Friday, December 26, 2008

missed one

I also have a big@ss sore on my right cheek.  Must be moving a bit on the top!  Ah, progress…


Merry Christmas

Hope everyone had a happy holiday!  My first braced Christmas didn’t get in the way of me chowing down on everything in sight… J 


I do have a sore tooth, though.  My front-most right side tooth hurts really bad.  (Someday I should learn the technical names for all my teethies, but oh well).  I didn’t have too much pain after I got my new wires a couple of weeks back, but I also developed a nasty sinus infection and was on a ton of Advil, so that’s probably why I didn’t feel anything.  Distraction! J

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I've got the Power (chain)

Yes, I am a HUGE blogging slacker.  But honestly, there’s been nothing to report.  Until today!  I had an orthodontist appointment this morning…  I dutifully dropped off my “teen-appropriate” gift for the clinic’s Salvation Army gift drive and took my seat for my adjustment.  New wires on top and bottom – I forgot to ask the gage but they are BIG.  The poor ortho assistant was having a heck of a top jamming them into my mouth.  Replacing both wires means that I get an opportunity to totally floss my mouth, which is always a plus.  The OA had to tie on of my bracket doors shut because it just wouldn’t close…  hopefully that’s not a bad sign!  Then, dundundun…out came the power-chain.  Hold on a minute… no one mentioned that!  I also have a couple of bands on the top wire in the front, wrapped around these nifty little posts that are preventing me from comfortably pulling down my top lip.  Oh joy! ;)  Both Dr. Weber and the OA even recommended that I really down the Advil, because I’m going to feel this today.

But it was all worth it when Dr. Weber said the magic words “I think we are close to thinking about surgery”.  “How close is that?” I asked.  “Oh, about 4 months.”  4 months!  Yea!  The end is near!  I asked if May would work, since I’m taking some grad school classes this coming semester.  Yep, that’ll work.  At my next appointment in February, I’ll be referred to my surgeon.  Woo-hoo! 

I hope everyone is doing well.  I plan to catch up with everyone’s progress this weekend – I’ve been posting via email because I’m just NEVER home – I’m a horrible online blogging buddy, I know!  Ok, time for more pain relievers…

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Brrr...ouch! you know what does not feel good? Having metal bonded to
your teeth in wintry weather, especially if your teeth are already
cold-sensitive! Ouch! I learned this fun lesson while shivering my
way through the Nebraska-Kansas football game yesterday, and then
again today while running in the Bagel & Beer Run up and down the
sides of a ski slope. Holy crap! I'm going to have to invest in some
sort of heated mouthguard or something...'cause that would be
attractive... :-#

Happy Sunday everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Since I got my braces on, I’ve been marking the days off in my planner.  Today is Day 297.  Wow!  Doesn’t that seem like a long time?  Then I was flipping through my to-do list/general note-taking notepad that I keep in my purse and I found my notes from the original appointment with my orthodontist, Dr. Weber – it was over a year ago that I had my initial diagnostics done (Oct 16).  Time is really flying by…just wish it would go a little faster! :-#

Thursday, October 16, 2008

the pain, the pain

Ugh. 5 bottom braces crow-barred off and reattached. My jaw hurts so
bad right now, and it's been two days (and many many ibuprofen)! And
to add insult to injury, I spaced on the state of my molars yesterday
and packed a salad for lunch. Um, yeah, can't chew that! :P

I hope everyone is having a better week than me!

Sorry, thought I'd whine to someone else besides my husband... :(

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


OK, I’m sure this is weird, but does anyone else just adore red peppers?  I’m been munching on them all morning.  They are crunchy without being too hard – perfect when you really need that texture, but won’t hurt your teeth.  And they’re tasty! J 


No new orthodontic news…  I have my new appt on the 14th to move some bottom brackets around, but other than that, my mouth is pretty boring at the moment…


Monday, September 15, 2008

instant pain - just add new wire

Saturday morning, I turned on my trusty SonicCare toothbrush, ran it over my teeth, and OUCH!, hit a majorly sensitive tooth.  It was one of my front bottom teeth, and man, I could barely touch it.  By now, I should be used to such pain and not so concerned, but as usual, my brain had blocked out all previous painful experiences so this seemed horrible.  What if it was a cavity?  What if I’d injured the tooth?  Augh! 

Nope, it wasn’t so bad on Sunday and today is fine.  Must have just moved a bit.  Huh.

And of course, that tooth won’t bother me at all, now that I’ve got a new wire on the top teeth.  O.M.G.  The last new wire (bottom) didn’t bother me at all, even after they repositioned a bracket (which, come to think of it, was probably on the tooth that hurt on Saturday…hmmm…).  I got a new rectangle 18.5 wire on top this morning, and less than 3 hours later, it is making itself known.  Eek.

I go back in 4 weeks to have several more bottom brackets repositioned, or “repo’d” as the orthodontist’s assistant kept saying.  I was a little worried that they were going to take them back for nonpayment… J  The ortho was using big words like “gingial” and “mesial”…huh?  Oh, well.  Whatever does the trick! 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

mouthwash problems

So, earlier this year, in an attempt to buy an alcohol-free (and therefore less-stinging) mouth rinse, I purchased a big bottle of the Crest Pro Health stuff.  Naturally, being the total noncommittal type person that I am, I’ve used it like 6 times.  My DH, on the other hand, started working his way through the bottle a month or so ago.  He emailed me this week claiming that his bottom teeth have turned brown and that there have been numerous reports this year of this particular mouthwash causing stains.


Has anyone else had this issue?  I suppose if I’d used it like I was supposed to (oops), I might be having the same problem, but I also wonder if I’d have noticed because of the brackets…  Oh, well, back to good ol’ burns-like-fire Listerine for us!


Monday, September 8, 2008


Mmm…my CSA share this week included some apples.  I don’t think I’ve had an apple since I got my braces on, partially because I try to buy local fruit and they haven’t been in season until now, and also because I wasn’t sure if I could handle them… but I can.  Me and my trusty paring knife.  


