Brandy's Braces, SARPE, Jaw Surgery Journal

This is my daily journal to my eventual perfect smile and Apnea free life. It logs my surgeries, and daily progress.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Day 59/ OMG! Moving Is HARD WORK!

Too tired to post anything tonight. Been working for two days straight for over 10 hours a day. Just want sleep! LOL..

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Day 58/ Pre and Post Pics

ok...a friend on the metal mouth forum gave me a bad time for posting yesterday about my facial changes and then not posting pics of them. I actually was planning to but had a hard time finding any good pre SARPE pics. All of the ones I have were done by a professional photographer and not digital. Anyway...I found one that isn't great but that you can definitely see the changes in. The post pic was taken today, You can see the difference in my cheekbones and smile pretty well I think, as well as the changes in my nose.

Today my teeth have been a little achey but nothing major. I have been super busy cleaning, packing, etc. so I haven't really paid that much attention to what has been going on in my mouth. I do know that I only have 22 more day til the RPE comes out! Tomorrow it will be 3 weeks exactly! Woo hoo!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Day 57/ Apples Only a Mom Would Notice.

Today was a rather interesting day. It is odd to me how some days I feel pretty normal, and other days my teeth (mostly incisors) sorta throb throughout the day. Today was one of those teeth were a bit achey all day. I always take that as a good sign as I believe it means my gap is just that much closer to closing, but honestly I don't know if that is really true or not, it's just what I think is going on.

I was looking at some pre and post pics today and can really see some changes that have come about as a result of this SARPE surgery. In the pre pic my nose was much thinner and the apples of my cheeks were not so big and round. Now post surgery my nose/sinuses are wider, less contoured, my smile lines start at a lower location, and my cheekbones are huge and round. Oh and of course my smile is much larger and my mid point is straighter. It is not really noticible to others as I don't think most people spend much time really studying our faces, however, it is very noticible to me. I can honestly say that I'm still getting used to my new look. Sometimes I look in the mirror and don't really recognize the new me, and honestly sorta miss the old me. I know this is normal though, and will just take a little while to get used to.

Well I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow so I'm going to hit the sack. Only 23 days til RPE gets removed!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Day 56/ So Hard To Be Patient!

Well today is day 56, and as I was flossing my teeth tonight, and looking at pics of my expansion that I took today, I have to say that it is so hard to be patient. I swear that everytime I look at them I see something that has changed. Sometimes it is for the better, but most of the time it is not. I notice teeth that are rotated that were like perfect the week before, or a space that is getting bigger that was before non-existant, or teeth that are tipping out etc. I sit and think...MAN this going to take FREAKIN ever to fix to where they are supposed to be." Especially if I only have my teeth adjusted every 8 weeks. They are so close to being where they look like they should be but it seems like my ortho keeps doing stuff that messes them up. I think it won't be so bad once this appliance comes out as I don't really mind the braces that much, but for now, with me examining my teeth to death everyday it just feels like so far away before they are correctly aligned.

Teeth are pretty much the same today as yesterday, and I think I'm getting a cold so that should just add to the plethora of enjoyment I'm having with this appliance. Maybe it will make it easier since I will be forced to breathe through my mouth instead of my nose. That will keep my tongue from messing with this thing! LOL...
24 days and counting!

Well I'm super tired so I'm heading to bed. I will post more tomorrow of my palatal drama! :)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Day 55/ Five Weeks since Expansion Finish

Here is my five week post expansion gap pic. As you can see not much has changed from last week, even with the help of the powerchain over the weekend. My incisors do still feel like they are healing and my whole palate continues to become less numb so that is a plus. I would really like it if my gap would just get on with it and close completely. I'm sick of waiting now!

I have noticed a couple new changes lately. First for a long time (since the surgery) I have not had much going on in my sinuses. By that I mean they just haven't been like stuffy, or draining, or really much of anything. When I would blow my nose it would feel very strange and nothing seemed to come out. The last few days I have been noticing that my sinuses are starting to return to a more normal state. I actually had a bit of blood come out of one side this morning which is something I haven't seen in a long time. I think it means that the bone and blood supply are catching up, and that the nerves are regenerating. It would explain why I'm also getting more feeling and sensation in my front palate area.
Also, I have been sleeping at night with no Apnea. I have been dreaming everynight and not using the C-flex machine, or the rubberbands. Not sure why this is...only thing I can figure is that expansion has made more room in my mouth and widened my sinuses. Whatever the deal, I will take it!

Not much else to report accept that everyone around me has been sick, sick, sick. I consider myself lucky that I have not caught something as the germs have been running rampant I tell you. I think the only thing that has been saving me is the Emergen-C that I take daily. Even with all the extra work and lack of sleep my immune system seems to be holding its own lately. I highly recommend those little packets as they really do help and give you a great burst of energy after you take it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Day 54/ Are We There Yet?

Nothing to really report today, other than the normal RPE aggravation. I went to a conference today and thankfully they had a burrito/taco bar for lunch with ground beef so I was able to eat a bit. I tried to eat a cookie afterwards and managed to get a piece of macadamia nut jammed up under my appliance. That sucked, and was hard to get out, but other than that the day was pretty uneventful.

Tomorrow is 5 weeks since expansion stopped and my gap is still not totally closed. :( Hopefully it will hurry it up a bit!

