September 29, 2010

Gimmie space, oh baby gimmie space!

I am fighting a cold, but I am not winning. I am chock-full of Advil Cold & Sinus as well as some daytime cold relief capsules we had in the bathroom  this morning. I am counting the hours/minutes/seconds until I can go home and curl up on the couch with my dog and a blanket and a cup of Neo-citran because I somehow felt I had to drag my butt into work today. Silly girl.

So in addition to feeling miserable with a faucet for a nose, I had an appointment at the orthodontist to have spacers put on either side of my 2nd to last back molars on the bottom. Spacers look like tiny rubber washers that are stretched and then “flossed” between my teeth. Yeah… they were a pretty damn tight squeeze to get them in. Now they are in place and I can actually “bite” on the tops of the spacers. It’s a weird sensation… kind of like when you’re blowing up balloons and you chomp down on the rolled open end. Anyhow, aside from that annoyance, since they are pushing against the teeth next to them I have intense pressure in my mouth. This of course complements the sinus pressure in my head.

Bad cell phone pic of the blue spacers

The purpose of the rubber spacers is to push my other teeth away from the "naked" tooth to make room so that a week from today when I go back in, the metal molar bands being put on the aforementioned molars will *hopefully* go into place with relative ease. However I am bracing myself for the possibility that it will suck. And I suspect rightfully so, because to quote my orthodontist, “next week, be prepared for about 45 minutes of tugging and wrestling in your mouth”. Oh golly, I can hardly wait. Then in October I get to have the same thing done to the top teeth.

But for now, it feels like I have steak stuck in-between my teeth and there is nothing I can do about it. I am under strict instructions to NOT floss between the teeth the spacers are on. Blarg. I was sent away with 4 spare spacers and instructions on how to put them in place in case I lose one. Considering how difficult they were to get in place at the ortho’s office, I am not banking on them “falling” out. At least I hope not! Either way, I have a week with them in!

September 23, 2010

I Dream of Teeth

I had my first braces related dream last night. I’ve heard of people having nightmares about braces/jaw surgery and I am sure as my own surgery day creeps closer my subconscious will filter in some orthodontic influences, but this was my first orthodontic dream. It wasn’t even bad all things considered. Two weeks ago my bottom front teeth were aching pretty badly. The morning after the worst day of pain I noticed a small visible gap between the two bottom front teeth, which to me explained the pain. So in last night’s dream, I didn’t have pain but I did have crazy spaces between all my teeth. It looked like when a small child gets their first teeth and they are all spaced apart. I guess I must be okay with the “it will get worse before it gets better” part of major orthodontic treatment because I didn’t wake up panicked or disoriented (you know, like I do when I dream of work ha ha).

My husband’s family are all going to see my braces for the first time this weekend so I had better be prepared to tell my “why-did-you-get-braces-when-your-teeth-were-already-straight” story a bunch of times. Ten bucks says his grandmother makes some comment about the cost.

And speaking of people noticing my braces, my friend’s 4 year old saw them for the first time last weekend and he was pretty curious about them. Explaining what braces are and what they were doing in my mouth to a 4 year old was interesting… he doesn’t care that they make me look a bit different; he just didn’t know what they are. So, he looked in my mouth, touched the brackets and wires and was generally a curious kid. I think he understood what they are to a degree, but he’s 4 and we went from talking about what the braces were doing in my mouth, to running away from imaginary crocodiles. To be honest, he is my favourite person I’ve explained them to so far. I didn’t tell him about the surgery, I figure he doesn’t need to know about that until the time comes. Then, I am sure I will need help explaining why my teeth are banded together but I bet as long as he knows I will be “better” at some point; he’ll be okay with that too. My friend on the other hand, gets squeamish and visibly uncomfortable when I mention the surgery so it might be up to someone else to explain it to his little guy without gagging. I am not eager to think about the actual methodology of the surgery, but so long as I don’t analyze it too much I should be okay!

September 17, 2010

I believe in the magic of hot dogs

Well, it’s been two weeks since I got braced. Those first few days really sucked. My mouth/teeth were achy and everything I tried to eat was a challenge. I wore the orthodontic wax over most of my brackets with elastic-hooks and the insides of my lips/cheeks were raw and tender. Then, last Saturday my husband and I were having lunch at a campground and I ate/spit out the wax I had on my brackets. When I was done eating, I brushed my teeth and to my surprise it didn’t feel like the brackets were hurting me anymore! I don’t know what the turning point was, but I am going to go ahead and credit the magic of bbq’d hot dogs. For the record, mustard stains the clear ligs on ceramic brackets. But I love mustard and am not about to give it up! LOL the discolouration is minimal so it’s not that bad. Either way, I haven't worn wax in almost a week and I can honestly (and thankfully) say I am used to the braces!

