Saturday, November 19, 2011

9 months - Update

Went to my ortho appt about a week and a half ago...

Now it is time to stabilize my teeth... I still have regular ligatures on the bottom and a chain on top...
The only difference in the chain on top is more spread apart than my first chain...

First chain: O-O-O
Current chain: o--o--o

Let me just say the first chain sucked!!!! Major pain, but this one is great! My gap is still closed.

I am not 100% happy with where my teeth are and Dr. Black says I am probably finished in about 3 months....

I think some more movement is needed. Yes they look so much better than they were but not perfect. And I know when they reshape some of my teeth it will help... But still.

After I am out, I will be getting an essix retainer on top and a permanent on bottom which goes behind my teeth.

Sorry for the quality of the picture.... Bit here is an update.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chains off.... Wrong choice!!!

I had my appointment today and let me just say I am thoroughly pissed off!!!

First I got my teeth cleaned... Which I love!!! But then I only got to see Dr. Black for maybe 2 minutes. He decided to remove my upper chain because my gap closed. Well, needless to say... My gap is already back!!! So tomorrow after work I am going back to put my upper chains put back on. That just pissed me off. Not the fact I am getting chains again... But they should have known that would happen. I knew it would. It feels like a whole month of progress and pain was for nothing!!!

I just hope for maybe one appointment I can talk to my ortho about my concerns!!!! I paid for full ortho and perfect teeth!!!!! Not close enough!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Upper Chains!!!!

Wednesday: 9/7/11

Had my 7 month adjustment this afternoon!!! They put Power Chains on my uppers to finish up closing gaps and put the finishing touches to my teeth. They were a lil sore during applying as they are TIGHT!!! But, they don't hurt as bad as the first day of braces.

On my lowers... No more wire ligatures!!!! Just normal ligatures. They replaced no. 26 bracket which was bent and all is good!

Will update y'all more later after the pain really sets in... It is here now, but I have a feeling that my mouth will ache bad tomorrow morning!!!

Sorry to cut it short, but we gave wildfires less than 12 miles away, so my mind is quite preoccupied!!! God bless all the fire victims! The fire has destroyed my moms old neighborhood!

Sunday: 9/18/11

Update on chains.... First off.... Holy hell!!!! The pain from the chains intensified so much during the first week! All my upper teeth loosened up and still almost two weeks later are not tight again. But, thankfully the pain has subsided now. The pain was so extreme that Dr. Black almost removed the chains. But wow, my teeth have moved so much already! The gap is closed already and now my arch wire is poking me in the back due to all the movement.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:13th St,Hempstead,United States

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Paperclips and Braces

Yeah, you read this title right.... I am blogging about paperclips and braces. Now normally I would not write about something I just saw... no, I write about something so strange to me that I experienced, yes, experienced.

Paperclips and Braces??? Oh Jeannie, what did you do??? LOL

Okay, I was on my lunch break at work and just finished munching on some fresh carrots. Well, I had one pesky piece stuck in the back of my braces. I dug through my mess of a purse to find nothing.... no plastic toothpick or anything. Guess that is what I get for constantly switching purses. Anyway, I decided to use a small paperclip to remove the unsightly orange mess from under my wire.
I bent the clip and inserted between the wire and immediately noticed the most awful taste ever and it just felt strange. It felt like I just sucked on a 9 volt battery!

Curious (call me George today), I cringed through the taste, removed the carrot, and decided to experiment a little bit. First I removed the clip from my mouth and licked my braces.... Nothing. Then I touched the paperclip to my tongue.... again, nothing. Then I put the paperclip against the brackets and BAMMMM! Metallic Taste.

I went home and decided to find the bottom of this... and performed and infamous Google Search on Paperclips and Braces. First off, I am happy to say I am NOT the first person to experience this with paperclips.... Whew! I felt a silly for a second. So here is what I found...

"Two different metals and a electrolyte (your spit) makes a electrolytic cell -a battery."

So now I wonder.... if I put a light bulb in my mouth with the paperclip.... will it light up? Hmmmm...... Unfortunately, I am not going to try it, for fear of who knows what. But if any other crazy people do... let me know the outcome. LOL

Moral to this story: Paperclips + Braces = Battery.

