Why did I do this again!? Re-fixing my stubborn teeth :/

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Posts: 6
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 1:29 pm

Why did I do this again!? Re-fixing my stubborn teeth :/

#1 Post by Elle2016 »

I'm a late twenties female and have already had the pleasure of going through braces twice in my teens. Being a glutton for punishment :roll: and the fact that my teeth are stubborn little buggers, my beautifully widened arch has narrowed quite a bit, meaning I have a very narrow smile. To top that of I have quite a bad overbite, which prevents me from closing my mouth and my bottom teeth, which had a bonded wire on the inside, relapsed when the wire lost it's shape a couple of years ago. Given all of these problems, I came to the conclusion a few years back, that it was high time to sort my teeth out before they get even worse :shock:

Having had 5 extractions during my teens, I was quite apprehensive about getting any further teeth removed. So when traditional orthodontists said "you need more teeth taken out" or jaw surgery, I was not keen. I eventually found an orthodontist who specialises in holistic orthodontics, using ALF and other nifty functional appliances, to gently widen the arch and correct the bite, rather than removing teeth. I understand extractions and their need are a point of contention, but given that I hate needles and like to keep all my teeth if possible, I'm more than willing to give the holistic route a try!

I had my first consultation in December 2015 and was told that my mouth could only open 42mm, which is pretty poor. My arch was so narrow that my poor tongue had nowhere to sit, hence my constant open mouth. Furthermore, after x-rays, it was shockingly apparent that my bottom jaw was so far back, this too added to the open mouth issue.

Our treatment plan was ALF on the top to widen the arch, a Schwartz appliance on the bottom to retrain my bite for 12-15 months, twin blocks for a further 9 months to bring the lower jaw forward and then good old fixed braces for 9-12 months to bring everything back together nice and straight.

My orthodontist also recommended seeing a chiropractor to realign my spine and sort out my hunch.

I've had the ALF in for 3-4 months now, had it activated twice and seen some pretty interesting developments since. First, I am able to close my mouth! My tongue cleverly sits in the roof of my mouth comfortably, albeit pressed against the metal framework of the ALF. Secondly, whilst it's not glaringly obvious, I feel my smile is nicer and wider. The only annoying part is, having had my top fixed retainer wire removed to activate the ALF, my teeth have moved so are not as straight as they were. My two front teeth look like they are jutting forward a bit more and there is definite misalignment with the tooth next to my left front tooth, which has now retracted back a little. On top of that, to widen the arch, I'm to expect gaps popping up here and there on my top teeth, which freaks me the f out! Given that I work in a professional setting, I'm really nervous about how bad my teeth have to get before I actually get braces to fix everything.

Right now, from afar my teeth still look straight but up close they are a bit of a mess which has been getting me quite down :( I guess being unhappy with my teeth already and then them getting worse hasn't helped my self confidence. Furthermore, not having braces means people just don't get why you speak with a bit of a lisp or have crooked/gappy teeth.

I voiced my concerns with my orthodontist and the fact that it just hit me that I will have generally poor teeth for the next 2+ years before I can get fixed braces to realign them. He said my progress is on point and that I have already had 1mm of width, with 8 more to go, which means 1mm per month. On top of that, he was quite happy with the natural movement of my lower jaw and that he felt we may be able to just skip the twin blocks altogether, at the rate things are going. He also said the fixed braces could be ceramic so they look a bit more discreet. So all in all best case scenario is 8 more months of the ALF/Schwartz and then 9 months of the fixed braces.

I just had my ALF activated again a few days back and my teeth feel quite tight, even though it's just constant gentle pressure. I was brushing my teeth a couple of days ago and noticed a small gap in a side tooth on either side so was happy to see stuff moving along. Then I noticed a slight gaps between my front two teeth and I freaked :| luckily the next day it had disappeared but I guess the whole thing just demonstrates how fixated I am on vanity and that I can't seem to get past the initial 'pain' for the long term gain.

I know going through with this is a no brainer and that this will fix a multitude of problems, hopefully for life, but being in my late twenties, working in a professional client facing role and dating and the prospect of increasingly gappy, wonky teeth have not helped my self confidence. When I embarked on this journey I was too excited and in denial about the actual process that I gleefully jumped right in. Now I'm in the 'thick of it' I'm really reconsidering the whole thing and just want lingual braces to fix the now wonky teeth that have come out of alignment and leave it at that. I'm really in two minds and feel quite stupid to have jumped right in, without seriously considering it properly. I know straight teeth are not a big deal compared to the multitude of problems people have, and I keep saying to myself, snap out of it, such first world problems, but I've always taken pride in my appearance and the confidence I've got from it. Now I look back at pictures and think my teeth weren't that bad, I could have lived with them as they were. I now feel like I've wasted time, money and still have to fix my now wonky teeth. I really don't know what to do :(

Apologies for the rant, just confuzzled and feeling a bit sorry for myself :-(( .

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Re: Why did I do this again!? Re-fixing my stubborn teeth :/

#2 Post by Elle2016 »

Feeling a lot more positive today and am going to 'brace' myself (lol!) for this journey that I am fortunate to be on! Roll on great teeth!

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Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:04 pm

Re: Why did I do this again!? Re-fixing my stubborn teeth :/

#3 Post by MetalMonica »

Glad you are feeling more positive!

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Re: Why did I do this again!? Re-fixing my stubborn teeth :/

#4 Post by Mimo1985 »

Glad you're feeling better! No worries about ranting. I do it all the time - I think a lot of people do, lol

I'm not familiar with holistic orthodontics or any of those appliances but I really hope your progress goes smoothly! Keep us updated on how things are going. Are you sticking with your current appliances and ortho or considering something else?
Start Date: May 10 2016
Removal Date: Dec 10 2016
Mandibular midline 2mm to the right
Mild maxillary crowding, mild mandibular crowding
Overbite: -3 mm, overjet: -1mm
Anterior Crossbite
Anterior Openbite 2mm

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Re: Why did I do this again!? Re-fixing my stubborn teeth :/

#5 Post by Elle2016 »

Thank you for your support Mimo1985 and MetalMonica! Appreciate it!

I'm taking it a day at a time and hopefully will follow this holistic path through to fix the root of the problem for once and for all!

All the best to you both! xx

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Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:46 am

Re: Why did I do this again!? Re-fixing my stubborn teeth :/

#6 Post by blackwidow »

Glad you're feeling more optimistic now. We'll all have days when we think why am I doing this to myself, but it'll be worth it in the end :D

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Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 1:29 pm

Re: Why did I do this again!? Re-fixing my stubborn teeth :/

#7 Post by Elle2016 »

Thank you Blackwidow for your kind words! This site has given me a lot of encouragement just knowing there are so many others going through similar situations. Good look for your journey! Xx

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