Operation Braceface: Day 243

Today was my fifth adjustment, and boy, was it a doozie.

Over the past seven weeks, I’ve had it easy. No chains, no elastics, nothing except my archwires. The goal was to get my one bottom front tooth rotated into position before continuing the process of closing the gaps.

Well, it’s in position. Commence gap closing.

The upper wire remains at an 18, but we increased the bottom wire to an 18 from a 14. I now have chains across my front teeth, too — on the bottom six (from three to three) and the top four (from two to two). I also have chains between my top cuspids and bicuspids, and am wearing Class 2 elastics (medium strength, from my top cuspids to my bottom molars, not seen in the photos above).

The goal — and I’m not sure if it will happen all this round — is to close the gaps in the front of my smile, and move my top eyeteeth back to shift the gap around. Once there’s a gap in front of the cuspids, then we’ll pull the top front teeth back to finish correcting my overbite.

Another new piece of hardware in my mouth this round are crimp stops. They keep a given tooth from moving the wrong direction. I have one crimped next to my bottom front tooth, to keep my midline from moving left, and I have one in front of each of my upper bicuspids to keep them from trying to move forward.

All this translates to a lot of mouth pain right now. My upper eyeteeth (which the orthodontic assistant called “strong teeth” because they don’t move easily) are getting torque from archwires, chains, and elastics all at once. Today’s lunch was soup, and I’m optimistic that tomorrow’s lunch will be the frozen meal I had unwittingly packed for lunch today.

Last time I had elastics, my eyeteeth hurt the entire time. I sincerely hope that isn’t the case this time around… but I’m not counting on it.

It’s crazy seeing how much my smile has changed in the past several months. Not just my teeth, but literally my smile: I’ve noticed that it looks different, thanks to my teeth sticking out differently than they used to. It’ll be fun to see what my smile looks like once my overbite is completely corrected, my teeth are straight, and my braces are off.

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