20 Year Old with Damon Clear in College - PA, USA

I have always wanted a straighter smile and knew...

I have always wanted a straighter smile and knew that I had to get my teeth fixed. I've never been able to smile without feeling insecure. Now that it's financially possible, I am set to get braces on Aug 5,2014. I am nervous yet excited.
My first appointment was the initial consultation where the orthodontist examined my teeth. He gave me two options, I could either go with Damon or Invisalign. After thorough research, I wanted to be sure that my bite and crowded teeth be fixed. So, I had made up my mind and decided on Damon Clear. I then had to get impressions and a panoramic x-Ray done. It was discovered that I had four impacted wisdom teeth that needed to be removed. I asked my orthodontist if I could get my braces in prior to getting them removed ( I cannot financially afford to have my wisdom teeth out but I will be once my parents' insurance kicks in). I wanted to get my braces before I started my fall semester in school this late August. My orthodontist was hesitant but he agreed. I set up my next appointment.
2nd appointment: We looked at my pictures, and digital impressions. I was diagnosed with the following:
- Class I bite (normal)
- Deep bite
- Overjet
- Crowded Upper Teeth
- Crowded Lower Teeth
- Flared Upper Incisors
- Flared Lower Incisors
- Rotated Teeth

Quite a list!!! My estimated treatment time is 18 months.
My next scheduled appointment is on August 5th where I will pay my initial fee and get my braces on. I am really nervous yet excited! I will update on Aug 5th about my experience.

Braces are on! 3rd appointment

Ever since my 2nd appointment, I had been anxious all along; and I just wanted to get my braces on. Today was the day!! I was excited to get them on, but I was really nervous in regards to how it was going to look.
At the orthodontist, the procedure wasn't painful at all. The most uncomfortable part for me was the cheek separator, so they could see all my teeth. It just made my cheeks really sore throughout the procedure. I went in at 1430, and I got done at around 1545ishh. The procedure itself consisted of them cleaning my teeth. It took about 5 minutes, rinsed my mouth. They put the sealant on, brackets on, and the UV light to assure the brackets stayed on my teeth. I went and rinsed my mouth after that. It felt really odd to feel the brackets on my teeth the first time. They felt big, bulky, and out of place. Then, they put the arch wire in, closed the doors on the brackets and I was done. I was instructed on how to properly brush, and floss my teeth. They told me to take OTC pain medication if I needed it. Everyone at the orthodontists' office was extremely nice. My orthodontist answered all my questions. He said it was normal for me to feel like the brackets were bulky and I'd get used to the feeling in a couple days. I felt really emotional for some reason as he was giving me these instructions. It was just surreal to know that I'll have to keep them on for a long time.
I went home. My teeth didn't hurt, it was just an odd feeling. After a while, they started to feel sensitive to touch. I went and got some tomato soup along with some pasta and chicken. The pasta and chicken felt impossible because I had a really hard time chewing. I still finished my meal because I was starving. My teeth just feel really sore when I put them to use. I brushed right after my meal with an electric brush. There was a lot of food stuck everywhere (gross). I'm not too used to it, so the cleaning process is gonna take me a while to get used to. Ultimately, I am not in pain, I wouldn't even call it discomfort. I have a good tolerance, and I don't really intend on using any OTC medication. As far as appearance, I don't like it. But I also didn't like my crooked teeth. So this is a better alternative. I haven't told anyone much about my braces. So I'm interested as to how everyone will react at work tomorrow; nonetheless, I'm not concerned because it really doesn't matter to me what anyone thinks.
I hope this year and a half goes by fast and that I really get used to having braces quick! I'm going to need it. My next appointment is on September 16th. I'll update in a month.


08/05/14 @2314
After a while, my pain started to get really bad. I am usually good with tolerating pain but I was really uncomfortable. I felt A LOT of pressure and sensitivity; especially, in my front upper and lower teeth. I didn't even want to try eating dinner. I took some Tylenol which didn't help at all. Couple hours later, I decided to take hydrocodone. My pain is completely gone now and I am sleepy. I hope tomorrow is much better.

