I still remember that during my previous follow-up appointment, Dr. G put the power chain around my brackets on the top arch and it hurt.  Right now my teeth in the upper left quadrant and my lower left first molar are still a bit sensitive, and I am heading back for my third follow-up appointment tomorrow, so I feel a bit nervous that I will be more prone to feeling discomfortable when the power chain is being removed.  (I hope these teeth would not be sensitive by my appointment time tomorrow.)

In the month that has just passed, every morning when I wake up, I am able to bite down more completely (meaning more teeth can touch each other when I bite down), but as the day goes by, it usually becomes that only my upper and lower central incisors can touch each other but not the other parts.

Before I got power chain one month ago, each time after I got used to the new braces adjustment, I only felt tightness/pressure occasionally on few of my teeth few days in a month.  Now that I have worn the power chain since one month ago, I feel tightness and pressure on my teeth, especially the top arch, every single morning when I just wake up.  This feeling doesn’t last long, but it is just strange that I feel this every morning.  (I guess that probably when I fall asleep, my senses are also resting, so I can’t feel anything.  But when I wake up, my senses also awake, and the feeling of tightness/pressure just quickly resumes, thus I am feeling like this.  Once I quickly get used to it, this feeling disappears.)

Regarding the bleeding incident that happened two weeks ago, I am going to mention this to Dr. G tomorrow.


I have been wearing the rubber band for 27 days consecutively, so I believe I am already used to wearing it.  It sort of becomes a second nature for me to wear the rubber band after eating and brushing, so I am supposed to remember to wear the rubber band.  However, today morning I almost forgot to wear it.

After eating breakfast and brushing my teeth, I completed my morning routine and headed out for work.  From my house to the freeway, there is a 5- to 10-minute drive depending on how many green or red lights I get.  When I almost reached the freeway, unconsciously I swiped my tongue to where the rubber band should be, and I got shocked that there was no rubber band!

In my mind, I thought: “Oh my gosh!  Where is my rubber band?  I forget to wear it!?”  Looking at the clock, I knew I was pressed for time to get to work, but I still made the decision to quickly take a U-turn to head back home for my rubber band.  On my way going back, I was trying to suppress the thought that I was already a bit running late to my work….

When I entered the house, my dad was in the kitchen.  I told him I forgot my rubber band and I came back for it.  He replied, “It is just a rubber band.”  I said, “No, Dad, this rubber band is important.  If I don’t wear it today, it might possibly prolong my treatment.”  (If my orthodontist were reading this, he probably would feel happy, because I am such an obedient patient….)

I didn’t have time to talk more.  I quickly rushed into the bathroom, grabbed one rubber band from the bag, and applied it on the hooks.  Immediately I felt more relieved, but now I should worry about getting to work on time.  I again quickly rushed out of the house for my work.  Fortunately, the freeway was not too packed (because most students are already off for summer vacation), so I could get to work fast.

I have been wearing the power chain and rubber band for three weeks now.  One new thing I have noticed inside my mouth is the lump on my interior gum line between the upper right canine and first premolar.  This lump is not something that grows on my gum.  Rather, it is more like that area of my gum is pushed/squeezed to form a lump.  My guess is that as the power chain is closing the gap quickly, my upper right canine and first premolar endure great force to come closer to each other, which pushed/squeezed the gum between them, so the lump on the interior gum line is formed.

Looking at my teeth from the front, I can’t really tell much of a difference between now and three weeks ago.  When I bite down and observe my teeth, I feel nothing much has changed since my last braces adjustment.  And because I only wear one rubber band on the left side, I think my arches are tilting to the left side.

The rubber band is connecting between the upper left canine and lower left first molar (when I am not eating, brushing, or taking photos of my teeth).  Three weeks have passed, and I also don’t see much improvement with my bite.  The spaces between my bite don’t seem smaller, but the power chain has made the gap between my upper left canine and first premolar smaller.  It looks like the gap is almost gone.

It is a similar case on the right side.  I feel that the spaces between my bite on the right side  still look about the same as before, but the power chain is working well, because I notice the gap between my upper right canine and first premolar is getting smaller now.

Only one more week is left before I go back for my next follow-up appointment.  I don’t think my teeth would suddenly improve a lot in just one week, so I guess by the time I will go back for my appointment, my teeth probably wouldn’t look too much different from now.

After I get used to wearing the rubber band, I only feel intermittent pressure on my lower left first molar when I reapply the rubber band after eating or brushing.  At other times, I don’t feel much.  But for some unknown reason, my lower left first molar hurts today.  If I touch it with my tongue, I feel a little bit of pain at that area (there is a two-second lag between touching that teeth with my tongue and actually feeling the slight pain though).  It is a bit annoying….

I have been wearing the rubber band and power chain for about two weeks.  Basically, through my observation, I found out two things about my current teeth.  First, my top arch looks like it is tipping to the left side when I look at my teeth from the front.  Because the rubber band is connecting between the hooks of my upper left canine and lower left first molar while there is no force given to the right side, after two weeks of pulling, I feel my upper left canine is extended downward more than the upper right canine.

Second, also due to the rubber band pulling the teeth only on the left side, the shape of the top arch is slightly skewed to the left….  And on top of this, my upper central incisors are crooked again, and this time the left one is more outward than the right one.  It is just sad to see it goes from getting better to getting worse.

