Friday, 23 December 2005

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone who reads this a very merry christmas and a great 2006,!

We're off to our son's place in Sydney for Christmas ... 12 hours drive. Then to Albury, on the NSW/Victoria border, for new year! Should be fun!

All well with my mouth ... except for the lig on the 'wayward' tooth. It's fallen off a few times, but I'm trying to keep putting it back ok. Really strange!

Have a great holiday everyone!

Friday, 16 December 2005

Photos - Adjustment 3!

14 December 2005

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Week 19 - Adjustment 3!

Got up early ... repeat of nightly clean after a huge mug of earl grey ... spent some time in my garden and playing with my dog ... another little brush and dose of mouth wash ... into my purple car and drive to Adelaide.

Dr C is all smiles and we chat easily as usual ... mainly about Christmas coming.

So I do it just as I'd planned ... "Dr C I want christmas colours this time." I guess his look told me the answer ... damn it! I think he realises from the look of total disappointment on my face that he needs to do some explaining! It was good to hear why he doesn't change ligs at every appointment and why he wants friction at some brackets and not at others etc. Some of my teeth still have a long way to go before I can move from the beginning wires and until then he wants all the effort put into them, as he can't move on with the treatment plan otherwise!

Dr C did ask if I was planning to change the colours in my hair to red and green ... told him I'd done that a couple of christmas' back ... and now I'm too addicted to my favourite purple to change those foils!

He admitted that my teeth are moving very slowly ... which sometimes happens ... especially with adults, but some are moving ... and that's what's important! Right! Anyway Dr C explains that I won't be having a total lig change until my teeth are ready for a new wire ... until then he'll only be changing ligs to get more movement for them!

Think he changed six or seven ligs. A couple he did in a figure eight, and he put a lig back on the 'wayward' one! He put it totally around the bracket and reckons it won't be falling off this time! Hope he's right!

I go back in nine weeks for my next adjustment ... so maybe then I can have a total colour change ...!!! Oh well, christmas is only 12 months away ... I'm thinking I'll get a second shot at those colours then!

I asked Dr C about using toothpaste with the ingredients baking soda and peroxide. He said no problems as there's not enough of the whitening ingredients for them to affect the colour of teeth.

About my impacted canine ... Dr C feels the first option ... close the gap ... is the best one, but he wants to wait and see how my teeth move first before committing to that one! So this process continues ...

Now ... have a little discomfort where the 'wayward' tooth is, but apart from that ... no difference. Will watch the two teeth that have the figure eight ligs on to see if they change ... one is my lower left central and the other is the lower left second premolar.

Friday, 11 November 2005

Photos ... Adjustment 2!

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Right Left

Week 14 - Adjustment 2!

Went to the oral surgeon first ... his report ...
* recommends that the impacted upper right canine not be touched! He does not think it should be exposed or removed as there is risk it will damage the nerves of the teeth around it and therefore other teeth could be lost or need root canals.
* recommends that the gap be closed by bringing the first premolar into the canine position, or that the gap be widened for a bridge or a denture.
* recommends against an implant as to do that the canine would need to be removed.

I'm still trying to absorb what those options mean ... but hopefully it will become clearer over the next month or two!

Then to see Dr C my ortho!
He was happy with how things were going and said there's still a lot of movement needed to straighten my teeth before any more can be done.

He put a lig round half the bracket of the lower right lateral that is out of line ... and wow ... felt that, also it seems to be knocking the canine next to it ... so a little discomfort in that area. Can't believe how quickly it's being pulled into alignment though ... is amazing!

Again he did not change all my ligs ... only on the three that were adjusted and put completely around the bracket. That means that four ligs have been on the top for 14 weeks and some on the bottom for 8 weeks. I asked Dr C about this ... as it kinda killed my idea of going with Christmas colours on the bottom ... and he said the focus is on straighten some teeth at this time, and therefore not all need the force of new ligs. Ok ... I accept that ... but what about changing colours ... I didn't go there ... only thought it!

Dr C told me how fantastic he thought the purple ligs looked with the ceramic brackets and that he'd told another adult patient about them and she's trying them out on her lower ceramics! Cool!

