Closing all these gaps, finally! - Madison, WI

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I was born with alot of diastemas. Our family was...

I was born with alot of diastemas. Our family was big (5 kids) and poor. We barely went to the dentist. I expressed desire to get braces as a young teen but alas it was purely cosmetic so my parents didn't let me. Burn! So, I lived my youth and into adulthood hating my gaps when apparently everyone else seemed to think they were "cute" or " mysterious". "Setting me apart from the rest". I never agreed.
I didn't make much of myself financially and married for love not money which means no extras. 3 kids and a decade later I've decided to just do something for myself for once and perhaps turn my dream of loving to smile into a reality.
So, 5 years ago I got one of my few molars pulled due to it having a cavity and being baby tooth. After that I went to place offering free consultations for Invisalign. Not orthos, regular dentists, not my own regular dentist who doesn't do that stuff. I was told that it'd be 9 months, $5,000 and they'd leave little spaces between each tooth instead of large ones since I have few molars and alot of space. I decided against it.

So now I'm revisiting the idea but this time with a board certified orthodontist. This is what he told me at the free consultation last week:
4mm diastema, low frenulum, moderate spacing between other teeth, pulled molar and only 3 (12 yr) molars, no wisdoms.
Disproportionate big jaw/small teeth.
Mild overbite, mild overjet, misaligned midlines, perfect bite.
So.... he said I could do invisalign or traditional braces. My teeth are all straight, no crowding, no crooked, easy. However.......... since I have a lot of space to close my molars would be moved alot as well to keep the bite, creating more space in back. His concern was that when I would smile, there would be dark shadows in the corners ( cheeks) of my mouth, since I am missing the usual molars. I am getting an implant eventually for the missing one on bottom that was pulled, later. Anyways, he then thought I could do braces then bonding or veneers to build up the teeth to minimize dark shadows in corners. He is worried I'd go through it all just to end up not liking how my new smile would look. He thinks it will look too narrow for my jaw and face. Thus the bonding idea. So he suggested coming in for an xray/ virtual imaging of how I'd look with my "new" teeth before deciding. And suggested seeing a cosmetic dentist to get perspective before the course of braces are determined.

So, it all seemed complicated and overwhelming. As if he didn't want to do it because ny teeth are super healthy and my bite and functioning are all perfect. It seemed like he wanted me to explore every nook and cranny of options before starting braces. He is one of the best in my area and I know what he means but I feel annoyed that it has to be so complicated. I told him that I think I'd be ok with a " narrow smile" and not to cosmetic work. He said to think about it and explore my options. Jeeeez, I didn't think my mouth was that hard to fix up. Makes me lose hope. I just want ceramic braces (not invislign). I am planning on doing that xray/ computer mock up ($320) to see how I could look. I'm nervous now!


Baby Steps to the Ortho

Hello all you lovely people! So, since I've written, I have gone back to the ortho to get the x rays and impressions. I chatted with the assistant and I decided to not get impressions for the invisalign. I just don't want them nor like the idea of trays. I don't like the idea of me being in charge! Haha... So, we discussed damon braces with SureSmile. They will do clear damon on top with traditional non-damon metal on bottom. (I think that's weird they wouldn't do metal damon on bottom.) So I had my follow up scheduled but they called me later and said that they needed to have me go to my regular dentist for a check up for the OK to do orthodontic work before I meet with Dr. Bird about my treatment plan. So I went to my dentist this past Monday, got an excellent report! No cavities, excellent bone/gum health. My dentist was excited for me about possibly getting braces. So it was encouraging! So now I need to call the ortho to schedule my follow up. I haven't decided to do anything yet officially because I'm worried that he will tell me my teeth are too spaced. I definitely have decided to not do bonding or veneers. So I hope what Dr. Bird offers me for a treatment plan works with that choice! I'll let you know soon!!!! :-)

It's official! Braces in July!

