12/9/14 – Tomorrow is D-Day. THE day. The DAY. They’re putting my (adult) braces on. I’m equal parts excited and nervous for tomorrow. For those of you who are looking into adult braces, I’m going to break some things done for you and tell toy how I’m going about doing it.
So I have always known I needed braces. My front tooth grew back too far thanks to my baby front tooth not falling out soon enough. My bottom teeth have just run out of room. As I grew, the dreaded word of “braces” were often thrown around, but we couldn’t afford them when I was a child. I knew that when I became an adult, getting braces would be a must if I wanted a pretty, straight smile, and that I would be paying for them myself.
Recently, in my adulthood, I’ve been wracked with headaches and chewing and talking has become quite a task. That dreadful front tooth is now right up against my bottom teeth. When I talk or chew, there is a constant danger of the bottom teeth coming in front of that tooth. I’ve hit it a few times and each time I’ve become more terrified that it’s going to break.
Now that I have job security, I made the decision to start on my journey to better and straighter teeth. The first step was going to the dentist and getting a really good cleaning. Most orthodontists won’t bother scheduling an appointment with you until your teeth are cleaned. Also, the dentist takes care of a lot of x-rays that the orthodontist may ask to see. This will save you money if you don’t have insurance (like me).
After my cleaning, the dentist recommended me to two orthodontists (another great reason to visit the dentist first!). I made an appointment that day and a few weeks later I was sitting with the orthodontist. They took down all my general info, took some unflattering pictures of my teeth, dug around in my mouth, then laid out the good and bad news.
Good news: I have some of the most beautiful teeth. Beautiful color, beautiful shape. No cavities, no fillings, no previous dental work and my teeth were naturally crooked (as in, no one punched my teeth into the state they’re currently in).
Bad news: the lower back teeth bite is too far behind the upper back teeth on the right side, the lower and upper teeth are crowded, the upper incisors are too far in front of the lower incisors (overjet), and the lower midline is shifted to the left.
Solution: Full treatment (18 to 24 months in top and bottom braces plus elastics) with wisdom teeth and 4 additional teeth removal!
So tomorrow the top and bottom braces are going on. According to my orthodontist, it’s best to put the braces on before the wisdom teeth removal. As for the four teeth that are also coming out, they will simply not have brackets put on them.
I made the personal decision to go with the traditional metal braces. Invisalign is not an option for those of us with overcrowding as Invisalign can only push teeth. Ceramic braces have actually come a long way and don’t stain and break as easily as they use to, BUT they are more expensive. I’m a broke college graduate and that additional $400 can be put in so many other places. Plus, I’m not that vain. If the thought of people making fun of you for metal braces bothers you, ceramics would be the best way to go.
There are costing me a total of $6,025. This includes the braces and elastics, all monthly appointments, and the retainer. I still have to go for my 6 month cleanings at the dentist while following all the rules of having braces (like brushing every time you stick food in your mouth). It’s going to be hard and annoying but I’m ready. I’m ready for 8 AM.
Those are my teeth. Sorry for the horrible lighting. I should have thought to take these pictures sooner but it’s 11PM and the appointment is tomorrow. Hopefully I can take some better pictures in the daylight to show off my crooked pearly whites before my lovely metal jewelry is added on.
12/10/14 – Today did not go exactly the way I thought it would. I have brackets glued to a majority of my teeth (one is too far back on the bottom to get a bracket on to and the 4 that are being pulled don’t have brackets). However, they did not put in the wires. They said they would after the wisdom teeth plus 4 teeth were removed.
Had I known this, I wouldn’t have bothered letting them put the brackets on but it was too late. My mouth was already finished when they told me. I also have blue glue in the tops of my back molars to keep me from hitting a bracket with my front tooth (its basically the same situation I’ve been dealing with except now the bracket is straight beneath my front tooth. The glue is not helping. I was asked to bite down on my back teeth. I normally don’t do that when I close my mouth. It doesn’t come naturally so I’m having to make myself force my lower jaw back when I close my mouth or else I bite down on the bracket. I’m calling tomorrow to see if they can put in more glue. My mouth will still not close all the way if they do, in fact it’ll be less closed when I bite down than it is now, but the whole thing is uncomfortable.
I assumed I wouldn’t be able to eat anything but soup due to my teeth and gums being sore from tight wires. I’m sure this will be the case soon but for now I’m eating soup because the glue prevents me from chewing up basically anything. I did a test run with a piece of chocolate I was given at the orthodontist and literally spit it out. The glue makes it extremely uncomfortable and weird and doesn’t exactly crush any food. In fact, I had so much stuff in my bottom molars after eating mashed potatoes that it was like a treasure hunt trying to clean it all out.
I also have wonderful hooks on several of my brackets for the rubber bands that I will get with my wires. To say these bitches hurt is and understatement. Talking, eating, brushing my teeth, any movement whatsoever makes them catch the underside of my lips. I learned how to use the dental wax within the first fifteen minutes home and it is a life (lip) saver.
Other than being extremely uncomfortable and annoyed and barely able to smile without showing brackets, the experience with the orthodontist was great. Everyone was extremely nice. I got a little “welcome” package with a new electric toothbrush, chocolate, super floss, a t-shirt, and other tooth care things. The only thing I can complain about it there is some glue on a tooth that is going to be pulled. I’m not really worried about it though. It’s getting pulled anyway.
Tomorrow I go to see the oral surgeon (fun stuff) for a consultation/evaluation thing and will schedule an appointment for the surgery (ASAP!). I’m more nervous about this than anything. The brackets suck and losing 4 teeth and having my wisdom teeth cut out is going to suck even more. I guess I will be drinking soup and water for a week. Actually, forever. The orthodontist wants to put the wires on a week after the surgery so I’m terrified I’ll never eat solid food again.