For the three week period following the removal of my wires, I have to have rubber bands in my mouth to keep my teeth returning to the right position. Now that I’ve been wearing them for a few days, there are a few things that seem to be worth mentioning:
- Unlike the rubber bands that I wore on my orthodontic braces in junior high, these go right at the front of my mouth. They’re probably pretty visible to people when I talk to them, although I’m not really one to be too bothered by that. Most of the people I talk to in the course of a day have some idea of what I’ve been through over the last few weeks, anyway.
- When I first put in new rubber bands, they taste (unsurprisingly) like rubber. In case you’re wondering, I’m familiar with the taste of rubber from licking an eraser in second grade.
- Fortunately, I am allowed to remove the rubber bands to eat. It takes some restraint on my part not to eat all the time as an excuse to leave the rubber bands out.
- For the first day or two, after a meal I’d find that I was having trouble figuring out where my teeth should be resting, and the rubber bands were helpful in straightening things out. By now, my jaw is finding its resting position even before I get the rubber bands back in.
- These rubber bands are very prone to breaking. I had two break in the first section I taught on Thursday and one in the last section. Often, rubber bands will break when I try to put them in for the first time. The oral surgeon only gave me a small envelope of rubber bands, and I’ll be surprised if it lasts until my next appointment (which is Tuesday of next week).
- Yesterday, I noticed the rubber bands making some squeaking sounds when I opened my mouth wide. I wondered if this was a sign that I’m able to open my mouth further than I previously.
- Sometimes when I’m walking around, I’ll notice that I’m clenching my teeth. I don’t know if this is because of the pressure applied by the rubber bands or because I’m used to having my jaw wired shut. I also don’t know why this only happens when I’m walking around.