Monday, 28 January 2013

Back to normalcy. Almost.

I'm glad to say that I made it to yoga yesterday after three weeks. I miss the hot room, and I know the longer I am away from it, the worse my first class back will be. And I was right. I went to sleep with a pounding migraine, which did not go away after popping two Panadols. And I woke up the next morning with the migraine still pounding away. So I spent the morning lolling around.

Finally got up to get a mug of water, and considered another round of Panadols, but then I stopped myself. Decided to take a packet of Emergen-C and, hey, I could feel it literally going away, as if someone turned down the knob slowly to reduce the intensity. Then I had coffee and it finally stopped.

I kept forgetting how caffeine alleviates migraine.'s good to be back on the mat. After the class yesterday night, I could have slept at 9pm if I'd wanted to, but instead I spent a few hours reading.

Water-Jet Floss: Handy little thing

As for the braces, I still can't bite with my front teeth, but nevertheless, it's great to eat normal people food again. 

I've also been on the hunt for a Water Pik for the past two months. A Water Pik is a water flosser, and it's supposedly gentler on the gums and great for cleaning orthodontic brackets. I've been reading about it a lot online, so I thought I'd give it a try. 

First I looked at Amazon and the main Water Pik site, and discovered that the prices of the products here are two to three times those in the US. And then, I kept coming across how the Water Pik breaks down just after a few months after use. And that the older models last really long (I actually saw someone comment on Amazon that his lasted 20 years. How about that?). So I considered buying one here in Singapore, just for the warranty. 

Well, in hindsight, I know now why I kept postponing buying any. During one night of endless googling again two weeks ago, I came across this one. It was $42ish, and it's delivered by mail. No electricity or battery needed, just plug it into the tap. 

Note that it takes a while to get the hang of it. Expect water to spray everywhere the first few times you use it. But after that, it's pretty nifty. Flossing around the molar bands is impossible for me, and this helps until my next appointment when I can ask my ortho about it. So yay. 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Hello, soft foods

Contents of the kit from the clinic when I got the braces on

Hello, hello. Today's my third day in braces. On Monday (today's Wednesday), I went in for the braces and got the upper arch on first, and was told that the bottom arch will go on during the next appointment. I think I love my ortho for staggering it out, because so far it's been manageable.

I felt quite a bit of discomfort yesterday, starting from the first day, mainly on one of my two front teeth. Whenever it makes contact with the bottom tooth, it will trigger a shooting pain. Feels like a nerve thing, so talking was a little difficult because it will accidentally touch, and no way Jose on chewing. So yes, it's been soups and ice cream for the past few days. 

I've been taking paracetamol, so whenever that hit happens, the pain is still there, but it's duller. Other than that, I don't really feel much from braces. Just a little bit of tightness. Wait, okay, save for one of the brackets making a deep impression on the inside of my mouth. Woke up feeling a little swollen there. Dental wax helps to relieve it. But, given that there's noooo ulcers yet, I'm super grateful.

Pain: 8 because of that sensitive tooth (without Panadol), 6 (with Panadol)
Discomfort and hassle: 4 (still getting used to brushing 4 to 5 times a day)

Hope this is as much pain and discomfort as it goes throughout the experience with Damon Clear. I actually find the separators and molar bands were worse so far. Will have to see how it goes with the rubber bands and powerchains later on during the stage. Keeping fingers crossed.

This picture above, by the way, is the contents of the kit I got from the clinic when I got the braces. The usual suspects (clockwise from top left) of floss, mouthwash, toothpaste, Interspace brush, toothbrush, dental mirror and a box of dental wax. 

Diet wise, the thing about eating soups and ice cream is that I get hungry real fast, and I find myself wanting to eat ALL THE TIME. But the thought of brushing again and again was a hassle. So that I think is why people shed the weight when on braces. I've found a way to feel full longer: mash a whole piece of silken tofu in Campbell's soups. The best soups for this so far are tomato soup and cream of chicken. They look like vomit or baby food, but they work. Pieces of mushroom are a pain to chew, so I'm just staying away from mushroom soups for now. And as for fruits and vegetables, which I miss terribly, I've been eating mashed bananas, as well as homemade applesauce (with very, very little sugar). Tastes really refreshing after being cooled in the fridge overnight! 

