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Of Braces and Home Improvement

an orthodontic journal

October to November 2003
z Wednesday, October 1 

As you can see from my most recent photo in the Photos of my Braces page, those stubborn lower gaps are FINALLY closing. Dr. Vogt had taken the power chains off of them for a while, and I guess that giving the tissue a rest from the extra pressure did the trick. Last month he put the power chains back on, and voila, major closure! There is light at the end of the tunnel! Wow, I'm starting to think about what life will be like AFTER I get these braces off!

After the gaps are completely closed, Dr. Vogt will begin tinkering with my bite to even things out. I know that it looks like I have a pretty deep bite at the moment -- overcompensation for the open bite we are trying to correct. I have every confidence that Dr. Vogt will give me a good outcome when all is said and done. And I'm willing to keep the braces on for a few months longer to make everything as good as possible.

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It seems that Voy Forums got its act together, and the Metal Mouth Forum seems (at least on my end) to be performing at a decent speed. If you think otherwise, please let me know.

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I've been hard at work trying to get the word out about DentaKit. Recently I put together a press kit that was sent to major magazines such as Allure, YM, and Men's Health. I'm also doing a Google AdWords campaign through Christmas. So, if you see the DentaKit ad on Google or other search engines, remember that clicking on the ad not only brings you to the DentaKit site -- it also costs me money (e.g., pay-per-click). So please don't click just for the heck of it!

And while I'm on the subject of shameless promotion, I want to remind you that DentaKit makes a great stocking stuffer for any kids or teens you know in braces -- and it's on sale, too! OK, enough said.

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I seem to be completely over the pneumonia. It sure took a long time to resolve -- I thought the cough would never go away! Within the next few weeks I hope to get back to some regular exercise (as you may remember, I started a jogging program during the summer). I haven't been doing anything and I'm starting to feel like a potato (couch potato, computer potato...you get the picture...)

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There are only a few more days to enter the Braces Haiku contest. Hey guys and gals, I haven't received many entries yet! I KNOW that there are some poets lurking out there who want to entertain us! Send in your entry until October 10! 

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OK, I've got to tell you how proud I am of my older daughter, a budding musician. She is almost 10 and we have been teaching her some guitar (just chords, no reading music or anything terribly formal). Up to yesterday, she has been playing her little junior-sized acoustic with the 6 or so chords she knows. She has been writing songs, oh, little girl of my heart! A chip off the old block! Lately she has been begging me to play my electric Strat with the effects processor and the drum machine.

Well, how can I turn down a request like that? 

Last night I plugged her in. She chose her "sound": grunge guitar. And a beat: rock. And off she went. I was quite impressed. The kid has rhythm. With her 6 chords, the grunge effect, and the steady beat, she sounded better than some bands I've seen. OK, she's my kid and I'm prejudiced, but damn she astounded me for being so new at it.

My younger daughter wants to take drum lessons and learn guitar, too. Something tells me that in a few years, we'll be clearing out the garage and putting some acoustic tiles on the walls so the neighbors don't complain. And then our household will be "The Partridge Family Meets Freaky Friday."


z Friday, October 10 

Another adjustment this week, and OUCH! Dr. Vogt upgraded my lower arch wire to a thicker stainless steel model. He did this because my lower gaps are almost closed, and he needs to start moving my bottom teeth outward. As you can see from my most current photo, (on the Photos page) they are tipping inward a bit and my bite is very deep. He assured me that when we're all done, the bite will be corrected and everything will be fine. Anyway, the stainless steel arch wire "gives" less and will better encourage the teeth to move outward.

He wants me to continue using the elastics, because they will also help move the teeth into a more desirable position. Interestingly, I don't have a power chain on the bottom this month. I suppose the new arch wire is enough pressure at the moment.

So ouch, I'm on a soft food diet once again. Protein shakes, yogurt, soup, etc. for me. Pretty soon it will be my birthday (43; it's NOT POSSIBLE) and hopefully by then I'll be able to enjoy a nice dinner and not just some soft cake!

