Braces journey starting 2016-03-17

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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gobraces
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:42 am

Braces journey starting 2016-03-17

#1 Postby gobraces » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:55 am

-- This was originally posted on the general forum, and then I discovered this board and thought it more fitting to move here --

I'm getting my braces tomorrow, so I decided to register here today and document my journey. I had braces during the teen years that successfully brought down an upper canine that was "on the second floor", so to speak. But for various reasons treatment stopped there and I still have severe crowding on the bottom and a rotated central incisor. (I can't believe I'm talking like this with all this dental jargon, thanks to visits to the dental/ortho offices and this message board!!) So as I count the forty-some odd years that have passed, I decided that it's time I gave myself a costly treat so I can have a better chance of healthy teeth and gum for the next few decades. I already have had fillings, crowns, root canals, etc. So having as little as possible of all that stuff in the future is my goal. So after two extractions about a month ago, and spacers put in two weeks ago, I'm going in tomorrow for the real deal. Have been reading messages here and learned so much here, and I look forward to sharing my ups and downs over the next 2-3 years.

gobraces
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:42 am

Time line: pre-braces

#2 Postby gobraces » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:06 pm

So, last summer I made up my mind that I would do something about my smile. I went to see an orthodontist, who is a friend of my dentist. We discussed the treatment plan and the rough cost. With a small mouth and regularly sized teeth, I needed two extractions - possibly three if we included one wisdom tooth. (I didn't need four extractions as I have already lost few teeth.) I decided to get everything started in 2016 so I could take advantage of some health care flexible spending money I could stash away.

January: saw my regular dentist for cleaning. Had a cavity filled.

mid February: had the two teeth extracted. Both of these were crowns anyway.

March 3rd: had six spacers (blue rubber band type) put in. Not much pain, but two of them broke that very evening without me even eating anything. So I went back to the office after a couple of days to have the broken ones replaced. This time they tried the metal spacer and they worked much better. When first put in, they were kind of raised. Since these were all on one side of my mouth, I felt like when I bite down, the other side of my mouth had no teeth contact. Very weird feeling. The good thing is that they never did really hurt much at all. I can definitely feel that they are creating space, though. Will need to have these in my mouth for two weeks and then it would be time for braces.

I've decided on the ceramic ones for upper, and regular metal ones for bottom. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Chippy3000
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:28 pm

Re: Braces journey starting 2016-03-17

#3 Postby Chippy3000 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:56 pm

Good luck! Mine go on tomorrow too!

Let us know how it goes!

All the best x

gobraces
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:42 am

Day 1: 20160317

#4 Postby gobraces » Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:33 am

It's official now. The braces are in. I hope to post some pictures when I am authorized to do so.

It was a smooth experience. After spacers were removed, four bands were put. The assistant could fit three of them, but the last one was a bit tight so the doc came to the rescue. No problem for him - he just had to use a floss that was a bit gritty. Into the space it went a few times. A slight tweak to the band, and voila. Between the time the spacers were off and the bands were officially in, I had a strange sense of some void where the spacers used to be.

Lower braces were put on next. Silver ligature. Instant (but very slight) tension. Then the upper with clear ligature. A mouthful but really, not much feelings except for when the teeth meet there is some sensation. Doc told me I'll be amazed at how these teeth will start to move. "We are going to change your bite," he said. Good! I think the wire is a 14-gauge.

The upper brackets is definitely touching just above the inside of my lip - wonder if talking less will help.

Before leaving, I was told the usual routine things to do to keep the teeth clean. One thing I didn't know about was that they gave me a special toothpaste (supposed to contain lots of fluoride). This is supposed to be the last thing I put in my mouth before bed. I was to brush and spit it out - no swishing with water, just spit it out. "Definitely take some pain medication before bed tonight," I was told.

I also realized that I need to switch to a clear mouth wash - the one I'm using now is blue, which stains my tongue a bit after use. Not good for the clear ligature!