One Month Update

It's been a month since I got my braces on!! Yay. I survived.
Few updates:
- Pain:
I no longer have any pain. However, my front teeth are still sore. It's not painful, just sore. I assume that is because most of my issues lie in that area and my teeth are working with a lot of pressure.
- Food/Cleaning:
As far as food goes, I cannot bite with my front teeth, because they're still very sore. So most of the food that I eat is with forks. I can't really enjoy burgers, and paninis; which sucks, because food is life! It's alright though, it's not too bad.
Cleaning the gunk out of my teeth after eating has gotten a lot easier. I usually try to drink a lot of water with meals.. So it doesn't get too bad. I am in college; and I eat out all the time. Last thing I want is something stuck in my braces. I've formed a routine where I go to the restroom after my meals to check if anything is stuck. I save the snacking for when I'm alone in my room. I find using my regular brush much easier than an electric brush. It allows me to have more control. I've gotten a lot quicker at cleaning my teeth. It's not that big of a hassle, it's actually improved my hygiene.
- Public reaction to braces:
I said previously that anyone else's opinion would have never changed my decision to get braces. I still hold that true. At work, a couple people asked me if I got braces and I explained how I had wanted them for a long time. Some were happy for me that I got them, and some expressed their desires to get braces themselves. At college, nobody really cares. I've actually seen a bunch of people with braces, and my friends don't care either. The people that bother me are the ones who will just flat out ignore the fact that I got braces out of fear of saying something negative. These are some of my coworkers and one or two friends. When someone changes their hair color, people generally notice the change and comment on it. I see braces as being no different, it's not a negative thing to get them. All in all, people don't care if you have braces. So if anyone reading this wants to get them.. Do.
- Progress with braces:
I've seen a lot of changes in my smile. You can tell from the before and after picture that I will post with this update. Some of the issues that I have with these changes are that my side bite has gotten worse than it was. There are gaps in my side bite now that were not there before (check pictures). I assume this is because my teeth are shifting to create room for the front teeth, and hope that it will get fixed soon. It really affects my eating a little bit. I will address these issues with my orthodontist to make sure though.
- Next Appointment:
It is on September 16 2014. I will try to update then. The only sucky part is the two hour drive back home to my orthodontist from my college.
- Questions/Comments:
Overall, I am very happy with my progress. A little impatient at times. Feel free to ask any questions or give any comments!

4th Appointment

Today was my first appointment after having braces put on.
The assistant removed my wire, and told me I was taking great care of my teeth! I was ecstatic to hear that because brushing like a maniac gets tiring. I appreciate a little recognition. I then went and brushed and flossed my teeth. Then, the orthodontist just asked me if I was adjusting well to my braces. I addressed my issue with gaps in my bite that were not there before (see last update). He said it was normal, and it's just a process. He asked the assistant to put in a newer wire and some "stops" between my central incisors and lower incisors. She did that, and my teeth feel just the same now. Slightly sore, no pain.
I wanted to share a mini update of my progress.. I now have a small gap between my central incisor and my rotated tooth (check picture)! It makes me happy haha. I have never really had gaps between my teeth before... Always crowded! So it's exciting to see that I now have room for some straightening to happen. My rotated tooth has always bothered me the most.. So I really hope it straightens out soon and I can rest in peace.
I will update next month on the 5th.

2 Month Update

Just posting a couple progress shots for my two month update. Progress is coming along well, just slightly impatient with my rotated tooth but I know it'll straighten out soon! Feel free to post any comments, or questions.

3 Month Update

Just sharing my 3 month progress shots. Not any significant differences; however, I can tell my rotated tooth has moved a little. I can surely tell that my teeth have moved farther out ever since I got braces. The gaps between my bite annoy me but it's all part of the process. On my last appointment, I had wire change and was given elastics which I'm told to wear at night time only. They are to address my overbite. This time around, my teeth were ridiculously sore after getting wire change. It was like getting braces all over again. So hard to eat. After two days, they're back to normal. As normal as normal gets.
Feel free to comment or ask questions!

4 Month Update

Here are my 4 month progress shots!
Again, no big changes. If you look really closely you can see a slight change in the rotated tooth. Gaps in bite have gone wider.

Power Chain

So, I just got done with my appointment at the orthodontist. I had a wire change, and he decided to put a power chain on my front four teeth to close the gap between my rotated tooth and my central tooth. I was also instructed to wear my elastics at night time again. He said he was really happy with the progress, and even though I have this gap now... It's a good thing because my teeth were really crowded and it's proof that the system is working. He also said that the next time he'd like to get to my final set of wire, and from there on, he will just manually tighten and tweak it as needed for details.
As of now, I can feel the tightness in my teeth. I just hope that it doesn't get worse because I am already sick but I am very excited to see the progress.