I finally got to sit down last night and catch up on the other braces blogs that I follow.  Wow, it sounds like a lot of people are having a difficult go of it right now.  Hang in there, guys!  It’ll get better.  Whether you’re having insurance problems or surgery complications (or just irritated gums) I’m rooting for you!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Must be moving again on the top row.  My top lip isn’t fitting properly over my teeth this week.  My poor cheeks are all scratched up and I’ve had some tooth pain.   I suppose I should be happy! :-#  I have my next orthodontist appt in approximately 11 days.  I can’t believe it’s been almost 8 months!  Dr. Weber told me it’d take 12-16 months to get “surgery-ready” so that puts me in the January –May timeframe (a large window, I know).


I hope everyone else is doing well.  I haven’t been home much lately, so I desperately need to do some catch-up reading on my braces-buddies’ blogs… 


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

no no news

Nothing much happening on the braces front.  I have an ortho appt in September to get new wires, but other than that, it’s pretty boring…  Sad that all the brackets and wires feel…normal.  I no longer have trouble eating anything in general and I’ve become (probably annoyingly) comfortable at picking at my teeth in public.  (Ew…) J  I hope everyone is having as easy (and as boring) a time as me with this whole experience.  This is less like an exciting adventure and more like just waiting in traffic.  I’ll get there eventually but right now I’m going nowhere fast.


Monday, August 18, 2008


We’re back from Mexico, the braces and me…   I was a wee bit lazy with the dental hygiene on this trip.  I’ll blame the infrequent flossing on my severe lack of nighttime coordination – hey, that’s what daiquiris do to me, what can I say!  At least all my brackets survived the bowls and bowls of chips and guac… 



Sunday, August 10, 2008


The braces are going to Mexico!  :-#

At least if I'm out of the country, I have a valid excuse for not posting...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Well, the 10 Year High School Reunion came and went this weekend.  It was a little weird to be around my old classmates again, but I had a good time overall…and strangely enough NOT ONE person mentioned the braces…  Some of the guys are typically less than polite, especially when consuming alcohol, so I don’t know what was up with that… but I guess better ignored than mocked, right?

Monday, July 21, 2008

a good pain

I’m thinking that repositioning that bracket did the trick, ‘cause my bottom teeth were sore this weekend!  It’s a “good” pain, though, isn’t it – the awful feeling of progress?  :-#   A slightly tingly sensation…  I was starting to miss that!  Yea for movement!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I had an ortho appointment this morning.  They scheduled it for 7:30 a.m., which meant I got to “sleep in” until 7 (it’s within 2 miles of my house).  I’ve starting carpooling to work and have been leaving my house at 5:30 a.m. to get to work at 6.  Eek.  We did not carpool this week, but I’ve been attempting (poorly) to maintain the same schedule.  So far the earliest I’ve made it in to work was 7…  Not so good. 

But I digress.  Back to my appointment – Ortho Asst looked at my teeth and decided Dr. Weber needed to examine me in case he wanted to move a couple of brackets.  Seems my bottom front teeth are stalling and are still too crooked.  Not good.  After waiting for 20-25 minutes in the chair, fortunately with a good book, Dr. Weber approached and declared yes, they would move a bracket.  He first scraped my bottom teeth for a bit, to ensure that there was no extra composite stuck between them, hampering their movement. Then he removed the offending bracket, reglued it in a slightly different position, and sent me on my way.  At my next visit (about 8 weeks), they’ll give me a new (copper?) wire.  Hopefully I’ll have some progress before then… my bottoms do feel a little tighter already.  A little tingly even – a good sign. 


Dr. Weber also commented on my somewhat stained front teeth – probably due to coffee.  Oops.  I’ll brush harder, but I’m not giving up the morning joe – it’s too dangerous for all the other unaware drivers that share the morning commute with me! 


Hope everyone is doing well is The Land of Adult Orthodontia. 


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The ortho pity party

Join in the fun!


Why is it that you won’t even notice your braces for days on end (well, almost not notice them) and then you’ll wake up with huge sores on your cheeks that last for a week?  It’s like my brackets turned into razor blades overnight and sawed apart the inside of my face.  Ouch! 


My teeth must have moved a little bit.  I’m not actually seeing any visual progress as of late; it seems like it happened all at once in the beginning and has now slowed to a crawl.  I have an adjustment next Thursdays, so maybe the ortho will see something I don’t… 


Sorry to whine.  I’m just a little glum about the approach of my 6-month point – it feels like it’s been a year already and the end is nowhere in sight! 


Anyone want to join my pity party and add your complaints? C’mon, it’s fun! ;)

Monday, June 30, 2008

the braces go jogging

I was out jogging this weekend with my dog, and was passed by another runner.  As she went by I noticed her teeth and said “I like your braces!”  I swear, she shot me the dirtiest look!  Like she thought I was making fun of her or something!  Really, like a non-braced person would even say anything – or notice for that matter, right?  Only us tin-grins are looking for that sort of thing and would be brazen enough to shout at a total stranger. 


But while she was glaring at me, I just grinned really big so she could see my braces, too.  She softened and laughed.  We had a quick how-long-are-you-in-for convo and she continued on her way… 

Thursday, June 19, 2008


A lady I know at work ran up to me today to show me her new braces.  Yeah, that’s right – I’ve inspired someone. ;)


Notice the lack of photos?  I finally got a hold of the photographer about their whereabouts – he said he thought he sent them to me, but mailed out another disc yesterday morning – we should have them tonight. J  Even if I hate them all, I’ll post one for you all to see… :-#

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Nothing too exciting going on appointments, no toothaches, just the usual cycle of eat, floss, brush, rinse and repeat. I gave those pix another try today. Nope, still don't like 'em. They don't slide between my teeth as just can't replace floss...

One bit of news since I last posted - I had some professional photographs taken! A local photographer was looking for belly dancers to pose for a contest entry he's putting together, and I volunteered. I warned him about the braces ahead of time, but he was very enthusiastic nonetheless. It was a lot of fun - I usually hate pictures, but he made me very comfortable; it was easy to smile. I haven't seen them yet, but I can't wait!

