Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Can't remember what adjustment number I am now...but suffice to say my braces have been on for 6 months now!
My appointment was at 10.50am Tuesday 2nd December. I finished a lecture at uni at 10am so headed straight up for the hospital. I got there early at 10.15am and since they weren't busy they took me early.

First thing ortho did was ask me to bite together, which I did, then he said 'bite together' and I was like 'I am!' LOL.
Told him about my wisdom tooth have a wee move about and he had a look and said yes it indeed had.

He did:

1. removed lower ligs. At my request put a closed coil round the wire that wasn't attached to a tooth on the I won't have to faff about with drinking straws when the wire decides to cut my cheek like cheese wire :). Then put same wire back on again and agve me new azure blue ligs. Said the bottom was looking good. Gave my bottom teeth a wee wiggle so must be checking to make sure they ok :)

2. Removed top wire and ligs. Changed wire and then mentioned the word powerchain!!! Put new wire on top and I have a section of powerchain on top where there's a big space since no tooth there. He told me that now we are to start working on bringing my top teeth into the correct position, ie bring my midline into the centre. Said it was going to take some time to do.
Put azure ligs on top.

While I was in the chair, with ortho changing wires etc, this guy in a white coat waltzed into the room. No idea who he was, gave him a wave since I couldn't actually speak. He said hello and then just seemed to launch into a whole heap of questions about me and my teeth. Ortho explained that I was born with a cleft palate, have class 3 malocclusion and having osteotomy. He asked if it was going to be bimax and ortho said I was an unusual case but not bimax because while my upper jaw is too short and indeed that's what needs to move forward, since doing so would affect my speech, the lower is going back. Guy then asked about my denture and how my tooth was going to be restored. Then wait for it! Ortho says the words...BONE GRAFT!!! Like what! no one has mentioned bone graft to me before! But I can see what he means, there's not much bone in my gum for a bridge or implant to hang on to. But would've been nice if I was told about that before. But then not like I can say no either.

Anyways, back on 3rd Feb for next adjustment.
Right now: pain not too bad, was majorly sore last night but took some painkillers and went to sleep for a bit. Mainly teeth associated with powerchain that is hurting. I *think* I'll be able to eat Christmas dinner though :)

Now for the pics:

Full frontal pic

Bottom Teeth

Top Teeth

The powerchain!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Grumble Grumble

After 3rd adjustment 4 days ago, I'm feeling miserable this time round :(
That is 2 really thick wires on my braces...I think the bottom archwire is round and the top certainly looks square/rectangluar. I knew as soon as they went on before the ligs went on I was in for a sore few days.

I have 3 mouth ulcers, on cheek watch cause 2 wires are threatening to cut my cheek again and while I can't say I'm in pain, as the day goes on I really want to gnaw all my teeth out of my mouth!

Add to that I can't eat properly because of this new tooth (that looks brilliant but is so wobbly I'm scared) and I just want to curl up and hide.

I know it will all pass and in a week's time I'll be ok but right now I just want to hide :(

why did I say yes to braces?

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

3rd Adjustment

3rd adjustment today, had to think what number I'm on now, this is getting so old hat hahahaha!
Today's appointment was at 11am and went as follows:

1. molar band fitted onto lower left back molar. Thank goodness is all I can say cause that poor wee tooth holding the last bracket bottom left really wasn't all that happy. Now it has a bit of support going on I think it will be a happy toothypeg once more.

2. I got orange and black ligs for halloween! They are FANTABULOUS! I LOVE them! I've been humming and heying all the week, was definate I was getting orange and black but the closer I got to today the more I was thinking of maybe not the black, just the orange. But sooooo glad I didn't chicken out.
Only one problem, my next adjustment is in 9 weeks time (usually every 6 weeks but ortho must be going on holidays or something and I've got 9 this time) so I while orange and black is good for halloween, I'm also going to be walkign around with orange and black right through November too! Ah well, I still love them :)

3. I got a new tooth! I got a new tooth! I got a new tooth! Can you tell I'm happy that I got a new tooth? :D :D :D
For the first time in about 2 years now (I think, or maybe it's 18 months or so, certainly not less than that) I now look as if I have 2 proper front top teeth! It is amazing! It even came with the same chip that is on my other top front tooth ROFL! long is it going to last? I don't know. It isn't attached to a plate, it is just hanging there, kept in place by a spirally looking wire, archwire and lig. Ortho told me not to bite with it, not to eat apples. I lay there thinking 'but I thought apples weren't allowed with braces anyway?!?!'
So now I'm feeling extra cautious about this tooth. I am STARVING hungry right now but it's a case of eat or lovely teeth, eat or lovely teeth, which to do!
I still have my old tooth denture and have to use it if this new tooth comes off/breaks.
Next adjusment is 9th December!
Here comes the pics

Can you see my new tooth? How great does it look? How cool are these orange and black bands?