I went to the ortho yesterday for the follow up after my impressions. I was super nervous that he was going to tell me that my spaces couldn't be fully closed and wouldn't work and that I'd need bonding or veneers, too. So I thought if he said that then I would suggest leaving a gap only in the middle. I even brought pictures of models with a small gap for reference.
However, he didn't say any of that! He said that because of my lack of molars,and my "perfect lip profile", he doesn't want to pull my front teeth back for fear of making my lips roll in too much which in my case wouldn't look right. He also said that he will create a very small tooth sized space between the two premolars on the top on both sides in back, in order to move my teeth towards the front. I have so much space and a wide arch with not enough teeth, so this was the only way we could make it work. Also, that way I can choose to put implants there some day but I don't need to for a long time. I also don't need a frenectomy! Yay! The bottom arch he said is a no brainer and he'll leave the missing tooth open for an implant there, too.
So, my first braces app for the impressions is on July 3. I get my actual braces on July 17!
I'm still waiting to hear back from them about the exact appliance that he will be using. However, I know we'll be using ceramic "damon-like" braces on top. Not sure what the bottom will be yet. The assistant told me most ppl don't care or ask because they've not done as much research as me, haha!!! :-)
I'm so excited!!!!

one more week to go until braces

I got my impressions done a week ago and I'm going in a week to get my braces put on! I am so excited it's all I can think about! I'm putting together my homemade braces-hygiene-to-go-kit. I have a water pik. I have been enjoying things I won't be able to have, like gummy bears, skittles, popcorn, chips, soda, jerky, whole apples, biting my nails.
I actually have a nail biting problem and I think having braces will finally cure me!!
Any advice about what to put in my braces travel bag? Thanks!

I got my Braces!!!

I finally got braces! On Thursday (July 17) so it's been a day and a half. Getting them on took about an hour and 45 minutes. I think mostly because my ortho was bouncing between 4 other ppl so there was wait time. He us a Rockstar and I think I have a crush on him. :)

So, they did the lower first, with a tray that had the brackets on it, all at once. He just pushed it on my lower arch in one motion then the assistant peeled off the tray and the brackets were on! After curing them with light he did the top arch, each tooth separately. The assistant put on the wires, the ortho checked it all and it all went really well!

I have traditional metal twin brackets on bottom and I chose a dark pink for the O bands. (Donuts, I think some ppl call them). On top I have ceramic self ligating brackets that are white but have a metal door that slides shut to keep the wire on.
They are like "Damon Braces" but are actually the brand In-Ovation C by GAC.

It is the strangest feeling ever, of course.
Throughout that day the pressure built up gradually and I ended up getting a headache about 4 hours later. I ate yogurt which was challenging. I sucked on tiny bits of bread. I feel like a baby, haha! I just finished day 2 and I've been sore and hungry. I eat canned noodle soup and really soft cooked zucchini. My kids love my braces and they think I'm really cool. Heehee! I feel very proud and fortunate that I have this opportunity to better myself. A dream I never thought would come true. I happily welcome the strange feeling as well as the pain from poking wires and sore cheeks. I know the end result. Totally worth it!

So happy!

5 weeks in and I notice change!

I wanted to show that I notice slight change in the bottom teeth. The midline is starting to move towards the center! In this pic, the top two are before and the day of getting braces, the bottom two are today, 5.5 weeks in. I go next week for my band change and new wire (i think). Boy, it's been a rough transition. There's so much food that's hard to eat, The overall soreness and extreme sensitivity lasted about 2 weeks tops. I eat most foods now but I stay away from crusty or hard or chewy anything. My nails are looking nicer and longer and healthuser from not biting them. Bonus!
I used alot of wax the first few weeks. I had sores, the wires were digging in badly. I bent them back more and it is ok now. Things got better for a few weeks but then a few days ago started getting more sore up front behind my lips. I think it's from movement! I meticulously brush and floss and I use the interdental brushes after everything i eat. I use Biotene mouthwash. I also decides to go flouride free. I have always used flouride products sparingly. So I am using a flouride free toothpaste from Tom's of Maine. Biotene is also flouride free. Also, I have sprong water at my house, so no flouridated water, either. It's my little experiment. Let's see what grade I get from the ortho next week on my brushing. I'll update then, again.

So far, I love having braces. Although I do look about 15 now. Haha.

...adding picture for the last update.

power chain

Sorry I forgot to update 2 weeks ago when I got my wires changed for the first time. They also added a power chain to the top 4 teeth only. On the bottom, they made the wire extend across my missing tooth and onto the back molar. So now i have this tube they slipped on the wire to protect it and my cheek and tongue. They told me that I'm doing a excellent job keeping my teeth clean! See? You don't need flouride. Just good habits. I opted for teal and purple on the bottom. It's fun! As soon as they added the power chain (which I chose grey for) I could feel the pressure. So, it's been a constant mild headache or at least a mouth ache. I am 9 weeks in, now. Getting use to it but I never forget they are in there. It controls my life, almost!