My co-worker who had upper jaw surgery on August 31st came back to work on Monday of this week. She was only off for not quite two weeks! I keep telling her she is going to make me look bad when it’s my turn to be off work recovering from surgery. Then again, I am 7 years older than her and there is a chance my surgery will include both jaws. That aside, her mouth seems to be healing really well. The swelling in her lips is going down and you can tell sort of what her bite is going to be like when everything is done. Talking to her about her surgery and recovery is a good thing for me, and her current progress inspires me when I am having a blah-braces day. I had another girl in the office come to me after seeing the other co-worker on her first day back and ask me if I was scared about my pending surgery. Well of course I am! If it wasn’t nervous about it I would be worried! However the thing that keeps me positive about it is the thought that things will all be good when the whole process is done!

I am amazed the amount of people I know that have had the surgery done. They see my braces; comment how it doesn’t look like I need braces, I explain it’s for my jaw/bite and that I will be having surgery at some point. Then the “oh, I had that done”. It seems more common than I thought! It’s also nice to get feedback and hints from people who have gone through the whole shebang and are all recovered (years later!). Again, I know its going to be tough going for a bit, but I keep thinking about the future and what I will feel and look like. I am debating asking the surgeon if, while he’s in surgery if he’ll shave down the bump on my nose! LOL

September 2, 2010

The Architecture of my Mouth

This morning I went to the orthodontist. An hour and a half later I left with a mouthful of orthodontic construction material. In the time that I’ve worked for the Construction Contract Administration department of an Architecture firm, I’ve discovered that I sometimes view the buildings around me as ordinary or artfully designed thoughts and ideas. And it seemed to me that the things I have in my mouth are not all that different. Building construction materials have similar purposes as orthodontic construction materials. You could think of it as: I have rebar held in place with metal (and ceramic) footings concreted to my tooth surface. All in an attempt to help straighten and correct the Architecture of my mouth. Yep, that’s how my brain works.

I’m not sure how I feel about having the braces on. They aren’t hurting me yet, just a little aching so far. I managed to eat supper tonight with minimal awkwardness. But people do look. A quick double take... sometimes in a subtle manor, sometimes not. Some are all “hey, right on, good for you” others are aghast “ohmygawd... you're 30 and you got braces? Why? Your teeth are already straight” I have yet to put together a reply that doesn’t seem to take too long to explain. I think as those who see me every day will get used to them on me, and hopefully I won’t notice having them in my mouth after a bit.

Who knows... this is day 1. There are many many more days to come.

September 1, 2010

Do you know what tomorrow is?

Tomorrow... is B Day. No, not my birthday... which was Sunday. And as a friend on Facebook pointed out, that (according to his math) I was now in my thirties. Yeah. 30. Yippidee... *sigh* B Day is Braces Day. Tomorrow morning (at 10:45) I have an appointment to get my braces put on. I nervously excited. I know that this will mark day #1 of a potentially long orthodontic/orthognathic journey.

Today after work I went with two coworkers to visit another coworker who had jaw surgery yesterday. I was fully prepared to walk into her hospital room and see her all bandaged and bruised and groggy and swollen. I was happily surprised to see that she was talking and smiling and looked like she could just get up and run right out of her room. I got to see her “eat” tomato soup through a syringe which, while it didn’t look fun, looks do-able. Yeah, it’s easy for me to say that now. Once I am in her position I expect the novelty will wear off quickly. Until then, I will be wired and waiting to meet my surgeon.

Earlier tonight, my husband asked what time my appointment was at the orthodontist tomorrow. Then he says “Awww you’re not even going to get to eat lunch before you get your braces on!”. Yeah (sigh from me) I know. He then reminds me that will suck. Uh huh... I’ve figured that out (another sigh). Then he suggests we leave for work a bit early tomorrow and go into Smokeys (a local diner) for breakfast so I could have a great last meal before the braces go on. I love surprises like that! So, I am really looking forward to tomorrow now. For a week that started out so horribly, it’s been steadily improving!