Thursday, May 22, 2008

Slenderizing and Aqualizing

I suck...I just can't seem to keep up with this blog.

A few quick updates:

I had my teeth "slenderized" at my last appointment 5 weeks ago. It sort of sucked. They said it wouldn't hurt... and it wan't excrutiating, however, with my super sensitive teeth I experienced a fair amount discomfort. They basically take this spinning disc-like wheel and run it in between your teeth to file a space for the teeth to move. Then, they take a double-sided, metal "Emery board" and run it between your teeth to buff the rough edges. After, you have to up your fluoride usage b/c any fluoride that has accumulated over the years is basically filed off.

The next day my bottom teeth were quite sore... NOT from the procedure, from the fact that they could move again and had obviously done so while I slept.

Then, last week, I woke up in the middle of the night to a sharp and loud cracking sound. I though I broke my tooth, but I had actually clenched my teeth together so tight while sleeping, that I broke the bracket off my bottom, left-middle tooth. The ortho couldn't see me for a few days... and it's amazing how much your teeth move in that time. It seemed like that tooth went back to where it started. Very scary...

It took all of 20 minutes to fix it. They did not take the wire off, but rather just loosened it, scraped the cement off my tooth (uncomfortable for me, b/c once again, my sensitive teeth didn't like it) and then glued a new bracket back on.

Everything would have been fine and good except, the bracket broke off again last weekend. I have no idea how... but I think it either happened at dinner (and I didn't notice) or I did it in my sleep again and it didn't wake me. In either case, I am going today to have it fixed yet again. And yet again, that tooth is back to it's crazy crookedness. I hope this doesn't become a problem...

The ortho "gave me" (for $50) this thing called an Aqualizer that I can wear to bed to prevent the teeth clenching. It's sort of weird, but I guess I need to start wearing it every night.

PS - I'll get some pictures posted soon... my teeth are looking good!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A quick update...

My bottom teeth are SO loose. It's pretty gross. I've got this awful habit of clenching my teeth while I sleep, so I often wake up to very sore bottom teeth. On top of that, I've become obsessed with lightly clenching my teeth together voluntarily... to feel them move! I have issues...

The Invisalign trays are plugging along. I'm SO annoyed because we are on vacation this week -- in Florida, and I forgot to switch to Tray 4 before we left (as scheduled)! ::sigh:: There goes another week added on to treatment. I'm such a jackass...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Dogs get "hot spots" from too much licking...

People with traditional braces get "raw spots" from where the wire or bracket cuts into your cheek and/or the inside of your lips (after repeated exposure).

I have a raw spot right now... inside my bottom lip. At first, I thought it was the actual bracket cutting into my lip. But no, it's the wire in between two brackets. It sucks! I just put a little tab of dental wax on it and it definitely helps.

It's weird, b/c at night while you sleep, I guess a sort of vacuum occurs in your mouth and causes your lips to be drawn in to your teeth. So I often wake in the morning to find my braces almost embedded into my bottom lip. Over time, this one little spot has gotten a deeper and deeper indentation (from the wire) until it's finally broken the skin.

I love dental wax... don't know what I would do without it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tray #3

So, today is my first "offical day" of chaging my top Invisalign tray -- on my own. I was supposed to do it last night, but totally forgot. This coming from someone who was DYING during the first two weeks... knowing that I had to wait until week six until I was able to switch to Tray 2!

In any case, I remembered this morning and swapped out Tray 2 for 3. It was very tight when I first put it in, but feels better already. My only complaint is that I have a 'sore spot' now on the upper right molar area. I guess that's the area being 'worked on' with this tray.

My bottom teeth are doing okay. I am never completely pain free... unless I am not eating. Eating, chewing, biting, etc. are all still a challenge. My bottom teeth are a little lose and therefore, don't do well with foods that exert pressure (which most do). Breads really suck b/c they either get stuck everywhere (in the brackets) if they are too soft or, are impossible to tear through and chew if they have any sort of crust.

Things like apples, celery and anything else 'crunchy' are still a challenge as well.

All that said though -- my bottom teeth have really shifted quite a bit. There are some significant improvements in areas that were pretty out of sorts before. I still have one specific area that appears to need significant movement... but I honestly need to look at the original pictures to do a comparrison. My guess is that these teeth have shifted... just not as much as the others.

