Outfit: What To Wear To The Dentist

what to wear to the dentist

grey denim, olive utility jacket

Our “June Gloom” seems to be pretty entrenched at this point; mornings are cool and cloudy (light jacket and scarf weather), and if we’re lucky we’ll get some sunshine in the afternoon before the fog rolls back in again. As I previously mentioned, this little utility jacket has been getting quite a workout!

earrings | scarf (similar) | jacket (similar) | tee | jeans (similar) |
bracelet (similar) | bag | sandals

vintage medallion bracelet, insect print scarf
I had an early dentist appointment yesterday and planned to vote and run some errands afterward, so tossed on a no-brainer-but-presentable outfit. The scarf is over a decade old, and was an inexpensive impulse purchase that has more than earned its keep. I always get compliments on it, and I really like the feminine element it adds here to balance out the more masculine jacket.

I’ve had intermittent TMJ over the last few years and have been experiencing another flare-up the past few weeks. Sometimes my jawbone on the left side pops out of its socket when I chew or yawn and gets “locked,” and it can take a while to work it back into alignment. Annoying at best, painful at worst. My dentist has recommended that I wear a night guard (a small piece of plastic that slips over my teeth and helps my jaw stay relaxed and aligned while I sleep), so she took impressions to get one made. Fingers crossed it will help.

black leather block heel sandals
These sandals are comfortable enough for a day of dentist visits and errand running.

I’m now two weeks into my new routine, and am finding that I’m still plenty busy, more so that I’d like actually. Some of it is administrative stuff, meetings and paperwork associated with both jeune homme’s move and my employment change but I’m hopeful that should all settle down soon. I’ve had a backlog of projects (little things like getting pants hemmed, and unpacking boxes of personal items from my office) which will probably continue for a while. But I’m happy as a clam to not have to go sit in an office for 9 hours a day, and spend another hour in traffic getting to and from! One challenge has been keeping myself hydrated, so I’ve started keeping a 32 oz. jug of water nearby while I’m working at home, and keeping a bottle of water in the car. But self-employment is agreeing with me…I’ve managed to release a couple of pesky pounds that I acquired last year, and my blood pressure has dropped back down into the low/normal range.

How do you like to dress for a day of “getting stuff done?”

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  1. Ellen
    June 8, 2016 / 4:38 am

    My day to day outfits look pretty much exactly like what you are wearing, minus the scarf. I think the scarf is not a “summer look”…too much fabric and too fussy…and I wear them only when the temps are below 50 and seems functional. To each their own.

    ABout the TMJ. I had this problem years ago, and at one point surgery was suggested, although I didn’t do that and I am glad. What really helped, besides a cortisone shot ( a one time miracle in relieving the pain) was some exercises to relax the jaw. One is puffing out the cheeks several times (stretches the muscles a bit) and the other is putting the tip of my tongue lightly between my teeth as i read, watch tv, drive…when I think about it. It is another way to relax the jaw, and after awhile it became a habit. Its easy to do, and it helped me quite a lot.

  2. Anne
    June 8, 2016 / 4:48 am

    I hope your night guard helps your TMJ problem. Right now I just wear jeans and a t shirt. But I’m moving next week (from the country to a city) so I will need to start dressing better. Love your blog. Also love the fact that you include bigger sizes in your examples. Right now I’m a 14. Hoping to shed a few pounds also

  3. June 8, 2016 / 4:55 am

    I noticed the scarf right away! So cute.
    How in the world did you ever work nine hours a day, commute for two hours, take care of your family and your house, travel, and still have time and energy to write this terrific blog? Truly amazing. Congratulations and best wishes for this new phase of your life. I am certain it will be fulfilling and meaningful, and your many faithful readers will be among the beneficiaries.

  4. Judy W.
    June 8, 2016 / 5:01 am

    Sympathize with the TMJ issue. I resisted a night guard until I turned 60 and my teeth began to crack. So far no more TMJ issues, and it’s not at all bad to wear! Good luck with yours!