Also, just so you know, Slimfast cans have a similar, but less of a reaction.

Happy Bracing Everyone!

Month 6 - Stubborn Tooth delays Progress

I know I said my next appointment would be August 9th, but I had it moved to this past Thursday afternoon... so let me take the oppurtunity to update you on my so called progress.
Well, my appointment was pretty much the usual.... Shelly removed the old bands and also removed the wire ties from the 2 teeth that had them. Then, she had some difficulty removing my arch wire, since one of my brackets need replaced... but Dr. Black said they will replace it at my next appointment.
Anyway, my daughter chose my band colors this week.... a very bright and bold pink and alternating colors with a torquoise color on every other tooth. Dr. Black then replaced my wire tie on one of my teeth... I thought he doubled it, but Shelly said it appears only one tie was put on. I thought he was gonna pull my tooth out with all that pressure he was using to get that wire tie on. That was pretty painful! He couldn't apply the wire tie on the bracket that was messed up, so he had Shelly put a plain rubber band instead of wire.
All my teeth on my top are inline per Dr. Black. They don't appear to be unless you look from the underside, due to the gaps. My bottom teeth are inline, except for those 2 stubborn teeth, which I may have to get a rotating wedge applied at my next appt.
Once all my teeth are straight, then the chains! But I got to get those 2 teeth inlign. I now have size 18 wires on both top and bottom...
Excited for my progress and ready for them to be Beautiful! <3

Thursday, July 28, 2011

5 1/2 Months - Uppers Ache

I know I said I would not post, except monthly, but I felt I would share my annoyances right now. My uppers, especially the front four teeth, are aching, similar to the way they did when I originally got my braces over 5 months ago. I haven't really had any pain up until recently. I wonder if my teeth hurt due to clenching recently. I have noticed that my TMJ has once again been acting up, and I have been clenching my jaw more, which temporarily relieves the pain of the TMJ, but I know in the long run, it is actually worsening my TMJ.  About a week ago, my right jaw felt like it was "catching" and sure enough, it locked up, but I was able to release it, unlike the last time it locked up. The last time it locked, was Sept. 2009, and it locked up immediately following my wisdom teeth removal surgery. My jaw was locked shut for about 6 weeks! I guess it is better to be locked in the closed position, than in the open position.
Well... my next appointment is scheduled for Aug. 9th, so see ya then!
My apologies for the quality of the photos... downloaded the blogger app on my droid, and not impressed with the pictures.... but atleast it is easier to post on the go!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Teeth in Numbers

 Below is how your dentist may refer to your teeth when speaking of treatment with the dental assistant. 

Orientation of the Universal tooth numbering chart is traditionally "patient's view", i.e. patient's right corresponds to tooth chart's right side. The designations "left" and "right" on the chart correspond to the patient's left and right, respectively

Here is an example of a typical tooth numbering diagram and a "legend" with detailed information on how my teeth have been affected, hence the name... "My Teeth in Numbers"

1. 3rd Molar (wisdom tooth) – surgically removed in Sept. 2009.
2. 2nd Molar
– white fillings in early 2002.
3. 1st Molar
– white fillings in early 2002.
4. 2nd Bicuspid
5. 1st Bicuspid
6. Cuspid (canine/eye tooth)
7. Lateral incisor
8. Central incisor
9. Central incisor
10. Lateral incisor
11. Cuspid (canine/eye tooth)
12. 1st Bicuspid
13. 2nd Bicuspid
14. 1st Molar
– white fillings in early 2002.
15. 2nd Molar
– white fillings in early 2002.
16. 3rd Molar (wisdom tooth)
– surgically removed in Sept. 2009.
17. 3rd Molar (wisdom tooth)
– surgically removed in Sept. 2009.
18. 2nd Molar
– white fillings in early 2002.
19. 1st Molar
– tooth pulled in Nov. 1999
20. 2nd Bicuspid
21. 1st Bicuspid
22. Cuspid (canine/eye tooth)
23. Lateral incisor
24. Central incisor
25. Central incisor
26. Lateral incisor
27. Cuspid (canine/eye tooth)
28. 1st Bicuspid
29. 2nd Bicuspid
30. 1st Molar
– white fillings in early 2002 and Feb. 2011
31. 2nd Molar
– white fillings in early 2002.
32. 3rd Molar (wisdom tooth)
surgically removed in Sept. 2009.

