Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday November 7, 2016
Middle of Week 9

       You may notice that I have given up counting 'days' for my blog entries and am now marking time by the number of weeks I have consumed in my journey through orthodontics. If I have 18-24 months of treatment ahead of me, that translates into 78-104 weeks. I think I'd rather start counting the weeks...I have lost count of the days.
Today was the day for my first wire change. I was pretty excited to see if Dr. Jusino was happy with the results so far AND to see if I got 5 STARS for my oral hygiene! The appointment was simple. Mary Margaret opened the 'doors' on the brackets, removed the wires and sent me to the brushing station for a much anticipated encounter with floss (unencumbered by the wires). That felt oh-so-good!
      Dr. Jusino's exam was thorough; he is a thinker and an anlyzer so while he was looking at the position of the teeth he didn't have many comments other than an occasional 'hmm...good... nice" etc. He directed Mary Margaret to put on a new,heavier wire. That process was very quick and I was on my way back to my own patients at the office ( I had blocked out an hour in my schedule for this appointment so no one was left waiting for me to return!). The entire appointment took less than 20 minutes.
      My only disappointment was that I didn't get "5 Stars" for my oral hygiene. Before I went to the appointment, I had one of my hygienists check the brackets and wires for any plaque or food debris that I had missed and she said everything sparkled and looked fantastic. She said the gum tissues looked great and there was no sign of inflammation or gingivitis. Well, I will keep trying for that "5 Star" rating!
     For those of you following this blog closely, the photo was taken October 30 at the Plymouth Wicked Halloween 10K run with my daughter, Meredith. Meredith 'ropes me into' these races thinking they will motivate her to train. The weather was awful and we ran most of the race in the pouring rain. As far as any effect on my braces? No problems!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Day 56
Thursday November 3, 2016
End of week 8

My teeth have been very comfortable for the past two weeks and I have ventured into more dense, firm foods in my diet that my teeth tolerate very well.I have an appointment coming up next week with  Dr. Jusino and I am anxious to see what's next.
As a dentist, I can appreciate the subtle changes in the positions of my teeth that are evident from day to day. Sometimes it is a visual change and other times it is something I perceive with my bite as different teeth move into or out of contact. Considering that a change in my bite was one of the biggest motivators for me to pursue orthodontics, I am happy with what I am feeling.
Next Monday, I return to Dr. Jusino for my first follow-up appointment. I will be evaluated in several categories regarding 'patient compliance'. The most significant one to me is oral hygiene: how well am I doing keeping the brackets and wires clean and my gum tissues healthy. I am hoping for a top score of "5" since my night time routine is now embedded into my lifestyle. I have the flossing down from eight and a half minutes to just under six minutes (while carrying on a conversation). 
While there are many aids to flossing, nothing beats the feel of squeaky clean teeth that I get from using Superfloss. It is a stiff floss-threader, stretchy fuzzy filament and plain floss all connected into a single strand for easy use. The stiff end is threaded under the wires, then the other parts are gently teased between the teeth for cleaning. I always floss before brushing to loosen up debris. By the time I finish rinsing, flossing, brushing and applying fluoride, my teeth are Clean and the brackets sparkle.