permanent retainer on my bottom teeth and gave me this clear plastic sheath to put on my upper teeth (it looked kind of like the invisalign thingies). I only had to wear it at night, so I was spared the grossness of having to take my retainer out at lunch.
Then my sister’s dog ate it. (have I mentioned I dislike dogs?)
In the time it took for me to get to the orthodontist to get fitted for a new one my upper teeth had collapsed in the back again. So I got a retainer with a little key I had to turn on a weekly basis to spread out my palette again. Fun times.
Here’s the thing: That was over fifteen years ago. And I’m still wearing the damn retainer every night. And if I don’t wear it for a week or so (I can’t wear it when I have a cough. I found out the hard way that coughing sends it flying across the room.) my damn teeth still move! And I have to start the turny key process all over again.
And it’s just occurred to me recently: How long do I keep at this? At what point do I just give up and say, “You know know? I’m just going to deal with a weird bite issue?” But after several years and several thousand dollars spent straightening out my teeth, I feel like an idiot to just let it all go down the drain.
So what’s the solution here? Thoughts?