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Tue, 02/16/2010 - 19:44 by Ananth in response to yuko's traumatizing dental misadventures 1

I ended up missing Katsucon for the first time in a couple of years because of the snow, which was a huge, depressing bummer. 

But I did get to swing by Raina's book release this weekend! Raina is the cartoonist behind Scholastic's Babysitter's Club comics. SMILE! is Raina's autobio comic about her dental saga against the backdrop of friendships and high school. We finally got to read a copy and it was a blast, and it got Yuko talking about her own dental woes, which we've rendered here in the first of two parts. This comic makes me wince every time I look at it. She still has that bag of nerves somewhere! 

Oh, the cat has a name! He's Rook. Thanks for all your suggestions, guys!

We have some new things coming in, including Basilisk tote bags! Pretty excited for these guys:

His days are pretty tough! All that sleep can tire a basilisk out. We'll keep you posted on the ETA of these guys.

By the way, any interest in doing an NYC reader meet-up? Dunno why I never asked before. 

I think that's it ... no originals this week, as our schedule is looking a little heavy. Have a great week, and we'll see you Thursday for the (presumably painful) conclusion to this dental saga. 


Never had one

Comment by Matt (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 03:58

Hmm...I have never had a root canal. Though I believe the closest experience I have had to that was the removal of one of my wisdom teeth. I was awake the whole time, with the Novocaine wearing out halfway through, meaning I got to feel the dentist cutting the gum around the tooth and then him yanking it out. Bleeding stopped about 10 minutes after the operation, but started again while I was asleep. Can still remember how scared mom was when she discovered blood all over my jaw, bedsheets, pillows, and wall (cause I toss around in my sleep).

I'll just go ahead and point

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 05:00

I'll just go ahead and point out the similarities between teen Yuko and Jade over at MS Paint Adventures.

And ouch, teeth problems. I've never had any myself (knock on wood), but I really don't want to find out what they're like.

Dental (mis)adventures

Comment by Cake (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 06:23

Yeah, I'm 22 and I'm still wearing a retainer (at night).

I worked out the other day that I've spent about 60% of my life under some form of orthodontic treatment *sigh*
Yuko's sounds pretty traumatising, though :\
If it's any consolation, you have a beautiful smile now, Yuko (from what I can see in the Mutagenics photos etc, anyway)


Comment by hillary (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 07:36



Comment by Gale (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 08:03

An NYC meetup would be rad! Astoria, represent!

...also, eurgh to crazy dental mishaps. D: I had a friend who was in orthodontia for seven years; the day he got them off was possibly the happiest (and most junk-food-filled) I'd ever seen him.

Owch >.<

Comment by KS Claw (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 08:14

Oh honey, I feel your pain. When I was 16 I had to get an infected molar fixed. It took them 3 months because I had a sucky school dentist and couldn't go anywhere else (it didn't help that they sucked with the anesthesia and that the drill slipped >-<)

once a dentist decided he

Comment by Vogerl (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 08:34

once a dentist decided he had to take out my wisdom teeth. he syringed badly, flesh wasn't numb, had a lot of pain. Puked on him out of revenge. also, pain. >_>

This is the scariest comic ever

Comment by Andrea (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 08:52

Dental comic is scary. :(

meetup idea

Comment by vitupera (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 09:31

A meetup would be awesome! I live in (ridiculously moribund-in-snow) Philly, so I hope you pick a nice, balmy weekend. ^_^;;

Oh man

Comment by Joe Fox (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 11:56

And here I thought my sister's dental problems were/are bad. She had braces for around 3 years, then had her wisdom teeth removed, but had to go back to get them removed again because they had somehow missed one or two of them. And now she's got like 50 cavities every time she comes home.

Also, curses for living in Pennsylvania - otherwise I would be all like "DUDES READER MEETUP YESSSSS".


Comment by Callmeshirlie (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 13:26

I thought I had it bad!
... I also thought that I had a mean dentist...
"It has to go!"

Teeth hate.

Comment by Cheri (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 14:26

Just 2 years ago I had to get a root canal done. For some reason, I did not feel the pain of the abscess until it was huge and settled into my jaw bone... not fun.
For awhile there was talk of surgery and actually removing the part of the infected jaw bone. Thankfully the antibiotics started working. Obviously I was very relieved.
Root Canal part 1 and 2 still stand as my most painful experience in life.


Comment by N (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 14:53

She still wears a retainer huh? So do I. I've had one since I was a kid, though the funny thing is me and my brother went through the same process with our teeth as kids, yet he winds up not having to wear it anymore while I'm stuck wearing the damn thing for the rest of my life probably...

