Tommm's story

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Tommm's story

#1 Post by Tommm » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:46 am

So the journey begins! A little background about me:

I'm 33 years old. Divorced for 2 years and currently single. I teach people how to take tests for a living (privately for the most part) so my job is very face-to-face.

I decided to get braces for 3 reasons:

1. aesthetics - I never cared about my teeth but I started to care after I found myself single after spending my entire 20s in a relationship (actually 2 but that's another story)

2. health - the crowding on my lower teeth have been hurting for a while. It felt like I had anti-braces and I knew that they were just getting worse

3. business - I have a masters in Psychology and I've read too many studies on how attractive people are seen as being more qualified and competent in various aspects of life. I figure that braces are an investment in my professional future

Now reasons 2 and 3 may be pure rationalizations on my part but I believe in them enough that I made the plunge. I probably wouldn't have gotten braces if it was solely for aesthetic reasons... (probably :))

Anyways, my experience with braces so far:

I got 8 of them (4 upper, 4 lower) and they didn't hurt too bad. My teeth were so crowded that some were really tough to get in. I couldn't eat solid food for a week and a half. One of them was metal (since I had a metal filling there and the floss kept shredding) and that one was a bit annoying. Overall experience wasn't too bad though.

Braces day!
Today was the big day! I don't know if it was meant to be, but I walked in and saw another adult getting her 1st day pictures taken and another adult getting his braces removed! It's like I got to witness the whole cycle before I took this step in my journey. The installation of the braces took about 2.5 hours. The only semi-challenging part was getting the metal thing around my molars. The dental assistant kept having me bite down on a tool to push them in but I think the metal pieces were too small for my teeth. I had to eat some pain here since the hardest thing that I bit down into over the last week and a half was some soggy toast. She then asked this guy to take over and he just replaced them with larger metal pieces and they went right in. It really makes a difference when someone with experience is working with you! After that, the placement and bonding of the brackets were relaxing.

I got the In-Ovation C ceramic self-ligating braces. Despite the clear ceramic braces designed for "aesthetics", My first impression was:

"Oh my god, I look like the biggest dork in the world!"

I thought a lot about how they might look and feel in my mouth but I was totally wrong. For some reason I pictured braces in a mouth full of straight teeth (like Mr. Cruise in my avatar there) but it doesn't quite look the same on crooked teeth lol. I was going to post a picture but I think I'll wait to post the "before" picture until after I start seeing some movement. :) I also was, and still am, surprised at how much "stuff" is in my mouth! Nothing hurts or anything (yet) but it just feels like I have a lot of hardware in my mouth. It's a crazy feeling. Oddly it's also kinda cool since it's so new.

Regardless of my false expectations, I was happy when everything was done. It was the first step towards a positive direction! The funny thing is that I got to my car, looked at my reflection in the mirror, and felt a slight sense of regret. It was akin to something like sleeping with a good friend (hope that this isn't too inappropriate here), where you're pretty happy about what just happened but also worried about what's going to happen next. Any doubt has passed though and I'm so happy about starting this exciting journey!

Thanks a lot for letting me share my story here. This forum and your stories helped me make my decision to get braces and I hope that I can do the same for someone in a similar position.

Until the next update... Cheers![/b]

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#2 Post by changes09 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:47 am

I liked reading your story. And dont worry you dont look like a dork. It's just like when you go the gym and you are bigger then everyone else. You feel like everyon else looking at you and judging you. When in reality everyone is secretly cheering you on.
I'm 22 and newly braced...closer to 23 then 22....
Just so you dont feel bad. I am a dental assistant with messed up teeth...its like when you go to a dentist and he has hella cavities and yellow teeth....your thinking "how good can this dentist be if he does not take care of his teeth." True it could just be genes playing the part in his teeth, but you dont think of that at the time.
As you can see I can ramble on and on so let me stop while i'm ahead.

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#3 Post by suzeeq22 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:42 pm

Tom - congrats on your decision to get braced!!! I've only had mine on since 11/04/08 but everyone I've met or read about here says that's it's the best thing they've done!

I'm keeping optomistic myself so Good luck!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´Sue

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#4 Post by Tommm » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:39 pm

(almost) one week update!

I was expecting crazy pains from what people have told me but it was never bad at all. One bracket was hurting my lip when I talked too much but a little wax on the spot made it go away. I actually went to a work party on thursday and I was nervous at first. People reacted to it positively and I found out that another one of my coworkers was planning to get braces too!

Overall I'm still not used to having all this "gear" in my mouth but the eating situation has gotten a lot better. I actually ate a Sourdough Bacon Cheeseburger and fries today!! I was soo happy! :) I just cut everything up in little pieces and gently chewed with my back molars. Felt a little dainty eating Jack in the Box with a knife and fork but it was soo satisfying compared to the mush food that I've been eating the last week. The only semi-negative part about the experience was having to brush my teeth in the restroom there (fast food places don't have the nicest restrooms) but I survived!

Anyways, I'm still a little shy about posting a picture for the world but here is what it looks like at day 5. It's a little grainy but I can't wait to use this as a comparison for how things change!


It looks like I have crazy fish lips but I swear that my smile looks nicer when I actually smile and am not showing off the gear! ;)

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#5 Post by Rio UK » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:46 am

Good luck Tom on your brace journey. You will start to notice changes soon! I think I noticed movement comparing pics from day one to week 6! Just kep yourself busy and time will fly ;)

Thats good that you have had positive responses. I havent any really negative ones. Just a few people saying "why are you getting braces at your age? your teeth are ok" but a few people have asked questions because its something they have wanted to do themselves!

