Today marks a momentous occasion. January 4th is the official 6 month mark of the day my braces went on.
That’s 6 months down out of a two and a half year sentence.
I’m having a hard time deciding whether or not the time has gone by quickly. On one hand, the last six months have definitely flown by in general. I can’t believe how much has happened in the last half year! But as far as my braces go it still somehow feels like it’s been a lot longer.
The things about my braces is that I’m constantly aware of them. Because they’re Speed Braces they’re always putting pressure on my teeth (as opposed to traditional braces which, as far as I’ve been told, put a burst of pressure on your teeth for about a week once they’ve been tightened and then ease off until your next appointment). Eating is still a chore, especially when you take into consideration that I still have four gaps where they pulled my pre-molars (Holy snap! If you want a good idea of how much my teeth have moved, check out the “before” photo at the link. Yikes!) Lots of space for food to get lodged into, mmm!
There’s been a lot of movement (which is orthodontist speak for “your teeth are moving!”) especially with my front top teeth. This was the section that was in the worst shape so it’s pretty weird to see them looking so straight. This also means that my bite is changing which can be SO annoying (and sometimes uncomfortable) when I bite down and my teeth suddenly meet in a way that they never have before. I mean, it’s to be expected but it’s also going to take some getting used to.
I am getting a bit concerned that there may actually be too much space in there now that all those teeth were pulled. I mean, I clearly needed more room buuut what happens if there’s not enough teeth to fill in those gaps? Questions: I have them.
My biggest concern, however is supposedly being caused by my bottom lip. According to my orthodontist my bottom lip is putting too much pressure on my bottom teeth when I do normal mouth things like swallow, smile, talk, close my mouth, etc. This pressure is causing my already loose teeth to “flatten” out. So, instead of creating a nice natural arch my bottom teeth are actually squaring off. Aside from just not being what’s supposed to happen, my orthodontist warns that the added pressure could cause my roots to shorten.
What’s the solution to a problem like this? Apparently the only thing I can do is actively let my bottom lip hang loose, or “pout”. All. The. Time. I invite you to try this next time you’re eating or drinking. You’d be amazed at how much of a role your bottom lips plays in, oh, I don’t know, swallowing. Or not drooling. It’s a learning experience!
Seriously though, I’ve talked to a lot of people about this and so far I’ve yet to encountered someone else who has experienced a similar problem. The closest thing I’ve heard was one friend who had to wear something called “lip bumpers” when she had braces as a kid but she never knew why; they just gave them to her.
If I had this under control, I’d say that the rest of my brace-faced experience has been as peachy as one could expect. No broken brackets or wires to report. So I really, really would like to get this bottom lip business straightened out (Ha! Straightened! God, I’m funny…)
Do any of my readers know anything about this or have you ever experienced anything similar? I’d love to hear from you if you have!