Power Chain Update

It's insane how quick these power chains get to work. I've included a picture with this update.. And the progress is great for just 12 hours with it on.
As I had guessed, my pain is a lot worse. I have a really bad cold and my sinuses are blocked which gives me a major headache.. And my ├╝ber sore teeth are not helping. Even though, I am in pain... I like to just tell myself to suck it up. So I've been stubborn and have not taken any medication at all. If I don't feel better by tomorrow, I will.
You guys know how bad I've wanted this rotated tooth to move! It is so great to finally see it coming together.. It makes the pain worth it.

5 Month Update

Updating my 5 month review--I figured I'd spend this time complaining a little about my teeth. Although, I am ecstatic about my progress; it still needs a lot of work. My rotated tooth definitely moved a lot this month but it's not completely fixed. It still needs a little more rotating.
I have no clue what's going on with my bite. It's kind of weird because I didn't really have any side bite issues when I first got my braces. My lower arch is moving upwards. I feel like the lower 4 teeth need to be moving downwards though. I am also noticing some gaps in my lower arch. Of course, we're working on my deep bite still.. So I guess I just have to be patient. Another thing I am not happy with is that my one central incisor is higher than the other (check picture). I'd also like to see my smile widen a bit more by the end of my braces journey. I have some dark triangles.
Another thing I noticed was that the power chain REALLY stains. You can obviously tell from the pictures, I can't wait to get it off.
My next appointment is on the 20th, if anything major happens; I will update then.
And yes I know it's only been 5 months but sometimes it just gets tiring and I wish they'd move even quicker!

6 month update

It's been 6 months since I've had my braces on. It's insane how much my teeth have changed. On my last appointment, I had a different orthodontist than my original one. I didn't really like that because I didn't think she explained much. Maybe I just missed my old orthodontist. I think I just didn't feel comfortable with someone who didn't know much of my history. It's alright, she wasn't that bad. We worked on closing my gaps, and kept the power chain on. To close one of my gaps, they put a tie back on and attached it to my last molar. It was very sore at first but it's fine now and the gap has closed (check picture). I have been careful with what I eat with my power chain on. That meant no coffee or soda. I think that has helped a little with the staining problem. I am still wearing my elastics at night time only, as told.
And it's my birthday today. 21 you guys. And half a year of braces anniversary, one I'd like to break up with soon though. I will update next month or on appointment day. I doubt there would be any more changes than now next month.

7 Month Update

I had my 7 month appointment today. Again, different orthodontist than my original one. They all work in the same practice. I really liked Dr. Miniums today. I addressed my issue with my one central incisor being longer than the other (check 5 month update). Instead of adjusting my brackets, he manually tweaked the wires to help fix that issue. My lower arch was narrower than the top one (check 5 month update), so he tweaked that too to help widen it.
The hooks are added to widen and create more pressure, I believe. I wear my elastics on the newly added hooks. I was instructed to wear them all day now instead of just night time. That's gonna be an adjustment period for me because I'm not used to taking them out prior to eating food and it's kind of awkward to do that before going out to eat. I'll figure it out though. It's the first day with full-on elastics. I hope you guys can see the tiny tweaks he made to my new wire today.
My previously rotated left lateral incisor had a gap between my canine, so he added tie backs attached to the last molar on both sides of my upper arch. It's hard to see the tie back in the pictures but they're there.
Oh another random statement.. I HATE eating lettuce with braces on. It's such a pain but salads are like a routine for me and lettuce just makes my life hard. If you have braces, you know what I'm talking about. And also when that damn chicken gets stuck. GAH! Haha.
My teeth are a little sore today from the whole change but it's not too bad.
Okay then! I will update next month or on appointment day and I hope I see the results of all these changes made today.

Feel free to comment and/or ask questions!


03/12/2015 @ 2350

So you know how I said earlier I was a "little" sore? This pain right now is like when I first got my braces. Okay, maybe not that bad because the first time it was my entire jaw. This time... It's mostly in my upper arch and somewhat around lower left arch. I even had trouble eating dinner. I blame this pain on those tie backs, and the elastics all day. I can't seem to sleep because it's just hurting bad right now. I have not taken any medication. I will be doing that if I don't fall asleep in the next 15 minutes. I can definitely forget sandwiches/burgers/paninis for this week. Pretty much anything that involves using my front teeth. Pain means it's working though, so that's the good part. I don't mind it.

Ah, I wish tooth fairies were a real thing. Tylenol will do for now. Goodnight!
Dr. Kearns

He is really genuine, and honest. He cares about his patients and enjoys his career. He answered all my questions.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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