Wednesday, 31 October 2012

5 Months in Braces

Woooooo! 5 months done and dusted, it feels really strange to think that 5 months ago I was absolutely petrified about getting my braces on and starting this whole process. I still am scared and do sometimes question what on earth I have done, why have i started this, but I know why really deep down and that I'm doing the right thing.

My braces feel pretty normal now, I was looking at them this morning after brushing my teeth and I couldn't remember what my teeth looked like without them on. It's really funny how they have just become a part of me so quickly. I might keep a bracket when I eventually get them off, turn it into a bit of jewellery or something, make some earnings out of them and finally get my ears pierced. Might be a bit gross actually.

Anyway, only 26 days till I have my next tightening and possibly some extra brackets added to my very back teeth, I'm quite excited actually. I think it's because it's a step closer to surgery and meeting my new face, teeth and bite! I'm also thinking about booking myself in for a clean, My ortho doesn't clean my teeth when he tightens everything, I guess in the UK your are meant to go to your dentist for that, but I'll check with him when I'm in. I do drink a  lot of coffee and it suddenly dawned on me yesterday that although I do keep my teeth clean etc that the little bit of tooth under my bracket wont be getting all coffee stained so it might be a different shade one I get them off? I'll also run that past him too, don't want to have horrid stained teeth after all this!

I'll post some updated pics later this week of my teeth and bite at 5 months in! My wisdom teeth holes are closed up now, there is still a little dip in my gum line where they used to be but I guess that's normal, I wish I could of seen them, I bet wisdom teeth are huge.

It's Halloween too! I'm rubbish this year and not doing anything :-( but I did plan a costume earlier on in the month just in case. So here was my list of costume ideas that would make me look like I'd gone all out and had braces on as part of the costume or for dramatic effect...

  1. Geek - So easy to do and can sort of look pretty
  2. School Girl - I get mistaken for being 12 on a regular basis so why not make a point of it 
  3. Ugly Betty - My personal favourite and the costume I would pick, she made braces cool, and I loved the show!
  4. Tooth Fairy - Of course the Tooth Fairy has braces! 

If I needed to go gruesome for Halloween then I would of just added Zombie in front and covered myself in fake blood etc. Gutted I couldn't try out any of these costumes for Halloween but if I go to a fancy dress party for New Years I'm sorted! 

Happy Halloween Everyone! 

Halloween Pumpkin

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Braces in Paris

I am back from a wonderful long weekend in Paris visiting my brother, my boyfriend organised this trip for me (my birthday present) and I have been so excited and looking forward to spending some quality time with my boyfriend and my brother.

I love, love, love Paris, no matter where you are in Paris the architecture is just beautiful and it has so many historic buildings so well preserved and looked after. I also love the French wine, food and pastries!

However the one thing that I did notice on this trip was the sheer amount of lovely bread that I was offered before, during and after meals. It probably wasn't one my best ideas but I did eat a lot of French bread, in the end I struggled to enjoy it, my poor jaws couldn't take the chewing and my braces were not so keen on the harder styles of French bread. Then on my return I paid the price for my over indulgence with severe jaw ache, that during the day grew from jaw ache, to ear ache, to a headache, to eye ache to me wanting to curl up in a ball and cry.

I went to my local pharmacy and asked for something, anything to help with the pain, I was given something (cant remember the brand name) with codeine, paracetamol and a muscle relaxant in it and a gel heat pack that I can warm up and put on my sore face. It worked brilliantly and knocked me out for the night.

So I paid the price for my over indulgence in bread, and have learnt a valuable lesson, don't eat too much French bread! it's bad for your jaws, bad for your braces and bad for your hips! Gym here I come, I've got a lot of Parisian calories to burn off!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Joy of Braces - Spitting

My favourite thing about having braces is that you get to spit on people. (Accidentally of course!) At first I found this so embarrassing and upsetting, but now I just find it funny watching people's reactions. Most people do 1 of 3 things;

  1. They don't even notice.
  2. Pretend not to notice. (but you have all ready watched their face go from normal to horror back to normal in a split second.)
  3. Do a casual wipe.  (My personal favourite)  
I have yet to come across anyone who has told me "You just spat on me." I think being an adult in braces wins me major sympathy points and the fact that people rarely like to make a big deal about things and will try and avoid confrontation or embarrassment at all costs.

I hosted a conference earlier on in the week and this involved lots of public speaking and up close and personal speaking were the accidental spit is always lurking. It went well though, I did spit a couple of times during the public speaking, most were a 1 or 2 reaction, I didn't get anyone so no 3ers were needed.

In the afternoon discussion/one on one sessions I wasn't so lucky. I did accidentally spit on one guest (I got his hand) and he was a 3er, I felt bad and apologised and then explained about my braces and my surgery. I don't think he understood English very well as he was laughing and smiling as I was explaining, or maybe he just thought serves you right for spitting on me you crazy woman.

