~ B r a c e s ~

Month #17

December 15 & 16, 2004

They're off!!!!!  My appointment was at 1:00 pm yesterday and my whole de-bracing (I didn't have bands so I can't really say de-banding - so, debonding?!) experience took about 1 hour and 45 minutes.  I'm not going into details now.  BUT, here's a picture!!  This is a real smile (as real as you can get taking a picture of your own teeth) - mostly I wanted to see how bad my overjet looks, but in the photo it doesn't look bad at all!

Hooray for straight teeth! :)

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Okay, so it's December 16.  Two days now without my braces.  This morning I freaked out a bit because my bite seemed really off - my right side wasn't touching and my lower left canine was bumping into my upper left lateral.  So I called Dr. Wass - he was really nice about it and reassured me that it sounded normal.  He said that often when wearing both retainers at night, a person's jaw doesn't fully close and this can cause the bite to seem off in the morning.  He said to give it some time during the day and things should get better.  He was right - the bite pretty much returned to normal, but that canine still bumps into my lateral (but that's only when I have my retainer out to eat or drink something).  So I just keep my retainer in and things are fine. :)

Flossing!  What a joy to floss!!  Why doesn't everyone floss when it's so EASY?!  I flossed my teeth in under a minute last night - just because I could!  It's amazing how simple flossing is without braces.

And EATING!  It is so very, very lovely to eat without getting everything jammed between brackets.  I nearly devour my food now that it's so easy to eat, which might not be a good thing for my figure! :)

Okay, so that I don't have to rehash the entire debonding process, here's my description about it that I posted on www.archwired.com:

Hooray! I went in for my debonding yesterday at 1 pm CST. Around 2:45 pm I walked out with HUGE, WHITE, STRAIGHT teeth!

The removal process was annoying and slightly painful, but oh-so worth it! First they removed my metal lowers - the assistant told me I would hear a "crack" but it was just the bracket and the glue separating. Crack, crack and some more cracks (and to be honest, with some pain), the lowers came off all together as they were still connected by the wire. Next came my upper ceramics. The ortho filed down the glue around the brackets before he attempted to break the bond. It's my understanding that it isn't the ceramic bracket that causes the problems coming off, it's the type of glue that is used to hold them on. Most of my ceramic brackets came off in one piece, but there was one that broke into bits and one chunk wouldn't come off.

Then my ortho filed down the glue (and the one ceramic chunk)- this had to be the worst part! My teeth are very sensitive and it felt like he was grinding a nerve on each and every tooth. For me, this was awful. But the pain was short-lived and after all the glue was off I really got the true feeling of my teeth. When I looked in the mirror they looked ENORMOUS! The assistant laughed and said that's what everyone says when they see their teeth the first time.

I must add that there was lots of rinsing and spitting. I can't figure out why today, but yesterday it made sense to rinse and spit!

The assistant polished up my teeth and then took molds for my retainers. I don't think that part is bad at all - it's just a mouth full of goop. My retainers were made right there at the office. They gave me the Essix kind, and I must admit I like them very much so far. When I was younger I had a Hawley (retainer only, no braces), and I would always spit it out in my sleep. With the Essix retainers, there is NO way I can spit these things out! They're very tight, but I love the fact that they are clear.

So, on to pictures. This is what my teeth looked like before braces (my mouth is open to show all of my crooked teeth):


And this is what my teeth look like today! I am wearing the Essix retainer on my lowers in this picture. (and no gloss or lipstick - sorry!)


You'll notice that I only have three teeth between my lower canines - I had my lower left central incisor extracted to make room for all my teeth. We went this route instead of having 4 bicuspids pulled. So, I have only three teeth in front, and more of an overjet (2.5mm), but the ortho said that the overjet wasn't as much as some people who have that tooth removed. Overall, I'm happy with the decision. You gotta love genetics - big teeth and no room to put them!

If anyone is interested in my braces experience, I've documented the entire process and you can read about it and see more pictures here.

Getting braces was one of the best decisions I've ever made. My teeth are now straight, my bite is good, and I am happy with the end result. Now I'll wear retainers for the rest of my life! And actually, I'm glad because I was sorry to see my braces go. Orthodontia isn't ever really over! Very Happy


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