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Upper and Lower Braces with an Upper Jaw Stretcher - United Kingdom, GB

Well, I've had braces on for just under 6 months...

Well, I've had braces on for just under 6 months now and they're doing a LOT of of help to my teeth. I've also got an upper jaw stretcher that is super annoying, but it seems to be doing the trick. I've had 2 check ups, the first time I had my bands changed, I had blue, and the last time I went I was cheeky and got green and purple for Halloween :D so yeah, that's my story so far!

Just went to my 3rd appointment!

I've had the coil taken off from the bottom, and had two put on the top on my two incisers. I can see that my arch at the bottom is starting to take a nice shape, but ny top one hasnt started to yet and theyre still trying to tyrn the teeth around so they face the right way :P At the moment my mouth REALLY kills, including my jaw, and my face :/ but it was only put on about 4 hours ago. I've had my bands changed to dark turquoise and red :D

Quick update!

My teeth are all over the place, due to the stretcher doing its thaaaang. I should be getting it out on my next appointment, and then my teeth can actually begin to be straightened :D

4th Appointment!

Hi all! Urgh, turns out the stretcher wasn't ready to be taken out this time, but my orthodontist booked the head orthodontist to have it taken out next appointment (roughly 6 weeks) so there is a very good chance it will be taken out then! Yay! I've also had to two coils on my incisors taken out and had brackets put on them, and my wire has been tightened, oh joy.
I've had my colours changed to yellow and pink! They aren't that noticable, but oh we'll :/ I'll go bold next time!!

5th appointment

Helloo all!
I've come back from my appointment, and I again didn't have the stretcher out :/ I've had chains put on my bottom and upper teeth to close gaps. I've had my wire changed to the thickest one there is, and I've had vertical bands put in.. Yay. So I've got a quadruple whammy of pain, stretcher, thickest wire, chain bands, and vertical bands. I've gone for bright green, I have to say, it very noticeable, and AWESOME! :D
The vertical bands are very easy to put in, and I have to wear them 24/7, apart from eating big meals, and brushing.

Photos from my 5th appointment

For some reason, the photos didn't save..
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Yay, green! :D
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I know, and it's BRIGHT green! :D I'm so happy they finally have bright and bold colours for the power chains :D
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LOL!  I wanna see a pic of that jungle!

I've been talking to a guy lately who just had surgically assisted rapid palatal expansion (SARPE) and is still in the process of expanding his palate.  He has to turn this key in his palate every day (himself) and it spreads his palate apart.  I mean.  Craziness.  Kind of puts everything into perspective.  He's got this almost 5 mm gap between his front teeth now because of the expansion.  Which has been happening over the course of two weeks.  Luckily he's still partially numb because of the surgery to insert the expander and, like, crack his jaw or whatever.  OMG.

I think I'd prefer your version!
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Oh my glob! D; that sounds awful, I can't imagin the pain he's in! The pain will all be worth it in the end though hopefully, he'll have a glorious smile! :D one of my friends might have to have her jaw broken and reset also :/ I do t really mind my stretcher, I just really miss eating spaghetti! XD How's your Invisalign going anyway? :)
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Oh, sounds like she's getting orthognathic (jaw) surgery.  She should join RealSelf, too!  He's doing this SARPE thing in prep for actual jaw surgery.

My Invisalign is going much better now!  I've switched from my Vivera retainers to a regular Hawley upper and Vivera lower.  I clench a lot less now and my open bite has nearly disappeared.  It only takes about twenty minutes to settle out now.  I'm still seriously considering getting a lower Hawley as well, though, because I still clench a little and I'm still getting headaches.  But I'd have to pay for that out of pocket, and that's, like $500.  So…yeah.  But I'm happy with the improvement I've had from just switching out the upper arch. :D
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What do you mean when you clench? Do you constantly hold your teeth together with force?
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Essentially.  Although with me it's more that I chew my retainers with force.  With the double Viveras (and throughout the invisalign treatment as well) I'd chew my retainers while they were in my mouth, and since there was a double layer of plastic in between, it forced the teeth up into the jaws a little bit.  When I took the trays out, I'd have this space between my teeth because I'd forced them into the jaw, and not be able to chew.  It's also very uncomfortable.  With the single Hawley now, there's only a single layer of plastic, and my anatomy doesn't allow me to chew the back of the tray anymore.  So I've started just chewing the front teeth.  I try to fight it, but it happens sometimes while I'm not thinking about it, and at night when I sleep.
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Gawd, that's annoying :/ I think I'm getting the viveras, I'm not sure. It's weird though, here in England, we get our retainers for free, but if we break or loose it we only have to pay £60 for a new one, how are yours almost $700?
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Wow!!  That's cheap.  I'm not entirely certain why they're so expensive.  I mean, I could guess that it has something to do with the fact that there's not much economy of scale, since each person's needs to be custom made.  It may also have to do with that some insurance companies pay for it.  But honestly, I don't know.  We do pay less in taxes, though, so there's not as much money for medical care.  It's all a tradeoff.  But it does seem a bit steep for a few wires and a piece of plastic.  I've read the Viveras are cheaper, but you get four sets with that, so it ends up not being cheaper.  Over here, I mean.
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Yeah, it's a shame :/ Because some of my teeth were 'over the line', I was able to get my braces for free on the NHS. This is what America is battling for at the moment aren't they, something like the UK has?
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That is indeed the current battle here. :)  My mother voted for that style of system, but now she's complaining to me that she has to pay more than before.  It's not actually free--taxes and fees pay for it.  I'd prefer a fully private system, but that ship sailed looooong ago!  :D

