Braces for the THIRD time!

If you want to share the detailed saga of your braces story, this is the place to do it. You can use this forum as a braces journal, editing and updating your posts as your treatment goes on. Remember to also visit the main ArchWired.com site for additional stories from other readers!

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denSMSgt
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Braces for the THIRD time!

#1 Postby denSMSgt » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:25 pm

Yes, you read right, braces for the third time. I know... I know...

Mid-ish 80s, at roughly age 14, I obviously had an old orthodontist who was still using full bands on all teeth. Imagine Ben Stiller in 'Something About Mary'. My teeth and palate were really bad, had palate expander too. At the end upon removal, he ended up giving me this dreadful huge bite into (like a sports/football mouthpiece) retainer and said wear it at night. It would fall out when sleeping and eventually the dog got it and chewed the retainer all up. You don't realise how slowly things shift back over time, and boy did they.

Flash to around 1999, at 28, I got braces again at the Dental School in Kansas City. It was very economical with a great student dentist! They used the typical newer style brackets with coloured ligs and the occasional metal ties. I had another palate expander and realized that when it gets to the limit as an adult, it hurts BAD versus when you are younger. It accomplished the 'tipping' of my uppers that they'd hoped for and they wired it off for a few months before removing it. I wish I had been able to finish my treatment at UMKC because I was not very happy with the ortho in OK that finished things up in late 2001.

I thought a bonded retainer would be great! No way. I wasn't a fan of removable retainers, so I didn't think twice about the traditional hawley retainers on the top and bottom. I had a friend with a bonded retainer, and asked the ortho on a retainer follow-up if I could get one of those on the bottom at least so I'd only have to worry about one retainer since I needed to wear the all the time for at least a year they recommended. Turns out almost a decade later this was NOT a good plan! I couldn't tell, but it came partially un-bonded at some point and yes, stuff shifted. Six teeth on the bottom were bonded (at least for awhile).

I had it removed by military dental clinic, and just for grins tried to put the original retainer back in- SNAP. I have faithfully worn the top retainer, eventually only at night. Had to have it fixed and eventually replaced after breakage and it wasn't quite the same, but I stuck with it and even the replacement lower hawley that kept the lowers at least in the same un-nice position they were in after having the bonded disaster removed.

Needless to say I wouldn't recommend a bonded retainer unless you watch it like a hawk and do your best to ensure all was well. Since finding this site, I read there are folks lucky enough to have the bonded AND essix retainers to help ensure no, or potentially less issues. I wasn't ever given that option, and for years I thought the bonded option on the bottom was teriffic. Imagine my surprise when things slowly shift over the years and you can't tell a couple of teeth have come unbonded. I'm sure if I'd had an essix retainer to go along with bonded I wouldn't be in bad shape again.

My wife was having some serious TMJ issues and after several months of an odd retainer looking thing helping, yet not helping enough, went the braces route in August. As my jaw had been going ka-chuck for the last good while, and knowing my wife had issues, I went in to get our ortho's take on my mouth. Turns out everything shifted worse than the obvious couple of teeth that were now not straight. 80% overbite, left side of jaw going ka-chuck with every open of mouth and at least one lower tooth hitting the back upper part of the uppers.

I (like my wife) was also offered invisalign to fix these issues and said no way. The orthodontist understood and said they have folks that are invisalign candidates that don't want to have to mess with removing stuff and go the traditional route. This time I have the 3M SmartClip self ligating brackets, all metal. I understand the new clear brackets don't discolour like the older ones did, but I like coffee too much to test that out. How wild to be able to compare what I'd consider three distinct generations of braces. I remember pain for a couple-ish days after visiting the orthodontist, and these new brackets are messing with my mind-- 8 days in and different teeth feeling odd/changing positions a bit.

After coaching my son and then wife on dealing with braces, cleaning, food, etc. here I am joining them at 40. Again, I can hardly believe, braces for the THIRD (and final) time! I'm sure several of you will think I'm crazy doing this yet again.

On sort of a funny note, and I guess a testament to how well I did wearing my upper hawley retainer, I went to snack on something at my desk on day two of braces last week and reached up without thinking to pop my hawley retainer out... except that is now a bracket on my tooth, not the bend in the wire where I go to pop the retainer out so I can grab a quick snack. I keep instinctively wanting to grab them out of the holder in the evening too.

