Erm…why?

Hey folks!

It’s been ages since I last posted on my blog (which is a good sign as it means that my braces haven’t been pulling focus till now)! However, today (for seemingly no reason at all) the last bracket on the right of my top teeth is REALLY rubbing the inside of my cheek. Now why would it do that?

My braces have been on for nearly 4 months – I would have assumed that any rubbing that was going to happen would’ve happened by now (especially at the back where there hasn’t been that much movement). So why?

It’s actually a blessing for any family and friends as it only really hurts when I talk – so I’ll be pretty quiet till either a/ I develop tougher skin there or b/ something else moves and it stops rubbing. Either will do!

Apart from that I can report that things are going well with my braces. I’m slightly bored of them (and having to remind myself to watch what I eat, and clean after every meal) BUT the changes are so clear that I know it’s all going to be worth it!

Oh – and I’ve discovered that there’s a solidarity between brace wearers! If I see an adult wearing braces it’s a great conversation starter – “Ah, a fellow brace wearer! How goes it?” (It seems it brings the Victorian out in me too!!) 😉

hillgrovesalute2

Whose teeth are these?

As things settle down and the braces become part of every day life I’m finding fewer reasons to blog HOWEVER – over the past few days, since my new wires were put in, something odd has happened.

The braces have made such a difference to my teeth that they now almost don’t feel like mine anymore! They meet in places they didn’t used to meet, there are gaps where there didn’t used to be gaps, they seem to get in the way of each other a little bit and (most excitingly) my overbite appears to be quite a bit less!

Now, bearing in mind we’re only just under 3 months into this 18 month process, I’m really surprised by the changes so far. I had a look back at my old photos (taken on the day that the braces were installed) and there have been really noticeable changes! Yay!

So – things ARE happening…and they can only be for the good. I have a LOT of weeks to wait till my next appointment but I’m already (strangely) excited about it and what comes next. I’m hugely impatient so obviously I want it all finished now and to be able to see the results yesterday. However, seeing the changes so far is very encouraging – bring it on!!

maxresdefault

 

Save

Old wires out – new wires in!

First time back at the Orthodontist since I had my braces installed and I had little idea of what to expect. Would they just have a look, see how it was going, tell me off (or praise me) on my cleaning then send me off home?

Or would they (as I suspected) change my wires over, do a bit of adjustment then send me off home?

Or would they take the bottom front three brackets off, turn them upside down then glue them back on?!

Oddly enough they did the latter (as well as change my wires) and, I confess, I wouldn’t have guessed that as an outcome for my first appointment! 🙂

There is method in the madness (and it’s not mad at all really). I have crazily receding gums and by turning the brackets upside down there’s a hope that it’ll prevent the prescription from pulling the teeth further from my gums (or at least, that’s how I understand it). I like that they’re being so considerate of my teeth and gums, and trying to think of ways to make the end result the best it can be.

Only downside of the brackets being turned upside down is that I’ve now had a taster of what it feels like to have the things removed. WHAT an odd feeling! I can’t say painful exactly but it sure ain’t comfortable! A squeeze, some pressure then a disturbing crack/pop sound that sounds entirely wrong in your head and sent me off in a mild panic each time!

The orthodontist, Sarah, was very reassuring and talked me through the whole thing so I wasn’t as shocked as I might have been. She also took time to show me my old photos and noted where she thought the teeth were already starting to move. The staff at Lincoln Orthodontics really are very lovely – thank goodness!

So – I have a 10 week wait now till the next appointment – and another change of wires. At the moment the new wires are doing a grand job of putting my teeth under renewed pressure (I can definitely feel it!) so, hopefully, there’ll be even more to cheer about next time! 🙂

 

There one minute – gone the next!

Hi folks! This time next week I’ll be able to blog about my first visit to the Orthodontist since having my ‘brackety, bracey braces’ attached (strangely excited to see what happens and what they say). Until then though I have another teeth/mouth related anecdote to share with you.

Last Friday I woke up to a strange sensation in my mouth – the feel of my braces, which had become almost normal – suddenly felt alien and they seemed far too big. Very quickly a sore started on the inside of my left cheek that the wire of the braces kept nagging at every time I moved my mouth (to eat, speak or even smile). This was the first time I’d had any real pain with my braces and I was really worried. Things had moved in my mouth and now the braces were in a position that would hurt until they moved again. Within 24 hours the ulcer was so bad that I couldn’t even twitch my mouth without pain. I was at work and had to communicate so I ended up talking through gritted teeth! What to do??

A trip to Boots for advice on ulcers (and some more orthodontic wax) resulted in finding a fantastic spray called alcoclair. Bonjela never works for me but this stuff is great. Just a few hours after using it (and then a good nights sleep) the ulcer had gone right down and, mercifully, the wire was no longer catching on my skin.

aloclair_spray_15ml

I have no idea what changed – why my braces went from comfortable to uncomfortable then back to comfortable again within 48 hours BUT I’m glad I found a solution in case it happens again (and I have new found sympathy for those braces wearers who struggle much more with ulcers and sore – kudos!)

 

Respect the braces!

Hi folks!

It’s been a while since my last post and that’s really because I’m getting very settled with my braces and not much happens on a daily basis that warrants sharing.

However, I thought I should give you newbie brace wearers a heads up about complacency. When I first got braces (and it wasn’t really that long ago) I was forever cleaning my teeth, being very mindful of what I was eating, taking things slow – being careful.

