Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

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threescompany
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#1 Postby threescompany » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:50 am

Now that I've had my first adjustment, I feel like I want a place to put updates/comments/questions, so here's my story!

I'm a 40 year old who hasn't been thrilled with her smile for many years. My teeth are actually pretty straight and healthy. But, I've always had a really big gap in front that bothered me. I'm no Madonna or David Letterman, so just because it works for them doesn't mean it works for me. I didn't get braces as a teen because none of the adults thought it was needed. Before I got married (in 1995) I asked my dentist about braces but we opted to have bonding added to my front teeth. That worked fine, but over the years the bonding has chipped, stained, and needed to be repaired now and again. I've never really liked how it looked in pictures because my front teeth look out of proportion to the rest.

I've thought about braces off and on over the years, and finally went for some consults. I really like the ortho I went with. When he told me it was a straightforward case and should take about 6 months I was pretty thrilled. I couldn't believe that I'd put it off all this time when it would be such a short "sentence". Of course, had I gone 20 years ago perhaps they wouldn't have used the same approach and it would have taken longer. Who knows.

I had the braces put on in March. Ceramic top and bottom, though the last molars are not braced. Here are some pictures:


This is the front view before. My teeth aren't particularly crooked, though some are slightly rotated. Never noticed but I can tell by the brackets. Hard to see the gap since it's covered by bonding, but that triangle at my gum line gives it away.

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Side view. You can see the space which is on both sides, and is keeping the front teeth open.

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Braces on! They are clear ceramic, and lighter than my teeth. Yikes.

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Braced on 3/18/11 at the tender age of 40


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threescompany
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#2 Postby threescompany » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:32 pm

I went in for my first adjustment 4 weeks after being braced. Prior to beginning treatment, my ortho told me that he'd work on moving the bottom teeth, then do some shaving of the bonding that is between my top front teeth as that gap closes. I was a little disappointed that he didn't start that at my first adjustment, but I guess my teeth were really getting used to being braced. He said we'd now work on "closing those gaps immediately".

The thin, white wire was swapped out for a heavier gauge, silver wire. The ligs were replaced with end to end powerchains. Well, on the top it stops at my first pre-molar. He said he wants to get that tooth to rotate to the front more, so I guess having the end of the chain pulling on it will help that happen. I could feel the pressure right away! He said that he'll move things in stages, getting more intense each time, but not ever unbearable.

Here's how things looked:

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Braced on 3/18/11 at the tender age of 40


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5kYL1n3
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:54 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#3 Postby 5kYL1n3 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:50 pm

Your teeth were pretty amazing prior to braces... but I'm pretty detail oriented too so I think that gap would bother me over time as well.

I'm jealous you were able to get the clear Damon brackets (I'm assuming that's what they are). I asked my ortho if she had those because I think they're less noticeable, but the best she could do was In-Ovation C's, which are still pretty noticeable due to the metal gate.

Anyway, with a 6 month treatment time they'll be gone before you know it. I unfortunately have to get teeth extracted and have them on for around 18 months. I think we also started our treatments at a similar time since I just went in for my first check up today and I was braced 3 weeks ago. Looking forward to seeing your progress!

threescompany
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#4 Postby threescompany » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:13 pm

Hi, and thanks! My teeth really were mostly okay. The bonding and the fact that my front teeth ended up quite a bit larger really did bother me, along with the chipping/staining issue. Turns out I have some tilted and rotated teeth so those should be taken care of. These are actually "mystique" ceramic brackets. So I have ligs/powerchains, but my ortho uses clear and they aren't really noticeable.

I can't believe what a pain it is to eat. It seems no matter what, I get food crammed between the brackets, teeth and wire. It's so irritating and uncomfortable! Totally sucks the joy out of eating. Maybe I'll lose weight? :thumbsup:

It's funny how some of the teeth that were pinned together now have small gaps, and others that were easy to floss are now pinned together. I'm also noticing that my midline is starting go get slighly off on the top. I hope that's something that will work out when the bonding starts coming off.
Braced on 3/18/11 at the tender age of 40


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threescompany
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#5 Postby threescompany » Thu May 05, 2011 1:30 pm

I'm less than a week away from my next adjustment, and suddenly I'm getting randomly sore teeth. :| My whole mouth hurt like crazy after the first adjustment, and then was fine for a couple of weeks. Fortunately the tooth that's sore today is one that has to move back to close a gap. I hope that's normal!

I don't feel like I'm seeing much movement, but I'm sure I'm being impatient. Since it's supposed to be a 6 month treatment, I guess I figured teeth would be flying around in there! :lol:
Braced on 3/18/11 at the tender age of 40


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threescompany
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#6 Postby threescompany » Wed May 11, 2011 8:49 am

Had my second adjustment today. I'm on a 4-week schedule, which is pretty great when you are teeth obsessed!

So, when he asked me how I thought things were going I said "I think I have stubborn gaps". The ortho looks at the assistant and says "she thinks she has stubborn gaps, what do you say we shock her?" :shock: I said "oh no! I shouldn't have said that!". Ha! The Dr. said there's so much more they can do if needed, but I'm now sporting wire ties on four brackets, full power chains top and bottom (except for the last premolar that still hasn't rotated), and a funky elastic tie that's woven in a figure 8 across the four front teeth on the top and bottom. The assistant told me to expect it to really hurt tomorrow. :crazy:

I've had a different assistant each time, and this guy was the best! He made sure I knew what he was doing, told me to expect him to push, etc., and left no poky bits! Poky bits are my enemy.