I understand bite misalignment will not be possible to get fixed in just two weeks, but at least I am hoping to see some minor improvement, but I don’t see it.  I feel a bit disappointed, and I worry that if in two weeks my teeth get skewed and imbalanced, then what will my teeth look like by the time I go through another two weeks of rubber band wearing?

About two months ago, one day I noticed that the area between the upper left lateral incisor and canine was bleeding a little bit.  It only lasted for like three seconds, but I was still concerned about it because the last time I saw blood inside my mouth was more than 15 years ago (when a dentist helped me to remove a swinging temporary second molar on the bottom… I can’t remember which side it was because it was so long ago).  Although I was surprised to see blood, but it only bled a little bit, so I figured it wasn’t worth mentioning to Dr. G when I went to the previous follow-up appointment.

Today morning after I woke up, I removed my rubber band as usual to rinse my mouth with water before eating breakfast, and then I noticed in the mirror that the area between the upper left lateral incisor and canine was bleeding again.  I wanted to know whether the blood came from the gum between these two teeth or under the gum line, so I used my proxabrush to touch that area, and it led to more bleeding.

It looked a bit scary, but it didn’t hurt at all.  The area stopped bleeding after 10 or so seconds.  It was strange….  I wonder why that area was bleeding.  I hope bleeding was not caused by the braces forcing the gaps to close….

It has been eight days since my second follow-up appointment.  Because of the rubber band, I feel that my top arch is messed up.  I was told by Dr. G that the rubber band is for correcting my bite, so I thought it will pull my social six to the left to align with the bottom teeth in the middle.  (My concept of correcting the bite: when the bite is corrected, teeth should be aligned and at the right positions.)  I know teeth don’t move that fast, but I still feel a bit disappointed that after eight days, I haven’t seen any improvement in the bite yet.

Rather, what I see is that my upper left canine, where one end of the rubber band is hooked to, and its nearby area have been pulled outward!  Comparing to my top arch before wearing the rubber band, now the shape of my top arch isn’t as symmetrical.  I worry that if I continue to wear the rubber band, it will keep pulling that canine and its nearby area outward.  I think if it takes one month to go wrong, it will take one month (or more) to get back to normal, and this would prolong my treatment….  And what if my orthodontist decided to also move the other side outward so the top arch can be symmetrical?  If this happened, my mouth would be a bit more protruding and it would worsen my facial profile.  Oh… I don’t want this….

Besides the issue with my upper left canine moving outward, I also notice something about my upper central incisors.  During the second follow-up appointment, Dr. G customized a section of the top wire to move my upper left central incisor upward into the gum, so visually my top central incisors can be more leveled off.  His strategy does work, so my top central incisors are more leveled off in just eight days, but this also messes up the position of my upper central incisors.  From the front, they look more even, but from the bottom-up, they look worse than before.  They look crooked.  I feel sad to see this….

I actually have noticed these two issues occurring just 24 hours after my second follow-up appointment.  As eight days have passed, these two issues are more noticeable.  There are still three more weeks before I return for the third follow-up office visit.  Now what I can do is to still continue wearing rubber band and hope it wouldn’t get worse than now within three weeks.

When I was still researching what kind of braces to go for, I read something that says the kind of bracket doesn’t matter; what matters is the skill of the orthodontist and his/her ability in using wires to straighten the teeth.  At that moment, I didn’t quite get it.  Now seeing the situation with my teeth (i.e., one issue is resolved but another issue is occurring), I suddenly understand what that sentence means.

This weekend is the Memorial Day weekend, and I feel eating BBQ is a must.  About three days ago, I have begun to wish that I get to eat BBQ this weekend.  I didn’t know if this could happen though, because my family isn’t so into eating BBQ for health reason, and cooking BBQ on national holidays isn’t a tradition in my family.  But I really wanted to eat BBQ, so I persuaded my family to cook and eat BBQ this weekend, not in a park, but at a restaurant.  (Well, it was different, but it was better than nothing.)

We see this advertisement for an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ restaurant.  We actually have seen it several times on the newspapers, so we decided to give it a try today evening.  Before getting braces, I thought that once I get braces, I probably wouldn’t be able to eat all-you-can-eat at all (because I probably can’t eat many food items and it wouldn’t be worth the money).  But after getting braces, I realize that as long as I have a fork and a knife, I can pretty much eat just like before (although not within one week of braces adjustment).  So in just three months into the orthodontic treatment, this Korean BBQ restaurant is the second all-you-can-eat restaurant I eat at.

Even though not long time ago my teeth hurt like hell after the braces adjustment, now I am fine and I can eat normally.  (Looking at the date, it takes me a bit more than one week to get used to the customized wire and wearing rubber band.)  But I still wanted to be careful and nice to my teeth, so I purposely picked food items that I know I can eat easily.

For my first plate, I sampled some items from the hot food section.  They were all good, but nothing impressed me.  Of course, I didn’t come here for hot food.  I came here for the Korean BBQ.

While eating the hot food, we were cooking our meat on the grill.  After taking a bite of the meat, I thought this restaurant’s Korean BBQ was just okay.  I was feeling a bit disappointed, but at least I ate BBQ this Memorial Day weekend.

After we left this restaurant, we all agreed that we won’t come to this restaurant again.