Monday, 14 November 2016

Elastic Bands on my Teeth!

During the last few months my teeth have continued to move. Gaps have appeared between my bottom left and right teeth.

For the first time since I  had them fitted I needed to use the gel strips to relieve a sore patch caused by rubbing. The only problem, I was away on holiday and hadn't bothered to take the strips with me, typical!

Today I went to the orthodontist. She created a couple of little hooks from which I now have to hook a tiny elastic band between my top and bottom teeth. These are called elastics, which are being used to correct a slant that has developed now that my teeth have become more upright. I had a bit of a struggle to begin with, but with the aid of a pair of tweezers I think I will get the hang of it.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

An Early Trip to the Orthodontist

Although I really had another three weeks before my next orthodontic appointment, I ended up going last Wednesday, 1st June. Despite being a great deal more careful with what and how I eat, I still managed to break the wire on my top, right, back. This time there was no warning looseness and it was no bother at all.

During my last appointment, Mrs Laminam had added what I can only describe as a 'spring' to my bottom set. This stretched across the tooth at a sideways angle and the teeth on either side of it. Over the next three weeks a gap appeared, which I presume is to give the tooth space to turn round in.

On this trip, my orthodontist not only replaced the broken top wire, but removed the spring like piece and repositioned a couple of the brackets on the bottom set.

While my fang had been it's original position, it had never had any wear, so consequently as it moved down level with the others, I presumed it would take some time for me to smooth it down naturally. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when she filed them down with an electric tool.

Again, my challenge is not to break them, as my next appointment is in eight weeks time. Food to avoid this month is granary bread!

'Fangs' are no longer pointed and blend in with the other top teeth.

It's hard to see the gap created by the 'spring', but this is the clearest picture.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Broken Braces - Wednesday 4th May 2016

Everything has been going fine with my braces, in fact most of the time I forget I have them. Maybe that has been the problem. I have become complacent and have not been so careful in what and how I eat.
I first noticed something was not quite right about a week ago, when the wire on the back teeth felt a little loose. On Saturday the wire on the bottom right back tooth came away, followed on Sunday by the left side and the top right side yesterday.
Fortunately, my orthodontic appointment was today, Wednesday. Mrs. Laminam, my orthodontist had to remove both wires and put new ones in. They all feel a lot tighter now, except the bottom left which wiggles about a bit. I must try harder not to break them this time, I must eat with more care from now on.
On the plus side, my teeth have moved significantly. My fang is now sitting next to its neighbours, instead of above it. A funny sideways tooth on the bottom row has also moved and is looking better too.


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Teeth are really moving! - 2 months - 30th March 2016

I had my first appointment since having my braces fitted two weeks ago and my orthodontist was very pleased with my teeth's progress. Personally I was just pleased to have survived without any breakages.

The two weeks prior to my appointment, my teeth felt loose and as if they were being tugged, but no pain as such. Since having the braces adjusted and tightened, both the looseness and tugging has stopped.

In the last week or so, I have noticed that my 'fang' canine tooth has visibly moved. It now sits between it's neighbours and not above them. I have been pleasantly surprised that there has been such a visible difference so soon.

Me with no make up!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

First Month - 2nd March 2016

It hasn't been too bad so far. I was very tentative at first, as I was unsure how strong the braces were. I had been warned to avoid hard foods such as apples and nuts, but I found myself nibbling on just about everything just to be on the safe side
I had been given some gel cushions that I could use on my gums if I found the braces rubbing. I've not needed them so far. I've had slightly sore insides to my cheeks, but my gums have been fine. I hope I've been brushing them properly. Maybe it's just the sonic toothbrush that's not so abrasive?

As for aches and discomfort, there hasn't been a problem. Occasionally two or three teeth will feel tender, as if they have being tugged. A bit like when you eat a particularly crusty piece of bread and you have to pull at it with your teeth [which I mustn't do at the moment]. This surprises me, as I would have thought any sensation of tugging would happen for a week or two after they are fitted or adjusted, not come and go four weeks in.

I need to remember to take my little brushes where ever I'm likely to eat. Food easily gets stuck and I would be mortified if I found I had been smiling at people with bits of green vegetable stuck in my teeth. The other day I forgot to take my brushes to school [I work as a teaching assistant], so after lunch there was a lot of rinsing, sucking of teeth and smiling with my mouth closed!

Anyway, my next appointment is on 16th March and I'll find out then whether I've been doing the right thing.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

My Braces - One Week on.