Long day today, way to much painting in my life lately! So...I'm going to BED! night!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Day 53/ Stubborn Gap

I took the rubberband off my teeth today, and here are the results. As you can see the gap is only slightly smaller than it was last Wednesday, not enough to warrant the discomfort from the rubberband In my opinion. I really think my diastema is going to have to close on its own. When I try and force it it just pulls the bottoms of my incisors together and the tops still have a slight space and don't fit together like they should. You can really see from the top pic how the bottoms have moved together. The lower pic the gap seems to be moving together much more evenly. I've also noticed that no matter how long I wear the chain, as soon as I take it off...within just a couple of hours it is already moving back into its previous location. I'm just going to leave it alone and see what it does now. When its ready it will close, and if it doesn't then I guess it will be my ortho's job to make it fit the way its supposed to again.

I had a sore tongue day again today. Too much talking! I had to read some books to some kids today and by the end of one story my tongue was just miserable. 28 days left til RPE removal!

I have discovered that stuffed crepes could be the perfect food for people with an RPE. Most of the time the stuff inside of them is finely chopped, and the crepes themselves are very thin and super easy to eat. I had dinner at an italian restaurant tonight and had crepes stuffed with lean ground beef,spinach, onions, and cheese. They were covered with a lemon butter type sauce, and a bit of marinara. They were so good! and best of all easy to eat......well except for a few stringy pieces of spinach that got caught,nothing that was too terrible to remove though. I also had some blueberry crepes a few weeks back at IHOP that were really good also, and I remember being thrilled at how easy they were to eat. Anyway...even though my tongue hurts, it was a good food night for me! LOL...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Day 52/ Looking Good

Well I have been wearing the rubberband for almost 2 days now. My Gap is closing up and looking pretty good. I will post a pic tomorrow. Tonight its late and I need to get to bed.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Day 51/ Gap Is Closing

My mouth is feeling pretty good lately. No real pain other than that that comes from eating stuff that is really hard, or the normal daily wear of my appliance.

I put a rubberband on my gap last night. It made my teeth sorta tender and a bit achey but I tried to sleep with it. I woke up about 4am and the rubberband had popped off. I tried to get it back on several times to no avail, then finally pulled it off and went back to sleep. When I woke my gap was right back where it had started. :(
So, I put the rubberband back on this afternoon when I got home. My teeth are pretty sore right now, but it mostly feels like the sensitivity you get when you go to the ortho for an adjustment. The gap is closing up, and is almost together. I'm going to sleep with the rubberband on again tonight. Hopefully it will stay put and and by tomorrow morning things will be looking good. I think what happens is as the gap closes the rubberband becomes a bit slack and pops off easier. Plus I'm using a regular orthodontic rubberband so its a bit thick to stay hooked around the brackets themselves.

My lower teeth are doing nothing! I noticed last night as I was intensly studying my teeth with the 10x magnification mirror. That my ortho put a crimp in that giant wire on the bottom so that it would not slide or move. So basically they are "stabilized" as my ortho puts it, or "stuck in neutral and going no where" as I put it. I know he did this so I could use the rubberbands and get some sleep. However I don't use the rubberbands anyway as it is just uncomfortable! I have found that I have been sleeping pretty ok lately. I'm waking a lot grinding and clenching my teeth (for whatever reason) but somehow I think the SARPE has helped a bit with my apnea. I know I can breathe better through my sinuses now, but I think the increased space or width has also helped to some degree. I actually feel like I"m sleeping, and I'm waking up remembering dreams that I had so that pretty much tells me that I"m getting into deep sleep. I'm going to tell my ortho this when I go in for my next visit and see if he will take these hook off my canines and just get busy with aligning the lowers.

I was looking at some pre and post pics of my smile today. It really is amazing how much things have changed in my mouth in just 2 months. This is right before SARPE, 3 days ago, and today.

Take a look at how much my lowers have changed, I can really see the difference in them. This is day one with braces, and now. Pretty amazing progress I think!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Day 50/ Getting Better Each Day

Nothing to really report today. It was pretty much all good. No real pain to speak of, and short of my mouth being sore from my braces rubbing that was it, and I only had that discomfort from having to talk a lot at an in-service this morning. Otherwise it would've been my first pain free day in 6 weeks!

My incisors are no longer sore so I'm putting a rubberband on them to see if I can close my gap completely this evening. I will post my progress tomorrow.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Day 49/ We Have Contact Houston!

Wooo was a good day. Instead of having that irritating ache in my front teeth and gums I officially have some feeling in my incisors now. They are still a bit sensitive but FEEL like the old teeth I used to know! When I tap down on them, they feel like my bottom teeth do. No more numbness! no more pain...just real teeth, with nerves that connect now! Actually I'm starting to really get a lot of feeling in my upper gums and my bicuspids also. Really all of my teeth are getting more feeling in them, however, several are still semi-numb. Nothing like they were a week ago but still not 100% yet! I'm so excited! I was starting to think they were never going to be back to normal!

My mouth is pretty sore today. Not sure why as I didn't do a lot of talking today but my tongue just hurts again and my bracket hooks have been catching on my cheeks all day so they are inflamed too! 32 more days with this device. It feels like an eternity, especially lately as my mouth just feels so full! Maybe cluttered is a better way to describe it. No Claustrophic sums it up better. Dealing with this appliance has truly been the biggest challenge for me. I'm sure it is much less annoying to a younger person, but I'm used to having my mouth to myself and not having to share it with a bunch of metal contraptions. I have decided that it (my mouth) is set in its ways and doesn't like visitors....especially ones that overstay their welcome. It's sorta like when your family comes to visit and instead of staying a week they decide to stay a month. After about two weeks you just want a break, to have your own space back, but you are stuck with them for a bit longer so you try and tough it out. When they finally leave, it is sooooo nice! I know that is how it will be when this RPE gets taken out, like heaven, and I can truthfully say that I will feel like I have achieved an amazing feat of endurance. It has definitely been a test for me.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Day 48/ No More Pain! Woo Hoo!

