Saturday, September 24, 2016

Braces, flossing, cleaning, expanders, aesthetics, rubberbands!

It's almost been a year since I got these braces on my teeth (Nov 2)! I can't believe how time flies! I've gotten into a pretty easy schedule with taking care of my teeth everyday. At first it was hard because I hated cleaning them. It felt like it took so much more time that I didn't have but now I've got it down to a science. 
At home I use a Water Pik for flossing. I seriously don't know what I would do without that thing. It blasts a stream of water in between in each of my teeth instead of flossing with string. This saves time and effort in getting all the food debris out of my braces after each meal, as well as in between each tooth. I also carry around in my purse packets of Interdental brushes for cleaning out any food that gets stuck in my braces while I'm away from home.
The things I hated the most about having braces at first was eating in front of other people and then having food stuck in my teeth. Both of those things were just awkward and gross to me in the beginning. 
The most hard thing, however, was having that palatal expander on the roof of my mouth. Food was constantly getting stuck in it, I couldn't swallow pills very easily, and it felt huge and bulky. Fortunately they were able to take that out after 4 months and replace it with a thin, metal retaining wire. I think the wire comes out in another few more months.

The purpose of the expander was to provide space for my tooth to come down however my orthodontist always likes to remind me of ALL  benefits I get from having an expander and braces, besides just the new tooth. He says he's not only fixing my adult tooth that never came down as a child, he's rounding out my smile, making my mouth more symmetrical, straightening out all my teeth, and giving me an overall more aesthetic appearance.  So, I guess in another year or so I'll also have a new smile! This wasn't something I always longed for in my adult life, but I'm not one to turn down improvements. 

So here we are NOW at 10 months:
My upper tooth is coming down a lot faster than we expected. The expected range for it's appearance was between 6 months to 5 years and it came down just 5 1/2 months after the surgery was done and the chain was attached to it. I'm feeling pretty awesome!
Also, they have been working at straightening out my bottom teeth as an added bonus. That tooth on the bottom that looks a little crooked used to be shoved behind the other teeth while they were crowded in front of it. They've been slowly making room so they could pull it forward to be with the others. It feels really weird in my mouth.

Anyways, this stuff is really fascinating to me. It's amazing the technology we have to actually move rock-hard enamel around in our mouths and to restructure the entire shape of our smiles. 
My only problem right now is that I'm running out of color options for my braces. I go in every 2 weeks to get my wires moved around and my teeth yanked on and my rubber bands  changed. My favorite color combo tends to be light pink and dark pink because it matches my gums but I've also done pink and green, rainbow colors, purple and blue, and then solids like all pink, all black, all pearl, all clear, all white, and now all yellow.
I used to take suggestions from my kids but I think they're losing interest. My niece Waimea suggested I do light pink and lime green so I did that for her last June:
June 2016
Perhaps I'll just start dressing my braces for the seasons. haha. Fall colors for Fall, Black and Orange for Halloween, red and green for Christmas, etc. 
I know, I know, these are such hard decisions to make in life. 

Aloha for now and have a Happy Saturday!

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