to May 2003
had thought about writing a humorous fake "braces
horror" story for today (April 1st, April Fool's Day),
but Hubby didn't think that you guys would find it amusing.
Well, maybe he's right.
any event, we do have something new and fun for this month --
our first contest. The theme is:
"Your most embarrassing moment in braces." The
contest received entries from around the world, so have fun
reading the stories and cast your vote!
had another braces dream the other day. In real life, I had
just gone for another adjustment. I guess my teeth were aching
a bit in my sleep. I dreamed that the power chains needed
trimming, so I took some scissors and snipped at them. To my
horror, I snipped one off. "Oh great," I thought,
"Now I have to run back to the doctor to have this fixed
and he's going to give me such shit about it!" When
I woke up, I thought it really a strange dream. Why would
anyone want to trim their power chains? Perhaps subconsciously
I really want to finish with the chains already. Well LOL, the
gaps aren't closed yet so it will be a few more months.
asked Dr. Vogt if he thought that doubling up the chains or
elastics was a good idea. He said that in his opinion, as long
as the teeth are moving (even slowly), he doesn't like to mess
with it. He said that if the teeth showed no progress for a
few months, he'd consider it. But my teeth are moving, albeit
slowly. He said that my gaps are closing slower than average:
it has been 9 months since my extractions.
few of my teeth have actually become a speck crooked in the
past month. Dr. Vogt said that once the gaps are closed, we'll
do some "fine tuning" to get things looking as
perfect as possible.
month I wrote about the Zone Perfect bars. I wanted to report
that I've tried some of the chocolate flavors, and they also
are rather like a Rice Krispy treat, and not too chewy. I
haven't tried any of the "caramel" flavors yet, so I
can't tell you about those yet, but I assume they're chewy.
end is within sight for my daughter's broken leg. April 16 is
the magic day that she gets her cast completely off. We can't
wait! Pushing her around in a wheelchair has taken its toll on
all of us. My daughter is beginning to get really antsy. And
me -- I have re-injured my shoulder pushing her up and down
those ramps at school. I have calcium deposits near my rotator
cuff and every so often they give me trouble. The last few
days my left shoulder and neck have been KILLING me!
I write, I'm on major prescription anti-inflammatories. I'm
seeing the orthopedist soon, and will have a few different
consultations with different orthopedists. I've had physical
therapy for this before, (and I do special exercises on a
regular basis), but it obviously keeps coming back. I think
it's time to take a more aggressive approach and have
arthroscopic surgery or something. I want those damned calcium
deposits OUT already and I want to be able to do stuff without
risking severe pain in my neck and shoulder. How did I get
them in the first place? I think it's from holding my
daughters mainly with my left arm when they were infants
(i.e., repetitive stress injury). I never had this problem
before having kids.
month's Braces Poll had an interesting result. How much did
your braces cost you? On average, $4-5,000US. What really
surprised me was the number of people who said that their
orthodontic treatment exceeded $8,000US.
was my third cleaning since getting braces. It went pretty
well. As usual, the Cavitron whirred and spurted away,
followed by some scraping, polishing, and flossing.
Apparently, the gum tissue at the two lower banded molars
could be better. I suppose that since I don't floss them as
much, the gums haven't been stimulated enough. The hygienist
gave me rubber-tipped instrument and suggested massaging those
gums with it. Other than that, it was a good cleaning and a
month I have silver colored power chains. I ate some curry
last week. Much to my surprise, they didn't turn yellow, but green!
