Today I got my bottom braces put on, after over a year of only having braces on the top. To start with, I've had clear ceramic braces just on the top teeth. It makes the braces much harder to detect. Then today I had the bottoms placed on. Because most people have a slight overbite of the top teeth over the bottom, ceramic can't be used on the bottom teeth. Ceramic is more brittle than metal and on the bottom, ceramics are likely to break. So these braces are much more obvious. However, I've kind of gotten used to the idea of having the bottom braces on for awhile now so that wasn't that big of a deal.
The big deal came after the orthodontist and assistant finished up and asked me how my mouth felt. I went to answer and realized that I have a freaking lisp. My top teeth were hitting against the bottom center brackets, so they had to put in cushions on my front two bottom teeth. Now the bottom braces are making it difficult for me to correctly pronounce S and SH sounds. I had gotten used to dealing with looking like a geek but now sounding like one too makes me want to just put on my glasses, hike up my pants, and go all Urkel on the world. If you can't feel like a cool kid, at least you can feel like a cool geek. Sigh. This is probably why I can relate to the guys of The Big Bang Theory so much. I've always related much more to being a smart dorky girl than a pretty girl.
Good news though! Bottom braces for me means that I am about halfway done with my treatment! And more good news! My left canine is almost completely in place. We'll probably have to remove the bracket at my next appointment and replace it higher to pull it the rest of the way into place. That's serious progress! The other bit of good news is that my right canine (which I have affectionately dubbed "Leo" after the children's book Leo the Late Bloomer) is still moving into place! The orthodontist was worried that it had stopped moving and I might have to have surgery again to remove more bone but the X-rays showed otherwise! When I first started this process, Leo was 100% overlapping my right central incisor. At the last X-ray, he had moved to just covering 100% of my lateral incisor. And now, Leo is directly above the place where his home will eventually be! He still has a long way to go, but I am so happy to know that he is still moving and with patience, he may just end up in his proper place. And on that day, I will have a party!!
Then the bad news. My orthodontist's assistant told me that next month will be my last adjustment with her and my current orthodontist! I am sad because I really like them both and I swear they've done the impossible with my mouth. Starting in May, I will have a new orthodontist and new assistants, who know nothing about me or my mouth. The assistant assured me that she has previously worked with both the new orthodontist and the new assistants and they are really good. I'm nervous about it but I guess the process will pretty much be the same no matter who my orthodontist is.
Besides my stupid nerdy lisp, I am really happy about today's appointment. I was originally given a 60% chance that my left canine (affectionately named Sharp Tooth) would move into place and it's already almost there. I was given only a 40% chance that my right canine would move into place. I'm the type of person who loves to be a miracle of modern science so I continue to be optimistic. Therefore, lisp or no lisp, tooth or no tooth, I'll keep smiling. :D