I thought last time I posted, that the next time I blogged would be when I had my bottom braces off BUT…there was something I hadn’t factored in – and something I feel I must share with you guys in the interest of giving you the FULL picture of the straightening teeth experience…
…the removable retainer!
OK – I grant you – it doesn’t sound that scary, and it didn’t to me either. I knew that I was getting one because when you make your appointment to have your braces removed you also make an appointment for a few days later to have your removable retainer fitted. Sounds okay doesn’t it? Well – what I wasn’t aware of was that for the first two weeks after that fitting you have to wear your retainer 24/7. Yep – full-time for 2 weeks. I was also not aware that the thing feels more than a little peculiar and it takes a fair while to get used to it.
Now before I set you all off panicking please let me reassure you that you DO get used to it. Honestly. I thought I wouldn’t after the first few hours and was genuinely panicking (especially as I was due to go to a weekend singing workshop just 2 days after it was fitted and I thought I wouldn’t be able to sing without spitting over everyone and lisping like a snake). For the first 24 hours I was producing a lot of saliva (I know – eww right?!) but that was my mouth doing it’s natural thing and, sensing something in my mouth and assuming it was food producing stuff to break it down. I was very aware of the retainer in my mouth all the time and kept playing with it with my tongue. I was also told not to eat or drink with it in (apart from cold water) so I had to be prepared to carry my little dental kit with me including a box to put my retainer in when I wasn’t wearing it.
So – you’re producing enough saliva to drown a Russian Hamster, sissing and spitting, working your tongue round the thing, totally unable to eat and drink without having to sort out somewhere private to take it out, clean it and put it back in and you start thinking “do you know, I’d rather have the braces back on”! BUT then something happens….one day you realise that you haven’t thought about it for ages. Your mouth has gone back to normal spit wise, you’re not sissing or lisping and, actually, you’re just being a bit more mindful about when you eat and that’s not such a bad thing. Just like they promised at the Orthodontist you HAVE got used to it and it’s fine.
Now – I actually think the removable retainer is amazing – you can’t see that it’s there and it’s keeping your newly won straight teeth straight for you. Persevere and you will learn to embrace your retainer….eventually!
NB: Of course I’ve still got to go through the whole process again when the bottom braces come off so let’s see how charitable I feel towards a new removable retainer then! 😉