Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I want to wish all of you a very happy Holiday season & New Year!

Thank you for taking this journey with me so far!

First holidays with the TIN-GRIN. I think they make the outfit ;)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Open Bite Surgery

I know it has been FOREVER since my last post, but I promise to be posting more frequently in the near future!!!

I just wanted to post a quick note about this AMAZING video I just found on youtube that is basically the EXACT surgery that I will be having. The difference before and after is incredible.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Week 20 vs. BEFORE pictures

I recently visited my Ortho to get a wire moved that was bothering me... and while I was there I asked him to send me my "before" pictures!

So here is week 20 vs. before I got the braces on!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Week 17 Pictures

Went in for my 2nd adjustment this morning!

They did the usual, took out my bottom wire and replaced it with a stronger one....and that was about it.

As you can see, my lower teeth have moved drastically and are pretty much straight! It really feels great to see such progress in a few short months.
Here is Week 17 vs. Week 4:

Friday, July 24, 2009

Koodo Mobile Advertisment

I wanted to post this ad, not because it's awesome (which it's not) but because they make braces look kinda cool (only really because of the sparkly part).

They should have hired me as the model. Nuff said.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Death to Wisdom Teeth

On my three month braces anniversary, I got the privilege of getting 3 wisdom teeth yanked out... two normal ones on the top and one impacted on the bottom left.

Removal of my wisdom teeth is an important part to prepare for the jaw surgery. I had to get them out at least 6 months prior to the jaw surgery so that they can heal properly. Maybe since I got them out earlier than planned I may be able to have the surgery earlier! I'm going to ask my orthodontist at my next tune-up and make sure to give an update :)

It was a really easy and painless process. I got to the oral surgeons office at 10:45 and they had me in the chair by 11 am. They drugged me up with a little laughing gas and some IV sedation. I immediately zonked out and about 30 min later woke up and didn't even realize the surgery had already happened!

They gave me an ice-pack, penicillin and ibuprofen for the pain and healing... and some harder pain meds in case the ibuprofen wasn't working. I haven't really had to take the harder stuff yet because its been very tolerable thus far. I've been icing the lower left side several times per day to ensure there is minimal swelling.

24 hours after you have the surgery you need to rinse your mouth with salt water several times a day (including right after meal times). This continues for about 2 weeks to ensure that everything heals properly.

My face is a little swollen on the bottom left side (where the impacted tooth was removed). Here is a picture from today (day 2). Not to bad!

P.s. On a side tangent... after the surgery when I was still at the oral surgeons office, I proceeded to tell the nurse about this very funny video on YouTube that involves a dad filming his kid high on meds after getting some stitches in his mouth. She probably thought I was way too high and not making sense....but it's very funny and I reccomend you watch it:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

T-Shirt of the Week

My friend Claire found this spectacular T-shirt.

"Braces are thuper hot!" You know they denying it.

You can buy this shirt by clicking here
If any of you out there in Bracesland find a crazy braces shirt like this, send it my way and I'll make sure to feature it as a "T-shirt of the Week"!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

1st Birthday with Tin Grins and 1st Adjustment!

I finally hit a quarter of a century last week! ANNNDDD to top it off it was my FIRST birthday with braces (apparently 2 more to come). I am getting used to having photos taken with the braces...and am trying not to make awkward faces anymore, which came in handy for this occasion. This is probably because I've seen some changes in my teeth and an starting to be proud of these darn things. If you scroll down to my last post you can see the changes from week 4 (when I got my lower brackets on) to week 11 (last week). Pretty good eh?!?

My lovely friends Ashley and Amanda had been searching all over the place to find me a special braces t-shirt (like the awesome ones I post on "T-shirt of the Week")... but couldn't find one ANYWHERE. So, to ensure that I could have my very own braces shirt they had one made for me!!! We were in Montreal last weekend and walked by a store called Bang-On where you can get any piece of clothing made with crazy graphics or sayings. Thankfully they had ONE graphic with teeth and braces, which was PERFECT! We add the catchy phrase "Tin Grins Are In" and viola!! My very own T-shirt of the Week! Thanks ladies, my tin grins heart you both :)

Another lovely surprise I need to mention is that I received a fricken hilarious birthday postcard from my orthodontist! I felt very special that they thought of me on that joyous day :) The little teeth have brackets and wires on them and are holding balloons and wearing party hats...AWESOME.

