Friday, June 22, 2012

Hi Again!

Well hello there to anyone's whose stuck around and any new readers too. I didn't realize it had been so long since I've posted anything, but I see now that it's been quite a while. Time sure does fly, doesn't it! I guess I haven't posted b/c to be honest nothing all that exciting has been going on with my teeth. I go monthly and get my braces tightened, sometime my ortho throws some new hardware in there and I'm STILL wearing the rubber bands and STILL can't break the bad habit of taking them out in my sleep so I just don't wear them overnight anymore. It doesn't seem to be affecting my progress, my ortho says everything's going great and right on track. :) I had an appointment today and got some new archwire as usual and new power chains as usual. But today, my ortho added these loop things (see below) to my braces.

 He basically twisted the archwire to make it/them (the front one is old, I have had that for the past few months, the back one is the new one). I loop my  rubber bands on the front one and connect it to hooks on the brackets of my lower back teeth. I'll have to take a pic to show you. The new back piece is supposed to be stronger than the rubber bands and will pull my teeth to close the gap. So far it's pretty sore, but nothing good ole advil doesn't help. I've gotten pretty accustomed to sore gums, barely phases me anymore.

So far I have had my braces for about 16 months. Wow! If all continues to go according to plan, I only have about 8 more months to go! Woo Hoo! I can't wait! I'm going to throw myself a party! Seriously! I already have a bunch of fun/clever themes to go with, but you'll have to wait and see what theme I choose.

One odd thing that my ortho pointed out to me today was that I have calcium or teeth particles in my gums (see below, the 2 white spots on my lower gumline)

I noticed them before, but I thought it was the roots of my teeth moving. He said it's not uncommon and that my dentist can remove them easily. But the mere mention of removing anything freaks me out after my little wisdom teeth fiasco! I have a dentist appointment Monday, so I'll see what they say then.I really hope it's nothing too bad. Ugh!

Well, those are my updates for now. I'll come back Monday to fill you in on the calcium/teeth particle things. until then, here are some current photos of my teeth (taken today). Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rubberbands Rubberbands Rubberbands

What is my deal with these rubber bands? The first 2 days with them were kind of torturous! My teeth and jaw were so damn sore. I even had a bad dream that I couldn't open my mouth! Yikes! After the first days, the pain definitely subsided and it became more of a slight discomfort than pain. Now it's really not a big deal at all, BUT I woke up again this morning to find that I didn't have the rubber bands in my mouth! What the heck?? I KNOW I put them in my mouth before bed and I have NO recollection of taking them out at all! So where were they? Like deja vu, I checked my nightstand and lo and behold there were two little rubber bands placed nicely next to each other . . . AGAIN. I must be taking them out in my sleep. what other explanation is there? Ahh! now I need to figure out how to stop this bad habit. But how do I do that when I don't even remember taking them out in the first place? Eek! I wonder if doubling up on the rubber bands might help to make up for the time I haven't worn them (sleeping hours). I met someone recently who told me that she used to double her bands up to make it more effective. I wonder if that actually works? Hmmm . . .

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Confess . . .

  • That I totally snapped one of my rubber bands on my cheek, so hard that I made myself bleed. nerd!
  • That when I, now, look at photos of myself pre-braces I'm not nearly as bothered by my formerly crooked smile as I used to be. In fact I have found myself thinking that my teeth were bad, but not THAT bad. Maybe it's just the sore gums speaking, hoping the torture ends soon.
  • That I'm not usually self conscious about having braces anymore, but every once in a while someone will make an "off" comment and I suddenly turn into an embarrassed 12 year old.
  • -That I am REALLY REALLY hoping that I make some phenomenal progress and I get my braces removed before my 24 months are up! This guy at work just got some and his teeth looked far worse than mine and he only has to wear his for 18 months!
  • That deep down I kinda know that above confession is not going to happen.
  • That my orthodontist is Ok, but I won't refer friends/family to him. I somewhat feel that he won me over to get my business b/c he knew I was shopping around but now that he's got me he's not what he promised to be.
  • - That my gums are soooooo damn sore since my last adjustment, but mainly b/c of these rubber bands. It is taking a tremendous amount of will power and the far fetched hope of decreasing my sentence (aka time in braces)to keep these rubber bands on and not just take them off b/c they're killing my mouth.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rubber Bands

So these new rubber band things that I'm supposed to wear are kind of a pain in the ass. They made my teeth beyond sore by the end of the day yesterday. I ended up taking advil throughout the evening/night.

This morning when I woke up and went to brush my teeth, I remembered that I needed to remove my rubber bands first but to my surprise they weren't in my mouth! My first thought was 'OMG did I swallow them in my sleep??', 'Did they fall out?'. I checked around my bed and found them placed nicely on my nightstand and suddenly I remembered pulling them out in the middle of the night in a twilight state. I remember my mouth killing me and just yanking them out so I could sleep. Oops! I wore them all day though! Only took them out to eat and brush my teeth and I'll wear them while I sleep tonight also.

My mouth is still pretty sore and as luck would have it I am completely out of advil! Ugh! But, it's still not as sore as yesterday so hopefully it gets more and more tolerable as the days progress. In the mean time, I'll be sure to pick up advil tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

7 Month Update

Can you believe it's already been seven months since I got braces? Eight since I started the whole process! Some days it feels like 24 months will never arrive and I'll be a brace face forever but some days I just can't believe how much progress has already been made and it makes these past 7 months worth it!

