All over…bar the last retainer!

Hey folks! Well, today was the day – the last day, the day of reckoning (if you will!). Today the bottom braces definitely WOULD be coming off (as that annoying gap came together just a scant two weeks after the top braces came off – dang it!)

Although I vaguely remembered the crunching and worrying thud of the pliers cracking the ceramic brackets off my top teeth last time I have to confess my memory had definitely softened the experience. It’s the strangest thing when a bracket comes off – simultaneously concerning (though there’s no real reason for concern, after all it’s not your actual tooth that’s cracking!) and really exciting as they finally fall away.

There’s also nothing quite like that moment when all the brackets are off and you can let your lips fall back over your teeth for a minute or two (until the next part of the process starts). Where there have been brackets, wires, elastics for months and months now there’s just a little glue to be polished off and it feels wonderful!

Despite the sometimes uncomfortable process of having braces removed, Lincoln Orthodontics (and the lovely Kerryl and Vicky – especially today) are experts at making the whole thing seem easy – taking time to make sure you’re as relaxed as possible and feel fully confident in them and the process. In addition to this you may also be treated to an impromptu freestyle dance from Vicky (if ‘Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough’ comes on the radio while you’re there!) 😉

After taking impressions of my teeth for another retainer (I’m not relishing the idea of a new retainer but I’m very used to the first one now so I feel confident this one will follow suit), I was allowed to have a good rinse of my mouth and a little look see in the mirror.

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I’m lucky that my bottom teeth don’t really show when I smile so I doubt many people will even realise that I even had a brace on them – let alone that I’ve just had one taken off. However, I can tell you that they feel great and it’s SO nice to finally get my teeth back.

In case I never need to add anything to my blog again (if all goes well I shouldn’t need to) thank you for joining me on my journey to straight teeth and I hope that you’ve found it useful if you’re considering getting braces or you’re currently wearing them.

Definitely one of the best decisions I ever made – and one of my best investments. Every photo of me now comes with a good toothy smile!

Many, MANY thanks also to Lincoln Orthodontics who have made the whole process feel much less scary than I thought it would be – you’re all ace! Thanks also for the beautiful flowers – but I still think I should be giving them to you! 😉

flowers

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The Great Braces Removal (Part One)

Hi folks!

So – today was a big day for me (but also one with a question mark hanging over it). Despite the valiant efforts of Dr Clare at the Lincoln Orthodontic Centre it was fairly evident to me that the gap on the bottom row of my teeth (while much smaller) was still ‘a gap’. With that in mind I went to my ‘braces removal’ appointment wondering if anything would actually happen today.

I was greeted as always by smiles and reassurance but it soon became clear that only the top braces were going to be able to come off today. After my initial disappointment I realised that, actually, I smile pretty much only with my top teeth so I was going to have a noticeably better smile regardless. Thus reassured I lay back for the ‘Great Brace Removal – Part One’ to commence.

I’m not going to lie and say it was the most comfortable experience of my life BUT it wasn’t painful. The lovely orthodontist explained each and every part of the process as she went along which meant I was never laid there thinking ‘what on earth are they doing’? I think the worst part of it was the rather alarming crunching sounds every time she snipped a ceramic bracket off my teeth. It sounded and almost felt like it was my tooth giving way! Once the brackets were off, the glue polished away and an impression taken of my teeth for the removable retainer I was finally able to look in a mirror for the first time….

teeth - part one

I was (and am) SO pleased! They look so straight and white – just how I’ve always wanted my teeth to look. And, just as I thought, when I smile you really can’t see that there are still braces on the bottom. Yay!

It will be AMAZING when I can finally have brace free teeth (sadly another 3 month wait for that) so I can eat some lovely crunchy things without worry BUT – for now – I’m very happy to have half of my teeth back and looking so dang fine! 🙂

See you on 21st August for the Great Braces Removal – Part 2!

