Catgyrl's (Cathy's) Journey at age 42...

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catgyrl
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Catgyrl's (Cathy's) Journey at age 42...

#1 Post by catgyrl » Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:27 pm

Aloha everyone!

I’ve been perusing this site for a couple of weeks in preparation for my “B-day”. Well, that day is now less than a week away. Let me briefly introduce myself…

I’m 42 years old, and have wanted to have my teeth fixed since I was a teenager. Overall, my teeth are pretty straight and healthy; however, due to a nasty thumbsucking habit all the way thru grade school, I have a major overjet / open bite, and my upper teeth veer off to the right somewhat (probably from sucking that left thumb). My lowers are pretty good, though. When I asked my folks why I never got braces, they said (1) they wouldn’t have ever been able to afford them, and (2) my dentist never told them that I needed to see an ortho. (Come to think of it, 3 of my siblings have the same overjet that I do, and we all had the same crappy dentist…) I’ve always hated taking pictures because I have to get the right “angle” in order for me to not look like Bart Simpson’s long-lost sister.

Anyway, fast forward to a few weeks ago when I made the final decision to get my teeth fixed. I had two consultations, and decided to go with the ortho I felt most comfortable with, and who wouldn’t have a problem putting ceramic braces on my upper teeth, as the first ortho did. He said that I’m the one who has to wear them 24-7, so I need to be happy with what I have. He also said that I’d have to have my first premolar on the left side extracted at some point after I get braced. After looking at the pics he took… I see now that my bite was a LOT worse than I had thought.

Ortho pics:

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Overjet/Open bite:

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My family is giving me a little grief because they don’t “see” my teeth like that, and think I’m doing it just for cosmetic purposes, which is a “waste of money”. (They don’t see the fact that I cannot chew a piece of lettuce in a sandwich as being a problem.)

So, I’ve set my B-day date as Friday, April 9th, first thing in the morning. The plan, as I understand it, is for them to put on all upper braces (3M Clarity SL), and on the bottom they’ll be using metal. They’ll put on some of the bottom ones, except for my three crowns, around which they’ll be putting in spacers so that later they can fit me with molar bands. (Oh joy of joys…) I already have a gap big enough in one area where every single thing I eat goes straight into that gap, like a magnet. I can just imagine what 4 spacers are going to feel like. :roll:

So…after a week of reading website forums, and gathering all my necessities (DentaKit! Soft Foods! And all the cleaning tools one would ever need), I am all set, and excited as all get out! Next update will be after I get braced on Friday. :dance:

Wish me luck!!
-Cathy

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#2 Post by catgyrl » Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:31 am

5 days and counting... WOO HOO!! :jump:

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In the Same Boat--Welcome to the Ship!

#3 Post by karencoutts » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:40 pm

Welcome to the board, Cathy! You will be so happy that you had your teeth done. I started my braces when I was 42, 1.5 years ago.

I'm sorry that you're getting so many negative comments. They sound exactly the same as mine. Here's a lovely assortment of common and not so common reactions to my braces:

1. I don't see anything wrong with your teeth.
2. You're married already.
3. Are you going into show business?

My spouse has been pretty well completely unsupportive, with regular comments about my wasting money, even though my parents essentially coughed up the money for it as a spontaneous "gift." They had denied braces to me when I was in my teens, saying that beauty is only skin deep. Also, sometimes I explain why braces are necessary to an inquiring party and then I notice that their teeth are much worse than mine!

Despite a lack of support from mostly everyone except a few friends, I know I will not regret the 20-24 months I will be spending in braces. Mind you, there are times when I wish I could just rip these things off my teeth and times when I feel like screaming, but noone said it would be easy and the end result is always worth the hardship of the journey.

You have made the right decision and you will enjoy your improved teeth for the next 40-60 years!

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#4 Post by catgyrl » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:53 pm

Hi Karen! :wave:

Thank you so much for replying! Those comments you received sound so...ignorant. "Going into show business"? Because only Hollywood stars have straight teeth? Well, I'm not married, so I guess it's okay for ME to get braces at my age. :roll:

I know that I'm doing this for ME, and for all the RIGHT reasons. I cannot wait!! :banana:

-Cathy

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#5 Post by I love my teeth » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:00 am

Hi Cathy-

thought I'd reply to you here instead of on the other thread (which I couldn't find :D

The reduction in my overjet is strictly as a result of the braces moving the front teeth back. This has been an issue for for for about 15years.....I was resistant in my 20's to get the braces, because all of the consults also stated I had an undergrown lower jaw and would been advancement--I was 22 engaged, starting adult life--no thanks......plus, my teeth didn't look all that bad......fast forward 15years....they have gotten worse, and now the teeth could be at risk if I don't take care of it. In my case, the OD has said he doesn't think he can pull the front teeth back far enough (that they don't rest on my lip) with braces alone. I would still need lower jaw advancement....I am still trying ot figure out a way out of it. But I don't see any. I don't want a relapse.....he feels that without the lower jaw adv, the upper teeth would just eventually flare out again :(

Once all my gaps close up, I think I'll be surgery ready...I have 2 kids, so timing is everything....hoping for June--but likely Aug...hopefully not in Sept when they go back to school---their schedule is too hectic for me to have surgery!!

