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cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:20 pm
by cdnbracegirl
My Story
I’ve had crooked teeth since adolescence. My mom took me to an orthodontic consultation when I was 13 or so. We never went through with it because my dad ended up quitting his job and starting his own business so my braces were no longer covered. I was born with a cleft palate that was repaired when I was a baby. However, there is still a small hole in the roof of my mouth. My upper jaw is a bit smaller than my lower jaw. My teeth are crowded and I have a cross-bite.

My teeth are a very emotional and sensitive subject for me. I remember watching Extreme Makeover and just bawling when they revealed their nice, straight teeth. I thought I’d never have straight teeth in my life.

I never smile with my mouth open. I cover my mouth when I laugh. I don’t show my teeth. EVER. I feel like I’m being held back because of my crooked teeth. People have said I look disinterested even when I’m happy. I want to be able to show emotion without inhibition. I’ve been crossing off several items on my Life Goals list. I figure you only live once so I might as well straighten my teeth because I have the rest of my life to live.

I finally decided enough was enough and made the decision to book a consultation with an Orthodontist. Being the researcher that I am, I started diligently looking up all the orthodontic practices in Edmonton, Alberta. I chose an all female practice. I thought I would feel more comfortable with a female Orthodontist and I was right. I emailed them with my story. It was a very hard thing to do because I had told nobody about the embarrassment I felt for having crooked teeth. I had not been to a dentist for a better part of 15 years. Eek!

Anyways, the doctor emailed me back and had some kind words for me. I booked a consultation shortly thereafter.

At the consultation, the RDA took two x-rays and several high-resolution pictures of my teeth. She told me to smile and my immediate instinct was to do it with my mouth closed. I didn't know how to smile with my mouth open so that part felt foreign to me.

The doctor inspected my teeth and gums and took some notes. She said I was not a candidate for Invisalign or lingual braces. The two types of braces I was a candidate for was the SPEED system braces and ceramic braces. She also noted that all four of my wisdom teeth had erupted so I'd have to remove them eventually and I could do it before or after braces.

She went over the financials with me. Thank goodness I have a great insurance plan through work. I have 50% coverage as well as $1000 per year in a Health Spending Account that I can use towards orthodontic services. I'm kicking myself for not doing this sooner. I could've had straight teeth by now! But I'm a bit glad I waited because I think I found a great, compassionate orthodontic team.

First dentist visit in ~15 years!
Shortly after my orthodontic consultation, I had my first visit to a dentist in approximately 15 years. I was a bit wary of this visit. I thought so many things would be wrong with my teeth but I was pleasantly surprised.

The teeth cleaning took about an hour. It felt so fresh and clean afterwards. The RDH was very kind and explained everything she did before doing it. I am definitely going to keep up with flossing from now on.

The dentist came in and inspected my teeth. He said he could send a picture of my cleft palate to a specialist to see if I could get it fixed. I said I would pass on it for now but getting it fixed is in the back of my mind now. I've lived with it for so long and it hasn't given me much trouble with the exception of sometimes getting food stuck in it. He said I didn't have any cavities. Shocking, I know! I was secretly proud of this fact.

I asked him if I should get my wisdom teeth extracted before or after I get my braces on. He said it was the orthodontist's call and the orthodontist said it was my call. I decided to get them extracted before so I made an appointment.

Records appointment
I had to go back to the Orthodontist for a records appointment where they take moulds of my upper and lower teeth as well as a bite impression. It didn't take long at all but it took a couple tries to find the right size of tray to use for my teeth since I still had my wisdom teeth in and they were sticking out to the side.

Wisdom teeth extraction
I didn't eat or drink anything before my appointment. I had my mom drive me to my appointment at noon. The DA put numbing gel around the wisdom teeth. The dentist came in and gave me a shot of anesthetic in my gums and in my lower lip. That part hurt a bit. The top right tooth popped out easily. The bottom right tooth proved to be more difficult. I could tell he was putting some muscle into it but the bugger didn't want to come out. He said he would have to cut it in half to take it out. So he did and out it came. I was in and out of the chair in about 50 minutes. It was quick and painless.

I chomped down on gauze for about an hour after the extraction and iced both cheeks. I filled my prescription of Tylenol 3 and antibiotics. I took the gauze out when I got home. My mouth was filled with blood and saliva because I couldn't really swallow with a numb tongue.

My mom is the best. She made 'jook' for me. If you're Chinese, you know what I'm talking about. It's congee or rice porridge. You eat 'jook' when you're sick or craving comfort. It gives you nutrition when you're feeling like crap. I like having mine with salted duck egg and soy sauce. I had to mash the duck egg so I didn't have to chew it.

My extraction sites stopped bleeding within a few hours. There was minimal swelling. My right side was a bit more swollen than the left. There was throbbing discomfort in my jaw so I took some T3s. I did feel feverish at times but took some T3s which helped.

It's now day 3 and I don't feel the need to take T3s anymore. There is no discomfort. I'm rinsing my mouth with salt water regularly especially after my liquid/soft meals. I think I'll be ok. Many people had told me horror stories about their wisdom teeth extractions. I thought it was normal to be in a lot of pain. Guess I lucked out! :)

Now I'm just waiting for my brace date which is September 19th. Now the question is whether I want SPEED braces or Empower ceramic. I'm leaning towards SPEED since ceramic ones will take a few months longer. Treatment time in SPEED braces will also be quicker. I also have a small mouth so the SPEED system will be less bulky.

Re: cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:22 pm
by cdnbracegirl
Oh dear those pics are huge! Ahh! Here are some more from my consultation.

