A twenty-something's journey with braces

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Big Day - January 17th 2008

Well, the date stamp won't show it, but I didn't get the chance to post this on my actual b-day.

Here's how it went down:

I showed up a couple minutes late for my 9 am appointment (oops!) but I'd called ahead so they knew I was coming. When I got there I followed advice and went to the bathroom first and then coated my lips with balm (Chapstick Moisturizing - I'm a fan).

I was tipped waaay back in the chair and she brushed my teeth with the pumice toothpaste and then I was told to go rinse. I was afraid to close my mouth, but it really didn't taste like anything, just gritty. Then it was back in the chair and the dreaded lip spreaders went in.

She dried my teeth with I swear a mini blow dryer, then painted the etchant on my bottom teeth. It didn't taste great, but I didn't get too much so it wasn't bad. Super sour/bitter/astringent, like strong vinegar. Then she put on some kind of "sealant", which smelled like a hair salon, or nail polish.

Then the indirect bonding tray was fitted to my lower arch, and she went over each bracket twice with the little blue light. She left the tray in place and repeated the process for my top arch. The bottom hard tray was peeled off and another round with the blue light, then the same for the top. The majority of the time was spent doing the blue light. At last she peeled the soft inner trays off and I was officially bonded.

At this point I got to get up and go rinse my mouth. I have to say, right off the bat I was impressed with the Damon brackets. I was expecting them to feel HUGE on my teeth, but even with the doors open they didn't. For the record, I got the "social six" (front upper six, or canine to canine) bonded with Damon 3s, the half-clear brackets, and the rest with all-metal Damon 3MXs.

Back in the chair again and the ortho took a look. I had to bite down to show where my top teeth were hitting the lower brackets (we knew that would be a problem). Then he told the tech where to bond some molar build-ups and it was more etchant, sealant, and then two blobs of stuff that she cured with the blue light, one on either

Finally my archwire fitting. I think I heard the ortho say 0.013 for my wire gauge. It is not the heat-activated kind of wire. She had to work a bit to get it engaged with my canines (no surprise) but eventually everything was locked in. A little tightness, but not too bad. What was most striking - even more so than the brackets alone - was how it felt like my top lip was being held so far out.

And that was it! I was given a bag of supplies and told what food not to eat (I've already broken that, but with due caution) and given prescriptions for "Magic Mouthwash" - no lie - and some kind of at-home nightly flouride treatment.

Oh, and my ortho went over my plan with me in more detail. In about 6 months I'll be getting elastics from my upper canines to my lower first molars to bring my lower jaw forward and open up my deep bite. And eventually my back molars will get brackets too (they didn't this time).

My next appointment is March 20th. I may get a new archwire then, if I've made enough progress. I read on the Damon website that 90% of alignment and leveling is done in the first 10 weeks, so here's hoping.

Now here are way more pics than you probably care about, but hey - it's my blog. *g*

My smile before, and now with braces:

A shot that shows more of my teeth/the convoluted archwire, and a shot of my current propped-open bite.

My official b-day records of my arches, upper and lower. Note the blue molar buildups.

I met DH and Little Boy for lunch before heading to my afternoon spa appointment. First meal in braces: cheeseburger and fries, with a chocolate shake. I didn't even have to use a fork and knife! But the going was sloooooow and I got all sorts of stuff gommed up in the braces. Thank goodness for my DentaKit, which I broke in immediately after.

And I have to say, if you're an adult getting braces, following up your morning bonding appointment with an afternoon at the spa for a custom facial and 1-hour relaxation massage is the way to go! I pretty much forgot I had them.

My first day overall was very easy. Little to no pain (I did stay current on OTC painkillers, though, alternating between Advil and Tylenol) and aside from getting used to where the brackets snag my lips when I smile or open wide, I didn't even have to use wax.

Second meal in braces: pizza with mushrooms, and breadsticks. So much for the "braces diet"! Actually, I didn't eat much of the breadstick or any of the crust, and I eat so much slower I end up not eating as much. So there's that.

Before bed I used the WaterPik - a godsend - with the ortho attachment, then brushed my teeth with my trusty Vitality and the ortho heads (officially "Oral-B Braces Care Essentials") I got off eBay. Wonderful! My mouth felt better overall after that. Then I managed to floss, though it took quite a while, and followed all with a warm salt water rinse.

All in all, an easy beginning.

1 comment:

NBB said...

Oh, it's good that you can eat :) I never followed my orthos advise with the food, I knew pretty quickly what I could eat and what not. Even chewing gum.

But, after getting the braces and after every adjustment, I could only eat soft food for about two days. So you're very lucky :)