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

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*Treatment results may vary

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!

8 Month Update

This month has probably been the most frustrating for me. I've just been very impatient with the progress. I'm kind of tired of having braces at this stage. I think it's just because minor details are left to fix and they're taking forever. In the earlier months, it's very easy to see progress and it's fast. Now, it's just slow and I feel like nothing happens but of course it is.
The little bends that the orthodontist made in my wire last time to fix my one central incisor being longer than the other issue--it didn't quite work. I haven't seen any improvement.
My one tooth is still rotated, I don't know if taking the power chain off the last time was a good idea. Maybe they will put it back on the next time around and try something else to even out my teeth. It really just bothers me when one side of my mouth is longer than the other. Someone else may not notice but AHH I know it's there.
I've included a lot of pictures with this update, so you guys can see the issues remaining.
The biggest improvement that I noticed this time was my bite. My upper teeth have moved up a lot, or maybe it's my lower arch that's moved down. Idk. But comparing my last months full front image to today's, you can see the lower bracket from my lower arch isn't touching my upper central incisor anymore. To me, that's huge. It's fixing my overbite quite a bit and I like that a lot.
I just need to learn to be more patient because the reason I have these issues is why I still have my braces on. I'm just really sick of it all though. I REALLY wanted my central incisor issue to be fixed this time around as I had hoped but I haven't seen any results as far as that went.
Oh well, until next time!

9 Month Update

Okay, on my last appointment; the orthodontist just manually made more bends into my wire to straighten them out more. We kept my tie backs on each side of my upper jaw. My central incisor issue is a lot better now from last month (check picture). The rotated tooth is still jutting out a bit and could move down and into a tad more. Bite is getting better. I am probably going to need tie back on my right side the next time because I'm noticing a gap between my incisor and canine.
Overall, I'm happy with the progress this month. I'd just like to see the gaps between my bite close sometime soon now, and a little more alignment in the first four (upper jaw) . :)

10 Month Update

I went to my orthodontist yesterday. Well, there is more than one orthodontist in their practice. I saw Dr. Miniums. I really do like him.
Anyway, so over the past month; on my lower arch... Some of the doors on the brackets opened. I didn't realize it, and as a result... My lower arch shifted a bit. My midline is no longer aligned. So, what they did was .. Grab these tong-like things to pull my lower incisor forward a bit and close the doors. It. Really. Hurt. He assured me this was the best thing to do because we would be stepping back a month if we went back to using a lighter wire. My teeth feel ridiculously sore from all that pressure, and super tight.
My bite on my left side wasn't coming along as well as the right. So, he gave me 'Ram' elastics from my left side, and I will continue wearing the 'Bear' on the right. That will pull my teeth to the left side a bit more, and align my midline.
They kept the tie-backs on each side of my upper arch.
I hope to see more changes in my bite by next month.

11 Month Update

Wow! Almost a month away from one year. I can't wait to get these off. I am not going to lie, it kind of did fly by. I thought when I first got my braces, I'd spend each day hating them. While I personally would rather not have them at all, it's really not that big of a deal. That being said, I still await the day when I can eat whatever I want and not feel food getting stuck in my mouth with every bite.
Okay, let's get into it. I had my orthodontist appointment today. Some female, I don't know who she was... She didn't even introduce herself nor did she explain what she was doing. Honestly, that always irks me. If I'm spending over $5000.. I'd really just like a few sentences explaining what you're doing to My teeth.
So really, I don't have much to tell you guys because I'm not sure if she made more bends in my wire or not.
She was basically going to send me home after putting that wire in when I finally decided to ask her if she was doing something about my gap between my lower right lateral incisor and canine..then she was like, oh there's a gap?
UHH YES. A gap that is really annoying when I'm eating and food gets stuck every time in it. Haha I'm ranting.
Anyway, then she took a look again and decided to power chain my entire lower arch. It's sore but I feel okay. I haven't ate my dinner yet.. So it's bearable.
As far as my midline goes, I haven't noticed a change. I did ask her at the end.. And she said the elastics should be helping. But I didn't notice a change from last month at all, so whatever. Hopefully, they really will help. Maybe they just need time.
After today.. It's been about 6 hours; my gap has mostly closed due to the power chain. I can feel my left side bite getting better. So! Those are my positives!
I am just really ready to get these off. I still have a lot of work ahead. My bite, midline, and still not happy with my rotated tooth.
I suppose that's the reason I still have my braces on and I am going to be patient. I haven't asked my orthodontist at all about when I might get them off because I know I still need time.
Okay you guys! Until next time!

1 Year Update

Hi everyone!
1 YEAR UPDATE. Wow! First of all, thank you to everyone here who has followed my brace journey and motivated me to stick through it for one year now!
I come with great news today--I asked my orthodontist how much longer and he said approximately 4 more months. He will be able to tell me for sure after the next two adjustments but I am very excited if this actually happens. I'll be able to start off the new year brace-free! I'm not getting my hopes up though.
Anyway, let's get right into it! I uploaded a lot of pictures today, be sure to check those out. I've made tremendous progress from day 1 to today.
So, we decided to keep on the power chain on the lower arch as well as the tie backs on the upper arch. I will still be wearing the same bands--Ram (stronger) on the left and Bear on the right.
After wearing the Ram elastics last month, I noticed that my left bite got better but my right one did not (check picture). However, my orthodontist was not that concerned. We kept the same elastics. He just decided to make more bends on my right side to help my bite close a little more. P.S I decided to remove my elastics from hereon to take pictures of my bite, so you guys can see better where the gaps are. I will still wear them for the front pictures. I hope that helps!
I also brought up my issue with the previously rotated tooth. It still needed to move a little more to the correct position. He did say he was going to make a bend in the wire to tuck it in more.. I'm not sure if he did. He didn't say anything while he was doing it... But it feels a little tight there.. So I'm hoping he did.
My midline is starting to look better (check picture)

Okay, that's all I have to say for now. I will probably update next in October when my appointment is.

