tisdag 29 mars 2011

Regretting traditional orthodontics

Researching the topic of traditional orthodontics gone wrong has been extremely disturbing and very depressing at times. It's like facing your deepest fears. But it has made me grow emotionally. I think the reasons I have been able to come this far are that I now:

1. Know what is wrong with me, that something IS wrong and that I didn't just imagine things.

2. Know that there are other people out there regretting this type of traditional orthodontics "treatment".

3. Know that the orthodontists that treated me made a mistake even though extraction orthodontics is still an accepted method today. People afterwards said to me, "You look fabulous!" and seemed satisfied with the way I turned out but I know now that I didn't imagine things and that my health and my appearance were damaged (well, were bad to begin with but were made worse). I feel that in the end I am the winner because I was right. It might sound weird but it means a lot to me and is closely related to the fact that I don't have to feel crazy anymore.

4. Know that I can help other people. At least I can reach out. Then, if people don't share my opinions, that's up to them.

torsdag 24 mars 2011

Face damaged by orthodontics

I will gladly admit it: My face was damaged by orthodontics. It's alright, I can talk about it now without having too many feelings of anxiety.

Thankfully, I'm quite cool about my looks. I have come to realize that my appearance - and with that I'm referring to everything from eyes, forehead, lips, chin and face shape - has been affected by on the one hand the initial malocclusion and then, as the experts put it, been "damaged" even more by orthodontics.

But I can't let this break me. I am pleased with the way I look, I realize that would never be a super model anyway and I intend to live my life happy despite what happened. I will try to avoid "what if...?" thoughts because that's not the way life goes. Instead I'm almost grateful that this happened to me because that way I might be able to inform and help others. It’s in my nature.

It has been hard since this proved to be a bigger topic than I could've ever imagined and the risks associated with some of the orthodontic treatments are far more serious than I first thought. Still it is very interesting! I'm lucky to have been able to preserve my composure. I could have gotten really depressed but I somehow didn’t.

When I first started researching this I found the whole topic extremely disturbing. But I decided to face my fears, for other peoples' sake too. I read that, "adults with problems due to extraction orthodontics often have difficulties putting words to what they feel". I used to say that "it doesn't feel like my mouth anymore", that it was "diffucult to bite my teeth together" which are both very vague statements, especially when my teeth look fine to someone who is not aware of the debate. It has proved almost impossible to explain to a doctor. When I visited the American orthodontist, they said, "ok, maybe your jaw muscles are a bit weak?" and I can't blame them for thinking that. But the truth is that the mouth is too small for the tongue, the dental arch has an abnormal shape and the positions of the jaws are wrong - especially the lower jaw is too far back. And these are the causes of my bite being wrong, it's no mystery anymore.