Adult Braces Journey Vol. 2

And they’re on! My adult braces actually were put on March 16th, but to be fair life has been turned upside down for basically everyone since then.

Once I got to the office, they had me sign all the paperwork and gave me an overview of the payments and payment schedule. I’ll be paying $140 a month over the next 23 months (since I made my first payment that day). This amount is rounded up and I’ll make any extra payments so I can get them paid off sooner, but it’s interest free so there’s no crazy rush.

After that was situated, they brought me back and the dental hygienist took my before pictures. They took a bunch of different angles, so I’m really excited for the end when I can compare them. They also took the x-rays to see where my teeth were sitting and how to adjust. I thought they were going to take an impression with that horrible plaster that makes you gag, but they didn’t. I guess now that’s just reserved for Invisialign, which is a difference from back in the day when I had the top 6 front teeth in braces in middle school. The hygienist then did a deep cleaning of my teeth so when the brackets went on they had a clean and as white as they could be surface to apply to.

Then.. it began.

The actual orthodontist only came by for a few bracket placements, the ones on my crowns and my bridge because those were trickier. I also think he placed the wire, but the hygienist did most of the work. The glue adhesive that the brackets attached to my teeth with smelled horrible. I laid there most of the time trying not to breath it in. It smelled like nail salon glue, but way worse.

You’ll be able to see in the pictures, but the orthodontist had to put ‘build up’ on my two bottom teeth because of how my bite is, I was at risk for biting off the brackets. That was, and still is, the weirdest feeling I think of this whole thing so far. I have a full mouth, except on bottom and top they didn’t put them ALL the way back and left the last molar on each side free. Not sure why, but I trust them. I also have clear brackets in the front, and you’ll be able to see they aren’t clear all the way around, just in the front where people will notice.

The pictures below were taken 9 days into this. I plan to make a post once a month updating my progress and share the pictures so I can have a really cool slideshow and log to look back on. Also, they are horrible, front facing iPhone quality so don’t come for me.

Open mouth smile – the white nubs on the bottom teeth are the ‘build up’ to prevent biting off my brackets.
Showing top and bottom – the silver brackets are in the back few teeth
The view with my regular bite

Pain: There wasn’t a lot of pain the day they were put on. It was mostly pressure and discomfort. I did take extra strength Tylenol just to ward off any pain, but for the first 1-2 days it was mostly pressure and discomfort. The pain hit days 3-6, and mostly on my lower teeth, which makes sense. My lower teeth are the ones who need the most work, readjusting and making space for the implant to go in eventually.

Eating: Even now, on day 9, I still eat slowly and have to be cautious of what I eat. I’d say I’m 75% solid foods and 25% soft/liquid foods. I’m beginning to master chewing using certain sides of my mouth and using/not using certain teeth, but there’s still things that are a challenge for me to eat. Obviously I’m following the list of can/can’t eat foods very strictly, but outside of that I’m still working on eating a semi-balanced diet.. given quarantine.

Other things: I have a lisp now. Mostly when I’m talking for long periods at a time, and it’s gotten slightly better but it still annoys me. I ended up getting what I thought and Google-search panicked was Thrush on the bottom of my tongue over the weekend, but it turns out it was just crazy irritation from me rubbing my tongue along my bottom row. I still rub my tongue and lips over them but the awkward feeling of having them is slowly going away.
Also, being in self-isolation has helped with my confidence issues. I worked at my part time job two days the first week and so I showed/had to manage speaking and interacting with them then, but other than that it’s just been myself and Bryan at home.

So now, only 23.5 more months to go? Or more? Either way, we’re getting there. And the end will be worth it, or so everyone says!

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