Tuesday, June 2, 2009


My dentist has spent the last two years gently urging me to get my wisdom teeth removed. This last week he moved from a gentle nudge to flat out saying I needed to make the appointment. I have 3 wisdom teeth. All three are turned sideways up against the sides of my molars and one just pushed through my gums.

I nutted up and called the oral surgeon's office to schedule the evaluation appointment. The lady gave me an appointment and asked me to fill out my patient information on their super handy look how new age we are online forms.

I poked around the site for a few minutes then landed myself into a panic attack over one single word.


That one word brought back a flood of 6 years worth of orthodontics all starting with the most horrific torture device ever forced on a kid. The Frankel II Appliance. It wasn't even called a retainer. It was an "appliance".


That fucking thing filled my entire mouth and puffed my cheeks and lips out. If I was feeling particularly self conscious I could squeeze hard and just barely get my lips to close. Unfortunately I spent a lot of time trying to keep my lips closed. Anytime I had to take it out to eat I could guarantee a wave of groans, ewwwwws and yucks.

I even had my very own special glass and box of Polident effervescent denture cleaning tablets. Oh how goddamn special I was.

I had trips once a month into the Orthodontics office to get it adjusted. That bad boy had screws in it that could be adjusted to put more pressure on my mouth to keep the teeth moving.

How bizarre does that sound? They moved bone around using pressure.

When I was finally released from the Frankel, I was put through several months of prepping for braces. Little rubber rings jammed between my teeth to try to make enough space for the braces.


Can't eat anything sticky or it will pull those lil bastards right out and you have to go through the process of getting them back in again.

Last but not least was a couple of years of braces with monthly adjustments on those too. Every adjustment was 3 days of pain. Aching deep in my teeth while my mouth got used to the new tension on the wire. I also cant forget the rubber bands attached to the braces that strapped my top teeth to my bottom teeth. Open your mouth too wide and *SNAP* right on the tender insides of your cheek.

I felt a little bit of a kinship with Jaws....


I spent so much time in the orthodontist's chair I should have had one all to myself. A little bronze name plate screwed into the back of the chair to let all of the other whiny crying kids that thought they had it rough with their little retainers that they had NOTHING on me.

I spent so much time there I can tell you the precise location of every single shaving nick on the Dr's face and that his breath ALWAYS smelled like coffee.

I'm an adult, I've quit growing, but I will also have this on the back of my bottom teeth. Forever and ever amen.


Obviously I would be WAY more unhappy if I didn't get that much money dumped into my mouth. I would have serious snaggletooth and probably not feel comfortable with full on open mouth laughing. And my parents would have driven MUCH nicer cars.



  1. I'm so glad you posted the last picture. As awful as it was, you really have the prettiest teeth I know of.

  2. I stumbled upon this while searching for pictures of a Frankel to show a little girl that she had no idea what it means to have a mouth full of metal. You have proven my point and also made terrible, terrible memories come flooding back. I feel your pain! Glad I stumbled upon your funny blog :]