Monday, December 24, 2012

Six weeks with braces: central incisors

Before leaving for winter break, I had my orthodontics appointment. I haven’t been wearing my tongue crib regularly. Helen told me that in younger kids, they attach it permanently so that compliance isn’t an issue. Compliance seems to be a frequent problem in orthodontics in regards to retainers, habit changes and oral hygiene… even for grown-up dental students like me.

This time I got red braces in celebration of Christmas. Orange Thanksgiving bands are so November. I think there’s more than twenty different color rubber bands- my goal is to get through them all. Three weeks * 20 bands = 60 weeks. If I have my braces on for longer, I promise I’ll come up with patterns.

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After the usual check-up and chat, the faculty advisor came by to see how I was doing and announced, “oh, she needs a new wire!” I asked Helen if my teeth had moved at all- was it that obvious? She pulled up some photographs from my last appointment and the difference was clear.

My wire had been all twisty up and down just four weeks ago. Now this one had straightened out along with my teeth. In particular, Helen pointed out that my left central incisor had shifted down. A month ago it was a good 1mm shorter than my right central incisor- you can sort of see here and here.

Since we learned all about bone growth, resorption, and osteoporosis, I understand the concept behind braces but it is still awesome to see bone remodeling in action- working on me! Every week, every day, right now at this very moment: chomp chomp clank clank.

I got a new thicker wire in and cried the next two days while eating- just like the first time I got braces. New year’s resolution: wear my tongue crib, floss every day.

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