But other than that...this whole experience is starting to get old. I'm a bit bored by the braces. I know this is all about patience, but I've lost mine. Blah.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The amazing braced belly dancer

A friend and I got hired for a birthday party gig last night at an Indian restaurant.  I thought it went pretty well - all the diners seems to enjoy watching me...but then it occurred to me that they might just be staring at my braces!  :(  Ugh, even when I'm all dolled-up and feeling pretty, the braces manage to knock me back to reality like THAT!

Oh, well.

Just a quick update on the Tung Brush.  Several people commented on the whole "bleeding" thing.  It's not like it was a ton of bleeding - it was more like I scraped a little too hard.  And it actually only happened the one time.  You know all the little bumps on your tongue?  I basically scraped off one of those, I think...  Hopefully that makes sense... ???  Overall, I'm really enamored by the brush - it feels like it gets a lot more gunk off of my tongue with much less effort that using my regular toothbrush. 

Now, those pix are a different story.  I'm not good with flossing apparatuses, I guess.   I need to stick with my regular floss - Oral-B Super Floss.  I freakin' love this stuff.  I couldn't get the hang of those floss threaders, but these strings come with a stiff end so you don't need a separate threader.  The Oral Pix, oh those damn Oral Pix.  True, I only tried one, but I managed to stab myself in the gum and let me tell you - that was some blood!  Maybe someone else will have an easier time with them, but I just don't think I have the dexterity for poking little plastic swords between my teeth...

Happy Memorial Day weekend, all...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

No pain, no...well, no pain

Wow, so far, nothing hurts.  Maybe it’s too early.  I had my 3rd official appointment at the ortho this morning at 8.  Only the bottom wire was replaced, moving me up to a 14.25.  There was some minor trouble getting the farthest back two doors shut, due to my incredibly small mouth, I’m sure, but other than that it was a pretty smooth appointment.  I ate a good breakfast – Camille’s Sidewalk Café “Original” breakfast wrap – eggs, bacon, cheese, and tomatoes in a jalapeño-cheddar tortilla….mmm – in anticipation of not being about to chew the rest of the day.  But, 4 hours later, nothing really hurts.  I’m almost disappointed!  :-# 

My next appointment is in 10 week, July 22, at which point Dr. Weber will probably move some brackets around – no new wires.  


Dr. Weber also gave me some “Opal Pix” – basically flat sticks for flossing.  (I think my enthusiasm to floss while the wire was off took him by surprise.  I’m flossing regularly, really I am.  But flossing takes FOREVER, so the chance to floss my entire bottom row in less than 30 seconds is THRILLING.  Ah, the sorry state of my life…)  Anyone else try these yet?  Good?  Bad?  Indifferent? 


The Tung Brush is going well.  I can’t say that I’m noticing a huge difference yet, ‘cause I’m a big tongue-brusher anyway.  The packaging warned that my tongue might “get sore and bleed”.  Eek.  That’s not really what you want to see on a dental care product…  Basically it’s just a toothbrush with a   round flat head.  The bristles are stiffer and shorter, for better scrubbing power, I guess.  I’ve been using it for 2 days, and last night my tongue DID bleed a little, so if you’re going to try this product, be prepared!  The package also claimed that it wouldn’t trigger my gag reflex, but that’s a joke! :-#   I will post again about my breath – we’ll see how much of a difference this makes over the long haul.  Grade so far:  B+



Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Nice and clean

Yesterday I went for my first dental checkup and cleaning since being braced.  Wow.  It took FOREVER.  The hygeinist said I was doing a good job of cleaning, but ortho is just that much harder to keep clean and I still had a lot of buildup.  Oh, well.  No cavities, as usual.  :)

Tonight while grocery shopping, I had the foresight NOT to buy a ton of food that required chewing.  I'm getting a new wire on Thursday so I am expecting several days of soft foods...  In March, right before my first new wire, I bought a huge tub of organic baby salad mix.  Stupid!  Hello, braces to Aimee!!!  You can't eat salad without working teeth! :-#  Lesson learned.  At least my husband enjoyed several days of baby spinach...  This time I stocked up on Stoneyfield Farms Caramel Yogurt (SO good!) and Naked smoothies...

Ooh, and I bought a tongue brush.  Well, it's a Tung Brush.  Anyone use one of these things before?  I feel like I still have icky breath and maybe I'm just not getting all the gunk off the back of my tongue... we shall see...

Monday, April 28, 2008


I’m being a blogging slacker.  Does anyone else just go through periods where they have a lot to say and periods where they just don’t?  I’m in one of those “quiet times”.  The Braces are fine.  I had a slight toothache yesterday in a tooth that has moved quite a bit, so I’m not too worried about it.  I feel like I have been eating a ton lately.  I’m not entirely sure if I’m eating more than normal, or if I’m just spending more time eating due to the careful-chewing factor.  Eating actually wears me out sometimes! 


I have a cleaning in two weeks and an adjustment a few days after that – I’ll get a new wire, I’m assuming.  I wish time were moving faster.  While I preach patience to everyone else, I really possess very little myself!  I just want this to be over!  I’ve gotten increasingly aware of people staring at me.  Since I don’t really notice The Braces as much – I can talk and eat without too much hassle – I forget they are there and then wonder why people are looking at me funny.  Then I remember!  Damn metal mouth!  Last week I attended an art tour and made the mistake of trying to socialize while snacking on chips and guacamole.  Everytime I took a bite, someone would try to talk to me.  Grrr…


I got a letter about my 10 year high school reunion.  I was planning on skipping it, mostly because of The Braces, but I’d kinda like to go.  I don’t get home very often, plus its during our County Fair, which my husband has never witnessed.  So, maybe I’ll suck it up and go.  I’ve done quite a bit with my life since high school – may as well go back and rub it in, huh? :-#


How is everyone else doing? 