What is the OD plan for you? Surgery or no surgery?? good luck with everything, and feel free to pm me to chat anytime!!
Christine
Wore Braces for 2 years, 5 months, 3 days



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#6 Post by catgyrl » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:19 am

Ken:

Good morning! Thanks so much for all of the support, kind words and great tips! I've got about 3 different types of lip balm; and you can bet I'll be putting on the gooiest (is that a word?) one that morning. I might even hold it in my hand while they're working on me in case my lips dry out and I need some more. :lol: I've got my painkillers (in the bathroom AND in my purse), and the container of salt and a cup right next to the toothbrush on the sink. I AM READY!!

Christine:

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has problems finding threads on here. They're all so fascinating and informative, but I guess I need to pay better attention to where I post. :wink:

I am still amazed that you were able to get the results you have simply with braces!! Then again, you surely don't want things to go back to the way they were after all of your hard work (and hard-earned $$!) I do agree that it's harder for women with families and other such obligations to find time to do this, so I applaud you. :jump:

My ortho didn't mention anything about surgery, other than the need to extract one of my upper teeth on the left side, so that they can bring the teeth back around to where they should be. When I bite down, my teeth actually line up pretty well from the back molars to about 3/4 of the way to the front - that's when they go all wonky! They stick out and kind of wander off to the right. He said he'd do the extraction AFTER the braces were put on. I didn't ask for clarification as to how long after; if that tooth will be bracketed and wired at all, just to "see" how it moves, or what. I will find out on Friday. I'm going to have to get spacers put around my crowns on the bottom, though. SO not looking forward to that. I wake up with headaches every morning, as it is, so this will not be a picnic. But I'm still excited!!

Will definitely stay in touch with you!
-Cathy

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#7 Post by jensceana73 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:57 am

Howdy...just wanted to post a pre-CONGRATS!!!...on getting your braces. I'm 36 and have wanted them....FOREVER. Well, forever came last Wednesday and I'm soooo glad I did it. Eat up on your favorite foods...for they'll be on the back shelves in the weeks to come!! Can't wait to hear your brace day story. :thumbsup:
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#8 Post by catgyrl » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:35 pm

Thank you, Jen!

Funny you mention eating up my favorite foods because I just looked in my fridge and cupboards yesterday... and they're pretty BARE! So, I think I've gotten rid of (translation: EATEN!) most of the things I won't be able to eat for a while (popcorn, namely. Gonna have a hard time with that one...) The first thing you see when you open my freezer is a HUGE, 5-quart container of chocolate ice cream (all set for my milkshakes). Boxes of mashed potatoes, chocolate pudding, and containers of applesauce line my counters. Kinda hoping to lose a bit of weight in the process...

I will probably come home right after my appointment and take pics to post here. I can't believe I'm saying this, also, but since checking out the "Lig Colors" thread here (for hours!!), I've decided to go with ALL metal, and get some really cool ligs right off the bat.

Be back soon!!

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#9 Post by Margie » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:37 pm

It sounds like you are all ready to get braced! Good luck on Friday!

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#10 Post by mikesmile » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:39 pm

Hi catgyrl :D

Congrats on your wise decision to be 'embraced'. It takes a lot of courage as an adult. I just wanted to add my support and well wishes for your upcoming b-day. :-1 It's got to have you feeling pretty excited! Just try to relax and control your breathing during the installation process. I found it went smoother that way. My heart rate was way up when they started, but by the end I was pretty chilled out.

I'm 53 and still in the beginning stages of my treatment. It's all fresh for me. Second time around as an adult, though. It's fascinating and a lot of fun. 8) I didn't document anything the first time. I wish I had, though...and definitely advice it. That's something I learned to appreciate here on AW.

Good luck with everything.....can't wait to hear your update. :wink:

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#11 Post by catgyrl » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:11 pm

Margie: Yep, I'm as ready as I'm gonna be, I guess! I'm already eyeing (with sadness) some of the foods I'm going to have to say "Hasta la vista" to for a while. I have a feeling I'm going to at least TRY to eat some of them, with bad results. Hey, what fun would my braces experience be without a little bit of rebellion - and a 2-hour brushing session? LOL!

Mike: Your comment about controlling my breathing during installation cracked me up. At my first consultation, I had decided to go with that ortho (have since changed to another), but I went from "Yeah, I guess I'll do this" to being led to a chair and having silly putty stuffed into my mouth. It wasn't until she had the tray in front of my face that I even knew what they were doing! Thank goodness I don't have a horrible gag reflex because that would've set me off. Everything went to quickly, I didn't have time to be nervous. I'll do some deep-breathing exercises before I go in.

Thank you both for your well-wishes and support. I am unusually excited about this. Ask me again in a week when I'm full of Advil and wax. :-)

-Cathy

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Less than 24 hours away....

