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.