Thursday, February 22, 2018

Day 15, 3 molar bands and metal spacers

The past 7 days have been rather un-eventful, which is a good thing!  I’ve been trying to eat different foods besides soup and applesauce.  We had Blaze Pizza (for the first time) on Sunday.  I had to cut it up into little pieces because there is still so much pressure on my teeth that I couldn’t bite it.  Chewing was a little hard with the rubber spacers and it took forever just to eat half of it but I managed.  Luckily it was a single restroom so I didn’t feel too weird brushing my teeth after I ate. 

I went to my appointment on my lunch break again.  This time I was out in less than 30 minutes.  No lose brackets!!  They started by removing the purple rubber spacers.  Some were still tight so there was a lot of pressure when they were pulled out.  Next she held different size molar bands against my teeth until she found ones that fit.  There was a lot of pressure as each one was pressed on.  I then had to bite down on some kind of tool at all different angles that felt like it was positioning the molar band correctly.  After 3 were installed she asked me how they felt.  They were fine but one on the top I could feel against my gum so she lowered it a little bit.  Then told me she was going to take them all off so she could glue them on.  There was just as much pressure taking them off as putting them on!  After drying the inside of the bands she spread some type of cement/glue on the inside of the bands, dried my tooth and pressed in on again.  They went on much easier. 

Top left molar band
Top right molar band
Bottom right molar band

I had one molar on the bottom where the space was still too tight to fit a molar band.  I now have a metal spacer.  Basically she twisted a piece of wire together between my teeth.  Once again there was a lot of pressure but no pain.  I have to go back in 1 week to get the last molar band installed and then it will be monthly appointments.  They left the same wire and rubber bands on.  Once I have all 4 molar bands they will install a new wire that attaches to the molar bands.
metal wire spacers

As I was leaving, the assistant asked me if I had received my kit last time.  Nope, I had not received a kit.  I was actually going to ask about it since my boyfriend got one from his orthodontist and I hadn’t. 
The kit included a toothbrush, floss, floss threaders, a travel toothbrush, a dental mirror, a timer, wax and a little brush.

I wasn't given a color choice.  Maybe they only have green.
 I can already tell that these molar band are going to drive me nuts!  The attachments on the side stick out more than the brackets and are rubbing my cheeks raw.  Wax to the rescue!  Other than that I don't notice them.

I have included a progress photo.  I know it's only been 2 weeks, well one since the re-install, but I want to see some movement!  If you've had/have braces how long before you could see a difference?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Day 8, complete removal and re-install

As you may recall I got my braces put on last Tuesday evening. 

Day 1 I tried to eat noodles at lunch but couldn’t.  My teeth were very sensitive.  I had soup for dinner but could only drink the broth. 

Day 2 just the front teeth were sensitive when I brushed.  When I put lotion on my face I had to press lightly around my mouth. 

Day 4 I attempted Mexican food for dinner after living on protein shakes and apple sauce for the last few days.  I was able to eat the beans and rice fine.  I had to cut up my cheese enchilada in to tiny pieces and it hurt to chew but I was hungry!  No chips and salsa though which sucks because I love chips and salsa!

Day 5 the back 2 brackets on the bottom left came loose from the tooth while I was eating soup.  I got so stressed out over this and couldn’t even finish my soup at my favorite ramen place (Orochan Ramen).  I had been so careful eating and I thought I did something wrong.   

Days 6 and 7 I was back to eating apple sauce because I was afraid to knock more brackets off. 

Today, Day 8, I had my appointment to remove the rubber spaces and install the molar bands.  As the orthodontist was removing the rubber bands several of the brackets came off!  She then began pulling on the rest of them and they all came off so easily.  She said it was probably bad glue but I think she meant a bad glue job by the other girl who put them on last week.  I noticed this time they really held the light (that cures the cement) to each tooth for a good 30 seconds at a time.  It didn’t seem like they did it that long last week.   

After getting my new set she decided that I still didn’t have room for the molar bands and installed new, thicker rubber spacers (purple ones this time).  It still hurt but not as bad as last week.  I went with the purple rubber bands again.  I go back in 7 days to see if I’m ready for the molar bands.  Hopefully I won’t loose any brackets this time!
Thicker rubber spacers.

I had a surprise when I got home..  My boyfriend had braces put on while I was at work!  That was my Valentine's day gift; I don't have to go through 2 years of braces by myself.  In two years we're going to celebrate Valentine's Day by eating all the stuff we no longer can eat.

I actually think this is really cool.  Now I can include his experiences as well!  His treatment is going to be different than mine.  On the top they installed a spring on the wire to help the two teeth move a little faster so they can put a bracket on the tooth that's not in reach at the moment.      

He picked green bands, I still have purple.
When I compare my before picture to this weeks picture I can't see any difference yet.  I know it's only been a week but I want to start seeing movement! 

If you've ever had braces how long until you noticed a difference?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Day 1

Just call me Brace Face!  My braces have been installed. 

I was at the orthodontist for about an hour and a half lat night.  First I had a cleaning.  I’m not sure if they do this for everyone or just because it was time for my 6 month cleaning.

The next step was to place a cheek re-tractor in my mouth that held my cheeks and lips out of the way of my teeth.  I also had the spit sucker at the back of my mouth and I was biting it with my back teeth.

These things hold your cheeks and lips off of your teeth.

Next the orthodontist made sure my teeth were completely dry and an adhesive was applied to my teeth.  After that each bracket was placed one by one with bonding cement.  The excess cement was removed from around each bracket and a measuring device was used to make sure each bracket was in exactly the right spot on each tooth.  Next the cement was cured with a UV light.  16 seconds on each tooth. 

None of this hurt but my jaw was really sore from holding my mouth open for so long.  That whole process took about an hour.  Also my lips and tongue were so dry!

The next step was to install rubber spacers between my back teeth.  OMG!  This hurt.  As I said before my teeth are really, really tight.  These are needed because next week I’ll be getting molar bands installed around the 2nd to last molar on the top and bottom and the rubber spacers are creating room for that band.  According to my orthodontist these are better than installing a bracket on those teeth.  Brackets on the back molars are more likely to pop off due to chewing and the pressure needed to move the larger teeth. 

Those little blue spacers are evil!

Finally the spit sucker and check re-tractor were removed.  I was handed a tray filled with all different color bands.  It was a little overwhelming; there were so many colors!  I went with purple (my favorite color).  These bands are what hold the wire in place on the brackets.  They will get changed at each appointment (about once a month) so I’ll have plenty of time to try all the colors.

All the colors!

A very thin wire was threaded through the brackets and a purple band was placed around each one.  I think the thickness of the wire will increase gradually to help shift my teeth.  And then I was finally done!  I was handed a mirror and took my first look.

After I got home all I ate was apple sauce.  I wasn’t ready to try eating yet.  I wasn’t in any pain at all.  It just feels weird to talk and especially smile because my lips don’t slid across my teeth like they used to.  They get stuck.  Brushing my teeth felt normal too. 

This morning I could definitely feel pressure in my top and bottom teeth.  They are pretty sore and brushing my teeth made the pressure worse.  Only one bracket is bothering me.  The ones toward the back have this little pointy part that will be used to hook a rubber band to in order to connect it to a top tooth if needed.  That pointy part is poking me in the lip but I used a bit of dental was and that seems to have solved the problem.

All in all the process wasn’t bad.  I’m anxious to start seeing some movement.  Only 24 months until my new smile!