Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

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EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#16 Post by EmilyTravels »

Today I had my first dental cleaning since getting braces. The hygienist did a great job and managed to get off all the staining from the mouth rinse I used the first month I had braces -- it stained the backs of my teeth and my composite fillings. She worked hard and got it all off, using a pick and the dreaded ultrasonic device. A couple of sensitive zingers, but all were very quick and nothing too terrible. She also did a really nice job cleaning around my brackets, so my teeth are a lot whiter than when I walked in there, especially the bottom teeth, which had gotten pretty yellow.

I am so relieved. My teeth were pretty white when I got braces, especially for my age, and despite diligent at-home care, had definitely gotten dingy over the past six months. I like my smile again! The next time I go, I should be out of braces. :D

I was worried about what the dentist might say, since I've been grinding my teeth a lot, but she didn't comment. She did a very cursory look -- said my gums didn't look irritated, so my at-home care was good. Next time will be time for x-rays, and I expect she'll look more closely. :?

I'm just glad to have it over with, as I am pretty much a nervous Nelly at the dentist. The folks working in this office are very nice, though, and make me feel as comfortable as possible.

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#17 Post by EmilyTravels »

Just had an adjustment today. Owie. Got a heavier wire on my top arch (20x25, I think he said), same elastics configuration (Class II: upper canine to lower 2nd molar), same bottom wire, but ortho wants to see me again in ONE week. I've never had an appointment closer than four weeks together, so I asked the tech about it, and she said that he worries about overcorrecting with my bottom wire (which is a super heavy one), and I guess he thinks one more week of it may be enough. I've had that wire on for quite some time, though, so I was surprised he didn't just have her change it out today.

Oh well, more pain in a week! :shock:

tillybrace
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:01 am

Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#18 Post by tillybrace »

jaw fractutre...ouch...ouch

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#19 Post by EmilyTravels »

So, I had my ortho appointment today only one week after the last one -- closest I've ever had two appointments together.

Turns out, all my ortho did today was to change my elastics configuration. I was kinda relieved, because the wire changes are so miserable. This was a breeze, and a five-minute appointment!

I am back to the triangle elastics configuration (replacing the Class 2 configuration), which I hate, since they are much more visible and make me look like a vampire. This time, I am in "heavy" elastics, vs the "medium" weight I've worn up until now. They are the same size, only thicker. I have a feeling that I am going to be sore tomorrow. So far, four hours later, I haven't noticed much of a difference.

Next appointment was supposed to be in three weeks, but due to the ortho's vacation at my 3-4 week point, we had to move it back to two weeks from today. This will mean THREE appointments in April for me (2nd, 9th, 23rd), which is kinda crazy, considering earlier I was on a 4-6 week gap between appointments. Hopefully this means I am getting close to the end! :D

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#20 Post by EmilyTravels »

I've actually had a couple of appointments since I last posted, and my 57th birthday.

The last two appointments, two weeks ago and today, have been elastics changes only. I remain in thick rectangular wires on both upper and lower arches, and I really haven't seen any tooth movement in some time. Then again, at my age, movement is pretty slow. :(

Last time, I went from Class 2 elastic configuration with medium-weight elastics to a triangle open-bite elastic configuration with heavy elastics. Yes, I felt that change! Then today, I stayed with the heavy elastics but back to a Class 2 configuration. I guess he's working more on my bite at this point. My orthodontist is a super sweet man, but he really doesn't tell me what he's doing; it's all kind of like magic. I have learned way more on this forum than from him.

Next appointment is in three weeks, May 14th.

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#21 Post by EmilyTravels »

I took my 8 month photos today and went back and compared to some of my earlier photos. Wow, even though when I look in the mirror, progress seems so slow, when I compare photos, I can really see a difference!

Eight months in: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zg1b8ku1ztuc3 ... 9.JPG?dl=0

The day I got braces: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zcg6z53nq9706 ... 7.JPG?dl=0

Next appointment is May 14.

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#22 Post by EmilyTravels »

I had my most recent adjustment yesterday. This time they finally changed out the bottom archwire. I'd been in the same one for quite awhile (2 months?) This one is also rectangular but thicker than the last. I didn't hear the gauge, but the tech had a hard time getting all the gates closed on the self-ligating brackets, as it is so thick.

