Adult Braces - Damon Clear - Niles, MI

I am 46 years old and got my braces yesterday -...

I am 46 years old and got my braces yesterday - clear on top, metal on bottom. I have always hated my smile - when I smiled you couldn't see much teeth. Also, a little crowded, some small gaps, some teeth are a little rotated, and my entire top teeth were shifted a little. My bite was straight on (basically no overlap in either direction) and was causing my teeth to wear down. I noticed things getting worse, so I thought I'm gonna do something about it. So my dentist recommended an orthodontist and I went through with the braces. I originally was looking at Invisalign, but decided to go with the damon system because they are pulling my top teeth down and broadening my arches? to give me a bigger smile. At this point in time you cannot really tell I have braces on my top teeth unless you look closely. That is except for 1 elastic I am wearing to bring those front teeth down (so I will have a more toothy smile); I change these clear elastics 3 times per day so no staining issues. An unexpected thing, my molars were hitting bracket so I got a coating to protect the brackets. Unfortunately, I will have an open bite for about 10 weeks. Oh well, the price we pay - my price will be talking like Sylvester the putty tat for 10 weeks. Not painful to put them on - but the braces feel uncomfortable and I'm a little sore today. I have a small mouth - i.e. small teeth, which presents a flossing challenge. I will try to post updates as I will be in these for about 2 years.

Day 2: No big deal, A little more pressure felt. ...

Day 2: No big deal, A little more pressure felt. Took a Tylenol, bought mouthwas that helps with soreness. The elastics on the top seemed really sore.
Day 3: Holy cow, just constant pressure, feels like you have food caught between you teeth, but every tooth! Its very annoying and distracting. The elastics on the top are causing a line indention into my gums above my teeth and are seriously irritating my gums. I couldn't find a blog on how to deal with this, as everyone says to put was on the bracket; since my bracket is so high, wax on the bracket was not going to help. So it took "alot" of patience to do the following, rolled wax into a snake like configuration, flattened it, and placed it directly onto my gum indention. THEN I carefully made sure that when I attached the elastics that portion rested on top of the wax. So the was was a buffer between my elastics and gums. This really helped, but of course the soreness was still there. Im also getting some small sores from the brackets on the very back molars.
Day 4: Discomfort is a bit less than yesterday. Removed the wax from my upper gum to show bleeding. It stopped, which is very important to me as I am on blood thinners, warfarin to be exact. So I reapplied the wax and new elastic. It is much easier to take a q-tip and dab it on your gums to lightly dry so the wax will stick. When I brushed after lunch, no bleeding, irritation is much less. I did notice that one of my teeth is sensitive to brushing, so it must be moving! I gotta say my sonicare has been great; however, when brushing say lower jaw, if you accidentally let the head of the brush touch the top jaw it will shake your world!! Makes sense considering your teeth are wired together. Lessons learned!

Day 5 & 6: I need to update on the "tip" I...

Day 5 & 6: I need to update on the "tip" I mentioned previously regarding my elastics making my gums bleed. Let me reiterate the problem is not the brackets, but the bracket hooks that hold the elastic trapazoid (6 teeth on top, 4 on bottom); the elastic that strings "across" the top teeth do not actually rest on the teeth but rest on my gums. My wax "snake" left on overnight becomes so soft, the the elastics cut right through it. Woke up and my gums were bleeding and "very" painful again. However, I did find a temporary solution to hold me over until I could see my orthodontist during working hours. I found a rubber band with a width about 1/4"; I cut a 1" long section. Soaked it in alchol , applied THAT to my gums then strung the elastic "over" that. This buffer WORKS LIKE A CHARM!! No bleeding, reduced the pain, and bought me some time. So I saw my orthodontist today and they found an alternative way to "string" the top. Whew that problem is over!!
Another update is the Sonicare I so love. Let me say there is NO LOVE when a tooth is moving/loosening and becomes sensitive. I have reverted back to the old manual toothbrush for now.
I have felt my teeth shifting slightly since day 1. I am now on day 7 and still no noticeable movement.

Day 9 and not much to report except I am...

Day 9 and not much to report except I am definitely getting used to this. My toothcare routine is getting a little quicker. I made a little dental kit to take to work so I can brush my teeth there. I'm getting used to having to speak in meetings - I'm able to laugh at myself and make jokes about the Sylvester thing. People cracked up today when I started singing "I'm sexy and I know it," my version is "I'm SHEKSHY and I know it" - lol!!
One serious thing I'd like to mention - above I told you I'm on blood thinners (coumadin / warfarin). Since my eating habits have drastically changed I decided to go in for an impromptu blood check. We were very surprised to find out my INR shot up to a dangerous level. I'm so glad I went in. I would suggest to anyone with my similar issue or has to any sort of blood monitoring to "get your blood checked!"