  5. nell
    June 8, 2016 / 5:09 am

    You look relaxed and sporty. I like your instinct of adding the feminine scarf to your outfit. And your bracelet– beautiful. Was noticing again how well your haircut suits you– it’s a great accessory too!

    I had dermatologist and shoe repair guy errands yesterday. Wore a typical errand outfit– rose colored jean jacket, a shirt with tiny, irregular rose, apricot and white print, short denim a-line skirt, white bead lariat necklace, snake-patterned flats. Have to wear flats due to current and past foot issues!

  6. elisabeth
    June 8, 2016 / 5:13 am

    I absolutely adore the title of today’s blog! And offer the very best wishes as you begin life as a fulltime blogger. Une Femme is one of my morning staples. And the night guard? – I slept better after I started wearing mine! Good luck.

  7. Margie in Toronto
    June 8, 2016 / 5:15 am

    I am actually having a similar day to you – took a personal day to get some appointments taken care of (including a trip to the dentist). After a number of hot, sticky days the weather has turned cooler today so it will be Jones NY jeans, a lovely shirt from Chaps, Navy Cardigan from Talbots with probably an LL Bean rain jacket in my tote! Sensible walking shoes and a cross body bag. And if it stays cool then a scarf will definitely be added.
    I had a very severe TMJ problem and the bite guard certainly helped but in the end I did need surgery – but I was lucky in that they were able to do it arthroscopically(?) so that my jaw did not need to be wired. I then had to wear braces (yes, in my 40’s) in order to line up my teeth with my new jaw position – BUT – it was worth it, No more locking, severe pain, head and/or neck pain. I hope that the bite guard helps a lot but don’t be afraid to consider surgery if recommended.

  8. June 8, 2016 / 5:42 am

    We did the EXACT same thing yesterday. Voted, then went to the dentist to get fitted for a night guard! However you were better dressed than I was….

  9. June 8, 2016 / 5:46 am

    It depends what has to get “done”. When I go to the Dermatologist for a skin check I make sure that I have a cute and pretty bra and panty set. I don’t want the doctor to think I’m a lazy slob in my old bra with stretched out straps or baggy granny panties–same goes for my OB/GYN. The dentist, I’ll wear an old shirt because I drool like a blood hound. For errand running–i.e. today, I’ll wear a navy long sleeved tee shirt (because it’s cool and gray) and my madras shorts I’ll wear my go-to old Bass Weejuns because they are comfortable.

  10. over 50 Hmm Hmm Hmmm
    June 8, 2016 / 5:52 am

    SHOES THAT SAVE THE DAY I have jsut discovered the value of comfortable shoes ! I was reticent to go down the Ecco type shoe road as there is a stigma attached to giving up Prada type shoes. I do not regret my attempt … I just cannot believe what a difference in energy and ‘allant’ it makes to really not think ‘ oh it is a mile away , I will walk!’. Please do a post on the topic!!!

  11. HopeSprings
    June 8, 2016 / 6:24 am

    I have a night guard and it’s really made my jaw feel better. I resisted it, too, but now I notice when I forget to put it in, my teeth and jaw hurt in the morning.

    You look perfect for errand running, and I find myself dressed in a similar manner now that I’ve “semi-retired”. I’m busier than ever, but over the past six months, I’ve become progressively happier and more relaxed. Good luck!

  12. Suzan
    June 8, 2016 / 6:42 am

    I had TMJ for a year before I finally took my dentist’s advice to follow a course of high dose Motrin (2 pills, 3 times a day). That got rid of the inflammation and my jaw finally relaxed and resumed it natural position. Also got a night guard.