No changes to the top nor to the elastics configuration. Still wearing a Class 2 configuration with heavy elastics. Ortho did check my bite, was pleased, and said he'd be monitoring me more often now as he tweaks things. He wanted to see me in two weeks, but that ended up being Memorial Day. Since he only works in this office on Mondays, and I can't get to his other two offices, it will be three weeks instead, June 4.

I'll be taking new photos on May 28, my 9 month in braces mark. My sentence was 8-12 months, so I am nearing the end already. It has actually passed faster than I expected!

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#23 Post by EmilyTravels »

Today marks 9 months in braces out of my 8-12 month sentence. I'm thinking it's going to be closer to 12 months than 8, since my uppers still aren't totally straight, and my bite is still a work in progress, though much better than it was when I started in elastics back in December.

Today while reading, I was moving my mouth around a little but not eating or doing anything all that strange, and I felt a "twang". Sure enough, a bracket has come loose on a crowned first molar again. I have had to have each of my first molar brackets reglued once. All are on crowns, and all happened fairly early on. This particular one came loose three months in so the regluing lasted six months. I do hope he'll just glue it again since I am close enough to the end that I don't want to have to suffer through a molar band now.

I can't get to the ortho until next Monday as he is closed for the Memorial Day holiday today and is only in the location I go to on Mondays. My next scheduled appointment is next Monday anyway. The complication is that I have a class 2 elastic that is supposed to hook onto that bracket up to my canine on the upper arch. So in the meantime, I'm hooking it on the pre-molar right in front of the first molar and hope this doesn't cost me too much time.

I took photos today and can definitely see a big difference from when I got braces on August 28. Just wish the two incisors on top (central left and one next to it) would finish straightening out. I guess due to my age they have moved but very, very slowly!

Here's my start date photo vs. today, nine months later:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zcg6z53nq9706 ... 7.JPG?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zu4yebl3y4iyo ... n.JPG?dl=0

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#24 Post by EmilyTravels »

I had an adjustment yesterday. Ortho glued the bracket that had fallen off a crowned molar back on, and I got new wires top and bottom -- both lighter than the previous! The end is in sight! :D I asked him, and he thinks I am still on track for August removal. I got them on last Aug 28th, so looks like I'm going to be close to or right at one year. He initially told me 8-10 months, but the contract said 8-14, so I figured the 8-10 was a bit optimistic, and it was. But since I figured this upfront, I'm okay with it.

Since I'm older, my upper arch has been slower to straighten than my lower. I still have two incisors (central left and lateral left) that are a bit flared/twisted, and it's hard to imagine that these will be perfect in two more months, especially in lighter wires. But they're a lot better than when I started. Since my bite was my reason for getting braces, I can live with them not being completely perfect. At my age, perfection is only relative anyway! :lol:

He took me off elastics, which was a pleasant surprise. Of course I'm terrified that my bite will slip back (I had a bad overjet due to my jaw fractures), but I guess he has to test it sometime. I had been in elastics (class 2 alternating with triangles for slightly open bite) for almost six months. It feels so weird not to have them any more -- kinda like riding in a car without a seatbelt!

Next appointment is three weeks from yesterday.

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#25 Post by EmilyTravels »

I had an adjustment today. Ortho is getting more involved since I am getting near the end of my "sentence". Yay! :jump:

This time, he had the tech take off both my wires, then he had a close look. He seemed satisfied with my bite -- last time we discontinued elastics for three weeks, and although I was scared my bite would regress, it really hasn't changed much.

My top front incisors (central left and lateral left) are still a bit rotated, so he had the tech put on a heavier wire and then elastic ties on the social six (where I have ceramic brackets). He was going to have her put clear elastics on, but I asked him if they would stain with tomato sauce, curry, etc, and he said yes. He then suggested steel gray elastic ties instead, if I didn't mind. Not at all! Much rather have gray than clear that stain!

He also had her put a heavier rectangular wire on the bottom arch. I've had this before, but then he'll switch back to a lighter wire, back and forth. Not sure why, but I am sure I am going to be sore tomorrow. My bottom arch is mostly aligned but just a little bit to tweak to complete the alignment.

I can hardly believe that in three days I will have had braces for ten months. I'll take my next photos then.

