to July 2003
had an adjustment last week and boy have I been feeling it! A
few of my teeth are slightly rotated, and Dr. Vogt wanted to
correct them. After the usual routine of removing the old
power chains and then the arch wire, he examined my teeth and
played around with the arch wires a bit, bending them slightly
here and there (he called it "engaging the arch
soon as he put them back in, wow did I feel the change in
pressure! And then, the new power chains went on (I chose
smoke color again). By dinner time, I was back on a soft food
diet (for the first time in many months).
was several days ago, and my teeth are still really sensitive.
I made a really great looking green salad the other night for
dinner but I could barely eat it! Hopefully the pain will
subside soon and I'll be back to normal food. But for now,
it's cottage cheese, protein shakes, eggs, tuna salad, soup,
and anything else soft that I can think of. You know all that
weight I gained in Paris? Well, I guess I'll be losing it now!
have already seen the effects of the pressure. One frontal
tooth was slightly crooked, but now it's straight.
the home improvement scene, I FINALLY got the pocket doors in
the kitchen replaced. Yes, I've waited almost a year and
hedged and hedged. I finally found the right guy for the job.
As you may know if you read any of the entries from last
year's journal, I hesitated in replacing the doors because the
wall had been shoved in when they replaced one of the
countertops, causing the door to stick. It took a guy who
REALLY knew doors to be able to finesse it without tearing up
my doorjamb or replacing the entire insides of the pocket
door. So now I can get the kitchen painted, get the vertical
blinds replaced, put up a few knickknacks and it will be
took about 2 weeks for my teeth to completely stop hurting
after that last adjustment. Now I'm eating whatever I want,
teeth have definitely moved as a result of him tweaking the
arch wire. Once again, my bite feels different.
Vogt told me that I can take a break from the elastics for a
while. It will be interesting to see if he changes his mind at
my next adjustment. I'm still really annoyed that one
extraction gap on the bottom isn't closed. It is really taking
its sweet time -- it's been almost a year! I asked Dr. Vogt if
there's anything he wants to do to speed up the process --
like have more frequent adjustments. He said that it might be
better to just let the arch wire and power chains do their
thing without extra pressure for a while.
said that there have been some studies that a longer period of
constant light pressure moves teeth better than shorter
periods of intense pressure. Apparently, sometimes under heavy
pressure, the tooth roots will "lock up" under the
new strain and actually be harder to move. In some cases, he
said, people have had better results with longer times between
suppose it varies by individual. For now, we're sticking with
4-week adjustments and the status quo. Although, I am really
annoyed -- I want all the gaps to close up already. As I've
mentioned previously, my gaps are taking longer than average
to close. The gaps themselves are not noticeable anymore to
anyone but me, but I still want them closed.
my next adjustment, I plan to take a new photo to show how
much the gaps have closed in one year.
working on adding some things on the DentaKit site. Among the
changes will be some new product offerings, such as a good
quality manual orthodontic toothbrush for home use
(non-portable). I'm also looking into selling some electric
toothbrush head replacements. If there are any specific
products you guys and gals have been searching for, let me
know and I'll consider carrying them. Drop me an email!
I want to sell the stuff you've been searching for!
been really busy this past week with several things. The end
of the school year always bring about extra work for us
parents, with various parties and commitments. And my younger
daughter had a birthday, so there was a lot do for her, too.
I'm really looking forward to a long nice summer. We'll get
the kitchen finished, do a little painting ourselves, maybe
some gardening, and finally clean out the garage. It seems
that as soon as we re-organize and clean it, it gets full of
another adjustment and more pain. Once again, Dr. Vogt tweaked
the arch wire to slightly rotate two teeth (which are now a
tiny bit crooked). It's fascinating how he knows the correct
way to put small bends in the arch wire to accomplish his
goal. Quite a fine art.
ouch! I've been eating soft food and drinking protein shakes
for the past few days, and finally I can feel the pain
beginning to ease up. I think I'll be able to eat crunchy food
in about a week.
finally asked Dr. Vogt the QUESTION: Will I need to keep my
braces on longer than the original 24 months he projected? I
wasn't surprised when he said, "Probably a few extra
months." It has been almost a year since the extractions
and the gaps aren't completely closed. And a few teeth do need
to be fine-tuned. If I had to guess, I'd say that I have one
more whole year, and I'll probably get the braces off late
next Spring or Summer.