14 Month (1 yr 2 months) Update

I didn't have an appointment last month because of how late my previous one was, end of August. That's the reason I didn't update last month, in case you guys were wondering. My appointments are normally every 6 weeks, just happened to fall into October.
Okay, so anyway.
You can see the progress in my pictures, my bite has improved on both sides.
Today, we decided to keep the tie backs on as usual to prevent gaps in my upper jaw. They're actually visible in the pictures this time. We also kept the same elastics; so, Ram (stronger) on the left and Bear on the right to keep my midline in place. The power chain on my lower arch was removed. Thank god for that! It was really hard to clean when there was barely any space left and the food would get stuck into the tiny little nooks and crannies of the power chain. I had to keep a mini brush handy. I really suggest proxy brushes to get the food out in hard to reach places.

To help my bite close more, my orthodontist made little "step bends" in the wire (check pictures) That will help bring the upper arch down to meet the lower. My teeth are obviously a little sore and feel tight but nothing I can't handle by this point.

When am I going to not be a brace face anymore?
They put me down as 'ready for retainers' for my next appointment in November BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that I'll be getting them off. They kind of have to continue evaluating and see if my teeth are as close to being perfect or not. So I definitely don't have my hopes up, and if you care--- you shouldn't either lol. It would be a WONDERFUL surprise if that actually happened but I highly doubt it because I still think the bite needs work. It probably would need another adjustment or two, but hey... You never know!
Until then... We'll just have to wait.

Feel free to ask any questions or comments!

15 Month (1 yr 3 months)

Hi everyone!

I had my orthodontist appointment today. No significant changes, we kept everything the same. He just made a few more bends in my wire to close my bite more.
I still have tie backs on my upper jaw. He did ask me to ONLY wear my elastics at night time now. I am to wear Ram on both sides.
I will most likely get my braces off next appointment in December. So stay tuned!


So this morning I noticed a gap in my lower arch while brushing my teeth. I previously had a gap here before. I called my orthodontist and I was able to get an appointment. He basically put a power chain on my lower arch to ensure the gap will close by my next appointment- if I were to get the braces removed.
The picture I included isn't that clear.. Sorry! But it's there!

Braces are OFF!!! 16 Months (1 yr 4 months)

I got my braces off yesterday!!!!! I was at work all day after, and just got home this morning (midnight right now)..
I was SO excited when he told me he was going to take them off. At first, I was concerned because my right bite had not closed all the way through. As excited I was, I wanted to make sure I wasn't rushing it. He told me it's best if we take them off now and they will shift and close more with my retainers. He said he didn't want to try and bend the wires more to close the bite because we're probably going to end up moving and shifting the teeth more than we need to. So, he thought it was okay to take them off at this time and I'm not going to complain.. I'm really happy with how they're looking right now!!!! I included a lot of pictures, be sure to check them out.
I'm going to walk you guys through the removal process.
First, they placed my permanent lingual retainers behind my lower 6 and upper 4. This ensures the teeth do not shift without braces.
This took relatively small amount of time, it was painless. My orthodontist got the wire, bent it to fit my shape. The assistant then glued it in and used UV light to bond them in place.
After the permanent retainers were in, it felt odd to feel them back against my tongue but I'm used it already now. I barely notice them.
Then, time to remove braces!
She squeezed the brackets, and they pop right off. It didn't hurt, just felt a little bit of pressure at times.. But it was not bad at all.
I then rinsed my mouth.. And looked at myself in the mirror and smiled wide and I was amazed. I felt so excited, so happy. I couldn't stare at myself for long though.. So I went back to my chair. She then took the cement off my teeth by using a machine that basically vibrates and scrapes it all off. It didn't hurt, just makes a nasty sound.
Then I rinsed again.. And they feel so smooth. I have not stopped feeling my teeth ever since lol .. It's such an odd feeling to not have braces at all. At times, while I was eating today.. I didn't have to worry about food getting stuck in my mouth. Although, I still checked several times to make sure it wasn't.. Out of habit by now.
Anyway, then .. They took impressions of my teeth. Just the icky plaster stuff in your mouth. I will be getting Essix retainers in about two weeks.
They said my gums looked fabulous after the braces were removed. They're in good health. Brush your teeth hard while wearing braces people!!!
Then they showed me how to floss with the wire in the back of my teeth ..
Finally, they sent me home and my mouth was tired from all the work. I just had to keep it open for all this time.. But it was very happy. So I'm not complaining. They gave me a huge cup of candy too and it feels great you guys.
Okay, well that's all.
So.. Few words.. I'm very happy that I decided to get braces and I'm so much more confident now. It's all worth it. It doesn't even feel like a long time has passed. I got done in 16 months and my projected was 18.
My best recommendation is to wear your elastic bands all the time. Don't slack off on those. Also, make sure you're cleaning your teeth vigorously while wearing braces.
If you guys have any comments/questions.. I'm more than happy to answer. I will probably update on my retainers soon ..
I hope my brace journey has helped some of you out there to maybe hang in there or build up the courage to get braces yourself. Do it!!!
Happy holidays and happy new year!

Post-Braces update

It's been three days since I had my braces off. I wanted to just show you guys my orthodontist was right about the fact that my bite will close on its own. My right side bite is already closing. The difference is quite significant for just three days. This really makes me feel good about my decision for getting them off when I did and following his advice. I'm confident that it will close entirely over the upcoming days!
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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