Jan 2, 2017
I can’t decide if this goal is already turning out to be harder than I thought or if I’ll hit my stride in a few days (or weeks) and it’ll just be awesome and easy. I can already feel this post turning into one of those dumb posts where I ramble on about how I don’t know what to write and I’m already annoyed by it. So let’s talk about my teeth.
I have terrible teeth. Thanks to what I can only imagine was thousands of dollars my parents spent on braces and retainers and a billion other gadgets that adorned my mouth for all of my adolescence, my teeth are at least pretty straight. But they’re also pretty weak and wimpy and as a result I have to use prescription strength toothpaste in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, I’ll keep myself from having another root canal so soon.
But it’s not likely.
There are a lot of factors here and I’d like to go ahead and claim that none of them are my fault. I give the following as proof to back that statement up: First of all, the dentist that I had for my entire childhood and adolescence once told me as a teenager that, despite his years of nagging me about brushing and flossing, my poor quality teeth were more a result of my having bad plaque (which is hereditary and can’t be helped). Secondly, for many years now I have been a grown up about brushing and flossing and do it, ya know, at least once a day. Or at least I did.
Enter, pregnancy. Brushing my teeth vs. pregnancy has always been a fairly disgusting battle, the later too often taking the win with an especially gross barf session right after I finish brushing, but this time it’s been compounded. Not only am I gagging my way through daily brushing (the days I can floss are glorious and disgustingly far between), but this dental hygiene dilemma has now extended beyond into headache territory.
See, I grind my teeth when I sleep. I can’t say for sure, but I think it’s gotten worse lately. When I went in to see the dentist before I got pregnant, she suggested I get a mouth guard to wear at night. The way I remember it, the topic only even came up because the hygienist heard the way my jaw was popping when she was trying to start the cleaning. “Do you grind your teeth at night?” she asked. “Yup.” “You should probably come back and get a mouth guard to protect your teeth and to prevent you from getting lock jaw.” Umm, say that again?
So I never did make it back to the dentist because: I hate going to the dentist. But I did get one of those custom mouth guard things you can do yourself at home just to see if it would help before I shelled out the $400 to get one through the dentist. Turns out it does help. A lot, actually. The nights I wear it I wake up headache-free and my teeth don’t feel sharp like a vampire’s. Catch is, the thing makes me gag so bad I almost threw up the first time I wore it–and that was before I was even pregnant.
So now every night I try and weigh how likely I am to throw up against the pros of brushing my teeth. 99.9% of the time I can make it through ok and not feel like a total Josie Grossie, which is great and helps me still have friends.
Then comes the throw up vs. mouth guard decision. Of course if I wear it I’ll feel way better all the next day and, not ruin my teeth so much, and avoid the new anxiety about getting lock jaw. (Also, when I wear it I almost always have dreams about trying to eat food with it in which is always weird and frustrating.) But the pros of not wearing it are, ya know, not having to get out of bed to go throw up and then still not wear the thing and have headaches and pointy vampire teeth anyway and feel terrible and gross all the next day.
Sadly I have no grand solutions or conclusions about this at the moment, I just wanted to tell you how terrible my teeth are. But if you have any (real) suggestions about how to not grind my teeth without sleeping with a piece of plastic in my mouth, well then by all means, make use of the comments section.
And maybe don’t stand too close next time we talk. Uh, just in case.