He did a bit more checking and said my oral hygiene was excellent ... whew ... how much had I longed to hear that! I was thrilled! Then he must have noticed something and changed another lig ... and guess what ... it's a different shade of purple ... darker I think ... and I like it! It's on the lower left second premolar ... so a long way back ... not sure if I can catch it with my digital ... but will try!

Next adjustment in 3 1/2 weeks ... hopefully I'll get all new ligs at that one and can do the Christmas thing on the bottom then!

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Birthday Present to Me!

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Not that I need an excuse ... but I got my purple foils redone ... so nice and bright again!

Week 12 - 26 October 2005!

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Left Right
Right ... 6 weeks ago in September ... Change finally eveident!
Front at the beginning on 3 August 2005!

Tuesday, 18 October 2005

Everything's going sweet and then ...

Getting ready to go out last night and *bAnG* ... felt like someone had hit the right side of my mouth! Checked in a mirror and the lower right first premolar (biscuspid) isn't happy with the world! It's aching and when I touched the bracket, it was now able to move up and down ... oh dear ... what joy!

Had a good night out ... we beat the Aussie's in rugby league ... so would have taken more than toothache to dull that glory!

Back home ... time to do the 'pre bed routine' and boy it didn't want to be brushed or flossed ... but I held my beath and told it to behave! I noticed that the bracket on that tooth is higher than the teeth on either side and the archwire goes up slightly into that tooth ... so maybe it's being pulled back into my gum ... I have no idea ... but I'm looking forward to finding out!

Sunday ... it's still quite tender ... but only if I touch it ... which I'm trying not to do! Funny how I want to keep checking if it's still hurting ... well maybe not funny ... maybe down right strange and annoying!

Can't help but wonder what's going on in there! It's been nearly five weeks since the lowers were put on ... and now that tooth decides it's time to move! Do they like have a meeting and who ever's in charge say ... 'ok, you've done nothing much in the past four weeks ... time to move ... NOW!' ... I have no idea ... but that's what it feels like.

Hopefully when I take the next photo there'll be plenty of movement obvious, as this has to be happening for reason!

PS Still love my purple ligs!

Wednesday, 28 September 2005

8 Weeks In ...

My mouth is feeling much better than it was when the lowers were put on two weeks ago. Still have a 'full' feeling, but I've managed to bend both the lower wires that were just poking out and into my cheek, back towards my teeth ... and it was instant relief!

Here's a picture of my mouth at eight weeks. I can see a difference in where my teeth come together. Almost appears like the gap (upper right) has gotten bigger ... but hopefully that's just an illusion. But things have happened as my bite is very different to what it was just two weeks ago!

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Still love those purple ligs!

Wednesday, 14 September 2005

Day 1 - 6 week Comparison

Thought I'd do this for interest. I can barely see any difference, but I can feel it when I bite my teeth together as they come together in a totally different way ... and that's been changing regularly since I got braces! Also there's a major difference when flossing between my two middle upper teeth ... the floss used to get caught and it was quite difficult to floss in there, now it's reasonably easy to do!

Day One
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Six Weeks
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Week 6 - Adjustment 1!

Had my first adjustment today, six weeks after getting upper braces ... and I'd thought it would be uneventful, but that wasn't to be the case.

First Dr C asked me to open, bite, open, bite, open, bite etc. He wasn't happy about where my teeth where coming together and then surprised me by telling me he'd be putting the bottom brackets on ... so much for another two months of uppers only ... oh well I guess it means everything is a bit closer to finishing once it's all started ...

That took about 20 minutes and was almost as straight forward as the uppers except for one bracket coming off several times. Then he asked his assistant for clear and silver ligs ... ummmmm ... decided it was time to butt in and said I wanted purple!

Dr C said his adults don't usually go for colours ... well guess what ... this one is going to give them a try. He changed the top five ligs that are on my ceramics but didn't do the others ... which surprised me. Then he put the bottom ligs on and couldn't get one to engage, so said he'd leave that till November and see if any space had been created by then, or else he'd have to help create some! Cool ... here's hoping space will have been created!

The lowers are a little achy ... 10 hours later ... but I'm hoping it will pass quickly and I'll cope with them like I did the uppers.

