Hanging in there! (not as bad as it looks…)

Hey all,

I’m a little late posting due to a trip I took just a couple days after my last appointment, but here I am. I’ve been in braces for 6 months! I had another adjustment on 7/25 which was about 8 weeks since my mini-screws (also known as tads) were placed. The last 8 weeks had not been bad at ALL. It looks painful, barbaric, scary, I’ve heard it all but I promise you, so far these little guys are no big deal. The only pain I experienced came not as a result of gum or jaw bone pain where the screws were placed, but it was actually my top lip that hurt from rubbing against the rough screw heads when I talked. Sometimes my lip even snagged on them because my lips move up so far when I talk or smile. But once my lip got used to them being there, which took maybe a week, I stopped even noticing they were there. The strange feeling of tooth “looseness” that one experiences while in braces was maybe slightly more pronounced on my front teeth, but really the chains connecting my braces to my screws are applying a very gentle pressure. It’s not bad at all.

When I had my most recent checkup (7/25) they removed all wires and bands and placed a new thicker wire on my bottom teeth. This is the wire my bottom teeth will stay in for the remainder of treatment. My orthodontist called it the “adjusting wire” and said the only thing he wants to address on my bottom teeth right now is I have a kinda crooked tooth in the bottom front. I have noticed it for quite a while now but its so slight that I couldn’t even get a picture that really shows it. I chose light pink as my bottom color this time!

They kept my top teeth in the same size wire as last time and said it’s the best wire for the upward pressure/movement we are doing with the mini screws. They also kept the power chains in the same places, leaving a gap in my teeth directly below each screw.

Last time they connected the braces to the screws with clear power chains; the first link being wrapped around the wire, then stretched up to the screw with 2 skipped links in the middle. This time, on the side that the screw sits lower, they did not skip any links, the went straight from one to the next and connect it to the screw and on the other side, they only skipped one link. Essentially chains reaching up to the mini screws are a lot tighter this time, which I think is awesome! I still don’t feel any pain, even with them being tighter. They also connected them straight down, rather than at an angle like last time.

Here is a picture comparing the chain placement. As you can see the angle changed, they are stretched much tighter (see how in the top photo there are 2 visible chain links in the clear power chain and below there are not), and also I think my tiny teeth are disappearing into my gums!

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I feel like my front upper gums are getting puffy from all of the movement. My front gap was closed and all of my front teeth coming together smooshed all of my gum tissue together, not to mention I am beginning to move my teeth upwards and my gums have nowhere to go. I think my gums are getting worse and my teeth are looking smaller and as much as I take care of them my front gums bleed every time I floss. I asked my orthodontist if a gingevectomy was possible during treatment, not just after. He called my dentist who would be the one to perform the gingevectomy. He may go on the conservative side and just remove a little bit of gum tissue, but he is going to have a look and let me know what he can do right now. I have an appointment on Thursday the 10th with my dentist to discuss it further so wish me luck! Gum removal can’t be the most pleasant thing to go through… but I am hopeful my teeth with look longer and my gums healthier when it is done. I will update the blog on how that appointment goes!

Here is a before/after photo of current progress as well as an updated pic after my appointment

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