#12 Post by catgyrl » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:46 pm

In exactly 19 hours, I will be sitting in my ortho's office FINALLY getting braced! The office just called to confirm my appointment, and the girl was like, "Well, I know I don't have to remind YOU about tomorrow, do I?" :lol: Still debating about lig colors, but there will definitely be a color in there somewhere...

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HAPPY B-DAY TO ME!!!!

#13 Post by catgyrl » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:02 pm

Meet the newest member of the "40's and BRACED" club!! :-)o

I arrived at the office about 15 minutes early, and the staff was just walking in. My ortho came over to explain the two different types of Damon brackets I could choose from (self-ligating and non-self-ligating). I chose the non-self-ligating, thinking “I can put bands on them anyway, if I want some extra color.”

After finishing up my paperwork, it was down to business. The assistant was the one who prepped me and put on the brackets and wires, with doc coming in periodically to check. She was absolutely fantastic – funny, reassuring, and told me everything she was going to do before she did it. She really helped calm my nerves. Everything was smooth sailing (even the cheek retractors didn’t bother me too much)… until we got to the spacers. I needed 4 of them, and my teeth were situated so close together, she could only get one on by herself. After a few failed attempts, she called the doc in for some “elbow grease”. Poor guy – even HE had a hard time. I told him “Hey, my teeth shred up Glide floss, so what does that tell you?” He ended up putting them in sort of “halfway”, and told me to come back in next week (the 14th) so he could swap them out for better-fitting ones. The week after that (on the 20th) he’ll remove the spacers, put the bands on and finish bracketing and wiring my teeth. Here are some pics I took after I got home.


FRONT
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LEFT
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RIGHT
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“NORMAL SMILE”
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As you can see, I’m bracketed and wired on the top from the back, right side all the way around except on my #4 tooth (which isn’t bracketed because it’s going to be yanked… uh, I mean, “extracted”). The bottom is bracketed and wired on all teeth except for the teeth with the spacers around them. The spacers you see “sticking up” were the ones they couldn’t get in properly, but at least they’re somewhat in there. So I have to be careful. (They really feel like food stuck in there!)

Before I left, I had to watch a video about proper brushing, flossing, etc. It was very much geared toward children, but it was cute anyway. As I was getting up to leave, I noticed a sign that had been hanging up behind me the whole time I was in the chair. It said “CONGRATULATIONS” and had my name written underneath. Of course, I had to go back to take a pic. Doc saw me and asked, “Would you like me to take your picture next to the sign?” I think he was half-kidding, because of my age, but he would’ve done if I’d asked him to. I politely declined. Then I remembered my COLORS! The whole reason I switched to metal in the first place, right?? They didn’t have much of a selection, but they did have a cute pink one I was going to try. However, they said they’d only put them on the front 4 teeth. (I guess they didn’t want to put any more friction on them because I already had the SL brackets.) I decided against it because I thought that would look just weird with the rest of the row being silver metal. Maybe later on down the road.

Didn’t get much in my goody bag: Mouth wash, some wax, travel toothbrush, a floss threader, and a proxy brush. He did prescribe some Prevident toothpaste for me to use. Great - I now have 3 different types of toothpaste to use. I sure am glad I got my DentaKit and extra supplies for at home, because I don't think this place gives out freebies.

After I was done, I walked next door to my dentist’s office and showed off my new look. His wife/the receptionist said I looked like a teenager; that she had had adult braces too, and the 2 years will just fly by, and that I wouldn’t regret a minute of it. She made me practice my “S” sounds, which aren’t too bad, but I do detect a slight lisp. She also told me certain areas to watch out for as far as rubbing was concerned (upper teeth, by the canines).

Well… she was right. It’s now been a little over 3 hours since I got braced. My jaw does feel a bit stiff, but I'm not sure if that's because it was propped open for an hour, or if it's the braces.

Anyone who is apprehensive about getting this done… DON’T BE. I was strangely relaxed in the chair; there was absolutely NO pain, not even when they were forcing the spacers in there. Right now, I have a dull headache, but then again… I always have that anyway, so I can’t attribute it to the braces. I should probably try to go eat something now. :D

-Cathy[/b]

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#14 Post by I love my teeth » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:25 pm

congrats Cathy!! They look great!!


good luck, hope you have a good, pain free, sore free weekend!

congrats again
christine
Wore Braces for 2 years, 5 months, 3 days



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#15 Post by catgyrl » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:37 pm

Thank you!! :) Maybe I shouldn't jinx myself, but it's been over 10 hours since I've had them, and the only adverse effect I'm having SO FAR is a small bit of rubbing inside one of my cheeks from 1 or 2 of the brackets. I'm also doing my salt-water rinses, and keeping up with the Advil.

Lordy - FLOSSING!!! I surely hope I can get it down to under 15 minutes because that's how long it took me this evening. :lol: And I can't believe how quickly my bite has already changed since she put the wire in. When I eat, I don't know if I'm biting down on a bracket, a spacer, or my food. :roll:

-Cathy

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