  13. Sharon
    June 8, 2016 / 7:01 am

    I’ve worn a nightguard for years but for bruxism (teeth grinding- have cracked several molars and have two crowns as a result). I have a good deal of jaw pain but not exactly TMJ, more from the pressure due to clenching or grinding. Coincidentally, I saw my dentist yesterday as well and he was telling me of new research delving into the ‘why’ of teeth grinding/clenching and it is thought to be rooted in sleep apnea. I won’t try and make the scientific case here, but it made sense as I’ve slept poorly ever since going into menopause about 10 years ago. I have a horror of a cpap–but there are apparently new approaches to sleep apnea that offer some alternatives. This is a serious matter in that the lack of deep quality sleep prevents your body and brain from renourishment/replenishment overnight and can potentially lead to Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart failure among others. I have an appointment with a sleep medicine MD to follow up. Sorry to be so long, but this newer research impacts more than just the stereotypical overweight man and thought it might be of interest to anyone else with a jaw or teeth issue.

    • June 9, 2016 / 2:41 pm

      Yikes! I am a teeth grinder too who also has not slept well in years! Thanks for the info!

  14. Lesley
    June 8, 2016 / 7:23 am

    I love the butterfly scarves! So many comments here about the night guard – I’ll add mine too. :o) My issue isn’t TMJ, it’s clenching my teeth in my sleep. The night guard (I jokingly call it my pacifier) works beautifully, and I notice a difference when I am diligent to use it. My dentist also recommended getting regular massages to help loosen the muscles. The best “prescription”.

  15. June 8, 2016 / 7:44 am

    Yep…that is the errand uniform unless I’m really going casual and then crop leggings and Eileen Fisher tunic top of some sort. I’m wondering the brand of your jacket though I know it isn’t available. I don’t “do” breast pockets…not flattering on me so I like the zippers. I also like the sage blue cast to your jacket. By the way, I have all the colors of those EF sandals and wear them constantly….very comfy and getting softer all the time. Also bought all the EF Iris sandals as I alternate heel heights to keep my plantar fasciitis at bay!

  16. Gail Herson
    June 8, 2016 / 7:50 am

    Wonderful rehydration drink from AyurVeda natural lifestyle for wellbeing:
    One quart spring water, 10 peppermint leaves, juice of one half lime, pinch of Himalayan salt, you can blend or not, but drink throughout the daytime. It allows the water to be taken up by the body more effectively. Need more ideas? Devesi@me.com

  17. June 8, 2016 / 7:50 am

    Congratulations on your new “normal” I am so happy for you!! And thank you for your blog, I love it –

  18. Jojo
    June 8, 2016 / 8:48 am

    I left my corporate life 10 months ago and have never looked back. It took me about 6 months to settle into my new normal, which includes some consulting, fitness, cooking, and lots of reading in coffee shops. I’m glad I decided to consult as I found I enjoy a little structure In my life – at least for now. I dress similarly to you – sloppy just isn’t in my DNA. Enjoy the possibilities! And thank you so much for your wonderful blog and insights.

  19. June 8, 2016 / 9:24 am

    I’ve worn a night guard since I was 18. Despite that I have managed to wear down my teeth so they are completely flat. Normally I need my night guard replaced every 1-2 years as I grind holes in it. Apparently I’m very angry when I sleep?

    I hope your night guard does the trick for you!


  20. June 8, 2016 / 9:28 am

    My daily outfit is similar to yours. Good luck with the night guard. Mine keeps me awake :-O!

  21. June 8, 2016 / 10:13 am

    Well, totally thanks to you, I have been on the lookout for a utility jacket. And found one while out your way, in the Levi store in Santa Monica! Here is the link: http://www.levi.com/US/en_US/womens-clothing-jackets-vests/p/158370006 However, mine, the exact same one, was marked at $69.00!!!! So I bought it and just love it. I am NOT a jacket person at all, but after reading your post a while ago, I really wanted to try one. This one is perfect, esp. as it the length is a bit longer. Plan to wear to France in October for our 3 week stay. So,,,,,many thanks!