Now, I’ve realised, I’m far less diligent. I do brush my teeth after I eat BUT I’m not racing up to the bathroom a few minutes after swallowing the last bite (or stressing out in town because I can’t find a decent sink to spit in!) I sometimes wait an hour or more before venturing to the nearest sink for teeth cleaning duties. I’ve also started eating larger bites of food (which inevitably get stuck all round my braces) and speeding things up in general.

While this has made things feel a bit more normal I’m not entirely convinced I’m treating my teeth/braces with the care they deserve SO, starting tomorrow, I’m going to find a balance between my current lacksidaisical (is that a word? And if it is, is THAT how you spell it?!) attitude and the near paranoid anguish of those first few days.

I love that I’ve become more accustomed to my braces (although some days – like today – they feel bigger in my mouth than others?!) but I must remember that they need some special care and attention to do their job properly and that, ultimately, we’re all after the same goal – a beautiful smile!

Respect the Braces folks! 😉

brushing

 

What price a confident smile?

So – here’s something I wasn’t quite expecting when I decided to fulfill my life’s ambition and get braces – that others wouldn’t be entirely supportive (or at least wouldn’t really understand why I got them).

It’s well known in my family that I hate my teeth, have always hated my teeth and, because of them, have never done a good toothy grin in a photo – ever! My sister and I went for a make-over/photography session in London 10 years ago as a treat. Hair and make-up were done to the nth degree (to be honest I didn’t really look like myself any more) and we were plied with champagne and compliments. MANY photos were taken and then, after the session, we were shown oodles of digital photos of ourselves and asked to pick out the ones we wanted to save. Without even taking a breath I said ‘get rid of all the photos that show my teeth’. They showed me one of the ‘toothy’ photos in an effort to persuade me they looked ok but, to me, they really didn’t. They had to go.

The chosen photos were lovely on the whole (as I said before I didn’t really look like me anyway) but each one had me with my mouth firmly closed with maybe some slight turn ups at the outer edges to prove that I was kind of happy/tipsy! 😉

My point is that, even with professional photography, lighting and make-up (and a decent amount of bubbly alcohol in my system) I still wasn’t able to accept my teeth in a natural smile. Sad really isn’t it?

This is something that I’ve always felt and, to add to my discontent, I’ve realised that my teeth have been getting worse over the years too (I’m sure I can’t be the only one who’s measured the movement of their teeth before? Am I?!)

So – my decision to have braces was a logical conclusion to my anti-grin stance and an attempt to get some confidence into my smile.

However, I’ve had a few people say to me since I had the braces installed, “why did you do that?” or “I didn’t think there was anything wrong with your teeth before”, “They’re not that bad are they?”

I know these things are said to genuinely make me feel better about myself and to reassure me that there was nothing ‘wrong’ with me before. Unfortunately what I hear is “That was a waste of money”, “What are you complaining about, there’s nothing wrong with your teeth” and “How vain you must be to care this much just about your teeth”. Thankfully I have enough people in my life who are (sometimes brutally) honest so I know that my teeth could definitely do with some improvement. I also trust my orthodontist not to sell me treatment I don’t need.

What I want to say to anyone out there contemplating having braces (and to myself as a bit of reassurance) is that, if your teeth are stopping you smiling, if you have to eradicate every image of yourself that might include your teeth, if you’re worried that they’re moving and may eventually look even worse than they already do – look into having braces. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks – they’re not living with your teeth. If you can’t smile with confidence that’s enough of a reason (if you’re in a solid position to do it) to seriously consider investing in yourself.

Ex braces wearers are the BEST at reassurance. They have been through it, remember what it was like before and after and are the first to say what a difference it will make to your smile and to your confidence. I choose to go with them – and their lovely straight teeth – and stay focused on the endgame. There are few things we can change about ourselves but our teeth we can – and I have chosen to do so. Thanks for the compliments and the good thoughts about my previous pearlies but I want a beautiful smile that I’m happy to share with anyone – and that’s what I’m aiming to have 🙂

Beauty portrait of a young brunette woman with beautiful smile

**Note to people who don’t know me – my smile does NOT look like this! 😉

Braces on holiday!

So – we’re nearly a month in to the braces adventure and my teeth and I are getting used to the new routines and restrictions that the ceramic brackets have brought to my daily life.

Well – I thought we were used to it until…da da da daaaaah….a 3 day mini-break in Whitby came up where the normal rules of daily life do not apply! Routine shmoutine says the 3 day mini-break. You’re on your holidays and braces be damned! 😉

So, what issues crop up when you (and your braces) are on holiday?

Problems:

  • Finding ‘braces friendly” food (even harder when you’re vegan I can tell you!) because you can’t just take the food home and blend it!
  • Having to massively cut things up in public (elegance and dignity go out the window – see evidence below!)
  • Teeth cleaning after eating (I have my travel kit BUT you’ve also got to find somewhere relatively private, and up to your own exacting hygiene standards, with a sink – and a decent plughole – so you can have a good brush and spit out of all the food that’s hidden itself round your back teeth!)

 

crumpet

Evidence: Tea-cake made edible by excessive slicing!

Pluses:

  • Because you’re on holiday you can eat chips and mushy peas as often as you like – and they’re lovely and soft (best chips in Whitby – and the only ones not fried in beef dripping – Robertsons)!
  • Ring doughnuts – soft, melt in the mouth and ‘sea-sidey’ 🙂
  • I discovered a Cornish pasty (with the crust cut off) is a very ‘easy to eat’ addition to the ‘braces-friendly’ food list

 

All in all holidays are totally do-able BUT a little bit of foresight and preparation won’t go amiss. Think about where you’re going to clean your teeth after eating (I confess there were a couple of times where I just had to wait and do it later) and also what kind of food you might be ordering when you eat out.

Happy holidays brace wearing buddies!