Moving Along!

Had a 3 month wire change. They added a power chain to bottom, also. They started using a thicker wire, too, now. The top 4 teeth are noticeably moving in but it's making the gaps by my canines bigger. :(
I'm pretty adjusted to braces now. They commended me on my ultra clean teeth. Yay!

5 months and new pain

Hi! I recently had another ortho visit. Everything is on track and he is pleased with the progress! It getting very noticeable now! I was upgraded to a wire that looks square and had golden hooks on them. The hooks are to attach a spring from to my canines. That is for next time, though. They need my teeth to get used to this heavier Guage wire before adoing springs.
They were saying that I'm in for a "fun time" with the springs. Yikes!
So it's all very fun and exciting. My mouth has sores in it and I had a headache for a few days with this thick wire. The gold hooks rub and she didn't clip the wire well enough on the top right so I've been using wax again. My gap in the middle is getting smaller!!! ...while the gaps by the canines are huge. Like I mentioned, though, next visit they'll attach the same wire with hooks and add springs to start bringing up the other teeth. Can't wait! I chose dark blue this time for the bottom. :)

I can see major movement!

Hello! I know it has been a long time since I have done a review and for that I am sorry! I have been dealing with the upper springs for a few months now and some gnarly wires with elastics along the bottom molars. They stopped replacing the actual wire along the brackets becasue it is a square heavy guage with the gold hooks and they do not not need to replace it for a while. They attached springs from the gold hooks to the back bracket on both top sides and then along the bottom they attached a long elastic band that has a thin wire that hooks onto the gold hooks. They replaced those bottom ones and the power chains/o rings at this last visit only. Since I posted pictures on here until now you can see major movement!!! It has been super amazing! For a while there I didn't see a lot of drastic changes but now you can! My middle gap is so tiny! The lateral incisors are touching the cnetral ones, and the gap between those and the canines are huge! So that is why they added the springs. My bottom row of center teeth have all come together nicely. Now to just pull the sides and back up. it is looking really good and I love the smoothness I can feel already on my teeth with my tongue. Pain and sores? Oh yes. They have been increased with the springs and extra wires everywhere. I went to Florida for vacation for 2 weeks and we drive 2 days to get there and left the day after I got the springs attached. Let's just say it was not a vacation for my mouth! :(
I got through it though and still enjoyed a break from the bitter midwest cold! Check out my pics!
My ortho is also impressed with my impeccable cleaning job everytime. Bonus! OH! ANNNNDDDD we got a generous tax return and decided to just pay the ortho bill all off so no more worrying about a monthly payment! yay!!! Life is looking up for me and my smile!

1 year later...

Hi! Well, after one full year in braces I have gone through a million changes! Almost all of my gaps have closed and my smile looks almost like a million bucks already! I recently discovered that I have two tiny cavities in between two teeth on my top left. No big deal. I had that portion of braces removed to get it fixed, then I'll go back for my normal adjustment and new wires. I have had springs for a long time now to slowly bring the back molars forward. It is amazing how my teeth look and feel so different from before. My ortho estimates that I'll have braces until the end is this next winter. Until then, I'm just settled in deep in braces world. It's just a part of my life and I barely think about it anymore. ( except for every time I eat and need to clean them she brush. Which for a grazer like myself is like at least 6 times a day). Haha!!!!

Overall, I feel so happy and beautiful. I love to smile and I run my tongue behind my teeth alot because it feels so smooth. I am so glad I'm doing this. I feel so close to the person who I feel I am on the inside. I'm excited to see how I act after the braces are off. The girl trapped inside is almost out. Watch out world!

Almost at the end!

So I've had braces for 2 years and 9 months. It's basically been a boring slow crawl to close all my spaces. I'm getting the brackets of off on the 17th. At that time I'll get a temporary retainer for three weeks then I'll get a series of trays like invisilign to complete treatment. I got my lower braces off last fall. I have a wire bonded behind the lower 6 teeth. It's been a long journey but a very great one. So close to the end! you can kinda see in the photos the minute Gaps that need to close yet. So exciting!
Madison Orthodontist

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