Monday, March 24, 2008

First Maintenance Visit

Sorry that it took me a few days (okay, over a week) to post an update re: my first real maintenance visit. I went in last Tuesday.

First of all, I had to wait OVER AN HOUR before I was brought into the room. I guess since my Ortho is only at my dentist's office twice a month, they sometimes get behind trying to jam everyone in. Very annoying... I hope this doesn't become a reoccurring problem.

When I finally got started, the first thing the technician did was to glue my two attachments onto my top teeth. The only real discomfort with this process is having to wear the clear plastic mouth expander they put in your cheeks to keep your teeth exposed. You wear this while they are putting your braces on as well. It kind of sucks. It feels like your bottom lip is going to split open. Then, when she was taking it out, she kind of pinched the inside of my top lip, which made my eyes tear uncontrollably. Aside from that, a painless procedure.

Basically, first they clean your teeth, then they dry them very well and apply a liquid to them -- which I am assuming is some type of acid -- to roughen the surface of the tooth a bit. Then they take an [existing] copy of your aligner and apply the adhesive/attachment material into the spaces in the aligner where the attachments fit. They put the aligner on you and it sits for several minutes curing (setting). The only slight discomfort with this (for me) was that the aligner was very tight. I got used to it after a few minutes, but she struggled getting it to snap on my teeth.

After, she rinsed my teeth off and put my normal aligner back in. I am now on aligner #2!!! Woo Hoo! And from here on out, I will change my aligner every two weeks. I am already done with the first week, so I'm already halfway to aligner #3!

Once it was in my mouth, I asked if I could practice taking it out... as I had heard horror stories of removing the aligner right after the attachments are place. I was able to [fairly] easily get it out. Keep in mind though, I only have two attachments... some people have as many as ten! I can see how removing the aligner -- when you have multiple attachments -- could be quite the challenge. Make sure you practice before you leave the office!

Once that step was done, it was on to the traditional braces on my bottom teeth. This is where things started to suck a bit. First, she removed the existing band and wires. Then, she placed either end of the wire in the back-most brackets on either side. Once the wire is anchored, they go bracket by bracket, using either bands or wires to fasten the wire on.

Previously I had all bands. Since things were moving along nicely, she used steel wire ties on the teeth that need the most adjusting (for either misalignment or rotation). As she tightened the wire around the bracket -- on the teeth that are the most painful as is -- it hurt quite a bit. A lot in fact. I thought for sure I would be in excruciating pain that night but I was actually okay. It was the tightening of the wires that hurt the most.

The appointment took about an hour in total and my next appointment is in 6 weeks. At this next appointment they will do something called "slenderizing" on the bottom teeth. This procedure helps to shave down the edges of the teeth -- where there is overcrowding -- providing room for the teeth to shift into place. Sounds a little scary, but I was told it is not painful (famous last words coming from someone in the dental industry). I asked if they could do some 'slenderizing' in other places too... like my butt, thighs and legs. Unfortunately they can not...

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm a Jackass

Well, good thing I have an Ortho appointment tomorrow... because I think I lost my Invisalign tray today! I went to Starbucks to get coffee and a bite to eat. After, I ran next door to the Hallmark store and, wanting to eat my food, took out my aligner and put it in my jacket pocket.

Three hours later (!) I remembered that my aligner wasn't in... so I reached into my pocket and it was empty! I cannot for the life of me remember if I took it out of my pocket after I ate, or if that was the last place I had it. In any case, I cannot find it.

I decided to put on my next tray, since I'm only one day away from the Ortho visit. This is the first aligner change for me... and boy is this 2nd aligner TIGHT! I cannot imagine how it will be tomorrow after I get my attachments on.

On a side note... some before (top) and after 6 weeks (bottom) pictures:


Not too shabby!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Weirdly enough, I think my bottom teeth shifted during sleep last night... and got MORE crooked! I know this only because I spent a fair amount of time staring at my teeth yesterday trying to figure out if they had moved at all. They definitely looked a little straighter.

I woke this morning to a few very sore teeth. Upon closer inspection, I am convinced there was a type of "shift" last night -- putting pressure on the teeth in pain and causing a few other teeth to appear more crooked.


I'm guessing this is normal, especially when your teeth are crowded. The constant pressure moves the teeth and they have to go SOME where... so if there's no where to go, they are going to slip into places where they fit.

We'll see what the ortho says on Tuesday. Today was a sucky day for eating though.