Here's some pics ... I love the purple ligs!

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Left Right

Friday, 9 September 2005

Moving House

I've been unable to get connected due to us having bought a house and then getting organised to move, cleaning etc ... what a nightmare. It was a quick reminder of why we usually move countries or interstate when we move, so that someone else does all the packing and also we've always been fortunate enough to get someone else to pay for the job.

Finally we're in our house, but still experiencing problems with the internet connection. Think I spent around four hours yesterday talking to someone either at our internet provider or telephone faults ... what a waste of time. Now I"m waiting for some new 'filters' to see if they'll fix the problem ... sure hope they do!

Anyway ... here's a couple of pics of our new place ...

The front
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The back
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Monday, 8 August 2005

Think I've discovered the most annoying thing about braces ...

I know it's only been five days, but I reckon I've made a discovery!

The most annoying thing about braces is ... you can't take the damn things off ... not even for just a minute or two, or an hour or two, or a day or two, or a week or two ... umm maybe that's also why they work ... coz you can't!

After five days I've come to the realisation that if I want a break from them ... well tough luck ... for the next couple of years it's not going to happen ... and that's really scary! I mean all I want to do is to brush my teeth and of course the braces ... but separately ... it would make life so much easier not to mention quicker!

Imagine how good it would be to be able to remove them to eat ... wow ... no problems with more food in your 'grill' than in your stomach. You'd be able to eat green things without the fear that you might open your mouth in front of some unsuspecting person and ruin their meal!

Imagine when the inside of your cheek or lip has a crater craved in it coz of some pokey bracket, hook or wire. You'd just take them out and give your mouth a rest and when it's all better ... in they'd go again! How difficult can that be ... ?

It sounds easy to me ... but then I know there has to be a reason why you can't do this ... and I'm guessing that there's people out there who can't be trusted to put them back in ... and so they've ruined it for the rest of us!

Wednesday, 3 August 2005

First Day with Braces - 3 August 2005

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Right - gap from impacted canine

Some Before Pictures

Before braces ...

The front

The left

The right ... show gap due to impacted canine

I live to tell the tale ...

9:15 am ... had 10 x-rays taken.

10:15 am ... Orthodontist Appointment.

Firstly I had to read about how to look after braces ... not to eat sweet, sticky or hard food ... well that rules out my usual diet ... bugger ... although melted chocolate might be ok if I preach 'the chocolate is made from a bean ... therefore it must be a veggie ...' stuff!

Dr C then discussed my treatment plan and after looking over the x-rays (official report yet to be received) he decided to put only the top brackets on, as he believes the top will need a lot more work. Lowers to go on in November following meeting with oral surgeon.

The putting on of the brackets was no major event ... was all over quite quickly and I never tasted anything or felt anything. Ok ... that damn 'blow fish' mouth piece isn't the best, but apart from that everything went well.

Dr C then removed the revolting 'blow fish' thing ... and yes my upper inside lip was a bit concerned about what it was touching. A little bit of a rebellion as it tried to work out where to go etc. My tongue also did some exploring ... feel sharp, but small ... hope that last bit is right!

Dr C then inserted a wire ... and put ligatures on ... ok ... I know something has happened in my mouth ... things feel different now ... immediate pressure ... interesting.

Dr C then talks to me a bit and says goodbye and sends me to another room for a lecture on oral hygiene and things like that. I also get a 'party bag' ... although I wasn't too thrilled with what was in it ... fluoride mouth rinse, toothbrush, wax and superfloss ... oh well ... guess I didn't win the million bucks!

Next to reception to make an appointment. Return in September for an adjustment ... 6 weeks away I think. Then in November have an appointment with the oral surgeon and one with Dr Con for the lower brackets.

After parting with the cheque to cover the deposit for my treatment ... I'm outta there ... and I've still not seen what's in my mouth. So remembering there's a toilet on the first floor I head for that. All right ... so no-one said it would make me look any better ... oh dear ... not sure what I was expecting ... but am a bit concerned that the ligatures are the clear ones ... damn ... I'm a tea and red wine drinker ... and my favourite meal is real Indian curry ... damn ... Dr C must have forgotten that when we talked at my appointment seven plus weeks back!

