I thought last time I posted, that the next time I blogged would be when I had my bottom braces off BUT…there was something I hadn’t factored in – and something I feel I must share with you guys in the interest of giving you the FULL picture of the straightening teeth experience…
…the removable retainer!
OK – I grant you – it doesn’t sound that scary, and it didn’t to me either. I knew that I was getting one because when you make your appointment to have your braces removed you also make an appointment for a few days later to have your removable retainer fitted. Sounds okay doesn’t it? Well – what I wasn’t aware of was that for the first two weeks after that fitting you have to wear your retainer 24/7. Yep – full-time for 2 weeks. I was also not aware that the thing feels more than a little peculiar and it takes a fair while to get used to it.
Now before I set you all off panicking please let me reassure you that you DO get used to it. Honestly. I thought I wouldn’t after the first few hours and was genuinely panicking (especially as I was due to go to a weekend singing workshop just 2 days after it was fitted and I thought I wouldn’t be able to sing without spitting over everyone and lisping like a snake). For the first 24 hours I was producing a lot of saliva (I know – eww right?!) but that was my mouth doing it’s natural thing and, sensing something in my mouth and assuming it was food producing stuff to break it down. I was very aware of the retainer in my mouth all the time and kept playing with it with my tongue. I was also told not to eat or drink with it in (apart from cold water) so I had to be prepared to carry my little dental kit with me including a box to put my retainer in when I wasn’t wearing it.
So – you’re producing enough saliva to drown a Russian Hamster, sissing and spitting, working your tongue round the thing, totally unable to eat and drink without having to sort out somewhere private to take it out, clean it and put it back in and you start thinking “do you know, I’d rather have the braces back on”! BUT then something happens….one day you realise that you haven’t thought about it for ages. Your mouth has gone back to normal spit wise, you’re not sissing or lisping and, actually, you’re just being a bit more mindful about when you eat and that’s not such a bad thing. Just like they promised at the Orthodontist you HAVE got used to it and it’s fine.
Now – I actually think the removable retainer is amazing – you can’t see that it’s there and it’s keeping your newly won straight teeth straight for you. Persevere and you will learn to embrace your retainer….eventually!
NB: Of course I’ve still got to go through the whole process again when the bottom braces come off so let’s see how charitable I feel towards a new removable retainer then! 😉
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….
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….
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).
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!
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!
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!
As things settle down and the braces become part of every day life I’m finding fewer reasons to blog HOWEVER – over the past few days, since my new wires were put in, something odd has happened.
The braces have made such a difference to my teeth that they now almost don’t feel like mine anymore! They meet in places they didn’t used to meet, there are gaps where there didn’t used to be gaps, they seem to get in the way of each other a little bit and (most excitingly) my overbite appears to be quite a bit less!
Now, bearing in mind we’re only just under 3 months into this 18 month process, I’m really surprised by the changes so far. I had a look back at my old photos (taken on the day that the braces were installed) and there have been really noticeable changes! Yay!
So – things ARE happening…and they can only be for the good. I have a LOT of weeks to wait till my next appointment but I’m already (strangely) excited about it and what comes next. I’m hugely impatient so obviously I want it all finished now and to be able to see the results yesterday. However, seeing the changes so far is very encouraging – bring it on!!
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! 🙂
Hi folks! This time next week I’ll be able to blog about my first visit to the Orthodontist since having my ‘brackety, bracey braces’ attached (strangely excited to see what happens and what they say). Until then though I have another teeth/mouth related anecdote to share with you.
Last Friday I woke up to a strange sensation in my mouth – the feel of my braces, which had become almost normal – suddenly felt alien and they seemed far too big. Very quickly a sore started on the inside of my left cheek that the wire of the braces kept nagging at every time I moved my mouth (to eat, speak or even smile). This was the first time I’d had any real pain with my braces and I was really worried. Things had moved in my mouth and now the braces were in a position that would hurt until they moved again. Within 24 hours the ulcer was so bad that I couldn’t even twitch my mouth without pain. I was at work and had to communicate so I ended up talking through gritted teeth! What to do??
A trip to Boots for advice on ulcers (and some more orthodontic wax) resulted in finding a fantastic spray called alcoclair. Bonjela never works for me but this stuff is great. Just a few hours after using it (and then a good nights sleep) the ulcer had gone right down and, mercifully, the wire was no longer catching on my skin.
I have no idea what changed – why my braces went from comfortable to uncomfortable then back to comfortable again within 48 hours BUT I’m glad I found a solution in case it happens again (and I have new found sympathy for those braces wearers who struggle much more with ulcers and sore – kudos!)