Today was a good day for my teeth. No more pain in my incisors so that was a big plus. I had a hard time with my appliance today....some days my mouth just feels totally claustrophobic. Like there is just too much junk in there! Today was one of those days, kept wanting to be free of metal hardware in my mouth, ahhh...but alas, that is an impossibility at this moment so I just tried to stay busy and work through it.

As promised here is a pic of my diastema/gap four week post expansion. Compared to the one from last week you can see that it is closing (slowly but surely.) Who knows it might even be totally closed by next week! You can also see the enormous spaces/gaps on my lowers too! I hate those worse than my top one!

Not much else to report today. Mostly I get up, go to work, come home and work some more. I have painted 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms, 2 hallways, and 5 ceilings in the past 4 days! Ugghhh! Calgon Take me AWAY! LOL...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Day 47/ Super Sensitive Teeth!

Today has been much the same as the past few days. Not sure if it is due to nerve regeneration or what but my top incisors have been super sensitive. I hit one with a straw today and almost went through the roof. Brushing my teeth is also pretty hard as it just hurts to put any pressure on them. My eye teeth are also sore from using the rubberbands on them at night to hold my jaw forward. As if all of this wasn't enough, my lower incisors are also killing me and I'm really hating the way they look right now. I have big spaces on each side of the one they pulled forward and it seems like my incisors are pushing outward, like buck teeth but on the bottom. If that makes any sense?? I just want the spaces to close and for them to come in a little. Personally I think the ortho put this giant wire on my teeth to keep them from going anywhere so I can wear my rubberbands, but I don't think they are moving my teeth at all,just stabilizing them. I think they are going to need a powerchain to bring them back together, and you folks know how I feel about those things! LOL... Right now I would be thrilled to wear one though if it meant getting rid of these spaces!

My gap seems to be getting smaller, and I will post a new 4 week post expansion pic tomorrow. I counted on the calendar today and I have 34 days til this RPE comes out! Four and a half weeks! Man that seem like such a long time!

We have been incredibly busy trying to get our house ready to show so we can sell it. Basically I'm working from dawn til dusk. It is sorta good as it keeps me busy so I don't have time to focus on my sore teeth as much, as well as this irritation from this appliance. Hopefully with all that is going on 4.5 weeks will fly by!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Day 46/Update on Powerchain Efforts

Ok..I mentioned yesterday that I tried the powerchain for a little while to try and close my gap. It was not pleasant, in fact it was down right painful. I put it on my teeth while I slept last night, and removed it this morning because my teeth were screaming out to "take it off" are the results. The powerchain did make my gap smaller, however after a few hours of leaving it off my teeth (sore and aching still) they basically returned to there pre powerchain location. Also, what I found when the chain brought them together was that it pulled the lower ends in, but the upper part (by my gums) did not budge, so even though they were together they looked messed up. Not completely vertical.

I firmly believe that the powerchain does nothing but hold the teeth together until the bone heals and the area begins to fill in and move on their own. I'm convinced that my gap will only close when it is good and ready, and quite frankly subjecting myself to more pain to close the gap is just not worth it to me at this point. My teeth are still aching as we speak from it and it has been off now for over 12 hours. My gap is small so its not that big of a deal at this point, and I certainly understand the urgency to close it when it is quite large, but I really don't think it is a good idea, or that it really works. Perhaps I'm not the norm, but as I mentioned yesterday my front teeth are very sensitive and have been for awhile. When I lay down to sleep at night the gums between and behind my two front teeth are just throbbing! So clearly my body is working at healing and the blood supply is working overtime in that area.

So...with that being said, I will continue to love my gap/hate my gap and try and be patient while it heals itself.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Day 45/ SARPE 6 Weeks Post Op/ Powerchains Still the DEVIL!

Today is officially 6 weeks post op SARPE. I'm feeling good but still not back to normal. Not in my mouth anyway. I'm still mostly numb, and while some of the feeling is now starting to come back there is still quite a bit left that has not yet returned.

My gap has been gradually closing, but it is slow. I was lucky and only had a 3.5mm gap at the end of expansion. It has been almost 4 weeks and I still have about 1mm left to close. I decided today to try and put the power chain the ortho gave me before back on and see if I could close what was left. I lasted a couple of hours with it on before I could not stand the pain anymore and took it off. So....powerchains are still (in my humble opinion) the DEVIL. I will just leave my gap to its own devices and let it continue to close on its own. I don't know if this is the case for everyone who gets SARPE but since day one I have had a lot of pain/sensitivity in my top incisors. Mostly in my right one, but I think that is because more of the feeling has returned to this tooth. My left side is still mostly numb and thus those teeth don't seem to hurt as much or even at all. The powerchain did seem to make my gap slightly smaller though so that is good, at least I got something out of all of that torture.

Here is a pic I took last night, and one this afternoon after wearing the powerchain for a little while. As you can see.....It's getting there!

