Updated: Apr 4
I wanted some time to pass so I could share visual progress while I gained insights to help others along their airway journey.
Since I am about 2.5 months in, I have turned the key (7) times. Each "turn" provides .25mm of expansion. I have gained roughly 2 mm of expansion and am closer to my goal of having a 39mm transverse measurement. Looks like I finally broke the 30 mm mark!
I am able to compare a new appliance with my appliance so you can better see the progress for yourself. Let's face it.. 2mm is not a visually significant difference in the mouth.
Which appliance is new and which appliance is mine? I hope you can tell the differences in the two pictures featured below:
The new appliance is shown directly below. You can see the space in the middle is very small, the appliance has not been activated yet.
My appliance is the one shown below. This actually makes me excited to see my progress. You can visually compare the spaces between the new appliance and my appliance to better see my progress of roughly 2mm of expansion. You can also tell that I have been compliant for the color is faded and the acrylic is wearing. I will be checking in with Dr. Miraglia soon for him to evaluate if I need the acrylic of the palate adjusted to accommodate for my "lower" vault. My V shape arch is slowly converting to a U Shape. This is music to an airway hygienist's ears!
The lower expansion process is going well. I notice less crowding between my front teeth but will wait to share my before and after pics once I am further along. I am also noticing less contacts between my teeth when I floss. I used to shred the floss between my lower canine and lateral incisor, now it is much easier to floss...another hygienist's dream :)
I also want to share I have better adjusted to the excess salivation that I experienced in the beginning. No more "water works." Those annoying "slurping sounds" have drastically decreased. My family is definitely happy about that :)
3 TIPS AND TRICKS
1- Turning the Key- Do right before you go to bed
I have found that it is much more comfortable to turn the key to expand my appliance right before I go to sleep. This way, I am acclimated to the new pressure and tightness and am not distracted by it during the day. It is not painful when you turn the key, but there is indeed noticeable pressure. This is a good thing! It means expansion is taking place!
2- Sanitizing: Attach a Travel Hand Sanitizer to your Case with a Key Ring:
I found this very useful to help me stay compliant and safe especially during this Covid-19 pandemic. Make sure you get a case big enough to fit your expanders and allows
a key ring to fit through it.
3- Use Accelerated Orthodontics: Introducing Propel Vpro5
Accelerated Orthodontics allows for two key things: 1- Speed and 2-Comfort.
By biting down on the U-Shaped vibratory device, once a day for (5) minutes, it stimulates the inflammatory process allowing for safe acceleration. I was able to turn the key weekly vs bi-weekly once I incorporated this into my regime. I also noticed the increased comfort when using Propel. I had a lot of questions about this device and accelerated orthodontics, so I contacted Jim Sieg, Clinical Director, Propel Orthodontics. Stay tuned for my next blog about how to use this device, a Q&A video session with Jim Sieg, and data on the benefits of incorporating Propel Vpro 5 into your expansion treatment.
Hope you found this helpful and enjoy the video blog as well. Until next time!