Friday, April 11, 2008

minor irritation

I’ve got some irritated gums, just on the top right side of my mouth.  It seems to be minor; I only just now noticed after brushing up post-lunch…  I hope it’s nothing serious!  I have a dentist appointment in about 4 weeks, and I’m praying that my streak of no-cavities checkups continues unmarred now that I’m in braces.  I haven’t had a cavity since high school.  I’ve got good teeth – they’re just kind of ugly. J 

A week or so ago, I was experiencing another kind of tooth pain – a weird every-now-and-then oh-my-god-that-hurts throb along the left side of my mouth.  When I described it to my husband, he told me I’d described the pain he gets before needing a root canal!!!  It has since disappeared…for good I hope.  Is it me, or does everytime your mouth hurt feel like the first time?  Like, you don’t recognize the pain as a kind you’ve felt before?  I’m guessing that’s what happened – I’ve probably felt that same sensation several times and just didn’t recognize it…  That’s the theory I’m going with at least – it seems to be the least scary!


Ooh, and on the progress front, I’ve noticed that the space between my bottom 1st molars and my wisdom teeth has closed significantly.  I’m not getting crap stuck in there nearly as much!  Heck, they can take the braces off right now!  That was definitely high on my list of things to fix…

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


You know what doesn’t go well with braces?  A monster cold.  I went to bed so sick on Sunday night that I didn’t even brush my teeth.  That’s pretty bad!  I’m much better today, but still coughing like mad.  Ugh.  At least it’s not the flu… L


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Finally...some photos

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I promised pics like 2 months ago... :-#

First of all, a refresher on the "before" - my "orthodontic mug shot" if you will.

Ugh, I absolutely abhor photos of myself. And OF COURSE, I didn't wear makeup the day I got braces, since I figured I'd be drooling everywhere... So,'s the only photo I got on Braces Day before I went to the ortho:

And after I got back home:

And here are a couple that I just took. I apparently don't have any kind of macro setting on this camera, so I apologize for the crappy shots...

Man, that looks so creepy - you can see my eyes. I look like some sort of screaming freak. :)

As usual, I majorly need lip balm, but you can tell from the "befores" that my top front teeth are much straighter, and as the nice lady at work said "not sticking out as much."

So, there you go! Enjoy! I'm certainly not.... ;)

Friday, March 21, 2008

I'm such a trendsetter

A coworker stopped me in the bathroom today (where I was brushing my teeth…again) to ask how long I’d been in braces and what I thought of them.  She was thinking about it herself, but always thought she was too old…I guess I inspired her to reconsider. :-#

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Mmm…you know what goes well with braces?  Corned beef!  And what doesn’t go well at all?  Raw cabbage!!!  A group of us from work went out for the traditional corned-beef-and-cabbage meal and were served, basically, a wedge of raw cabbage that had some beef broth poured over it.  (hehe – I’m glad I’m typing this, ‘cause braces or not, I can’t saw “beef broth” without tripping all over my tongue…).  It was not pleasant – I vainly attempted to chew through a chunk of cabbage, but no go.  Ick.  I wouldn’t have wanted to eat it even if I’d been physically able to! J  Fortunately the meal was also served with some well-cooked new potatoes and baby carrots – very braces friendly!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

oh yeah

That’s right, I’m eating a Girl Scout peanut butter sandwich cookie for breakfast… several, in fact.  It kind of hurts to chew still, but I don’t care!


Monday, March 10, 2008

Glad that's not me!

Last Thursday I discovered something worse than being an adult in braces…getting married as an adult in braces!  I apologize to any of you that have had to experience this, but I just don’t think I could do it!  I met this girl with braces at the Young Professionals Summit I was helping at, and she told me she was getting married about 18 months into her 24 month treatment.  Eek.  Fortunately for her, the photographer told her he could photoshop the pictures… Phew!


Still sore today, but not as bad as the first day after the new wire…I’m chewing, kinda, and I’m not on an painkillers today.  I should be chomping on Girl Scout cookies within days… (can you tell that I’m obsessed?)  This time was definitely better than the first few days of braces, so I guess Nabukay was right – it just gets easier after each adjusment…god, I hope so!  The next few times should be a breeze…                                                                                                                        

Friday, March 7, 2008

A rough adjustment

Well, yesterday was the first wire change.  The highlight of my appointment was flossing without a wire - it's amazing how much faster that goes! :-#  Then the ortho's asst. put on a rectangular "14" wire on my top teeth and a "16" on the bottom.  Does anyone know what those numbers mean - could you enlighten me please? 


The most disappointing part of the appt was having the ortho tell me that I wouldn't be ready for surgery for 14-18 months.  I thought he originally said 12-14, so this wasn't well-received news.  I'm not exactly patient sometimes, but I guess I have no choice but to be...


My next adjustment isn't for another 11 weeks!  That seems like a long time...  At that point, they'll put a 14 on my bottom teeth too. 


These new wires caused immediate discomfort - I couldn't even chew the soft fruit offered at my Jr. League meeting last night, never mind the 4 boxes of Girl Scout cookies I finally received.  Grrr... :)  At least I like soup and smoothies...

Monday, March 3, 2008

changes and self-consciousness

I’ve had The Braces for oh, 54 days, and apparently there are some noticeable changes.  Enough for people to comment, at least.  My dear husband keeps saying that he can tell a huge different in my top front teeth, but I usually suspect him of being overly enthusiastic about everything.  So today this lady I work with stopped by my desk and told me that, while staring at my profile in a meeting last week, she noticed that my “front teeth don’t stick out like they used to.”.  Um, thanks?  I know she meant it to be nice and all, but it struck me as akin to telling someone who’d lost weight “Gee, you’re not as fat as you used to be.”  While true, it doesn’t make the person feel that good – did I look that bad before??? 