Month 5 - Power Chains put on hold

This morning was the 5 month adjustment.  I was excited for this appointment since Dr. Black and Shelly have been discussing power chains for a couple of appointments already. 

1. The dental assistant (Shelly) had Dr. Black (my orthodontist) review my teeth with the usual "open/close/open/close..."  Once he reveiwed my teeth, he noted that my arch is looking very good and he is so proud of the progress my teeth are making. 

2. Dr. Black asked where it seemed my teeth were hitting when I bit down.  He noticed that my teeth were hitting in the back, not allowing my molars toward the front to touch properly.  He used this fancy paper and had me bite down on it several times.  This paper leaves a red mark on where my teeth are hitting, so he could "sand" them down with his hi-speed dental tool.  Once they sanded down the trouble spots, he had me bite down on that fancy paper some more.  I can actually bite down on I would say 90% of my right molars and 10% on my left molars.  I wonder if he is going to correct this in the near future of my treatment?  Hmmmm......

3. Once my bite was improved, he went back and forth in his mind on rather to move me up to the next wire (18) or leave me in the current wires (16).  He informed Shelly that he would like to apply chains to my teeth when I move up to the 18 wire, but would like to leave me in the 16 for now, and continue the wire ligatures on my two stubborn bottom teeth, since he felt they could move a little bit more.  He also checked my records to see how long I have had wire ligatures on those two teeth.  It appears going a weekend with a broken ligature wire in early June really affected my tooth progress. 

4. Shelly removed my wire ligatures and replaced them with new ligature wires on teeth # 23 and # 26*
She then replaced all the rubber ligatures on the remaining brackets with the same color I had (silver).  I really liked the silver and the bands appeared to be stronger than the colored bands, which broke more often and seemed to be stretched way past their elasticity... creating less movement in the 4 week time frames.

*Note: The blog post on teeth numbers, including an illustrated diagram is available under the posting "My Teeth in Numbers"

My next appointment is on August 9, 2011... where hopefully I will finally be moved into my next wire and also should have my upper and lower power chains.  Stay Tuned!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Month 4 - Wire Tie Delayed Progress :(

So, I have had my braces on for over 4 months now.... working on 5 months.  Boy have things changed alot since these metal wires were attached to my teeth in February.  First off, I would like to apologize for the lack of updates, as I have been busy with the kids getting out of school, the death of Jess's grandparents, and just alot of other things occupying my time.

I still have wire ligatures on two of my bottom teeth and regular elastic ligatures on the others.  I went in for an adjustment last week, and they had to hold off on putting on power chains on top and bottom, since one of my teeth moved back to the pre-braces position, after the wire ligature broke.  The dentist told me that there was a high chance of it breaking, since he had to tighten it down more than he normally would, and it put a weak spot in the wire... sure enough, it broke almost a week before my adjustment, but completely fell off the day before my appointment.  FYI: breaking a wire ligature even hours before an appointment can set you back by months on treatment.  But, my dentist was not open when mine broke, so I had no other options.

This time, Dr. Black had Shelly change the bands and put new wire ties on me... they are hoping I will be moved into Power Chains on my next appointment, which will be around my 5 month mark.  I am really excited for the Power Chains, since it would close two gaps that are forming on the top teeth. 

Unfortunately, I have no interesting news on the teeth right now.... I forget they are actually there, except when I am trying to eat certain foods and they remind me that they are in fact there. 

Stay Tuned for more updates.... instead of weekly updates, I am going to start monthly updates (depending on my schedule), since not much goes on.

This was taken at the Astros Game of me and Jess. Check out that smile on me!!! Looking much better already

Monday, May 2, 2011

Week 12 - Tootsie Rolls are a No No!

Tuesday, I was officially 12 weeks braced.  I was very excited about my adjustment appointment, so that I could discuss some concerns with my dentist.  I thought I would take this time to review my adjustment appointment in detail.