Well, that week went by quickly, doesn't it always?!

The first few days of wearing a brace were definitely a bit miserable, made worse by the remnants and debris of a horrible virus. I don't know whether I am doing something wrong, but I was led to expect sore gums, but so far I haven't needed to use the little cushion things.

Eating is a bit tricky, I think I'm a little frightened of breaking something. On the plus side it means I'm eating slower, which can only be a good thing. Where ever I go, my little brushes go too, it's amazing how much gets stuck. If I'm not careful, I could find myself with a multi coloured smile.

As for people and in particularly children noticing, I don't know why I thought it would be a big deal. One little girl asked, 'what are those things on your teeth?' and another asked why I was wearing braces. So much for my theory of the impact of teeth on appearance!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Marking Middle Age with My Teeth!

I will admit I am not the adventurous type, so you won't find me skydiving or anything remotely scary, I've never been an adrenaline junkie so why pretend I could be now? The elderly and the middle aged seem to have joined the tattoo craze and that is definitely not for me. However, I still want to mark my middle years in some small way, so hopefully I can look back and say, 'I 'm glad I did that.'

 Here's another question. What feature do you first notice about a person when you look at them? You don't have to know them, it could be someone on a bus, on television or in a shop. It may be their clothes, shoes, hair, wrinkles or tattoos for example. It may be in a positive or negative way, such as a fabulous hair colour or a great pair of shoes.

 For a long time, for me it was hair. No surprises there, I was a hairdresser for 24 years. However, in recent years my eyes tend to be drawn more to peoples teeth. I know, that sounds weird!

I suppose it started when my NHS dentist retired and I was fortunate to be able to afford to have private dental treatment For the first time in my life I had regular hygienist appointments. The whole look and feel of my teeth and gums improved. Stains and plaque were removed and my gums were much healthier. I have been lucky, as my teeth have generally been strong and have had relatively few problems. The few fillings I have, I think could have been avoided if I hadn't eaten so many sweets as a child and teenager. Contrary to what some say, private dentists don't create work that doesn't need doing, that's my experience anyway.

My first dip into cosmetic dentistry came five years ago when I had my teeth whitened. This involved the dentist making 'trays' that I applied a mild dental peroxide to and fitted over my teeth for a few minutes a day for a fortnight. The difference was amazing. My teeth had become yellow over the years and my fang more yellow than the rest. I remember a child asking me at school, 'why have you got a yellow tooth?' Well, they may not be bright white, but they are even in colour and definitely not yellow.

It was probably at this point I started noticing  teeth more and how they could make a person look younger or older, more so in my opinion than wrinkles and grey hair. A person who was almost famous for his bad teeth, Shane Mc Gowan from The Pogues is an extreme example. He has had them sorted out now. There are many examples of great teeth in middle age in the celebrity world, which sort of shallowly proves the impact teeth have on appearance.

Last September I was listening to Jeremy Vine on Radio 2 while I was making beads. His guest was a orthodontist [I wish I could remember his name] who was talking about teeth straightening in adults. I thought he was talking about adults in their twenties and thirties, but no he wasn't! He had many clients in their forties, fifties, sixties and even seventies! Well, that was it, I had found my middle aged, slightly bizarre mini adventure, maybe I could finish what was started forty years ago. After all, if Faye Dunaway can wear braces at sixty one then I can at fifty three!

I didn't have a problem finding a good orthodontist, as my daughter had some  work done on her teeth when she was a teenager. I went for a consultation first, where everything was talked through, from cost, type of brace, how long it would take, even the age thing [ Mrs. Laminam has a client who is 69!]. Throughout there was no pressure to go ahead.The cost of course is pretty scary, but considering all the work that's involved it's not unreasonable. I like that everything is paid up front, this means no worrying about what  the next  fee is going to be. I could have had metal braces or completely invisible braces, but I opted for the something in-between, which are sort of transparent versions of metal ones.

Once I had decided, the next appointment involved having impressions and photographs taken. I was also sent to the hospital and my dentist to have x rays.

On Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 2pm I had my braces fitted. I came down with a flu like bug I picked up from the children at school, so I'm not yet ready to show the 'after' picture. My teeth feel very tender and I'm being very careful what I eat, which isn't hard while I'm feeling grotty. I can't eat anything hard or chewy, nuts being the thing I shall miss most of all.

That's the story so far. A little boy at school asked me the other day, 'have you got a milk tooth coming down?' I wonder what they will say about my braces, I'll keep you posted!

Now for the scary part, my teeth before braces!