2003 to January 2004
have delayed my next adjustment by one week because of an
overnight school field trip I'm doing with my older daughter.
We must dress up like pioneers and live in an historic fort
for two days, doing all sorts of pioneer activities, and
talking in pioneer slang. Her entire grade (2 classes worth)
is doing this trip. I figured it would be better to delay my
treatment by one week rather than risk a poking wire when I'm
three hours from home and dressed like Carolyn Ingalls (i.e., Little
House on the Prairie).
while I'm sure it will be fun for the kids, the entire thing
has been a huge expensive headache for me (and other parents
as well). I wish the teacher wasn't so gung-ho on this pioneer
experience thing. Half of the class is sleeping on a dirt
floor in an unheated room -- no pillows or comforts allowed,
only basic sleeping bags. The other half is in a nearby youth
hostel. Well, with my back trouble and recent bout of
pneumonia, there's no way I'm sleeping on a cold dirt floor,
so it's the hostel for us. If all those other parents weren't
also at the hostel, I'd sneak us away to a nice cozy hotel. In
fact, I might just cause an uprising and have us all sleep at
a hotel. I'm such a trouble maker!
hope all our American readers had a nice Thanksgiving.
Thankfully, my teeth weren't hurting and nothing was poking
continuing saga of the curry stains on my braces....so
recently I had curry for a third time and I guess the third
time's the charm....they're very yellow! Here are a few
pictures. The first two were published in last month's
journal, but I thought I'd put them all here so you could
compare them. I'm wearing pearlescent power chains on top, and
glow-in-the-dark ligatures on bottom:
eating any curry
eating curry twice in one week and brushing a few times.
eating curry a third time a week later and brushing a few more
times. The power chains and ligatures are now lightly stained
light yellow, and the staining won't come off. I must admit,
the glow-in-the-dark ligatures seem to stain less than the
pearlescent power chains. Or perhaps it just appears that way,
because the power chains are more prominent.
had another adjustment recently, and Dr. Vogt added something
quite unexpected to my braces: a couple of loops in the bottom
is very pleased with the way my bite has progressed, but there
are still some gaps on the bottom. Now, we're in the home
stretch, and he wants to finally close those gaps. He said
that using a loop in the arch wire, along with a power chain,
helps to close the bottom gaps better on adults. That is why
he is doing this, instead of merely putting a power chain on
the hook of the adjacent bracket.
used the same arch wire that was on the bottom last month, but
made two little loops on the sides. After replacing the arch
wire on my brackets, he put a power chain from the last molar
over to each loop. The other bottom teeth have plain
ligatures. The top teeth have power chain, as usual. Here are
a couple of photos:
loops are on the bottom. You can't see the power chain very
well because it's smoke color and blends in.
a close-up of the loop in the arch wire.
far, the loops haven't been too much of a pain. Yes, my teeth
did hurt the first couple of days, but now things are pretty
much back to status-quo. In fact, I do believe that the larger
lower gap has closed a bit since my adjustment. The only
downside to the loops is that more food gets trapped in my
braces. Sigh. But I guess that's just to be expected.
still wearing elastics, but Dr. Vogt told me to switch to
wearing them only at night.
daughter and I didn't go on that pioneer trip last week,
because both my kids were sick. I thought they both had the
same thing, but it turns out that my younger one had the flu,
and my older one just had a bad cold. Although my older
daughter was almost better by the time field-trip-day arrived,
she still wasn't 100%, and I was exhausted from being up in
the middle of the night with her sister, who had a fever and
threw up a couple of times.
since my husband and I both had flu shots, we didn't get sick.
I was taking my vitamins, plus a generous dose of Sambucol
every day to stay healthy. If you're not familiar with
Sambucol, it's a syrup made of elderberry extract. Supposedly,
it is a potent anti-viral syrup. It actually works for me.