12 Week Adjustment:
Shelly, the dental assistant, called me back almost immediately to the room.  She asked how everything was going and how my mouth was doing.  I told her I was extremely excited about the dramatic changes on my lowers, however, I felt that my uppers are only moving side to side.  I also explained how I really dislike the huge gap it has created on my uppers, as it makes it where I do not want to smile.

She asked Dr. Black to come in to review my teeth, and brought back with her my molds from my records appointment, to show me how much they have changed. ( I actually liked that they included the molds, as it was helpful in seeing the changes. )  Next, Dr. Black reviewed my bite and discussed with Shelly the previous adjustment, in order to make a decision on the next step in my dental plan. 

Dr. Black instructed Shelly to leave the current wires on both upper and lowers.  My uppers had a new wire placed 6 weeks ago at the last adjustment.  My lowers still have the same wire from when they placed the braces on my teeth.  They replaced all the rubber bands on each bracket and replaced one of the two wire ties on my lowers. 
Dr. Black then checked my bite and noticed that I have a class II occlusion (slight over bite).  He also discussed power chains for in the near future.

Now that the adjustment is completed, my teeth are a little sore, but nothing like when I first got braces.  Just the replacement of the bands create slight soreness, since my last bands were extremely worn. This was most noticeable at Easter, when I attempted to eat a no-no... tootsie rolls... and had to have Jess play dentist, when I slipped off one of the ligatures and had the wire move to the top of my bracket. Jess removed the band and reset the wire into the proper position on the bracket and reapplied the worn ligature.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Week 11 - Braces like a car??? Hmmm.... (metaphor of course)

11 Weeks into Braces!!!
Well, Week 11 is about here... and everything has been going good with the braces.  The dramatic changes, especially on the bottom just amazes me.  Oh yeah... check out those teeth!!!  My teeth are finally starting to look like teeth with braces... since braces always look better once the teeth start to straighten out.  Check out the progress in my pics to the left!!!  So Happy!!!

Braces - 11 weeks ago!!!
My bottom teeth have stopped hurting thankfully.  My top teeth have not hurt at all since my last adjustment, where they put a thicker wire on top... but last night they started to bother me.  It is not severe pain, and I can still eat no problem... they are just sore. I figure the teeth are shifting and they are to the point where they are shifting enough that my mouth does not like it.  But my mouth is just going to have to get over it... because I am loving the changes!!! 

I feel goofy when I smile for pictures though... it is like, my mouth conforms around the braces differently, so my smile is retarded if you ask me.  But I am hoping that will all change soon.  :)  I am really looking forward to about 1-1/2 weeks, when I go back for my next adjustment.  They wanted to see me next week, but since my dentist is taking off for Easter, I have to wait 6 weeks in between, instead of the 5 they wanted. 

Anyway, last night, while laying in the bed with about 4 sore teeth, I started wondering if this blog was as wonderful as it sounded in the beginning.Who really cares about the transformation of my teeth, right?  But then I thought, you know what... I really don't care if some don't like it... my goal is to help others by sharing my experience, because I know I was nervous but excited to get mine... and I still read blogs and updates from complete strangers, to see "is this normal?" or "are my teeth shifting fast enough?", and etc.  So, if I end up only helping one person in my experience of blogging about my "Wired Smile"... well, that is one person I managed to help or one person that maybe feels they are not alone in this. 
Before I go, I wanted to touch base again on oral hygeine.  I must admit, when I first got my braces on... I was gung-ho on keeping my smile pretty and brushing so much... that I am sure I was over brushing.  I look at it like getting a new car.... when you first get a new car you wash the car constantly.... wipe away smudge marks, check for dings and scratches from those damn buggies at the parking lot, armor-all the crap out of the inside, vacuum the interior, and even douse the car in new car and leather scents to keep it looking and smelling great.  That is kinda how I treated my braces.  Now that I am a little further into them... I have died down on the excessive cleaning.  I still brush my teeth at a minimum twice a day, still floss at night, use my water pik, and try to keep them looking great, but not obsessing like I did before.  So, I guess the moral of the story is... you know how your car still runs great and looks great, even if you miss an armor-all session or a vacuum???  Braces are kinda the same.  They still are great, as long as you keep up with your scheduled maintenance.  Think of brushing your teeth like having to fill up your car twice a day (just thankfully not as expensive as gas... just time consuming!), flossing as cleaning out the trash from your floor board, and going to the dentist as your oil changes which come every so many miles.  :)  

*Tip of Advice: Get yourself a good Sonic Toothbrush with Braces and buy extra heads... as you will go through them fast.  I personally use Sonicare Healthy White.... and I really like it.  As for flossing, I really find it easy to use Crest Glide Threader Floss... just sit infront of the TV and floss, in 5 to 10 minutes... you are done... and they come in individual packets... which makes taking them on the go a breeze!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week 10 - Hate this Gap!

