Second adjustment tomorrow

Just stopping by to let you know I have my second adjustment tomorrow – three months into my lingual braces journey.

Here’s a photo so you can see how things are coming along…

Inside I'm Smiling lingual braces blog{© Inside I’m Smiling}

I’ve taken the photo slightly from the side so you can see that the teeth to the left of the centre are straightening up really nicely. The tooth that protrudes most on the right-hand side has tilted back too and you can see there’s now plenty of space either side for it to move into. By attaching that tooth to my wire at my first adjustment the front tooth next to it was pulled forward slightly too (it was pretty much straight before) so that now needs pulling back a little too.

So, tomorrow I’m hoping that my ortho will attach proper brackets to the final three teeth that haven’t got them yet (one at the top and two at the bottom with currently just have little buttons) so my treatment can really get underway.

My teeth have moved really dramatically during the past three months since I first had my lingual braces fitted and I am already feeling more confident about showing my teeth when I smile, something I tried not to do before.

I’m prepared for another week or so of achy teeth starting tomorrow but overall everything’s going really well!

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What can you eat with lingual braces?

{via Delectable Deliciousness}

When I got my lingual braces fitted, I was told that I had to avoid anything chewy, hard or sticky. So, crunchy pizza crusts and toffees were out… no problem I thought! But the reality of the first week or so with lingual braces is that you’ll really struggle to chew anything at all.

So I thought I’d compile a list of soft foods / meals that I found easy enough to eat during that stomach-rumbling first week. Some are probably obvious, but hopefully there are one or two you might not have thought of and might just save you from soup, soup and more soup!

BREAKFAST IDEAS

Fruit yogurt with oats mixed in

Porridge

Smoothies

Scrambled eggs

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LUNCH / DINNER IDEAS

Homemade soup (add orzo pasta, barley or rice so it’s more substantial)

Fish with mashed potato and creamy sauce

Risotto

Jacket potato with tuna mayonnaise / chilli (leave the skin in the early days)

Pasta (choose small shapes) and smooth sauce

Omelette

Couscous

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SNACKS / DESSERT IDEAS

Rice pudding

Yogurt / custard

Banana (mashed if necessary)

Chocolate mousse

Ice cream / sorbet

Milkshakes / smoothies

Hopefully there are a few ideas here – have you got any hunger-busting suggestions? Leave a comment if you have!

My lower brace goes on: good news and the bad news

I’m afraid the photo’s not brilliant, but here’s my lower lingual brace, which I had fitted 24 hours ago:

lower-lingual-brace-day-1{© Inside I’m Smiling}

Having it put in was pretty much the same process as the top brace and took around 30 minutes. You can see that I have two teeth on the bottom without brackets – they’ll be added later once some space has been made. As I knew what to expect this time I was much less anxious. However, I’ve found the first 24 hours with my lower brace quite hard.

The good news…

Getting my bottom brace has improved my speech problems! I was worried that getting it would take me backwards a few steps as far as my lisp was concerned, but having lingual braces on both sets of teeth has actually made it easier to shape those tricky sounds. I can only guess that it’s because the inside surface of my teeth is now ‘built back’ to the same degree on both the top and bottom and that has something to do with it. During the first evening with my bottom brace (before the pain really set in) my speech was very nearly back to normal, so I’m really hoping that once the pain subsides, I’ll sound like myself again.

The bad news…

I have to tell you, my lower brace feels really, really sore! I felt like I had a pretty easy ride as far as pain was concerned with my upper brace so this has hit me quite hard as I wasn’t as prepared this time. With the top brace the soreness on my tongue was mainly concentrated at the front where it was in contact with the brackets when I spoke. With the lower brace, the pain is all towards the back of my tongue at the sides and is primarily caused by the movement my tongue makes moving over those back brackets when I swallow. And not just food and drink either – you have no idea how many times you swallow during the day just with saliva! Ouch! On top of that, I have also felt a lot more aching in my teeth on the bottom than the top – I had real trouble eating last night and today as it hurts to chew even soft foods and with the swallowing pain as well, even soups and yogurts are a struggle. I know I’ll only feel more despondent if I’m hungry so I’ve been taking ibuprofen to help me push through, which has helped. I’ve avoided wax and Gishy Goo so far but I know I always have that option too if it gets worse.