They stayed light green for a few days, and now they seem to
be back to their original silver color. Interesting. I
don't mind green chains. But yellow looks just too yucky for
me to stand. Maybe I'll stick with the silver. I had smoke
colored ones a few months ago, but I didn't eat any curry that
month, so maybe I'll try them again just to see how curry
my next adjustment, I plan to add a new photo of my treatment
I was at school helping my older daughter at lunchtime. One of
her friends remarked that we look alike (my daughter also has
brown hair and we wear similar colored glasses -- I wear
glasses for driving). My daughter said (jokingly), "Yeah,
and I bet one day soon I'll be getting braces and then I'll
look like a real dork, with braces and glasses, Dwoyyyy!"
laughed and said, "Just like your Mom, eh?" Her
friends covered their mouths and giggled. "Aw Mom, I
didn't mean YOU," my daughter declared.
right," I told her. "You have the coolest Mom in the
school and don't you forget it!"
kid gets out of her wheelchair in 8 MORE DAYS! Let's hear it
for broken bones that heal!
shoulder is doing much better and I'm finally out of pain. The
doctor gave me a cortisone shot (I've never had one before; it
was interesting). Despite the improvement, I probably will
have arthroscopic surgery sometime in the next few months. I
go for a second opinion in a couple of weeks. I'd like to be
able to play my guitar for hours WITHOUT any resulting pain.
Not to mention doing bicep curls, flies, and pushups like I
used to. And it would be nice to play softball with my
younger daughter, or tennis with Hubby without days of pain
you may have noticed, I finally moved the photo gallery. It is
now on the same host as this website, so there will be no
access problems. Photos have been coming in, and I'm adding
them as quickly as I can. I plan to update the photo gallery
about once per week with any new pictures I receive. I'm sure
the gallery will evolve as time goes on. Thanks to everyone
for their photos! It's nice to be able to share photos and
stories with everyone on the site!
is totally off-topic, but have you been receiving the new
gibberish-subject SPAM emails? SPAM emailers have reached a
new low. Tired of being rejected by smart filters, they have
resorted to sending emails with subject lines such as
"bwana flort?" or "goodjeb hallod!" Oh
yeah, that gets MY attention, alright....right into the trash
folder. DELETE!!! As they said on Seinfeld, "....No
clicks for you!"
was an interesting topic recently in the Metal Mouth Forum. A
reader from the UK said that her orthodontist put springs on
her teeth during her first adjustment (I don't envy her;
that's one hell of a first adjustment!) The orthodontist
hadn't told her that he was going to do this, and it was a
complete surprise -- she didn't know about it until she looked
in the mirror after the adjustment! When she questioned him
about it, the ortho shrugged it off, saying that she needed
the springs to help rotate a couple of teeth.
I think this sort of attitude is very rude. We pay thousands
of dollars to get our teeth straightened and I think we
deserve some communication about the process. But
remember that communication is a two-way street. Some
doctors (medical, dental, or whatever) never go out of their
way to tell you the details of a procedure; you must ask. This
is where it pays to be an informed and assertive consumer.
communication can be a challenge in itself, because most of
the time, the assistant does your adjustment and the ortho
just pops over to take a quick look. If you're not satisfied
that your questions have been answered, don't be shy about
telling your ortho that you need to speak to them. Sure, it's
a busy practice with lots of patients and a tight schedule,
but you're paying your x-thousand dollars and you deserve your
5 minutes (or more if necessary).
I have an adjustment, I ask my ortho how it's going -- how do
things look this month? Will I need anything new, or is it the
"same old"? No treatment plan is set in stone. Your
bite and your teeth change as your treatment progresses, and
each adjustment brings the possibility of changes.
UK reader was worried that she was wrong to be miffed at her
ortho. As most other readers responded, hell no! She
had every right to be angry. If I had been in her place, I
certainly would have been. After all, you're paying for ORTHOdontics,
the moral of our story: be an assertive and informed patient,
and remind your ortho that you're an adult, not a 9-year-old!
my older daughter was supposed to get that darned cast off her
leg, but no go. The doctor wants her to stay in it for another
week, to walk on it. Well, at least I don't have to push that
wheelchair anymore. The bone is apparently 80 percent healed.
contest was a lot of fun. Congrats to Dave, Matt, and Mary,
our top three prize winners! That headgear hand mitt
story is a classic! We'll do another contest in a few months;
most likely Braces Haiku! Don't worry if you've never written
a poem in your life; haikus are easy and fun. I'll include
complete instructions on writing them, so everyone can take a
crack at it!
month, another adjustment. Things have been pretty stable for
my teeth. The gaps are closing SLOWLY and there is definitely
progress. During my last adjustment, Dr. Vogt kept looking in
my mouth..."hmmmm.....hmmmmm," he said. All that
hmmmm-ing amounted to a stronger arch wire on my bottom teeth.