Well, in 2 days I will officially hit 10 weeks since my braces were applied. Wow, how time flies by. It amazes me how much my teeth have already shifted... especially the bottom teeth. I really don't have much to say about how my teeth are doing, mainly because I have gotten so used to them that I actually forget they are there. Well, except when those wire ties poke me, which they occasionally do.

There is one thing that is driving me nuts though.... on my top teeth, I have noticed a large gap is creating. Last night, I showed my really good friend, Shelly, who happens to also be my dental assistant. She said, it is normal since I have such narrow teeth, and they will apply a power chain once my top teeth get straighter, which will close the gaps. What a relief.

One interesting thing is how often people like to point out my braces... but it doesn't bother me. 2 weeks ago, Jess and I went to a new tattoo shop to get his flames on his wrist fixed, and I got 2 new tats. Anyway, the guy at the desk mentioned how he wished I could meet his son, since he is also new to braces and he hates them. He said his son hates them so much, that his son actually got pink bands just to make his braces funny.

I thought I would post a before and after of my progress so far, since I am so proud of the progress I have made!

 10 Week Update

Weeks 5 & 6 - Hello Wire Ties!

Week 5 really is great. No pain at all. The only thing I notice is a wire poking me in the back. There is a bracket driving me bananas though... it is one that I kept hitting with my teeth when I bite down, so Dr. Black had to shave down the bracket a little. Well, it was enough to not allow  the band to  stay hooked, so that wire moves alot in the buccal tube. Because of this, I cannot eat well on that side.

Week 6 means adjustment! They put a new wire on top, replaced the bracket that I mentioned earlier, and kept the same wire on bottom... but they added 2 wire ties on 2 of my bottom teeth. These replace the colored bands on those specific brackets. They did this in order to rotate those teeth. I was not fond of the pain associated with it, but it wasn't bad. 

My teeth did hurt for about 3 to 5 days, mainly the front bottom teeth thanks to those wire ties. I was happy to replace the bands too! My daughter went with me, since she was not allowed at school that day and was treated for the L word.... yep... Lice. Anyway, I picked pink bands on top and Kayleigh picked Purple  for the bottom. I like incorporating her in this experience... plus she thinks I am cool for wearing funky colors as a mom. I must say, the actual adjustment itself wasn't bad at all... only pain were those wire ties from the pressure.

That is about it for now! Stick around for more updates, pictures of progress, and new experiences I discover!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Weeks 3 & 4 - Crest Chemical Burn???

I would say week 3 is AWESOME... but I would be lying.  The braces and my teeth are great... but I am having other issues with my mouth now.  Let me fill ya in on this lil dilemma...

I decided to really push my oral heath into high gear and use this time as a perfect opportunity to teach my daughter oral health basics, which she lacks.  Our adventure started at our local Wal-Mart (which is not a supercenter like most... we are still working with old school Wal-Mart). Anyway... Kayleigh and I spent several minutes down the toothpaste aisle looking for children's flossers, her and the boys new spin brushes, new toothpaste for both her and the kids, more mouthwash, etc...  I have used Crest Pro-Health before with no issues... and I decided to pick up Crest Pro-Health Clinical Gum Protection for myself.  I really wanted to make sure I was taking care of my gums and teeth.  Afterall, I did just drop 4 grand on these puppies in my mouth... better take care of the teeth, so I do not throw my hard earned money down the drain. 