Oops I posted my update to the wrong place. You...

Oops I posted my update to the wrong place. You can find it below in the wrong spot :D One other thing I forgot to mention is that my teeth have yellowed - the brackets have not. I brush 3-4 times day and am doing a superb routine. The only thing I can think of is that when they "roughed" up my teeth to place the brackets, it allows coffee stains to soak in - I only have 1/2 in the morning. I am increasing my cleanings from 2x yr to 3-4x per year. When I have my next appointment (on Halloween), I'll ask my orthodontist about it. I'll keep you all posted!

I am updating to finish my discussion on how...

I am updating to finish my discussion on how yellow my teeth had become after I got my braces on over 1 month ago. My teeth were rough, and even though I have meticulously cared for them, they kept getting more yellow. I am a coffee drinker, but have never had teeth 'that' yellow! I made an extra appointment with my dentist for a cleaning to see if it would help..and VOILA! It did! My suspicions were confirmed, a very thin film of the bonding agent got all over my teeth somehow. You cannot brush this off and it was holding stain. My teeth are now smooth and pearly white again! Now just to warn you, obviously because your teeth are moving and sore, it isn't pain-free. But I personally felt it was worth the discomfort. You have to judge if you are able to handle your teeth to be touched.

I had my first adjustment which consists of...

I had my first adjustment which consists of thicker wires. Also, I agreed to keep the pads on my molars because of how much it helps my particular treatment. As for the wire switch, I must say it was painful because my teeth are moving and a bit sore. It was a really tough day to get through, Tylenol was my best friend. The good thing is the pain only lasted one day!!! It was all but gone when I woke up the next day. My teeth have moved so much already, still lots more to go but it sure is nice to know that its working. Also, now that my top front teeth are beginning to meet my lower front teeth (even with the pads on), right after my adjustment when one tooth would hit another, it was quite painful; I would best describe it as the pain you get when you hit your funny bone. I've noticed there seems to be a rhythm or cycle to my personal experience, 1) really sore teeth, 2) noticeable movement, 3) reduced or no pain, then the process starts all over again. So I've come to welcome sore teeth - weird, huh?! Goes back to the adage, "no pain, no gain." I'm also again using my Sonicare..even when my teeth are sore; I guess I've just gotten used to it and it speeds up my toothcare routine so much.
Well I guess I won't have a lot more detailed updates, I believe I'vetruthfully documented all the major stuff that happens (or at least happened to me) at the beginning of getting braces as an adult. I really am so glad I did this and I'm looking forward to the end result. I will keep you posted if anything major seems to happen and will post picture updates when appropriate. Of course, I will be glad to respond to any posts anyone might have.

On the down-swing and loving it!

Its been about 14 months since I got my braces. I AM SO HAPPY!
I have more gums, more teeth showing, and love to smile now :D I see myself in photos and it has just made such a big difference to me in my self-confidence. About 3 weeks ago I received a compliment I have 'never' received in my whole life, "You have such a beautiful smile." I was so caught off guard - I wanted to just give her a big hug!!

Eating: If you're not sore, you really can eat just about anything without mushing it through a fork, it just takes more patience as you need to take smaller bites and eat slower. As you were warned though, stay away from anything crispy. I've heard many people tell me they had no problems eating and even cheating with chips and such, but the one time I did, I broke off a bracket and it set me back a couple months (i.e. not worth it).

Cleaning: Wow can braces hide ALOT of food, so I've expanded my cleaning routine. 1) rinse, rinse,rinse. 2) Brush with my sonicare. 3) Waterfloss (you'd be surprised what jetted water can find still hiding) 4) manual floss. I have to update on my favorite method here. I have found those cheap blue threaders work 'great' for me. Just 'tie' a piece of floss to it and have at it! Don't use expanding floss though as that gets caught in your braces and you'll find yourself cutting it out with scissors.

Pain and discomfort: Each adjustment takes you to a thicker wire so expect discomfort/pain. I find I almost always have to take a tylenol for a day or so after. The worse so far has been the very 1st adjustment, and when my 1st 'finishing' wire was put in a couple months ago. Be advised, this is based on my particular treatment; your experience may vary based on your treatment being more/less aggressive.

Yellowing: Obviously, you can't bleach your teeth with braces, so normal yellowing occurs if you drink coffee/tea. Do I still like my clear damons? Yes! Can you see them when you smile? Yes! However, surprisingly people don't always notice them. Also you can't see them in long distant photos. Would I get them again? Dunno! It's a draw. You are still going to see the increasingly larger archwire, and elastics. I surprising found I have a lot of fun with the neon bands - and I'll be 48 years old next week!! LOL.