I'm sure others are looking at this and saying, I wish my gap was that small! However, as everyone who has had a SARPE knows the gap/diastema is the worst part. Those who have them can't wait for them to go away. I was lucky mine stayed pretty small, but nonetheless I still want my teeth to be back to normal and meet again in front like they used to. Since this is my blog.....I can complain about it as much as I want to. :)

I may try and wear the Devil Chain to bed when I sleep tonight. If I do I will let you know how it goes.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Day 44/ SARPE Healing Still Uncomfortable

Well today was one of those days where I was painfully aware that my mouth is still very much on the mend. My front teeth have been killing me all day! So much so that I can't even bite anything with them as they are just super sensitive. I took another pic of my gap today as it seems like it is really trying to close and I assume that is why my teeth are hurting so bad today. I compared it to the one I posted the other day and it has in fact closed a bit more. Probably about 1/2mm. There is only about 1mm left til it is completely closed. I can't wait as I'm tired of this throbbing ache between my teeth, and I'm assuming it will go away once the gap is closed. At least that is what I hope, I suppose I could still continue to feel it once the gap has closed, but it seems unlikely. I will certainly keep you all posted on it though.

Last night I used my rubberbands to sleep since my lower teeth are now stablized with the giant rectangular wire. It worked well until about 7:00am this morning when I had to take the rubberbands off because my upper teeth were aching. Doctors really don't understand the palatal sensitiviy that goes along with this type of surgery. My ortho seems to think that I can just hook anything up to my top teeth and it is all good. He really just doesn't get that it hurts! or that even though my palate is mostly numb, there is sensitivity in it, and pressure of any type on it is very uncomfortable. Now I find this this is not rocket science. I mean you break the palate bone, expand it a bunch, and it takes 4 months to heal for goodness sakes. What part of this would make a doctor possibly think that there would be no pain or sensitivity in that area? I mean, come on lets be real here! Anyway...suffice it to say that I will probably not be using the rubberbands again tonight given the amount of pain I have been in today. Perhaps I will wake tomorrow and my gap will be completey closed....wouldn't that be nice!

Well I had a long day today so I'm going to bed! I will check in again tomorrow.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Day 43/ SARPE Progress Update

I figured it had been awhile since I posted where I"m at with my SARPE progress. I have been posting bits here and there about my gap, etc but tonight I will just give and update on how I'm progressing since I had the procedure done.

As of today, I'm doing quite well. I can't believe it has been almost 6 weeks since my SARPE was done. It seems like it was so long ago. Anyway....I still have what I would call mild irritation in my front incisors on a regular basis. Somedays it is like more of a throbbing sensation, other days it is just more of a mild ache. My gap is still working on closing up so I'm assuming that this is why the pain is located mostly in that region.

The appliance is still (in my opinion) the worst part of this whole process. Since I finished expanding my appliance seems to have settled a bit. It is sitting a bit flatter in my mouth and is semi less irritating than it was, but not enough to really count so I don't. I think my tongue has finally adjusted to it a bit and so it is not irritating it as much, however, if I talk to much then it gets pretty raw. Eating is still miserable for me, and while I have adapted a bit more, I still hate the hassle and work involved and find that I just don't eat unless I have to. I will be getting my RPE replaced with a TPA in 5 weeks, I truly can't wait, and still have days that I swear I would rip this thing out if it wasn't so solidly attached.

On certain days my palate just gets tired and feels like it has been overworked. It gets achey in the joints above my jaw (where they made the fractures.) This is always a continued sign to me that even though I'm feeling much better, my palate is still far from being healed.
I have noticed since SARPE that I have been grinding and clenching my teeth a lot more than I used to. I attribute this to my ever changing bite these days and my jaw not really knowing where it is supposed to sit. It is for this reason that I think my jaw hurts some days, but other times there really is no figuring it out, it just aches for no apparent reason. I usually try and give it a break by eating soft foods etc on these days.

At almost six weeks since surgery, and 3.5 weeks post expansions, I'm finally starting to get feeling back in my teeth and upper gum areas. I can rub my tongue on my teeth and feel it, not just the sensation of touching them but actually feel them like I used to. I'm also starting to gradually get feeling back in my gums. Previously I could feel nothing, like they were injected with novacaine. Now, if I take my fingernail and ever so gently poke my gums, I can feel it. Only in certain areas though. Feeling seems to be coming back faster on my upper right side then my left. I can pretty much feel stuff from my right front incisors to the right back molar. On the left I can feel my front incisors, and my rear molars,however, my bicuspids and canines are still numb. I also have complete feeling on the roof of my mouth now. These are all good signs and I'm convinced that in the next month or two things will return to normal (as far as feeling is concerned that is.)

I'm still very glad I did the SARPE, I'm really noticing the changes and liking them at this point, and one of the ladies I work with said to me today that it has been amazing to watch the total tranformation of my smile in such a short time (two months.) So its cool that others are noticing and seeing a difference.

As for any physical changes to my face....I would say they have been pretty minimal. I think my cheekbones are more pronounced and a bit rounder. I can also tell that my sinuses have opened up a bit and may be just a tiny bit wider as I can now breathe better through my nose which is good, but I don't think it is really noticible to others. I don't see too much difference. smile is bigger now too, but then my mouth is bigger so I suppose that is to expected.

Well that is pretty much it for now. I will continue to post daily til my SARPE is completely healed, and report my healing progress and daily change. For now though....I'm tired so I'm going to bed!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Day 42/ Be Careful What You Wish For! teeth hurt! Here is a new pic of my wire on my lowers (you can see the space the springs created previously.) Just last week that incisor tooth was hiding behind the ones next to it. Now it is way out in front with huge spaces on each side. Compare this pic to the one below from yesterday. In just a few hours you can already see a huge change in the arch. I can feel it bite is officially all out of whack again...lovely! If you look real close at each pic you can see the big difference in the wire size also.