So what should I have for lunch? I got some diced peaches and ice-cream. The diced peaches went down OK. Ice-cream still sitting on my desk - maybe in another half hour or so... It's now 3 hours after the braces went on. I'll probably wait on the pain killers - will take some when needed, just not yet.

Next appointment in 5 weeks.

gobraces
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:42 am

Day 2: brushing was not the same!

#5 Postby gobraces » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:47 am

OK. I will probably document this less in the future, but for the beginning I'm paying a lot of attention to what's happening - perhaps too much - so here goes:

This is embarrassing and funny: when I tried to brush my teeth last night (using an electric toothbrush), I wasn't able to close my mouth properly. On to my mirror went all these little splash spots - uggh! And when I rinsed, apparently my mouth has changed to a point that my aim was different too - some of the spit got on the fixtures. So gross and embarrassing.

Pain wise: when I went to bed last nigh I could feel a bit more pressure there as if some pain is about to start. I took one Motrin as precaution and called it a night. When I woke up this morning, no pain. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Chippy3000
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:28 pm

Re: Braces journey starting 2016-03-17

#6 Postby Chippy3000 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:48 am

Me too! I have an enormous mirror and toothpaste was EVERYWHERE! Even in my hair!

Glad you're not in too much pain. :)

I tried to brush with a manual brush but I could never get the hang of it so I think I will go back to the electric one when my teeth aren't so sore.

Do you find yourself checking your teeth all the time?

gobraces
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:42 am

Re: Braces journey starting 2016-03-17

#7 Postby gobraces » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:17 pm

Oh, definitely. I check them 25 hours a day... At least it feels like that way...

gobraces
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:42 am

Day 1 picture: 2016-03-17

#8 Postby gobraces » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:54 pm

OK - here's a picture from day 1, which was yesterday.
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MadSpinner
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:08 am

Re: Braces journey starting 2016-03-17

#9 Postby MadSpinner » Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:10 pm

Getting nervous for the "toothpaste in the mirror after toothbrush" thing.
Hope to see the pictures soon when my account is allowed to.
Good luck on your braces journey!

gobraces
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:42 am

Dental hygiene

#10 Postby gobraces » Sat Mar 19, 2016 6:05 pm

The water-pik I ordered arrived last night. This is the same portable type that I bought for the kids when they had braces. Wonderful addition to the hygiene routine / best $30 spent. I had some sweet potatoes for dinner and used the water-pik as soon as I was done. Such a relief when all the stuff caught on the brackets got washed out.

My routine now consists of: water-pik, GUM soft picks, floss, and brushing. My teeth is getting the royal treatment that they always deserved but never really received. If nothing else, the new hygiene routine (assuming I keep it up) should go a long way towards keeping the teeth and gum healthy.

Something else I forgot to mention: I did some whitening for a few days before the braces were put on, using one of those whitening pens. I figured it will be a couple of years before I will do the next whitening. My teeth are still kind of yellow, but at least I tried.

Glad to report that I am getting much better at "lip control" when brushing so toothpaste does not freely fly around any more. Such a relief! Speech wise, I do notice some slight difference. I think this is mostly due to my trying to protect my mouth from rubbing on the new fixture too much, and thus not moving as freely as before the braces. Nothing really noticeable, I guess, but I can tell the difference.

My right lateral incisor had this "click" yesterday, but that seems to have stopped mostly - at least it feels quite different today. Could the tooth be slightly moving already?

gobraces
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:42 am

Day 5

#11 Postby gobraces » Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:51 pm

Day 5 is winding down. A few more observations:

Speech is slightly different: as my lips get used to all the hardware, they've settled into a position relative to where the brackets/wires are, and will minimize movement in order to avoid unnecessary friction. So if my lips were moving 100% in sync with where they need to be for speech, they are probably getting by at 80%.