I'll have to survive ... wonder if there's a way to get the ligatures to turn a colour that I like ... just a thought, coz I really am against yellow and shades there of. Now if I could get purple or a shade in that family ... well ... blueberries... but it's winter here so doubt there'd be any ... but will think about that one for a while.

New Timeline

Thursday, 28 July 2005

Pocket another $155 depleted!

Good appointment ... well that's if you can have a good dental appointment. Best of all it was painless ... incredible, coz those needles usually hurt unbelievably, but Dr Clegg put something that looked a horrible brown colour, on my skin first ... and I never felt a thing.

Really strange though ... I was at the hair dresser getting purple streaks ... and realised my upper left lip was still numb ... five hours later! Incredible! But the best news is ... finally, when I could feel everything again, there was absolutely no pain whatsoever ... totally amazing!

Also I must put in a plug for composite fillings ... apart from looking better due to them being tooth coloured, they require less drilling of your tooth, and you can chew on it straight away ... great stuff!

Wednesday, 27 July 2005

Tooth under Attack

Hit the panic button!

Geepers there I was enjoying chewing a toffee and chocolate lolly ... I'm such a chocolate addict that I just can't help myself. Anyway think I had three or more in a row. As I said ... I LOVE chocolate!

Next thing my mouth is in a panic ... the tongue has found the back of something that feels foreign and worse still I can't work out what it is.

To the bathroom fast ... to find ... half a cuspid is no longer where it should have been ... and I didn't even notice anything hard in that last lolly. Damn ... panic ... ortho in seven days ... feel and looks like half a cuspid is missing ... man I didn't need this to happen!

Ring the dentist ... who by the way had said his goodbyes a few weeks back and said see ya in 12 months ... famous last words ah! The receptionist says no appointments until a fortnight. So I explain I've gotta go to the ortho next Wednesday ... and she says there's a good chance they can squeeze me in tomorrow! Oh boy is I pleased about that ... strange really, coz don't remember ever being pleased about going to the dentist before ... but just know I need to get this fixed! I can't not make my ortho appointment ... have done that before, and suspect that's why things are where they're at today! I gotta be brave!

Wednesday, 29 June 2005

Hygienist Appointment

Well I'm ticking off my appointments prior to B Day. Still have to get another filling replaced (next week) and more x-rays from an Oral and Maxillofacial Imaging Centre before B Day ... but things are falling into place ... although it does seem a bit slow at the moment ... doubt I'll feel that when August arrives!

Geepers just had a RUSH of anxiety and self consiousness ... phew ... not so cool!

I've not been to a hygienist before, but it was straight forward and the best news, she was very complimentary of my gums and teeth. I had one small amount of ... calculus ... not sure if that's the correct spelling ... but it's something white looking behind a lower tooth ... is in a frustrating place ... where another tooth is angled etc, but she was very happy with my cleaning process and told me to continue just as I am ... Oh how warm and fuzzy did that make me feel!

Wednesday, 22 June 2005

Why does it cost so much to go to the Dentist?

Have just returned from a visit to a local dentist ... my first one here in South Australia, so had to have a full check and x-rays.

I lost a large filling out of a back molar a couple of weeks back, so knew that had to be replaced, and it all went well ... no pain and I was out of the chair in less than 20 minutes.

Then to reception to make an appointment for another filling (another replacement ... although much smaller than the one just done) and to see the hygienist for a clean before B Day.

Then she told me the cost for today $165.00 ... oh dear ... that was a shock! And guess who doesn't have medical insurance ... so my bank account is looking a bit sadder after that event.

The good news is that there were no other probs with my teeth and Dr Clegg congratulated me on my oral hygiene. He noted I had some bone loss but said I'd obviously got 'stuck in to sort it all out'. I came clean and told him I'd had a big scare after returning from Fiji and was told by a dentist I had periodontal disease and needed a full scale and other stuff ... where they clean up under the gums of all teeth. But since then I've been following a schedule every night of flossing and brushing a lot more carefully and longer ... and it must have paid off coz he said my gums looked great! Oh boy ... that made me feel all warm and fuzzy!

Tuesday, 21 June 2005

Rain ...