I had wanted glow-in-the-dark ligatures and power chains, but Dr. Vogt doesn't have them waaaah! Everyone on the Forum has been raving about how the glow ligatures resist stains. I really want to try some. Well by now I have a lot of contacts at the various companies, so I plan to get Dr. Vogt some samples so he can try them on me and few other patients! For now, I'm sticking with the smoke color, which is virtually invisible.


z Saturday, November 1 

Two weeks after getting my last adjustment, a wire started poking at the back of the top right arch. OK, I'm glad that things are moving, but it's so darned inconvenient to have to drop everything and run over to get it clipped. That's why it's so important to choose an ortho close to your home or work -- you just never know when you'll need to go there on a moment's notice!

Anyway, Dr. Vogt likes the progress my teeth are making with the new heavier arch wire on the bottom. My bite is definitely changing again. The lower teeth were tipping in, but now they are being nudged forward, which is improving the bite significantly. Sometimes when I chew a certain way, I hear that SCREETCH of one tooth scraping on the other (or maybe it's scraping on a bracket -- I really can't tell). Uugh, I HATE that!

I've been wearing the elastics regularly. Between all of this stuff, new little gaps are opening up here and there, which is to be expected, I suppose.

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Last Friday I spent the day in San Francisco at the American Dental Association (ADA)'s annual conference and trade show. As you might expect, it was HUGE! Every dental company you've ever heard of was there. For me, it was very informational.

I saw many interesting new products, including many helpful TMJ/TMD devices. I plan to write about some of these next month and provide links for you.

One of the most fun products I saw at the convention was actually for kids. A couple of enterprising woman here in the SF Bay area came up with the idea for NoteNiks, a positive "cool" note for parents to put in their kids' lunchboxes. They expanded to a line of notes for teachers to give out to their students. 

Now they are a expanding again with a dental line. Obviously, they are selling that to dentists. But those of you with kids might want to check out their lunchbox line; their products are really nice, and priced affordably. They do fund raisers for schools, too.

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As a final word on the pneumonia I had this summer: I saw the doctor, had another chest x-ray, and yes, I'm completely over it. No more coughing or anything. FINALLY! A couple of weeks ago I had a flu shot in one arm and a pneumonia shot in the other. The pneumonia shot hurt like hell for about 3 days -- seriously, I couldn't believe how much it hurt; my entire upper arm was killing me so much, you'd think I had a bullet wound there or something! Now I'm on a very aggressive regimen of vitamins to help ensure that my immune system stays strong through the winter. After what I've been through, I deserve to stay healthy! 


z Friday, November 21 

Things have been pretty quiet on the braces front for me this month, which is why I haven't written much.

I had another adjustment and we're continuing with the same arch wires (stronger one on bottom and no power chain). I had samples of the pearlescent power chain that Glenroe makes, and a sample of some glow-in-the-dark ligatures. So we put the pearlescent power chains on top, and the glow ligatures on the bottom.

So far, I've eaten curry twice and I must say, both the products hold up pretty well to staining. Yes, they did stain somewhat, but not as badly as the other chains and ligatures had stained. I still think I prefer the smoke-colored power chain in this regard, because it never actually looks yellow no matter how much curry you eat.

Here are a couple of photos to help you compare:

Before eating curry, and...

 

...after eating curry twice and brushing a few times. The power chains and ligatures are a bit yellow, especially at the sides of my mouth. But it isn't too noticable. Certainly not as yellow as regular white power chains or ligatures would get with curry!

I'm very pleased with the progress that my bottom teeth are making in coming forward. The overbite is less than it was a few months ago. That new arch wire, combined with the elastics, is really doing a great job. I plan to post a new "progress" photo in January -- my two year mark!

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I had put a query out on the Forum a few weeks ago regarding ads on ArchWired, and got a very positive response, so thank you to all who replied. 

I have been considering putting some static low-annoyance type ads on the first page of ArchWired. The reason I want to do this is to help defray hosting costs for the site. You have my promise that there will never be any pop-ups or annoying animated ads on this site. I really hate those. And the ads that run will be specifically dental related -- either dental companies, products, services, or dental professionals. 

If you have a dental-related product or service and are interested in advertising, please contact me.

I plan to start running ads on ArchWired either next month or in January. The ads will run on top as banners, on the side to the right of the News section, and on the bottom as banners.

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Hey, I finally started jogging again, after taking a break because of that pneumonia I got in August. It feels so great to get back out there and get some good exercise! I'm starting out slowly, but expect to be back to where I left off in a couple of weeks.

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I would like to wish all of our American readers a Happy Thanksgiving. May all your turkey be softly cooked!


 

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