Life Behind Brackets

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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metalliKa
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 7:25 pm

Life Behind Brackets

#1 Post by metalliKa » Fri May 08, 2015 2:58 am

Aloha!

I recently came under a different user name (6bug) but didn't like that name so here I am again! Sorry for the indecisiveness...just wanting it out there in case some of you find my story familiar. LOL Anyway, I am a month and a half late coming to this forum. I have had my braces for about 6 weeks now...give or take two days here or three days there. However, it's never too late to share my story...especially since I'm just getting braces for the first time at age 44 (going on 45 in about a month!)!

Let me begin...

I was born in a war torn country during the Vietnam war. My family took asylum in a Thai refugee camp in the mid 70's then finally settled in the States in 1979. This is when I first held a toothbrush. My dental hygiene was so bad that I believe the dentist and his assistants spent a few hours just chippy away at my tartar buildup. To add to that, I also had various cavities on my premolars and molars that needed fillings with my first molar having to get a root canal. But that's all in the past...since then I have seen a dentist regularly...had four of my wisdom teeth pulled in my mid 20's and just two years ago, my root canal extracted due to infection. I was supposed to get an implant, but decided against it and opted for braces instead.

So the subject of braces played often in my mind for as long as I can remember. In junior high school, I wanted braces so bad just because I had a silly crush on a boy named Trevor Brace. I don't know why my parents never took me in for braces evaluation...it was obvious that my front upper and lower teeth were crowded. I now just realized that probable reasoning being my parents were never educated about orthodontia. And OMG! When my wisdom teeth were trying to make their way up, it hurt like a mother fcker! And because they were impacted the pain was just excruciating! It felt like someone took a chainsaw to my jaw! So out they came! First best thing I gifted myself!

Second best thing I gifted myself...

Many, many years later and after many many years of ruminating over the wanting of braces, I finally took the plunge and went for my first ortho consult in November of 2014. Why I waited so long? Honestly, I don't know and couldn't tell you. I suppose I didn't want braces bad enough then. Now I do!

I had three consults, one recommended by my general dentist (he was the one I went with and who also treated my general dentist's daughter) and two others recommended by friends. One ortho is an Invisalign specialist. He assured me that I was a perfect candidate and estimated my treatment to be between 15-18 months and cost to be between $5800-$6000. The other ortho (like my ortho) prefers the traditional metal route because it gives the best result, 15 months to 2 years plan, $5000-$6000. Because I added an ortho rider to my dental plan, there was a 2-year waiting period and when I went for the consults, I was a few months shy of making my two year so couldn't really start treatment yet. I let them know and asked to be followed up when my ortho rider kicked in. Guess who followed up? Not only was my ortho much more thorough with his pre-exam of me than the other two, for his office to call and follow up...shows that he and his staff cared. And that sealed the deal for me.

When the ortho office called back, I made an appointment right away to go have my impression and x-rays done and go over some paperwork over the treatment, length and cost on March 10, 2015. Pretty much I was able to get locked in on his 2014 rate even though my treatment started on March 24, 2015; metal stainless steel both upper and lower. My total treatment cost is $6,178.01 with an estimated 12-15 months duration.

The treatment plan (Class II Malocclusion):

Correct a slight overbite
Align mid-line
Straighten crowding of the upper and lower front teeth
Correct rotated upper central incisors, slenderizing half way through treatment

We did discuss about closing the space left by my extracted first molar on my lower right, but due to bone loss the possibility is very slim. Anyhoot! Below are before and after progress photos. I already went in for my first adjustment (April 24, 2015). I will write more about my first month in braces and first adjustment experience in a later post, but for now enjoy the progress photos.

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Before photos taken by ortho office on March 10, 2015

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1st day of braces March 24, 2015 (Yeah, I know this shot is kind of a cheesy smile)

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Half way through before 1st adjustment on April 24, 20015

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1 day after 1st adjustment, April 25, 2015

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May 1, 2015

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Today, May 7, 2015

OK, it's almost midnight here in Hawaii and got work tomorrow...thanks for reading my rambling.
Offenses: Skeletal and Dental Class 2 malocclusion
Sentence: 12-15 months
Jailed: 3/24/15
Released: 5/24/16
Life behind brackets: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=48554

BeautifulDisaster
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:20 am

Re: (See) how a metal wire straighten me out...

