Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thursday March 8, 2018
Week 2 after D-Day

Life is Good!
Here are some random thoughts that went through my head after the braces were removed.

....oh, my gosh! I forgot to put my elastics in! Oh, wait! I don't have to wear them anymore... teeth feel naked! it Really true? My braces are off? I am actually Done?!
....ugh, I'm off to bed and have to Floss...Oh! Wait! The braces are Off! Flossing is going to be a breeze!
....nuts? I can eat nuts? Pass the bag of almonds!

These photo collages were graciously supplied by Dr. Jusino and represent the 'Before and After' appearance of my teeth, bite, facial profile and smile. If you can ignore the droopy chin and eyebrow asymmetries ( I guess I need a new esthetician) of this now 60-something orthodontic 'project', you should be able to see what was accomplished over 17 months of treatment. 
See if you can identify the following: 1) The change in the midline of the upper and lower front teeth. 
2) The change in the curvature/alignment of the upper front teeth.
3) The change in the curvature/alignment of the lower front teeth.  
4) The change in the position of the lower second bicuspid relative to the lower first molar..this one is tough; hint: look at the middle photos on the right side of the collages. 
5) The difference in length of the upper front teeth. 
6) The change in overlap of the upper front teeth with the lower front teeth.  
These may seem like small changes but collectively they result in a more balanced bite, profile and smile. The outcome was well worth the time invested and the effort expended modifying my lifestyle to achieve this goal.

Thursday February 22, 2018
Week 77
Month 17.5

IT'S "D-DAY"!!!
D-DAY = Debanding Day
It has been Exactly 77 weeks; 539 days; 12,936 hours since I was banded and wired for my orthodontic treatment beginning September 8, 2016 and I AM DONE!!!!!
It is difficult to explain how GOOD my teeth feel now that they are properly aligned. I entered into this project with the goal of improving my bite. Changes to the appearance of my smile were secondary but all I can say is, WOW. My bite feels Great and my teeth Look Fabulous! 

This is the photo that was taken just a few minutes after the bands were removed. Go ahead, Zoom your computer to see my smile up close. It's wonderful! And, you'll have to take my 'word' that the bite that Dr. Jusino achieved for me is equally wonderful. What I notice now that the braces are off and my teeth are positioned where they belong is that smiling is easier; the actual physical movement of my facial muscles into a smile doesn't feel stretched like it had for many years. I always felt that either my teeth were too big or that I had too many to fit into a comfortable smile. Not so...they were just in the wrong place. 

Here are a couple of photos that were taken within a day or two of having the braces removed. At the time the photos were taken, I  wondered if my smile would appear awkward or staged. What I see is a smile that looks graceful and natural. Am I biased? Perhaps. But, I know that moving forward, I will feel more confident and comfortable when I am included in photos with family and friends.

This is Not the end of my blogging entries because removal of brackets and wires is not the end of an orthodontic journey. Stay tuned for more reflections on life-after-braces. There are some valuable insights for anyone considering orthodontics or in the midst of treatment anticipating their own personal D-Day!


Sunday January 28, 2018
Week 72
Month 16

In reviewing my blog postings I just discovered that they Have Not Been Posting as I had planned/scheduled. They are wayyyy behind dating to late October. I have rescheduled the postings and there will be one each day at 7 am for the next week to catch you up on my progress to date. Make sure you go back and read from October 10, 2017 so you don't miss out on any tidbits. As you read through them and catch up, there will be some nice surprises!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Tuesday January 23, 2018
Week 72
Month 16
T-30 days

Every day I wake up and know I am one day closer to D-Day with Dr. Jusino. Exactly thirty days from today on February 22, my braces come off! Dr. Jusino took an impression of my lower teeth so he can (personally) make my lower retainer.

It's called a 'fixed lingual wire' and is bonded to the back of the lower front teeth to hold them firmly in place. For me, as an adult, I will keep this retainer bonded to the teeth for the rest of my life. The lower front teeth have the skinniest roots and are the ones most likely to relapse. Having a retainer that does not move in and out of the mouth give these teeth the best chance for long term stability.While you have to learn how to floss under the wire, it will be far easier to floss between 6 teeth than 28 teeth like I have been doing since September 2016. Of course I am looking forward to my new smile with straighter teeth and better bite but I am REALLY looking forward to not having to thread floss under the wires around Every tooth at night. HOORAY!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Tuesday January 9, 2018
Week 70
Month 16

Today was Appointment Day with Dr. Jusino. After monitoring my midlines for the past six weeks, wearing single elastics on some days and double (bilateral) elastics on other days, I found out my efforts were successful! Dr. Jusino was pleased with the stability of not only the midlines but also the relationships of my other teeth and my bite. It all feels very good to me; So Much Better than when I started on September 8, 2016.
And, now for the Good News... I have an appointment for "D"-Day!....De-banding Day! This is Fantastic!  Yay!!!. When the braces are removed, I will have worn them for 17 1/2 months.  Dr. Jusino is confident that the completion of my treatment on the early end of his projected timeline is due, in a significant way, to my commitment to wearing the elastics. What more can I say?! Elastics Rock!

These photos are pups in our life. Lance and Rugby live with us. Captain lives in Ann Arbor, Corby lives in downtown Detroit and Morgan resides in Portland, OR

Friday, February 2, 2018

Tuesday January 2, 2018
Week 69
Month 16

Happy New Year! 
 It has been a wonderful Christmas Holiday season and while we are back to work today, the festivities continue with a few more parties and celebrations that center on family and food! One thing I noticed during the days of intense celebration was the tendency to 'graze' all day, from one buffet offering to the next. This posed a problem with my elastics, needing to wear them 23 out of 24 hours to maintain tooth stability while wanting to indulge in grazing as though it was an Olympic event (for 23 out of 24 hours!). I managed to find a balance between wearing the elastics while eating softer foods and needing to remove them for things that required serious chewing. If you wear them while eating, they will stretch out more quickly and should be replaced more often. I found myself replacing them every couple of hours to make sure I still felt the gentle tugging. I kept an eye on the midlines to make sure the alignment did not change. Dr. Jusino will let me know next week if I was successful.  

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Tuesday December 12, 2017
Week 66
Month 15

It is mid-December, and I am immersed in the busyness of Christmas preparations just like everyone else.  Being away for a seminar in Chicago for the past four days did nothing to help me accomplish anything on my to-do list. However, the  Continuing Education program was outstanding and provided me a lot of information that will help with my patient care. Being in the middle of orthodontic treatment always makes planning and packing for time away from home just a little bit harder. Remembering to pack my flossing gear along with plenty of elastics is especially challenging at the holidays because my mind is distracted with many thoughts above and beyond what normally flows over my synapses daily. I managed to arrive in Chicago without leaving anything behind at home.
Over the past two weeks I have had to re-adapt to wearing elastics on both sides of my mouth and I was noticeably sore as a result. Both my teeth and my oral tissues were tender. Being around more sweets at the holidays made my oral tissues even more responsive. In one of my early blogs, I mentioned how sugar can dry your oral tissues and make the bumps and bulges of brackets and elastics more bothersome. Indeed, I have found this to be true once again. But, I am adjusting and my comfort level is good, being unaware of all the hardware in my mouth. 
Today's photos show our office team packing Christmas baskets for the Franciscan Outreach Program in Southfield. This has become an annual event for our office and we look forward to it every year.