This week I had my dental and orthodontic appointments. That was a lot to do in back-to-back days, but I'm thankful to have it done. Fortunately, all went well. I was finally able to get my teeth cleaned and received a clean bill of health from the dentist. Look Ma, no cavities! It was a relief since any dental issues with my teeth, gums, or existing dental work (I have a bunch of crowns of various ages on most of my molars) would have delayed my orthodontia, and I really want to get moving on it. The faster I start, the sooner I'll finish, right?! The dentist was very sweet and understanding, and even though I am usually very anxious about any kind of dental interventions, even cleanings, I was actually a bit more relaxed than usual. Maybe after all I've been through with my jaw and oral surgery, cleanings don't feel like such a big deal any more?
I loved the orthodontist and his office staff. They were all interested in my jaw fracture story and very sympathetic. He did confirm that my bite is off (open bite on the right side and more of an overjet in the front than I had before my accident). Because of the bite issues, I will be getting brackets instead of Invisalign. That is fine with me, actually. I had initially hoped for Invisalign, but after reading about the restrictions on eating and drinking I knew they would be difficult for me. You are only allowed to have the aligners off for two hours per day, and they must be removed for every single thing you eat or drink other than water. I tend to sip coffee for awhile in the morning and have a glass of wine before dinner. I have a fast metabolism so need an afternoon snack. Even more importantly, eating anything on longer bike rides would be a dilemma. I'd have to take the aligners off, stash them safely, and leave them off for the rest of the ride, cutting into my measly two hours of daily "off time".
Fortunately, braces have changed a lot since I had them in my pre-teen/early teen years! No more full metal bands, which hurt and look awful to boot. I'll be getting the Speed System braces, which have very small brackets. On the top six teeth, the brackets will be clear, and the rest metal. I will have to have elastics at some point for my bite issues as well.
Most importantly, I found out how long all this is going to take, and I was pleasantly surprised. The orthodontist said that I will be done in 8 to 14 months, with a good chance of this taking less than a year. This is not bad at all considering that average length in braces is 18-24 months. Speed braces really do speed things up, which gives us hope of hitting the road and traveling again sometime next summer. Yay!
I'll post a photo once I get braced. The big day is August 28th, four months and one week after my accident. Not that I'm counting! ;-)
It's been nearly two months since my last post, but I finally have good news to report. I have been released by my oral surgeon to go to the dentist for a cleaning and checkup and to an orthodontic consultation about braces. Not that I am thrilled about either of those as I really detest going to the dentist, but it must be done, and I am relieved to be moving forward after my jaw fractures way back in April. At my last appointment, my oral surgeon was very pleased with my progress and the position of my jaw, but he continues to reiterate that I will need orthodontia. I wish I could get away without it, but I know my bite is still a bit off -- though it's far better than even when I stopped wearing the elastics and got my arch bars off. Chewing is getting easier, but it still feels a bit odd, and I continue to avoid very hard and chewy foods, like nuts, caramels, and apples.
So, we shall see what the dentist and orthodontist have to say. I have back to back appointments on August 21 and 22 so should have a lot more information after that.
I am also pleased to report that I am back on my bicycle (outdoors), as of this week! I had been riding on an indoor bike trainer for awhile to stay used to the saddle and keep up my fitness, but this was the first time I'd ridden my road bike outdoors since April 21.
I was a little nervous for my first ride, but not as much as I would have expected, given how bad my last outdoor ride was! And by the second ride, I was pretty much back to normal. I know some folks reading this might be surprised to find me back on my bike after suffering such trauma, but bicycling is one of my passions, and I just can't imagine never doing it again. Despite the risks, it keeps me sane and healthy.
Here's to many safe miles ahead!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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