Oh – and in case you wondered what they looked like before….

braces day 1 (2)

Don’t be afraid to say…

So, a couple of weeks ago (it was getting closer to my ‘braces are coming off!’ day – May 22nd) I noticed that there was still a noticeable gap between two teeth on the bottom right of my jaw. Experience had shown me that the bulk of the movement usually happened in the first few weeks after a new wire so…I started to get concerned. What if the gap stayed that ‘gappy’? What if I went for my ‘braces off’ appointment and they couldn’t take off my braces? What if..? What if..?

Before I got myself into too much of a whirl I though I’d send a photo of the aforementioned ‘gap’ to Lincoln Orthodontic Centre with a “what do you think I should do?” plea.

Within a few minutes of the Centre being open and them receiving my email/photo I had a phone call from one of the lovely receptionists there asking me to come at my earliest convenience so they could sort out the gap. Because of my time restrictions it would be another week before I could get there but when I did things were sorted out really quickly.

Apparently the wire was jammed so Dr Clare took out the old one (removing unnecessary elastics along the way) and fitted a new one. I’m pleased to report that, just a few days later, there is noticeable movement and the ‘gap’ is closing! I’m REALLY hopeful that, by May 22nd, the gap will be sufficiently closed so the brace can come off BUT Dr Clare has assured me that the top brace can come off regardless. Hurrah and an even bigger Huzzah!

Anyway – I’m posting this to urge anyone who has any doubts or concerns about their braces (and it’s effects – or lack thereof) to just mention these to your Orthodontist (maybe send a photo if you can). They’re ready to help you and set your mind at ease (and maybe put a new wire in for you). Don’t be afraid to say…

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Fingers crossed my next blog post will be “The Great Brace Removal”!

Until next time! 🙂

Getting closer – maybe 12 weeks closer!

It’s been a fair wee while since I last updated as the braces are so much a part of my life that they barely pull focus anymore. However, I do always blog when I’ve had an appointment at the fantastic Lincoln Orthodontic Centre – and today I had what could be one of my last appointments!

After just 10 months my teeth are really close to being ‘done’. The top row are tantalisingly close – with just some tiny gaps to close – but the bottom row still looks to me like it has a way to go with a socking great gap on one side. Still – the experts have said that they should be ‘cooked’ in 12 weeks time and who am I to disagree?!** 😉

**To be fair they have said that if I’m not happy with them in 12 weeks then we keep going till I am – how cool is that?

There’s a fair bit of ‘mouth furniture’ now – wires of various thicknesses, hooks and elastics – it’s ALL going on (which means even more care needs to be taken with cleanliness and hygiene).

wires!

NOTE: Despite all the ‘scaffolding’ you can see that my teeth have REALLY moved! Yay!

So – my next appointment is on May 22nd at 13.30pm and, hopefully, these braces will be coming off! Can you believe that?! The appointment will take an hour and they’ll take impressions of my ‘new’ teeth for making a retainer. I’ll go back a few days later to try out the retainer then I won’t be back at Lincoln Orthodontic Centre for 6 months.

Of course it could be that the gaps don’t close as well as anticipated and the braces need to stay on longer BUT I’d say we’re very nearly there! 🙂 French crusty bread and a crisp apple – you will soon be mine!

Gappy McGappyson!

Hi all!

I know, it’s been ages since I last blogged about my braces. Thing is, after a time, they become so familiar to you that they just don’t pull your focus anymore. However, there is a time that’s guaranteed to make you aware of them again – and that’s when you go to have your wires changed.

Today was “extra specially special” because not only did I have my wires changed but Mr Clare himself did some “extra specially special” ‘tweaking’ to my teeth to make them more symmetrical when they get pushed back together later on. I’ve got some larger gaps now because of it but the top front 6 teeth look fabbo individually 🙂

There was a bit of strong nudging to get the new wire around the bottom teeth but the staff are so lovely I never felt concerned.

