A science geek and knitter talks about random stuff.

Archive for the ‘Braces’ Category

Braces Update

Posted by knitpicking on 2 July 2007

It’s day 432 of my life in braces. I haven’t posted about it in a while, so I think that it’s time to do so.

The good news – I’m done with elastics for at least a while. I had my premolars extracted before the braces were put on because my teeth were way too crowded. As a result, I have a gap on each side, top and bottom, where the teeth used to be. Most of the effort in recent months has been devoted to closing the gaps, starting with the bottom first. With the help of wearing elastics for what seemed like forever, the lower gaps are closed. Actually, the bottom seems to be pretty much done now. Yay! They’re hanging out in an 18×25 wire with a powerchain across all teeth.

The bad news – I still have gaps on top. My ortho has been working on getting them closed, using coil springs from my molars to my canines. It’s working slowly, but has had some unintended side effects. Most notably, some of my teeth have become rotated during the process (or so my ortho says – I can’t really see it). So I’ve been downgraded back to an 18 round NiTi wire, with steel ties on the wayward teeth. Steel ties have a lot less give than the elastomeric ligatures (duh), so they are used when you really want to wrangle the teeth into shape. Or, in orthodontic speak, when you want the teeth to be “highly activated”. I have found that “highly activated” means “those teeth are going to hurt like hell”. 😦

In all, there’s progress, but it’s agonizingly slow. My impatient nature wants everything to be done now, so I have to remind myself that it will be done eventually. I just need to keep repeating, “It will be worth it. It will be worth it…”.


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The Asian Tour of Pain

Posted by knitpicking on 2 March 2007

Nine months since the braces went on, and everything is going according to plan, though very slowly.

I’m in the elastic band stage, which supposedly helps line up my bite. The elastics my ortho gives out uses countries to identify the size and strength of the bands, which I guess is useful. I started out with Japan, which seemed uncomfortable at the time, but not too bad. I now realize that Japan is a far nicer place to be than Thailand. Thailand bands are small and extremely strong. It’s not been fun.

I’m glad that ibuprofen is plentiful.

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Status Report

Posted by knitpicking on 26 February 2007

Haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been playing on MySpace recently instead. I’ve reconnected with some friends I haven’t seen in years, but posting to this blog has been bumped down on my list of priorities.

So, a short recap:

– Still have my braces. Hopefully they will be off by the end of the year.

– Still being overworked and underappreciated at my job.

– Still knitting, though not as much as I would like. I’ve made gifts (sorry, no pictures) and socks:

and socks in progress:
– Also, I’m exhausted, physically and emotionally, which usually happens this time of year. I’m not a winter person.

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Ask Me Later If It Was Worth It

Posted by knitpicking on 2 November 2006

I had my braces adjusted again yesterday. The last wayward tooth is finally bonded (orthodontist speak for putting a bracket on it and hooking it up to the wire). This particular tooth was set back behind its neighbors, so I had to wear a coil spring and power chain (for three months) to make room for it first. And yes, coil springs and power chains are as much fun as they sound.

The upside? Without all of that metal in my mouth, my braces definitely look less conspicuous, and my teeth look more normal than they ever have before.

The downside? The wayward tooth, having happily hung out where it was for the past twenty years, is not taking to being pulled into a new position very well. It hurts. A lot. I’ve been sucking down ibuprofen since yesterday morning. And I’m channeling my pain-related bitchiness by swearing a lot. I have found that liberal use of the word “fuck” helps deal with the situation. As in, “My fucking tooth hurts so fucking much! I’ve taken six fucking Advil, and the fucking pain will not fucking go away!”

Okay, so it’s not the most ladylike way to behave, but it gets me through the day.

[Listening to: “Downtown” by Peaches]

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An Orthodontic Catalog

Posted by knitpicking on 27 July 2006

Today I had my fourth adjustment of my braces. The first three were pretty simple – just lig changes. I think my orthodontist was duping me into a false sense of security with easy adjustments, because now the gloves have come off.

My mouth is now a veritable catalog of orthodontic appliances. The full list includes:

  • Metal brackets
  • Ceramic brackets (“social six”)
  • Size 16 round NiTi archwires
  • Clear ligs
  • Purple ligs
  • Powerchain between teeth 4 and 6
  • Coil spring between teeth 6 and 8
  • Wire ties to hold the coil spring

All I can say is “ouch”, because saying much of anything right now hurts like hell. Pass the Advil.

[Listening to: “Hey Pretty” by Poe]

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They Lied to Me

Posted by knitpicking on 26 May 2006

So I got the wires put on my braces this week. The orthodontist sent me home with a sheet of instructions and tips for dealing with them. My personal favorite quote is the following:

“You may feel some discomfort for a day or two after an adjustment. Over-the-counter pain medication will alleviate the discomfort.”

Now when I think of “discomfort”, I think of sitting in a straight-back chair for two hours, the pins-and-needles feeling after your foot falls asleep, or a case of underwear creep. What I am experiencing is pure, unadulterated pain. And it’s day five. I’ve been popping ibuprofen like they’re Pez, and the ibuprofen is about as effective as Pez. Except they don’t taste as good.

The take-home lesson? If a doctor tells you that something will cause discomfort, they’re lying to you. They just don’t want to tell you that it’ll hurt like hell.

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