My new bedtime buddy

Are there any other teeth grinders or clenchers out there?

I never used to be one, but guess what?   Now I am … and I’ve got the equipment to prove it.

toothTo tell the truth, I think my nighttime teeth-clenching has been going on for a while.  It was only last month that I finally remembered to ask my dentist about it.  He looked into my mouth, shone his light here and there, and promptly recommended getting a nightguard.

Now I am the proud owner of a large piece of clear plastic, specially molded to fit over my top teeth.  It gives my teeth a weird warped appearance, makes my upper lip protrude disconcertingly, and gives me a significant speech impediment.  It is officially the least attractive thing I have ever worn to bed, as well as the most expensive.  I would have balked at paying for it, but then the dentist turned on his  little light and showed me the large vertical fractures in my two front teeth, and let me tell you, I couldn’t fork over the money fast enough.   I had images of my teeth getting more and more weak from the pressure until they finally broke, fell out of my mouth, and landed tinkle tinkle on the ground, like in the cartoons.  My dentist assured me that that would not happen.   I think I believe him.

Anyhow, it took me a night or two to get used to my new bedtime accessory, but now I am totally in the nightguard zone.  It actually feels a bit comforting to wear it.  During the day, I slip it into its little case, like a retainer for a high school student.  It all feels very adolescent, in some strange, time-bendy way.  At the same time, though, I’m wearing it because of adult-sized stress, stress that was literally wearing me away.  Sigh.

But you know what?  I like to find gratitude where I can.  Ugly as this new bedtime buddy is, I’m glad it’s there.

And if my teeth could talk, I know they’d agree.

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