Eating does get easier, Im 3 months in and i can pretty much eat anything now :D
Invisalign upper teeth on July 16th 2008: 14 aligners.
Fixed brace bottom teeth 8th October 2008!



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#6 Post by Rachel B » Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:17 am

Hi Tommm

Congrats on your new braces.

I had mine put on on Friday following 4 extractions and spacers.

xxx :D Rach

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#7 Post by amandad09 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:56 pm

They look great! I too had my first burger since having braces put on yesterday. My molars are a bit tender on the bottom. I think things are moving! YAY! And my top molars are feeling a bit tender too but I am able to chew.

Hopefully it'll be smooth sailing for you from here on out and you can eat more and more things easily!
My Journey with Braces:
(updated: 11/9/10)


1/15/09: Lower Braces, Upper 4 brackets
1/27/09: Upper Palate Expander
2/25/09: 3 Teeth Extracted
6/22/09: EXPANDER WAS REMOVED!!!! =]
11/9/10: Cross Elastic Started
10/19/11: Next Adjustment

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#8 Post by switchblades » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:19 pm

It took a while - probably 2 weeks - before I was ready to try and eat a burger or anything like that with my braces. I was able to bite into it and everything but I don't much like eating in public, esp. if I have to bite into anything with my front teeth!

Good luck, I'm sure you'll see some improvement soon, just take a look at your before pics and it'll be obvious!
Initial Consult: August 22nd, 2008
Upper Arch Bracketed: October 22nd, 2008
Lower Arch Bracketed: December 3rd, 2008
Debraced: October 15th, 2009

My Story: ... sc&start=0

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#9 Post by sdawdy » Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:45 am

I want Jack in the Box....there is not one for about 600 miles from me.....sorry...I was reading you story and it made me really hungry for those bacon cheddar cheese fries....yummy!!!

Its great that you are getting you smile worked out!!! Keep up the positive attitue and things will happen before you know it!!!!


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Re: Tommm's story

#10 Post by rebeccajean » Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:03 pm

Tommm wrote:So the journey begins! A little background about me:

I got 8 of them (4 upper, 4 lower) and they didn't hurt too bad. My teeth were so crowded that some were really tough to get in. I couldn't eat solid food for a week and a half. One of them was metal (since I had a metal filling there and the floss kept shredding) and that one was a bit annoying. Overall experience wasn't too bad though.

That is so weird because that is my exact same story. The lady who put them in was sweating and almost swearing, meanwhile I was practically in tears. I even asked if there was anything I could do to help. haha. The orthodontist finally stepped in and put a metal one in instead and I went back a few days later to have it replaced with rubber. I've had spacers in for 2 weeks though and don't even get the molar bands put on till Feb 11th. (And then the braces don't go on until the 27th!! so sad.. I want this started.) Anyway, good luck with your braces! :D

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#11 Post by Tommm » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:26 am

Yeah the assistant wiped her forehead when she got the metal one in lol. I know how you feel about wanting to get started Rebecca. I was like that too. Unfortunatly the whole process is all about "waiting" so I guess we just have to enjoy the journey along the way. I'm currently "waiting" for visible movement! :) (Oh and nachos.... I would kill for a plate of nachos...)

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#12 Post by kvs2800 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:49 pm


I've been following your story on here and see that you're anxiously awaiting movement. I thought that I would report that 2 days shy of a month, I've had significant movement in the past 2 days. The lateral incisor that was my biggest complaint on my top set of teeth was tipped outwards (actually in the correct position) while my other teeth were tipped inwards. I know that my incisors have moved a little bit and aren't tipped in quite as much but that's been a pretty gradual change starting about week 1. Yesterday I was chewing gum (sugarless I promise!) at work and noticed that my lateral incisor was very tender and when i looked i the mirror and felt the tooth with my tongue I noticed a little movement but couldn't quite tell whether it was moving back or what. Today it was very sore when brushing and this afternoon when I looked in the mirror that tooth is on the same level as the others. It's so strange having them all be straightened and in a row. I had forgotten how that would feel against my tongue.

However, I've read enough stories on here to know not to get too focused on the first few "big" changes as they're not always permanent and often times things may need to get worse, or less-perfect in order to get better.

Thought I would check in and hopefully provide some encouragement. I go for my 1st adjustment on 3.12 and am so excited!

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#13 Post by Tommm » Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:36 pm

Wow congrats KVS!! I'd love to see some before/after pics if you have any. :) It really does help me stay motivated when I hear stories and see pictures of people seeing progress (especially since I haven't seen any!). I'm really happy for you though! Isn't chewing gum a big no-no though for your brackets??

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#14 Post by kvs2800 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:17 am

Both my current ortho and my previous ortho team (metal the 1st time, ceramic now) have said that as long as the gum is sugarless, I'm chewing smaller pieces, and I don't bite down on a hard shell that it's ok. My current Dr. even suggested chewing it to reduce my clenching and TMJ issues. I think each ortho has their own opinions though so it's better to call the office and ask if it's something you're interested in.

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#15 Post by Tommm » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:20 pm

Ah cool. Unfortunatly I can live without gum. What I really want is some nachos or chips and salsa, both of which my ortho has told me is on the "no-go" list.

Fav soft foods so far:
Easy Mac
Mashed potatoes with cheese
Soft tofu
Protein fruit smoothies
Cream of chicken soup
Homestyle chicken noodle soup
Refried beans with cheese

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