#2 Post by BeautifulDisaster » Fri May 08, 2015 6:06 am

Congratulations on starting your journey! You already have a great smile, can't wait to see the progress!
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27 year old female
Traditional braces: clear uppers, metal lowers
Expected treatment time: 24 months
Brace story: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=47574

30yearoldbraceface
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:39 am

Re: (See) how a metal wire straighten me out...

#3 Post by 30yearoldbraceface » Fri May 08, 2015 10:49 am

Wow! That is amazing progress! I can only imagine your excitement!

I am 2 and a half weeks in with my braces - first time in braces at 30 years old! Thanks for posting these pictures! It is great encouragement for someone like me that is so early in their treatment :)

TheProfessor
Posts: 441
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:03 pm

Re: (See) how a metal wire straighten me out...

#4 Post by TheProfessor » Fri May 08, 2015 6:19 pm

Congrats on getting braced and on your fast movement! I was almost 40 when I got braces and I'm so glad I did it ! Keep us posted on your progress!
Braces installed on March 25, 2014: Damon clears on top and metal on bottom.
I had braces for 25 months!

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metalliKa
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 7:25 pm

Re: (See) how a metal wire straighten me out...

#5 Post by metalliKa » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:30 am

Thank you BeautifulDisaster, 30yearoldbraceface and TheProfessor! The long journey along with the pain is definitely worth it. I can't believe I waited this long!

I won't write much as I'm pretty tired, but I just want to share a few progress photos since my last adjustment which was my 2nd (May 29). I got a new wire and the ortho put a crimp on the wire between my upper right central and lateral incisors. That's about it and for the fact that my gum was sore a few days after (which it didn't really require me to use any analgesic drug). The progress after my 2nd adjustment has been slow. My lower right lateral incisor is stubborn and won't turn and there is a huge gap there. Also, I noticed that the gap where I had my bottom right first molar extracted is now a huge gaping hole! I can literally place two fingers there! As I noted before, the ortho won't be able to close the gap due to bone loss...so I hope that at least later on in the treatment...the gap will close somewhat.

Image

Hope everyone's journey is going as expected and Aloha!
Offenses: Skeletal and Dental Class 2 malocclusion
Sentence: 12-15 months
Jailed: 3/24/15
Released: 5/24/16
Life behind brackets: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=48554

metalliKa
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 7:25 pm

Re: (See) how a metal wire straighten me out...

#6 Post by metalliKa » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:52 am

This is my rant and vent post for the day about insurance!

After filing for my ortho claim not long after I went in for braces on March 24, 2015, I finally received a response back. My claim was denied! Why? The reason they gave and I quote verbatim, "Benefits are not payable under the orthodontic rider until the rider has been in effect for at least 24 months."

Seriously?!!!

On the "Claim At A Glance and Summary" part, they clearly printed the start of my waiting period began on January 1, 2013; my date of service rendered on March 24, 2015.

So how the heck did I not meet the 24 months waiting period?!!!

And might I add, this happened on my birthday and coming from the insurance company that I've been dishing them a monthly premium for the past 28 months!

Of course, I called the insurance company right away and the person I spoke with couldn't give me an answer when I pointed out all the obvious details. She said she'll have to send my claim back to the claims department for further review and will have someone follow up with me! It's been two days! And nothing! I am giving them until Monday and if I don't hear back, I'm going to be on them like a tick on a deer's behind!

There! I feel a little better. :tingrin:
Offenses: Skeletal and Dental Class 2 malocclusion
Sentence: 12-15 months
Jailed: 3/24/15
Released: 5/24/16
Life behind brackets: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=48554

lajlak
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:18 am

Re: (See) how a metal wire straighten me out...

#7 Post by lajlak » Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:52 am

Good luck with the rest of your treatment :)

MrPlenty
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:52 am

Re: (See) how a metal wire straighten me out...

#8 Post by MrPlenty » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:13 am

Teeth are already looking great! Keep up the good work!

metalliKa
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 7:25 pm

Re: (See) how a metal wire straighten me out...

