Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Adjustment no. 3!

How long will it take to relax with this whole process?

This was the question going around in my mind whilst on the way to Dr H’s yesterday, as despite being 5 months and several visits into the journey i’m STILL feeling hugely anxious on adjustment day, and tend to spend the preceding 24 hours coping with butterflies and jelly legs! I really need to start getting a grip of these nerves or heaven knows how I’ll react once surgery appears on the horizon, but for the moment I’m still taking a deep breath at the practice door and pushing my hands deep into my pockets, so that when I walk in no-one notices them shaking.

Needless to say I had nothing to worry about. Dr H. and the team put a new ugly wire of a higher number on the top (with a great deal of pushing and shoving I might add-my brackets never open or close without a fight) and swapped out the spring thingy on the bottom for one that was stronger. I’ve not really noticed any tooth movement going on since last time, including around the spring, but apparently there has actually been progress. Now we’ve only got a few more gaps to open and are waiting for the upper arch to completely straighten before things can move on. I also had a much needed clean to remove staining and build up – which is still causing me a lot of grief between visits, but Dr H. wasn’t able to find a cause for the bleeding and sensitivity that I’ve experienced recently, and speculated that increased pressure on the lower molars may be the cause (they are really the only teeth that meet up with the upper set), I was relieved to hear it wasn’t something more serious.

For the next visit Dr H’s assistant told me that I’d be getting a steel wire on top, along with a set of hooks. Hooks? Ouch! As an ulcer-prone individual that word sends a chill down my spine! I asked the purpose of these new torture devices and was told they would “hold elastics and close gaps”. Hold on – havn’t we been working on opening gaps all this time? The purpose of all this is rather lost on me – I can only conclude that my ortho truly does work in mysterious ways!

Still, I have bigger things to worry about: in two weeks I’ll be accompanying my mother to a 60th birthday in a city some distance from London, which will mean the two of us making the long journey together. I’ve deliberately stayed out of her way since she gave me so much grief about having surgery, but I’m hoping a few hours alone in the car will help clear the air. Not planning to bring up the subject directly but am hoping it will crop up whilst chatting. Surely she can’t ignore it for much longer?

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Divine relief

St. Appolonia - good with teeth!

I have been distracted from my favourite subject over the last few weeks by pesky exams, so it’s nice to come back and discover that four and a half months are now up on the clock. This could potentially mean i’m a third of the way through my journey to the big day! Really hope it’s the case as my brace continues to find new and devilish ways of tormenting me, and my underbite gradually worsens as the weeks go by.

The newest developments I have to report are extreme sensitivity whilst brushing around my molars and bleeding gums. Not sure what I’ve done to deserve this latest round of punishment as my dental regime is pretty good, but for some reason most brushing sessions in the past few weeks have led to varying amounts of blood on my toothbrush. I’ve managed to calm things down by re-introducing interdental brushes to my routine which seem to have done the trick, but it’s bumped my evening bathroom time back up to almost half an hour! Once i’ve got through the mouthwash, ordinary brush, pick-shaped brush, floss (the biggest time killer), interdental brushes, wax and mouth ulcer gel i’m lucky if I’m done in 20 minutes. What makes it worse is that A. gives his teeth a quick two minute scrub and is straight off to bed, and his teeth are as happy as Larry! It’ll be interesting to hear what Dr. H makes of it when I see him in two weeks. Does every other brace-wearer spend hours in the bathroom like this or am I setting some sort of new world record?

Happened to find out the other day that a certain St Appolonia is the Patron Saint of dentistry and tooth related problems. Wonder if she does braces and orthognathic surgery too? Might be a good time to offer up a few prayers as I could do with a bit of divine relief right now…