There has been some really noticeable differences to my teeth since the braces were first installed and already some impact on my confidence levels when I smile too. Since starting the treatment I have become a certified Laughter Yoga Leader and one of the things you do a lot is laugh with all your teeth showing! Someone promoting my workshops asked for a photo of me to use and, for the first time EVER the photo I sent them shows me with my teeth (and braces) showing – and I’m amazingly fine with it!

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If I can feel like this not even halfway through how incredible am I going to feel when the braces finally come off??!! I’ll be a human version of the Cheshire Cat!

Well – it’s also close to Christmas so, while I’ve got your attention, let me take the opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

 

 

 

Another set of wires = “throbby” teeth

Hey folks!

Yes – it’s that time again. 4 1/2 months after 1st installation and it’s time for another visit to Lincoln Orthodontics and another set of wires.

I’ll be honest with you, it’s not the most pleasant experience (there’s a bit of ‘pressure’ and a couple of slightly alarming ‘snipping’ moments as the ends of the wires are tidied up) BUT the Orthodontist, Emily, and her assistant were very sweet today, always checking in, telling me what they were doing and making sure I was okay (which I was).

The actual appointment itself is fine in the main. It’s encouraging to hear the orthodontist say that things are looking good and going well. It’s the afterwards that’s a bit…shall we say…challenging. My teeth (and me!) had clearly got used to things being comfortable and easy. This should’ve alerted me to the fact that maybe my teeth weren’t moving anymore – which really isn’t what you want when you’re trying to affect change in the mouth area 🙂

Of course, now the new wires are in, my teeth, so used to the easy life and thinking it was all over (fools!) have suddenly remembered what it’s like to be pulled against their will. So they’re fighting back a little bit and giving me some aggro (rude!) There’s just a general throbbing at the moment (which I know will lessen – as it has before) until I eat or brush my teeth then I get a real “hoo-ha” twinge! So – it’s back to tentative, sensitive eating and being extra careful with things like nuts and other tough, chewy, crunchy things (ah, mashed potato – my old friend!)

Another 10 weeks before my next appointment and the next possible wire change (and a braces style ‘Groundhog Day’) 😉

Endgame folks – endgame!!

lady-with-toothache1-blogready

Disclaimer: image is: a/ not me and b/ not accurate! (I’m just being daft!)

Old wires out – new wires in!

First time back at the Orthodontist since I had my braces installed and I had little idea of what to expect. Would they just have a look, see how it was going, tell me off (or praise me) on my cleaning then send me off home?

Or would they (as I suspected) change my wires over, do a bit of adjustment then send me off home?

Or would they take the bottom front three brackets off, turn them upside down then glue them back on?!

Oddly enough they did the latter (as well as change my wires) and, I confess, I wouldn’t have guessed that as an outcome for my first appointment! 🙂

There is method in the madness (and it’s not mad at all really). I have crazily receding gums and by turning the brackets upside down there’s a hope that it’ll prevent the prescription from pulling the teeth further from my gums (or at least, that’s how I understand it). I like that they’re being so considerate of my teeth and gums, and trying to think of ways to make the end result the best it can be.

Only downside of the brackets being turned upside down is that I’ve now had a taster of what it feels like to have the things removed. WHAT an odd feeling! I can’t say painful exactly but it sure ain’t comfortable! A squeeze, some pressure then a disturbing crack/pop sound that sounds entirely wrong in your head and sent me off in a mild panic each time!

The orthodontist, Sarah, was very reassuring and talked me through the whole thing so I wasn’t as shocked as I might have been. She also took time to show me my old photos and noted where she thought the teeth were already starting to move. The staff at Lincoln Orthodontics really are very lovely – thank goodness!

So – I have a 10 week wait now till the next appointment – and another change of wires. At the moment the new wires are doing a grand job of putting my teeth under renewed pressure (I can definitely feel it!) so, hopefully, there’ll be even more to cheer about next time! 🙂