Well if you made it through my overly verbose story, thanks! It's been good to find this site and read up a bit on folks in different stages of treatment/completion.

Keep smilin' y'all!

dennis
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denSMSgt
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Re: Braces for the THIRD time! initial pic added.

#2 Postby denSMSgt » Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:04 pm

Not exactly a stellar pic, (hopefully I'm adding it properly) but here we are:


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Another thing I thought was pretty wild last week was the abruptness of it all. I went in Tuesday morning for the consult, and thought they may tell me to suck it up, it's not a big deal, or craft a new lower retainer to help move stuff around, or even potentially braces on bottom but I doubted it. Then the ortho moved my jaw around, and even stuck his fingers in my ears to check the jaw-clunk as I closed and showed me the 80% overbite on the photos they'd taken along with xrays. Once I told them I preferred to go regular braces, the assistant asked when I wanted to come in. Anytime was fine with me, and she said, "I think we had a 10:00 cancellation (it was 09:47).

So I went from wondering what they would recommend about my mouth/jaw issues, to braces before lunchtime! My co-workers were as surprised as I was upon returning to work! My biggest issue was biting in to the left lower bracket, so they put a gray-ish rubbery bumper on it. Because of that, my back teeth don't meet when I try to bite. I wonder how long it'll take before that changes.

It's also a bit hard to wrap my head around no bands. Not sure if they'll put bands on the rear molars later as the brackets stop at the second molar back, don't remember the name. Maybe they'll cut me a break since I had 100% bands as a teen. Time will tell.

Well, have a great one all!

d
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Jethro
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Re: Braces for the THIRD time!

#3 Postby Jethro » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:47 pm

Hey denSMSgt,

Congrats on the new grill. If I had just looked at your pic without reading your story, I would've thought you were nearly at the end of treatment! When first installed, my archwires looked like a rollercoaster nightmare, and I can definitely relate to the shifting teeth and tmj issues that necessitate re-treatment. I recently completed my 2nd round of braces and was lucky to have brackets instead of molar bands this time around...hopefully you will too.

Here's to smooth sailing and an early release!

belistic10
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Re: Braces for the THIRD time!

#4 Postby belistic10 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:03 pm

well done for going back for a third ( and hopefully final) time :D i think the all metal looks good on you. Getting them the same day unexpectedly would have been a shock i bet, but maybe good in you didnt have time to worry about it :lol: goodluck!
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Re: Braces for the THIRD time!

#5 Postby denSMSgt » Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:03 pm

First, Thanks for the kind words y’all!

Fairly close to two weeks in and a few new thoughts on this round of, uh, fun.

Not sure if I’m just getting accustomed to how everything feels, but it doesn’t seem I’m biting down into this bumper/bracket on the left lower front tooth as hard/much. I will be VERY happy when I’m not hitting it at all!

So are these 3M smartclip brackets sharper on the edges as others, or does it just seem such since there are no little rubber o ligs to provide the buffer around the edge of brackets? They sure seem a bit more jagged than last time.

It’s odd to feel lower molars move a touch when I push with my tongue, I remember it from last round of braces, though until I did it the other day for the first time, I’d forgotten about that feeling.

@Jethro, since you’re free and I’m guessing in retainers now- wear them faithfully and watch stuff like a hawk! Hope your newly fixed grill (love that term) stays nice!

@belistic10, I’m only almost a couple weeks ahead of you, hope your hardware install goes well! The unexpected install for me was kind of a relief actually.

When my wife was having her jaw/TMJ issues earlier this year, our ortho fit her with this dreadful ugly plasticy kind of retainer thing for like eight-ish months. It annoyed the heck out of me and I didn’t even have to wear it. Since it helped somewhat relieve her issues, but didn’t do the job to the Doc or wifey’s satisfaction, even she is relieved to be in braces. That said, I was worried the ortho would try to give me a piece of rubbish like that too.
I’m much happier with something non-removable as much as I didn’t like dealing with retainers and quickly vetoed the invisalign option.

