Braces and I have had a long and turbulent relationship. My first experience with them was when I was about six years old.
I know what you’re thinking, that’s pretty young. As a child, I had a severe overbite – my bottom jaw was set a long way back (I could fit my thumb between by top and bottom teeth and wiggle it around!). I was given a plate (or retainer) when I was younger to protect my soft palate until I was old enough to get braces to correct the problem.
When I was about 14 we went to get my ‘railway track’ braces fitted. I was in those for two years. It was an experiment in the beginning – See if we could pull my bottom jaw forward non-invasively. If it didn’t work then at 16 I was to get surgery where they would basically break my jaw and put metal spacers in. Luckily the braces worked and everything seemed fine!
I was given a plate to wear at night and had a retainer wire behind my bottom teeth and sent on my way. When I was about 21 the wire came loose. I went back to the orthodontist who told me it was fine and just took it out. That’s when my troubles started.
Apparently it’s quite common for girls to have their teeth go crooked again in their early 20s. That’s when we hit our final growth spurt and often teeth move out of alignment. And that’s exactly what happened. At 22, my teeth started going a little skew. By 25, they were very crooked.
Finally, at 29, I decided to go to the dentist and get it sorted out. I wanted to see if I could get Invisiline. But alas, I’m not a candidate. My case is too severe and I need proper braces again.
The main issue is that my midline is skew. This means that my teeth aren’t engaging properly. I’m getting abnormal wear and this could cause big problems for me in the future. In order to correct this, I have to have this uber sexy thing called a palatal arch that will pull my middling straight while the braces fix the fact that my teeth are crooked. I have this for 8 to 9 months and then we’ll re-evaluate the situation. There is still a 30% chance that I will need and extraction.
I have had the first of three phases done already – last Thursday they put in rubber separators to create space for the collars on my back molars that will anchor the arch. The gaps between my teeth were so tight that the orthodontist had to work hard to get the bands in. On one tooth she couldn’t manage it so she out in a copper wire that was bound off and tucked into the crevice of my molar. This is incredibly irritating as my teeth won’t close properly now. It’s driving me crazy! Also, the bands feel like I have something stuck in my teeth.
My mouth is tender, chewing hurts and I have now got this weird sore itchy sensation around the bands. On Thursday, they’ll take these blasted things out and put in the collars and take the impressions for the lab to make my arch and braces.
Then the real fun begins next week as they will be fitting my braces. Yay for two years of treatment and the huge amount of money I have to spend to get it done #sarcasm.