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Adult Traditional Braces for Overcrowding - Tips and Pictures - Minneapolis, MN

This message board helped me A LOT prior to...

This message board helped me A LOT prior to committing to braces, and during my first few weeks. Hoping this is helpful to someone else!
I'm a 27 year old female, and have always had a little bit of crowding and my eye-teeth were turned backwards. Nothing unsightly or uncomfortable. Around college (of course when I'm flat broke) my teeth started pushing each other forward and back, and my bite became unbearable! I was constantly grinding my teeth because they were so uncomfortable. I did some research on Invisalign and had a couple of quick consultations ("yes you need Invisalign, here's the money we want"), but wasn't convinced. I finally met an Ortho who explained to me ALL my options, took measurements and explained exactly what was going on with my teeth and what could be done. I ultimately decided on traditional metal braces (clear on top) for a year with retainers post treatment.

I was SO ready and a little excited to start the process toward great looking, comfortable teeth. However as soon as I looked in the mirror with the brackets on all I could think is "WHAT HAVE I DONE!" I was surrounded by tweens who seemed like it was no big deal, and I was screaming inside. I was sore pretty much right away, and didn't feel like eating or doing much of anything that night. The next day I made the mistake of trying to bite into a donut, yikes. After about a week, I could eat whatever I want and had little to no pain.

I didn't notice a whole lot of change until about 5 months into it. Every 6 week appointment from there on, I saw noticeable change. One thing they warned me about is "it gets worse before it gets better" which was totally true! My teeth would move and I would think "that looks ridiculous!" (I had two massive gaps), but they eventually moved where they need to be.

Things that have made the process bearable for me:
-Remind yourself: SMILE, NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE BRACES! No really, you might feel a little self-conscious, but like 3 people mentioned them to me. I swear I get twice as much food at Chipotle because the guy thinks these things are cute. . .
-Smoothies, PB&J's, and Mac and Cheese are soft enough. . .and delicious
-Drinking ice water helps with swelling and any discomfort
-One word: CHAPSTICK!!!! I bought something like 10 tubes and keep it everywhere. My lips always feel extremely chapped. Wax is also helpful if your braces rub against a mouth sore.
-Make sure you have a soft bristle tooth brush, and little wire interdental brushes to keep with you. They are great for massaging the gums if you are sore, and getting the food out between teeth/the braces.
-Ask questions if you have them and get answers. A good Ortho should be open with you!
-Take pictures! It's fun to see your progress
-With clear braces, they stain pretty darn quick. I would try to schedule my appointments prior to events (wedding, vacation) so they were new and white. You can ask to have your bands changed between appointments, too. Anything tomato based or coffee are the biggest culprits. Once the bands stain, for the most part I try not to care if they are a little blah -- soon enough the teeth will be straight and white!

I've got a couple months left, but am already happy with this decision and what my teeth look and feel like now!! I'd recommend finding a great Ortho and getting it done if you are thinking about it.

10 month update

I decided to start getting light blue bands on top, for fun and to see if they would stain less... I love it! The blueness dulls, but does not get an orange tint as the clear bands can. Found out I have about 4-8 months to go which is longer than I thought... But am really excited about how comfortable my teeth feel now and how drastically different/ better they look.

One year in

I got my bands changed today (still loving the light blue) and a stronger wire on the bottom because my front bottom teeth still aren't moving/ stable. I've noticed in the past week my mouth has been cut up more and I've had super chapped lips again which hasn't happened in months, should be a good sign things are continuing to move though. We are taking engagement pictures this coming weekend and I asked about having them taken off, but it would be a big process and was told it would be like day 1 pain wise, and would extend treatment possibly drastically. I'm taking my Ortho's advice, but am just curious if anyone has had there's temporarily taken off mid treatment? I need to put all my confidence forward and just deal!
Minneapolis Orthodontics

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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