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I’m almost done! Actually, I have 3 months to go, but I’m 3/4 done! Woo-hoo!

Here’s my Month 9 State of the Braces report:

  • Rubber bands: I have to admit, I’ve been slacking a bit on wearing these during the day, but have worn them every night. So that’s at least 8 hours every day.
  • Power chain: These were put on my bottom teeth. The first few days were very painful, but no problem afterwards. They have worked; the gap between my molars is closing. See photo.
  • Wire wreaking havoc: The uncomfortable consequence of the molar moving forward is that the wire is sticking of the bracket about 1 mm in the back. And tearing up my cheek again. I’ve been suffering and trying to get some relief with wax. It’s kind of working. Will get that clipped at the ortho office tomorrow.
  • Face shape: Over Thanksgiving, my brother-in-law noted how my face looks thinner because I have more of a jaw than is natural. I wonder how I will look when the braces come off? Will I look different to myself, or like my old self? What will people who met me in the last year, and only know me with braces, think?
  • Food: Still looking forward to biting into something crunchy, and enjoying some lovely dried dates.

Photos

Bite is looking, and feeling, better:

front month9

A new gap has opened up; I think another power chain might be coming. Ouch!

left month9

And look at the progress on closing the gap, compared to last time.

 closing gap month9   today

071102molargap last month

Oy! I have suffered dearly from this.

What are the conditions that brings this on or makes it worse?

  • First getting braces. Naturally, your mouth will be uncomfortable. The gums are in pain, as is the inside of the mouth that’s dealing with the brackets and wires poking in. Ouch! But as the mouth heals, that pain should go away.
  • New brackets. In my case, on the back-most molars. I think because these are in the way back, there’s more pressure on the cheeks. This seems to be one explanation for the prolonged discomfort.
  • Wire sticking out at the back. In the Damon braces, the wire can move back and out as the teeth shift. Even a tiny wire sticking out — about 1/2 mm — can be incredibly irritating.
  • Pressure on the cheek/jaw. In my case, I wore a motorcycle helmet, which fits extremely tightly on the jaw. OUCH!

Some suggestions for addressing this discomfort:

  • To help with the sores heal, swish with warm salt water. Often. (I say this as much to myself, as to any of you readers. I haven’t been doing this enough. Keep a little container of salt by your toothbrush, and even carry one around with you for when you’re at work or eating out.)
  • Wax. Especially when you’re sleeping, give your poor inner cheeks a rest. I find it’s easier to deal with wax while I sleep, rather than during the day when I talk/eat/drink. But, if you’re doing something that puts pressure on your cheek/wire–like wearing a helmet–be generous with the wax!
  • Snip the wire. Hurry to the ortho and get that wire snipped.
  • Overall, stay healthy. I found that when I didn’t get enough sleep or was eating too many sweets, the mouth suffered.