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!