A bad impression

Last week I went back to the dentist to pick up my new bite guard. I was assured the appointment would only take a few minutes since all they needed to do was make sure it fit my mouth properly. So Jody and the kids tagged along since a) we want Ava to get more used to the dentist (apparently his hotness does nothing for a 3-year-old) and b) we wanted him to take a quick look at one of Julian’s front teeth that has a yellow spot on it.

I headed back into a room to wait for my bite guard. In the meantime, Jody and the kids went into a room across the hall so that Dr. Hottie could look at Julian’s tooth. Ava decided she wanted to come see what was going on with me, so I helped her up into a chair in my room as she quietly observed.

As soon as I put the bite guard into my mouth, I could tell it didn’t fit right and after inspecting it Hottie concurred. “We’ll have to take another impression,” he said. Crappity crap crap crap, I thought.

Impressions are one of the least desirable things to me in that a) they make me gag and b) they make me feel like I can’t breathe. A normal person would just breathe through their nose while their mouth is crammed full of “cherry-flavored” goo, but I am not normal. 😉 I am, as Jody so lovingly calls me, a mouth breather. It’s true. I think that somewhere in my childhood full of allergies and stuffed up noses, I stopped being an obligatory nose breather (because it was plugged up) and switched to being a mouth breather.

So there I sat, with Ava (who was already leery of the dentist) watching me, as well as Jody and Julian who were done in the other room, as I prepared to undergo another impression. I had to put on my happy face and pretend that impressions were da bomb. In other words, I need to be super brave mommy. Shit.

As soon as he put the impression tray into my mouth (the top teeth), I could feel the gunk oozing out the back towards my throat. I tried to remain calm, but it quickly began blocking my airway and (embarrassed as I am to admit this) I started to panic. I made a gagging noise and put my head forward a bit. Dr. Hottie Evil asked if I was OK and I realized at that point that I needed to start breathing through my nose STAT or I was going to have to rip the tray and goo out of my mouth so that I didn’t die as my children and husband looked on. I know that sounds melodramatic, but it’s seriously how I felt. What fun!

Note to self: never bring the family to the dentist when there’s even the remote chance that an impression might be needed.

I somehow muscled through the two minutes the crap was in my mouth and lived to tell about it. Ava didn’t appear to be scarred by my knee jerk reaction, though Jody gave me a bit of grief over it after the fact.

After Hottie pulled the impression out, he remarked “Wow, that was really far back there” (the goo in my throat). I wanted to say, “No shit, sherlock. Thanks for the newsflash,” but I just sat there quietly. “Where you starting to gag?” I wanted to yell, “No! I couldn’t f’ing breathe!” But I settled for a quiet, “Yes.” And he mumbled, “I’m sorry.”

I guess the lesson learned here is that if (God help me) I ever have to have an impression done again, I know to start breathing through my nose from the get-go. However, I’m crossing my fingers, praying and hoping that I’ll never have to have another impression again. I’ll find out next week when I go back to see if this new bite guard fits. Gulp. Think positive thoughts for me.

11 thoughts on “A bad impression”

  1. Good for you! That sounds HORRIBLE!
    Practicing yoga breathing may help you with the “through the nose” thing, if there’s any way you can breathe through it at all.

    When you breathe strongly through the nose the pituitary gland gets a massage, which influences about a zillion body functions and other glands/hormones. Ujjayi breathing also brings 20% more oxygen into the body, and helps to tone the diaphragm muscles.

    This PSA was brought to you by Friday! (and me) 🙂

  2. If you ask me, the nose breathing thing isn’t very helpful. I’ve had three impressions done (one of them was because of an improperly fitting retainer) and I just can’t handle it. The hygienist has to hold it in my mouth so that I can’t rip it out, and I just sit their gagging over and over again, eyes bulging, feeling like I’m being murdered.

    Last time, she pulled it out when it was done and asked if I was ok. I said, “Yeah, sorry, I’m fine!” And the orthodontist yelled over from where he was working on another patient, “You sure didn’t SOUND fine! Geez!”

    Yeah, thanks doc.

  3. Ish! I’ll keep my fingers crossed the next guard fits correctly! I too hate having teeth impressions and avoid them at all costs. I might have another coming though, as I have tried nearly everything else (minus surgery) for my TMJ problems!

  4. Ugh. Impressions are the worst. I worked at a dental office after high school and they made me do them. I could never get teh consistency just right and would always make my patients gag. I felt horrible about it.

    Just thinking about having one taken gives me a stomach ache@

  5. I too am a member of the mouth breathing brigade thanks to a deviated septum, severe allergies to air, I think, and growing up in a household of smokers. I HATE dental impressions – they made me gag so bad, and I don’t usually have problems with that at all. I dreaded that at the orthodontist. I have found since I had kids that if I use the breathing I learned for labor I can usually get through okay.

    I sure hope that guard fits.

  6. I can’t STAND impressions. I haven’t had one since I got braces like 15 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. That has to be the stuff that make Barbies out of. I don’t know what else to relate it to…. blech!

  7. You’ll be glad you have the nightguard in the long run. . .

    But isn’t it awful how we feel the need to apologize to docs and such? I mean, c’mon, there was nothing you needed to say sorry about–but when I’m in that sort of situation I apologize and feel like I’ve done something wrong.

    So much for believing in a consumer model of medical care, you know?

    (Okay, personal rant over. . .)

  8. The thought of you being suffocated by the impression junk made me sympathy gag for you. I also mouth breath.

    Sometimes I think my hottie dentist thinks I’m psycho, but then I relax my fists which makes him relax. Hells, I’ve only kicked a dentist once–and that wasn’t even him.

    Now, can we talk anesthetic? Because I have a extra set of nerves, so I’m never numb the first time they drill…now you know why I kicked.

    By the way, I am supposed to have a night-guard from my teeth grinding, but I refuse. Too much gagging at night and dreams of being suffocated by dental goo.

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