I went to my orthodontist this past Tuesday morning at 9 am sharp to get my 1st adjustment. I was actually super excited about it because it means that my teeth are shifting and that it's time to move them even more! While I was waiting for the ortho to work his magic, I noticed on the computer that it says that I will have my braces until OCTOBER 2011. I almost fell out of the chair.... When he first analyzed by teeth he said that they would be on for 2 years....and that way I would only have to have them on for TWO birthdays and be braces free for my 27th birthday....but no siree bob. I may have to have a discussion with him about that ;). I think it has a lot to do with my recovery period after I have the jaw surgery and how well my face/teeth adjust to the improvements. Let's all cross our fingers for me!!!

Anyhoo....the adjustment went really well. It only took 45 minutes. They took both wires out and shaved down some more of my bottom teeth. I mentioned that they had done this before in my post about getting the bottom brackets was still just as weird feeling and a little painful. The reason they shave down some of the sides of my teeth is to allow for my bottom front teeth to have enough room to move forward and become straight (yey!). When it came time to put the wires back it, they chose a bit of a stronger wire this time so that it will pull those bottom teeth forward even more. As well, instead of using the ligatures on all the brackets, he twisted some really thing wires on a few of the brackets of my lower teeth. These wires work better for when your trying to move the teeth a lot because they can grab on to the brackets more forcefully.

Here's a picture to hopefully make clear what I'm writing about:

He mentioned that I may not see a huge improvement in the spacing of my top teeth for a bit because they are straightening them out first before they can pull them together. Which is a-ok with long as it all works out in the end.
All in all it's been a great month or so since my last post! I will make a new video to speak a little more about my first adjustment and will post it on here in the next week or so!

Stay tuned....2nd adjustment will be in mid August!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Canada's Next Top Model Cycle 3

So I'm watching Canada's Next Top Model (don't make fun, you know you'll watch at least one episode) and one of the contestants is a fellow Bracie (my new nick name for others who wear braces....haha I am a big geek I know)!

Check out Meaghan here:

I couldn't find a pic yet of her with her braces...but I'll update :)

Update: Found video! Click:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy 1 Month Anniversary to Me!

Well, its been a whole month (and a few days) since I got my top braces on, and its been an interesting adventure thus far.

Even though I've had them on for several weeks now, my teeth are still a bit sensitive. Mostly they are sensitive during meal time in the front teeth and I guess this is because I haven't been using them as much as my back teeth to chew. I've been having some interesting interactions with food and these braces. Soup was ok for those first weeks...but I got bored of that really fast. I have moved on to almost all food groups now (except really hard foods like raw carrots, bread crust, etc...). Eating a lot of bread has been a bit of an issue because of all the chewing it consists of and the fact that it's still a little tough to bite off right from the sandwich/wrap. Usually I will cut up my food into small chewable pieces as to not have to deal with the sensitivity...but that isnt possible when your on the run and really want to eat a delicious burrito (which I attempted this week in front of many financial peeps in a grassy courtyard in downtown Toronto....I got a few weird stares). The main problem is that once your done eating that delicious food, you get all this awesome food stuck up in the grill (please refer back to Miranda in Sex and the City when she had braces for that one episode as a visual reminder). Tortilla wraps can be particullarily bad, especially if you dont have floss handy in your purse to fix yourself up before grinning at that nearby hottie.

At night I find that I have been clenching my teeth while I sleep and this causes my mouth and side of my cheeks to be a little raw in the mornings. I don't know if this will disrupt the process, so I will have to ask my ortho when I'm in for my next appointment (which is late June I think).