I’m having a rather self-conscious day.  Not only do I have braces, and people commenting on how my teeth aren’t nearly as ugly as they were, but I’m struggling through the middle of an upper respiratory infection and a bout of facial dermatitis – my face is bright red and feels like it’s on fire.  Yea.  And the nice lady at work pointed that out too.  The cold is making me whiney, and I’d love to rest my face on my hand and sigh, but it hurts too much.  I think I’m going to go home and have myself a pity-party with some ice cream and Robitussin… Sorry for the whining…


3 more days until the first new arch wire… J  And the arrival of my Girl Scout Cookies!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

8 more days

Until my first official ortho appointment – I’m not counting the first trip in that resulting in clipping off the wires on both back bottom teeth.  THIS appointment will actually produce results!  I’m getting a new wire!  Woo-hoo!  (OK, I’m sure I’m the only one that finds that exciting).   In the mean time, my teeth have gone from perfectly happy to horribly sore over the past 3 or so days.  Today I had to use wax even, ‘because my cheeks are screaming bloody murder on both upper sides.  Eek.  Must be moving again. 

I’m going to see if we can establish any provisional timeline for my treatment while I’m at the ortho, based on my progress so far.  I didn’t bother asking at the bonding…  My dear husband keeps telling me that my teeth have shifted noticeably, but of course I just see the crooked teeth still.  

In other news, my Girl Scout cookies have not yet arrived, so I haven’t had a chance to experiment with those yet.  I will probably get them next Thursday after my appointment!  Figures, but that’s when I usually see the mom that I ordered them from, so it would only make sense…  Hopefully the new pain from the changed arch wire won’t kick in until the next day and I’ll be able to enjoy a couple of hours of cookie goodness.  

Ooh, I bought some new eye makeup the other day – some silvery gray shadow and a new “steel” eye pencil…and now my eyes match my teeth! :P  Great…


Thursday, February 21, 2008


I have been avoiding toast because I figured it would be too crunchy.  If I can’t bite into bread crust, surely toasted bread would be worse, right?  Nope!  Phew!  I love toasted bread, especially toasted locally-baked sourdough bread with a healthy smear of butter… and it likes me!  Toasting it made it easier to eat, to my pleasant surprise.  Yea! 


And now on to my Paranoid Orthodontic Fear of the Week:  does any one have any issues when eating Girl Scout Cookies?  I ordered several boxes without even thinking about the fact that I was getting braces, and I know they will be delivered soon.  Finding out that I can’t eat them is likely to cause a bigger meltdown that the thought of going without Valentine’s Day chocolates…  I don’t normally eat a lot of cookies or other junk food (and I don’t consider chocolate a junk food – I’m thinking more like baked treats and other packaged crap, not chocolate).  Oreos in particular occurred to me as a real no-no for braces.  Just look at what they do to unadorned teeth!  So my concern is whether Thin Mints and Tagalongs will cause the same problems…  I sincerely hope not.  If I must, I will just indulge privately where no one can see the mess they create! J


I realized the other day that it’s been a good six weeks since I said I’d post photos of myself with the new bling…and I’ve totally spaced on it!  I got some pics back from our belly dance troupe photographer last night.  We had a “hafla” this weekend (a belly dance party) and she took some pictures of me dancing.  Ugh.  Not only did the light totally wash me out, but The Braces do NOT photograph well.  If I could get any less photogenic, they could use my picture to scare mice away…  BUT, for you my braces friends, and for the sake of being a total masochist, I will try to remember to post the least bad of these, as well as the ones I took when I first got bonded, just as soon as I’m home for more than 5 minutes…

Monday, February 18, 2008


I’m at work today.  It’s technically a government holiday (President’s Day) and I normally get this day off since I would at a government facility.  But, I’m at work.  What the heck does this have to do with braces, you ask?  Well, in planning for a Mexican vacation this summer and the estimated time for recovery I’ll need for my jaw surgery, I’ve determined that I’m going to need more PTO and vacation days that I currently have saved up.  Soooo…I’m probably going to be at work for the remaining holidays this year, or at least as many of them as I can stomach.  My company is great in that if you don’t use the holiday on the designated day, you can save it for later.  And if I wanted to, I could work an extra hour each day for the rest of this pay period and add a second extra day to my PTO bank.  Hmmm…nah.


I thought it was hard to get up on regular Monday mornings…but trying to drag myself out of bed on a Monday that I’m not supposed to work was much harder! J  At least it’s nice and quiet in my office today…  


If I’d stayed home today, I could have caught up on some serious blog-reading time.  I’m such a slacker.  But blogs are now blocked from my work, so that favorite of lunchtime and coffee-break hobbies of mine is no more…  Hopefully I’ll get caught up soon – I’m dying to see what the rest of you are up too.  Oh, well – Happy President’s Day, y’all!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Not so sweet...

I cried and cried yesterday.  I’m a total chocoholic – it’s a disease people! – and my sweet husband knows this.  He’s an enabler. J  He buys me the biggest box of chocolates he can find every year for Valentine’s Day.  This year he was careful to get one free of nuts – mostly crème-filleds…and alas, many of them are still to sticky for me to eat.  I was crushed.  Talk about a V-day bummer!


It’s going to be OK, though.  I’m going to eat them anyway.


I hope everyone had a happy Valentine’s Day…


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I dream of toothpaste...

Does anyone else have dreams about brushing their teeth?  I have yet to dream about my braces (which I find odd) but in my dreams lately, I’m constantly stopping to brush or floss!  This can’t be normal… :-#


Monday, February 4, 2008

Snip snip snip

Well, my errant archwire did not stay in place after Saturday’s little episode, so I left a message with Dr. W.’s office and scored a mid-afternoon appointment today.  The OA glanced at my wire and decided that the only solution was just to clip the back-most sections until I am ready for a heavier gauge – at this point, the back brackets aren’t doing much anyway.  She also thankfully snipped the bit of wire on the top back bracket that has started to poke my cheek.  Phew!  I have a nice-sized sore there from a week’s worth of scratching and poking.  The OA comments that my teeth have moved quite a bit in this first month, so that’s good news!  In 4 weeks, I’ll head back in for a heavier wire, but until then, I’ve got these two bare spots between my first molars and my wisdom teeth*.  It feels deliciously nekkid and I’m anticipating an easier month of flossing since that’s were the majority of my food bits get stuck!  (Yes, eeewwwww…I know!)