Here is how my day went....I got to the Ortho this morning at 7:10 am with my darling son. It was time for his first adjustment. We arrived and I went back with him as I planned to ask the good dr. how much treatment time was left for him and what was still left for them to do. Well he says to me "How's that Gap doing?" I said "oh its coming along nicely, but now I'm getting a matching one on the bottom from these springs" He said "let me see" he leans over and takes a look see at my lower teeth. Then says..."oh yea those springs have definitely done their job, BUT we need to get them off right now!" "Hop in the chair and I will take them off" So...not being one to disagree with the dr, and since I was really not liking this lower gap, I jump up in the chair to be serviced, LOL... "So how have you been sleeping?" he asks I said "not very well!" He then asked me if I have been able to use the rubberbands and I said "no because with the springs on my lower teeth they have been too sensitive and they just hurt" He said "I'm going to take off those spring and I can hurry these lowers up and get them stabilized and then you will be able to go back to using the rubberbands with no discomfort" I'm like...ok...your the doctor. So he gets right to work pulling out the springs and says "wow, things are looking really great here, better than I had hoped!" I was thinking to myself, well that is great news. Next he comes back with this new archwire. He tells me that its some kind of heavy duty rectangular wire that is heat activated, and proceeds to put it into my brackets. OMG that sucker hurt when he was putting it in. It was thick, my teeth were very sensitive from all the spring action, and he was pushing pretty hard to get it into the bracket closures.

Check it out! See how thick it is? This pic really shows the space the springs made next to that tooth also.

So I had an all day conference to go to and was not expecting to get anything done to my teeth today. Suffice it to say that that my teeth were killing me from the second that wire went in, and it only got worse as my day progressed. They are really sore right now. I told him that the springs moved my teeth really fast and that within 24 hours they were all lined up like little soldiers. He said "mmm..very compliant teeth, that is good!" He wants me to come back as scheduled on the 22 of May. At which time he will take out my RPE and give me the TPA, and check on the progress of my lowers. After all of this was said and done, he worked on my son. LOL...
I felt sorta bad like I was taking up my sons appointment time, but hey...if the doctor wants to work on me when I'm not scheduled I'm not going to say no. The assistant replaced my sons archwires with stronger ones and the Dr. said that he still has a couple on the bottom that are rotated a bit and need to be pulled in a little more. I will ask next time we go in, how much more work is needed on him and when he can expect to be done. Basically...they placed his new archwires on and said they would see him in 8 weeks.

I didn't much notice my diastema bothering me today, but I think it was just cause I was loaded up on the Advil, and my lowers were hurting so much I didn't notice the pain on top. The rest of the day consisted of coming home and spackling the walls so we can try and paint this weekend.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Day 41/ For Every Positive There is also a Negative. is a pic of my 3 week post expansion gap.

Compared with my 2 week post expansion gap

As you can see it has made significant improvements since last week, but is still about 1.5mm from being completely closed

Today my teeth continued to be achey and burn. It pretty much lasted all day. I took some advil and it went away, but 4 hours later the aggravation was back. Not sure why I'm feeling this...must just be part of the healing process, but it is not very pleasant. My tongue is mildly sore today. Mostly from rubbing against the welds on the appliance. I'm going to see if there is a way I can go see the ortho soon and get them ground down. I'm tired of having to put wax on them and think it should be able to be done in the office without too much effort. WE SHALL SEE....

I'm feeling really sorta frustrated with my bottom teeth right now. Sometimes I feel like it is one step forward and three steps back. Or that it seems like everytime we make headway with one thing, it messes up something else. I'm sure this is part of the whole orthodontic process but right at this moment it is really getting on my nerves. The springs on my lowers have successfully moved my hidden back tooth to the front, however, now they have made such a space that I now have a big space/gap on both sides of my tooth. I'm seeing a bit of crowding as this new space pushes the others to the left. In addition my rear bicuspid on the left is now rotating inward. I still have 5 more weeks til I go back for an adjustment and I'm worried about this space getting any bigger. Oh....and did I mention that my lower teeth are aching today also! Not a good tooth day for me!

This is Day 1, and today.
It's a little hard to see the total space in the second pic but it is definitely quite large. I'm going to ask about this also when I go in tomorrow as I'm just getting rid of the gap on top, so at the moment I"m not very partial to getting another one on the bottom

Last but not least here is a pic of our new house.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Day 40/ Damon III Model? LOL..

My day was sort of funny at work. I work at a school and we received our school pictures a few days. One of my friends saw mine today and said that I looked like one of those "braces models" that you see on the orthodontists wall. She took it around to a few others and soon several people were teasing me too. Said I should give the 8x10 to my OD and see if he puts it up. I did some modeling a couple years back for a local health club here. They now pretty much run all the clubs in town. My pics are posted on the walls of a couple and have been for a couple years now, so I told my friend that I think my face has gotten enough exposure around this town already.

I had to laugh about it all, although I do have to say the picture DOES look sorta posed. Someone on the Metal mouth forum said I looked like a member of the Brady Bunch (Brandy Brady LOL.) Anyway....I thought it was a fairly decent pic of me with my braces actually smiling, and definitely a good comparison pic for me, as this one was taken two weeks prior to my SARPE. Oh, and I guess it makes me look a few years younger too so that is a big plus! What do you think?

