34-yr Old, Finally Decided to Get Braces. Kansas City, MO

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I have had a gap between my front two teeth my...

I have had a gap between my front two teeth my entire life, as well as a significant overbite. I didn't have braces as a kid, and I've always been self conscious about my teeth. I take really fantastic care of them, so they're very white and clean, but no one ever sees them because I hide them all the time. So I had gone to a few consultations in the past for Invisalign and traditional braces, but I could never commit to actually doing it. I wanted something that wasn't super noticeable, since I am 34 I guess I felt a little ashamed. I researched braces online so many times until I discovered Damon clear braces. So I had a consultation for them, and I finally took the plunge and had them put on. February 22nd will be two weeks since I got them. The process of having them put on did not hurt at all, which was very surprising. My orthodontist cautioned me to hurry and eat a big meal since I would be sore later that evening and for the next few days. I did attempt to eat something, but food kept getting caught in my braces, and because I needed a bite plate (not as scary as it sounds--it's simply a hard glue like resin on my back bottom two teeth that helps prevent my front teeth from hitting my bottom brackets because my overbite is so severe), none of my teeth touch except my back two teeth which makes chewing food very interesting. So I didn't eat much on day one. On day two I also didn't eat much, and I decided to go buy a blender to make protein shakes since I figured I'd have a lot of sore days in my future. Now that I am almost two weeks into my treatment, I've gotten much more comfortable with eating regular food. It's really not that bad, just a small adjustment from what I'm used to. It takes longer to chew my food and longer to clean my teeth afterward, but I am so glad that I finally made the decision to fix my teeth. My braces are hardly noticeable, my mouth isn't sore. I do have to wear the small rubber bands for most of the day, but I take them out whenever I eat and then put new ones back in. I'm supposed to change them about three times per day, floss twice a day, and brush three times a day. None of these tasks bother me because I've always kept my teeth very clean anyway, and knowing that I'm working toward a better smile really motivates me. I'll include a few photos of my teeth and braces. Other than the overbite and front gap, my teeth didn't have any issues that needed fixing. There are a few small spaces between my bottom teeth, so I have braces on those as well.


So not a whole lot has changed in the last few days, but for some reason I don't even feel like I'm wearing my braces anymore. I was having a lot of pain in my cheeks on the inside of my mouth because I wasn't using my wax. I don't know why I ever tortured myself that way! I've been using my wax for the past 3 days, and life has been wonderful! I was told not to eat anything sticky, crunchy, or chewy until I go back in April to get a heavier wire put in. Other than that, I can pretty much eat whatever I want. My teeth haven't been sore, and my boyfriend has been extremely supportive. When I tell people that I got braces their first response is "lemme see!!" And then I show them and they're like "omg! You can barely see them!" So that has brought me a lot of comfort. I haven't noticed any movement in my teeth, but it's still very early in my treatment.

One month into treatment!!

So I'm just a few days shy of being one full month into my treatment. I still have yet to see any changes, but it's only been one month so I guess I need to be patient. I've gotten much more comfortable with eating now. I pretty much eat whatever I want; I'm just really careful with it. I still won't really bite into anything unless it's something very soft like a sandwich or something. I've been wearing my rubberbands every single day, all day long, and I only take them out when I eat. I also use the wax all day every day, but I don't even notice that either of them are there. I'm very, very anxious to go to my appointment in April and get a heavier wire and see if the doc notices any improvements in my teeth.

Also wanted to add: as much as I dreaded getting braces and was embarrassed by it, I've become so comfortable talking to my coworkers and friends and family about my braces and my experience. It's actually a huge relief, and I tend to laugh at myself now when I get frustrated with eating.

Extra photos

I just wanted to add some extra photos of the wax and elastics that I use, and of the state of my teeth. The elastics are the Quail ones, the wax is unflavored--both given to me by my dentist. I was also given this threading device to floss with, and even though it's a pain I floss anyway.

What I look like without smiling

These are just a few pictures of what I look like without smiling. You'd never even know I wear braces.

Almost 10 weeks!

So I just wanted to add a quick update. I'm going in on Monday 4/18 to have my wire changed to a heavier wire. I'm not sure if I'm having anything else done that day, but I will definitely post pics once I'm all done. I wanted to also add some recent pics before I have the wire changed just for comparison. Looking back on pics from last month or even from when I first got my braces on, I can definitely see a change already, even if it isn't incredibly significant.

New wires!!

