Ortho Appointment

I had an ortho appointment today, and Dr. Sletten brought up his conversation with Dr. M about me wanting my molars to touch. I think they are both a little bit confused as to WHY I want them to touch, and I am getting to the point where I am kind of wondering the same thing myself. I don't need them to chew or to talk, so what do I need them to touch for? I am kind of worried that if they do end up touching, because they are the strongest teeth, they may work hard to fit perfectly and end up messing up my bite. ANYWAY, Dr. S bent my wire in a few places on both the top and the bottom in hopes of bringing those teeth closer together. He also put a small bend near my front left tooth, because this tooth is the tiniest bit in front of the front right one, and it bugs me, although I am almost positive nobody would ever notice. I have triangle configurations again, the same way I had them two configurations ago. Dr. S also hooked up bands from the top and bottom last molars on each side, trying to help bring the teeth together more. Boy, do my molars ache! I asked Dr. S when he thought my braces could come off, and he answered in a way that made me think the only reason they're staying on right now is because I want my molars to touch. I made an appointment for 3.5 weeks out, and if they are making progress, he said we'd work on it another 3 weeks, but if they aren't making progress, it was my call. He said there is no medical reason that I need the furthest molars to touch. I am thinking that I will wait the 6 weeks out, and then get them off. Of course I want them to be perfect, but according to Dr. S and Dr. M, they ARE perfect now, and making my desire to make them entirely perfect could mess up my bite in the long run?

I am right in the middle of moving back into my sorority house, getting back to work, finishing up a class AND getting ready for my big sister's wedding this Saturday! SO, I am so busy, I really don't have time to do a video or post new pictures until after the wedding madness passes. I am sorry it has been so long since I have posted a picture, but I promise I will as soon as I get a minute to breath! :)

Three Months

I'm back!!

I am so sorry for being so MIA the last couple of weeks. I had such an amazing time up in northern MN but was so incredibly busy I barely had time to do anything! My classes ran from 8am-8:30 pm with a one hour break for lunch and dinner, so I was quite exhausted by the end of the day. I have been doing my best to keep up with everyone's posts though! Even though I was so tired every day and got a max of 6 hours of sleep a night, I had so much fun! I had two courses, one where I had to learn 100+ species of plants, and the other was a field methods class for researching wildlife. We did a lot of work with small mammals (voles, shrews, mice, chipmunks) and even trapped TWO black bears. I ultimately want to do marine conservation work, but getting such hands on experience was really awesome, even if it's not exactly what I want to do in the future.

I am officially over the 3 month mark post-op! I am going to try to make a video in the next day or two so that everyone can see how much things have improved :) I am not 100% used to my new look, but I definitely am much more comfortable with it and feel so great about it. The other day, I was flipping through pictures of me taken a few months before surgery, and it was such a weird feeling. I don't really identify with the way I used to look any more, and it's kind of crazy. Looking at old pictures of myself gave me the same feeling that I had weeks after surgery when I looked at my new face. I knew it was me, but I wasn't really used to it and couldn't identify with it very well. Now the new me looks at the old me and thinks the same thing -- was that really what I looked like ? I don't have any new pictures but I will try to get some taken tomorrow!

One Year!

Today is my ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of having braces! I cannot believe it has been an entire year. Time has flown by so quickly! My teeth have changed SO much in the past year and it is so amazing to look at the progress. I am up in the middle of no where with no camera, but when I am back home I will be sure to post some progress pics of how my teeth have changed over the year!

Day 76

My sister's bridal shower was Saturday night, even though her wedding isn't for a month. Unfortunately, I have two courses that are required for graduation that I have to take in northern Minnesota and will be staying at a forestry center those three weeks, arriving home only 6 days before the wedding. Therefore, both her bachelorette party and bridal shower had to be a month in advance. SO annoying that it had to be arranged around my silly school schedule, but I am so thankful I was able to attend both!

My mom's camera is really messed up, so I am sorry that all of the pictures are totally different color tones!

Eating is something I really don't even pay attention to anymore. My only focus is keeping food out of my braces, so I typically don't bite into things with my front teeth (that's just ASKING for food to jam into the brackets) and have also continued to stay away from hard veggies and steak. I am eating other crunchy things like softer nuts (think cashews instead of almonds) and granola. It takes me more effort than it used to, but I can eat everything just fine!

My left TMJ has been bothering me lately. I have no idea why, but it seems sore a lot more often now. Bleh, hoping it's just part of the healing process and the pain won't stick around....

I will be out of town for 3 weeks, but will still attempt to post when I can. I will have internet access and will be keeping up with everyone's blogs, but I probably won't have a ton of time for commenting, so I apologize in advance!

Catherine and Brent; I am SO excited for you to both be getting surgery! I may not get online before you go in for surgery but I want to wish you the absolute best of luck and I will be checking in as soon as I can!! :) xx !

I really am officially running out of things to talk about, and it's WEIRD!

Day 74

(This was supposed to be posted on Friday-- whoops!)

I had an appointment with my surgeon Dr. M today. He said everything is looking perfect! I still love hearing that. I am so thankful that other than the first few weeks post-op with the lips and the nausea, I haven't been thrown for any more loops. Things are right on track and it is an amazing feeling!

