Friday, October 28, 2016
Tuesday, October 10, 2016
Sometimes, as I count the days, I wonder if I will have enough information to keep this journal interesting for everyone to read. Then something different happens and I think “Ahhh; I need to tell people about this!”
So many postings have centered on food, what to eat, what not to eat and how to take care of the hardware after you eat. Let’s face it, eating is a big part of our day. We eat when we are happy, sad, jubilant, depressed or celebrating an event. For people wearing braces, it might not be so fun because so many celebration foods are on the Do Not Eat list I received from Dr. Jusino.
Birthday cake, however, is not a forbidden food and in ouroffice, with 11 team members, there is usually a birthday to celebrate every time we blink an eye. Recently, we celebrated Terrie’s special day with an amazingly soft cake with perfectly whipped frosting that was like eating a cloud. It was an enormous cake allowing generous slices for everyone. It was my lunch that day and I enjoyed every morsel.
About an hour after eating my slice of cake, my mouth felt very dry and the cheek tissues started sticking to my braces. After another hour, the braces felt like they were brand new, bugging my lips and sending me to look for wax to put over the brackets that were causing irritation. After much thought, I am convinced that the concentration of sugar in the cake and frosting dried the skin on the inside of my mouth so that it was no longer slippery and the braces felt rough. Though the cake was outstanding, the amount of sugar in it was too much to handle. Even though I brushed right away, the sugar must have pulled all the moisture from the tissue in my mouth. It was pretty sore for the next 36 hours but was manageable with strategically placed wax. It’s likely that a teenager going through braces would never notice the impact of sugar on their oral tissue. However, as a adults, our bodies are much less adaptable to ‘drama’ in our foods (sugar, spice, heat etc.) and respond poorly when they are on input overload. Note to self…watch the food extremes because they can change the oral environment.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Friday, October 7, 2016
One month down, only 17-23 yet to go!
I can see and feel a difference in the alignment of my teeth and the feel of my bite. What amazes me is that things are constantly changing on at least a daily basis and in some cases, hourly! Admittedly, I am more aware of what’s going on with my teeth than the average patient but it is soooo energizing to be aware that the changes I hoped would result from my orthodontic journey are actually happening. The potential for success with adult orthodontics is very good as long as one is patient. However, there is always a chance that the outcome will not be ideal because tooth movement is more difficult with ‘aging’ bone. When I feel that my bite is different or that my teeth feel more ‘flush’ when I run my tongue across them, I am convinced that my outcome with Dr. Jusino will be great!
Monday, October 24, 2016
Monday, October 3, 2016
It has been a quiet two weeks with no broken brackets and a greater confidence in my food choices. I find I gravitate towards soft foods like ground meats, fish and chopped stir-fry or well cooked vegetables. Forget salads....my bite does not work well enough to grind up all the pieces and parts found in a salad. Planning for meals has been a little challenging because after a while, for people around me without braces on their teeth, looking at another plate of ground, soft or finely diced foods can be boring. My husband is a good cook and has been very mindful of my need to select my diet carefully to avoid breaking my ‘hardware’. The trade-off with soft/ground/diced foods is to cook something meatier, knowing that it’s just going to take me longer to cut pieces into the proper size and eat my meal!
I have to admit that balancing a snack with braces is hard todo. Not only is eating a compelling reason to find a toothbrush immediately, but also there are few snack-foods-on-the-go that are on the allowed list. True confessions here: I have a sweet tooth. When I get that mid-morning ‘low’ and need a boost, even a few M&M’s feel too hard and crunchy. After a little thought, I discovered that Junior Mints are just the thing on the go. They are soft and packed with that boost that can keep me going until lunch at 1. I have my serving and then immediately brush. Candy has a lot of sugar so it’s important to dilute it and brush it away promptly so it won’t harm the enamel around the brackets and cause white spots or worse, decay. Dr. Jusino will be very pleased with your oral health care!
Friday, October 21, 2016
Monday, September 19, 2016
Repairing the broken bracket required removal of the wire to be able to access the part to be replaced. Dr. Jusino does not simply re-use the broken bracket but places a completely new one to assure that it gets the best bond. I was in to see Dr. Jusino for the repair and back in my office in less than 45 minutes. (Ok, so my office is a short drive to Dr. Jusino’s and I did not have to fight traffic).
The moral of this story is that I will be much more careful in the future. My porcelain crowns won’t hold a bonded bracket as well as a natural tooth so I will need to be more discerning about crunchy foods, like Oreo Thins!
