Monday, June 05, 2006

Brace Face Part I

Above: Lower braces day 1 (click for large size photo)

Here's me, day 1 with my spiffy new self-ligating lower braces. The wire is a #14 if I heard him correctly, which is a very light wire, but I can definitely feel some gentle tension. I took some Motrin before I went and I'll probably take more later. It's not super painful but it is irritating. I guess the consensus is that the discomfort will go away in a couple of days.

Notice how crooked everything is. My teeth are in somewhat of a jagged U shape all tilted inwards due to the former narrowness of my top jaw. Eventually I'll have a nice smooth curve.

Before Patricia, the technician, started installing the braces I had Dr W come over to look at my top teeth. He said everything looks very good. I told him about the "line" of tension that I feel across my face in the bone but he didn't really know what to say about it or what it could be. He didn't seem worried and said it might be a question for Dr T but didn't think it necessary that I go see him. So I guess I'll just chalk it up to the fact that my teeth aren't quite back to their proper spots yet, and hopefully by my next appointment (when my RPE comes out and I get my top braces) things will be better. It hasn't gotten any worse, it just doesn't feel normal, so we'll see what happens.

The actual install of the braces was smooth sailing. The worst part was when she had to first scrape some plaque off, which is never pleasant. Then I had a piece of plastic shaped to hold my lips away from my teeth inserted and some gauze to keep things dry. She painted some goo on my teeth and placed the brackets 3 or 4 at a time, followed by inspections by Dr W. Once that was done she put the wire on. There was some pushing, tugging, and clipping going on, but none of it was painful, just sort of blunt I suppose.

She only accidentally grazed my top teeth two or three times and thankfully the fear was worse than the pain in that sense. However, there is clearly no way I could endure the amount of pressure needed to install braces on my top teeth right now, they are still way too sensitive to touch. I told Dr W that I don't bite anything harder than a banana or jam sandwich. He thought I could probably get away with a turkey sandwich but I don't! Not yet. (I'm vegetarian anyway, but you get the idea.)

Once she was finished it was a very odd sensation all around my bottom lip with all those brackets there. I'm sure my lip will be shredded soon, but I have lots of wax for it. I'm actually surprised how little the brackets from my RPE have bothered me. I haven't even used a whole container of wax on them!

Then Maria, another assistant, gave me a mini education on how to brush properly and use the special floss and proxa-brush.

I wasn't expecting to get the self-ligating braces, and I forgot to ask why I have those instead of the regular kind. I'm actually a little bit sad that I won't get to have colourful ligators, boo. :)

My next appointment is July 25th at 9am. My RPE will come out, molds will be taken for my FFMP retainer, and my top braces will be placed. They said all of that will take about 2 1/2 hours. It will also be time to get my name on Dr T's surgery list with a date approximately a year from then.


At 10:49 PM, Blogger Brandyleigh35 said...

Hey Graham,
The lower brackets look great. I have self ligating too! Although I requested mine rather than waiting for him to just suggest them or slap metal on me. I didn't want those colored ligs. I like to keep it simple.

I had a hard time eating hard food, especially meats. I did not bite into anything with my front teeth until about 1 week ago when I could finally feel them and they stopped hurting. I cut everything up. Have you tried that? Cutting things up rather than trying to bite them? I was able to get pizza down and a few other things as long as I cut it up small, and put it in the back of mouth.

I have my next appt on the 22nd of July and will get my TPA out. Then they will start moving my uppers finally. Sounds like you are progressing along the same time line as I was. Its amazing how sensitive the front incisors are huh?

Anyway...hopefully you lowers will move quickly like mine. Take lots of pics its really cool to see how they change!

Keep on healing!


At 10:33 AM, Blogger Graham said...

Thanks Brandy...I've not been biting into much and I tend to just eat foods which are soft to begin with and that don't need to be cut up, for example brown beans, which being a vegetarian are a staple for me anyway. I don't think I could manage pizza yet, even with it cut up. I think it would be far too chewy as I'm still trying to avoid using my front teeth at all. On top of that my teeth really only meet at one spot in my whole mouth anyway (story of my pre-ortho life!) so it takes a lot more effort. Thankfully that story is on its way to being history.

How quickly did your lowers move?

At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Jes said...

Hey Graham,
Congrats on entering a new and exciting stage!!! :P
Hope you'll be well enough to eat out a Summerlicious in July though. I promise to wear comfy shoes this time.

Erin says "hey" and that she can't get to a computer right now (stuck outside of North Bay with no internet, no job AND living with her folks - ack, and you thought your life was pain). Love to see you out the last Friday night of June if you're up for it.


At 12:41 PM, Anonymous mishka said...

So does this mean you can come out and party on the 23rd? :D

At 7:07 PM, Blogger KT_001 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Graham
I was told about your blog by Erin @ school when you first began writing. Just today I have been able to come back and read about all of the progress you have made, it looks amazing! I can notice a difference in the profile photos where you have some definite width now in your jaw (closer to chin)and it doesn't look narrow, but a big difference in the alignment of your max teeth, and it looks great! How long are your braces suppose to be on for? Anywho I just thought I would drop a line.

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Graham said...

Hi Katie...

Thanks for reading! I like hearing comments from people in the industry, as it were. :) And congrats on your graduation too eh!

In total I expect to have braces for about 15 months or so. My second surgery will take place somewhere around the 12 month mark. I'm having my uppers placed in 23 days and I'll finally be rid of this expander, woo!! ...Thanks for your kind words on my progress. I must say I am surprised with myself, funny how I didn't notice a lot of difference until I put the photos side by side. Things seem to have come to a halt recently though so I guess the braces will take care of the rest. Come on back here for all the action updates! :)



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