One of the recurring nightmares I’ve had pretty much my entire life is that my teeth are shifting, breaking, or falling out. I’m not sure what gives me this much subconscious anxiety about my teeth. Perhaps it’s because I’ve had two oral surgeries, two coats of braces, and two different sets of retainers in my life. Perhaps it’s because my mom constantly told me how grateful I should be to have had the privilege of having dental care at all growing up since she came from Vietnam to this country with teeth so rotten that every single one of them needed to be pulled out and replaced with fake implants. Or perhaps this is just my internalized anxiety about life, just culminating into terrorizing dreams about my teeth being destroyed?
I’ve been grinding my teeth during the night ever since high school. I can’t really control what I do with my teeth when I am sleeping, so I wasn’t even really aware of it until multiple dentists called it out, not to mention I started developing sensitivities everywhere in my mouth. And stupidly, it wasn’t until maybe six years ago when I finally started wearing a mouth guard at night to prevent grinding during my sleep. But the problem with wearing a mouth guard (which goes on my upper set of teeth) at night is that this prevents me from wearing my top retainer, which then means… uh oh. My top teeth are more likely to shift.
I’ve tended to neglect my retainer in favor of my mouth guard, and when I looked in the mirror this morning, I was annoyed to see that in reality, one of my top front teeth appears to have shifted, and this teeny tiny gap has formed between two of my teeth. I immediately felt frustrated and realized I need to start wearing my top retainer more. I popped it in, and felt right away that it felt snug and tight in that area of my mouth.
Need to wear retainer to retain smile. No more teeth shifting. No more braces. No more retainers made for me. Need to wear retainer to retain smile. Need to wear retainer to be grateful to my mom for providing me dental care until age 22. Need to wear retainer.