Operation Braceface: Day 50

My first adjustment!

I had my “fours” (aka my first premolars) extracted on Day 22 to make room for the rest of my teeth, and I had intended to blog about it… but I didn’t. So, the Reader’s Digest version of that experience: my entire mouth was numb for about five hours. I had to pulverize my Motrin and shoot it with a glass of water, because I couldn’t really swallow. The bleeding stopped on the second day, and the holes closed up within a few days. The pain wasn’t really so bad; I only took Vicodin to sleep, and only for the first two nights.

The photo above is to show off my new hardware: full archwires, bumpers, and a coil. The bumpers (the gray rubber bars) are to keep the long stretches of wire from irritating the inside of my cheek until that big gap closes up — or until I get chains put on, instead. The coil is to gently coax those front two teeth apart to make room for the one that’s behind the rest. It’s definitely adding some new pressure.

My mouth is sore, yes, but not as sore as when the braces first went on. I don’t think. Maybe I’m just getting used to it. I’m remembering what it was like when I was a little kid with no front teeth, and I used to bite hot dogs with my molars. Eating is kind of like that right now.

Oddly enough, I’ve been showing off my new tooth gaps to anyone who will listen. You’d think I’d be self-conscious about it; instead, I feel like I’m showing off a new upgrade or something. “Look how awesome my mouth will be in 2+ years, compared to now! w00t!” I think it’s partially because I’ve browsed the forums and gallery at Archwired.com and have realized that other people started with waaaay worse teeth than I did.

I get my routine cleaning in a couple of weeks, and I’m curious about how different it will be with all this hardware in my mouth. I’m trying to keep everything clean, but I know I could be more vigilant. Flossing daily and all that, despite how tedious the process is now. (I bought myself a water flosser, but I have yet to figure out how to use it without making a giant mess of water on the vanity and making my gums bleed to boot.)

Even with the discomfort in my mouth, I’m liking having braces so far. It feels like I’m doing something for me, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Something that will totally be worth it in the end.

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