I’m really hoping that in a day or two the pain will settle down, and when that happens I’m excited to see what my speech is like. I’ll be so delighted if the improvement I experienced initially continues as I was starting to feel a little frustrated. Also, I would say that if you are thinking of getting lingual braces, ask your orthodontist if they will stagger the fitting of your upper and lower brace. My ortho recommends fitting them two weeks apart as he says the experience of having them both put on at once would be too overwhelming and I can certainly imagine that would be the case.

First 48 hours with lingual braces: speech

{via Etsy}

I think for many people, the lisping is the most worrying factor when choosing a lingual brace. You’ve picked an invisible brace because you’d rather people didn’t know you had one, but then when you speak they’ll know something’s up!

I had my brace fitted on a Friday and also took the following Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off work to give myself a clear five days to get used to my brace and practice my speech. Today’s Sunday and I’m still lisping but number of sounds that cause me trouble is gradually reducing.

D, S, T and soft C are the ones you’re going to struggle with most. After 48 hours I’ve mastered all of these sounds in isolation (and when concentrating and not gabbling too fast!) but combinations of these sounds are still difficult, for example:

stick, adjust, cupboards, dice, instead, orthodontist, practice

I’ve found it useful to speak slowly in front of the mirror as it helps to see how your mouth moves as you speak and try to hone the sounds by saying them again and again, and exaggerating them as much as you can.

I also found it useful to put on my favourite songs and sing along… for some reason it’s easier to sing words than speak them in normal conversation so this was good practice and a confidence-booster to begin with. TIP: if you know it, Starman by David Bowie has a lot of complicated ‘s’ sounds to try and get your tongue around!

“some cat was laying down some rock and roll, lotta soul he said” … NIGHTMARE!!!

I’ll do another speech update after 5 days with my lingual brace and hope I’ll have some improvements to report before heading back to the office. However, in my experience the lisping from my brace is no worse than someone who has a mild lisp normally. Kind of a hissing lisp, rather than the kind that sounds like you might get spat on, if you know what I mean!!!

First 48 hours with lingual braces: eating

{via For the Love of Food}

I have to be honest. If you’re getting a lingual brace don’t expect to be eating your favourite foods any time soon!

48 hours in, I am struggling to eat anything that you can’t swallow without any chewing whatsoever. Smoothies, yogurt, rice pudding and soup have been my staples. I’ve also had a go at eating some scrambled eggs and avocado, which were ok but not quite as easy to manage.

As I have stuff on my back teeth to stop them biting together it feels like I have no useful chewing surface at all. Also, I’ve been surprised at just how much you use your tongue when chewing (you think it’s only a job for your teeth!) but I’ve become very aware of how much the tongue is used to move the food to different surfaces in your mouth when you chew. Mainly this feels like your tongue is scraping over every bracket and wire in your mouth… ouch!

I’m going to try some fish and mashed potato tonight (my most ambitious meal yet) so we’ll see how that goes!

First 48 hours with a lingual brace: pain

{via The Curious Brain}

Overall, I think I’d have to say that my first 48 hours with my lingual brace has been as expected: it hurts a bit, I lisp a bit, it’s a bit hard to eat.

I’d describe my top brace as sore, but not painful. For about the first twelve hours I wasn’t in pain at all. When I woke up on the first day I noticed one of my teeth aching a little – the kind of feeling you’d get if you pressed on a tooth really hard – I was meeting a friend that morning so I took some ibuprofen just in case it got worse and didn’t feel anything more after that. One or two of my teeth hurt if you press them now, but ordinarily they’re fine.

At the end of day one I could definitely feel my tongue starting to bother me – a kind of raw sensation and a bit of redness around the edge where it’s in contact with the brackets but no ulcers yet. It definitely helps to use some wax or Gishy Goo on the brackets and wires you can feel the most. At night I put Gishy Goo over all of the front four brackets as I knew my tongue would be resting there and that really helped. I also used a mouth ulcer product called Iglu over the sore edge of my tongue which was amazing (I will write a full product review here at some point). I’d definitely recommend you get some so you can treat any sore areas before they get too bad.

One thing I would say is that I sleep with my mouth closed, but if you normally sleep with your mouth open try not too… I can imagine the pain on your tongue overnight would be much worse if your mouth was dry. I’ve heard that nasal strips (the sort you can buy for a cold) can help.