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Kat said in her comment on a previous post that she’d heard that Damon brackets come off easily, and is concerned because she’ll be away and won’t see her orthodontist for a while.

Well, I did have a bracket come off, and it did cause me some trouble, now that I think about.  how easily we forget.  I wrote about it in my Month 4 post.  I guess I knocked off a bracket on the back molar with my toothbrush.  I then suffered because I was on a business trip and out of the country.

Anyway, I had it replaced when I got back, and didn’t have any other problems with them.  It would have helped if I had known as I do now, that I could have sought out some help from a local ortho to deal with the discomfort.  (Clipping the wire, for example.)

Anyone else with this problem or some info to share with Kat? 

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the first check up after getting my braces off and starting with my retainers.

It was a short appointment, and now that I think about it, I think something else was supposed to happen.  That is, a review of the before/after photos.  Hmm, I should check on that.  And a reminder to TAKE CHARGE of my own treatment.

Anyway, the only thing that happened was that the doctor adjusted the bottom retainer (Hawley, with wire) so it’s tighter.  Nothing on the top, since it’s an Essex clear retainer.  I’ve been told to wear them all the time for 3 more months, since I said that I can feel tightness — in the upper retainer — when I haven’t had them in for a while.  Next appointment in 6 months!

I was talking with a friend the other day and told him about writing this blog.

He laughed and told me about a websited he created years ago–in the early days of the internet as we know it today–dedicated to living with a gap between his two front teeth.  I think it was called “gap toothed” or something like that.

Well, 10+ years later, thanks to technology services like this WordPress blog, it’s easy and fun to share about an experience that seems so personal, but is actually more broadly lived that we expect.

So, here’s to celebrating gaps in our teeth that we love, and those gaps in our teeth that we want to close up!

I saw my friend K. over the weekend; she and her hubby hosted a love garden tea party in their backyard.

It had been almost three months since I’d seen her last, which was just a couple of weeks after she got her braces.  So I was eager to see the progress on her teeth.

It was EXCITING to see how much her front teeth had moved!  It’s a thrill I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t just gone through this myself.  Plus I feel an extra affinity to her and her process, because she said I inspired her.  Such a weight of responsibility!

It’s said that humans have an amazing capacity to forget pain.  Well so it is that month two WITHOUT braces has just flown by.  😉

A few notes to share as I reflect on the past month:

  • Teeth feel:  A reader asked how my teeth feel.  Are they still loose?  Do they hurt?  Do I feel the settling?  That’s a great question; they don’t feel loose to me at all.  So I guess they are settling in.  I do notice that the longer I forget to wear my retainers, the tighter the retainer feels when I put it on.  Which means that my teeth are moving a tiny bit, though imperceptible to me.
  • Chewing: I STILL notice that sometimes I’m not chewing enough, and just kind of mushing-then-swallowing, as I’d done for an year.  Much better for my health/digestion if I chew.  Gotta pay attention. 
  • Wearing the retainers during the day:  I’m still not wearing them as much as I should; I can tell when it’s tight to put on, especially the top clear one, which is very snug.  The bad thing is that if it is a tight fit, it is very difficult to take off.  So it’s important to be prepared to leave it on for a while, otherwise the process of pulling off a tightly-fitting clear retainer can be extremely frustrating.
  • Wearing the retainers at night: Fortunately, I have worn them EVERY night.  Never forgotten them, though a couple of times I almost did but caught myself because I could tell something was missing.
  • Cleaning retainers: Will find out from doctor whether I’m doing this well.  It’s a pain.  But important to do.  I figure I’m doing a good enough job.