Wednesday, February 27, 2008

pity-poo-party (beware)

Read the title. I warned you.

Okay, for the first time in braces history (the whole five weeks), I'm mad at my braces. I want to take them off now. They're done. I'm done.

I play the clarinet. I love the clarinet. It is an extension of myself, and I play well. The first time I played with braces, it was mildly annoying, but I was encouraged - my tone didn't sound too bad, it wasn't very painful, and I knew it would improve in time.

That's where I was wrong! It hasn't improved! In fact, if anything, it gets worse and worse every time I play. On Monday night, I only played at half of my rehearsal and I barely made it through THAT - no matter how much wax I put on, the one painful bracket poked through. Tuesday night, I was supposed to have an hour and a half of another rehearsal for a musical I've been hired to play in. The rehearsal went almost three hours - I wanted to stop because I felt like my lip was hamburger and I was bleeding, but I was sight reading, I'm getting paid quite a bit, and we only have two rehearsals total before we perform.

Today, I've been slathering on chapstick and I've got so much wax in my lip it looks like I'm using chewing tobacco, but it's still managing to be painful. My own fault, I know.

I just keep thinking back to when I could play for six hours at a time without being too sore. I hate that I sound bad, and it's not my fault. I hate that I have no stamina. I hate that it just doesn't feel right - my clarinet doesn't fit me anymore. I feel like it's a prosthetic limb or something (not to compare my clarinet playing to an amputee victim, but you get the drift).

And while I'm complaining about braces, I am SO TIRED of not being able to enunciate things correctly. My 7th and 8th grade choirs are singing a song with a really fast tongue twister in it, and I'm telling them to speak clearer, think about diction, but I can't do it myself. Or, if I do, I'm spraying my front row of altos with spit.

And I miss almonds. Okay, pity-poo-party over.

Friday, February 22, 2008

oh my GOSH

I have the most random story to tell. Hang on to your braces, gals.

So.... yesterday at school, I noticed my back tooth (well, the last tooth hooked into my archwire) was a bit tender. I thought this was odd, as my orthodontist told me that the other teeth were going to move back, instead of the back teeth moving forward. Okay, not such a big deal.

Right after school got out, I had to run to a teacher meeting. I noticed my tooth really starting to throb, worse pain than I've had with braces thus far. The meeting lasted two hours. By the end of the meeting, the tooth pain was starting to sear into my inner ear on that side, and tweak out my jaw. I'm thinking... "damn! this tooth is on a mission!" but didn't really worry about it.

Then, I get home, and my husband takes me out to dinner for my birthday (yes, it was my birthday yesterday)... by the time we were seated at the table, every time my tounge or cheek hit the tooth, I jumped up and yelped in pain, and the pain was shooting up into my skull and down into my neck. Now, I'm getting a little worried, because right before I left I downed a full dose of tylenol AND ibuprofin (and except for the first two days in braces, I haven't taken a single pill for any braces-related pain). I finish my dinner (ish, meaning I eat the mashed potatoes, try to gum some asparagus on my non-dominant side and eat cheesecake), and go home, on a mission to find out what in the heck is going on in my mouth.

All it was? The back of my archwire, which is slowly poking out more and more (as damon braces do), had caught itself on the INSIDE of the very back tooth, even though it usually sits on the OUTSIDE of the very back tooth.

I flicked it with my nail, and all shooting-type mind-numbing spot-seeing pain was over with. By this morning, my tooth has forgotten everything (though, I keep flinching every time I chew food on that side, just from 7 hours of pain).

Weird. Hey, now I know.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I can floss!

Now, I know that all of my orthodontic-type-fellow-bloggers are scoffing inside and saying to themselves "Stephanie doesn't floss? Gasp!". Hold your horses. Stephanie DOES floss, but between two teeth I have been unable to floss due to the bracket position and how far one of the teeth were set back. Every single night since I've gotten the braces, I've tried to floss between those teeth to no avail until two nights ago... when, suddenly, the floss slid through! (Angels sang, ballerinas danced, my friends I was sharing a hotel room with laughed at my excitement, I called my husband in the middle of the night).

The braces made their debut at my annual music education conference. I had tons of questions about them, and more disbelief that a clarinet player would WILLINGLY add a half inch of pokey metal to her teeth.

Also, I found it's really difficult to not eat on my normal schedule. Right now, I wake up, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, eat a snack if necessary during my planning period at school, brush my teeth, eat lunch, brush my teeth, eat dinner, brush my teeth. You get the drill.

But at conference, life tends to revolve around the sessions rather than meals, so everything is eaten on the go - I felt really OCD running into the restrooms four or five or six (or seven :-#) times a day with my travel toothbrush. My friends found it hilarious, at least.

Finally, the updated pictures - exactly a month since I've gotten the braces on.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I never thought I'd be so glad to have sore, touchy, sensitive teeth.
But pain = movement = progress!
Bring it on!

Friday, February 1, 2008

dancing braces

I took the braces dancing last weekend in Salt Lake City. I learned a few things, really quickly.
  1. Sprouts are a terrible thing. Terrible.
  2. No matter how much I love fishy crackers, I shouldn't eat them because they form a thick, gooey paste that is impossible to brush off.
  3. Watch out for tall leads while blues dancing. Minor trama to cheek that would have been ignored pre-braces suddenly becomes painful semi-large-feeling trauma with braces.
  4. People look at you funny when you play with a loose bracket while dancing with them.
  5. A tired, spaced out stare looks ten million times more stupid with braces.
  6. Sushi is difficult. Not impossible, but difficult. And embarassing to eat in large groups of people.
  7. Brushing your teeth in crowded bathrooms, especially in airports, brings a lot of attention.
  8. I miss gum. A lot.
  9. Wax is good. And should be brought on all trips.

There were other foods I encountered that were terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad, but they are escaping me now.

The sprouts, though. Ugh.