My flossing technique has been getting a lot better! I've brought the time down to 15 minutes from 30 minutes (WOOP WOOP). It's still a hassle and I still am not loving having to do this everyday...but there is no way I'm paying all this money and not getting my perfect teeth because I'm a lazy bum. I've tried several different flosses and I have concluded that I really like the Oral-B Satin Floss. Its really easy to get through the tight spaces (i.e. the overcrowded lower teeth). I tried out the Oral-B "Superfloss" and was NOT impressed. On its packaging it says that it's "ideal for braces, bridges and wide spaces" and has a "stiffened end to floss under appliances" but it is definitly NOT ideal for tight spaces. It hurts. The floss is way too thick to be able to get through a night of flossing without wanting to poke your eye out with the "stiffened end". So basically I wasted $5...awesome.

I've been getting a great response to my blog and YouTube account and I just wanted to thank everyone who has been reading this and watching my videos :) I hope that my tales will help other adults who are going through the same process. A few of you have asked me to explain why I got braces in the first place, since my teeth dont look THAT bad to put myself through 2 years of I thought I'd give a bit of a summary as to why I chose to start this at the ripe old age of 24. I was supposed to get braces when I was younger, however it was not financially doable at the time. Now that I am out of school and have a full time job and parents who are super supportive, it was time to finally start the process. I've wanted these puppies as long as I can remember because I've always been jealous of people with straight and perfect teeth. It always makes their smile THAT much more amazing. When I was about 11 or 12 I had 3 top teeth removed (1 was a baby tooth and 2 weren't growing in right I think) and this is why I have so much spacing on the sides of my upper teeth. In the long run it's better that is happened or else my top teeth would have probably been as overcrowded as my lower teeth. As far as I can remember my dentist has been telling me that I will need jaw surgery at some point, and I knew that I needed to make that happen. The jaw surgery will be a huge transformation for my face structure and for my bite (it will even help me breath better and talk better). I can already feel a shift in my bite from my braces, but the surgery will ensure that I have a perfect bite. I can't wait for that day when I can give a great big smile and have my teeth all perfectly alligned with no spaces :) 23 months to go (hopefully)!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Week 4 Video (Week 1 with full braces)

I love the way in which YouTube picks the worst possible snapshop of the video to use as the video preview shot.

P.s. I just realized that its not May 18th....oops!

T-Shirt of the Week

Its sparkly...I like it. A lot.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Before Pic & Week 4

Here is the before picture and a picture of my teeth at week 4 (week 1 of full braces). The before picture is really bad quality because it was taken on my laptop camera...I'll try to find a better one.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Welcome to my first blog ever!

My name is Alexis, I am 24 and I just got braces. Wicked.

This blog will be used to rant and rave, vent, joke, laugh and embarrass myself while I take this two-year adventure to have perfect teeth. I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I will ;). orthodontist tells me that I have an "open bite malocclusion due to vertical growth pattern, narrow upper arch with cross bites and missing teeth #14,24,48. Impacted #38," and the way to treat this is to get "upper and lower braces and JAW SURGERY to correct open bite. Total time is 24 months with surgery at 12-18 months." My oral surgeon then adds that I will need 3 wisdom teeth removed. Wicked x2. FML. In basic terms it means that I have top and bottom metal braces to improve the spaces in my upper teeth and the over-crowding in my lower front teeth. Because I have an open bite (which means that my front teeth do not touch... I have to endure jaw surgery on my upper jaw (BEST DIET EVER) in about a years time.

My ultimate goal is to have perfect teeth by April 20, 2011 (a full two years).

