Braces Status

We’re nearing the end of my first week with braces. It’s time for a status report on my metal mouth.

FOOD:
* On Sunday, I had crabcakes (eaten with fork, carefully) and french fries for dinner, along with two (!!) banana-chocolate milkshakes, because banana chocolate milkshakes ROCK. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given my “milkshake a day” policy of late, I haven’t lost any weight on my mostly-liquid diet. 🙂
* On Monday evening, I had pulled pork and BBQ chicken sliders. The pulled pork was fine to eat, and I even managed to eat some of the buns, with careful biting, but it made my front teeth ache to bite into the little sandwiches. I ended up mostly eating it with a fork. I had the same problem with the BBQ chicken sliders, in that the chicken was more chunky and required front-biting. I eventually just cut it into little bits so that I could just chew it with the back teeth, which are perfectly happy to chew at this point.
* Aside from those two exceptions, I’ve had soft foods. I’ve been eating lots of soup and pudding. I honestly think I could handle more solid food except that I’m worried about screwing up the extraction sites by getting food chunks in there. They didn’t give me the little water injector tool this time (like I got after my wisdom teeth were removed), so I don’t have a great way to get food bits out of the crevices.

COMFORT:
* On Friday last week, while eating lunch, a bracket popped off (backmost one on the bottom right). One rush trip to the dentist office later, the protruding wire was trimmed down. My dentist decided to leave the bracket off until I’ve had some other movement, as the filling on that tooth is making it difficult for the bracket to adhere, and she needs a little room before she can do anything about that part.
* On the same day, while eating dinner, the backmost bracket on the opposite side (still bottom) popped off…with likely the same cause. I called my dentist again and asked if (since I was very far away and at a gaming convention at this point) I could just get some wire nippers and nip the sucker off myself. She said that’d be perfectly fine, so after a quick trip to a craft store, I was good to go. The nub on that one is still a bit sharp, but with the use of an old nail file, I’ve filed it down to a rounder tip. I still put a little wax on it sometimes if it’s bugging me, but it’s otherwise fine.
* In general, the braces aren’t bugging me at all. I’m brushing my teeth at least twice a day to keep stuff out of the braces. I’ve tried flossing, but it’s a herculean task, even with threader floss. I’ve been using the little dentabrush more than flossing, which seems to help some. Then again, I also read that after the extractions, I probably shouldn’t be flossing right now anyways, just because of the risk of scraping up the extraction site with the thread by accident. So, I’m putting flossing on hold in general until after my extraction check-up this Saturday.

WORRIES:
* Because I’m an over-competitive git, I was hoping my teeth would have super-powers and would move all crazy fast or something. I’ve been taking periodic digital pictures of my grin and comparing them. So far, I haven’t noticed a change. My dentist (when she looked at my mouth on Friday after the first bracket fell off) said she could see a difference, but I’m just not seeing it. It looks the same to me when I compare. Granted, a very fast movement of teeth is something like 1mm a day, so it may just not be noticeable at this point. I can certainly *feel* them moving though.
* Because I read too much web stuff, I’m now terrified that my extraction sites won’t heal up properly. I’m scared that the upper tooth will create a hole going to my sinuses (not uncommon). I’m scared that my sinoidal nerve is damaged. I’m scared that I have a massive dry socket. Every little pain or ache or whatever is making me paranoid that something is Terribly Wrong. This is not cool. For this reason, I’m REALLY looking forward to my check-up on Saturday, so that I can get some re-assurance, in whatever direction. The thing that really freaked me out yesterday (and it’s persisting today) is that I am feeling this odd twinge in my cheek, near my nose (hence the paranoia about sinusoidal nerve and sinus holes). After some feeling and guessing and staring at my mouth with a giant flashlight and mirror, I don’t think anything is wrong really…my guess is that the displaced canine is in motion, and the bone for it probably goes up near my nose, given where it’s at…so it moving *is* probably twinging my sinuses. The crappy part is that the more I think about it, the more it twinges. If I distract myself from it, I don’t really notice it…so it may even just be stress or something. It may even be a psychosomatic reaction, wherein I read all of this stuff about complications from extractions and then projected a result onto myself. So, the order of the day is healing thoughts. Ohmmmmm….ohmmmmmm…..
* I’m just generally freaking out that this won’t work. I’m imagining that I’ll have giant missing tooth gaps for the rest of forever and/or that I’ll be horribly deformed. I made the mistake of reading a bunch of “braces gone bad” stories, and that did *not* do good things for me. I keep telling myself that this is like really old and really well tested methodology, and that millions of people do this every year and of all those millions, I found all of 3-4 internet stories of horrible mishaps. I also keep telling myself that I personally saw one of my dentist’s assistants before, during, and after her braces, and she was fine. I know I’m just being crazy…but still…it’s scary.
* I had set up my next adjustment appointment for right before HalloweeM, but I’m thinking that’s a mistake. If I have to go back to an all-soup diet, right before ‘WeeM is not the time to do it. If my work travel schedule allows, I’m going to move it to the week before, because that’ll give me a good solid week to recover before going into ‘WeeM. The only problem is that then that’s 3 weeks instead of 4 weeks, and I don’t want to rush things. Argh. Well, I’m hanging out with my dentist at a social event this weekend, and I’ll ask her then if I get a chance. I try my best not to bug her about work stuff when she’s not at work, but it’s going to get much harder to maintain that with this going on, admittedly.