*Can’t remember if I went over this bit of dental history before or not.  When I was 19 and first (1 of 3 times) considering braces, my dentist yanked out all of my second molars.  He decided that my wisdom teeth were coming in straight enough to keep and that rather than remove them, I should just get rid of the 2nd molars and make room.  Huh.  Brilliant, right?  Nope!  My wisdom teeth did come in pretty straight, but not straight enough to NOT leave a gap between themselves and the 1st molars big enough to fit half a bite of whatever I eat.  That’s right – instead of wisdom teeth, mine are smart-asses.   I think I look forward to closing these gaps more than any other improvement, at least comfort-wise.


Totally off-topic story:  since my ortho is all the way out by my house, I got to take a nice long break from work.  I stopped at our local wine store, where my husband and I are members of their Wine-of-the-Month Club, to pick up our Feb selection.  The nice old couple that runs the joint offered me a wine tasting (free samples of 4 weekly wines).  I declined, saying that I shouldn’t because I was heading back to work.  The old man laughed and suggested that if I was heading back to work, perhaps I should have TWO tastings instead!  Sigh…I guess wisdom does come with age… :-#  (And no, I did not partake before going back to work, don’t worry…but I certainly thought about it!)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A word to the wise...

At a big party, surrounded by the Beautiful People, avoid the SPINACH DIP.  It does not like braces.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

There will be Braces

I've had my first orthodontic mishap.

Just as my sweetie and I were settling in to our seats for the nearly-3-hour flick "There Will Be Blood", I noticed that something felt...wrong.  A run of my tongue over my braces alerted me to the fact that the arch wire on the back left side was extra springy today - it was out of the bracket.  I willed myself to just leave it alone until we got home, but man did that make for a long movie!

Now, as far as I can tell, the offending bracket (on my back molar) doesn't have a "door" like the ones on the other teeth do (these are the Damon braces of course) - the wire just seems to slip underneath.  So...I managed to slip the wire back under and am hoping for the best.  If it doesn't come back out before Monday, I'll call it good, but if it does, I'm off to the ortho for a repair.  It doesn't feel exactly stable, but I'm kind of wondering if it did before or if I just never paid that much attention to it.

Of course, this is on my "good chewing side" (I'm a lefty), so this is already dimming my mood as we head out the door to a food-laden birthday party...  Grrr...

Anyone else have this problem with the back bracket?  Any advice would be appreciated!

Friday, February 1, 2008


Hmmm…when I run my tongue across my top front teeth, it feels like my right front-most tooth (I don’t know tooth names yet) is now sitting lower than the left.  I suppose it was probably sticking out farther in front before, so when they both started to move back, it would be lower…  It just feels weird.  I’m not complaining – any movement is progress and I know that my bite will probably get even more f-ed up in the months to come.  


One thing I wish I’d done before the braces is to have bleached my teeth.  They’ve never been very white – I am a reformed smoker and I love my coffee.  With the metal brackets, they just look BAD.  Sigh…  I am planning to do some heavy-duty whitening after this whole ordeal.  I’d always figured “what is the point?” since they are so crooked, but now all I can see is everyone else’s pearly whites.


Another sign of progress – I have a tiny bit of wire poking out of the back on the left side – I don’t think it is enough to go in for a trim, but it is enough to scratch my tongue up when I mess with it…which I’m trying not to do…unsuccessfully!  I’m going to have some BAD habits before this is over!


Have a good weekend, all!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I must look like I care...

Have you noticed since getting braces that everyone you talk to has an orthodontics-related story to tell you?  I’m just over 3 weeks into this adventure, and I’ve probably heard 50 stories about “when I had braces…”, “my husband has braces”, “I hated my braces…”, “my daughter just got her braces off…”, and so on.  I realize that people are trying to empathize with me, and while I’m glad to have a “conversation piece”, I can see this getting old fast!  


Just because I have braces does not mean I care. J 


(Now, of course, my fellow “friends in braces”, this doesn’t apply to you!  If you are actively participating in the whole metal mouth experience, I welcome the chance to listen to or read your stories and comments!)



Tuesday, January 29, 2008

must be moving a little

Ouch. I woke up this morning with a giant aphthous ulcer inside my lower lip (that’s a canker sore for all of you whose significant others don’t spout medical terminology at you constantly).  I’m 3 weeks into this fun stuff and I haven’t had to use much wax…other than some lower lip irritation, there haven’t been any cuts or scrapes.  My suspicion is that my teeth must be moving a little and this is a not-yet-scraped-by-a-bracket spot on my lip – therefore being more sensitive than the other already-toughened areas.  Grrr…


Since I’m already talking about gross-icky mouth topics, does anyone else feel like they have constantly heinous breath?  I hope to gawd it’s not just me!  I brush like 4-6 times a day, I floss, I rinse – I’m pretty darn thorough, but I always feel so …uck!  Stinky!  I’m kinda thinking it has to do with eating less, and perhaps not drinking enough H2O?  I better go fill up my water bottle again…


Anyways, just wanted to whine a little… :-#


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Left or Right?

A bit of trivia from ArchWired:  If you are right handed, you will tend to chew your food on your right side. Left-handed people tend to chew their food on their left side.


I am left-handed, for the most part (I write left handed, but I throw right-handed, no clue why…) and yes, indeed, I chew on my left side.  I just figured it was because my teeth meet better on that side!  I guess I’ll find out when all the teeth are straight and everything is where it’s supposed to be if this fun fact is actually true…


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Not much to report...

I’m getting used to the braces now…sometimes I don’t even notice they are there.  Particularly when I’m jogging or crafting – intense concentration on other activities seems to distract me from my mouth… Sometimes, though, it feels like they are bigger than the rest of me – particularly when talking or in any public situation.  


I think I’ve started clenching my teeth when I sleep…does anyone else do this?  I’m pretty sure I didn’t do it before, but my mouth feels kind of stiff when I wake up…  I hope that’s not going to cause a problem!