Well I guess thats alot of reading. I seriously never knew orthodontics, or any other procedure, could give me a smile I could be proud of. I'm looking forward to posting my 'after' pictures in 10 months or so.
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Hey! thanks for sharing. I had gone through an orthodontic treatment when i was at 16. It improved my face structure and teeth alignment a lot. But i still remember those 2 long years were not that good. The pain, broken brackets and sores are like nightmares to me. It was all fine until my first delivery when gaps started filling my front teeth. I want a treatment but not the long 2 year treatment. I've read about the 6 months short term treatment in http://www.shorttermbraces.com/6-month-braces/overview/ . I wish my doctor agrees to it, if it is so I'm going for it.
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Hi I like your post specially because I'm 48 and having them put on soon! I'm happy that your getting results!
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Thanks!
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Thank you so much for posting an update!  I can't wait to see a picture...maybe you could find it in your heart to not wait the ten months? ;)  Or maybe we'll just have to be patient!  Either way, the update is much appreciated!

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It's been over a year now, and I'm wondering how things are going!  Are you still as happy overall?  Are you managing to keep everything clean?  Has the pain decreased over time?  Are your teeth straight yet?

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oh, thanks guys for the info. it really did help. sigh. typed a really elaborate text to share my progress with you guys but somehow it didn't seem to get posted. probably an error on my part. But long story short, brace are coming along fine. Getting used to the cycle too!!! sore--movement--nothing at all. although eating takes a lot of time due to the meticulous smashing and careful chewing( i bent the wire once chewing on chips), but to know that the final outcome will good, i guess i don't mind the trouble. had a follow up a on the 1st of nov, my ortho inserted more wires to bridge the gap cause by the extraction of my premolars to make space for teeth to move. i'm a bit curious as to how such a large gap would close since my front teeth have mostly straighten themselves out! i hope it closes up good! anyways, hope you guys are having a wonderful time too. it is truly an experience. cheers :)
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Hi All, nice to know that we are going thru this journey together. I can see a a significant difference with my teeth- they've straighten out! and for the first time in a long time i can see certain parts of some teeth-Yay! went for my follow up 3 weeks ago and got more wires attached. this is to close the gap caused by the 4 premolar extractions. The teeth actually moved but just very little. guess i should be more patient since the whole thing is supposed to take 17 months and i'm only 3 weeks shy of the 3 month mark of wearing my braces. I have the same cycle too--sore, noticeable movement, followed by absolutely nothing for a bit of time. so i'm kinda getting the rhythm of it all. cant wait to see the final outcome in about 15 months or so! cheers everyone!! ps: Think i forgot to mention that wax is an absolute saviour at times! It helps with the ulceration :)
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I'm so glad to hear that there was a little bit of the bonding left on and it was able to be polished off!! I hope you are loving the new whiteness you are seeing now. :)

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Hi, I'm using damon too since the last one month. i sometimes have pain in my front teeth when i chew my food. it occurs whn the teeth gets approximated. is that normal? do any of you have that. it only occurs sometimes. Also, I sometimes feel my teeth being loose, just like when we were kids and was about to loose a tooth. Is that normal too?
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Here is a Q&A that might be helpful to you:

Teeth Wiggle After Braces, Is this Normal?