Next appointment is in three weeks, July 16th. He actually wanted me back in two weeks, but I guess there weren't any appointments, because the receptionist scheduled me for three. I questioned her on this, but she said either two or three was fine. Hmmm... I am guessing they were just all booked, since they are only in this office one day a week. No problem, but I don't want it to push out my end date (hopefully end of August at one year).

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#26 Post by EmilyTravels »

Ten months in braces today, and here is my ten-month photo, showing the gray elastic ties around my self-ligating brackets on top. These are an attempt to get the left central and lateral incisors to straighten up a bit more. They have been oh-so-slow to move.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pzey59btn5ggw ... n.JPG?dl=0

I'm not seeing many changes in my teeth in the past few months. My bite (class 2 overjet, a little bit of an anterior open bite as well) has regressed just a bit since I stopped wearing elastics at my last appointment, I think. I wish he'd let me wear elastics up until the very end! (I know, I am probably the only one to ever say that!) :lol: :lol: :lol:

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#27 Post by EmilyTravels »

A few days ago I finally took a new photo of my upper arch. Even though my teeth are straightening slower than "normal", I guess because of my "advanced" age, I can definitely see improvement, though the left central incisor still has a little ways to go. Hoping for even more before my next appt. July 16th.

Before braces:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/b808x36hf0k09 ... s.JPG?dl=0

10.5 months in:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/nffj644nwp91s ... n.JPG?dl=0

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#28 Post by EmilyTravels »

Just had my latest adjustment today. The ortho put lots of bends in my wires, both upper and lower, which I assume are to finish rotating and leveling my teeth. The wires were tough for the tech to put in and pretty painful for me. Teeth are aching now! :x :x :x

He also put me back in Class 2 elastics, heavy. I had been without for six weeks, and I guess my bite had slipped out a bit. I thought as much, so I am not really surprised about this. Actually, I'm glad he did it, as I want my bite to be as good as it can be, and once I get my braces off, retainers can keep my teeth aligned but can't do anything about my bite, so it's fix now or never.

I took a new photo today and noticed that my lower teeth are stained again. Ugh. Looking forward to my next cleaning, which should be in September, after getting my braces off.

Next adjustment is in three weeks, August 6th, and I am hoping that will be the last one before these braces come off! One year in braces will be August 28, so if I get them off the 27th (since the office I go to is only open on Mondays), that will be my year. Hopefully this doesn't go past September, as originally he thought I might be done as soon as 8-10 months...but I always thought a year was more realistic, and it has proved to be.

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Speck
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Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#29 Post by Speck »

Thanks for taking the time to share your work-in-progress experience and the accompanying photos; wonderful improvement on your smile! Just four weeks into Invisalign and I see very little change, and that's with elastics day and night. Needless to say, I found your journey to be an inspiration and reason for optimism!
-Andy


Image


Image

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Braces after Jaw Fracture at Age 56!

#30 Post by EmilyTravels »

Speck wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:51 pm
Thanks for taking the time to share your work-in-progress experience and the accompanying photos; wonderful improvement on your smile! Just four weeks into Invisalign and I see very little change, and that's with elastics day and night. Needless to say, I found your journey to be an inspiration and reason for optimism!
Thanks, Speck! Sometimes I get a little discouraged because the ortho originally though I might only need braces for 8-10 months (although my contract said 8-14, so I guess they were hedging their bets!) The office put me on a payment plan for 12 months, so I have always assumed it would be around a year. Now that I've reached the 11-month mark and still see improvements needed, it can be hard to stay optimistic at times.

I go back today because the same bracket that keeps coming off my lower crowned molar popped off just two days after my last adjustment! :-+ :-+ :-+ I think the combination of having a heavy elastic attached to that bracket and the fact that I almost always chew on that side really make that one difficult, being on a crown. So, I will see if the ortho will glue it back for the third time or just leave it off, since I'm getting close to the end. Obviously, hoping for the latter! I also hope to go ahead and get my adjustment (originally scheduled for next Mon., one week from today) done today since I'll be there already.

And finally, I am hoping I can get a read on my de-brace date. My ortho is very sweet but doesn't ever volunteer anything; I have to drag the information out, and I always feel kinda bad, because I don't want to annoy him. But I really need to know, as I have fall travel plans, and these things have got to come off before then. Probably shouldn't have made plans until I knew for sure, but I was playing the odds based on what he'd told me originally.

Here's my 11-month progress photo.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mkogkk40k94ky ... n.JPG?dl=0

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