#9 Post by metalliKa » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:10 pm

lajlak wrote:Good luck with the rest of your treatment :)
MrPlenty wrote:Teeth are already looking great! Keep up the good work!
Thank you lajlak and MrPlenty! I keep asking myself why I waited so long and when I look back at old pictures...I now see nothing but a big change in how I smile. My teeth aren't perfect yet; however, they definitely are an improvement from three months ago.

====
3rd adjustment update

I had my 3rd adjustment this past Friday, the 26th and it went fairly well. No movement since the last adjustment so ortho decided to put in a new wire (size 08) and steel tie the upper two central incisors and lower left incisor to turn them. Now the wire runs all the way to my back molars and flossing has become a whole new ball game. Still, I manage THANKS to floss threaders! The steel ties definitely give the feel of more reinforcement (and pain!) so hopefully by the next adjustment (4th, July 24th) all my teeth will have shifted and turned some more. There are noticeably large gaps between the lateral incisor and canine on the upper left and lower right. I did ask the ortho when he'll try to close those and he said later on in the treatment as of right now we are still trying to gain space to rotate the steel tied teeth to their correct position. Good news is that my mid line is almost aligned.

And even better news! My ortho office called yesterday that my ortho insurance payout has been received! I was getting worried that they may deny me again (for reasons I think they just don't want to pay for my treatment). :jump: :rawk: :dance:

Eating has been ok. Chewing and biting on food still takes getting used to, but I basically eat anything I want. If I happen to eat or drink something sugary (which is very rare)...I'll rinse and run my tooth brush over my teeth after just to rid off some of the residue...and oh, I chew sugarless free gum through out the day! It has helped tremendously with my gum soreness! I haven't had to take any pain medication since getting braced! In the three months that I have had braces, I managed to lose 8 pounds...but woe me! Those pounds weren't meant to stay off! I gained them all back during my birthday week!

Anyway, hope everyone's progress is progressing. Below are progress pictures, which I don't see too much change since the last. And please, excuse my dingy teeth... :HugeGrin:

Image
Offenses: Skeletal and Dental Class 2 malocclusion
Sentence: 12-15 months
Jailed: 3/24/15
Released: 5/24/16
Life behind brackets: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=48554

Camblkid
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:23 pm

Re: (See) how a metal wire straighten me out...

#10 Post by Camblkid » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:07 pm

Wow, what great progress so far! I've had my braces on for about 3 weeks. I know they've moved, but not a whole lot yet. I'm looking forward to more visible changes
:BigTeethGrin:

User avatar
aspiromusings
Posts: 213
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:01 am

Re: (See) how a metal wire straighten me out...

#11 Post by aspiromusings » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:11 pm

Wow your teeth are so white and clean!

And pretty amazing progress for a considerably short time too :D
Blog - http://aspiroisbraced.blogspot.com/

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Top Braces on 20th March 2015

Bottom braces on 28th August 2015

Top premolars extracted 25th April 2015

Debraced 15th December 2017 :D :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :-*

metalliKa
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 7:25 pm

Re: (See) how a metal wire straighten me out...

#12 Post by metalliKa » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:05 pm

Camblkid wrote:Wow, what great progress so far! I've had my braces on for about 3 weeks. I know they've moved, but not a whole lot yet. I'm looking forward to more visible changes
:BigTeethGrin:
The most visible movement will occur in the first few months...you'll notice a significant change after you have your first adjustment. By the third month, I was already over the excitement of having braces because I started to not see as big of a change as I did previously. Though progress is different for everyone...but we all just have to keep our eyes on the prize and not rush things. Hope all went well for your first appointment back.
aspiromusings wrote:Wow your teeth are so white and clean!

And pretty amazing progress for a considerably short time too :D
Hahaha My teeth are far from white and clean! I envy that you can go in every month to get a cleaning! My next cleaning is not due until October, by then I'm sure the thygienist may have to bring out a jackhammer to loosen all the build ups.
KsJohn wrote:A lot of good answers in here already, I actually want to say good luck....!!!
I sure can use a whole lot of luck! I have three teeth that are quite comfortable in the way they are positioned and are refusing to move.

