How long I've had braces!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

After Braces - Retainer Adjustment Update

I called and made an appointment today to get my retainer checked due to my shifting teeth.  I was able to get in at 2:00pm today.  My Ortho said she saw my blog (which I absolutely love that!!) so she knew what my issues were and had a plan ready for me when I got in.  She said sometimes teeth want to drop which looks like what was happening on my right upper tooth.  So she put a bump on my tooth using the cement they use to bond braces on.  She then made a few adjustments to my retainer and let me know that my retainer will feel low for the first few days, then it will slowly rise back up each day that goes by.  This way the bar is putting pressure on my tooth where the cement is and help it push the tooth back up evenly with the other tooth.  She then made a few adjustments on my lower retainer to try and set the few teeth that have shifted back into place.  She wanted me to make an appointment in the next few weeks to see if these changes helped.  If not, then she said she would put braces back on my teeth to correct the issues that are taking place.  She let me know that sometimes this happens, especially as adults.  It wasn't anything I have been doing wrong or anything she did wrong.  Sometimes our teeth want to shift even with the retainer.  Of course I have no problem having the braces back on if that's what is needed to be done.  I've come this far and if getting my teeth exactly where they need to be is to put braces on for a little bit longer, then that's what I will do.  But, the adjustments she made this time with the retainer could still do the trick so we will see on May 10th what will happen.  She also smoothed out my bottom teeth to help them look more even and took some of the jagged edges off.  You can see in the photos below the cement bump on my tooth and how low my retainer is now on the top order to push that tooth up.  I will update again after my May 10th appointment...

Monday, April 18, 2016

After Braces - Retainer and Chipped Tooth update

Sorry, I haven't updated in awhile.  I did get my chipped tooth filled in February.  My dentist did a filling to fix it and said that it could chip again in the future and that I would need to get veneers for a permanent fix.  But I will hold off on that for least until my braces are paid off.  He did an amazing job though, and you can hardly tell the difference. 

Since I started wearing my retainer I have had issues with my front tooth wanting to move in front of the other.  My last appointment my Ortho adjusted my retainer to try to fix the issue.  I decided to give it a bit of time to see if it would move back, but so far it hasn't and it's been several weeks since my last appointment.  I plan on calling tomorrow to see if I can get in and have her adjust my retainer once more.  My teeth look very uneven on the top because of this.  I hope that the retainer can fix the problem, because it bugs me seeing my teeth one shorter than the other.  If it finally does go back in place after another adjustment then my Ortho will smooth out my teeth to make them more even at my next scheduled appointment in June.

My bottom teeth are still shifting as well.  You can see in the photo they look like they are leaning.  I am hoping another retainer adjustment will fix that issue as well.  But, other than those slight issues, I haven't had any problems with my retainer.  I wear my retainer 24 hours a day, I only take it out to eat and to brush my teeth.  I'm used to wearing the retainer now and I don't feel like I talk too funny anymore with it in.  I'm thinking I may need to continue wearing it longer than the 6 months with the issues I keep having with teeth shifting....not sure though.  Hopefully they can get me in tomorrow and another adjustment to the retainer will push these stubborn teeth back in place.  I will try to do better and update sooner next time.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Braces Removed and Retainer Time!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016.  The day has finally come!!  My braces were removed!  My appointment was at noon so again I got to get off work early and the anticipation was killing me.  I was so nervous that it would be painful getting my braces removed.  When I got there the assistant used this cutter tool to clip off each bracket.  She got the bottoms ones off first then worked on the top. She clipped each bracket off leaving the wire and powerchain intact.  I had bands around 2 top molars so she had to use a different tool to remove those.  Then she clipped off the top brackets.  Luckily that wasn’t painful at all. Just a little pressure with each tooth, kind of like when they take off the wire & elastics/powerchain at your adjustments.   I then warned her that my back bottom molar is very sensitive and I wasn't sure if I would be able to tolerate her scrapping glue off it.  She said she would leave that one for my orthodontist.  She got a tool that looked like it had a rubber piece at the bottom that would lay on the end of my tooth while the other end scrapped the glue off. One tooth at a time.   OMG that was absolutely horrifying.  Every tooth, hearing that cracking crunch sound as she scrapped the glue off ughhh.  But it didn’t actually hurt, it was just the scrapping feeling and noises that really got to me.  
My Ortho came in to take a look at my teeth.  I also warned her of my sensitive tooth.  She said that she wouldn't even attempt it since it would cause me pain.  She said the glue wouldn't hurt anything and that when I get my teeth cleaned by my hygienist she can do it then.  I was so relieved.  Then she used an electric tool to get the tough chunks of glue off some of my teeth.  It didn’t necessarily hurt, but again the sound and scrapping of it wasn’t very pleasant and I was glad when it was over.  She was pleased at how straight my teeth looked.  I looked in the mirror for the first time and was excited to see a straight smile.  I told her I wanted to give her a hug and she said she wanted me to give her a hug, so I did. ☺  She is absolutely amazing!!  I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter Orthodontist if I tried, I’m very lucky I was able to have her.  The whole staff there has been absolutely wonderful through my journey.  She had me try on my retainers to make sure they fit.  She then went over how to put them in and take them out.  She and the assistant went over the dos and don’ts of the retainer.  She said to talk and sing as much as possible and in about 3 days I should be used to them and start talking normal.   I have to wear them 24/7 for 6 months.  Only take them out to eat and brush my teeth.  After 6 months I should only have to wear them at night.  She then had me take my retainers out because the assistant had more work to do on me.  
The assistant then took me to have an xray done of my new teeth.  Afterwards she had me sit back down to get molds done of my top and bottom teeth.  She also took some photos of my teeth with the camera.  Once she was done I put my retainers in and made a retainer check appointment for March 22nd.  I still have to get used to talking with the retainers and not have the lisp.  Once I left the Ortho office, me and my husband went shopping and I smiled in every mirror we walked by.  I’m sure people thought I was absolutely weird. Lol But I couldn’t help myself.  
My teeth still feel a little rough from the glue,kind of like thin sandpaper, but they said they could get any remaining glue off on my next appointment or my hygienist can remove it when I get my teeth cleaned again.  That night when I brushed my teeth I was so happy that I could floss normal again.  It didn’t take me forever like it did with my braces on.  I could use the plackers instead of the threads with the floss.  As I was looking in the mirror I noticed that my 2 bottom teeth have shifted some as well as my 1 top front.  I could also feel it when I slid my tongue against the back of my teeth.  The Orthodontist is only at the dentist office near me on Tuesdays, so I am going to call next Tuesday to see if I should come in.  Luckily so far it’s only slightly shifted, but I definitely can notice it and I don’t want it to get worse.  Hope they can adjust the retainer and it will make them go back in place.  I also read about retainers that have to get bonded to the back of your teeth to hold them in place until they settle.  Not sure if I will have to have that done.  But whatever is needed...I just don’t want them shifting anymore.  
Below are photos showing you from start to finish.  I also have photos showing how my teeth have shifted since I got my retainer.  But, I trust that my orthodontist will fix it so I'm not too worried.  Crazy what braces can do.  Although I wish I could have had those years ago, I am so happy that at my age in my 40's it didn’t stop me from getting them now.  I have developed so much more confidence and can now express my true personality through my smile rather than hide it as I always did throughout my life.  No matter what age you are, it is worth having something done to make you feel better about yourself and make you happy.  
When I started this blog I really didn’t expect that many people would look at it.  I thought maybe family and close friends may look at it now and then, but as of today my blog has over 35,000 views!   If I helped even just one person decide to get braces as an adult and become more confident and happy by making that decision, then this blog definitely was worth updating the last 2 years.  I also hope that my blog has helped other adults starting their braces journey to know what to expect and see what a remarkable difference braces can make.  I can truly say I am extremely happy and couldn’t express how much more confidence I have now just by being able to smile!  Hope my blog continues to help others in years to come. ☺