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Thursday, September 15, 2016
It’s the end of the first week. If I have 24 months of this process that means I have only another 103 weeks left! But, it really seems like time will fly by quickly and I am adjusting well. No complaints from me! I am VERY happy with my decision to do something for Me!
Friday, September 16, 2016
Disaster Strikes! OH NO! Remember on Day 1 when I said I wasn’t going to be ‘one of THOSE patients who breaks wires and brackets”? It happened last night, WHILE FLOSSING!!!!!! I am crushed and feeling that I have failed after only a week. To be fair, the bracket that came loose was bonded to a porcelain crown and Dr. Jusino told me (and I also know from my own treatment experiences with patients) that things DON’T bond well to porcelain. It happened late last night and of course I did not call Dr. Jusino at that hour because there was nothing to be done until Monday. A loose bracket for four days will not interfere with the treatment outcome…at least I don’t think so. I don’t want to give anyone the idea that you should delay telling your orthodontist if a bracket comes loose but a couple of days should not be a game changer. I will correct my opinion if I hear otherwise when I go in for the repair. BUT, I DO NOT really want to make that call Monday morning. I should have known better than to predict that I would sail through this without a blip…but I’m disappointed in myself after only a week.
I reviewed my diet and, if confessions are required, I will admit to eating some ‘Oreo Thins’ over the past week. They are a thinner version of the regular Oreo….thinner cookie part and thinner filling part…..and thus thinner calorie part. The cookie part is crunchy but I thought I was getting it pretty soft before biting it. I even started putting them in the microwave for 20 seconds the past few days to pre-soften them. I guess that was not good enough. No more Oreo Thins for a couple of years!
Monday, October 17, 2016
Wednesday, September 13, 2016
I’m still eating soft foods but I love things like oatmeal, quinoa, black bean burgers, sweet potato burgers, spaghetti squash with meat sauce and ice cream! My teeth are less sensitive so there is an equilibrium I am reaching with my teeth and my diet. One thing that has changed a lot is snacking. Honestly, at work, in our stressful jobs, we often eat our way through the stress of the day. Monthly, our team members rotate responsibility to shop for necessities…cleaning products, paper towel, Kleenex and the like. Within the budget is an allowance for ‘snacks’. Each person gets to choose treats for the team to stock the pantry cupboard with on-the-go eats that are quick to consume. Skinny Pop popcorn, M&M’s (yes, we love our chocolate and no, as sugar goes, it’s not too bad for your teeth in small amounts), chips/salsa, chips/ hummus, almonds, string cheese and pretzels. Everything listed in italics is on the forbidden food list for people wearing braces but more importantly, any food I eat sticks to the braces.
The concept of a snack-on-the-go is being redefined by my experience. There is no ‘on-the-go’ when you wear braces. It’s more like this: if you snack, you must immediately brush so no one has to look at the remnants of your snack hanging from your brackets. It’s just easier not to snack if I don’t have time to brush too. I’m hoping I will lose a few pound in the process but if you remember my reference to FDP on Day 2, I think I will make up for the lost calories from a reduction in snacking!
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Monday, September 12, 2016
It was back to the office today and lots of curiosity from patients about my new look. I never imagined that by undertaking orthodontics for my personal oral health it could be a motivator for my patients to more seriously consider itfor themselves. After thirty years of caring for people, most of who feel like family, I am always conscious of their changing dentition and gently suggest orthodontic treatment when it’s needed. Most of the time they laugh me off and say that they are too old. I can turn myself blue educating them on the long term benefits of a better bite and straight teeth as they transition into their Golden Years but it falls on deaf ears. Things are different all of a sudden now that I am ‘walking my talk’. It will be interesting to see if more adults are motivated to seriously pursue orthodontics when I recommend it. Because I refer to amazingly talented orthodontists like Dr. Jusino, there is no self-interest in the recommendation. I hope the story of my experience helps others!
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Sunday September 11, 2016
Progress! My tooth tenderness is decreasing by the hour and a dose of Motrin is far from my thoughts.
