Operation Braceface: Day 92

My second adjustment! Today, we added chains to the bottom teeth.

And, yes, I opted to go all St. Patrick’s Day with my “colors.” I wasn’t sure what I’d think of them, but I figured I should have fun with them at least once. So far, after six or seven hours, I’m not sick of them yet, so that’s a good thing.

I think the orthodontist’s assistant was a little weirded out when I told her that I’d been looking forward to getting my chains put on. After I explained that I’d done some research and found an online community of adults with braces, she did note that adult patients tend to be more interested in the mechanics of the braces: how the teeth move into place, how the wires and chains and coils do their thing, all that good stuff.

A couple of my friends and co-workers have already noticed that my top teeth are starting to straighten out. I think it’s because I show my top teeth when I smile, but my bottom ones stay hidden. My bottom teeth have actually moved pretty well themselves.

Yeah, they’re still kind of gnarly. But! There’s a lot more space in front of that middle tooth now, and the spots from the extractions are visibly smaller. There used to be a couple that were overlapped and turned funny, too, but now they’re pretty much in a line (except that one, of course).

See the coil in front of that middle tooth? That’s a stronger coil than they put on last time — you can actually see it bowing outward. They also changed my bottom wire from a 14 (I think) to an 18, which means it’s stronger and will more aggressively pull my teeth into alignment. The chains on the sides will pull that gap closed on either side, too, giving that little tooth even more room to join its friends in the front row. Maybe I’ll get to have a bracket put on that one next time…

During today’s wire and coil change, one of my bottom brackets popped off! The assistant said she hadn’t had a bracket pop off in years. That added a bit of a wait to my otherwise no-nonsense adjustment — my half-hour stretched out to 45 minutes or so.

So, there was a lot of attention paid to my bottom teeth, but not so much to the top. No wire change there, just colors. Sounds like Dr. N. is focusing on the bottom teeth right now, since there’s more remediation still to happen with that one overlapped tooth, and going slow and steady with the top teeth. The assistant noticed that my one top tooth still hasn’t rotated into place yet, and it seems that we’re going to let it very slowly do its thing. The orthodontist might be more assertive with that later; he hasn’t really given me any future details about what’s happening when. (Assumedly because he won’t be sure until he sees how my teeth move from one visit to the next.)

The assistant who worked with me today warned me that my mouth will be sore for the next day or two. So far, it’s no more sore than usual, but that might change. Every time my teeth hurt, I remind myself that this is what I signed up for, and that the end result will be worth it.

And I’m not just blowing smoke. I’m genuinely still excited about having braces.

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