Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!

As time goes by these braces are getting easier, but I won't lie! Things were pretty rough (no pun intended) on the tongue side of things, for about 10 days. What I have to say here will help any patient of any age, with braces (tongue side or cheek side), or any orthodontic appliance in the roof of the mouth. This could be a longer read, so get your snack.

The Good

Still smiling after 3 days (middle, purple with hood on) Align Team Diabetes Walk

Food Consumption...

Eating has been fairly simple. Keeping bites small and chewing slow will open up the food eating possibilities, but to start I stocked up on some essentials prior to my big braces placement day. Soups, yogurt and apple sauce!
Snacks are yogurt with small cut up pieces of fruit; strawberries, bananas or other fruit bits. Since I miss my fresh veggies, as my teeth are sort of achy, I have par steamed carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. I have then stuck them in a baggie in the fridge for some softer, sort of "fresh veggies" with hummus or dip. Lunch with crackers/bread and soup is the norm. Supper is easy with pasta, rice or potatoes, cooked veggies and smaller bits of chicken, fish or ground meat with sauces. The problem??? All food (breads are the worst) get stuck in my braces, which causes my tongue to go digging for leftovers. This causes my tongue to develop mini canker sores. I wish my tongue wouldn't have a mind of it's own and just leave the food alone! The trick...Brush and remove food debris quickly,small bites and chewing slow. Eating this way has certainly helped the way my clothes fit : )


Placing some silicone wax
Wax is my friend! Wax pack in my pocket, purse, wallet, cell phone case, car glove box... Lips, cheeks and tongue have all taken a pinch with the new metal. Rolling up ropes of wax and pushing them into the brackets, catching my tongue are a relief. Mouth full, but relief. 
I've been training new employees at Align Orthodontics over the last month, so lots of talking. This has helped to build up the tissue on my tongue. This also means lots of wax!

Cool Oral Hygiene tools

Water Blaster...

There are a few products on the market that help with keeping the tin grin shiny and the gums healthy! I love my water blaster! I blast out all the food and give a thorough brushing with my electric tooth brush and my air floss. I also carry a proxa brush and soft-picks that Dr. Duncan gave me. I keep this in my pocket for a quick food remover between the brackets when on the go. Tools are important, so make sure that you plan to pick some up. Be sure to speak with your orthodontist first about their recommended Oral Hygiene products to suit your needs.

The Bad

The Rainbow Speech...

Silicon Wax Pack...Take them everywhere!
As I said in a previous post, "tripping over my tongue" is no fun and now I have a slur. As you read this, imagine stumbling over your D's, S's and Th sounds and n's putting the squeeze on your tongue. To help with this, we have a pamphlet with the Rainbow Speech in it. This is to help you practice speaking with the new appliances in your mouth. Sometimes it's just as easy to watch TV with the subtitle or closed captioned feature turned on and read along out loud. As weird as it sounds, trust me, it's better to practice and spit all over your knees than on someone else while your getting used to your tongue tripping all over. This fixes with time as your tongue gets used to it's crammed living space. This would be the same for any person with an appliance in the roof of the mouth as well.

Did I mention Food...

Getting food stuck in your braces is a big nuisance! In The Good, I mention about smaller food pieces and all the cool tools for caring for braces, but that aside, food stuck is yuk and hurts the tongue!

Bite Pads...

Did I tell you that I have blocks of metal glued to the chewing surface of my molars? That means that my front teeth don't touch because these bite pads hold my bite open. This is so that when I chew or close my mouth, my bottom teeth don't knock the brackets off my top teeth. Only the 2 metal pads in the back of my mouth touch to chew and grind food on. So, no sandwiches for me...I'd leave my salami in the sandwich and just bite thru the bread. Eating Pizza, I can't bite thru the crust! Mostly I either cut up or tear food with my hands and tuck to the back of my mouth. This has made it a slow eating process for me while my tongue pushes and moves my food to these two dime sized areas to chew all my food on. Remember I picked up soup, yogurt and apple sauce? Now you know why.

The Ugly

Tongue Chasing...

Between trying to pronounce my words in a new way, pushing and chasing food around in my mouth and my tongue having a mind of its own...determined to remove the food stuck in my braces, MY TONGUE HAS TAKEN A BEATING! Wax was a permanent fixture in and around every bracket for 10 days. I can spell R-E-L-I-E-F! . Not sure about the nutrition value, but yes I did swallow some unintentionally without an issue for my digestive system. The second best thing...Baby teething numbing gel. Pick some up! Whether for cheeks, lips or tongues, it provides instant relief. To help the overall healing process, good ol' fashioned salt water: 1 tbsp salt to 1 cup warm tap water. Stir to dissolve, sip, swish, spit, repeat! Worked for me!

Need Some Pain Control...

I did take some over the counter anti inflammatory pain medication, suggested by Dr. Duncan. This helped with my aching teeth from the pressure and movement of the braces. I would lay awake in bed and feel the throbbing at the end of the day. This did not stop me from my regular activities. It just reminded me that my teeth are still there! However, by staying on top of the pain (taking some pain control for the first 48 hours every 8 to 10 hours) really helped. Since that first 48 hours I have been sore, but no further need for pain control.  Again, another reason for chewing small bites and slow.

Food Consumption...

One more thing! No popcorn at the movies (boo hoo) It's just not worth the clean up!


  1. Love your cute article! What a clever way to present things on edmonton orthodontists! Thanks for the post!

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  3. I haven't seen a bad orthodontist in Edmonton. They have all been great.

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