Many times in the past few years, if I felt a cold coming on
or had a mild sore throat, taking Sambucol helped to make it
go away. I suppose it has a lot of anti-oxidants in it or
something -- they say that berries have a lot of
anti-oxidants. Anyway, after having pneumonia this summer, I
stocked up on Sambucol for these "just in case"
times. If one of the kids gets sick, I start taking it to help
ensure that I don't catch what they have. You can buy the
stuff at a health food store, and many places online. It
tastes like berry pancake syrup!
a nice person at the Phillips company sent me a new Sonicare Elite
to thank me for some information provided by ArchWired. That
was totally unexpected and very generous of her. I usually
don't get perks like that!
you may know, I've been using Sonicare for years -- since
before getting my braces. Anyway, the new version is very
nice. Here's how it compares to the old one: it's lighter, the
brush head is now angled, longer, and thinner. There is also
no sheath on the outside of the brush head, which makes it
more flexible. I find that the new model seems to reach those
back areas easier and it is definitely more maneuverable than
the old model. The new bristles are different, and seem to
clean a bit better.
not plugging the product, just giving you some facts. If you
already have a Sonicare, there's no need to dump it and buy a
new Elite model. The feeling of the brush, and the way it
cleans the teeth, are very similar -- virtually identical. But
if your Sonicare breaks, or if you want to get a Sonicare for
some reason, I would favor the new Elite model over the older
model. Especially for kids, since it's lighter and has more
rubberized stuff on the outside for easier gripping. I plan to
get each my kids a Sonicare eventually, and I'm relieved that
they finally made the thing weigh less (visions of a $100
toothbrush shattering on the bathroom floor in the midst of
New Year to everyone!
family and I have been having a very nice winter break. Before
having kids, my husband and I lived in the Phoenix, Arizona
area. We haven't been back in years, and the kids have never
been there. So, we thought it would be a nice time to visit
the Southwest and show the kids our old stomping grounds.
was wonderful to re-visit some of our favorite family-style
restaurants (Ted's Hotdogs and Nello's Pizza) and introduce
our kids to the taste of Indian Fry Bread! They had also never
seen a real live Saguaro cactus (or any other kind of large
cactus), so that was interesting to them. We stayed at a nice
resort-type hotel with a wonderful outdoor heated swimming
pool, complete with water slide. Despite the cold weather, the
pool and its Jacuzzi were really great. When we lived in
Phoenix, we used to laugh at the "snowbirds" who
would come and swim in December. Well, now I guess we've
joined their ranks!
several days in Phoenix, we drove to the Grand Canyon,
stopping at some ancient Indian ruins along the way, as well
as the historic mining town of Jerome and beautiful red rocks
of Sedona. The kids have been learning a lot about Native
American culture and the California Gold Rush days in school,
so it was all very educational to them. And as expected, they
were in awe of the immensity of the Grand Canyon (if you've
never been there, believe me that photos and videos do NOT do
it justice). It was FREEZING at the Grand Canyon, and I was
glad that we had brought warm jackets, hats, gloves, and
of these days, I'd like to take the kids to Bryce Canyon in
Utah. My husband and I hiked there once. It's one of my
favorite places, because it looks like another planet --
thousands of stone spires (called Hoodoos) everywhere.
rang in the new year back at home with some friends and
platefuls of hors d'ouvres. I'm really enjoying today, kicking
back and watching the Twilight Zone marathon on the Sci-Fi
channel, wearing sweats and fuzzy slippers. Later, we're
invited to a neighbor's house for an informal party. It's very
nice to disconnect from work for a while and travel, and spend
time with family and friends. I find that traveling helps me
to get in touch with myself and puts everything into
perspective. Especially traveling to large open areas like the
desert, or hiking in the forest -- it really clears your head.
For the first time in months, I didn't touch a computer for
days on end.
the dental front, the loops that Dr. Vogt put in my bottom
arch wire are doing their jobs. The smaller gap is almost
closed, and the larger gap is about halfway there. I think it
will take another month or two for the spaces to FINALLY
close, once and for all!
I saw Dr. Vogt last month, I asked him about retainers. He
said that he'd favor two Hawley retainers for me. I had
thought he wanted me to have a fixed retainer on the bottom. I
suppose I'll try the Hawleys and see how they are. But that
is, of course, about 6 months away.
of teeth, my younger daughter is about to lose her second
bottom tooth, but it has been hanging on for WEEKS! The new
tooth is growing behind it. The dentist said that this is very
common, and when the new tooth erupts further, the old tooth
will finally fall out. For now, the poor kid is eating very
carefully, because she's afraid of swallowing that tooth!