:-1 :dance: :jump:

4th Adjustment Update

I had my adjustment earlier this morning. Before the ortho saw me, I was discussing insurance stuff with the front desk person, S, who happens to be the ortho's wife. I had gum in my mouth, chewing and talking at the same time...suddenly a spit flew out of my mouth and landed right on the counter in front of her. I was mortified with embarrassment. :-+ I quickly apologized and she laughed saying, "It's quite alright. This is a dental office so spitting is allowed." :FeelSick:

Anyways! I got on the chair, I noticed that my slippers were not on. While the ortho prodded and probed around, I said, "My slippers fell". He looked to the side and answered, "Nope, they're on the ground but they didn't fall. You are a true Asian, taking your shoes off indoors." Again, :oops: :oops: :oops: !

So! No wire change today, just ligs (correction: the wire size is 18 and not 08 as previously updated). Since my upper centrals and lower left lateral refused to move again, I got tighter steel ties. The ortho decided to add a fourth steel tie to my lower right lateral where a big gap is...probably to help reinforce my new POWER CHAIN!!! Yes, I finally got power chain on the lower arch! It's only a partial chain that runs from my left canine to the right but still that means my gap will start to close! :dance: :dance: :dance: :jump: :jump: The ortho decided not to do IPR this visit since after the ligs were all taken out...my teeth shifted a tiny bit to make room for those stubborn teeth. My lower arch feels tight and pressured for now and let's hope that doesn't turn into pain later. Also, I don't like that my left upper canine came down so low. I hope after everything is in their right place, that will get shaved and evened out.

That's all folks! You can't really see the power chain because it's silver. Progress pics from today.

Image
Offenses: Skeletal and Dental Class 2 malocclusion
Sentence: 12-15 months
Jailed: 3/24/15
Released: 5/24/16
Life behind brackets: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=48554

metalliKa
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 7:25 pm

Re: (See) how a metal wire straighten me out...

#13 Post by metalliKa » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:28 pm

Image

I realize I don't have pictures of my arches and apologize for the lack of before pictures. I didn't think I'd be on a forum chronicling my journey with much needed before and after photos! Here is a collage of my arches from today (taken under extreme poor lighting condition) and from when I went in for x-rays and impressions. You can see that my upper centrals haven't rotated to their correct position but they are much straighter than they were four months ago!
Offenses: Skeletal and Dental Class 2 malocclusion
Sentence: 12-15 months
Jailed: 3/24/15
Released: 5/24/16
Life behind brackets: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=48554

Viconia
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:55 am

Re: (See) how a metal wire straighten me out...

#14 Post by Viconia » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:51 am

Love reading your story - great progress and you can see a massive difference already from your beginning pictures.
How's the powerchain treating you? From what I've read on here it can cause an uncomfortable pain that feels like pressure being applied? Is that the case?

I'm getting braced on Friday! :shock:
Fully braced on the 31st of July 2015 with Suresmile linguals on upper arch, and American Orthodontics 'Radiance' on lower arch.
Sentence: 18 months with early release at 14 months for good behaviour.

metalliKa
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 7:25 pm

Re: (See) how a metal wire straighten me out...

#15 Post by metalliKa » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:01 pm

Viconia wrote:Love reading your story - great progress and you can see a massive difference already from your beginning pictures.
How's the powerchain treating you? From what I've read on here it can cause an uncomfortable pain that feels like pressure being applied? Is that the case?

I'm getting braced on Friday! :shock:
I'm so excited for you and Friday will be here in no time! Be nervous and don't be nervous...but know that all you've done to get to this point will only get better.

The power chain has been doing its job...since Friday, it has almost closed the gap between my lower right canine and lateral. And yes, the pressure of the power chain is uncomfortable but not painful. At this stage, I'm so used to having pressure applied to my teeth that I actually welcome it. M secret is (it works for me and may not work for others) that I chew sugarless gum every single day...and I'll chew right where there is more soreness...after a day or two...the soreness in that area is gone. Not only does the gum chewing keep pain away...it also doesn't leave my mouth dry (as you'll experience dry mouth after the braces go on).

Good luck to you on Friday!
Offenses: Skeletal and Dental Class 2 malocclusion
Sentence: 12-15 months
Jailed: 3/24/15
Released: 5/24/16
Life behind brackets: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=48554

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