There is some discomfort in the mouth, but no need for wax so far. I find myself doing cheek puffing quite a bit so I get some relief from rubbing on the brackets and wires. Somehow I feel that the mouth gets stuck to the them from time to time.

Front teeth can tolerate bites better today.

Water-pik continues to save the day! I even bring it with me (since it's the portable type anyway).

I held off working out for a couple of days, but did a slow 5k on treadmill on Saturday (day 3). No ill effects. Guess a couple of sessions per week should be fine.

gobraces
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:42 am

Week 2 starts

#12 Postby gobraces » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:38 am

A week ago I had my braces put on. Things have been moving right along. I tell myself that whenever the end goal is, I am now seven days closer to it than otherwise!!

I'm getting better at keeping my teeth/braces clean, although the whole ritual still takes much more time than before braces. I don't floss every day - the water pik and GUM soft pick have been wonderful things that help keep my mouth clean. The main challenge is my bite. Since my top teeth (cuspids) are hitting on two brackets on the bottom, I really don't have a good bite because my back molars can barely meet. Not much chewing possible. Most of the chewing is done by front teeth and the tongue crushing soft food against the roof of my mouth. This is challenging, but I'm getting used to it and look forward to the day when I can actually chew.

A few places in the mouth have been toughened up some - I still do the cheek puffing often, and find the process of blowing air out of my mouth in order to lift my upper lip away from the braces a fun thing to do - not in public of course.

Still glad I got the process started.

MummaFish48
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:06 am
Location: UK

Re: Braces journey starting 2016-03-17

#13 Postby MummaFish48 » Thu Mar 24, 2016 4:26 pm

Thanks gobraces...
I get mine in 2 weeks and like reading peoples experiences, they all differ, but not all are as horrendous as I am expecting!!!
I'll let you know! :D

gobraces
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:42 am

wire poking

#14 Postby gobraces » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:12 pm

So this morning on my way to work, I stopped by the ortho office. I found a wire poking out on the lower left, just enough to annoy. Last night I tried bending it away from my cheek so it does not bother me all the time, but still wanted to get it clipped. Nice and quiet on Good Friday morning so I was really the only patient there. We had a nice chat and he solved the problem really fast. "Good job brushing," he said. Made me feel good.

I don't think it's caused my teeth already straightening out - it's just been 8 days after all. Maybe I chewed on something. Anyway, the coast is clear now.

Teeth are definitely feeling better - I even had a couple of shrimps tonight to no ill effect. The front teeth still have a hard time biting into things, but are a lot less sensitive now. The waiting/anticipation before braces went on was really the toughest part mentally. After things get started, time will just take care of everything. At least that's what I hope. :D Have a great weekend, everyone!

MummaFish48
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:06 am
Location: UK

Re: wire poking

#15 Postby MummaFish48 » Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:24 pm

gobraces wrote:So this morning on my way to work, I stopped by the ortho office. I found a wire poking out on the lower left, just enough to annoy. Last night I tried bending it away from my cheek so it does not bother me all the time, but still wanted to get it clipped. Nice and quiet on Good Friday morning so I was really the only patient there. We had a nice chat and he solved the problem really fast. "Good job brushing," he said. Made me feel good.

I don't think it's caused my teeth already straightening out - it's just been 8 days after all. Maybe I chewed on something. Anyway, the coast is clear now.

Teeth are definitely feeling better - I even had a couple of shrimps tonight to no ill effect. The front teeth still have a hard time biting into things, but are a lot less sensitive now. The waiting/anticipation before braces went on was really the toughest part mentally. After things get started, time will just take care of everything. At least that's what I hope. :D Have a great weekend, everyone!



gobraces.....that is the most re-assuring thing I have read!!! "The waiting/anticipation before braces went on was really the toughest part mentally!!" I am there now......full of nerves for spacers on Tuesday...it looks like yours weren't too bad....it seems some are terrible, some are not...the same as braces.....I will wait and see where I sit in this debate!! Thanks for the up-date...


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