  22. susan maness
    June 8, 2016 / 10:34 am

    The mouth guard for TMJ should help relieve the pain. It does take a bit of getting used to – my orthodontist recommended building up use time, and it made the transition easier. I wear a top and bottom total fitted piece, my husband wears just the lower, both for TMJ. We both have been wearing them for over 25yrs. Getting rid of that pain will really change your life. Thanks for the wonderful outfits/travel/life posts.

  23. Kathleen
    June 8, 2016 / 10:38 am

    Living in a very casual SoCal, artsy small town, I dress down a bit from your lovely look, but still like to feel put together: wide or narrow ankle linen pants, striped or solid knit top, simple lariat necklace, earrings, Birkies, and a slouchy cardigan if it’s cool. And always, red lipstick 😉 Enjoy the June gloom!!

  24. Letisha
    June 8, 2016 / 2:26 pm

    I just bought my first olive green over shirt thanks to your blog! I resisted the pale blue one which would have been my pick before watching you~ I got a compliment from my picky 22yr old daughter who is a jeweler~ Not too shabby!!!

    Chiming in on the TMJ. So sorry, that is painful and scary. I used the mouth guard and that helped. A funny thing, though, a friend told me to give myself the mental suggestion to sleep and while at rest to place my tongue on the roof of my mouth. 23 years later, I am still doing it! No TMJ!

    Thanks for keeping it real~

  25. Susan Gibbs
    June 8, 2016 / 2:37 pm

    Love your blog. I am a dentist ( in Australia) with a special interest in TMJ problems. It’s probably too late as it sounds like you’ve committed to the night guard but I’d recommend a sleep screening to rule out sleep apnoea or upper airway resistance. These are common causes of TMJ pain, headaches , poor sleep. Then you can be fitted with an appropriate appliance. Two pieces one upper one lower that prevents the lower jaw dropping back at night. A single arch appliance doesn’t do this. Anyway I’d suggest you look up a LVI trained dentist in your area if you don’t have success. A single arch appliance just prevents wear on your teeth but is not guaranteed to ” stop the clenching and grinding”. You may be lucky. Anyway good luck and love your posts. Susan

  26. June 8, 2016 / 5:41 pm

    Yesterday was my big errand day where I help someone who needs a ride get all her “payday errands” done. My uniform of the day was based on my black skinny jeans & ankle boots, which are so, so comfortable. Then a black long sleeved tee shirt, with a patterned short sleeved tee shirt over it that looked dressiier. Some pretty earrings to enhance my short hairstyle, a little makeup, and I was good to go. I carried my khaki colored military jacket in my tote, in case it rained.

  27. citizen spot
    June 8, 2016 / 7:43 pm

    Ha! I went to the dentist and then to the voting booth yesterday too!! Not able to calculate my droolage coefficient, I chose a dark t-shirt for the dentist, then popped home to change to a polo shirt for voting and then work.

  28. June 9, 2016 / 4:58 pm

    I am so thankful for this thread. I too have been resisting my dentist’s night guard recommendation ( to prevent grinding which results in inflamed gums and erratic jaw movement). Didn’t realise so many have these jaw issues. Seems the guard works so maybe I’ll give it a go. Thanks for opening up this thread. Hope yours solves your jaw problems.
    P.s I have to visit the hygienist quite regularly – I wear a big smile so that she will like me and be gentle with me!

  29. June 13, 2016 / 8:05 am

    About 20 years ago my jaw got locked in place too. I think it was over stress over a major performance I was preparing for. I used a night guard too, and it eventually went away. I haven’t ever used it again. I love your outfit, especially the scarf!

  30. Carol Granger
    February 17, 2017 / 12:51 pm

    I have admired your Army jacket often and decided to start searching for one I thought I would like. J. Crew came to my rescue and my order arrived a couple of days ago. I’m in love with this jacket! The sizing is perfect (even though I am busty) and doesn’t overpower my short stature! Tried the jacket with several outfits and it goes well with slacks as well as jeans. This will be my light weight travel jacket from now on. Thank you for show casing your jacket until I finally broke down and purchased one!

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