Teeth wise today was a pretty good day! Oh...and believe it or not, my tongue does not hurt today! I repeat...IT DOES NOT HURT! woohoo...I'm sure a lot of it was because I didn't do much talking today, but hey...whatever the reason, I need a break so I will take it! My teeth were aching a bit today on top. They were burny and just achey. Enough so that I had to take some Advil to get through the day. I think my gap is closing more though. It feels like it is doing something. I'm starting to get a pretty big space between my lowers from these springs. They were so pretty and lined up the other day and now they are very spread out! I look like I have matching gaps on top and bottom now. SO NOT WHAT I WANTED! :) I'm going to ask the OD about it when I take my son in on Thursday. I will post a pic tomorrow of my 3 week post expansion gap. It is definitely getting smaller! as well as my new matching lower gap.

Tomorrow I will be taking some pics of our new house so I will try and post some of those too! I had to work on cleaning the kitchen tonight. OMG it is so much work to get your house ready for showing! Took me forever to thoughly clean just the kitchen. I found dirt I didn't even know I had! I do have to say that it looks awesome now though! Makes me not want to use it anymore so I don't have to clean it again! :)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Day 39/ Just Another Day in Raw Tongue Paradise :)

Not too much to report today. My tongue is still sore LOL! I just have to laugh about it otherwise I would be crying!

Talked with another girl today who is 7 months post op from lower jaw surgery. She and I have the same surgeon so I asked her a bunch of questions about the surgery and her results. She had nothing bad to say, and I found out that I will not have to stay in the hospital overnight! Also that our doctor uses drainage tubes in the incisions to help reduce swelling. She said she was very happy with her results and that she would do it again without hesitation, that she loves her new jawline. Also she said the swelling was bad for about 4 days but within two weeks her face was pretty much back to normal. She did say that she couldn't eat anything but liquids and blended foods for 6 weeks though,and she lost about 18lbs. I want to talk with my OS about that part of it, as he told me I would only be lightly banded and that I could eat soft foods immediately. She had her jaw moved back 5mm for an underbite problem. Mine will be moved forward for an overbite so I"m wondering if there is a huge difference in the procedure. I certainly wouldn't think so. Anyway it was nice to hear from someone else who has had it done. She is going to send me some pics hopefully so I can see what she looked like.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Day 37/ Feeling Returning in The Roof of My Mouth/ Continued Changes in my Arch

Well I feel like I keep saying the same thing...LOL, that my tongue is still sore and inflamed, I'm thinking this daily rub is never going to go away, or at least not til this appliance comes out so I'm just resigned to suffering in silence at this point. I did have to run to Fred Meyer today (since Walmart was out) and pay $2.00 a pack for wax. It has become a staple for my daily survival and I was down to my last 1/4 inch of it from the OD, so I had to relent and buy some. My son has his 2nd adjustment on Thursday so I will replenish my wax supply when I go with him then. I'm still using my band-aide invention at night when I sleep. It is the only way my tongue can get a break.

I did get a pretty good nights sleep last night, mostly because I think I was completely exhausted! I used the C-flex for about 2 hours then ripped it off. I slept the rest of the night peacefully and did get into deep sleep quite a bit as I recall having several dreams. The fact that I awoke at least three times drooling all over my pillow (SO GROSS!!!) was another indicator that I was pretty out of it. I really needed it though and felt SO much better today, which was great!

I forgot to report yesterday that I've gotten a lot of feeling back in the roof of my mouth now. I can put my tongue between the top of the appliance and feel sensation and all the ridges very well. My upper teeth are still pretty numb as are the gums above them. Slowly but surely I'm beginning to notice small tingling of feeling in different areas so I know that the bone and the blood supply are finally starting to settle in and catch up. I'm ready for my diastema (gap) to be closed and it does seem to be making movement, however, it is doing so very slowly. Like maybe 1/4mm every few days. Incremental but progress nonetheless so I will take it!

Even though we have stopped expanding I'm constantly amazed at the progress that continues to take place in my mouth. Here is a pic of my expansion on the day that we stopped keying the appliance, and one taken just this morning.
If you look closely you can see that the arch, (especially in front) has become even more rounded and you can see the progress of my slowly closing gap. The appliance also seems to be sitting in my mouth a bit flatter lately. The teeth on the left of the pic have continued to move outward, especially my first molar. Where it had originally touched the appliance there is now a small space between the appliance and the tooth. The tipping on the second molar has also come in a bit. Not much as changed on the right side other than my first bicuspid tipping inward a bit more. I think this is due to the fact that I totally chew on my right side and is probably why so much has changed on that side as opposed to the left. I'm also constantly biting down on my appliance pushing against those protruding prongs with my teeth. I have noticed that my appliance is starting to become loose on one side too! When I push wax onto it I hear it sorta pop and move. It is not painful or anything but just sorta unnerving. Hopefully it will last another 6 weeks and just make the whole removal process easier!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Day 36/ My Poor Tongue! The Proof is in the Pics!

Today went pretty well. I'm very tired as I only got 6 hours of sleep last night due to my sons school activity night, but the rest of the day went pretty well.
Steph posted a message for me to "take a pic of my tongue" So...even though I thought it was sorta gross, I took a couple pics of my sore dying tongue just for her and so you all won't think I'm making all this irritation and tongue pain stuff up! LOL... WARNING...GIANT TONGUE PICTURES BELOW :)

This picture is my tongue when it is still moist. As you can see the area in the back is smooth with very few striations (like my whole tongue normally is when its not being assaulted on a daily basis.)
Pic number 2 is my tongue dried off so that you can see the major lines and overall tongue tenderness...and yes, that little red spot is BLOOD!

