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Well folks, it’s not over yet.

I had 24+ hours of totally free teeth.  No braces.  No retainer.  My teeth were hanging out, doing what they want, just BEING.

I guess that’s not a good thing, since what they’ll do is drift back to where they came from.  So the next phase is to let the bones settle in and harden to where they I (and the doctor) want them to be.  Enter, the retainer.

I only got the top one; the bottom one needs to be redone.

The top one is a clear retainer, which I guess is called Essix.  (I looked it up on Wiki.)  I’ll put up photos later.  It looks like an Invisalign.  Fits in and is really almost invisible.  Pretty cool.  I thought it would feel creepy, but it doesn’t.  I do feel like I have doll teeth though; one piece of plastic.

The tough part is getting it off!  It’s on very tight, and it took me about 5 minutes to get it off the first time.  I could put a positive spin on this:

  • I won’t be tempted to snack as much because it will be a pain to take off the clear retainer.
  • I’m less likely to drink lots of black tea because every time I want to drink something hot I have to take off the retainer.

But let’s face it, this will be a pain, too, in it’s own way.  Alas, it’s worth it.  I like how my teeth look, and GREAT to have a real bite.

  • almond croissant
  • dried dates.  Omigod they were sooooo delicious.  I’ve been waiting all year to eat them.  So chewy and naturally sweet.
  • pizza with a light crispy crust; lovely
  • salad that didn’t get stuck everywhere
  • popcorn that my orthodontist’s office game me; definitely a braces forbidden food for good reason
  • non-mushy cereal
  • satsuma oranges without getting pulp stuck everywhere

But you know what, more than WHAT I’m eating, it’s the experience of eating without the added complication of the wires and brackets and sore mouth that is so delightful. 

The process of getting the braces off was a bit anti-climactic.  But I guess that was good, because it was a pretty simple procedure.  I was afraid it would be painful, but it wasn’t except for a few moments.

  • The doctor did a quick check; looking at the original photos and reviewing the notes through my treatment.
  • Then Sandra the technician squeezed the brackets off.  I guess the pressure breaks the seal, and the bracket pops off.  A couple were tough, but it was just a temporary discomfort; not at all as bad as a couple of times when they yanked open the Damon doors.
  • The next part was a bit tough; scraping off the cement with an instrument.  It was a bit rough on spots.  I had to point out where I could still feel the cement on my teeth.  (I can still feel a bit of the button on the top of my molar; I’ll have to ask them to take that down later.)
  • Then there was this little grinder thing to smooth out more of cement.  The most uncomfortable part was feeling/smelling the powder coming off.
  • The doctor took this instrument to smooth out my incisors, where I had ground them down (before I started my braces treatment), in order to smooth out the rough edge. 

I’m really bummed that I didn’t take a good luck at my braces, or take a photo or ask to keep them.  It was a bit of a scramble because I had to change seats a lot.

  • Then photos taken from the same angles as pre-treatment, and an x-ray.
  • Then the molds for the retainer.  I thought this process would be long and difficult, but it was really fast.  You bite into a tray with a white gummy stuff in it; after a few minutes, it dried.

And that was pretty much it.  They had my name on a sign with other patients being “debanded” today.  (I guess that word is a vestige of braces that were all banded on.)  And the receptionist gave me a bag of candy and microwaveable popcorn.  I traded in the candy for a second popcorn. 

Nothing else.  No hooplah.  Just a “see ya.”  Seems a bit strange, but I get my retainers tomorrow, so I’ll find out what I have have to do with those and what the plan is to make sure my teeth stay nice.

I’ll write more about how it all feels.

My first post-braces eating experience was…


a scrumptious almond croissant from La Boulange on Polk Street.  Every one I have had is absolutely delicious.  And this is what I wanted to eat to break my braces fast.

It’s not that I haven’t eaten these this past year with my braces, but those slivers of almons inevitably got stuck in brackets and under wires and poked into my gums or mouth…

Today’s treat was WONDERFUL!






Below is the BEFORE picture, one year ago on February 28, 2007.  You can see the cross bite on the left side (my right side) and how my top incisors were sitting on top of the bottom teeth.  Doesn’t look that much different now, but it feels better.  I actually have a bite now!


woke up and thought wow

my year with braces ending

couldn’t stop smiling

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(read all haiku)

At various times during my braces journey, I’ve daydreamed about eating:

chewy things

  • dried dates
  • raisins
  • gum (especially when I ate garlicky food)

crispy things

  • pizza
  • rice crackers
  • bread with a nice cruchy crust
  • biscotti
  • granola
  • lots of things that I’ve had to mush down but are actually meant to be eaten crispy, like crackers


  • walnuts
  • pecans
  • almonds

corn on the cob

biting into a juicy apple; munching on a carrot stick

What foods are you dreaming of?

the end is in sight

by Leap Day I’ll be wireless

will I miss the wire?

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watching the Oscars

I check out movie star smiles

my debut three days

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bhatura cholle

heavenly Indian dish

metal mouth who cares

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(read all haiku)