I’m actually beginning to feel more pressure exerted by the braces. I wouldn’t describe it as pain or suffering. I can still eat a lot of what I want without big limitations (obviously no “sticky stuff” though). Maybe I should be slightly thankful this means they’re really doing their job. My initial belief that the orthodontist didn’t tighten them enough was unfounded =# <-- (this is a e-smiley face with braces on; I saw it on the archwired.com site and thought it cute). Previous to having the braces placed, I came to the conclusion after some thought and realized that I haven't chewed gum in a very long time, cake was only occasionally, and soda & ice cream once a week at most especially during the summer. My concerns were a little irrational; I was making a mountain out of a mole hill. The very thought of having to give up so many things at one time was disturbing to me; besides the anxieties of having to cope with braces for the first time was also troubling. Regarding "sticky stuff," I'm remembering a recent conversation with my orthodontist. He was trying to encourage me to give up artificial sweets altogether for the betterment of my dental health e.g. cake, ice cream, soda, candy. I looked him straight in the eyes and said, "I'm not going to lie to you... if I have to quit cold turkey, I really don't think I'll make it through this... I promise to try to taper back the sweets though and no sticky stuff." He answered laughing "I'm not the food police... we want you to make it through, so just enjoy."
Archive for August, 2008
Today is probably the first day I went without wearing wax on my previous two troublesome lower brackets. I was beginning to wonder how anyone ended up completing the process. Thankfully, my inflammation also cleared up. It was actually visibly better by the next day, so all my efforts brought good results.
Characteristics Considered Positive
Characteristics Considered Negative
The first few days of braces were very difficult. I didn’t suffer much aching or pressure on my teeth as many people often experience; however, two of my lower brackets on either side were rubbing against the mucosa of my mouth. I would have gone crazy had it not been for the orthodontic wax which greatly helped relieve my pain. By the second day, the area under my tongue became inflamed so I made an effort to drink plenty of water, rinse with warm saltwater, rinse with Gum’s Rincinol® Oral Pain Reliver, and apply Gum’s Canker-X gel to any problem spots. My first few days of braces consisted mostly of eating soft foods: spaghetti, yogurt, squash, noodles in soup- I think you get the idea.
The orthodontist already warned me that braces would be a real food trap. I knew that I would be brushing and flossing more often now than usual to keep my braces and mouth clean. I generally rinse my mouth several times and brush after each meal or snack, flossing in the daytime if there is food stuck to my teeth. My big cleaning including careful flossing is at night before I sleep. I wouldn’t be shocked if I spend 30 minutes every night cleaning my mouth and braces.
Here are some of the other invaluable dental supplies & equipment I use on a daily basis:
Cross Action Oral-B electric toothbrush
Waterpik® Personal Dental Waterjet (recommended by my dental hygienist)
GUM® Proxabrush® System with Proxabrush® refills or Oral-B Superfloss®
REACH® Access™ Flosser for the areas sans braces
The Natural Dentist® mouth rinse for am (recommended by my dental hygienist)
ACT mouth rinse for pm (recommended by my dental hygienist)
This is what I carry in my handbag:
sample size toothpaste
travel size toothbrush
sample size mouth rinse
GUM® Orthodontic Wax
I was excited to get started as soon as possible so I could begin my count-down. On August 21, 2008, after about 1.5 hours of fatiguing dental work, I walked out with a shiny set of metal lowers and uppers. It was a big change for me so I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little depressed by the site of my new metal braces. I was also very disappointed that only the uppers had bracket & archwire placement, while the lowers only had brackets. The lower archwire placement and lower front tooth extraction (see tooth without bracket, pic below) is scheduled for September 18, 2008 (the earliest appointment I could get) =(. Oh well, I guess I will have to wait to begin my count-down to beautiful teeth.
I’ve thought about getting braces for many years, but never took action until now. When I was in my teens, my mom didn’t make the most encouraging sales pitch, so for years I ignored my problems. I’ve always known my lower teeth suffered from over-crowding and that I have an overbite that most people always seemed to notice. I also needed to do something before my bone loss worsened (supposedly already at ~20%)! A drastic change was called for.
I was initially interested in Invisalign because of one main reason; I didn’t want to look ridiculously young for my age because of traditional braces. I found my orthodontist in Thornwood, New York through my regular dental office and I scheduled my first consultation. He along with my primary dentist told me that I would not be a candidate for Invisalign because my teeth crowding was too severe and that Invisalign would not help me to achieve the type of results I needed. I was given information and an initial quote for braces. I went home to ponder the pros and cons of having braces.
The orthodontist had said that I would most likely require the extraction of one lower front tooth and that my treatment time would be about 18 months. The thought of having a front tooth extracted was overwhelming. I had preferred having a back tooth pulled instead but the orthodontist said it had to be one in the front =(. A little bit of online research e.g. browsing through people’s blogs really helped me feel better about my decision. My desire to have straight teeth and healthier gums won at the end.
*I am dedicating my braces online journal to Lora B.* (I’m so glad I found her page and I’m hoping that my journal might help someone else in turn).
On May 15, 2008 I went for my full consultation, impressions, and X-rays. The orthodontist confirmed his plan of action, including the extraction of that one lower front tooth. I also enrolled in Care Credit; this would help lower my monthly payments significantly and was better yet, interest free for one year via my dental office! Another big plus- I could make payments conveniently online.