Top arch, right way round this time. I'm not sure what is going on here, nothing looks any different but then I guess they were pretty much straight in the first place, just not in the correct place.

Lower arch! Looking good, looking good!

My bite, can't bite down properly cause of new tooth but loving those ligs!

Tuesday, 26 August 2008


Not necessarily braces related but thought I'd post this entry.
Since getting my braces on, I decided new teeth means I'll get new glasses and new hair too. Lets have a bit of a change.
So here is what I look like now after my trip to the hairdressers this morning. This is the first time my hair has EVER been coloured! And I'm LOVING my new red glasses :) The short hair is a bit of a shock to the system hehehehe.
But and there's always a but isn't there...... I HATE how squint my face is getting. I don't know if it's the teeth moving or what but I'm sure my lower face looks worse than before. It all needs to be shifted over to the other side just a wee bit. It would all look fabulous if I didn't have my jaws and my teeth right now.
Oh I can't waitl til after jaw surgery and I'm going to go for a new look then, only then will will look much better :)

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

2nd Adjustment!

Today I had my 2nd adjustment at 9.30am. I got there early was taken in at 9.20am instead. Today I got:

1.New archwires upper and lower

2. New ligs...I couldn't choose between orange, green, red and azure so I asked the ortho assistant to choose for me from those colours. She said azure was really nice (and I'm definately going to get them next time) but chose red for me to match my (new) glasses. ROFL! My fav colour is red too! They don't make my teeth look like they are bleeding as I thought they would but I can't say I LOVE them, they are alright.

3. I got impressions UGH! I HATE top impressions. But my denture tooth just won't sit correctly any more. I can't eat with it in or it starts to rattle round my mouth and over the past couple of days have found that if I'm not going out anywhere then I just leave it out. So I got impressions to have a new one with a bracket attached. However, I have to 'persevere' with my current denture tooth til 1st October! Could hear the ortho assistant behind me phoning the people who make such thngs and she said they could have it ready for the end of the week but my ortho said it wasn't urgent and could wait til my next appointment...grrrrrr I'm not a happy bunny but hey ho. I'll just need to go in search of extra-super strength denture fixative.

4. I had an argument with my ortho over my chipped tooth *sigh* he is convinced my chip is old and I tried explaining to him that yes one of the chips is old but this one is new and only appeared 2 weeks ago. But he's not having it! And I didn't have my hearing aid in so wasn't in the best position to argue further with him (I'm hard of hearing and he is very soft spoken) So if he's not bothered then neither am I. I guess he has taken stock of the first chip and I'll get something done at the end to sort it out...I'll leave that to the restorative dentist to fix when I'm going for my implant/bridge.

5. When he was removing the lower arch wire he muttered something about something being weird. I have no idea what is weird but never mind...nothing about any kind of treatment I've had for anything is ever straightforward. I'll just stay in pondering as to what is weird about my teeth ROFL!

And that was that. All done for another 6 weeks. Managed ot get next appointment which is 1st October which is a wednesday which fits in brilliantly with me going back to uni (I'll be off most weds)

My teeth feel more secure and snug together with these new wires's only way I can explain it. But within an hour of them in my teeth were uncomfortable..I'd say nippy but not ouch ouch sore. It's more an ache now, I'll need to take some paracetamol.
below are some pics. I didn't realise how much my bottom teeth had moved til uploading this pic and comparing it with last adjustment's pics! WOW! that is cool movement.

Bite with red bands

Bite with no denture in

Lower arch...WOW! Look at that movement!

Top arch..not much teeth! Just realised I have it upside down!

Sunday, 3 August 2008


The chip! The gap!

Look what has happened! I spy with my little eye a slight chip on my top incisor! Have tried to circle it in Paint but you can hardly see the circle. But basically it's the dent on the left of the picture. It's being cause by the bracket fits in just nicely when I bite together

Sigh I REALLY hope this doesn't mean molar buildups back on again.
I'm not worried about the chip actually, because that tooth has had the first dent on it for a long time (no idea how it got there), I'm more worried about getting molar buildups back on. Bad I know I know!