Either way you can see from both pictures that my tongue is significantly raw and
beat up. Today is actually a fairly good day too, it is not nearly as sore as it was yesterday, and the swelling has come done a bit. Yesterday it actually had visible red track marks running up and down on it. Anyway....HOPE THIS WORKS FOR YOU STEPH! ;)

Tonight I'm going to try the C-flex machine again, I'm pretty tired so I figure that even if I get 3 or 4 hours of good sleep with the machine before I rip it off that that will probably be better than what I have been getting....which is pretty much nothing! :)

Ok....I must go start my nightly flossing, waterpiking, and brushing ritual. It takes awhile to get all this oral cleansing completed and its getting late, so I need to get with the program!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Day 35/ Two Weeks Down Six More to Go!

Today was a bit better day for me. My appliance is still irritating me but not as bad as it could be today so that was a plus. Only 6 more weeks til my RPE is removed! I think I can....I think I can.....I think I can....LOL.
I went to my sons overnight activity night and got home at 6:00am this morning. I was wiped out!. My mouth is a bit beat up from talking so much and just not getting its regularly scheduled nightly rest, but I survived and thats what counts. I can't tell you the last time I stayed up all was a long time ago! I did use my C-Flex machine for a few hours this morning though. I was so tired that I figured it would be a good way to try and adapt as I wouldn't be able to fight it since I was so exhausted. I got about 3-4 hours in before I ripped it off so that is sorta progress I guess.

WELL....we are now the owners of a brand new home! Woo hooo! We signed the paperwork yesterday and it is officially ours now. Now comes the real work though. My mom is going to move in with us in the new house, so in the next month and a half we have to sell her place and ours. We did not expect things to go so fast so we are a bit overwhelmed here. We need to get some painting etc done around here and make a few repairs before we are ready to sell it. WE also are not cleared to move into our new home until the end of June so it sorta makes things a bit difficult as to how to move stuff around to get it painted an cleaned. It is definitely going to keep us busy through the summer for sure!

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Today is was another day with this horrible horrible device in my mouth. I came so close today to calling my OD and seeing if I can get this thing taken out. I can't effectively articulate how much I absolutely hate this RPE thing! I mean, I have never hated anything in my life as much as I hate this appliance! It is definitely the biggest challenge I have ever faced or had to endure. I so want it out! My tongue is constantly in pain, and in fact even had a visible cut on it today. I can't eat because my tongue hurts so bad and just gets more irritated moving food around etc. I'm usually pretty tough, and definetly not a whiner, but OMG! I freakin despise this beast. I keep thinking its got to get better, but instead it just keeps getting worse. I don't eat hardly at all as its just way too much effort, and I swear my mouth still can't decide if it is food or what, as it picks certain days to just salivate non stop! I so just want to SCREAM and tear this thing out of my mouth! I have 6 more weeks till it is replaced with the TPA, I'm going to try (praying tomorrow is better) but I'm not sure I can take it that long....seriously!

Other than this RPE hell I'm in, things are not to bad! I'm not sleeping very well though since I haven't been using the c-flex machine. Been snoring a lot and waking up really tired, which tells me that I'm still have apnea events while I'm asleep at night. I just can't deal with that machine though so I'm sorta stuck between a rock and a hard place.

My son has an overnighter at his school tomorrow night so I will be awake from 6:00am tomorrow morning until 8:00am Saturday Morning! I'm going to be a zombie! I mean I'm not sure I can even stay awake that long. It is not going to be pretty. I may have to run to the realtors office right after school also, as we find out if our bid for the house was accepted, rejected, or if they countered! Buying a house is so stressful!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Day 33/ Oh.....THE BURN, THE BURN!

Today was a pretty good day for the most part. My front teeth were still really burning a lot. It was just enough to be irritating so I took some advil for it which didn't seem to do much of anything. It is really just in my front tooth area so I'm hoping that it means healing is taking place, and that any day now I'm going to wake up to a gap free smile! Whatever it is I assume it is not anything bad, perhaps the bone and blood supply are catching up now. Which is a good thing as it means the nerves should start regenerating soon and I will get rid of this numbness in my upper teeth.

Other than daily burn sessions, and the continuous rubbing of my tongue on the appliance (did I forget to mention that my tongues is again completely raw?) things have pretty much been the same old same old.

We went and looked at a new house tonight and put a bid on it! Wish us luck as we really want this one! :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Day 32/ Burning In Front Teeth a Good Sign?

Here is a new pic of my current gap. Tomorrow will be two weeks since expansion was finished. My gap is starting to close a bit more and I have noticed that in the evenings I feel my front teeth sorta throbbing or pulsing. Today my front teeth were bothering me all afternoon. They had sortof a burny feeling between them. I have heard that burning is a good sign though, so I'm hoping that it means that things are proceeding on schedule and my body is busily working away at healing. Notice my nice matching lower space (gap) now. I think my teeth just like to copy each other :)

Here is a new pic of my post surgery face minus the swelling, and bruising. I can say that my cheekbones look much bigger to me now. This pic makes my nose look huge, and while it has expanded a little it is not as big in real life a it looks in this pic...must be the angle or something. I'm starting to really like my newly emerging smile too. I'm definitely glad I have made it this far and chosen to do this. Even though the RPE is really annoying me, I still don't regret my decison at all. My tongue is not feeling so sore today, but I also didn't spend as much time talking at work so that is probably why.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Day 31/ One Month Post SARPE!

Today was great, I feel healthy and strong now. It is simply just a matter of getting through the next few weeks with this RPE. It continues to be the main source of my daily aggravation. I expect this part of the journey to be one where I just have to basically "fake it til I can make it" As no amount of complaining is going to change the fact that I'm stuck with this appliance until May 22. This part will truly be a test of my conviction and perseverance. It is truly the worst part of everything I have had done so far. Not pain wise, but strictly from an inconveniance perspective.

