Full Metal Braces at 35

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r1r1r12000
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:32 pm

Full Metal Braces at 35

#1 Postby r1r1r12000 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:29 am

I joined ArchWired 5 years ago when I was first planning to get adult braces. I didn't end up going through with it at the time, but I've been reading the boards regularly and getting lots of great advice from everyone who posts here.

I wore braces for about three years as a kid (ages 10-13), but like so many of the 2nd-timers on ArchWired, I didn't wear my retainers and my teeth relapsed. Several dentists have recommended doing braces again and two of my front teeth have even chipped after shifting into the wrong place.

Things finally worked out personally and financially for me to get braces now. They went on this Friday. Here are some before pictures (I really should do whitening when these things come off!)

Before open.jpg
Before.jpg


By the way, notice how low the canine tooth is on my right side. Almost touching the gums. That becomes important later.
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r1r1r12000
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:32 pm

Re: Full Metal Braces at 35

#2 Postby r1r1r12000 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:32 pm

They're on!

Day 1.jpg


I went with full metal brackets upper and lower. My orthodontist offered both Invisalign and clear brackets, but said that metal would be his recommendation. He says he gets better results with them. I didn't want to do Invisalign. It was dramatically more expensive and the orthodontist said it would take twice as long for my case. I did think seriously about clear brackets, as least on the top teeth which show when I talk and smile. In the end, I decided on full metal mostly because of the ortho's strong recommendation, partly because of cost, and partly because I figured with metal brackets, there would be no use trying to hide them, so it would encourage me to keep talking and smiling normally.

Day 1 Right side.jpg
Day 1 left side.jpg
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r1r1r12000
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:32 pm

Re: Full Metal Braces at 35

#3 Postby r1r1r12000 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:11 am

Because of my deep bite, the ortho put bite blocks on my molars to keep me from knocking off the bottom brackets. The canine tooth on my right side hangs down so low that after the bite blocks went on, I was still biting the brackets. The ortho made the bite blocks taller two more times before they were finally sufficient to protect the bracket below that tooth while I chew. You can see the blue blocks on my back teeth:

Bite blocks Day 1.jpg


With the bite blocks, my teeth are held way apart! This is my completely closed bite right now:

Day 1 Right side.jpg


Chewing is a HUGE struggle! I can only contact on the tips of each bite block, so it's taking me forever to mash each bite of food enough to swallow. So far, I've learned that vermicelli, rice, and any leaf vegetable simply aren't happening with these bite blocks in. Vermicelli and rice just get pushed away by the blocks and the blocks aren't sharp enough to chew through leaf greens. Any advice fellow bite-block wearers? I knew going in that there were some foods I simply wouldn't be able to eat with braces, but does anybody have tips on eating faster with these things?
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Marchi31
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:48 pm

Re: Full Metal Braces at 35

#4 Postby Marchi31 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:33 am

Sorry I don't have a good reply for you here, I am in the same boat, except instead of bite blocks I have chunks of glue on my back bottom teeth for the same reason, so that my top canines do not brake the bottom brackets...hate it hate it hate it! hopefully the bite ll change & adjust so that I don't have to have the blue glue thingy back there :cry: Ortho decided to go with the glue & not bite blocks for some reason...I think it has smth to do with my crown which are all over my mouth especially on my molars.
Lets hang in there, I ll look forward to other people's posts & advice on the food choices 'cause it really sucks to have anything to eat at this point when u only have 2 pressure points to chew stuff
Best of luck to u!

r1r1r12000
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:32 pm

Re: Full Metal Braces at 35

#5 Postby r1r1r12000 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:59 pm

Thanks for the commiseration, Marchi31!

I had very soft cod and some noodles today for dinner. The cod was pretty easy to eat as long as I cut things up into tiny pieces. The noodles were frustrating, though. I'd cut off a small piece of noodle, push it under a bite block with my tongue, and mash up and down on it with the blocks and the stupid noodles would stay intact! It took me 45 minutes to chew through half a bowl of the noodles before I gave up and threw the rest of them in the trash.

Marchi31
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:48 pm

Re: Full Metal Braces at 35

#6 Postby Marchi31 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:50 am

Yikes! I am hoping the process of eating/mastification will get better over time. I feel like I swallow a lot of food unchewed nowadays... :oops: AND gaining weight now too which is just unfair! Never cared much for pasta, noodles, any starchy foods like potatoes, rice before but now running out of options. Will definitely take some time to adjust.

r1r1r12000
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:32 pm

Re: Full Metal Braces at 35

#7 Postby r1r1r12000 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:44 am

Here are my reactions to having the braces for just over a week. Hopefully they will be helpful to other newbies.

Pain/Discomfort:

Almost nil. I took 800mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours for the first three days. By day 4, I hadn't noticed any pain yet, so I stopped taking medication. A few of my front teeth feel mildly tender if I push on them with my tongue and I suspect that if I were able to chew with them, it might be uncomfortable. However, with my bite blocks, I can't touch my front teeth together, so those teeth haven't caused any pain.