2 weeks til 2nd adjustment....aside from the denture isn't a happy bunny (I'm surprised it is still intact actually) and that wobbly tooth is a little less wobbly but still wobbly.
Now got a huge gap between incisor and next tooth along and think the lower arch is straightening more.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

First Adjustment

Today I had my first adjustment...exactly 6 weeks since archwire and ligs went on

Today's changes:

1. New molar band on top left back molar

2. Molar buildups are OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He had to take the top left one off to fit the molar band and then it dawned on him that that molar buildup wasn't actually doing anything anyway as it wasn't hitting against any other teeth. I said he was a cruel man! He said how was he because he was taking it off..I said cause he put it on in the first place and I had spent a week gagging and took 3 weeks to be able to eat normally LOL.

3. Asked if he was going to build up the molar buildup top right but he said it looks like my top incisor is clear of my bottom brackets below it so no need to have that build up again either.

4. I chose purple ligs (see pics below) and think they look super dooper cool. I LOVE them!

5. All lower ligs are in figure of 8s. Top incisor lig is figure of 8, rest are just normal

6. New archwires are MUCH much so it was the first thing my daughter commented on when she saw me after my appointment.

7. I have a battlescar where ortho's hand slipped trying to put on lig on bottom left canine (apparently the canine is twisted)

8. Ortho is still humming and heying about the wee half tooth I have top right (can see in top arch photo below, tiny wee tooth next to last molar on left of pic) as to if it should come out or not. When braces went on he said it may or may not have to come out, we would wait and see. Today he said he thinks it will have to come out. I just wish he'd give me the letter to take to my dentist to get it out and get it over and done with!

It hurts a little now. I think it's going to hurt a lot more in the next 24hrs. I think it's gonna be a case of chew through the pain! But OMG! having those molar buildups off and being able to eat normally again (despite the pain of the new wire) is just sheer bliss!!!!! My sandwich for lunch tasted extra good just because I could eat it properly.

Mega cool purple ligs doing their figure of 8 routine

Bottom arch. Finally found the macro button on my camera!

Top arch with my denture plate in. Please ignore the fact you can see RIGHT up my nose! I only have 9.5 teeth in the top.


Friday, 4 July 2008

Profile Pictures - 1 Month 1 week In Braces

Here are some profile pics I took today. They aint great but hopefully you can see something :)
Actually looking at a side profile, I don't look too bad and even worry a tad that by putting my lower jaw back I'll look chinless. But I just have to remind myself that it's only going to be a few mm back from its current position.
But it's when you look at the front profile that you see where it's all wrong and wonky and squint and I do indeed need surgery.
I always kinda think, side profile view, that I'm a bit flat faced from the cheeks down, like there's no much definition going on.
I think from the top front view pic that you can see how one eyebrow is higher than the other, one eye is more closed than the other when I smile. I want a more even smile even if we can't do anything about the wonky eyebrows :D

Tuesday, 1 July 2008


I just came across this link

Considering how squint, sorry asymmetric my face is, I'm sitting here thinking wouldn't it be absolutely cool if I could have Le Fort III + mandibullar sagital split osteotomy + genioplasty??

I didn't actually think it was possible to correct facial asymmetry to that extent!

However, I do think that 8hrs+ in theatre, blood transfusion and all the post op stuff just isn't making me want to have all that done realistically! I also can't have anything done to my upper jaw anyways because of my velopharyngeal insufficiency (plastics refuse to put me on the table to correct it again)

I wonder if there is anyone out there who has indeed had it all??

So I'll just stick with the mandibular sagital split osteotomy and the genioplasty instead :)

Sunday, 22 June 2008

First Staining

Oh no!
Yesterday my lovely baby pink ligs became not so lovely kinda lemon and pink mix ligs :(
It was my husband's birthday yesterday and he wanted chinese takeaway for his birthday tea.
I chose peanut staya chicken. Didn't even think of my bands. Wasn't until food was ordered, delivered, on plates on the table that Steve said 'oh that's a bright yellow isn't it?' that I realised that my ligs were in danger!

Sure enough, no more lovely baby pink. But it doesn't look tooo ewwww and only 2 weeks til my first adjustment anways.

Still undecided what colour to, orange or purple??