I’m slated for a follow-up mid-December, but found out I will be out of town for work from early Dec through mid-ish Feb. Hope they can squeeze me in early before I go if that’s what they recommend. Time will tell, more thoughts later…

Have a great day, and smile all!

d
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Re: Braces for the THIRD time!

#6 Postby denSMSgt » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:10 pm

I had my second appointment yesterday and surprisingly they removed the wimpy starter-arch wire and put the heftier rectangular wire in. I could tell right away I was in for some serious business! I'm just under two months in, but was seen a couple weeks early since I'm going to be out of town on business for almost three months. I'm very thankful the little rubber bumper now is flush with the top of the lower bracket so it's not as noticable since I'm still biting into it a bit still.

My wife got her braces a couple months before me, and was shocked they gave me the beefier wire so fast. I think she gets to ride the pain-train at her next appointment in a couple weeks with the fun rectangular wire.

So my training wheels are off and my normal morning fibre breakfast bar put the crush on me today! There's the pain I remember. I ended up eating SUPER spicy/hot Thai red curry for lunch, not only was it mostly soft, but I figure the endorphin rush may just help the pain I'm feeling today.

Semi-lame looking pix to follow soon hopefully.

Smile BIG Y'all!

dennis
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Re: Braces for the THIRD time!

#7 Postby denSMSgt » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:38 am

Appointment number three was yesterday afternoon.

Ortho was very happy with the way my 'bite was opening up' and progressing so far. I do have gaps now up top that kind of make me crazy, but I know he needs to accomplish that first. At least I'm not not biting into the lower bracket now. I may be touching a bit, but at least the rubber bumper isn't there to be in the way now.

He said next time they would add two more brackets to my back lower molars with new longer heat activated wire to obviously attach.

I forgot to ask, as it makes me rather curious... this time they put ligs/ties on my upper front brackets where before they only had them on the canines. On the bottom, only ties put on the canines. I have the 3M smartclip brackets BTW and I noticed even before with my wife and son they only put the ligs/ties around half the bracket. I still owe a picture, so will show later if you're not sure what I mean by half the bracket. I was a bit bummed that the tech just started putting silver/gray looking ties on without asking me... I realized what she was doing on the third one and asked if I could be a big kid and have a colour instead. C'mon, let me have some fun! I went dark blue since their shade of orange isn't very good.

I almost posted last month when my teeth were feeling a bit tender and I could tell movement. These self ligating brackets and heat activated wire really mess with my mind. I've been through this twice before, and with the exception of the evil palate expander, after the adjustment for a few days was the only time I'd ever get any pain/tenderness. It's so strange a month-ish after an appointment to feel that tenderness.

I DO like the way the 3M brackets look in comparison to the Damons. I think probably because the 3Ms look more like a traditional bracket than having that wonky looking door.

Well there ya have it, somewhat the latest on my second go at braces as an adult. I'm a bit tender today, but still having fun with it!

SMILE Y'all! :tingrin:

dennis
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Re: Braces for the THIRD time!

#8 Postby denSMSgt » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:10 pm

I'm totally not the guy that's going to hide my smile/braces normally. Fact, I probably smile MORE now I have braces again if that's even possible, but I'm going to admit to some embarassment here...

I've been wanting to post some update pictures, but the staining that has become way worse since being re-braced in October is DREADFUL! There was some minor staining from my coffee/tea fancy, but it immediately got way worse FAST. I have a cleaning scheduled finally next week now that I'm back home again, so I'm very interested to see how things look after that. I may even do a comparison shot then, but just can't bring myself to fire the camera and flash up yet. The LED flash makes my teeth look even more dingy/brown.

This seems so odd to me overall, as I normally don't understand why folks want to hide their smile (unless it's really-really bad) and I totally don't get hiding a nice braced smile, since I think a braced smile looks GREAT! This staining makes me understand that feeling just a tiny bit now and must be my kryptonite!

I always end with SMILE, and I am actually smiling too, just not on camera YET. :tingrin:

d
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Re: Braces for the THIRD time!