They are beginning to rotate inward slightly, and he wants to
bring them back out into proper position.
new arch wire did make my teeth ache for a few days, but now
things are pretty much status-quo again. I got smoke-colored
power chains. I had assumed that once the gaps were closed,
the power chains would come off and regular ligatures would go
on instead. However, it seems that I'll be wearing the power
chains until the bitter end. Once the spaces are closed, Dr.
Vogt wants to keep them that way. I won't be surprised if I
wind up having a permanent retainer put on the back of my
teeth after this is all finished. A small price to pay.
posted this new photo (with the smoke-colored power chains) on
the Photos page. Today I had curry
for lunch, and I thought it might be interesting to compare a
"before curry" photo with an "after curry"
photo was taken when the smoke-colored power chains were newly
attached. They seem to disappear on the brackets, which is
surprising, because they are gray. The silver-colored ones are
also very similar.
photo shows the power chains after a curry lunch and ONE
brushing with a manual toothbrush (non-whitening toothpaste).
They only look slightly green/yellow. I expect the greenish
tinge to fade after a couple of brushings. Not too bad;
certainly better than the "clear" ones which become
shocking yellow and stay that way. I don't know whether I
prefer this, or the light blue (which turns green and then
fades to light teal). If only someone would invent elastic
ligatures and chains which are CURRY resistant!!!
of photos, several new people were added to the ArchWired
Photo Gallery, so check it out if you're so inclined. A
few are finished, and I'm waiting on some info to add a few
more (in the next couple of days). Thanks to everyone who submitted photos this month!
results of April's survey are not surprising. Most
insurance plans don't cover adult orthodontics. Orthodontic
coverage is a hit-and-miss thing. Sometimes you find a plan
you can buy as an individual, but you have to go to an ortho
in their network, which is either too far from your house, or
isn't someone you'd necessarily want treating you. Sometimes
you're lucky. If you have insurance that covers any amount of
your orthodontic treatment, consider yourself part of the
fortunate minority. At times I get emails asking for advice on
orthodontic insurance. I can't really offer any. I don't have
any personal experience with the plans offered on the
internet. My best advice is: before buying any insurance plan,
always research it carefully and thoroughly.
be aware that if you are already in the midst of orthodontic
treatment, most plans will not cover you for the rest of your
treatment. In other words, if your treatment is "already
in progress," you're out of luck. So if you want to sign
up for an orthodontic plan, do it months before you
start any treatment, and be sure that there is no
"waiting period" involved!
Monday, my daughter's leg cast was removed! At first she
needed crutches, but now she is limping around on her own. We
arranged for her to have physical therapy. The joints in her
foot and ankle are very stiff, and that's what they're working
on. Her leg and knee are fine. Phew! I am SO GLAD that whole
scenario is FINISHED! Will my daughter ever ski again? That's
entirely up to her. If she decides not to, we'll certainly
funny what you begin to notice when you have braces and become
hyper-aware of other people's teeth (which I WASN'T before
this whole process). I saw the new thriller Identity in
the movie theater the other day. I'm a big fan of John Cusack
and Ray Liotta. Well, if you see that film (which I recommend,
because it was really great), you can't help but notice
John Cusack's bottom teeth: crooked as bunch of drunken
sailors! Lots of close-ups, lots of crooked bottom teeth
shots. Throughout the movie, I kept thinking, "Hey John,
it must be a real pain to floss them!" His top teeth look
pretty nice, and he's a handsome guy; maybe he should try
Invisalign! But then again, if YOU had HIS money and
and you could get any woman you wanted, would you really care
how your bottom teeth looked? Hmmm....
eaten curry a bunch of times since getting these smoke-colored
power chains, and so far I'm pretty happy with them. They have
turned a very slight yellowish green, and it's barely
noticeable. I don't know which I like better, the blue
chains which turn light teal, or the smoke ones which turn
green so subtly, you can barely see it.
