I’m happy that I got my teeth straightened. It wasn’t a small decision and I consider it a team effort which did involve both my family’s and my dental team’s support. The entire process does have it’s challenges but it was very worth it! Thanks so much for following me on this crazy adventure, especially through my bumps, blips, and under-the-breath mutterings here and there. I understand that a 100% smooth process is too much to expect. Gosh, what a stark difference. Photos don’t lie. Well, the journey continues… Until next month’s new (retainer) post, here’s to good dental health =)
Posts Tagged braces follow-up
After 20 months of dedicated care by me and Dr. B, I began my count-down a week earlier anticipating this day. Much like a child impatiently awaiting Christmas morning…..
The visit began with Dr. B joking, “well today I won’t ask you what color elastics you want” and I quickly retorted, “neither am I going to tell you which ones I want.” This procedure took about an hour. Dr. B asked me if I ever had a chipped tooth? About several years ago if not more, I had one each on my upper left and right sides. My answer would decide how much pressure he could assert when removing the braces. I was surprised he didn’t undo a layer of orthodontics at a time. He warned me, “this is going to sound like thunder and lightning.” Crack, crack, crack. Ohhhhhh =(. I sat there imagining some of my teeth being stuck to the brackets as this was happening. Obviously, a horrible thought. I asked him as soon as he was done, if everything was okay and he confirmed that everything went well. I suggested that someone should invent a unglue brackets spray and he agreed that maybe they should but unfortunately there was currently no such thing. Maybe one day they will? Then came the polishing to remove any leftover glue. I swear that I will never get used to that awful carbon smell =( (a most distinctive burning odor, unlike a wonderful fireplace or holiday barbeque). My to-be-brother-in-law recently mentioned that there might be some teeth discoloration after removing the braces. I remembered to ask Dr. B about this since I had no mirror in front of me at the time. Dr. B said that this usually occurs in patients who have not had the best oral hygiene during the time they had their braces on, but that it could occur even with good hygiene, however less likely. He said I had no such discolorations. I was very happy to hear this of course. I had imagined the weightlessness I would feel once my braces were removed… maybe so much that when they were finally taken off, I was not surprised to instantly feel like my old self again. I ran my tongue across all my teeth and they felt perfectly smooth, but with a fuzzy thin film if that makes any sense? (probably from being dehydrated, breathing with my mouth open during what Lora B coined “de-bracing”). I was off to bigger and better things this day =)… Read on…
I waited quite a bit for Dr. B today but at least I was entertained by watching the Food Network channel. Not the best preoccupation after having to abstain from eating since 8:30 this morning (appointment was scheduled for 12:15 pm), but a necessary inconvenience to prevent vomiting or worse, aspiration. I had two questions for Dr. B before I would allow them to take the impressions:
1) Where the retainers would anchor from? (I’m still undecided about whether or not to pull my last wisdom tooth; right lower). As you can tell, I know very little about retainers from even asking this question. The dental assistant assured me that the retainers would anchor very similar to the points where the braces begin and end now.
2) For the past week, I’ve been seeing a gap re-form along the front lowers (smack in the middle) and wasn’t sure if that would render today’s impression inaccurate and a waste of everyone’s time. Dr. B said this small gap could be corrected with braces or even retainers so you can guess what I chose.
The first set of upper and lower impressions were a failure. Dr. B wasn’t happy with the way they looked so he had his regular assistant redo both of them. The glue that they added to the impression mixture stung my mouth =(. At one point they had to add a little water since my brackets were ripping the impression apart as they were trying to ease the mold out of my mouth. The first time my uppers were taken, I gagged a little since the first assistant held onto the mold with more pressure than I would have liked. The second assistant held onto my chin so tight when she was doing the lowers I thought my chin would bruise. I kept quiet and wanted them to do a good job since 5 times at trying to get the impressions as perfect as possible was uncomfortable, all over my face, nose, & clothing messy, and just plain gross (like plaster in your mouth) yuk yuk! Thank goodness, a little bit of water seemed to do the trick and so the impressions were finally good enough to send off to the lab. Now I see why Dr. B didn’t want me to eat for a couple of hours before the procedure… Yeah, I definitely can see people vomiting from this procedure.
There was an infomercial on t.v. regarding dog dentures while I had the mold in my mouth and I started to crack up a little. Can you imagine that? Worse time I could be trying to laugh.
I asked for pink elastics but had to settle for red or purple. I want to like red but it’s not a lucky color for me. I felt a little childish turning down the red but whatever.
For the next appointment, I will be looking forward to transitioning from braces to retainers, a deep cleaning, and a whitening. All these will probably take a few hours in total. It will be well worth it once I can walk out of the dental office with some new-found freedom, happiness, and confidence. Time to get out the Sensadyne =). Yippeeee!
*Last braces photo YEAHHH =)!
Dr. B said he didn’t know what more he could do with the braces and so he reminded me to not eat a few hours before the next appointment (hour+ of retainer impressions etc) just because he’s seen enough people a bit sensitive/reacting negatively to the process. I have mixed feelings about this announcement even though I’ve waited so long to finally hear that I’m ready for the braces to be removed and have my retainers made. I still feel disappointed about the cross-bite, but I understand this to be a petty preoccupation in the grand scheme of things since my teeth have never been this straight. After the retainer impressions, the following visit I will have the braces permanently removed. I hope my mouth will be abrasion or closed-sore free. That has been one of the worst “side-effects” of having braces. As you can tell, my pain tolerance is pretty low. I am looking forward to getting my teeth whitened, eating corn on the cob, eating a Red Delicious apple without having to chop it up first, chewing gum haha j/k sort of, and flossing my teeth like normal again =)!
I left a message for the dental office on Friday afternoon to schedule a special visit as soon as possible (darn- I must have just missed them and the after-hours service was activated). This is the second time that the end elastics both broke off causing my lower archwire to lose tension and even worse this time, the left side of the archwire was freed and occasionally poked me on the inside of my mouth (I had the horrible image of a fish on a hook in mind). Ouch! I temporarily secured it with a thick layer of ortho. wax but as you may guess, this can be of only limited help. The receptionist returned my call early Monday morning and I was finally able to convince them that my situation warranted a visit that day. At first they hesitated to oblige my request. Upon arriving at 10:30 am, I noticed they were a little short staffed and was very surprised that who I thought was only a receptionist was also the one to replace the elastic ligatures for me. She did a good job. I happily trotted out the door to meet my husband for breakfast… I love a happy ending =).