Saturday, February 25, 2012

Brushing your teeth with braces

Not too much new going on with my braces, I'm getting the surgical hooks put on on Monday.  I'm sure those are going to feel just great on my lips and cheeks :/

Now about the title of this post... We're adults and we generally think we know how to brush our teeth but when you have braces on your teeth, brushing is very different than without braces.  Braces automatically puts you in a high risk category for cavities because it is really difficult to keep your teeth clean.  Our teeth are naturally shaped so that food can get flushed away from the teeth.  With braces there are a million more areas for plaque to get trapped and bacteria to wreak havoc on our teeth and gums.

Below a very embarrassing photo of my teeth before I knew about proper brushing techniques.  The picture was taken right before I had a cleaning.  We put a dye on our patients teeth before their cleaning to show were plaque and calculus is built up.  On a person without braces, usually the plaque is built up along the gum line and in the areas between the teeth.  When we put the dye on my teeth, the plaque was built up directly beneath the wire.  That's when I realized just how important it is to use a proxabrush in addition to a regular toothbrush and floss.

you can see with this dye on my teeth that all of the plaque is built up right beneath where the wire normally is.
Adding the use of a proxabrush immensely helps with getting your teeth clean.  Also if there are spaces between any of your teeth you can use it not only around the brackets but also between the teeth to help get them clean.  The last thing you want after putting so much time and effort into having straight teeth is to end up with cavities or gum recession because you neglected your teeth while the braces were on.  This video explains how to use the proxabrush better than I can in words.

Here is another video about brushing with braces- because the technique is different than normal brushing.

and for flossing....  I've tried to use superfloss, but it takes SOOO long.  Now, I've been using "ortho flossers"  which are like floss picks but with a thin edge so they can fit under the wire.  The brand I absolutely LOVE are called platypus orthodontic flossers

They are seriously amazing.  I've found other brands that are similar at the drugstores and dental isle at the grocery.  They are soo much faster than using superfloss.  When I was just searching around on the web I found something called the flossFish.  It also looks really great and easy to use.  I'm definitely going to get some to try out!

Monday, February 13, 2012

good to go!

Its official!  My surgery date is still good, my insurance is cleared, and all my pre-op appointments are set.

All I need to do is get my surgery hooks and I'm all set. Hooray!

T- less than two months to go  :) :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Valentine's day to my teeth!

Hi Everyone,
Long time, no update!  That's really because there hasn't been much going on with my teeth lately, that is until my latest appointment!  So let's see, two appointments ago, My orthodontist finally got the last wire into my upper brackets.  It's a very large rectangular wire that is the biggest size that will fit into the brackets I have.  My orthodontist hasn't been moving any of my teeth, mostly keeping them where they are and just trying to expand my upper arch as much as possible.  If I needed any more expansion I would've had to have a SARPE (surgically assisted rapid palatal expansion), but luckily (probably because I had palatal expanders as a kid) my arch was just wide enough and they decided to make-up for the last few millimeters just by moving the teeth within the bone and not the bone itself.  Anyways,  when we got that last wire in I could feel when I flossed that most of my contacts of my upper teeth opened up probably because the teeth were moving that last little bit outwards.  yay!

Fast forward to my last appointment,  we had two appointments in one day, the first one to take the wires off and make some alginate impressions and the second one to put the wires back on after looking at the models.  I was so happy to have the wire off for a few hours!  I think I flossed 3 times, flossing is so much easier without those wires on!  Also,  my friend was able to give me a cleaning during the time off,  let me tell you it is so much easier to clean someones teeth who has braces once their wire is off.  Anyways, I returned to the ortho clinic with the cleanest teeth of anyone with braces and my models were good!  They basically told me that as far as they were concerned I am ready for surgery :D.  I'm going to drop by my surgeon's office tomorrow (its so convenient to have my dentist, orthodontist, surgeon, and the clinic I work in all in the same building)  to see if they need to see me before they have the pre-op appointment.  I also need to see if there are any updates about my insurance pre-approval coming in, and if my surgery date is still in the book.  Technically, when we originally picked the date for surgery last year the 2012 book didn't physically exist yet, so it was pencilled in at the end of 2011 lol.  So, unless their office majorly dropped the ball on that one,  I should be scheduled for surgery in exactly 2 months!
valentine's day colors!  
more updates to come...