I had a routine appointment scheduled for this morning. I figured my ortho would just tighten everything up, like usual, and he did ... but I also got some COOL new gear! He put a power chain on my entire lower set of teeth & rubber bands (removable) connecting my top and bottom teeth. I know some people hate power chains because, well they're tight and I assume they make some people sore but they really don't bother me at all. In fact, when my teeth were still all haywire and spaced out in weird places, it almost felt good to have them held tightly in place. Like a bra for your teeth. LOL! The rubber bands connecting my upper and lower teeth, I'm not so crazy about. I have to admit that with all the dorky braces gear that I signed up for when I got these suckers, these rubber bands ranked in at #2 on the nerd scale for me . . . just after a head/neck gear (#1!). I remember talking to kids in high school who had those rubber bands connecting their teeth and it always looked like they had slobber strings dripping from their mouths when they spoke. Or like ooey gooey cheese hanging off their teeth. Ew! That's me now! Ha ha! Pretty nerdy! But you know, after all I've gone through with this process and all the time, money and energy invested, I can deal with rubber bands. Plus they're removable! I remove them when I eat and brush my teeth, but I am supposed to wear them as much as possible, especially when talking b/c the tension of the bands pulling while I talk will speed the process up! I like the way that sounds! The bands will help to pull my lower back molars forward and my upper front teeth, back. Makes sense and if it helps to speed things up then SIGN ME UP! I have to say that I am already sore though and I got a slight claustrophobic sensation when i realized I had to make an effort to open my mouth. I'm sure I'll get used to it though. I wonder if I need to wear them for the remainder of my treatment? I always think of things to ask AFTER my appointments. Ha!

In addition to my new gear, my ortho surprised me and filed some of my teeth down! We had talked about it before and he always said he'd do it when the braces came off but he decided to do a few today. My 2-3 lower bottom teeth, to be exact. I used to grind my teeth but b/c my teeth were crooked I couldn't grind my whole lower middle tooth so I ended up with a lopsided tooth that looked chipped. Since my teeth have moved into different positions, that lopsided tooth had begun hitting (more like tapping) my upper teeth. It was kind of annoying. But that's not an issue anymore since my teeth are nice and even now! It didn't hurt at all to have them filed, although my ortho kept asking if I was ok so maybe thats not the norm?

Anyway, a post wouldn't be complete without progress pictures so here we go!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Famous Brace Face of the Month

Ok, I know I kinda suck with being consistent about posting my famous brace faces but nonetheless I like seeing them so here ya go! Inspiration!!!

This month's famous brace face is English R&B singer/songwriter Estelle

Estelle got braces in November 2008 when she was 28 years old. She has been quoted saying "'I've been wanting braces since I was 20. I've just now got the courage to get them. I don't like pain... I'm such a wuss." Heaven knows I can relate! Like most brace faces Estelle admitted that she couldn't wait to get her braces removed as she was tired of getting food stuck in them! I am right there with her at this point! I've had my braces for 6 months now and I'm thrilled at the progress but cannot wait to get them off! Estelle had her braces removed after about of year and is now able to show off her beautiful pearly white straight teeth!

and here she is now with her beautiful new grill . . .

Looking good, honey!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Bands & Progress

A few weeks ago I went to brush my teeth and as I began, I automatically realized that yet ANOTHER one of my back bands were loose! As I took a closer look I realized that it wasn't just loose, it was completely knocked off my tooth! The only thing keeping it somewhat in place was a power chain. Since it was the THIRD time that this had happened (separate teeth) I knew that I should cut the power chain to release the broken band and thats just what I did. I admit that I was pretty frustrated since this was the 3rd of 4 bands to break off. I emailed my orthodontist right away b/c I had this long ass piece of wire poking the back of my mouth and I didn't want to wait weeks again as I had to do the previous time that my band broke off my tooth. I was very polite in my email, but I couldn't hide the tone of my frustration. My ortho has two locations and told me he wouldn't be in the office that I go to until the next week, but he made a special trip just to cut my wires 2 days after the band broke off. I really appreciated that, but at the same time I have to note that this is totally different than what I had been told upon selecting him as my orthodontist. I had narrowed my choices down between 2 orthodontists and I went with my current guy b/c he told me he offered Saturday, lunchtime and late evening appointments - not to mention he was significantly less expensive. But in the 5 months that I have been going to him I have only been able to get one Saturday appointment and usually get appointments just before or after lunchtime. Either way I was still happy he made a special trip for me. I was the only patient in the whole office and his staff who usually wears matching polos were dressed in their normal clothes so I could tell he made them come in too. Eek! I felt kind of bad about that.
He ended up replacing the band that had broken off (no spacers required this time) and removed and replaced the final band (the only one that hadn't broken off yet) to prevent it from doing the same thing all the rest did (break). Then he tightened my braces etc. And so far so good!

My progress is really becoming apparent now! I know I've got a long way to go b/c I still have huge gaps and I have a slight overbite that needs to be corrected, but my upper teeth are pretty straight and my lower ones are really getting there!

(IDK why my cell phone cam always makes my rubber bands look dingy, swear they don't look stained in person!)
 (lower teeth, see that straggler really coming up and blending with the rest? :) )