I haven’t noticed too much movement in these first two weeks.   Today it did seem like my front bottom teeth, while still crooked, were not as crowded as before – like there is enough room now for them to rotate without touching.  That’s got to be progress, right? :-#


I’ve been pretty good about eating – I’m now eating real chewable food for the most party.  I had chicken twice this past weekend with no issues.  Last night I attempted pork chops, but they were a no-go – I had to hand mine over to my husband to finish.  Thank god for mashed potatoes!  I did weaken in my soda resolve and sipped a Sprite last night.  I used a straw, so there was minimal tooth involvement –surely that can’t do too much damage.  I’m mucho paranoid about staining and bracket-glue weakening…  Having braces does make you think about your diet, though, doesn’t it?  Now, instead of debating caloric content or grams of fat, I’m thinking “Gee, is this really worth brushing my teeth for?”


I hope everyone else is having a great week!  Congrats to Stephanie for getting her lower brackets put on!  Whoo-hoo to progress!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I chewed! (Gesundheit!)

Tonight for dinner, my dear husband made me some ravioli and I chewed it!  I chewed!  Not well, mind you, but still - my teeth were definitely involved with the eating process. I had to puff out my cheeks every time I bit down, 'cause they kept getting nipped by the front teeth brackets.  I don't think I'll be eating in public for a while. :-# 

I'm suffering from the dry lip thing that Michelle spoke of a while back (if you're on my blogroll right now, I've read your ENTIRE blog from the beginning...I'm a crazy ortho-blogger stalker...).  My problem is a combination of the winter air and some habitual lip chewing, I think.  Well, that and the fact that I can't rub my lips together to put on lip balm  - that's definitely a problem.  Maybe I should buy stock in a lip balm company - as fast as I'm going through this stuff, I could retire on the dividends.

Fun with jaw surgery

Michelle asked what kind of surgery I’m having and when. I’m not sure when exactly I’ll have the surgery, but I’m hoping for next Christmas so that I don’t have to miss much work (and I can use whatever sick days I have left – they don’t rollover year to year). I had planned to get my braces on in early December, but had to wait until the start of the new year for flex-spending purposes… L So that might push my saw-the-jaw date out a ways… Based on the letter my surgeon, Dr. Desa, sent to my insurance company, I’m having LeFort osteotomy with bilateral split maxilla with bilateral sagittal split osteotomy advancement of the mandible. Since I’m still kind of new to all the technical terms, I’m pretty sure this means that I’m having my lower jaw moved forward quite a bit and my upper jaw moved up a little. I was told that it would be about 10 days off from work (mainly to avoid scaring my coworkers) and that I would not need to be wired shut. We shall see… :-#

Monday, January 14, 2008

Rough weekend

This weekend hurt.  Not only do all my teeth still throb (how long does this last???  It’s been 5 days!), but I’ve scraped the heck out of my lips and cheeks.  I’m really trying not to whine about it TOO much, because I know that just turns off people, plus it’s not like I didn’t do this voluntarily…  Sigh…  Not to mention, some of the pain is just my own darn fault.  Yesterday at a meeting, I was absolutely starving, so I caved and tried to eat some “real” food – chocolate chip cookies and potato chips.  (Yes, stupid, I know!)  I couldn’t chew, so I tried to mash the bits I broke off between my tongue and the roof of my mouth.  Ouch!  Mistake!  Now the top of my mouth is shredded!  Grr…However, on the way home, I had a sort-of soft food epiphany… Spaghetti-Ohs!  Man, they were good.  I haven’t had spaghetti-ohs in like 10 years, but they don’t have to be chewed and they are heaven after several days of oatmeal and mashed potatoes.  


Does anyone have a problem flossing right after getting braces, or right after an adjustment?  My teeth are so sensitive that I can’t slide floss between the front two without almost screaming.  I’m taking the hygiene thing pretty seriously, but flossing is not fun.  Fortunately, with my new Sonicare toothbrush, there wasn’t much between my teeth…that was seriously the best purchase ever!  I also realized just how seldom I’d used mouthwash B.B. (Before Braces) – the bottle under my sink had expired in July 2006…  With all my scrapes and cuts, I was a little wary of the mean burn of Listerine, so I went with the Crest Pro-Health stuff (plus it was on sale).  Not too bad…


I hope everyone had a nice weekend – I went to my husband’s new band’s second gig.  It’s fun being the only person at an all-ages show with braces.  At least it was dark!


Not to worry, not to worry!  My husband and I figured out the whole kissing thing.  ;-#


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Day Two

Well, after 24 hours in braces, I’ve learned that eating isn’t much fun yet.  Of everything I’ve tried to ingest, pudding is the easiest.  Good thing I like pudding! :-#  A poptart was the worst, but that was just my own hungry stupidity – why did I think it would mush easily?  Silly me…

I was really worried that talking would be an issue.  I had a retainer briefly in college (when I first considered braces – oh, how I wish I’d done it then!) and could hardly utter a syllable.  I think it’s my tiny mouth.  But this isn’t so bad.  I’ve talked a lot less than I normally do (and funnily no one has complained…) but everything seems to be coming out OK. Phew!

My teeth are starting to get sore, so I assume they are moving a little already…no major scrapes or cuts on my cheeks or lips yet, just a little tingle on my bottom lip – it feels like I’ve been chewing on it.  I’ve got my wax on hand in case this all changes, but so far so good.

clearing up any name confusion

I noticed that a couple of y’all have added me to your blogrolls.  I love it, and will add more of the ortho blogs to my own roll as I have time to read them…  However, I hate to whine (no, wait that’s not true, I love to whine…) – really, I hate to sound like a whiner, but my name isn’t “Anna”. :-#   In the real world, my name is actually “Aimee”, but I know there is at least one other Aimee out there, so I chose to post under my “belly dance name” which is Ananda Devika.  I can totally see the confusion with Anna and Ananda, but I just thought I’d throw that out there.  Please don’t stop visiting me!  I’ve always just been picky about my name, especially because in “real life” no one can spell Aimee – I actually get emails at work where people write A-M-Y even though A-I-M-E-E is clearly in my address…


New smiley face

I tend to use the smiley face emoticon a lot when I type emails, but now it just doesn’t look right…   I need a proper substitute.  Which looks more like braces?  :- # or  :- $

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Kinda looks like a zipper in my mouth...

