I realized that I hadn't done any posts on my braces here since I got them put on two and a half months ago (see that blog post), so thought I'd do a quick update.
Braces are working out pretty well, although I did recently have three brackets pop off in a week! These were all brackets on back teeth that are crowned. Even though Dr. Ogden "sandblasted" the crowns to rough the sides up a bit, the brackets just don't want to stick as well to crowns as to natural teeth. I had read this on various braces forums. In my case the brackets were re-glued, at my last two appointments, and I'm crossing my fingers that they don't keep popping off. If they do, I'll have to have the back teeth fully banded (like all my teeth were when I had braces as a child), and that can be kinda painful, as I recall.
I've gotten more adept at the routine of brushing and flossing with braces, so it doesn't take nearly so long as at first. I am also using a special mouthwash, ACT for Braces Care. Unfortunately, the first mouthwash I used, Colgate Total Pro-Shield, caused some staining on my teeth, especially the backs and the tooth-colored fillings, so I had to toss it. I read in the Amazon reviews that staining with this type of mouthwash (containing an ingredient called Cetylpyridinium Chloride, abbreviated as CPC) can cause tooth staining in some people. Fortunately, it should be able to be removed at my next dental cleaning. Still, super annoying, especially a month after having a thorough cleaning and polishing!
I can definitely see some positive changes in the alignment of my teeth since getting my braces on. My bite has improved a little, but it will take elastics, which come later, to make the biggest difference.
my bottom arch has definitely improved. One of my incisors was tipped quite a bit out of alignment and has now come up and into line with the other three. And although you can't see it in the photos, from above, the lower arch now has more of a curve to it, instead of being two straight lines of pre-molars and molars and a straight line of four incisors. (Note: I had my two canine teeth on the bottom extracted before braces as a child as they were coming in very low on my jaw, so I've always had kind of an oddball bottom arch without them.)
These photos show brace day vs. now. I don't see as many changes up top as he's been using a very light wire there, but the lowers have definitely improved.
Although it looks like the midline (the line between the central incisors where the top and bottom arches meet) is better in the more recent photo, that is just because I am not biting down. I actually couldn't comfortably do so as I'd just come back from the orthodontist, and I couldn't bite down well due to wire changes (ouch). It's settled down again since then, and the midline is like the photo on the left when I bite down.
You can also see how white my teeth were when I got braces put on one week after a dental cleaning, and when I was using whitening toothpaste. On the right, they're looking a bit stained. Some of that is from the bracket glue darkening, some likely from the Colgate Total mouthwash, and some from lack of intense whitening toothpaste. They won't let you use that in braces to avoid two-toned teeth when you get debraced. I definitely plan on going back to it after as well as using whitening strips for awhile. I do like having white teeth!
At this most recent appointment on Monday, I had a heavier gauge wire put on the top arch, so I suspect to see some more straightening of the top teeth before my next appointment on December 11th. I am going to ask Dr. Ogden then when he anticipates putting me into elastics; I am ready to get the party started!
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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