How long I've had braces!

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