Adult Teething

Driving to work today I felt a little weird. Like I was missing something. It came to me after a few seconds of pondering: my teeth were missing their retainer.

I started wearing a retainer a couple months ago to keep my teeth from moving. I had another retainer many years ago, the result of many months of brace work during my high school years (tire tracks, as they call them) to straighten out my crooked teeth. Once I was free from the parental reins and set upon the freedom that is a college dorm I got sloppy, though. I was supposed to wear my retainer every night, a mere 8 hours a day (while unconscious, even!), to be effective. I’d forget one time, but get back on the horse. Then that day turned into a couple days, and then a week, and then a month, and then a year, and then years. After a significant drought I tried putting them back in. No go, bro. My teeth had changed enough that they were now useless.

Sometime after that realization my teeth would sporadically pain me for a day, which was a new sensation. Why? THEY WERE MOVING. They move all the time, really, but I was feeling them this time. The pain was never too bad, but it was a physical indication I could feel rather than just see (which was also an indication, actually, as my straight teeth were now not-as-straight). I had to go to my dentist and shell out several hundred dollars to get new retainers made. And so I did.

The first time I popped these new mouth manglers into my maw brought the nostalgia for sure. The pressure of something solidly grabbing your chompers and molding them into a consistent form touched on some neural pathways that hadn’t lit up in a long time. Taking them off the next day left my mouth sore. Months later, my mouth is still sore the morning after, but I’m used to it now. I’m so used to it that for an hour after removing them my mouth now feels a little weird to NOT have them on. Human adaptation right there, folks.

I now have Robyn to keep me in check and make sure I don’t forget to wear this set of retainers for years at a time, causing more sporadic teeth pain and necessitating another multi-hundred dollar purchase to make sure my incisors don’t incite a riot. So far, except for a few days here and there, I’ve done well and worn them with the discipline of a monk. I don’t like having to wear them because I’m not big on accessories, but it’s not too bad. Robyn has had to wear braces 24 HOURS A DAY, save for eating, so my moaning is relatively unjustified.

At least it’s not headgear (again), right?

2 thoughts on “Adult Teething

  1. More chompers need to be grabbed and molded.

    Also, I can hardly wait for April, when I can cut back to nighttime. It’s going to be SUPER AND MAGICAL.

    Also also, thank you for reminding me to make an ortho appt.

  2. If ever you asked me what specific pain can make me cry like a baby and moan like a woman giving birth, I would definitely, without any doubt, answer toothache. Having a toothache is one of the worst pains that you can experience in your life mostly because having one makes you feel very vulnerable and weak. Also, it was a bit hard for me to look for an appropriate pain relief method for it so I felt that I was really stuck in a rut! Toothaches are really the worst kind of pain that you would never wish on anyone!

    Just last week, I had experienced toothache once again. I felt that one of my teeth was swollen. When I had my mother check it – my mother is a certified dentist – she exclaimed that I am still in the process of teething! Imagine that, a 20-year old woman is right in the middle of teething! You can definitely think of this scenario: I was crying and my tooth was swollen. It was not one of my best moments.

    In my desperation, I immediately ingested some pain relievers such as Paracetamol. What can I say – I really wanted an immediate pain relief because I already took the half-day off from work so I had a pile of work that I needed to catch up on. After waiting for half an hour, I had great hope that the pain would go away. However, my hope was crushed because nothing changed. I decided to give it another chance so I waited for another 30 minutes but nothing significant really happened. My pain was still present and I was still behind my work schedule.

    Another pain relief method I did was using salt water as a mouth gargle. I was able to fill a cup with warm water and add one teaspoon of salt. I gargled and gargled until I could gargle no more. What I realized was as long as I am gargling, the pain seems to be alleviated, but when I am done gargling, the pain returns! I appreciated the pain relief but it was only temporary. I mean, I couldn’t gargle while working just so the pain will go away. I needed a permanent solution to this painful problem.

    My mother recommended a solution that I will forever be grateful to. Invest in a heating pad and the pain will say goodbye. We tried Helios Heater Heating Pads ( for my toothache. What I did was I just pressed the floating coin and it is already activated. I didn’t even need to use microwave or electricity – just activate it hassle-free! I was able to lay my head down on the heating pad and I felt the pain slowly fading into oblivion. Needless to say, I was able to complete my work and my mother was able to continue attending to her patients (She told me I was her most sensitive patient!). It was a win-win situation. Kudos to the Helios Heater team!

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