Years Since Getting Braces!
adjustment, another month closer to being done! Today marks
two years since I got my braces on, and the clock is finally
ticking down. I can't believe it -- two years have literally
Vogt is continuing with the loops in the lower arch wire,
which have definitely been doing the job. In fact, they did
the job so well that one of the brackets popped off a few days
before my adjustment (that's pressure for ya). Speaking of the
loops, they haven't been too much of a pain. Yes, more food
gets caught beneath them, but not much more than usual. And I
don't feel them in my mouth. So if your ortho puts loops in
your arch wire, don't freak out -- it's really no big deal.
gap is 99% closed (the only way you realize there's space
there is when it's flossed); the other gap is 75% closed (that
has been the really stubborn one). I have a few gaps here and
there between the upper teeth (including between the two front
teeth), but that will all get resolved in the coming months.
usual, my teeth hurt for a few days after the adjustment, but
now everything is status-quo again. Dr. Vogt put a few more
bends in the upper arch wire, as well (but no loops).
my Photos page at the beginning of February (when the site is
updated) for new pictures of my progress!
interesting side note about this whole process.... before
getting my teeth straightened, I had a really hard time
flossing. I had to use Glide, because other types of floss
were too painful and many of the spaces between my teeth were
too tight. Now that things are better, I can use regular
floss, and even something like dental tape or SuperFloss.
been contemplating adding a SuperFloss-type product to the
DentaKit lineup for some time, but Oral-B is impossible to
deal with (very small-business unfriendly). However, it turns
out that the Thornton company invented the SuperFloss product.
They sold the product to Oral-B years ago, but today they make
a very similar product -- almost identical to the Oral-B
product. I'm happy to tell you that this product, called
Thornton 3-in-1 Floss, will soon be carried on the DentaKit
site, in economical boxes of 100 strands. We will also begin
carrying boxes of Glide Threader Floss, for those of you who
need a slicker floss for those tight spaces.
slight change in the DentaKit lineup will be the addition of
regular clear mint-scented dental wax and clear cherry-scented
wax for kids. Many people like the dental silicone that we
sell, but I have had many requests for regular wax, too.
in February, I hope to begin running unobtrusive ads here on
ArchWired. Now, you know that I can't stand flashing banners
and pop-ups. I promise you that ArchWired won't contain any of
that stuff. When possible, the ads will be static (unmoving)
and as non-annoying as possible. They will be at the top (in a
banner), and on the side, next to the News section. The ads
will ONLY pertain to dental and orthodontic products and
services. This is a whole new realm for me, so I expect there
to be a few adjustments to the site here and there, so please
bear with me. The revenue from the ads will help offset
website expenses. As usual, the site will be better viewed in
Internet Explorer than in Netscape. I don't know why, but
Netscape has a way of totally screwing up the site's
logistics. Any web gurus out there want to clue me in on why
what have I been up to this month? It was hard to get back
into the routine after winter vacation. Remember how I had
pneumonia back in the summer and was a total couch potato
during recovery...and then I had trouble getting back into a
consistent exercise program. Well, it's come back to bite me,
because I gained about 5 pounds. Which wouldn't be so bad if I
wasn't already almost 5 pounds over my "ideal"
weight. Sigh. Well, getting on the scale (and not fitting
comfortably into some of my favorite clothes) was enough of a
motivator. Now I'm exercising consistently every other day. No
excuses, no skipping days. I've made it a much higher priority
in my daily life. I'm also doing a variation of the low-carb
diet, and I've got to say, that Atkins/Orowheat "Carb
Counting" low-carb bread is actually pretty good!
New Year's resolution I made (besides losing the extra weight)
was to play my guitar more consistently. Really, it had been
months since I'd even touched it. And I really really missed
it. Music is food for the soul, and I needed it. So I'm happy
to say that the calluses are back on my fingers. I was also
motivated by listening to the Stone Temple Pilots and then
finding some "tab" for their songs on the web.
Getting my Strat all distorted and playing "Big
Empty" really loud just feels SO GOOD!
talking about music....Lord help us....my younger daughter has
just started taking drum lessons. No, we don't have a drum
kit...yet. Truthfully, I don't know WHERE we are going to put
it. I suppose I'm going to have to relinquish the garage,
because there is no room anywhere else in the house for it
(logistically or acoustically). But you should see how
incredibly excited she is about playing drums. How could we
deny her that passion? Besides, it takes us one step closer to
being a modern Partridge Family, with my older daughter now
playing a mini Fender Squier (in cherry red, of course,
with lots of distortion on that little amp)...