~ B r a c e s ~

by Lora

One of the first days with braces!
One of my first days in braces!

I took the plunge and got braces. 

Making the Big Decision + Month #1
Month #2
Month #3
Month #4
Month #5
Month #6
Month #7
Month #11
Month #12 (aka 1 YEAR!)
Month #14
Month #15
Month #16
Month #17 - They're off!!
Thoughts on Braces - New!

Most Recent: March 23, 2005

Well, three months have passed since my braces came off.  I was thinking the other day how "normal" my teeth feel again, and I never thought I'd get used to the slimy feel of teeth sans braces.  But sure enough, it's like my 17 months of braced teeth is just a memory.  Oh wait.  It is. :)

I had a checkup back in mid-February.  I was VERY frustrated about my lower three teeth - like I mentioned before they were looking very ragged.  I told my ortho that I was concerned and he agreed with me.  He told me to go back to wearing my first retainer and then he'd see me again in two months.  I went home and put my first retainer in right away and YEEE-OUCH!  Talk about reliving pain from adjustments!  It was so tight and painful that I was afraid that I was doing some teeth harm.  But, like usual, the pain was short lived and I've been wearing my first bottom retainer ever since.  The difference is pretty dramatic - although they still aren't perfectly straight, I'm not freaking out about them anymore, either.

A word to the wise about Essix retainers:  do not go to the dentist, get your gums roughed up by a floss-wielding maniac and then put your retainers back in your mouth.  If there's ANY chance of blood, for the sake of clarity, do NOT put them back in!  :)  I made this mistake, and now the molars in my lovely, clear Essix retainers are a disgusting orange-ish, clouded color.  Doh!  Bad mistake on my part.  I didn't realize that my gums were bleeding, and then I didn't realize that the blood would stain my retainer.  I must admit that you don't notice except if I've set it down on something REALLY white, or when I'm soaking them in Retainer Brite.  Thank goodness it only affected my molars!

January 6, 2005

Happy New Year!  My teeth are slowly settling into place.  For the most part I am very satisfied with my treatment.  However, I have a few complaints about the "after" bit.  My lower front three teeth have developed a mind of their own - they now look like crooked old tombstones.  I call them my Three Stooges.  Mind you, they still fit into my retainer, but they're very uneven.  My right lower lateral is slowly creeping behind my right canine and it's very disconcerting for my tongue to feel a tooth out of place.  Also, I figured out that it's my lower left lateral banging into my upper left central incisor when I bite down, not my lower left canine against my upper left lateral.  At least, that's how it was a few days ago - who knows about today.

Also, my upper right central incisor seems to like it's original position and I find myself wearing my upper retainer more than I was instructed.  It's no biggie - I don't mind my upper retainer.

I LOVE my new smile, but I can't wait to get some of these issues worked out.  My next appointment isn't until mid-February.  I suppose I could make an appointment to see my ortho before that, but these issues seem minor.  I trust that my ortho knows what he is doing and will make adjustments as needed when I see him next.


For information on adult orthodontics, please visit www.archwired.com - it's a fantastic website with a lot of information.