Damn orthadontist's...I was crushed when they told me that. I was to sleep without something jammed in my mouth! (no "that's what she said," intended...)

Lurker surfacing!

Comment by Skie (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 18:00

Skie here, showing up for my THIRD (wait, why am I counting?!) comment ever. (I am far too much of a lurker).

To the naming of purr-cat as "Rook" I hereby proclaim "awesome!". There hasn't been a day in my life where there was not a cat in my home, so hearing good cat stories brings a smile to my face. (Most cats in my house at one time? Five! Holy crap--)

To the prospect of a NYC Meetup? 100% absolutely! I (harassed) replied to an earlier commentor from DC, but i'm technically from Vienna, VA. (Immediate access to DC via metro! Hurray!). The trip up to NYC is one I make often, and it'd be well worth it to drop in and (harass) meet up with you; and all others that show up.

And as for Yuko's dental experiences (part 1)... I shall use a comment reply below:

Dental Woes!

Comment by Skie (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 18:07

While I cannot say that the extremes of Yuko's experiences allow me to empathize, I can certainly say that the longevity of my experiences allow me to do so.
Age 9: First received braces on bottom row of teeth. Several teeth removed to "speed things up" with the last of my molars and other such teeth.
Age 10: Braces on ALL TEETH.
Ages 11-16: Dental procedures all focused on straightening teeth. Several experimental "gadgets" that often broke and injured my mouth/teeth/gums/tongue. (SPRINGS ARE BAD.)
Age 17: Braces finally removed. Bar for lower teeth installed to "maintain straightness". Retainer supplied (but I never wore it. Lucked out and my teeth stayed in place. WHEW.)
Age 21: Still have the stupid lower bar.

In the seven-ish years I had the braces, I had to have several of the brackets/bands removed to drill for cavities that those brackets/bands had created.

No root canals yet, but my dentist warned me that three of my rear molars had been worn away by the metal bands and there was a high chance that it could lead to all kinds of problems.
Thanks, braces! :'D

A third comment?!... Why!?

Comment by Skie (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 18:12

...though Yuko's woes are far worse than mine. Mine are definitely on the low end of the "terrifying dental experiences" spectrum because of the lack of horrible surgeries and procedures.
Mass hugs out to anyone who had un-fun mouth surgeries. ;_;

Braces are so awful!! I

Comment by ~L.K. (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 21:08

Braces are so awful!! I think a LOT of people got them when they weren't needed. A friend of mine was lucky and got the plastic invisible ones, which means that she never will have the same issues we all did.

I don't know of a kid who DIDN'T have them. I have this weird bumpy material on my teeth from braces--I'm guessing the cement they used. I gave my ortho so much pain. I'd chew gum and all those "not allowed foods", which would twist and warp my permanent retainer. My dentist doesn't think I need to get my wisdom teeth out--they don't hurt at all. I can feel them coming in, but it sort of itches. (I only have three. LOPSIDED.) My hygienist keeps telling me to set up a surgical appointment because they need to take them out 'now'.

When my step-brother got his wisdom teeth out, the dentist (or surgeon? Not sure what he's called) left a cotton ball in his jaw. It got infected, hurt a LOT, and they had to re-open him up to get out the cotton. D:


Comment by Skie (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 23:16

I thought I was alone in the stupid cement-stuff leftovers. It's TERRIBLE because I always think it's plaque or some other stuff on my teeth. They never feel "clean"!
As for those kids that didn't get braces? They were the bullies! It seemed like any kid without braces was a bully. Oh the terrible times in Middle school. =/

Oooouuuuchhhh. I lucked out with my Wisdom Teeth removal and had an excellent doctor and an excellent recovery (Wisdom Teeth out at 6am, Steak for dinner at 6pm! Zing!). ....But ANYTHING could have gone wrong. They offered Local Anisthetic (See, smell, and hear everything!), "Laughing Gas" (See but not believe everything!), or an I.V. (instant knockout!). I chose the I.V. and I don't regret it.

Orthodontists suck

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 19:56

I feel Yuko's pain. I was born with a mouth too small to accommodate all of my adult teeth. So my orthodontist put in a device called a palate expander. It's basically a plastic disk held up against the roof of my mouth by pieces of metal attached to my molars. Every night my mother would tighten it with a little "key" and it forcibly moved my jawbone into a wider position. It should be licensed as an official torture device.

After that, I had braces for three years, a FLEA device, lip bumper, top and bottom permanent retainers, several teeth pulled, emergency dental surgery to correct various cavities, rubber bands, and spacers.

BTW, what a great name for your cat! He's a cutie!

