A twenty-something's journey with braces

Monday, December 31, 2007

More info on Damons

Certain posters on the Metal Mouth Forum over at ArchWired.com - my main braces haunt - make it a point to inform everyone who mentions the Damon system that it is "really NO different" than traditional metal brackets with elastic ligatures. They even cite quotes from a few orthos ostensibly (I think the wording is a little more vague than the point the posters are trying to make, but maybe that's just me) supporting that view.

I've seen it enough to be a little annoyed about it. Dang it, I want to be excited about my braces!

But on the whole it doesn't bother me. MY ortho is convinced it's the best option for me, and I did my own research on it and have confidence it's the right thing to do.

Then today I noticed this article posted up on the ArchWired front page:

Using the Damon Bracket System

The author, Rowe, got his DMD from Harvard and his MS from Michigan. He's president-elect of the Massachusetts Association of Orthodontics. Dude knows whereof he speaks. *g*

And he speaks highly of Damons. He, like my ortho, is convinced it is a "smoother, more consistent treatment with better results than ever". Especially for adults.

So as I get ready to head into this full gear - my records/x-rays/impressions appointment is this Thursday! - it was a nice little boost to my excitement and confidence.

Bring it on!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

LOL of the day

Courtesy of icanhascheezburger.com

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Basket Case

My extended family doesn't exchange gifts at Christmas. Instead we all put together themed gift "baskets" with a spending cap of $25, and then we play a "Dirty Santa" game with them. Much hilarity ensues.

There are informal competitions to see who can get the most stuff in their basket without breaking the cap (my bargain-hunter aunts are tops), who has the most original theme, and whose basket gets "stolen" most during the game.

I was having trouble coming up with an idea, and was almost going to just co-op with DH and do a joint basket. Then, as I was going through my recently-updated nightly dental routine, I had a brilliant idea. This year, I gave the gift of oral hygiene.

Here's my "oral care" themed gift basket for this year's exchange:

Reach Access flosser - free (from my dentist)
Oral-B Vitality electric toothbrush - $12 (eBay)
Colgate Luminous toothpaste - $2.50
Manual toothbrush - free (from my dentist)
Crest Pro-Health 500 mL - $3.50
Orbit White sugar-free gum - $1
Aquafina Hydrating Lip Oil balm - $1
Oral-B Satin floss - $2.50
Ice Breakers sugar free mints - $1
ChapStick Moisturizing - $1
Total = $24.50

Can you tell I went for a color theme, as well? *g*

I was interested to see how it would go over, but as it turns out it was the last gift chosen. (They are all wrapped to begin with.) My mom ended up with it. But she did know what it was, at least in part, beforehand and was actually excited to get the toothbrush. All's well that ends well, I suppose.

(I ended up with a coffee maker and an assortment of "hot drinks" - coffee, tea, chai, cocoa, etc. I don't drink coffee so I'm going to try to return the coffee maker. But I am enjoying the instant cappuccino and others.)

Review: Aquafresh White Trays

I chose Aquafresh White Trays because my teeth are crowded, especially my lowers, and I didn't think most other products would whiten my entire teeth such that when they straighten out with braces there won't be streaks. But I was unhappy with their dingy color, and I wanted them to be clean and pretty for when my braces went on.

I've now used this product twice, and been very pleased with the results.

Here's what my teeth looked like this summer, before the first round (small, sorry!):

Here's what they look like now, after two rounds (4 months apart):

For a real comparison, look at my lower canine and bicuspid vs. my upper incisors in this pic:

So, I'm pleased. Only my front teeth show and I enjoy seeing my pretty, much whiter smile in the mirror:

The product itself is flexible (kinda flimsy, honestly) trays pre-loaded with a strip of thick whitening gel. You put the trays on your teeth and mush the gel up and around so it covers all the teeth, even in-between. Then you wear them for 30-45 minutes

I still couldn't get good coverage on my lower canines/bicuspids (as seen above) and the very tops of my (long) upper canines didn't get quite as white as the rest. BUT like I said, the teeth that actually show when I smile are *noticeably* whiter and I'm happy with that.

My mom came to visit after the first round, and actually asked me if I'd gone to the dentist to get them bleached. She was very impressed.

There are 14 trays in the box, 7 upper and 7 lower, for an assumed one-week treatment.

First round I did 7-straight days, and by the end of it my gums were singed and tender, and my teeth ached, and it hurt to brush. BUT within 2-3 days it got better, and I didn't have any further problems.

This time, I did every-other-day over about two weeks and had much less sensitivity. I was able to brush twice a day with my electric toothbrush no problem, and even floss. My teeth might ache slightly the day after a treatment (I did them at night before bed) but nothing really noticeable and it was gone by the end of the day.

So I would recommend this product, just warn about the sensitivity issues and suggest an every-other-day routine. It works well on very crowded teeth or uneven teeth, but not as great on rotated teeth (like my lower canines).