April 21, 2009 was the day I got my top braces. I had reviewed a ton of videos on YouTube (I reco watching them before you get yours on), so I had "braced" myself for what was to come. Getting the braces on didn't hurt one bit. It took about 45 min to an hour. The worst part about the procedure was the disgusting taste of the varnish they apply to your teeth before the brackets go on. Obviously, I shouldn't have been moving my tongue around while they were applying this lovely tasting product...but I did by accident. Then I had to sit there for 1/2 an hour with arsenic tasting glue on my tongue. They take you through the "do's and don'ts" of how to clean your teeth and what to not eat, etc... and leave you with some pamphlets to look over and a fun little braces kit that includes a soft toothbrush, floss, plastic floss needles (to get the floss through your when your sewing), a fun little mirror (you know the cool kind that they always use at the dentist that you secretly always want to use yourself), a mini toothbrush head-thingy to get out food that gets stuck and wax (in case sharp pieces start poking you). They told me I did an "AMAZING JOB." I guess everyone does an amazing job if they don't cry and punch the orthodontist in the face? I must say I was a little proud of myself for not doing either of those things.

One of my best friends, Claire, advised me to take two Advil Extra Strength Liquid Gels (my favorite) before getting the braces on...and it REALLY REALLY helped (LOVE YOU CLAIRE! YOU'RE GOING TO BE THE BEST DOCTOR EVER). I continuously took those throughout the next few days and it really wasn't that painful. My teeth felt super sensitive and achy...but I chose to stick to a strict liquid diet (i.e. soup, Ensure, wine, vodka, tequila, etc...) and that helped a lot. Because I chose not to use my teeth, I think it subdued the pain exponentially...friends who had braces in the past warned me about the first 48-72 hours, but I lucked out.

Next came the bottom braces. I got those puppies put on this past Tuesday (May 12, 2009) at 8:20 in the morning. For those of you who know me well, you know that I am NOT a morning this was extra fun. I tried to remember this time not to move my tongue around, but of course I did...and had to endure the lovely glue taste for a bit. This appointment took about 1.5 hours because they had to put the bottom braces on and tighten my upper wire a bit. It didn't hurt. However, I really didn't enjoy the part where my ortho shaved off some of the sides of my bottom teeth. He did this in order make room for my crowded lower teeth to move properly. He basically used something that felt like a drill and made my head vibrate so much that the ortho stopped and asked me if I was OK.... I told him besides the fact that he's shaving enamel off my beloved teeth, I'm fine. The bottom teeth have been a little less painful than the top. I attempted to eat delicious Montreal-style bagels with cream cheese and lox on day two and it wasn't half bad.

At the start, brushing was the most annoying part to me. I am an avid twice-a-day brusher, but having to brush during lunch too was a bit much. I understand why I have to, but I still don't like it. My ortho said that I only have to floss once a day (usually best at night) and this takes about 20 minutes or so to do. I promised myself that I will do everything in my power in order not to have rings on my teeth when my braces come I will push myself to continue this process.

With both the top and bottom braces I have endured a bit of wire-poking from the back teeth. This really irritated my gums and needed to be fixed ASAP. I used the wax as a quick fix and then made an appointment with the ortho to snip off the excess immediately. It took about 5 minutes and all was better.

It's been a little hard to talk with the full brace set. Words with the letter "F" in them are a little difficult and every time I smile or laugh I have use my hands to bring my lower lip back over the I'm used to the top braces and they feel normal now, so I'm just waiting for the bottom braces to feel the same.

I guess I should talk about the jaw surgery part now....Well I have to get jaw surgery to correct my open bite. This will hopefully be done in April or May 2010. The surgery includes breaking my upper jaw and removing a piece of bone, then screwing my jaw back together. Awesome. This is where the "best diet ever" comes along. I am actually super excited for this surgery. This is probably because I've never had surgery and don't realise the pain and recovery that comes along with it...but I am really anxious to see the amazing results. I have an open bite, which means my back teeth are ground down so much because I never use my front teeth to bite or chew. This surgery will ensure that I don't misuse my teeth any longer and will improve the structure of my face. At the moment, along with the open bite, I have a recessive jaw and this surgery will bring my jaw forward and make my profile more pronounced :). Back in the day, they used to basically sew your jaw shut for 2-4 months for your jaw to heal...but the surgery I will have will only have me off work for about 2 weeks and they won't have to sew anything..just a couple of screws in my upper jaw (I will try to find a illustration of this procedure to post).

Anyhow...that's enough for now. I will try to update as much as possible to show you the progress on my teeth :)