Monday, 16 June 2008


I haven't actually updated from when I got braces on til now.
Suffice to say, getting brackets on took approx 20 minutes. Within 10 minutes of leaving hospital, without eating ro drinking anything, one bracket had come off. Went back to ortho who said it was just the way my teeth bite together and he would think of something to do about it next week. I also managed to bite one off the next day by eating a rice cake!
I must say when I was lying on that chair, getting the brackets on I thought Oh My God! What am I doing? I'm not sure I want this? And then spent the next few days thinking i looked awful! By day 2 of just brackets I was ready to go back and get them all taken off. Not that I didn't want the end result of braces and surgery, but I looked awful and maybe reality had set in a tad. I missed my teeth!
But a meal out with my friend Jenny, who reassured me just to give it time and all would be well, turned out to be a good thing.
Getting wires and bands on took 45 minutes. It was a bit like either an auction house or bingo with getting the big molar ring brackets on..size 34, 34.5, 35, 36, 35.5..any advance on 34.5? Then came the lovely molar lumps of cement on my back teeth so I couldn't bite my teeth together....what he had thought to do about biting brackets off the week before! And with wires and pink bands in, it looked so much better!
I actully felt fine the day of wires and bands.
It was the next day that it began to hurt. But I can't say it was REALLY sore either, I don't think I took painkillers.
Every day seems to be different, I've had some days my teeth are sore when they weren't the day before or the day after. I've had days of waking in the morning with my teeth clenched shut (despite the molar buildups). I've had days where my teeth have been tender on biting but not sore any other time. Days when the wires and brackets have ripped by cheeks to shreds, other days they are fine.

The eating seems to be a story though. Anyone that knows me knos I love food, I eat it, I breathe it, I study it for a living LOL First day was soup and ice cream. Then the ice cream became too fine and my tummy thought hmmm I'll just get a bit fatter. So I stopped buying ice cream. I couldn't eat toast, bagels were a pain, biscuits were out, apples out, lettuce and salad out. First few days I was like if the ortho expects me to live on soup and ice cream for the next 3 years he can forget it!
Eventually could progress to pasta and even a kebab! That was divine.
Last thursday I think I managed chilli beef nachos without breaking up the nachos before eating!
The crisps saga began the other week. First week of rbaces I wasn't fussed about them. Second week, Brendan came home from school with a half eaten pack of cheese and onion crisps...oh the smell! I wanted some crisps. I wanted beef crisps! I wanted them for 4 days before actually being brave enough to try them.
And Oh my! what a let down! I could get the flavour but couldn't bite enough to crunch them and was a case of waiting for them to go soggy and swallow. YUCK!

I have now progressed. It will be 3 weeks tomorrow since I got wires and bands on. Wo! where has the time gone? And now I can eat toast...albeit my granny fold it in half first :D
I can eat pizza! Had that for supper tonight.
And finally I am now sitting eat a packet of prawn cocktail crisps!!!!! Taking it slowly but boy do they taste good!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

And this is a close up of my braces and teeth.

This is me after my appointment on 27th May complete with wires and pink bands :)

This is me after 20th May appointment. It is a very bad photo!

This is me the day before braces went on. I was having a bored out my brain day and messing about :)

This is me before braces (I have a picture of me before braces when I was 14 somewhere but I can't find it right now)
It's probably not the best of photos but you can see my squintness :)


In the beginning...

I was born on July 12th 1977. I was born at 28 weeks gestation, with Pierre Robin Syndrome (a type of cleft palate, small, recessed lower jaw and breathing problems..see here for more info if you don't know anything about it )
However when my son was also born with Pierre Robin Sydrome in 2002 it was thought that we have a condition called Sticklers Syndrome. Which I had never heard of before. And actually, don't take it much into account in our lives, a diagnosis doesn't actually change son still has tapered fingers and small toenails and I still have a squint face, one ear bigger than the other and other such things associated with Sticklers.

Anyways, I had my first orthodontic appliance when I was a baby to cover my cleft so I could feed a little better.
I've had many braces over the years. Originally my top teeth sat behind my bottom teeth. I've had many many teeth extracted not because they were unhealthy (I actually only have 1 filling) but because my mouth was just too small for all that teeth. At one point I think I had 3 sets of teeth. And my teeth count no stands at 22.5 in total. I remember having removal braces when I was younger, my mum tells me I got my first brace at aged 4yrs.
My first fixed braces on my top teeth only (with a transpalatal arch) went on when I was a teenager. I can't remember the exact age but I was around 14. These braces straightened my top teeth and brought them over to sit in front of my bottom teeth (just!)
I remember the day I got debraced very very well...I was amazed at just how straight my teeth were and how big they were!
Between the ages of 19-23 years old, there was talk of me undergoing fixed braces and jaw surgery. The maxiollofacial surgeon even talked about giving me a nose job! (but there isn't anything wrong with my nose so I wouldn't have gone there) One consultant was adament that I wasn't ready for it (to this day, never known why) but I became pregnant with my daughter in 1999 and any talk of treatment was put on hold. When my son was born also with Pierre Robin, I stopped all cleft treatment (aside from ENT) as I felt I would be permanently living at the hospital with both his treatment and mine. I also suffered with severe post natal depression so braces and jaw surgery really wouldn't have been the best thing to experience at that time.

