I originally was told that my braces would be on for only a year, thus I only budgeted for only a year. Then I was told that I would need four extractions of the pre-molars to obtain the results that I wanted. So it will be another year that I would need to be in braces due to the extractions. I got my braces on December 16, 2004, and I got my braces off just 5 days ago, on February 21, 2007.
I actually was told by my new orthodontist (3rd one with this particular corporation) that my braces will be on for another 3 months and will come off in mid-May. I was so very disappointed and frustrated by what all these different orthodontists were telling me, each having their own opinions and none of them anticipated anything that would happen to my teeth. Things like permanent retainers and extractions. I was really frustrated and getting desperate. I didn’t want the braces on any longer and didn’t want to pay anymore for mediocre orthodontic treatment. For 26 months, I’ve been commuting 60+ miles every month for ortho check-ups.
Though I paid in full with this ortho office, I didn’t trust this ortho office or this new doctor. This new doctor didn’t ask me how I felt about having braces on for another 3 months and didn’t even acknowledge the fact that I was really satisfied with the appearance of my teeth. He had a different view of how my teeth should look compared to the orthodontist before him. This new orthodontist was basically trying to undo what my old orthodontist was trying to do with my teeth.
I decided to find a new orthodontist here in my home town. Even though it cost me an extra $1580 to take off my braces and get retainers from this new orthodontist, it was worth it I think. He was more experienced and sympathized with how I felt and what I needed to do. Although he recommended me having the braces on for a little longer, I asked for them to be taken off and he was very nice about it and he took them off for me. He saw things that the other orthodontists I’ve been seeing didn’t see and gave me permanent top and bottom retainers and a removable top retainer. His staff was very very nice and much more experienced. The whole process of taking off the braces and getting the impression of my teeth was so very painless, the dental assistants were very very experienced and gentle. The only regret I have is not going to this orthodontist in my home town in the start of this whole journey.
Life without braces is wonderful, eating is such a great thing. No more carrying around tooth picks! Flossing is a breeze, no more threaders! Smiling again is fun, and taking pictures is fun too. And my teeth didn’t feel slimy at all like everyone describes it to be, it just felt really really smooth and clean. I felt my teeth looked a little big, but that’s only because I’m so used to it being covered up in brackets.
My advice to anyone who is getting braces, shop around and find the right orthodontist. I don’t recommend going to an ortho office that is a corporate one, they change doctors too often and you don’t really get the quality care you should be getting. Taking care of your teeth and improving it can cost a lot, but it’s an investment that’s worth every penny, a great smile is priceless.