#9 Postby ashesgap » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:42 pm

The first few months of braces I had horrible brown/orange stains right under the wire and between the teeth. I found out that my Crest ProHealth mouthwash stains really bad. So luckily I had a cleaning and she had to use a baking soda and water spray to get all the stains off. You might want to check the ingredients in your toothpaste and mouthwash. Also, when I drink ice tea in the summer time, more than two glasses a day and the staining starts to pile on. I use baking soda with my electric oral-b once a week. That really seems to help with some staining. The cleaning will take care of them, you just have to figure out what caused them to worsen. Good luck :-}
29 years old
2-18-10 baby canine pulled
3-15-10 got braces
12-22-11 Moving-SO EXCITED!!
1-2-12 Meet new Ortho
1-5-12 Begin finishing treatment
3-5-12 Canine Implants...dun dun dunnnnn
4-9-12 Deband!
I had braces for Two Years and TwentyFive Days
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Re: Braces for the THIRD time!

#10 Postby denSMSgt » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:15 am

I have prided myself on totally avoiding wax this go 'round, five-ish months worth... until TODAY.

My oldest son had his orthodontist appointment this morning, so I let everyone sleep in a bit since it was an early appointment with more work to be done than their afternoon appts. With the extra time, I pestered him while trying to awaken him, he's 15 and may be harder to get moving than me even. I went for the joking grab of face to rub his braces on inside of gums, he paid me back way too rough and jabbed my upper left hook WAY up into my inner lip/cheek. O U C H deluxe ! ! ! We're talking blood and all. I knew I was destroyed right away and went upstairs to swish with the peroxide rinse stuff.

I have no idea where I put my stash of wax, so at his appointment I got to tell the story and ask for some wax, since the hook keeps plowing right into the spot. :-+ How funny (not really) it happened on his appointment day.

As they took him back for his appointment, I hollered to the tech to "bring the pain", since we like to have fun. 50-ish minutes later when they emerged, she laughed and said they did in fact, "bring the pain" as I asked. They removed his lingual arch, added new brackets on the bottom and he's having his first experience with POWERCHAIN. Ha! Payback should be here by now, especially since it's his first powerchain and he had some big gaps after surgically bringing his canines down last year.

So after all that, I'm very disappointed that I've had to use any wax. I figured I might have an issue in a martial arts class, not just routine back and forth with my teenager.
I DID start it though, I'll admit, and am paying the price.

Have a great day all, and as always --SMILE :tingrin: --
Last edited by denSMSgt on Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Braces for the THIRD time!

#11 Postby denSMSgt » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:19 am

I just realized I hadn't posted after my cleaning last week! W00T, YAY, etc., they're clean after the baking soda power-blast at the dentist. Finally no more mega brown stains. Let's see how long till the normal coffee staining shows back up.

Smile! :tingrin:

d
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Six months already? VEGEMITE/MARMITE

#12 Postby denSMSgt » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:12 pm

Nothing really monumental to report here except I can't believe I'm at the six month point already today according to the ticker. Observations:

-I've had odd feelings, not pain, not quite normal sensitivity on either my right canine or first molar (all four pre-molars were yanked unfortunately as a teen).

-I still have a hard time wrapping my head around teeth movement/changes over a month past my last appointment. The heat activated wires mess with my mind still.
____

On a completely unrelated note, but since we have many folks from the UK and Down Under, y'all might get a kick out of this silly Yank finally properly trying Marmite and Vegemite.

I've been lucky enough to travel to several parts of the world in my adult life, so I'd like to think I'm a bit more open minded than someone that's never left or strayed too far from where they are originally from. In the 80's, I had a good friend play a prank on me with a big huge spoon of Vegemite. I had no idea what it tasted like, only that it was referenced in the Men at Work song, "Down Under". Y'all are surely laughing at my misfortune by now, as I quickly learned Vegemite and Marmite are NOT sweet products as I had expected. Flash forward 25 years or so and I have finally discovered the proper way of eating it (so I understand at least), spread thin on buttered toast. That first bite was difficult to take since I was nearly scarred for life, but I had to think back to the first time I had a Guinness--and hated it, yet now of course love it.

Both products are very similar, yet slightly different in taste and consistency. I actually like them both!

Hope you don't mind the off-topic, but if you're a fellow braced one from a 'Commonwealth' Country that has any yeast extract tips, or different ways of trying, I'd love to hear them!

Cheers and Smile Y'all ! :tingrin:
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Re: Braces for the THIRD time!

