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Monthly Archives: January 2019

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A Non-Update Update

Hey friends! Quite a few of you have been asking for updates on my palate expansion journey, so I figured I’d post one even though I don’t really have anything new to share.

Current Status

Treatment is still paused, due to a CBCT scan showing that we appeared to be pushing the roots of my teeth outside of the palate bone. (Not good for long-term tooth stability.)

I have continued wearing my Meridian appliance/expander at night, for two reasons. 1) To make sure it will continue to fit, so that I can use it with my Crane (once I decide to start using that again; more on this below). 2) I grind my teeth a lot at night, and the occlusal plates of the appliance provide some protection.

Once I stopped wearing the appliance during the day, my teeth immediately started moving back (un-expanding?), to where the appliance would barely fit at night. So each night before I put it on, I would do one or two reverse quarter-turns until it didn’t feel so tight anymore. I lost quite a bit of expansion progress that way, but clearly it wasn’t true/healthy expansion, so I thought it would be best to just undo some of it.

I’ve also been trying to maintain better tongue posture during the day (à la Mike Mew), but geez – it’s HARD! My tongue doesn’t fit well in my mouth to begin with (hence the need for all this palate expansion nonsense), but between eating and talking and breathing…man, tongue posture is NOT an easy thing to re-train. So that’s a work in progress.

 

The Crane

I still have the Crane, which is the horrifying-looking neck brace that I attach to my appliance with rubber bands to get a pulling force on the maxilla. I haven’t been wearing it because it disrupts my sleep, and I’ve had too much else going on in my life recently that was already disrupting my sleep, so I didn’t want to add to it.

HOWEVER, things are finally beginning to calm down, so I’ll probably start experimenting with it again in the next few months. Because the Crane puts forward force on the entire upper arch, I’m hoping that it will prompt some forward movement/growth of the maxilla without shifting the roots of my teeth too much (which I want to avoid for now, due to the aforementioned CBCT scan-related reasons).

There’s also a segment of the adult palate-expansion community (that’s a thing, right?) that advocates for using stronger “face-pulling” forces, but for shorter periods of time. This info used to be on facepulling.com, but it appears that domain has been recently overhauled, and I don’t see it there anymore. I don’t remember the exact guidelines, but I’m thinking it was something like 10-20 min of constant pressure, usually by wearing some kind of appliance (or braces) and just pulling on a string or rubber band that you’ve attached to it.

Do any of you remember seeing that info? The short-duration approach would be much easier to incorporate than wearing the Crane all night every night, so I might experiment with that over the next few weeks. Can’t hurt, right?

 

Anyway, that’s where I’m at. Stay tuned. I’ve loved hearing from all of you who are experimenting with this stuff, so please feel free to plug your own blog below (if you have one), or just post your own updates in the comments so others can follow along with you too!

 

For reference, here are all the other posts I’ve shared so far on the subject of orthodontics/orthotropics:

Cheers, 2018

It’s 11:56pm on December 31st, 2018, and I decided that I can’t let 2018 draw to a close without a little reflection.

I was looking at some of my journal entries from the end of last year, and I was in a dark place. I felt hopeless, and helpless, and powerless, and all those other adjectives that mean your soul hurts. I had lots of reasons – good reasons, I think – to feel this way, but also lots of reasons to not feel that way. I think that’s how it usually is.

At the beginning of this year, I decided that 2018 would be the year I felt powerful again. I set big goals that felt like pipe dreams, but now, a year later – I somehow achieved the biggest ones. I got a new job. I bought a house. And my life feels completely different, in a good way. And I feel more like myself than I have in a very long time.

A lot of bad things happened in 2018 too, but mostly, 2018 is the year I learned – really learned, I think, for the first time – what it feels like to dream big dreams. And I think I’ll keep doing that, because even if I fail, at least I’ve become the kind of person who dreams big dreams. And sometimes that’s half the battle.