I'm certainly still aware of my brackets under my lips, but at this point, they feel bulky rather than sharp or scratchy. I wore wax from about day 2-day 7 on several brackets that stick out toward my lips more than the others. By the end of the first week, my lips had adjusted to the brackets without any significant sores.

Eating:

Eating has improved dramatically. The braces themselves don't cause much of a problem when eating. It's the bite blocks that hold my jaws apart that get in the way. I've learned that cutting all food into small pieces is mandatory. Some foods I simply can't chew with the bite blocks, no matter how small I cut them. Leafy vegetables and small noodles are so thin that the blocks can't bite through them. The blocks aren't sharp enough to chew tough and fatty meats. Otherwise, chicken is pretty easy to eat, as are non-leaf vegetables. Bread, including tortillas, gets stuffed between the brackets and wires more than anything else.

Speaking:

The braces don't cause any problems speaking that I am aware of. The bite blocks are causing me to slur my speech noticeably. Since they hold my front teeth so far apart, air escapes while I'm talking, so "s" and "sh" sounds are distorted. For example, "yes" is coming out like "yesh" with a spitty quality to it.

Self-consciousness:

I was expecting to be more self-conscious than I have been. I've been out in public quite frequently in the past week and talked to a large number of people. Only one person has brought up my braces and that is a co-worker who has scheduled a date to get braces herself. Otherwise, I'm sure people notice, but they just don't seem to care

r1r1r12000
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:32 pm

Re: Full Metal Braces at 35

#8 Postby r1r1r12000 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:46 pm

3 week update:

Good news for people about to get braces: at 3 weeks in, I've pretty well adjusted to having the braces and don't think about them very much. In fact, it was talking with my co-worker who just got her braces this week that reminded me I should post an update.

Pain/Discomfort:

None. After the first week, which remained very comfortable with ibuprofen and wax, I've had no soreness at all with the braces. Everyone's experience is different, I guess. My coworker, whose setup is exactly like mine (metal brackets, bite blocks, etc - we are using the same ortho) said she's having a lot of pain from the pressure of the wires. Even soft foods are uncomfortable for her to eat. However, she's using plenty of wax and isn't having any soreness from the brackets against her lips.

Eating:

Back to normal. I'm eating my normal diet again. The bite blocks have probably worn down slightly, but mostly I've just adapted to eating with them in place. The only thing I just can't eat is leaf vegetables (spinach, lettuce, etc). the bite blocks just can't chew them

Speaking:

95% normal. I only notice a slight lisp if I'm speaking quickly and not paying attention. Otherwise, within 1 week, I was back to normal with speech

Self-consciousness/other people's reactions:

I really had anticipated being embarrassed and it's been a huge surprise that the experience of being out in public, working, and talking to people while wearing braces has just been uneventful. As far as I can tell, I'm smiling and speaking normally in terms of showing teeth, so I know people must be seeing them. Other people just don't care. The only people who have mentioned the braces to me are the co-worker mentioned above, who is doing braces herself, and some family members I saw last weekend who knew I was getting wired up and were excited for me. Otherwise nobody says anything and nobody stares or acts like they notice but are too polite to say anything.

Changes:

My front teeth are lining up! The upper left tooth that was positioned behind the others is almost lined up correctly. The movement is happening fast enough to be noticeable from day to day!

My first adjustment is in about two weeks, so I'm looking forward to it!

Bracingmyself33
Posts: 75
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Location: Singapore

Re: Full Metal Braces at 35

#9 Postby Bracingmyself33 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:17 pm

Excited to see your progress! Good luck! :HugeGrin:
Image

r1r1r12000
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:32 pm

Re: Full Metal Braces at 35

#10 Postby r1r1r12000 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:37 pm

I had my first adjustment this week. I really liked the light green O-rings I got on my bottom teeth the day the braces went on, so I did that top and bottom this time. Here's a comparison of my teeth the day before braces went on and my teeth the day after the adjustment. This is about five weeks into treatment:

Before to 1 month comparison.png


Lots of change in a short period of time! My top front teeth seem to be moving much more quickly than the bottom. Even the gums between my two front teeth seem to be more symmetrical as those teeth have lined up.

I knew things were moving, but it's exciting to see the pictures side by side. A couple of family members and my co-worker who is a few weeks behind me with her own braces have said that they notice the movement in my teeth, too.

At this point, I feel completely comfortable with the braces. Eating and speaking are back to normal. There's been very minimal discomfort. Even this first adjustment didn't cause any soreness; just a sense of tension for about 24 hours. If you've just gotten your braces on, there's hope! Things will get better fast!