I have been taking extra vitamin C and a good liquid multi-vitamin daily now. It has helped tremendously with my strength, energy, and overall speedy recuperation. I highly recommend it for those of you having or going through this surgery. It really does make a difference.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Day 30/ Almost 100%.......Kind Of.

Today was good, I took my vitamins and extra stuff yesterday and felt pretty good when I woke up this morning. I took them again throughout the day today and have to say that I"m starting to finally feel like myself. No more stuffy nose, no more pressure, no more headache. Oh and did I mention that I actually have some of my old energy back and my appetite? Suffice it to say that I'm feeling almost 100% again (jumping up and down cheering!)

I'm still having a bit of difficulty adjusting to the wire in the appliance, and my tongue is constantly sore. The thing about the RPE that I really dislike, is that unlike the braces, you can never forget that you have it. I was chatting with Amy today and she was saying that it like makes your mouth feel claustrophobic. That is so least for me anyway. That is exactly how I feel, and I'm so tired of being poked daily by the prongs on this thing. I wish I could just cut them off and give my tongue a break. Ahhh that would be heaven.....but alas I'm stuck with this hunk of junk in my mouth for about 7 more weeks. All I can say is thank goodness they cement these suckers in, as I would've definitely pulled it out already if I could've done it painlessly. :)

Well not much else to report today, other than I have noticed that my gap is closing but that my incisors are now becoming a bit weird. Instead of lining up evenly next to each other one is now jutting forward more than the other. I suppose that would be just entirely too much to ask eh? I mean I hardly get a gap, and then when it closes to have it line up perfectly would just not be right. RIGHT??? I will keep you posted on that new drama as it continues to unravel.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Day 29/ SARPE Almost 1 month Post Op.

Yesterday I wasn't feeling great. We went bowling last night and before we left I drank 32oz of water with a pack of Emergen-C. I brought another 32oz bottle with another dose of Vitamin C with me to the bowling alley and drank it while we were there. It was amazing how much better I felt just after that. I got a good nights rest, had a good breakfast, took my liquid multivitamin and drank an 8oz glass of water with Emergen-C this morning and seemed to be doing much better. I still feel a bit run down, but things definitely seem better today.

Bowling was fun last night, but OMG all that smiling and talking left my poor mouth in bad shape. Why is it, when you are dying from braces irritation you never have any freakin wax on you? I'm not joking, I must have about 20 little packages of the stuff, as I stock up everytime I go to my ortho. But just when I really need it, there is none to be found anywhere. Not in my coat pocket, not in my purse, not even in the car! Shoot my darling son, didn't even have any on him. We both have the dentakits too, which are supposed to go everywhere with you, but did either one of us have ours....NO! So I had to suffer with some Brace-eze I found in the car. It pretty much sucked, but was better than nothing. People kept looking at me funny like something wasn't right, but I didnt' figure out til later what the deal was. My dh pointed out that with the neon lites at the bowling alley, I looked like I had big chunks of white gunk stuck on all my teeth. See when brace eze dries it gets very white. No wonder people were giving me weird looks they were probably thinking "OMG...EWWW! whats that crap all over her teeth??" but I just kept smiling and talking, completely oblivous to what was going on.

I'm still using the blister bandaides to cover my appliance. They just work so well and for whatever reason my tongue just can't seem to get used to the wire ties that were added on Monday to my appliance (I posted a pic of the wire ties on day 24 below.) If you decide to use these band-aides yourself you will need these exact ones (I have gone through about a zillion boxes trying to find the best ones, and they are not cheap) You need to get the Band-Aid brand Activ*Flex ones in size large. If you trim the rounded edges off of them they work perfect and the ends are longer so they are easier to grab from behind the appliance and connect together. These really are great especially after about an hour, as they have fluid absorbtion properties and thus take in some of the saliva in your mouth. They then swell up and make a nice little puffy cushion for your tongue. It has truly been a life saver for me!

My lower teeth are moving like crazy. Last night while bowling the springs decided they were going to start irrititating my bottom lip. I didn't have any wax so I put some brace eze on. Bad idea, I now have some space between those teeth. The Brace eze kept oozing in between the spaces and coming out through the back of my teeth. It was very annoying and uncomfortable. Here are new pics of my 5 day progress.

Days 1, 4, and 5 with springs

If you look closely at the day 4 pic you can see some grey looking stuff on my lower right bicuspid (left in the picture.) This is from grinding my teeth against the prong on the expander at night. I'm doing some serious gnashing while I sleep I tell you!

Today is officially 10 days since expansion ended. My diastema (gap) is closing slowly. Not as quickly as I would like but hey, as long as I don't have to wear a power chain I'm not going to complain. Also, in the second pic you can really see on my lower incisors the space those springs have made, and how much that tooth has really come forward.

Expansion Finished
One week later

I'm starting to get a bit of feeling back in various places. Mostly on the roof of my mouth behind my front incisors. I still have a bit of pressure in those teeth as well and I expect it will most likely continue until they have officially moved back together. All in all I'm very pleased with my progress. I know it will continue to improve from here on out and only get better. Plus being able to see the progress makes it all worthwhile now.

The C-flex sleep machine is still a thorn in my side. I'm beginning to feel a bit hopeless regarding being able to use it. I seriously can't sleep with it. It is noisy, and aggravating, and just doesn't seem to be do-able for me. I'm going to talk with the sleep center Monday and see what other options I have. I wish it would work for me as it would be so nice to get a great nights sleep again. Cross your fingers that we can figure something out!