Vogt also said that I should continue taking a break from the
elastics. But of course, I still have the power chains.
has been a thread in the Forum recently about a chat room. I
have been contemplating a chat room for the site for a while.
I'll have some free time next week and plan to look into it.
There are a lot of options out there and I need to poke around
the web and see what's available and how many annoying pop-ups
are generated from the various choices. Personally I HATE
pop-ups and flashing banner ads, but unfortunately they are
generally unavoidable these days.
results of this month's Braces Poll are interesting. I didn't
expect so many "first timers". I had thought that
the results would be split between first timers and people
who'd had braces previously when they were younger. It just
goes to show that adults are beginning to realize that they
don't have to suffer with crooked teeth -- and that braces on
adults are becoming more popular.
week, the painter is supposed to start on my kitchen! Hooray!
It will be nice to get rid of those half-painted walls and
patch the cracks, etc.
to the site for the July Update are new photos from some of
our Photo Gallery members, including one new person (sorry I
didn't have time earlier in the month to add those photos as I
since it has been a year since the extractions, I'll post a
couple of new photos of my own progress. So check back around
hope everyone's summer is going well! I want to apologize if
you wrote to me and I took while to answer you. I've been busy
with a ton of small chores around the house. I'm in
"let's clean this mess up already dammit"
also been trying to exercise on a very regular basis and have
newly taken up running (jogging, really). Hubby got into
running last year and encouraged me to try it. We went to a
special store for runners and got me some good running
had never considered running in the past, because I had a foot
problem that caused me pain. But after having surgery 3 years
ago to correct the problem (and custom orthotics), my feet are
better than new -- they NEVER hurt anymore. So for the first
time in my life, running is actually a possibility. Hubby got
a walk/run plan from a book that he used, and it has been very
helpful. It gradually gets you into running without killing
you or causing injuries.
now I'm up to a total of 10 minutes of running (with intervals
of walking in between -- the most I run at once is 2 minutes
so far). I run on a dirt track at a nearby park. And on
non-running days, I'm trying to exercise at home or at the gym
to get some "cross training" done. It isn't easy to
do it so regularly. There's so much I need to do every day,
and it's hard to fit in exercise (so many excuses to be lazy).
But I'm trying very hard. I figure that if I run every other
day and do other cross training and weights at least once or
twice a week, it will be ok. As you may know, I do exercise
fairly regularly as it is -- on the stationary bike, Nordic
Trak, and elliptical stepper. But running is totally different
and much harder! Needless to say, I have new respect for
don't plan to do races or marathons or anything like that.
Maybe one day I'd consider trying a 5K or 10K. But that's way
in the future. For now, being able to run 2 minutes straight
without stopping is amazing for me. And the best part is -- it
seems to be good for my back!
thing I've been wanting to do again -- tap dance! I had taken
some tap dance lessons a few years ago (before my foot
surgery) but had to stop because my feet hurt too much. I
really miss it. OK, I'll admit that it's corny has hell, but
it's so much fun and great exercise! And I was pretty well at
it, too. I love percussion and tap dancing is like doing
percussion with your body.
fun and games this week in OrthoLand. My teeth were adapting
well to the latest adjustment, and I was finally beginning to
eat normal food again. Then, out of the blue, the bracket on
the last top left molar slipped forward and then came off,
held in place only by the power chain! This wouldn't have been
so bad on any other tooth, but because it was the last molar,
the end of the arch wire became exposed. A good quarter-inch
worth, poking right into my cheek. YOUCH!!!!
this happen during the daytime or during the week? Of course
not! It happened on Friday at midnight!
should see the wire cutters I put in my mouth to clip that
sucker -- the cutters I use to cut my guitar strings! It
was no easy task, let me tell you. I tried to use nail
clippers, but no luck; the arch wire was too thick. You'd
think that I, the self-proclaimed queen of oral hygiene, would
have a proper pair of orthodontic clippers, but no. OK, I
guess I'll shell out a few dollars and buy some. I never want
to go through THAT again. You should have seen the look of
horror on Hubby's face as he stood behind me in the bathroom
while I stuck those huge wire cutters in my mouth!
I clipped off most of the arch wire that was sticking out, I
gobbed tons of wax on the broken bracket and arch wire.
Otherwise, I would have never been able to get to sleep.