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I hope I'm not posting twice here, I lost my reply so I'll try to recap a much shorter version. I'm now almost 1 month 2 weeks and am noticing more sensitivity in my front teeth. Although I can't close my teeth because of the pads, I definitely feel that it would not feel very good to bite down anyway. I'm also noticing a little more root pain in my front teeth - not bad, just annoying..its not often and lasts about 5 minutes. I have noticed one of my teeth wiggles a little bit. The research I did prior to getting braces does mention it is normal for all these things to happen: sensitivity, chewing difficulty, and wiggling. I figure since our teeth our in "jail" there is little opportunity for them to fall out anyway :P I understand this all is just confirmation that our teeth are moving!! I hope this helps. Congratulations and welcome to the club!
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I wanted to update that I noticed movement on my 15th day! I took pictures every day and kept comparing until something noticeable happened. I'm 1 month and 5 days into this and it 'does' get so much easier. Every once in awhile I'll feel what I call a root ping; I'll feel tooth pain in the root of 1 tooth for a mini-second. Its no big deal, but you will jump because it comes on so sudden and leaves so fast. I'm definitely seeing my teeth move, and different teeth become sore at different times. I think the soreness and the pings are a validation that some transformations are taking shape. This truly is a slow and steady process. I've also discovered GishyGoo. This is used like wax, only is much firmer and smoother. It comes in a 2-chamber syringe, you squeeze some out and work it together so it sets up. You have to time it perfectly because if you take too long it becomes too hard and won't adhere to your teeth. I find it is great for front teeth, but not worth it for the back because it is so difficult to get it to the right spot before it dries. So def wax on those. I find Gishy Goo is pretty expensive and I had to order it on the internet, so I think once I'm out, I'll just stick with good old wax. I also bought about every fancy dental floss products out there - I ended up going back to the floss that came from the orthodontist: the floss strips with a hardened end to thread through the braces easily. As a side note, it is AMAZING the impromptu support I get. Sooo many people have come up to me and said, "I totally understand, I had braces too - and its SOOO worth it!" Or "I've been thinking about getting braces but thought I couldn't!"
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Hi! Congratulations!! Our smiles will be awesome about the same time :D Funny how I'll see others with braces and I feel like we're in a secret club - lol. You are correct, the pads/ledges/shelves (whatever theyre called) prevent my teeth from closing - and causes the open bite. The photo I provided above is as "closed" as it got; however, my teeth are moving down now and the 'gap' is much less than it was. You are correct, I cannot chew either. However, I have learned a lot of ways to make me 'feel' like I'm getting something of substance. Firstly, I was "horrified" when I realized I couldn't close my teeth; I quickly accepted it and just thought..its only for 2-3 months. The bright side is I LOST about 15 lbs!!! Everyone has noticed, and I feel great!! Ya know...if someone told me I'd be a size 2 the rest of my life but you'll talk with a lisp...I'LL TAKE THE LISP!! LOL. Well I don't have to make that choice thank goodness. But I did have to get creative with food and found it difficult to ensure I got my 1200 calories and nutrients every day; so keep track. I started out with lots of protein drinks, pudding and yogurt, but sweet all the time gets old fast. I graduated to (fluffy) scrambled eggs and college staple foods like spaghettios, noodle O's, ramen noodles and such. I learned you can do a lot with very tiny pasta, beef/chicken broth, sour cream, jarred sauces, etc. I found tubetini which are like the tiny O's in spaghettios and super thin egg noodles (which look like very short spaghetti). I then realized, I could also still have meat like hamburger, tacos (seasoned burger, beans, rice); basically you can have anything you can mush through a fork. It takes patience, but it works. Make sure any noodles you have are crushed up well; you do not want to get a long noodle stuck in your throat lol! So long story .. well, long .. you do not have to be on a liquid only diet, just a mushy diet. I hope this helps and in a couple days just remember....it gets better very quickly :)
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Good Grief, I can't seem to put my postings in the correct spot today. You'll find my response to you above, starting with, "Hi! Congratulations!" :)
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Thanks for such detail!! I am 53 yrs old and just got my Damon braces today. Mouth is a little sore not too bad. Mostly the soreness is the tissue in front the of bottom front teeth. But the problem I am having is eating. I have a deep bite where the upper front teeth cover most of the lower front teeth. Also the teeth are crowded and have a small mouth. I had to have these protruding things put on the backside of my lateral incisor teeth to prevent the front teeth coming down and hitting the bottom braces. But now I have gaps between upper and lower molars and its like when I chew the teeth aren't coming together enough to chew my food. So I guess this situation is what you called having an "open bite"? So are we doomed to be on a liquid diet for a little while? I also love my Sonic toothbrush. Thanks for the heads up on that.
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Haha, I'm sure your song routine was a hit! That is awesome!!

I'm glad you went in to get your blood checked, and definitely a good reminder for others. What do you have to do to get things back to where they should be?

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Thank so much, Megan, for the encouraging comments :)
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Wow, good going with the Macgyver rubber band fix!! That is great that there was a different way to hook up your elastics so you weren't stuck with the discomfort.

Don't get discouraged by not seeing any movement yet, it will happen. :)

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Sorry to hear you are getting some sores and irritations as your mouth adjusts to having the braces in there. The good news is the tissue will toughen up, so the sores should be a temporary thing at least.

I'm glad you figured out a way to make the wax stick. It can be tricky. There are also a couple different kinds of ortho wax, one is a more clear, softer wax and it doesn't seem to stick as well, the other one is a bit cloudier and firmer and seems to stick to the brackets better. Ask your ortho if you can try both kinds. I bet they would be happy to give you some. There are also little rubber guards that can push on over your brackets to give you some relief while you are adjusting, so you can ask if they have any of those as well.

Keep us posted on how things are feeling!

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That is exciting that you just started with your ortho!! Congrats! How are your lips and cheeks holding up to the brackets rubbing on them?

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