Fast Forward through the weekend... I used the new toothpaste and noticed it did sting and burn when I used it... but I figured... it may just be I am not used to the power in it... plus my new sonicare toothbrush finally came off the easy start mode, so it was at full power as well.  Even when I used my mouthwash, it was burning... and this was not changed from the type I just ran out of.  Even though I was experiencing these issues... I kept on using it.

Fast Forward to Monday Morning.... I wake up in the morning, and notice my lips are swollen.  Now, for those who know me... I have naturally larger lips...good kissers ;)  ... but these lips were alot bigger and my bottom lip on the inside was hurting, like my braces cut the hell out of it.  I brushed my teeth in the morning, like always, got dressed and did my face for work... and headed into work.  By the time I got to work my lips were extremely swollen and very painful.  WTF!!!  I started to think that maybe it was the toothpaste causing this.  The next day (Tuesday) was my 3 week check up.  I decided NOT to use the horrible toothpaste Monday night or Tuesday morning, because my mouth was in sooo much pain.  When I went in for my appointment, the dentist points out that yes... I have a chemical burn on my lips from my toothpaste.  A Chemical Burn?  Why is this toothpaste even on the shelf if it causes such painful blisters and such, only after a few days of use? 

So my mouth is on fire and hurting so much from the toothpaste burns, and it is time to change out my rubberbands.  OUCH!  I know Shelly meant well, but she kept pressing against my bottom lip, which is where the burns were the worst.  It took all I had not to cry as she put on my new bands.  I chose to get Green Bands though... in honor of St. Patty's Day which was right around the corner.  Pretty Cool I thought.  She starts to put the bands on (Dark Green and Light Green) alternating between the two colors... but the lighter green color kept breaking upon application.  She managed to get the light green on every other tooth on top, but the bottom, she put all dark green, since yeah... light green had its 'nuff.

Teeth felt great after the appointment.  They were a lil achy and tight (especially the next day), but nothing major.  I think the soreness was masked by the excruciating pain I was experiencing because of that toothpaste.  I noticed that a light green band broke almost immediately on my top teeth. Shelly said it was fine, and not to worry.  And the bottom bracket on one of my molars won't hold the rubber band... Dr. Black had to cut off one of the hooks on it, since I like to bite the bracket. 

Fast Foward to the next week... my teeth feel awesome!  The toothpaste burns have healed finally and I can hardly feel my brackets.  I did however, manage to get a chicken wing (the flat, not the drum) bone stuck on my back bracket at work... I forgot I had braces and was having issues cleaning the meat off the bone, so I turned the wing sideways to chew with different teeth, and the part of the wing where the bones meet hooked onto my bracket, and I had it stuck at work.  That was interesting!!!  Ha Ha.

I go back to the dentist at 6 weeks with braces.... excited!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Week 2 - Giving up the Goodies

My teeth are not near as sore as they were when I first got them on, but they are still sore.  But I have managed to eat some chinese food in Waller, so that is a good thing.  I don't know... that egg roll was a little bit of a challenge, but when you have not ate real food in over a week... you will do whatever it takes to eat.
Speaking of eating... I have had some issues adjusting to the "what not to eat" section.  I may have missed somethings I am adjusting to not eating, but these are the ones that are most memorable for me.

What Not To Eat:
  1. Popcorn - Not a problem for me. I have never cared for those kernels getting stuck in my teeth or on the back of my tongue before I got braces... so why care now?
  2. Nuts - Yes, this sucks!  I love peanuts, pecans, and well... all nuts.  Now I can't even enjoy my favorite candy bars anymore because they all have nuts in them.
  3. Pizza Crust - I must admit I love Pizza Crust, but it's okay... gives my Jack-Russell, Gypsy, something to gnaw on instead of me.
  4. Gum - Are you Serious?  I have chewed gum since I could walk... and I LOVE GUM!  This has been very difficult, but I am managing.
  5. Ice - Given that I am like borderline anemic, this has been a HUGE issue... my body actually craves ice... so yes... this one I have hated the most... but I am being a big girl and following the rules.
  6. Laffy Taffy - Even the Banana Flavor... BOOO!  It doesn't help that Fuel Depot leaves those on the counter (the banana ones) staring at me everytime I go in there.
  7. Chips - I choose to stick with softer chips like Pringles...
  8. Hot Tamales - NOOOOO!  I looooovvvveeee Hot Tamales, but they are too sticky. 
I am really glad the first week is over.  The second week is much better and I am looking forward to each week after this.  I find it amusing to compare my pictures to see already how much my teeth have moved.  I have my first dentist appointment next week, to get my rubber bands changed and check on my progress. As for brushing my teeth and flossing.... soooo much easier now.  The braces don't bother me at all. Jess (my boyfriend) refers to my braces as my "brush guard"... he is so funny.  He is adjusting to me having them as well. 