I forgot to mention yesterday’s lifestyle changing experience: a trip to the apple orchard for our fall ritual of apple picking. Part of the fun is deciding which apples to pick….Empire? Gala? Jonathan? I can never remember from year to year and always rely on picking ones from the trees for an on-the-spot taste test. That process was out of the question for me. Not only is biting into a whole apple one of the forbidden activities ( as demonstrated here by my daughter) because it breaks brackets but also, even if it were allowed, the firm fruit would definitely be uncomfortable to bite with tender teeth. Not to dismay! With apple orchards come cider mills and fresh DONUTS…..warm, soft, cinnamony, yummy donuts that literally melt in your mouth! Let’s just say the donut consumption on this day was an epic event! Who needs to eat whole apples when there are fresh donuts to eat?!
Today’s lifestyle experiment was running. I am an aging triathlete who has not quite retired from training for the sport though I have not raced an event for several years. But swimming and running (and biking) are all part of the training program and I wondered how ortho brackets and wires would feel when one is hot and parched on a long run. Once again I was really surprised. I imagined my dry mouth sticking to every nook, cranny and corner created by the wires and brackets leaving permanent indentations in my cheeks but nothing of the sort happened! Oh, Happy Day! Maybe it was because of the Dr. Jusino t-shirt I wore! I needed to rehydrate after the run but there were no sustained ill effects in my mouth. Life is GOOD!
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Saturday September 10, 2016
I slept like a baby last night and woke up feeling much better. Bedtime Motrin and a long day both contributed to a good night’s sleep. Speaking of nighttime, I want to talk about the bedtime brushing routine that has morphed into an Olympicevent. No longer does a quick 2-minute brushing do the work needed to keep this mouthful of hardware clean! Though I and the two teenage boys were given the same detailed oral hygiene home care instructions for brushing, flossing, rinsing and fluoride application, I would be surprised if the average teen follows what is recommended. I have been doing dentistry for over thirty years and have been witness to the teenager-in-orthodontics and 98% of them do little more than add an extra 20 seconds to their normal 30 second brushing routine. Most end up with gum problems (mushy, red and swollen) after the braces are removed. As a dentist, I hold myself to the highest standard (and will certainly hear about it from Dr. Jusino and his entire All Star team otherwise). First, there’s the rinse with Peroxyl which bubbles out ‘gunk’ from
tiny spaces….and gets any big pieces of food loosened up. When your cheeks are sore the first few days, the Peroxyl stings but it’s a ‘good’ sting because you know it’s working! I am AMAZED at what it gets loose! Then there’s the flossing. I like to floss before brushing and always recommend it. Dr. Jusino gave me tiny flossers called a Platypus that slips pretty easily under the wire to help remove plaque. This is the part I know most teens
Insert routine-buster step here. I always take my allergy meds, supplements and vitamins at night after brushing, right before I go to bed. The first three nights in a row, I goofed up because you’re not supposed to rinse or drink after the fluoride. So, I took the pills then did the fluoride again. I have now made a note for myself to see before I begin my nighttime brushing to remind me to take the vitamins First!
Yes, the bedtime routine is an Olympic event. So far my PR is 18 minutes!
Monday, October 3, 2016
Friday September 9, 2016
I’m feeling more tugging! And I have to admit my teeth are a little sore but taking Motrin helps a lot and I really am not aware of the braces. Sleeping was awkward because I have worn a bite guard for nearly 30 years (remember what I said about needing braces because my bite has been abused with tooth clenching and grinding for a long time?) When you are used to sleeping a certain way for 30 years, your brain knows something is different so sleep was not restful. In spite ofthis, I got up at my regular time of 4:30 am for the first ‘test’ of the effect of my braces on lifestyle activities that I enjoy (besides eating). Today it was swimming. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel in the pool trying to maintain rhythmic breathing with a mouth full of hardware. Not a problem! I put in my full workout and was ready to take on the day!
After swimming on Tuesday and Friday,teach dental students at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and in the process, do a lot of talking. Admittedly, my cheeks rubbing against the braces took a toll and by the end of the day, having forgotten all about my stash of Motrin, I was pretty sore.On a scale of 1-10, it was a 7. When I lunched midday with my colleagues, the omelet that I customized with soft grilled peppers, tomatoes and cheese was difficult to chew. The chef threw in some wonderful mushrooms that I didn’t order but was happy to (try to) enjoy. But, it turned out that they were too dense to chew. I had to pretty much let the small pieces of omelet slither past my teeth without chewing. Indeed, my teeth were sore. But I did not leave the table hungry and I was already planning an easy treat to eat later in the day. There are suitable food rewards in this process and ‘frozen dairy product (FDP for
short) is on that list. Whether it is ice cream, fro-yo or Dairy Queen, as long as you don’t crunch the cone, it’s endorsed by Dr. Jusino!