Augh, palate extender!

Comment by Razor (not verified) Fri, 02/19/2010 - 14:14

Sounds like the same thing--I had a coworker whose young daughter (about 9) had an appliance that had a key. I don't know how they got this child to agree to do this--my friend said they would tell her things like "okay we have to do five turns tonight" and the poor girl would cry when it got tight...Finally one night the cartilage split and then of course the pain was gone.

I listened to this in HORROR. It still makes the roof of my mouth ache just thinking about it. Who does this to a child??

My dentist decided it was a

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Wed, 02/17/2010 - 23:18

My dentist decided it was a good idea to pull 8 of my teethm so that lead to the wonderful series of rubber bands, herbst appliance, and braces lol
That herbst appliance was the worst though. It was supposed to allign my jaw but now my jaw likes to get stuck in place if I move it weird. Fun times brah

Reader Meetup

Comment by Lydia (not verified) Thu, 02/18/2010 - 00:42

I've been reading Johnny Wander for about a year now, and I just moved to Manhattan for college in September. :'D I'd love to attend a meetup, even though this is my first time posting here. XD; (I feel "just" "a little" "creepy" right now.)

OMG... sounds like me.

Comment by Manda (not verified) Thu, 02/18/2010 - 00:45

I feel your pain!

Pretty much everything that happened to you has happened to me. Except the cavity part. And They moved one of my teeth too fast so I'll probably have to get it replaced. Maybe that counts like a cavity.

Never fear Yuko, I had #2

Comment by Ichigoli (not verified) Thu, 02/18/2010 - 11:02

Never fear Yuko, I had #2 and #3 done too... You are not alone!

... I used to hide my gum in the top lip because no teacher ever asked to have that lifted when they did cum inspection in elementary school. I always got away with it... Candy too.


Comment by Tess (not verified) Thu, 02/18/2010 - 13:17

I had to miss Katsu as well because of the snow! Huge bummer :( Love the tote bag designs!

whee! dental stories =oD

Comment by Celynnen (not verified) Thu, 02/18/2010 - 13:18

I had braces for 8 years, retainers for an additional 4, and now have a permanent wire cemented to the inside of my bottom teeth; should've let the ortho do the top ones too, 'cause I stopped wearing my retainer when I went away to college and my upper teeth have totally shifted. Also, I've had 8 teeth pulled - 4 all at once - in addition to having my wisdom teeth removed; and one baby tooth that fused itself to my jaw (no permanent tooth grew in under it) that had to be capped 'cause it was so short. It's a good thing my dentist and ortho are such very nice people!

auuugh dental nightmares! my

Comment by Maggie (not verified) Thu, 02/18/2010 - 15:17

auuugh dental nightmares! my sister had ten simultaneous cavities at one point because her previous dentist didn't say anything to our parents about what was going on with her teeth, he just capped everything and let it be. not good!

and an nyc meet up would be awesome! i'd definitely try to make it to that.

auuugh dental nightmares! my

Comment by Maggie (not verified) Thu, 02/18/2010 - 15:17

auuugh dental nightmares! my sister had ten simultaneous cavities at one point because her previous dentist didn't say anything to our parents about what was going on with her teeth, he just capped everything and let it be. not good!

and an nyc meet up would be awesome! i'd definitely try to make it to that.

What! This is exactly the

Comment by Meeks (not verified) Fri, 04/23/2010 - 22:56

This is exactly the same as my dental history! Even the gum altering thing!

I, too, have dental horror

Comment by Kerensa (not verified) Mon, 05/31/2010 - 00:33

I, too, have dental horror stories. Except they all seem so small in comparison to my most recent.

Two bone grafts... one from a cadaver and one from my own jaw and then a dental implant. I've lost two teeth in this whole endeavor and I haven't had the second surgery of the three yet. :(

I've never had a root canal, but my oral surgeon says that my second surgery will make a root canal look like a prick. That kinda scares me...

Be glad you weren't me.

Comment by Grashbar (not verified) Tue, 08/17/2010 - 05:24

A year ago I tripped and hit my own knee with my jaw. A tooth got split straight in 2. Over the nerve even.

I'm 16 and I've been in

Comment by Alexis (not verified) Sat, 08/28/2010 - 22:14

I'm 16 and I've been in orthodontic gear since I was 5. nothing nearly as painful as yuko's experiences, but still. I GOT YOU BEAT.


Comment by TheNikus (not verified) Wed, 05/16/2012 - 07:00

Wow, I hadn't heard of tooth fusion or a muscle that connects the lip to the gums before reading this comic.

Thanks, Johnny Wander.