Saturday, July 13, 2013

Incognito braces update-the first couple weeks

Days 2 and 3

I know this isn't beauty related but I have decided to keep a little diary of the process.

My word I am miserable at the moment.  Don't get me wrong, my teeth don't hurt at all-my front upper teeth are a little sensitive when I try and bite but that's all.

Yesterday, after the brackets were fitted to my teeth my speech was ok but eating was a nightmare.  My diet over the last 2 days has been yoghurt, porridge, chocolate mousse and mashed potato.  Anything I can suck or can be swallowed without chewing.  Chewing just feels the strangest sensation ever.  I really hope it settles down soon.  And I am constantly wiping my mouth with a tissue-I must lick my lips a lot but it is impossible to lick my lips without the brackets stabbing my tongue painfully and I feel like I am dribbling when I eat.  My lips feel really dry as well so I am constantly reapplying lip balm.

I am sleeping fine but when I woke up this morning my tongue had swollen as the brackets have started to irritate it and today has been horrible.  I've hardly said a word at work.  James my assistant didn't know what to do with himself, he said he has never known me so quiet!  I left at 3.30 because I was feeling so rotten-I have felt very nauseous since having the brackets fitted.

My other half isn't being very supportive and I admit I have been snapping at him for being so unsupportive.  I've told him I am in pain and I don't want to talk but he keeps asking me stupid questions!!

The main problem is there is nowhere comfortable for my tongue to lie!  If I put it where seems 'normal' it's resting on the bracket prongs against my lower front teeth.  My back lower teeth seem to be irritating the side of my tongue constantly.  My top teeth are causing me no problems whatsoever.

I think the worst thing is that at the moment I haven't even had the extractions I need or had the wire fitted and now my anxiety for Sunday when I am having 2 extractions is very high.  I cry if I think about it.

I've read a lot that suggests after 2 weeks everything should have settled down but 2 weeks seems a long way away right now and if one more person tells me 'it'll be worth it in the end' I am likely to scream!!

Day 4

After my rather 'woe is me' post yesterday today has been a little better.  Late last night I discovered dental wax and had a pain free nights sleep.  I use it over my brackets to stop them catching my tongue-it works but its a bugger to get off!

Eating today was still soft food-yoghurt for brekkie, pasta for lunch and a tiny little ice cream and homemade rice pudding for dinner.  Not the healthiest or nutritionally balanced but I'm just eating what I can right now.  So far I have learned 1) Wait for your food to cool, the last thing you want is a burnt tongue on top of the rubbing from the brackets!  2-Cut your food up into tiny pieces, you will take an age to eat but it's all your mouth can cope with. 3-I'm not ready for solid food yet and am cautiously taking a bite of food when it's in my mouth and then sucking it.  4-Your dental hygiene routine will now double if not triple in time.  I hate the feeling of not having clean teeth (and of course the brackets trap food in them) and so I will now carry toothpaste, brush, inter-dental brush and mouthwash everywhere.  4-Be patient.  I am not a patient person by nature but running before I can walk will only end up no doubt with unnecessary pain.

I made a list today of foods I probably won't be able to eat during the time I am wearing braces.  So far popcorn, wine gums, tortilla wraps (I heard they get stuck in your teeth terribly), nuts, toffee and dates are all on the list.

I have to say now at 11pm my tongue is feeling sore again from rubbing against the brackets.  It also feels a bit swollen.  It's not unbearable but talking is uncomfortable.  Hopefully I'll see more improvement tomorrow.

(PS no one said it will be worth it in the end today)

Day 5

Today has been literally the worst so far.  Terrible nights sleep and woke up with the mother of all ulcers above my back left molar.  It's so bad my face is swollen on the left.

Went to the dentist for my 9am scheduled appointment for my first two extractions only to be told they didn't have the proper paperwork and to be turned away.  An hour later they called to say they had indeed found the paperwork and it had been there all along-since March!  I am rescheduled for Tuesday at 11 but there were tears of frustration today.

Am kind of starting to wish I hadn't decided to go ahead.  5 days in and the pain doesn't seem to be easing at all.  I'm not sleeping now and lost count of how many people told me I looked pale and tired today.  Talking is uncomfortable and to be honest a hassle-it's affecting my job!  I have a client facing role and at the moment I can't bear to talk to anyone.  I'm not focused at all because I'm distracted by the pain.  Pain that is seemingly going to get worse before it gets better.  It will get better right?

I've just literally rejoiced at finding a bottle of Anbusol in our medicine cabinet.  It's giving me some relief from the pain of the ulcer.  I think I'll have to wax my entire mouth tonight.

I'm tired, miserable and could burst into tears at any time.   I'm literally wincing with pain and every single mouth movement I do seems to hurt.  But as it's a 'self inflicted cosmetic procedure' (as one of my colleagues pointed out today) I am conscious not to moan too much openly.  But this is my blog and I can moan as much as a blooming well want to on here.

Day 8

Starting to see some improvement now-either than or I am getting used to the brackets.  In the mornings when I wake up my teeth and tongue ache like mad but I think it's because my mouth tends to be quite dry.  I am sleeping ok though now.  I've stopped feeling like I am dribbling when I am eating as well.