Okay, gonna go load op on the advil now. I'll add photos of the groovy elastic situation in a bit.
Braced on 3/18/11 at the tender age of 40


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threescompany
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#7 Postby threescompany » Wed May 11, 2011 5:53 pm

Update!: OUCH

My goodness, the extra ties make eating extra messy. :( I'm going to have to really think about what I eat and whether that snack is really worth the hassle of getting it all out of the braces! Eating at work should be interesting. Ugh.
Braced on 3/18/11 at the tender age of 40


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Dressy1
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 11:21 pm

Re: Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#8 Postby Dressy1 » Thu May 12, 2011 1:11 am

looks like you have some space in your mouth that can be found better use)) . (not like mine - all crowded and no space)
I think your teeth will look great very soon.

threescompany
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#9 Postby threescompany » Wed May 25, 2011 7:33 am

My teeth have been a bit tender for the past couple days, which is strange considering my adjustment was 2 weeks ago. I hope that means the stubborn gaps on the bottom are closing.

I'm a little concerned about my back molars, which are not attached to the arch wires. They are becoming seriously out of alignment with the adjacent molars, which makes sense. Is that something I should raise with the ortho or is it normal? I don't want it to cause my bite to be all out of whack if and when the molar build ups come off.

Here's a look at the new metal ties, elastic tie. The elastic that's wrapped around the brackets is so close to my teeth it makes cleaning difficult. I really hope they come off at my next appointment.

Sorry for the mega pictures!

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Braced on 3/18/11 at the tender age of 40


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threescompany
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#10 Postby threescompany » Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:39 pm

Well I'll be damned... I think there's progress on my lower gaps! :jump: They feel a little bit smaller, hooray! Kinda looking forward to my adjustment on Wednesday to see what the Ortho thinks. He has been reluctant to remove the bonding between my upper incisors, not wanting to open gaps while there are already others. Honestly at this point, I don't give a rip!

Aside from my gap-closing excitement, I think my bite is changing, which was not a problem being addressed. Teeth are not lining up like they used to. I have a pre-molar on the right that touches first, and then sends the lower jaw forward so the front teeth touch. Should I be concerned?
Braced on 3/18/11 at the tender age of 40


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Nettie
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 4:38 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA

Re: Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#11 Postby Nettie » Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:47 am

Wow only 6 months? That will go by so fast and make my sentence move along faster as I see the result of others along my journey.
Your ceramic brackets are amazing as well as your teeth!

Congrats on making the decision to do this for yourself and on your progress so far!!!

I look forward to seeing your progress.

Nettie

threescompany
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#12 Postby threescompany » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:04 pm

6 months is what I was told, I'm sure it's an estimate though. I don't see how it can be done that quick! Funny how my bite is starting to change now too. Hopefully it will all work out in the end. Turns out braces is quite a leap of faith!

My front teeth are kind of sore. It comes and goes. That means progress, right????
Braced on 3/18/11 at the tender age of 40


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threescompany
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#13 Postby threescompany » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:55 pm

Had my third adjustment this morning. OMG :shock: my teeth hurt!

Today my ortho began removing the bonding between my front teeth. Not a ton, but I can notice a difference. Then they chained me back up, put on another elastic tie, but when I bit down, the first thing that touched was my front teeth. Ortho didn't like that at all. So he had the tech take off the chain and put wire ties and an additional elastic tie on my front two. Presumably to hold them tighter to the archwire? My guess is that the space plus the pressure of the elastic was making them tip in and bump the teeth. Chain went back on, up I sat, but nope! Still bumping. So he ended up doing some contouring on my lower front teeth, telling me that my teeth should have naturally worn down over the years, but since they were out of alignment, they didn't. I also remarked that I thought my front lowers are kind of high, and he agreed, but didn't say he'd do anything about that, just the shaping for now.

Well, a few hours later and I've noticed that those teeth are bumping again :? Makes it very hard to eat. Also, I've noticed that the only back teeth that touch are the pre-molars on my right side. Nothing touches at all on the left. Ack! I think I'm going to try to call them tomorrow afternoon to see what they say. I hate to be a pest but I don't want to go a month like that.

Anyway, here's a pic. You can see the space he opened up. That was this morning, it completely closed a few hours later. No wonder my teeth hurt like hell! People need to stay out of my way, I'm all testy about it too. ;)

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The bottom gaps aren't gone yet, but the top teeth aren't tilted out now. Those gaps need to close up already!

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Braced on 3/18/11 at the tender age of 40


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threescompany
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#14 Postby threescompany » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:08 am

Feeling generally happy about my teeth are coming along. I can tell, however, that my right side is different than the left. The upper teeth are dropped more, I think. It just seems like they meet together sooner on that side.

Also, all the extra wire and elastic ties are making it nearly impossible to keep my teeth clean! It's worrying. Floss just shreds and gets stuck between my right upper incisors. Some teeth still have plenty of room to floss, some are really tight. Sigh...
Braced on 3/18/11 at the tender age of 40


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threescompany
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: Threescompany's (hopefully short) braces journey

#15 Postby threescompany » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:15 am

Noticed a bracket has come off. :lol: Of course, I noticed it Friday and the office is closed. Hopefully they can fit me in tomorrow but I am in a workshop so have limited time. Is it a huge deal to have a bracket not attached to the tooth for a few days? It's my second premolar, so the next to last bracket.
Braced on 3/18/11 at the tender age of 40


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