MSE: 2 Weeks, 34 Turns
MSE was installed by Dr. Zubad Newaz, an orthodontist at the Gelb Center in Manhattan, on July 15, 2019. The photos below were taken on July 29, exactly 2 weeks after the install.
By July 21, just one week after the install, MSE had successfully split my mid-palatal suture. At that time, I had turned the appliance 26 times and a distinct diastema had appeared between my two front teeth.
Spaces also opened up between teeth 7-8 and 9-10.
After those initial 26 turns which occurred rapidly, all within a 4 day period, I reduced the rate of turning from 6-7 turns per day to just 1 turn per day.
The images below show the results of MSE expansion two weeks after the install, and after 34 turns of the appliance.
2 Week Visual Observations
3 Distinct Spaces
Note that the diastema has increased in size and also that the spaces between 7-8 and 9-10 have remained.
Also note the red-looking sore spots along the suture in the maxilla-view image below. These spots are the healing wounds resulting from the cortical puncture performed by Dr. Newaz at the time of the MSE install.
Basically this involved drilling small holes into the suture in order to weaken the suture and increase the MSE’s odds of winning its battle with the suture and achieving a successful split.
Crossbite Getting Smaller
One of the main reasons I pursued MSE in the first place was because my maxilla was significantly narrower than my mandible.
Comparing the before and after photos, it is clear that the upper molars are beginning to sit more directly above the lower molars, without any flaring of those teeth.
Thus, one of the major goals of treatment is already well on its way to being accomplished.
2 Week General Observations
Before the mid-palatal suture split occurred, tension from turning the appliance was felt most prominently deep in the nasal area.
If you have ever been punched in the nose before, it felt sort of like that.
As soon as the split occurred, there was a distinct release of tension in the nasal area. Simultaneously, there was an immediate sense of improved nasal breathing.
So far, this has been the most noticeable result of MSE treatment: greater ease of airflow through the nasal passages.
This was an expected result as the roof of the mouth is also the floor of the nose, so expanding the forming must also expand the latter.
Increased Oral Volume
The other very-noticeable result of MSE treatment so far is that the tongue fits more easily on the roof of the mouth.
This has been easy for me to determine because I have spent so much time experimenting with Mewing, i.e. trying to develop a habit of placing the front, center and rear of the tongue on the roof of the mouth.
After just two weeks, there is already a noticeable reduction in the degree to which the right side of my tongue gets trapped between the teeth on the right side as I attempt to spread the tongue across the palate.
This is the case even though the MSE itself is fairly large and takes up a good amount of oral volume.
MSE and Mewing
Although the MSE is not a small, discrete appliance like, say, the ALF, doing Mewing is really not so bad with it.
First of all, the MSE sits towards the rear of the palate. This makes it easy to rest the front of the tongue on the naked front palate.
But of course, the challenge of Mewing is always to get that back third of the tongue up onto the roof of the mouth.
To accomplish this, Dr. Mike Mew’s suction method of Mewing is in my opinion the best advice out there. This method involves using suction to create an intraoral vacuum that keeps the tongue placed on the roof of the mouth.
And yes, with MSE this suction-type Mewing is totally doable.
The caveat is that orthodontic wax must be used to round out some of the sharper points of the appliance, especially the rear two screw heads which will cut the tongue if not covered with wax.
With skillful use of wax, Mewing with MSE is not only possible but is actually enhanced by the fact that tongue space increases a little bit everyday.
Because the maxilla widens with every turn of the MSE, my bite changes noticeably every single day.
Although this makes eating with MSE a little bit of a challenge, it is nice to have my bite reassure me that changes are happening so rapidly.
In other words, the changing bite is proof that the expansion is real, and that progress is being made.
MSE and Meat Eating
My diet has not changed at all with MSE. I am still eating mostly meat, and the appliance has only slightly hindered this.
MSE is not particularly difficult to clean. Nor is does it making chewing and swallowing particularly difficult.
I would say it makes eating just about as cumbersome as AGGA, and much less cumbersome than Schwartz appliances.
One difficulty to eating tough foods posed uniquely by MSE is that chewing on the front teeth such as the canines produces a very disconcerting tension-type pain the front of the cheeks.
I think this is because MSE has disrupted sutures in those areas, and that chewing tough foods really exacerbates that disruption.
Subconsciously my body has resorted to chewing exclusively with the molars which is fine and does not pose any real inconvenience.