That is it for now... hope to update ya next week on my progress!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Week 1 - Let the Pain Begin

The Adjustment to Braces:
Getting used to having metal 24/7 in your mouth is a real pain... literally. It feels like my lips keep getting hung on the top brackets, my lips are so dry (thank goodness for Carmex), I talk funny (whenever I say anything that starts with an "F" or "V" I manage to whistle), and I CAN'T EAT! You never realize how important those front teeth are until you can't bite down on anything, because when you do... shooting pain radiates from your teeth through your jaw. I have realized the best thing to do is not chew anything for the first week. Only eat soft foods like instant potatoes (which I happened to find flavored instant potatoes in packets which were great for taking to work... just pour packet in a bowl, mix with water, and heat up in the microwave). Other great foods: yogurt, spaghetti, macaroni n cheese (Kraft is the best!), and ice cream. I have managed to drop several pounds thanks to not being able to eat! I must say the worst was about a week after getting these magical brackets put on... I had my meltdown. My boyfriend of 3-1/2 years decided he wanted chinese food and sushi from one of my favorite places... King Palace. Now, I haven't been able to eat hardly and was Starving! I broke down at the table crying because I just wanted to eat. All I could eat was Jello and Egg Drop Soup. Yep, my daughter, lil brother, Momma, Rick, and Jess watched me cry infront of everyone because I could not eat. Sucked, but it is part of the battle with adjusting to these braces.

Do Braces Really Hurt?:
Hell Yeah they do... not forever, but yeah... they hurt soooo bad. In order to allow braces to start shifting your teeth, your teeth must first become loose in order to move them. When is making a tooth that is happily planted in your gum, ever going to feel great when your tooth is now being pulled in another direction by mean ol wires? Never... well, atleast that is what I thought. But they got better.

Strange Sounds and Feelings:
I already have TMJ issues due to my extreme subconscious need to clench my teeth. Braces have increased this desire by ten fold! I wake up in the morning with very sore teeth and jaw... because apparently, I think I need to clench and grind my teeth. The dentist told me this was a normal sensation, but I think mine is a little extreme. I have found if I clench on my front teeth and even a certain molar, my teeth, not the braces, make a clicking/popping noise. Found out it is because my teeth are so loose when I clench, it is breaking small fibers and such... which I actually find to feel good.  But this weird noise and sensation also is only temporary... so don't worry. 

Taking Care of the Braces and your Teeth:
Yes, I have discovered oral hygiene is a must with braces. Even if you thought you brushed your teeth enough in the past... with braces you will double if not triple it. Trying to brush and floss at first was a lil awkward to me. I bought a colgate wave tooth brush to carry with me, a sonicare toothbrush for at home, a water pik to use at night, a bunch of those lil christmas tree brushes, some floss that has a hard end to guide between the wires, and mouthwash. There may be more I purchased, but I can't remember. All I know is the few grand I shelled out for these boogers and my "supplies" have pushed me over the four grand mark. 

Moral of the story:
The first week sucks! Take Motrin, brush and floss like crazy, use wax if needed on brackets or wires irritating your lips or gums, stick to soft foods, and be patient. The worst is soon behind you. Just keep your eye on the prize... a beautiful smile!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Banding Appointment

The time is here! The banding appointment! Get ready for 2 awful hours of holding your mouth open and choking on your own saliva, because ooops, they forgot to put that sucker thingy in your mouth! :) I felt bad when she noticed, because she was so apologetic... but I understand they were busy trying to prepare brackets for my new smile.

