Thursday, October 30, 2008

Invisalign: Tray 3

Does it hurt? Not much. Every two weeks I change the trays, and the new, tighter, trays are uncomfortable. My teeth are noticeably sore for two or three days, but only uncomfortably so for the first day. Sometimes I take a painkiller before bed on the day I’ve changed trays so that I don’t lie in bed fretting about the ache. I didn’t take an analgesic with tray three and had no trouble going to sleep. I’ve never had conventional braces, but I imagine that they are much more painful than the Invisalign trays.

The most physically annoying part of Invisalign is just having something in my mouth. The new tray causes me to lisp for a day or two, until my tongue adjusts to the new conformations of my teeth. I’ve always been a slobberer (one dentist said I had a “juicy mouth”) and the trays make it worse. Like the pain and the lisping, though, it tends to subsides within a couple of days of beginning each tray.

While the thought of these side effects for TWO WHOLE YEARS bothered me in the beginning, I hardly notice them anymore. Any discomfort is totally worth it!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Invisalign: Tray 2

When I snapped in tray two this morning, I realized how comfortable tray one had become in comparison. I'd like to say it's because my teeth have moved, but I also wonder if some of it is due to the tray conforming to my mouth. Tray one certainly looks beat up after two weeks of being snapped off and on of my teeth.

If my teeth aren't getting straighter, my waistline is definitely getting smaller. I can't eat or drink anything but water with the trays in. For best results, the trays need to be in for 22 hours a day, leaving me a mere 2 hours for eating. On top of those restrictions, I must brush and floss after each meal/snack, before putting the trays back in. My grazing days are over. I plan to eat 5 - 6 times a day (3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks), instead of my old, constant munching. That also means I brush 5 - 6 times a day. I spend a lot of time with my toothbrush.

The beverage restrictions are difficult too. I've given up on soda. I simply can't drink it quickly enough. (I used to take up to three hours to drink a 20-oz Diet Coke.) I get one caffeine fix a day: hot tea while I eat my breakfast. Occasionally, I'll add another cup of tea with my three o'clock snack. There are no more evenings sipping wine or downing cold beers. If I have an alcoholic beverage, it is with a meal.

Finally, I've put together a kit to carry in my purse on the weekends or evenings. If I dine out, I've got everything I need to store the trays while I eat and then clean up afterwards. The purple case (from Sephora) is so pretty that I can't wait to pull it out and brush my teeth for the sixth time that day.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Need a Union

These working conditions are terrible. How am I supposed to pin a straight hem with a cat lying on my project? I tried gently removing him to the floor, but he just hopped right back to his spot, snuggled down, and proceeded to suck his thumb. Yup, he's suckling his carpal pad while he kneads his forehead. How could I disturb that?

(Actually, he's sucking on the anatomical equivilant of his heel, but it seems to serve the same purpose as a human baby sucking its thumb.)

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

My Cats Bring Me Snacks

Wow, am I lucky. On Friday, I came home to a chipmunk in the house. On Saturday, Bear brought me this snake and Sammy brought a cicada.

Bear makes the most horrible yowling sound when he is carrying prey in his mouth. I could hear him from outside and thought, at first, that he was hurt. The yowls grew louder as he approached the door and pushed through the cat flap. He then deposited the snake at my feet and promptly ignored it. I tried to get the cats interested in it for a few more pictures, but, even though the snake was still quite alive, it wouldn’t move. Smart snake.

I released it back into the “wild.” It appeared undamaged except for a single wound. I think it will recover.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Invisalign: Tray 1

After five years of wincing at my smile, I started orthodontic treatment today. The worst part was when the orthodontist slenderized some of my upper teeth. I noticed how he preferred the term "slenderize" to "interstitial filing." His assistant glued small, tooth-colored nubs on a few of my teeth and I snapped on my first invisalign tray. Only 104 more weeks to go!