Do a google image search on "grill" and the first result is a picture of a guy with all kinds of metallic work done on his teeth. Some rappers these days even clad their teeth in gold with cut out designs or they afix gemstones to their teeth. it's pretty awful really, like the villain from, I think, "Moonraker". I guess the slang for this being "grill" is in reference to automobiles and their metallic work on the front. Here's an example of some this dental jewelry "courtesy" of the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Registration. NASTY stuff, if you ask me.
Until 5:45 yesterday afternoon, I had my own grillwork…braces.
My braces saga has been way too long and complicated. I had some crowding problems and a few teeth that over the years had started to rotate around. And my top two incisors were grinding together. I thought I'd better do something about my teeth before something permanent happened to damage them.
After my consultation with an orthodontist I decided to do it. And the orthodontist decided that Invisaligns would be just the ticket. Invisaligns are removeable sets of clear "trays" that you wear for a number of weeks and then move to a new pair. Each subsequent pair realigns your teeth a little bit more. They fit in well with my lifestyle as I did a lot of public speaking at that time. I could pop them out if I really needed to, and when they were in, they were practically undetectable. I had to get all my wisdom teeth pulled (two of them severely impacted) prior to getting those braces, but really, that wasn't as bad as I had heard it could be. Initially my ortho thought 16 to 18 months in them. When I started all this, I hadn't yet turned 38. My goal? Be done with the entire process by my 40th birthday.
I wasn't. By the time I celebrated my 40th birthday, I was in traditional braces, having failed Invisaligns. Not the Invisaligns fault, mind you. The doctor admits that he thought that they might not be able to correct the rotational problems I had. It was a bad call on his part. Had they worked, it would have been great. But instead, I had to be in braces for a short time… "You'll have to wear these braces for 6-8 months" I was told. A year came and went. And 'now' I am moving. He tells me he'll probably have them off before I move. He didn't. He then told me I'd have to come back once and then a second time, around the holidays, to get them off. The holidays came and went. Mind you, I am travelling back to California from Colorado for these appointments! And there seems to be no end in sight.
By now, I am 41 and a half. I am still in braces. I can no longer afford the time nor the expense of traveling out for regular orthodontic visits, and I am leaving on a 2+ month mission to trip to a place where there is not only no access to orthodontia, I'm not even sure how far away the nearest doctor is. Those babies needed to come off. And yesterday, sitting in that chair, when the orthodontist peered into my mouth, I thought I heard the angels sing when he said, "So, do you want these off today?"…
Paying for braces? Expensive.
Getting braces off? Painful.
Taking a good look at teeth I hadn't seen in a long time, now all straight and beautiful? Priceless!!
I was unable to get a good picture to show you my new smile, my new grill, but that's okay…I bet most of you never saw my old one!