Time to etch your teeth with the most awful tasting paste that man could create. Do you think they purposely make that stuff as funky as possible just to amuse the dentist with your facial expressions? I think curdled milk may taste tastier that that stuff. Heck, they flavor medicines, why can't they flavor dental pastes? Anyway, back to the bonding... once you rinse that nasty paste, they apply special cement to the bracket and carefully place it on your tooth. Once the dentist is through tinkering with it in order to be sure it is placed just right, they use this bright blue light to cure the cement, which bonds the bracket to your teeth. You repeat this process over and over until all of your teeth that needs to have brackets are well... bracketed.

Now, let me tell you, your teeth feel funny at first, but you get used to it really soon... within a few days to a week. Are you ready for the wire and cute lil rubber band ligatures? This is my favorite part of the whole process... they insert a small thin wire on top of your brackets and hold the wire down with those bands I just mentioned. Now, I am a mom of three, but don't think my age is going to stop me from playing with the band colors. I look forward to letting my daughter pick out my colors, or changing them with the holidays. Why stick with clear or silver bands because your not a kid? We are all kids at heart!  Back to the bands... as the dental assistant applies each band (which is not painful at all) your teeth start to feel tight, but not painful. Notify them if a wire is poking you on your back brackets, so they can trim it... wires that poke hurt!

Now that you are finished... take a look in the mirror and smile!  Your teeth will never look the same again. I won't lie to you, your teeth will be sore, so take Motrin or Tylenol... but be sure to follow the carton/bottle instructions on dosage amount. The next week or two will be awful. Hope you looovvveee Mashed Taters and Yogurt. You won't be able to chew anything... at least not for a week or two. I found the worst pain to be the day after the banding appt.

For those who are nervous... try not to be. Just prepare yourself by eating a good meal prior to your appt. and brush and floss your teeth before you go... no one wants to smell rank breath. Just relax, take an OTC pain pill, and get excited over your treatment!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Preparing for Braces

I have always had dreams of a gorgeous smile. I was not one of those girls in highschool blessed with naturally beautiful teeth and I was not one of those girls who were lucky enough to have perfect teeth thanks to the amazing little wonder called orthodontic braces. Nope! I was the girl in school who would still smile, but thought everyone was snickering at my not so fabulous smile. Now I know my teeth could be alot worse than I make them out to be... but all I see when I look in the mirror are these gnarly teeth begging for help.

Well, as I noted, I was not so lucky as a teenager, but now that I am on the backside of my twenties, I have decided the time for my dreams is NOW!  Unfortunately, my dental insurance through my work does not cover orthodontics, but thankfully they do offer FSA! I took out $3,000.00 through my FSA and also used my income tax refund to pay for the tiny little brackets, bands, and wires which will lead to "Wow! Look at her Smile!" 

My next step was setting up the consultation along side of my 6 month cleaning, which was also way over due. now, I have read stories about consultation processes... but mine was pretty simple. After the dreaded cleaning, my dentist aka Dr. Black, came in and would ask me to do the following about 100 times... well, that is what it felt like! "Open" "Close" "Open" "Close"... over and over. Once he was through examining my teeth and my bite, he looked at me, gave me a smile, and told me I was an excellent candidate for braces. He then proceded to speak in Dental Lingo to his assistant about my treatment plan and costs. Only $3600 and some change. Yikes, but I really wanted these lil boogers, so I accepted.

Off to the records appointment. Now this really ain't that bad. Thankfully my good friend is a dental asst. there, so she had me schedule this appt. for immediately after my consultation. First, they took molds of my uppers and lowers. Yes, it was uncomfortable, but not unbearable. They insert a metal tray filled with plaster of paris like goo, and press it against your upper teeth then repeat the process for your lower teeth. Once you have completed that, they take your pictures.  They ask you to smile and take your picture from the front and side. This is so they have a photo to compare your progress to, and it is also showing them your current facial structure, as this can change with braces... but only slightly! I recommend looking half way decent, as this becomes part of your permanant file... unless you are like me and they accidently erase the photos while trying to upload them. Last is the awful cheek expanders and close ups of your teeth. Man am I glad she doesn't have a facebook page... those pics would be embarassing!  I also had to insert a large mirror in my mouth to get good pictures of my teeth as well. That's it! Time to schedule the banding appointment! Excitement builds knowing in one week little silver miracle workers will begin!