I was so excited for my appointment today. I could already see little changes in my teeth before the appointment, and I've heard that a heavier wire makes the teeth really start to move more quickly. My appointment was scheduled for 9 am, and I was done by 9:15. The technician took out my old wires, put in the new ones (a little pressure with this procedure but nothing painful), and I was done. The new wires connect all the way to my back molars which is a huge relief because that previous wire would always poke my cheeks on the top and it was very painful. Unfortunately I didn't make time for breakfast before my appointment, and I'm now starving but my teeth are already very sensitive. Luckily I bought some stuff to make smoothies with just in case of tenderness. I'll post a couple of photos of my new wires, but they really don't look any different than the previous wires. I'm also still using the Quail elastics. My next appointment is scheduled for six weeks from today where I will get a new set of wires and a stronger elastic.

3 month pictures

Just wanted to post some pictures since today marks the 3rd month since I got my braces on. I can see such a huge change already!!


It's been just shy of two weeks since my last update, but I'm so shocked by how much my teeth have changed in such a short time that I wanted to add more photos. I go back on May 31st for a wire change and I can't wait.

New wires!

So today I went in for a wire change. They also put elastics around my brackets, which I believe is commonly called a power chain. It was slightly painful while they were putting the elastics on, but nothing too bad, mostly lots of pressure. And my teeth are in an insane amount of pain ever since. She said I would likely have a lot of pain and soreness for the next few days, especially on top because that's where they added the elastics. I can already tell that my teeth have moved an insane amount since 10 am (it is now 6:30 pm). I also received new elastics--the Parrot ones. She said to wear them the same way as I was wearing the quail, but these are larger so I guess I'm confused as to why I wouldn't double wrap them or something. I go back in 10 weeks for another wire change!

So much progress!

So after getting my new wires on, my teeth began moving very quickly. Within two weeks the gap between my front teeth was almost completely closed. A very very small gap remained for about 3-4 weeks and then (I swear!) one morning I woke up and it was closed. My front teeth are now overlapping slightly, and I have a small gap between two of my other teeth, but it isn't very noticeable. My bottom teeth don't appear to be moving a whole lot, but they needed the least bit of straightening anyway.

I have noticed that occasionally my teeth will ache, and then I'll floss and my gums will bleed pretty badly. My overbite is still there, but it's slowly improving. It would probably improve more quickly but I'm terrible at remembering to wear my elastics. I am extremely pleased with my progress at this point. I've had my braces on for 5 months now, and I'll go back to the dentist early next month for a new set of wires.

New wires; power chain removed

I've posted several photos at different angles so you can see what my teeth fully look like at this point. Since my front teeth moved so quickly, my teeth actually began to overlap in the front, so the power chain (elastic band) was removed, and I don't believe I'll need another one, although I could be wrong. I got a new wire and the Dolphin elastics. My teeth aren't very sore yet, but I'm sure they will be tomorrow. I also had more build-ups applied because my teeth were beginning to hit the lower front brackets when I chew my food. I'll go back for two visits in October--the first will be for X-Rays, and the second will be to reposition my brackets if I need to. If I do need repositioning, I'll likely get a lighter wire put on, and if not then I'll receive my final (!!!!) wire. At that point I'm not sure what my remaining treatment time will be, but I'm hoping it isn't too much longer than 8-10 weeks because I would love to have these braces off by Valentine's Day. If that happens then I'll have had my braces for one year. Fingers crossed!!!

On a side note, I haven't needed any wax or anything in several months. I haven't worn my elastics as often as I should but my teeth have moved very quickly without them (luckily!). If/when anything changes, I'll post updates!!


Last time I went in I had my power chain removed because my front teeth were beginning to overlap a bit. They've separated a little since the appointment, but the dentist assures me that this is normal. I'm actually quite pleased with how my teeth look right now because previously they were kind of slanted inwards. I will receive my final wire (hopefully) in October, and I'm so excited!

Update 3/23/17

Haven't posted an update in a while! I am almost at the end of my treatment, and I can see a huge difference in my teeth. I remember before I got braces how desperate I was to have straight teeth, and how I researched all the gimmicky, quick ways that are out there, and I am so glad that I made the decision to do it the right way and get braces. I have so much more confidence now when I talk to people. I laugh without covering my mouth, which is something I would never do in the past. If my treatment lasts the entire 18 months then my braces will come off in August. My orthodontist assures me that it won't take that long. I keep going back for adjustments because my front teeth will close but they don't close properly--instead of being straight and side by side, they're closing at an angle. So after my last adjustment, I can see that they're now moving together properly and should close straight. I have the impala elastics and oh my goodness I can barely open my mouth! But I'm wearing them nonstop because I really want to finish the treatment as soon as possible. I'm only posting one update photo because I'm in a rush today, but I'll post more soon!
Saint Joseph Orthodontist

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