Dr. Vogt decided to see me Saturday afternoon. He was really
nice to do that, because he doesn't have weekend hours. He was
there with his wife and their cute little daughter. Anyway, he
replaced the bracket, but had to give me a new arch wire --
and he had the put all the tiny bends in the new one that he
had put in the old one.
now I'm back to square one, with a newly bent arch wire, new
power chains, and aching teeth. It's a good thing I still have
a few of those protein shakes in the fridge. (By the way, so
far the best tasting one I've come across is the Atkins
vanilla shake -- the pre-blended liquid one in the 12 ounce
any of you readers are in the San Francisco area, here's a
real taste treat that is easy on sore teeth. There's a Russian
market on Geary Blvd called New World Market. They make their
own cheese blintzes. Words cannot describe how delicious these
are. Lately I've been having them for breakfast with an iced
decaf mocha. They come 10 to a package and are in the frozen
food section. Recently Hubby and I took a run up to the City
just get get a few packages of the blintzes and assorted
homemade frozen meat dumplings. The cheese blintzes at New
World Market make the mass-produced ones you get at Safeway
taste like cardboard!
kids had their semi-annual dental checkup the other day. It
looks like they might both be future patients for Dr. Vogt. My
older daughter has inherited my open bite, but the jury is out
until she gets all her adult teeth. My younger daughter, who
finally has her first loose tooth, apparently has a
combination underbite and crossbite, and no doubt will need
2-phase treatment and a palate expander. Poor kid! I might as
well just sign my bank account over to Dr. Vogt right now!
hope you like some of the additions to the site this month. On
request, I added a "community" guestbook, where you
can say a little bit about yourself so others on the site can
get to know you. I had hoped to create a database that is
searchable, but it's too complicated for me to do easily. So,
once again I'm relying on a pre-scripted application that is
available on the web. Hopefully it will fill the need.
also added a basic chat room. After searching around the web
for a couple of days, I settled on chat-forum.com's format. It
doesn't involve downloading or running software, it's not
public anywhere but here on this site, but it does have a few
drawbacks: only 10 people can chat at a time, and there isn't
as much customization or control as other chat rooms. This is
just a start. I'm not as informed about chat rooms as I am
about other issues (I never use chat rooms myself). So if you
have any constructive suggestions, please let me know.
kitchen is painted! Finally, a year after all that work! It
took the painter an entire week (he's very thorough). I was
able to put up all my knickknacks and put almost everything
back where it belongs (i.e., the valance over the sliding
door). I ordered new vertical blinds, and they probably won't
be installed for another couple of weeks, so I'm waiting until
then to put the valance back up. The only other thing I need
is a couple of decorative plates, which should arrive in the
mail sometime this week. When it's all completely done, I'll
take some photos just for posterity and post them here in the
Mess #1 is finished, and now we're preparing for Mess #2. Next
week, (Monday to be exact) the painter will do our "TV
Room." This is a converted bedroom off of the kitchen
which is our main "hanging out" room. It's usually
somewhat of a mess even when it's cleaned and straightened up
(Legos all over the floor, etc). Well, we have to take
everything out of it. Arrgh. A huge wall unit with books and
games to empty out, a smaller TV-stand wall unit thing with a
ton of videos inside it -- you get the picture. All this
wonderfulness will be placed in my living room, which is still
somewhat of a mess from all the kitchen stuff. You know how
papers can pile up (especially when you have kids)? I have
several piles of this stuff to go through and get rid of
before I put all the TV room stuff in the living room. What a
thrill. I can already feel a headache coming on.
soon it will all be over with and the room will finally be
painted. Then I can clean the carpet with my Steam Vac. Lord
knows, it needed to be cleaned months ago, but I have been
holding off because I knew we'd be painting. If I had my
druthers, we'd be replacing that carpet, but we don't want to
spend the extra money at this point (we want to wait until the
kids are just a speck older). Maybe I can convince Hubby that
we need a nice area rug in that room!
painter will be doing other things in the house as well in the
coming week: painting the inside of the front door, putting a
natural finish on the new wooden sliding doors (we had them
replaced last year, along with all the windows in the house).
And our very weathered looking banister on the stairs will get
re-finished as well.