Re: cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:22 pm
by JeniK
WELCOME!! And best of luck! This is a great place to read or ask any questions!!

Re: cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:58 pm
by oldguy
Don't understand "Speed braces" The faster you move something doesn't

mean that that is a good thing. I'm a year into braces and let me tell you

my next adjustment I'm going to tell the ortho to slow down. This first

year passed so fast it's amazing. The braces become part of you, you don't

even think about them. If I'm moving a tree 6" I want to be sure it takes

root in the new position.....same with teeth.


Re: cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:52 pm
by cdnbracegirl
Thanks, JeniK! I've been lurking for a while. Looking forward to sharing my progress with you guys.

Oldguy - Speed braces are just self-ligating braces. I'm not sure if they work any faster but they sure are smaller which is appealing to me. I know there is another member on here that has Speed System braces.

Re: cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:09 am
by Roses
I have one of my wisdom teeth coming through at present and it hasn't been causing me any trouble. The ortho and dentist haven't said anything yet anyway. I think it's a lot less common in the UK to get wisdom teeth pulled. I know a lot of people on here go for the ceramic as they are less noticeable, but I have full metal and I quite like how they look. My friends call them 'teeth bling'! Best of luck on your braces journey :D

Re: cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:15 am
by SunshineRay
Good for you on going forward with this. I loved your format of the first post!
Your teeth are pretty white for not being to the densist for 15 yrs!

Re: cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:56 am
by cdnbracegirl
Roses - That's interesting. If yours don't bother you then I don't see a reason to pull them. Mine were giving me toothaches every so often and I had too many cars in the garage, so to speak.

SunshineRay - Thanks! I just copied and pasted from my blog that I just started. Don't tell anyone. ;) I really can't believe I wasted so many years feeling sorry for myself. I'm such a 'do-er' in all other aspects of my life. I'm counting down the days now. ")

Re: cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:40 pm
by beckyboo0205
Good luck! I bet you'll start to see some great progress real fast once you get them on (like a few months I guess) and you'll be so happy with everything!!

I have self-ligating ceramic braces on top (and SL metal on the bottom). Though I've never had any other kind, it's nice to not have to worry about staining some ligatures. Though now I'm in a powerchain so that's colored.

Re: cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:59 pm
by Matilda
Good luck on your upcoming journey, cdnbracegirl.

Re: cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:23 am
by cdnbracegirl
I spent a good chunk of my weekend researching self-ligating braces and ceramic braces. Still undecided. Brace day is on Thursday! Gulp.

Last night, I joined my bf and his friends for dinner. They had been there for a while and were a bit drunk. Somehow the topic of teeth came up. My drunk bf goes "oh she's getting braces on Thursday!" and the bf of the couple that was with us goes "show us your teeth". I shook my head no. The gf was really nice though and we chatted about her braces experience. I hate situations like this. It's happened to me on so many occasions. I wanted to crawl under the table or run away. I can't wait to have straight teeth so I can avoid cringe-inducing moments like this.

Re: cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:46 pm
by cdnbracegirl
Finally braced!
I finally got my braces on. The appointment took about 2 hours for upper and lower braces. I walked in the room and there was a gift bag with a ‘Congrats!’ balloon and a purple star balloon. That was a special touch. :) I chose the ceramic braces over the metal ones. I think the brand is In-Ovation C for the uppers and Speed System braces for the bottom. The RDA used a gritty paste to polish my teeth. I rinsed it out and then she put the thing that holds my mouth open. It had a space for my tongue and a suction for my saliva. My teeth had to be completely dry for the brackets to be installed so there was a lot of “wind” and blotting. I didn't taste anything sour like a lot of people said they tasted when they had their braces put on. One of my brackets was hitting my top teeth when I bit down. The ortho de-bonded that bracket and put it back on. It was still touching but she said it should be ok. She wanted to avoid putting bite turbos in because a lot of people have trouble getting used to them.

I was expecting coils to make room for my 2 rogue teeth but my ortho used "stops" instead. These stops will make room so those teeth can join the party.

Next up, she measured the arch wire for my braces. She rounded out the ends of the wires so it looks like it has a ball at the end of it. Thank goodness she did that because I can’t feel it touching my inner cheek at all. I could feel pressure right away from the arch wires which made me very happy.

The gift bag consisted of an electric toothbrush, an extra head, Super Floss, wax, interdental brush, mouthwash and toothpaste.

My first meal was a steamed BBQ bun at my mom’s house. WTF was I thinking? It got stuck in my brackets. My next meal was Japanese. We had fresh oysters, agedashi tofu, salmon sashimi and beef tataki. Oh and miso soup. I had trouble chewing the sashimi so I didn’t eat a lot of that. The tofu was so delicious and easy to mash against my palate. The oysters were freaking good and so easy to eat.. well, swallow. Anyways, I'm talking way too much about food. I've been eating soft ramen and rice congee since I got my braces.

The day after, I noticed that a gap had formed between my two front teeth. I can't wait for that tooth to come forward and correct my crossbite.

Re: cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:43 am
by SunshineRay
Congrats on being braced! The first step is behind you and things will start moving right along.

Re: cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:35 pm
by JeniK
Congratulations !! It is has been 4 days since your brace day....How are you doing ??

Re: cdnbracegirl's story: Finally getting braces at age 30

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:16 am
by cdnbracegirl
JeniK - I'm adjusting well. I bought a stick blender so I'm having fun pureeing soups. I'm just having difficulty adjusting at work. I have to work on my enunciation so people can understand me clearly. Aside from that, so far, so good except I wish my teeth would hurt more. I'm crazy, I know. Haha!