Well, they’re on.  I have braces… Yea.


I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to the orthodontist.  I spent most of the 30 minutes drive interally debating whether I’d written down the wrong appointment time – maybe it was 9:20 instead of 10:20 and I’d missed the appointment…  My orthodontist’s office is cool.  Almost everyone that works there has braces or at least had them – my orthontist, Dr. Weber, just got them himself not too long ago to correct his slight overbite.  So, anyway, I get there, and yes my appointment was at 10:20, I’m not late.  After signing a bunch of documents, promising that I’ll actually pay for my treatment, the ortho’s assistant (OA) whose name I didn’t catch leads me back to a chair.  First, she pumiced my teeth.  WFT!?  I don’t even pumice my feet that often!  Hmmm…it wasn’t too bad.  When I rinsed, I realized that I was looking at my naked teeth for the last time in a LONG time.  Sigh…  Next, the OA plied my mouth open with one of those lip guard doohickeys.  I have a tiny mouth and these things never fit comfortably – this time was not the exception. (When they did the impressions, they had to use a child-size tray!)  Then the OA applied etching gel, rinsed that off, and put on the glue.  Either the etching gel or the glue smelled a lot like nail polish remover – it was probalby the gel…I can still smell it, but I think I’m imagining it.  The OA applied the brackets and then flagged down my ortho, who set them into place.  After he’s done, he decided that he doesn’t like the placement of one of them, so he takes it off and redoes it, joking that “now you can say you’ve had braces put on and unbonded all in one day!  Not many people get to experience that!”  Whoopee!  No, that didn’t really thrill me all that much, honestly.  J  Once Dr. Weber had finished his magic, the OA took over and put in the wire… because of my tiny mouth, she had a heck of a time trying to clip the wires... and one majorly rotated tooth required the help of a second OA to snap the wire into the bracket.  Observation:  two sets of hands don’t fit well in my tiny mouth!  I’m pretty sure I wasn’t alone in noticing this…  So, now that the braces were on, the OA gave me a goody bag full of floss samples and wax, a t-shirt (with the logo of the ortho’s office – I can wear it just in case someone doesn’t notice all the metal protruding from my mouth), what-not-to-eat lists, etc, and some tips she’d learned since getting her own braces in August.  I was surprised that nothing I heard today was new – I must be pretty well researched!  Ah, one of the advances to being rather obsessive about new topics.  


I stopped home after my appointment – my sweet husband has the day off and wanted to see me.  I think I look hideous.  He thinks I look like a high school girl – which is funny, because that’s exactly what Mrs. Shanton said when I posted about the potential of kissing problems… J  Hmmm…how wrong is it to look like you’re still in high school when your 10 year high school reunion is only months away?  J  I wonder if I’ll get carded more often now…


So, two hours in full braces and I’m not too irritated yet.  I can’t close my lips all the way, but technically I couldn’t before the braces either – one of my issues is that when my mouth is at rest, my top lip doesn’t cover my teeth.  This should be fixed by the upper jaw surgery, I’m hoping.  I haven’t tried to eat yet, but I smell soup in my future…


My next appointment, barring any unforeseen problems, is March 6.  They’ll change my wire at that time – I was promised that I should start seeing some dramatic changes right awy.  I’m pretty sure that translates into “You’ll probably hurt a lot for the next 8 weeks”.  Good thing I married a pharmacist…


I’ll post some photos of my new bling later.  This will definitely be an adventure!


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

"Before" Photos

Ugh, these are horrible pictures, BUT they are already taken and that saves me from having to fish out the digital camera... I swear I don't look this bad in real life (yeah, right!). I can't believe I'm actually putting these out there for the world to see - this process better be worth it!

Kissing with braces

Under 24 hours now, and I’m starting to freak out just a little…OK a lot!  Suddenly there are a lot of questions I feel haven’t been answered for me.  The big one at the moment?  How are braces going to affect my love life?  I know I won’t look the best, but are they actually going to affect my ability to make out with my husband?  I mean, gee, this is one of my favorite activities.  So, like every other question I think of, I googled it.  eHow had a good article – it was directed at the partner without braces kissing the one that does, so maybe I should pass it onto my husband… J  How to Kiss Someone With Braces says that kissing with braces can be tricky, but it can also be done “safely”.  Well, that’s reassuring. J  What’s not comforting is the suggestion that we wait A MONTH to kiss so that my teeth aren’t as sore.  Um, nope…don’t see that happening!


Anyone else have issues with their make-out sessions while wearing these things?



Last meals...

Tomorrow is the Big Day!  I’m sitting here pondering my meals for the rest of today… I brought some nice black-bean-and-veggie soup for lunch, but maybe I should save that for later this week when my ability to chew is compromised and just indulge today.  I’m thinking a nice big BLT from Jimmy John’s.  Crusty French bread, bacon…it might be a while before I can tear into one of those…  And how about tonight for dinner?  Pizza?  Steak?  I’m open to hard-to-chew suggestions… :)


I’m going to scan in my “before” photos tonight, and try to find the sheet from the orthodontist listing exactly what is wrong with me…you know, because that stuff is fun to look at…


Wednesday, January 2, 2008


So, apparently, I need to check my mail more carefully.  Here I am, sorting papers on the desk in our home office and I come across an envelope my from insurance company.  It doesn't look like a bill, so I suppose that's why it got set aside.  I open it and it says "Based upon the clinical information submitted and the plan benefits, LeFort osteotomy with bilateral split maxilla with bilateral sagittal split osteotomy advancement of the mandible is approved for this member."  In English, I think that means I'm approved for my jaw surgery!