San Francisco, CA
I'm a 30-year woman who grew
up in San Francisco and have always had bad teeth as far as
I could remember. My teeth were crooked, not really "too"
bad had it not been my under bite. I have what dental
professionals call a Class III malocclusion. A severe one in
fact, that braces alone can not correct the problem. I would
eventually need jaw surgery. My condition was detected when
I was 10-11 years old, but the ortho suggested that I wait
until my jaw is fully grown. Then I revisited the ortho when
I was 16, but like many others, my parents did not have the
money to pay for braces and surgery. Fast forward to many
years later to 2005 in May when I turned 30 years old. This
is a pivotal point for me. I knew I needed to fix my teeth
and jaw ... it was now or never.
The first initial appointment
with the ortho was in June and for the next 3 months I had to
make numerous appointments to get the process going. The best
news was that I found out that health care provider covered the
jaw surgery, which could be in the upwards of 20-30 thousand
dollars. X-rays, molds, primary care doctor, oral surgeon,
wisdom teeth extraction, etc. It was not until mid-September
until I got all my ducks in a row and I was ready for my braces.
September 12, I got spacers put
in. My back molars were very tight but the actual insertion of
them wasn't too bad. But the worst was yet to come. Those little
darn spacers can do so much damage! They made my teeth very
sore, and put a lot of pressure on my front teeth. So much
pressure that I think some of my teeth started to buckle (or it
could be just my imagination). I couldn't bite so I resorted to
eating soft foods only. The spacers made my teeth feel like they
are decaying. And of course, they feel like food is stuck in
between my teeth, waiting for a floss. I was very fortunate that
I only had the spacers in for 3 days. I would recommend people
to schedule the spacer appt to the brace appt as close as the
ortho allows it
September 16, I arrived at
9:30. The ortho told me more in detail of his plan and course of
treatment. They finally took the spacers out!! The fitting of
the braces was probably the most painful part mainly because my
teeth were very sore from the spacers already. When the
assistant asked me to bite down, I felt like my teeth could fall
out any minute. They ached so much! Yeah, people are right, the
sour liquid they put onto the teeth before the brackets went on
was disgusting. The rest of the process was fairly painless. I
had clear upper and bottom metal. I was glad I was able to
witness the entire procedure.
It's already been 3 days since
I had my braces put on. For the most part, I am holding up
pretty good. My ortho told me that I will feel soreness the day
following the braces, but I don't feel anything. I haven't had a
need to take Advil so far but I always keep it close by. I do
feel moments of tinkliness on my teeth, other than that, not a
big deal. The only uncomfortable thing is that the metals (esp.
the hooks) scrap against the insides of my mouth and it's quite
painful sometimes. I try not to use wax unless absolutely needed
because I want my mouth to hurry up and develop the tissues to
withstand the scraping. Eating is still a pain, during and
after. My teeth are still sore but I am still able to eat
noodles, rice, and soft foods. And because I have an under bite,
I only chew with my back teeth. As result, a lot of foods get
stuck there. Cleaning is a drag but worthwhile.
Tomorrow is my first day back
at work and I am nervous how my coworkers will react. I only
told 2 people. It will be an interesting day! Please tell other
readers that it's NEVER TOO LATE to get braces!
Sorry this story ended up
taking so long. I just can't wait until all of this is over!
Braces and surgery. By the way, I am to wear braces for 1 year,
have surgery, and then still wear braces for another 6-8 months.
My ortho said 2 years or less. So I'm hopeful. Can't wait until
I get my perfect smile!