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Author Topic: Braced Becky  (Read 3130 times)

Offline metalfoxy

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Braced Becky
« on: 21. November 2020, 00:57:22 AM »
I wore braces aged 12-16, starting with a removal device for my overbite, moving to an upper palate expander and finally metal braces. I got a clear essix retainer once they were all removed. I did the usual wear, reducing to a few times a week now, at age 25.
My time in braces was unremarkable, initially I refused – embarrassed by the prospect of my friends seeing me in them but then realised I was also embarrassed by my smile so agreed. Although they weren’t pleasant they also weren’t awful and I don’t look back with regret or pleasure – it’s just a period of my life.
I have always been pleased with my smile since the braces, I keep up with the retainer wear and didn’t expect any difficulty.

A couple of months ago, my life changed. Where I’d held down a steady job suddenly my employer closed down and I was unemployed. I’d never faced this situation before and couldn’t afford the rent to live on my own anymore. Luckily I had a supportive family around me and ended up moving back into my parents house – living in my old room and feeling like I was 16 again.
I relied on my parents for support as I got knocked back, interview after interview. They were fairly wealthy, living comfortable and having money spare for whatever they wanted so were able to offer me the cash I needed to get my life back on track.

One day my mum came home, grumpy after being told she had another cavity to be filled. She had a terrible bite and bad teeth that were never fixed causing her problems later in life that kept cropping up. In the last year she had 3 cavities filled and 2 teeth removed as they crumbled apart. Luckily she was family friends with our dentist and they gave her a good insurance package to cover everything she needed and always took good care of her.
“Becky, I saw Dr Goldman today, I told him you were staying with us for a while – he mentioned you were overdue a cleaning and a check up. I scheduled one in for you tomorrow – they had a cancellation. Don’t worry – I’ve added you to our insurance so it wont cost you anything”. I started to protest – although not afraid as such I never enjoyed a dentist visit and liked time to psych myself up for it. She held up her hand defiantly “you need to start taking good care of your teeth or you’ll end up like me. I noticed your bottom tooth is wonky again – are you still wearing your mouthguard?” I rolled my eyes, “retainer mum, and yes – I wear it once a week”. She frowned slightly, “well, we’ll ask them if that’s enough tomorrow. You don’t want to lose that lovely smile of yours.” I stopped what I was doing “we? I’m not 5 mum, I can go to the dentist on my own.” She tutted “actually, I was coming to sign some of the insurance forms. I’m sure Dr Goldman won’t mind if I do it when I go back next week though. He knows us well enough.” I nod then walk away quickly, running my tongue over my teeth as I do, taking mental note of the slightly wonky lower incisor.

I wake up the next morning, scrubbing my teeth extra hard today then get dressed and make my way to the dentist office. I park my car and take a few deep breaths, not sure why I’m feeling so nervous but there is a nervous feeling in my stomach I can’t ignore. I walk in on autopilot.
Our dentist office is familiar to me, it’s actually combined with my old orthodontist office – they work at separate ends but the idea of having them all in one office was super easy when I was younger. I think back over the years, wondering how many hours I have spent sat waiting for appointments then even more hours in the dental chairs.
I walk up to the receptionist, she smiles back at me immediately “hey becky, here for your check up?” I nod quickly and smile back slightly. “We haven’t seen you for ages, back home again now?” My cheeks flush – the shame rising quickly ‘yep, wont be long though hopefully. Just gotta get back on my feet’. She nods encouragingly and informs me that it wont be long.

I sit in the waiting room, watching as people come and go from their own appointments. I spot the smug people whose teeth are clearly fine, the grumpy ones whose aren’t and the self conscious teens pouring out of the orthodontist – the tell tale signs of the red eyes or cheeks and the pursed lips, desperate to cover up their new mouthwear.
After a few minutes the dental nurse comes out to get me, she’s somebody I haven’t met before and I follow her sheepishly into the office and settle myself on the chair as she puts a dental bib around me.