We all do it from time to time, even those without braces, I've been a victim of the accidental spit a couple of times and I'm your classic 3er, the casual wiper. I cant have your spit on me but i don't want to offend you so I'll pretend that I always rub my arm that way with my coffee cup.

So to summarise accidental spitting whilst wearing braces is a common hazard and there is not much you can do about it. Just embrace it, apologise or explain if you feel the need, but really most people just don't notice or pretend not to.

Friday, 12 October 2012

The Joy of Braces - Public Speaking

Guess what!? I'm not horribly upset and sad any more! Yaaaaaaay! I'm feeling a lot better and with the help of my wonderful man, brother, friends and fellow bloggers I'm not feeling so self conscious any more and I'm feeling a bit more positive. Less of a horrible troll and more of a cute caterpillar getting ready to turn into a butterfly. 

Anyway, with my renewed self esteem and my regular levels of positivity fully restored I've decided to write a series of posts about my experiences so far living with braces, the adjustments you make, maintenance & cleaning, the difficulties, the funny times, the good times etc and it will be entitled The Joy of Braces. So here is number 1! 

The Joy of Braces - Speaking

Speaking with braces is something that I have had to get used to, not just once, but many, many times over. As my teeth move it adjusts my bite, my mouth shape and size, where my tongue goes, how my lips move, where my lips sit, how they form certain words or sounds, any sore spots or ulcers/cancer sores also affect all of the above.

Now I do have to say I probably notice this much more than anybody else does. needless to say it can be frustrating and quite tedious at times having to re-think how to move your mouth and pronounce certain words or sounds over and over again. 

I had lots of fun with this on Monday and Tuesday, I held an International Distributor conference on the 8th and 9th of this month. We had distributors from all over the world attend and for many of them English wasn't their first language, I had to do several public speeches and discuss my work and hold discussion sessions. 

I'm quite a confident public speaker really, but at times my braces get the better of me and I can sound a bit lispy and fumble through certain sounds. I was conscious that some of my visitors would struggle to understand me so I took my time, spoke slowly and most importantly I practised my speech beforehand and went over the words or sounds that I stumbled on. In the end I was fine, I felt much more relaxed because I had practised and I felt much more confident about pronouncing certain sounds than before. 

My top tip is to speak slowly, when presenting people often speak quickly without even realising it. It must be a sub-conscious thing of " Oh my god, get me off this stage, I'll speak quick then I can go" It makes it harder, you get tongue tide, flustered then before you know it your spitting everywhere and sound like daffy duck!

 By breathing and slowing down what your saying, it gives us brace wearers a bit of extra time to get our mouths around the braces and the words!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Moving teeth and changing moods

After my miserable couple of weeks I resorted an old faithful technique that always cheers me up. A trip to the hairdressers!

For me a trip to the hairdressers usually takes about 3-4 hours, (I'm not a natural blonde) So that time is my time to be pampered, to have a good old chat to my hairdresser, to read trashy magazines, to have a head massage, to relax and to just do nothing for 3-4 hours and come out looking fabulous.

It was lovely, but the hairdresser high was well and truly gone by about 6pm and I was again feeling rather sad and miserable. I just cant seem to shift this negative, sad, miserable feeling that I have at the minute, the good news is I've stopped crying for no reason at work (thank god!) but I just don't feel like myself. I'm a rather upbeat, positive, can-do kind of girl and I haven't been any of those things over the last month or so.

Then yesterday it dawned on me, I have been on a new contraceptive pill. The bloody pill has been messing with my hormones, I had a look at my patient leaflet and some of the side effects are low self esteem and depression.

Now I'm not saying that this pill is the reason why I dislike my face or why I have been struggling with the whole Orthognathic surgery process recently, I think that is to be expected and I'm sure I will have many more moments of panic, upset, and questioning if I have done the right thing or not. Yes I think there will be  much more of that to come over the next year or so!

I think this pill and the change in my hormones has just made it harder for me to pick myself back up, shake off all the negative thoughts and feelings and put on my positive happy face again. I'm off to the doctors on Thurs to try a different one and hopefully I will be feeling back to normal again.

In more jaw/teeth related issues, my bite has been moving like crazy over the last week. The connection between my top and bottom back teeth seems to be changing daily, my mid line is way off and my jaw is all sore and aches, I'm waking up really clenching my jaw again. Just realised that in all my misery I completely forgot to update on my last tightening!

Mid Line Movement - 4 Months

Mr O'Neil said he was (and I quote) very happy with the movements considering I've only had my braces on for a short amount of time. I had a thicker top wire put in, no change to my bottom wire, just another ligature added. He said that my wisdom tooth holes were healing really well and on my next tightening he thinks he will add brackets to my very back teeth to start moving them. So rather positive all round! My teeth were much more sensitive and sore for a couple days after than last time, but I'm sort of glad that it hurt, feels like the braces are doing something!

Who'd of thought the wimp would ever say that!