Just before I got braces on at aged 14, I had been in hospital for an operation (probably ENT or something) and I am difficult to intubate at the best of times, but somehow someone managed to break my top left incisor in half and then tried to cover it up by sticking it back on again. While I had braces on, I just didn't have a bracket on that tooth as it just wasn't strong enough. After debracing, I got a lovely crown. The crown last 10 years before falling off. I got a new one but it didn't last quite so long. So then came the lovely trip to the dentists who said that a new crown just couldn't be put on, there was nothing left for it to hold onto. So the root was pulled and a horrid denture with a tooth on it was given to me instead. I hate it! I lasted 3 months before the tooth on the plate flew off. Wasn't broken as such, just the tooth coloured part of it came clean off.
Trip back to the dentist, another new denture, again another 3 months before the same thing happened.
Finally the dentist decided that it was the way my teeth were biting together that was causing the tooth to come off the plate...I was literally biting it off. My top teeth weren't far enough forward, or was my bottom teeth too far forward?? In the meantime I was given yet another denture but this time the tooth was filed down so that it was so short my teeth couldn't bite it off, and it was the same size as my later it looks really really awful!

So I was referred back to orthodontist yet again in August 2007 (still same one I had seen in 1999)
I kinda knew what they were going to say, there wasn't really going to be an easy solution to it all. I ended up seeing maxillofacial surgeon, restorative dentist and 2 orthodontists. I was given 4 options

1. Do nothing at all. Stick what what I got

2. Have an implant to restore my missing incisor and nothing else done. But once the implant was in, that was it, the nail in the coffin, absolutely could have no more orthodontic work in the future..EVER!

3. Have braces on top teeth only to move them into the correct position and then an implant to restore the incisor

4. Have braces top and bottom to move top teeth into correct position (they are too far to the right), bottom teeth into correct position (too far to the left) which would correct my midlines. Braces would be on for 18 months. Then jaw surgery to move my lower teeth back. And because of my unhappiness with my squint face, they could reposition my chin as it too is not centred.

I came out with a diagnosis of Class III malocclusion and asymmetrical mandibular prognathism, missing /1

I spent 8 months trying to make the decision on what option to go for. It was extremely difficult!
I felt that option 1 just wasn't going to be happening, something had to be done, if nothing else, I couldn't live with this stupid denture for the rest of my life.
Option 3 wasn't really an option for me either, it kinda felt like a half way compromise and I didn't see the point in just having braces on top teeth, if I was going down the route of braces, I'd might as well go the whole hog and do top, bottom and surgery.

So that left me with option 2 and option 4

I was due to go back with a decision in November 2007. I started university in September 2007 and the idea was to give me time to see how demanding my course was, woudl I be able to fit in brace adjustments, surgery alongside my course and what was happening regarding placements etc. They also understood that treatment, if I decided ot go ahead, would have a big impact on my family, not just me. I needed time to make the right decision.
Also because this was the third time that this treatment had been suggested, I truely felt that whatever decison I made, was going to have to be changing my mind in a few years time. I think I would've been pushing my luck if I said no and then changed my mind yet again.
Anyways, christmas came and went and no appointment came through. And I was actually glad as it gave me extra time to think. About 8 weeks before my appointment came through, I decided that I was going to choose one fo the options and live with that decision for 4 weeks. See how I felt about it and if it wasn't right, I'd choose the other option and live with that for 4 weeks and see what I felt. I think that probably sounds a very mad way of making such a big decision but no matter what I did I was caught between the fear or surgery versus the fear of no more orthodontic work ever.
So I chose to live with option 4 for 4 weeks. Since it was the biggest scary option. And actully I liked it. I even practised saying to my self in the mirror, I'm going to have braces and jaw surgery just to see how it felt saying it out loud.

31st of March became D-Day! And I walked into that room and said 'I want the lot as long as surgery times can be in the summer to fit in with uni'! By then, they had changed their minds, new research had come out and my braces treatment time was increased from 18 months to 3 years. Apparently they get a better result. This fitted in perfectly with uni. I will finish my entire course and then have surgery. I'll probably have to wait to find a job but better to take the time to recover properly, we'll manage financially with me not working.
When I walked out the appointment, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and it felt good!

I was told I needed to have a premolar top left taken out at least 2 weeks before braces went on. That extraction took place on 28th April and was actually straightforward, I was sat revising for my exams an hour later waiting for the local anaesthetic to wear off. It was strangely painfree (I'd had a lower molar extracted last year and I remember standing in the chemist crying like a baby in pain looking for stronger painkillers than I had)

Next came my first year exams...

Braces day was scheduled for 20th May 2008 for brackets and spacers to go in.
27th May, was wires and bands on day.