#13 Postby denSMSgt » Thu May 03, 2012 9:13 pm

New lower far back brackets and obviously longer archwire added yesterday. No pain yesterday afternoon/evening, just felt odd. That feeling didn't last long as now the pain train has arrived! I can feel even in one day how stuff isn't fitting together the same.

I'm very interested to see what these changes accomplish.

Here are some photos finally that highlight mostly how much the lowers moved after the debacle that was the old bonded bottom retainer.

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This top one isn't a great quality shot, but shows the leveling that needs to be done.

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braces 3May

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Second to the last bottom molar shift is easier to see I think here. *&%! bonded retainer!

Keep smiling BIG y'all!

d
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Re: Braces for the THIRD time!

#14 Postby denSMSgt » Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:35 pm

Well again it's been awhile since I've posted on progress, so here goes:

The late July appointment fixed my first bracket that had popped off right before US Independence Day (4 July). Of course it broke the Thursday before. The office was closed Friday and that entire week of the 4th. I was in New Mexico backpacking with the Boy Scouts for a couple of weeks so didn't get the bracket re-bonded until my appointment at the end of July. :-(

I was told at that appointment that I would be getting a powerchain on the next appointment. They didn't disappoint last week either. But after the assistant installed the blue coloured powerchain I'd picked out, the ortho came over to take a look at things and decided he wanted another one put on the bottom as well as elastics. YIKES, I was expecting one and the pain that comes with powerchain, but this isn't my first rodeo in braces, we're talking a triple whammy when you add the Class II elastics named Bill! At least I didn't get the super heavy ones named Bummer that my son has been wearing (class II as well). My wife and I both had our appointments at the same time. She received her second powerchain, and it was a stronger one only available in silver. She was bummed, as I will be next appointment when I get the stouter one. Again, we both are in our 40s, went ALL METAL, and love to do colours! We say have fun with the experience!

Today I took my son in for his appointment and they gave him neon colour elastics! What? No fair, they didn't offer me up colours last week. Why must they just assume an adult wouldn't want to have a bit of fun. Admittedly, I'm just a big kid oft times. I gave them a hard time about it with a smile of course and she chuckled and fetched me a couple of bags of wonky coloured elastics. Yay! :-) Maybe I'll even rock the pink ones a bit for breast cancer awareness month instead of saving them for my wife since she will probably get elastics next month.

I'll give some pix a shot here as well, it's been so long since I've posted any, I'm not sure I remember how! EDIT- ended up attaching the files. My, that midline isn't good right now is it?!

Smile Y'all! :tingrin:

dennis

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Re: Braces for the THIRD time!

#15 Postby denSMSgt » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:13 pm

Another little while since I posted progress here on this original post/subject.

Not long ago I posted about the near non-stop clunkyness of my jaw here: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=43771

I was a touch disappointed today when I inquired to be mostly told it's probably stress in your life, maybe you're clenching more etc. Uh, well, I won't say it's not a contributing factor, but to mostly pin it on stress and not my moving teeth didn't exactly sound all that cool. I like the guy, just bummed at that response. I'm just hoping things will improve, so not too wound up about it yet.

The lower archwire popped out of the rear molar bracket last week. Thankfully it wasn't poking me so I just left it alone instead of snipping it off. The tech had a heck of a time getting it back in, and had to almost totally unclip it from the brackets (I have the 3M smartclip brackets that I still think look better than the damons).

New power chains again today, went with red and they extended them all the way to the last bracket this time on top and bottom. Was also given new elastics Box this time along with the obvious larger size to accommodate the larger box pattern to the class II I had been wearing. Bill has been kicked to the curb and I'm hanging out with Louie now, same ones as my wife. They were cool enough this time to print out a sheet for me with info, which I've attached below.

I've tried to read up a bit on the box elastics, and I haven't really found anything that talks specifically about the configuration I have. Anyone have a thought? I'm guessing (and hoping) the tops will be pulled back some more and the bottoms forward. I'm still really tire of biting into a sandwich/burger and fighting with veggie toppings being drug out instead of cut.

Sounds like next time they're finally going to adjust at least one bracket position that's been bugging me for awhile. I'll just keep enjoying the ride and hope stuff gets fixed properly. I will definitely be more nit-picky this time around!

Smile gang! :tingrin:
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