overall, I'd have to say that I'm very happy with these smoke
colored chains. They probably show the curry stains the least
of everything I've tried so far.
new heavier arch wire that Dr. Vogt put in a few weeks ago is
definitely doing its stuff. My teeth don't hurt anymore, but
I've noticed that a couple of the spaces here and there have
changed. So the arch wire must be re-positioning those teeth.
family and I are off to the UK and Paris for a couple of
weeks. (Special thanks to a certain nice relative of ours for
house-sitting while we're away!)
if I'm not making a presence here at the site, that's why.
I'll be lurking here and there when I have internet access,
and maybe post a trip report over on the Metal Mouth Forum. My
high school French is incredibly rusty, and much to my dismay,
I haven't had time to "bone up" on French as I'd
have liked. Hubby dove into a Berlitz course, and he's so good
at languages, I'm sure he'll be able to make the waiters laugh
a lot less than I would. My favorite romance language is
Italian. We learned basic Italian for a trip we took about 10
years ago. I found it so easy and straightforward, and I did
really well in it. My second favorite is Brazillian
Portuguese. So lyrical and lovely; I could listen to it all
day long. I knew how to speak it pretty well about 15 years
ago (for a long trip to Brazil), but now alas, all I remember
is "shta chovendu" (it's raining). We Americans are
pitiful, aren't we?
DentaKit is "closed" until I get back. You can place
an order, but I won't process or ship it for two weeks. Any
orders placed now should reach you by around May 29.
an incredible two weeks we have had! London, Dublin, and
Paris. Nobody broke their leg, nobody got sick from anything.
As I had expected, my poor memory of French frustrated me
("damn, how did I use to say that?")...over and over
again. But "eclair" is the same in any language! ;-)
won't bore you with minute detail of my trip. The highlights
to a performance of Richard II at the reconstructed Globe
Theater on the banks of the Thames.
getting to see the changing of the guard after all these
years (and two previous trips to London). Is it to be
enjoyed or endured? I'm still not sure...
the wonderous Book of Kells and drinking a pint of freshly
brewed Guinness in a typical pub (cheers!)
that my kids are actually learning something about
Medieval history from this trip.
the look on my kids' faces when they realize how HUGE some
of the artwork is in the Louvre and the Museum d'Orsay
(and wow, the REAL Mona Lisa, Mom!)
devouring all the French pastries, fresh cheeses, and
artisian chocolates we could possibly eat in 6 days. Diets
walking in to Notre Dame cathedral just before a church
service and enjoying that incredible pipe organ while
viewing all the relics, architecture, and artwork.
eating a sandwich, brushing my very messy ucky teeth in
the bathroom of the Rodin museum and enduring dirty looks;
wishing I could say a few choice words to them in French.
the Metro everywhere and staying out until almost midnight
every night, enjoying Paris.
personal humorous moment came to me when I was squashed
against the fence with my kids watching the changing of the
guard in London. It was hot and I was really uncomfortable.
And that's when my weird wild imagination set in.
front of me were the soldiers in their red uniforms, big
bearskin hats and shiny black shoes, all lined up in rows. And
the band was playing. Suddenly I wished they could break into
a tap number. Yes, they would hoof around, using their bayonet
guns as canes and their bearskin hats would become large
tophats. The old guard and new guard would challenge each
other to elaborate tap routines. And in a final climax, the
Queen herself dances out of the doors of the palace, does an
impressive little number and gets lifted up on their
shoulders. Bravo! Now THAT would be a show. Why hasn't anyone
choreographed that yet?!
I've eaten curry a bunch of times this month (several in
London; yum) and in some places, my smoke colored power chains
have turned green. Fortunately, the front part looks fine. But
if you look closely at the sides of my smile, you see the
green tinge. It isn't bad, just not as attractive as
non-green. Better than yellow, certainly. I suppose I'll keep
the smoke color ones when I get my next adjustment. When you
eat curry, it seems that no color of ligature or chain is
really perfect. Some are just less terrible than others.