On another note, I cannot wait to get back to yoga. Miss the hot room. 

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

No love for the molar bands right now


Three days ago, I had two more extractions and bands on my lower molars. My wounds are healing okay. I had thought that I would have been able to eat normally after the bothersome separators are gone and my molar bands are in. I was hoping to have a last hurrah before the brackets and arch wire come on, but I don't see it any time yet. Right now, it's been hard to eat, even eating mashed avocados, as I would unintentionally bite my inner cheeks. They make my jaw ache a little too. While the ortho was putting them on, it was more painful on one side.
But, still, I'm grateful because the molar bands are not really hurting my tongue. I've read enough on the Internet on other's people's experience with the tongue being cut and bleeding and all because of the molar bands. So I'm okay.

I've always wondered what people meant when they said about the pain issues due to braces. So I thought I'd rate it on a scale from 1 to 10:

Pain: 3 out of 10
Discomfort and hassle: 7 out of 10

I'm rating 3 for pain, because pain only occurs when I accidentally bite on my inner cheeks. Hence, the discomfort and hassle level is much higher because I'm eating super slowly to prevent any bites. It's been soups so far. Even mashed potatoes and avocados are a bit of hassle to eat because I tend to bite on the cheeks accidentally more often. I do hope that the molar bands scratching on my inner cheeks would help to toughen them up a little bit in preparation for the brackets next week.

And here's hoping that everything heals nicely by Friday so I could have a nice proper meal before another week of liquids again.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Feeling like a Halloween pumpkin

Okay, so I've disappeared off the face of the Earth for a while. It's so hard getting back to documenting life's happenings.

But here's the fast-forwarded story Click-style (you know, the Adam Sandler flick) from where I left off.

Deadlines Went a family trip to Guangzhou, Macau and Hong Kong. Shopping is really cheap in Guangzhou, but images of sweatshops came to my mind. Macau is so quaint. Well, whichever parts of the city that they bothered to preserve are pretty to look at. The rest of the city is so run down that, from the bird's eye view, it felt like I was looking down on slums. Had fantastic steak in Hong Kong. Didn't do much shopping on this trip, but would love to go back to Guangzhou and Hong Kong armed with a greater willingness to spend and bigger luggage. But again, images of sweatshops appear in my mind. Deadlines. Deadlines. Did loads of yoga. First Bikram double. Elated. Great way to end the year. New Year's Eve. Watched fireworks from the kitchen window. New Year's Eve tradition of thinking and talking about project to take on next year and things to take on to the next level. Jersey Boys. Love the music. A bit disappointed by the stage set. But of course, nothing beats The Lion King and The Wiz. Family dinner. Work. Husband went to his first Bikram class. Extraction of two teeth on the left. Separators between my lower molars. Can't eat. Liquids and soft foods. Such a hassle! Finally got to feeling almost normal. And today, second round of extractions of two teeth on my right side. Molar bands on. Achy teeth on the left side. Now with bloody gauze in my mouth. Anaesthesia wearing off. Waiting for Panadol to kick in. Achy. Praying hard there won't be any ulcers!!!!!! Missing yoga.

Yup, that's about right. Braces for me. At the age of 32 going on 33. No, wait, 33 going on 13. :)

I figured I'd offload any thoughts and observations here to spare the husband my blow-by-blow observations. I used to wonder why people set up blogs just to document their braces experience. But now I know why. To spare the closest one to you from figuratively having the braces on too. Oh, right, that's not why you blog about it. Okay.

Anyway, wish me luck. And feel free to share your experiences or advice. I like to be over-prepared and I'm looking for people to commiserate with.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Busy bee

I have been so swamped lately that it's not funny. At all.

But I'll be back. Real soon. I hope!