Do you guys celebrate Valentine's Day?  
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hey. just want to know what is your age? I am 25 and have an edge to edge too and I have brqces on for a month nowm I would realy want to pull my front tooth ahead rather than pushing them back so want to know if its posaible with my age!
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It's defiantly possible, your orthodontist will have planned out everything for your treatment, but if you're a bit nervous about it, talk to them, and see what they have planned for you! Age doesn't matter, people have this done at 40+ :)
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well I think braces is possible..but m talking more like pulling out my upper gums..cuz they r in..that would also mean pulling out my maxilla. the question is..is this possible? ve started off my treatmemt n goin bak to ask him questions m sure hes gona get furious :/
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Okay, I'm sure your orthodontist will be happy to answer questions and queries! :D hell be happy you're interested in what he does to your smile :) I'm not sure I understand what you mean by pulling out your gums?
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Happy New Year!!  Man, there is a GIGANTIC difference between your first pictures and your new pictures, yeah?  How are you feeling about your progress?  I mean, I know you wanted the stretcher out, but how do you feel about the aesthetics at this point?

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Happy 2014 to you also!! I know, they were horrible before! And to think that I thought they were fine and that I didn't need braces :') I'm very pleased with my progress, and I think I'll be very happy with the turn out of my teeth in the end.. I mean anything is better than how they used to look XD Have you had any more thoughts on the permanent retainer? ^-^
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I went to my orthodontist and talked to them about the bite problems I've been having.  So they told me to stop wearing my retainer so much (again).  My usage had escalated before as well, because of pain when I put them in before bed.  But I'm back down to 8 hours per day (or sometimes 9, but I'm supposed to keep it to 8).  After 6 weeks, I'm supposed to go back and get re-evaluated for my bite, and at that time I can pester them about other types of retainers.  I'm still leaning toward the Hawley, though, but we'll see :).  There is a permanent retainer that is kind of wavy and lets you floss without a threader, but I don't know how much it costs or whether my ortho ever uses them.
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Out of interest, how expensive are your braces and retainers?
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I paid $7000 for my Invisalign and aftercare, including the Vivera retainers and a free Hawley upper (one free replacement retainer).  Insurance covered $2000 of that total amount.  As I mentioned above, a single Hawley for the lower jaw would probably run me around $500 but I'm not sure.  I'll likely ask at my next appointment and come crying back to RealSelf to whinge when it's closer to $700 and I can't afford it. ;)
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Gosh!! That's extremely expensive!! So you couldn't get braces for free or anything? Lots if people at my school have the Hawley retainer, it seems to be the the most common, so probably the most effective :)
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My insurance plan doesn't cover more than $2000 lifetime for orthodontia, and that's not so unusual here in the US.  The Hawley is the oldest retainer still being used, and it's one of those 'if it's not broken' things.  For some people it's very uncomfortable, and also, the new Viveras give control over every tooth.  But for those who end up with the open bite, it's better to just get used to the Hawley, or to go with a bonded retainer. :D  If I could swing the new bonded V-Spring retainers, that'd be my number one choice.  But yeah, money=an object.
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Ahh right, so are the viveras the clear ones that look a bit like a mouth guard?
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Vivera retainers are specifically the brand of clear plastic retainer made by Align Technologies, which are the ones who make Invisalign.  They are a type of vacuum-formed retainer (VFR).  Another brand is Essix, which tends to be a little bit thicker than the Vivera brand, from my experience (very, very small experience ;).  There is also a thermo-formed retainer (TFR) that is clear and made of a material they call Zendura.  So both the VFR and TFR are clear plastic trays but are made in different ways.  Zendura is the material used to make Clear Correct, I think, which is an Invisalign competitor.

:D
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Do you find it difficult to clean your teeth with the braces in?  I specifically went with Invisalign because of that issue, having watched my husband flossing an hour a day for 18 months because of his braces.  Just wondering how you manage with it.  I've read clinical studies that say that the hygiene is measurably worse throughout treatment, but gets progressively worse (build-up) as time goes on.  Thanks!

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