When we moved to South Australia in September last year (2004), we were amazed at how green it was, in fact it reminded us of home ... lower south island of New Zealand. We'd lived the previous 18 months in Queensland and I'd been working in the Outback with the Youth Justice service, and was used to driving for hours in red sandy soil with little or no green anywhere.

By Christmas time the green had vanished from this area as well and our grass was a funny brown colour and mainly made up of weeds. Also we were having problems keeping water up to the vege patch we'd planted due to watering restrictions.

We were told to expect rain in autumn ... but March arrived and it didn't come. Then we were told that this season was very unusual as we were still having temperatures in the high 20's and low 30's ... just the kind of weather we love.

But ... oh dear ... how quickly things change! I feel almost guilty for saying (writing) it ... but it's been raining for over a week and I'm sick of it. I've got washing hanging everywhere ... hubby and I need a new wardrobe ... heating is costing us a fortune (and I loathe to think what burning oil must be doing for the environment), and our beautiful little dog is cold.

I guess our biggest problem is that we've been living in the tropics for a while now, and even when it did rain it was still hot, so we've not got suitable clothing for this weather ... and we don't like this weather.

For the farmers ... I'd love it to rain every night for you, and for every day to be sunny and warm!

Friday, 17 June 2005



Today I woke up with a thousand questions buzzing round inside my head ... well maybe not a thousand ... but definitely a lot.

Have decided to write them down, and if they really bother me, I'll phone Dr Con and ask for clarification before 3 August ... which I think is still about 48 sleeps away.

I've also realised I'm worried about how I'm going to feel at my age with braces ... it's not something I ever expected to happen ... all of a sudden I feel way to old for this type of treatment and I have this dreadful feeling concerning how I'm going to cope with feeling so self consious ...

I know I'll cope ... but my stomach is doing sommersaults all the same ... and I'm so nervous!

Thursday, 16 June 2005

First Orthodontist Appointment

Found Dr C's practice in Adelaide ... relief, coz I sure was nervous.

Dr C is lovely, but everything was going a bit too quickly as he explained I needed to have braces and I have a 'double bite', crowding, gaps, impacted right upper canine ... and I'm not sure what else.

Next he had me standing by the wall and took photos. How does one smile ... I really don't think I've mastered that ... I'm 47 ... a bit of a worry! Then it was moulds ... then I started to shake. He asked if I was ok, and I had to admit this was all going a bit fast and I was feeling rather anxious.

Dr C slowed down and explained things to me again ... and I felt a lot better. He sent me off to get x-rays at a place across road.

About 90 minutes later I returned with them. He scanned them, and noted my canine is lying horizontally ... same as his sisters did ... and not in such a great position.

We discussed types of braces and he suggested ceramic for the top and traditional metal for the bottom. Also discovered we both have the same favourite colour ... Purple ... that made me like Dr C even more. I discussed my concerns about staining, as I'm a 'real' curry addict after living in Fiji ... love red wine ... love tea ... and don't have plans to change those passions. He was cool about all that and said they have teflon wires, and that I could wear colour ligatures and then if I have a special occasion where I want the top braces to be less noticeable, I could get them changed to teflon wires or clear ligs ... well it all sounded ok to me ... I think ...

So I left with some reading material and two appointments for 3 August. First appointment at a different x-ray place where I have more indept x-rays of the canine to find out if it's in a position to be brought down, and also to check if it's damaged the teeth on either side. When that appointment is over I'm to return to Dr C to get my braces on ... wow ... it's happening so fast!

Wednesday, 15 June 2005

Tooth Ache - Tuesday 14 July 2005

Have had a terrible ache in bottom left molar ... most of the filling has fallen out. Finally phoned a dentist ... but couldn't get an appointment till 22 June. Suggested I come down for a quick check at lunch time today, to make sure there's no infection.

The check started ok, then the dentist said he wasn't happy with my bite, my this and my that and recommended an immediate visit to an orthodontist. He phoned an orthodontist in Adelaide and I got an appointment for the following day. All a bit scary.

He then said I didn't have an infection and to return on 22 June ... but to make sure I kept the appointment in Adelaide tomorrow.


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