My next step, other than seeing if I need to come in on Tuesday for my shifting teeth, is getting my chip tooth fixed.  My appointment is on February 15th.  Once I have that done I will also update the blog to show you the difference as well.  Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog! 
The changes my teeth went through

Top arch

Bottom arch

Before and after braces

1st and last day in braces

Top and bottom retainer

Arrows showing the teeth that have slightly shifted

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Last Braces Adjustment & Impressions for Retainer!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - Today I went for my final adjustment before my braces come off!  My appointment was at noon, so I got to get out of work early, which is always a plus ;).  The assistant first asked if I wanted a color for my retainer.  I picked a red glitter because it looked pink, and I like sparkly! ;)  I will be getting the Hawley type retainer. 

My Ortho came in to take a look at my progress and see if I had any questions or concerns.  I let my Ortho know that the one concern I had was that I still had a small gap towards the top between my two front top teeth.  She had shaved a little in between my teeth during my last appointment to try to close that gap.  It closed it a little since then, but there was still a dark space that bothered me.  She went ahead and filed a little more between my teeth, but let me know I may still have a slight gap at the top due to how my teeth are shaped. 

The assistant took off my powerchains and wires.  She then did the impressions for my lower teeth.  It was the gooey stuff in a tray that she squished down on my lower teeth.  She held it there for a minute or so.  Ugghhh but when she went to pull it out, it felt like she was pulling out my teeth.  The suction from it and trying to get it off around my brackets made it feel that way.  But it was tolerable.  She then did my top teeth.  Those didn't seem to feel as bad when she removed it.  After she was done she gave me a toothbrush to brush the excess goo off my teeth and rinse my mouth. 

My Ortho was very happy with how my bite looks.  She said to continue wearing my bands only at night.  The assistant put my wires back in and powerchains on.  I chose my usual color light pink. 
Crazy to know this was the last time I get to chose what color powerchains I wanted.  My next appointment is January 26th and that is the big day to get my braces removed.  I have mixed feelings.  I really think I'm going to miss the look of braces on me, but excited I finally can smile with them off and eat normal foods again.  I'm also nervous about them getting removed because my teeth are so sensitive and can be painful when I get teeth cleanings.  Not looking forward to them removing the brackets and scraping the glue off ughhhh.  But it will be all worth it in the end. 

Once I got home, I noticed that one of my bottom teeth moved slightly behind another.  Which it wasn't that way before.  I called and talked to the assistant.  She told me to wait a few days and if it doesn't change then to come in next Tuesday and there will still be time to make any adjustments needed.

Below are a few photos from me getting the impressions done.  I also set an appointment for January 27th to get my front tooth bonded where it looks like my tooth is chipped.  Can't wait for all of it to be done.  Next time I post on here I should be posting pics of my teeth without braces!!  3 weeks from today!  Woo Hoo!!!

Bottom Impressions getting done

Top Impressions getting done

Tooth needing bonded once braces are off

Tooth that has moved since appointment....may need adjusted