I'm toying with the idea of having the painter do the
downstairs bathroom. I was going to do it myself (I even
bought the paint), but somehow I don't feel motivated. Gee, I
enough Home Improvement, on to the braces stuff. After my
little bracket crisis, nothing much has been happening. I just
realized last night that Dr. Vogt didn't put power chains all
the way to the molars. As you know, I still have extraction
gaps at the molars, especially on the bottom. I think he's
trying to take some of the pressure off those teeth for a
while. He had explained that sometimes the tissue will lock
the teeth in place due to trauma (for lack of a better
explanation). Perhaps giving all that pressure a rest for a
while will coax the teeth into moving again.
was a thread on the Forum recently about Wilckodontics and
rapid tooth movement via surgery. I hadn't heard of this
before, and I plan to research it and either add a page of
information or a series of links on the Links page.
interesting thread arose on the Forum regarding a new website
called teethgap.com. This company offers an elastic called
Teeth Effect Bands that you place around two teeth to close a
gap (no brackets or hardware required). I won't publicly go
into details about this method of closing a gap. Please ask
your dentist about the risks of this treatment. Currently, the
website has no clinical evidence or professional testimonials
to back its claims. Draw your own conclusions.
I mentioned that I started jogging. Well, clumsy me, I
sprained my ankle by missing a step as I was quickly doing
chores in our garage (swelling, big ugly bruise, me cursing
myself...) So I've had to lay off the jogging for a while. But
fortunately, it was a very simple sprain (according to the
doctor) and I think I'll be back on track (literally) next
week. I've been wearing an L-shaped ace bandage on the foot
and icing it (thankfully NOT the foot I had surgery on a few
years ago...the other one, phew!) The swelling is finally
gone. Many explicatives.
first whole part is about home improvement).
a week! Exhausting! The kitchen was finished and had to be put
"back together." Then some old friends arrived from
out of town, and we really wanted to have them over for a
barbeque on Sunday. So we spent most of the weekend tidying up
the rest of the house, but also moving all the contents of the
"TV Room" into the living room...in neat stacks. The
barbeque went nicely, but on Monday morning, all hell broke
loose again when the painters arrived.
TV Room, which had been emptied except for a few large pieces
of furniture, was draped in plastic, the large furniture moved
to the center of the room or out into the hallway. I casually
mentioned that I wanted a price for the downstairs bathroom.
Hubby agreed on the painter's' price and the painter said, "Well,
we can start it today!" Which meant moving everything out
of the bathroom, too -- immediately! By now my living room was
starting to look like a tornado had descended on my house.
Wednesday, there was stuff everywhere and no escaping all the
fumes or the painters (the smell of the primer is the worst).
They painted the inside of our new front door, and re-finished
the banister that leads to upstairs. The TV Room was out of
commission, as was the downstairs bathroom. And it was hot.
Really hot. We had to keep all the windows open to vent the
fumes, so we couldn't run the air conditioning. I was getting
cranky. I got out of the house and went to the window covering
store and ordered new vertical blinds for the TV Room.
Thursday evening all the work was done, the furniture was back
in place, and we had the daunting task of putting
everything back. OK, not we...me. I did it all myself. Hubby
wanted to wait until the weekend, but I couldn't stand it a
moment longer. The TV Room is the place where the kids hang
out, and having it out of commission was too disruptive.
Besides, it gave me the opportunity to go through all the
stuff and toss some of it.
Friday, almost everything was back in place, and I bonded once
again with my trusty Hoover Steam Vac. The carpet in the TV
Room needed to be cleaned 6 months ago; it was awful. Now it's
better, but I'll need to make at least one (if not two) more
passes with the Steam Vac to bring it back to its original
am I done with the Home Improvement? Well.....no. There is
still a bit of painting to be done. OK, maybe more than a bit.
Now that all the other rooms are painted, the hallway looks
rather shabby. But I can handle that myself, that will be
easy. Maybe next month. I want to take some time and enjoy the
summer a little bit -- and a clean, quiet house with no
painters or contractors milling about!
had an interesting email recently. A reader asked about braces
failure or disappointment stories. Now, that's an interesting
angle that I don't currently cover on the site. In all
fairness, it should be addressed. Just like any other
treatment, ortho treatment can sometimes go wrong, especially
in the hands of an inexperienced dentist. So, if you have a
war story that you'd like to share, please email it to
pages I'm planning to add in the coming months include:
- Braces and
- Braces and
email me if you have any thoughts to share on these subjects.
It's your experiences that make this site so helpful
and dynamic for everyone! If there is a topic you'd like me to
research and cover, please let me know. Also, if there are any
dental professionals reading this site who would like to
contribute, your input is welcomed (you'll even get a byline)!
week ArchWired reached and surpassed a milestone -- more than
a quarter million hits! Thanks to everyone for their support!
has received some great press recently, and I'd like to say
hello to all our new readers who found DentaKit and ArchWired
through the newspaper! Welcome to our web community!