Yesterday I had 2 teeth removed.  After the cock up on Sunday morning I said I wanted all 3 removed at once but when I got there yesterday the dentist strongly advised me against it.  In hindsight I am glad he did.  I suggest you don't read the rest of this paragraph if you are squeamish but the procedure yesterday was actually very simple.  Numbed up then used a pair of METAL PLIERS to extract the two teeth.  I do not know what I was expecting but I was horrified when I saw him with the pliers in his hand.  Anyway to cut a long story short, it didn't hurt.  Immediately afterwards I felt very hot and faint and was worried I was going to vomit but that subsided in a few minutes.  The right hand side of my mouth was packed with gauze to stop the bleeding and I was sent home with several packets of gauze and after care instructions.

I spent the rest of the afternoon lying on my bed-I was told not to sleep in case I swallowed blood.  The bleeding stopped about 5pm.  Occasionally I felt a bit light headed but I haven't had any pain at all.  I managed to slurp down a few spoons of soup last night but I have now lost half a stone.  My diet is still very soft food.  My speech is still not 100% and was non existent yesterday was a mouth packed full of gauze.

Today I am working from home-work have been absolutely brilliant.  My cheek is quite swollen so I look quite gerbil like.  I am not in pain but I would say I feel tender and weird and I am glad I am at home.  I am very pale though, I put a little bit of my normal foundation on this morning and it was 2 shades too dark.

Next steps are the 3rd and final tooth out on Saturday morning and then the wire fitted on Tuesday afternoon.

Day 12

I had my third and final tooth out yesterday.  The dentist was lovely, a heavily pregnant Egyptian lady and we spent a few minutes chatting about my very frequent trips to Egypt and me trying out my Arabic and she put me totally at ease.  The extraction went fine and took about 5 minutes from being numbed up to the tooth being out.  She asked if I wanted to keep the tooth but I declined-I guess I am too old for the tooth fairy now.

The extractions on the right side of my mouth are invisible when I smile.  However the gap from the extraction yesterday is much more obvious and I am very conscious of it, I don't even want to smile at the moment.  I forgot to say though, you genuinely can't see the brace brackets behind my teeth-unless you're looking very closely into my mouth!!

No pain from the extractions but my remaining teeth with the brackets on are still sore.  I barely slept at all last night and saw every hour and I feel quite stressed and have been quite short tempered.  I tried to eat some lamb fillet on Friday night and it was a total no no.  Mike made me apple crumble and custard last night, making the apple pieces tiny and the crumble really fine so I didn't have to chew so I felt like I had a treat.

My whole face under my eyes feels tender-almost bruised.  My mouth, especially when I wake up is sore and I don't feel like I am getting used to the brackets.  I have headaches a lot and I have been taking pain killers every day.  I am watching my intake and I am taking nothing stronger than aspirin.

Mike says my speech has improved but I just can't be bothered to talk to anyone-it's so much effort!!!  I am worried about travelling to Egypt next week as I have many client meetings which involve a lot of talking (having said that I have to get security clearance to travel and it's very fragile in Cairo at the moment)

I am getting the wire in on Tuesday and don't really know what to expect.  That will mark exactly 2 weeks since the brackets were fitted.

Whoever told me I would lose 3kg in the first two weeks was spot on!  I don't enjoy eating at the moment, am so bored of the 5 soft foods I have been eating and everything else seems to much hassle!  Been craving lasagna a lot bizarrely.

I have to remember this isn't forever-its 18 months to two years. 

Day 14

Today is the first day I have woken up and my teeth don't hurt! And I feel this might actually be do-able!!  I have even been able to chew bread! Lol it sounds ridiculous even typing that!  I am off to the dentist at 1pm to have the wire fitted so let's see if I am still feeling so great afterwards!!

Still day 14

Had quite a gruelling session at the dentist today as he really struggled to get the wires fitted successfully and another more senior dentist had to step in.  I was expecting my teeth to be quite sore after the wire had been fitted but in all honesty I didn't really feel anything and actually asked the dentist if the wire was tight enough!  He said yes and I don't have to go back now for 8 weeks for my next adjustment.  I also paid off the balance of the treatment so it's been an expensive day as I paid the last £1000.  It's costing about £3500 in total.

4 hours later I have to admit I am in a little bit of pain.  My teeth, especially the front two have suddenly become uber-sensitive.  The slight pulling of the wire on my teeth is totally manageable, but the sensitivity of my teeth is making me not want to eat any dinner at all.  I am sure this will be temporary.  This morning I felt the best I had for two weeks and am pretty sure now things will only get better.

Day 18

I haven't had the easiest time since I had the wires fitted.  My speech has gone worse and by the end of the day I am almost in tears because it's so painful to talk.  My teeth, especially the front two have become uber-sensitive, so much so that eating has been almost impossible.  My front teeth and the skin on my face around it feels completely bruised and I am unable to touch it.  My teeth feel soft and almost like if I push them they would move-although I am sure in reality that is not true.  Putting make-up on hurts in that area and I find the only way I can eat is to take a strong painkiller 30 minutes before dinner which seems to help.  It also feels like I have a cheesewire in my mouth where it crosses over the spaces where I have had the extractions and I keep catching my tongue on it which is extremely painful.  Not only can I only eat soft food, I have to now only eat foods that don't get stuck in my braces-I'd love a nice melted camenbert and crusty bread but it's a no no!  Someone said to me last week 'no worse pain than toothache' and I have to agree.  It's been a lot harder than expected.  I keep reading that soon I won't even notice them but it's hard to believe to be honest right now.

In summary the first couple of weeks hasn't been that easy and at times has been pretty unbearable.  I want a nicer smile, that has to be what I keep in the back of my mind all the time, even though 18 months to two years worth of having these in my mouth seems like a lifetime at the moment!  I honestly believe it can only get better from here on in.


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