I brought up my concern with my molars not touching to Dr. M. I said I felt like it wasn't a big deal to anyone else, but it is a big deal to me. It seems that if you don't need those furthest back teeth to chew, they aren't really important and they aren't what is representative of a 'perfect bite' I said that I felt like Dr. S seems like he will take the braces off if the molars get closer, and isn't waiting until they are perfect. It really does bug me that they don't touch. I don't feel like my bite is perfect because I can tell my back teeth aren't hitting each other. Dr. M said this can easily be fixed with orthodontics, and my molars are actually really close, so there shouldn't be much work to do. He offered to call Dr. S and talk about bringing my molars to the point of touching before removing the braces, and I accepted this offer and am thankful he is willing to discuss it further with Dr. S. I KNOW Dr. S is an incredible orthodontist and that he knows much more than me, but he also doesn't have to live with molars that don't touch for the rest of his life, and I can still chew fine and everything else is perfect, so it doesn't worry him much. Dr. M said Dr. S is really good with his elastic configuration assignments, and my upside down triangle configuration should definitely help. I don't feel any pain or soreness in my back molars though, so I am not sure if any movement is happening or going to happen, but I am crossing my fingers and hoping it is as easy of a fix as my doctors are making it out to be.

PHEW! Sorry for the rambling! I have my sister's bridal shower tomorrow, so I will try to get someone to snap a pic of me and get that up here. I am starting to really get used to the way my face looks in the mirror, and I no longer think that my chin looks huge, UNTIL I see myself in a picture. I can't figure out how to position my face and my smile looks goofy. I know I have always felt I looked prettier in the mirror and would see pictures of myself and think 'is that REALLY what I look like?' Right now, I think my face looks proportional and normal, but in pictures I think it looks like my chin is super wide and huge. Just another annoyance.. what's new :-P

Day 71: Debracing ?

I went to see Dr. S yesterday for my second post-op appointment. I had both the top and bottom wires changed to 19s on the top and 17s on the bottom. The name of the wire wasn't something I had heard before, so I think this wire is different than the ones I usually have in. The OA marked different areas on the wire with a permanent marker, and Dr. S bent the wire a little at those markings. After I got the wire in, I finally got the courage to ask the big question

"When do you think I am going to get my braces off?"

"What, do you want them off soon?" - Dr S

Dr. S said they want to try to take my back molars closer together, but he thinks I could get my braces off in September!! We talked about it a bit more and I think we are going to plan on October rather than September, only because I want to make sure everything is absolutely perfect by the time I get these braces off and I really don't want to rush it. But regardless, October is still amazing! October is 2 months from now.

Two things I am currently worried about: My left front tooth is still a tiny bit in front of my right, and no one seems to pay any attention to it. Dr. S seems to overlook it all the time, and although it is really minor, it is not perfectly straight. He told me this is because my left tooth is thicker than the right. Anyway, when I asked about this today, he said 'We will see if the new wire helps at all' -- I am concerned because I feel like he doesn't really notice it or care.
The second thing is that he said he wanted to try to get the back molars a little closer together before taking off the braces. Well, right now there has got to be at least 1 cm of space between the top and bottom furthest back molar. He said that all of my teeth fit together perfectly already, except for the molars, but he really acts like the molars not touching doesn't really matter. It seems like we are going to make an effort to see if the teeth will get closer, but they may not end up getting closer. I don't want to have gone through all of this and then have my back molars not touch... it doesn't make any sense to me, but because we do most of our chewing on the second molars and forward, Dr. S and Dr. M talk about the furthest molars like they don't really matter or they won't really make my bite better.

Between the my desire to really get the molars to touch, and fixing the front left tooth situation, I think it will be more like mid to late October before the braces come off, but it's still great news. Late December would be 6 months post op, so I am way ahead of the game if we are throwing around September as a debracing month.

I have a new elastic configuration, and the OA told me it was really important to wear them as much as possible. I know I started not caring about bands much, but now I am going to keep these babies in ALL the time that I am not eating! The bands go on the 4th and 5th top tooth and then straight down to one of the bottom brackets, so it's like an upside down triangle. The bands I was given are definitely the smallest bands I have had to use yet!

I have my next appointment with the ortho August 29. Depending on where things are at, my next appointment 3-4 weeks later MAY BE my debracing appointment! This is a possibility, but I am kind of expecting to go to my appointment on August 29, make another appointment 3-4 weeks later, and then have the following appointment my debracing date, so something like mid October? That's only 10 weeks away!
I had quite the last few days, so I haven't been on blogger much and am trying to get all caught up! On Saturday night, I threw my sister a bachelorette party. 7 of us went downtown Minneapolis and stayed in a hotel. We had drinks in the hotel room, dinner at Hard Rock, and then out for more drinks at the bars. It ended up being such a fun night and I am so so happy for the party to have turned out so well.

Me and my big sister :)

Sunday morning I wasn't feeling great (who woulda thunk?) but I had plans to drive up to Duluth which is in northern MN to visit my best friend. Let me give everyone a little piece of advice: Don't make plans for the day after a bachelor/bachelorette party. It is a terrible idea, especially when it consists of 2.5 hours of driving during the day and more drinking that night. I stayed with her for 2 nights, 3 days, and I had soo much fun. It was so great to just get away from work and run around one of my favorite cities with my best friend. Her birthday is on Friday, so we did a bit of birthday celebrating.

I was so busy and constantly on the go for 4 days straight, and I definitely neglected wearing my elastics more than I should have. My jaw was also sooo sore the day after the bachelorette party because of all the talking I did. I spent the whole bachelorette party with them off, put them on to sleep in and wore them 1/2 of the next day, and then had them off for a good 36 hours before putting them back on. I realize this is not good, but I just had too much going on to deal with them and obviously was not going to wear them during the bachelorette party or out to dinner and drinks in Duluth. Probably not a good idea to do that again, but hey, it was nice to be band free for a little bit :)