I've reached the stage of forgetting that I have the braces on when I talk to people. Whether people don't notice, don't care (that's what I suspect), or are just being polite I've simply never had anyone stare at the braces or say anything off-putting to me. The only people who mention them are other adults who had, have, or are getting adult orthodontics. Several posts on ArchWired have mentioned that seeing other adults with braces is kind of like being part of a club. I have noticed that to be true. I've had two conversations with other adult braces wearers about flossing and have gotten a few shiny smiles of recognition at the grocery store, church, etc.

I go back to the ortho next week to have separators placed between all my molars so that bands can be installed the following week. There may be some soreness with that, I suspect.
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r1r1r12000
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Re: Full Metal Braces at 35

#11 Postby r1r1r12000 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:48 am

Two Month Update

2months.png


Christmas colors this month; green on top and red on the bottom.

I feel like I have a full set of braces now! The week before last, I got bands placed on my molars. At my visit on Friday, I got new wires that connect all the brackets with the bands. The top wire was changed to an 18. The bottom wire is still a 14, since the front tooth that was most out of place is still pretty crooked. I also got a rubber band! This one goes from my upper left canine to my lower left molar band. It's supposed to pull my top left teeth back.


classIIelastic a.png


I had no soreness at all after this adjustment. I took some ibuprofen after my appointment just in case, but I realized that I didn't need it. My top teeth are pretty much aligned now. The orthodontist says that the wires after this will be for tweaking the angulation of teeth. The elastic is supposed to be worn full time. I've managed to keep it in pretty much 24/7. Unlike some other elastic configurations I've seen, this one is pretty easy to eat with, so I'm only taking it out when I brush. The ortho said the more consistently the elastic is worn, the less soreness it will create. That seems to be the case, since it hasn't caused me problems at all.

I don't know if I'm smiling more now that my teeth are straightening and I'm more used to the braces, or if the colors this month are more vivid, or if the elastic is making my orthodontia more visible, but I have had a few people mention my braces this week. All of the comments were positive and one was from a woman with metal braces herself who said she wished she had chosen brighter colors (she sticks with gray ligatures).

Here's a comparison of the past two months:

First 2 months comparison a.png
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Beckett
Posts: 398
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:28 am

Re: Full Metal Braces at 35

#12 Postby Beckett » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:34 pm

Wow, your making amazing progress so fast! Looking great!

I had an adjustment this past Wednesday and got red and green as well. Mine are all power chain, red on top, green on the bottom. No one says anything. :( I know for the most part adults don't really say anything to other adults about their braces, but I didn't pick holiday colors for them to be ignored! I'm having fun with them, I don't mind if someone says hey! Christmas colors!

Most of my treatment now is aligning my bite, so I'm not noticing as many changes as I did in the beginning. I had upper canines to rotate and I honestly didn't know I had pretty canines until they turned and faced the right direction. I'm so excited not to have fangs anymore!
Image

r1r1r12000
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:32 pm

Re: Full Metal Braces at 35

#13 Postby r1r1r12000 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:46 pm

Thanks Beckett!

Enjoy your Christmas colors! I have to admit I've had fun with the different colors; it is nice when someone compliments my choice.

r1r1r12000
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:32 pm

Re: Full Metal Braces at 35

#14 Postby r1r1r12000 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:57 am

Wow! I've been in braces for 3 full months!

3Month.jpg


I went with dark blue O-rings this month. No big changes this time. I'm still wearing an .018 wire on top and the original .014 wire on the bottom, same as last month. The orthodontist said that I'm making good progress with my elastic on the left side. This month I'll continue wearing it 24/7, but we changed from "Ram" to "Impala" elastics. The new ones are noticeably tighter. You can see how far my left canine needs to move in the picture below. The ortho thinks I'll be wearing some sort of elastic for most of my remaining treatment.

Elastic.jpg



I have one stubborn lower tooth that hasn't entered the arch. The orthodontist said that we may use a spring to create space for it at next month's appointment.

Lower teeth.jpg
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r1r1r12000
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:32 pm

Re: Full Metal Braces at 35

#15 Postby r1r1r12000 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:10 am

Things look about like they did last month, which isn't very exciting. I suppose I'm past the early days with rapid visible changes. To maintain my motivation, I went back to Day 1 of braces to find a comparison picture:

Day 1 to Month 3 comparison.jpg


You can definitely see changes in the past 3 months!

For all my fellow bite-block sufferers, there's a light at the end of the tunnel! The bite blocks have worn down and my back teeth have shifted sufficiently that I can now bite on multiple back teeth on each side in addition to the bite blocks! Chewing is almost normal!

I went to a social event yesterday with several close friends I hadn't seen in a long time. In general I've had very little self-consciousness about the braces, but I admit to feeling a little silly showing up at this party in full braces. In fact, that's the main reason I went with a boring o-ring color combination this month. But I went, and I wore my elastic, and I smiled and laughed and didn't hide my metal mouth. One friend gestured at her teeth and said "Aww, cute!" when I smiled. Nobody else said anything or even seemed to notice the braces. As usual, the self-consciousness was all in my head.
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