Dr Goldman came in, beaming widely at me “Hey Becky! How are you? It’s been a while hasn’t it? Let’s check on those pearly whites then shall we?”
The chair start to recline slowly, I always think this is one of the worst bits – its so slow and the anticipation builds as it goes down. Once I’m fully flat he positions the light onto my mouth and I open up widely. I tune out as he goes through the check-up, I wiggle my fingers and toes to distract myself as he mumbles to his assistant. I’m pulled back into reality when he asks me if I have any pain or problems? “erm no? everything feels pretty good to me” yesterday flashes back into my head and I quickly add “this tooth here though on the bottom is twisted slightly. I still wear my retainer about once a week and it never feels too tight. Is that enough or should I increase the amount I wear it?” He leans in again, peering more closely and tapping a few of my teeth. “Hmm, yes I see what you mean. Shall we take some x -rays and see what we can do?” I shrug and he goes to work eagerly, I sit through the xrays which are quick then more prodding and poking. He gets me to open and close a few more times, then turns the light off and sits me up. He hasn’t spoken yet and I look at him in anticipation, the sympathetic look on his face makes the knot in my stomach grow more.

“I’m going to nip and see if Dr Lewns can come in and take a look. We can discuss it together then, ok?” I frown slightly “My old orthodontist?” He nods slightly “Yes, the orthodontist working within the practice. I want to see his suggestion”. He doesn’t wait for me for me to respond and instead leaves quickly. I crane round to judge the dental nurses reaction but she is focused on her paperwork. Instead I sit and fiddle with my fingers nervously, the tension growing as time goes on. I slide my tongue round my teeth and clench my jaw – testing my bite.
After 5-10 minutes have passed I hear the two mens footsteps approach again and the door swings open. I try to smile at them both but it comes out more as a grimace, deep down at that moment I knew I was doomed.

“Hey Becky” Dr Lewns beams at me, I smile slowly, the nerves growing. “Dr G here told me there has been some relapse? Open wide for me and let’s take a look shall we?”

The chair begins to recline again, the slow motor whirring as my heart pounds. I open widely and instantly the lip spreaders are placed in my mouth. All the memories come flooding back. Dr Lewns makes many concerning noises as he checks my teeth. He pauses and looks at me, rolling his chair around so he is facing me but doesn’t sit me up. He whispers to the dental nurse and she hurries out the room. I lay there flat, lip spreaders in with the light shining in my face and know instantly it isn’t good news. I’m not sat up and on my way out with some reassurance to increase my retainer time. Dr Lewns grimaces at me.

“So, there has been some movement for sure. It’s not just the crowing that worries me. Your wisdom teeth have come in and that’s caused everything to shift a bit. You have some crowing on the lower jaw and your upper incisors are twisted. Your bite has also shifted, you have an overbite and I notice you’ve been grinding your teeth. Overall this isn’t what we’d hoped for and to prevent any future problems I think it’s best we utilise this opportunity to get you back into some appliances.  We’ll get the nurse to take some impressions and I’ll go and grab my bits to put some spacers in” I start to protest mildly but he cuts me off “I know it’s not exactly what you wanted to hear I’m sure but this really is critical. You’re risking causing irreversible damage and with the speed of deterioration there is clearly some great forces here that we need to react to. You don’t want to lose your teeth in a few years do you?” Hearing that terrifies me and I confirm that he should go ahead.
 Quickly the nurse comes back in and prepares the impression trays. Dr lewns takes the lip spreader out and places a paper towel over me, the nurse comes overhead and I notice the goopy trays. First the upper one, making me heave and then the lower which is never as bad. As I think it’s all over she brings another one over – this tray is something I’ve never seen before. It has a top and bottom tray together, it looks like a giant ball of goop. She places it into my mouth and it goes further back, touching my soft palate. I heave again and try breathing through my nose. She rubs my cheeks kindly “This one is awful but it tells us how your bite is sitting, it also gives us a better idea of how any all in one appliances could be molded. Wont be long now.” Quickly it dries and she pulls it out my mouth. There is no reprieve though as the lip spreader goes back in and Dr Lewns gets to work placing the rubber bands between my teeth. He seems to be taking a long time and I begin to get nervous again, just as im about to ask him what is happening he announces we are finished.

“Right, book an appointment for Friday morning with me. I will have your treatment plan set by then and we can get started. Now I’m going to need you to promise me you’re motivated to do this, it isn’t going to be an easy process ok? People tend to struggle more with it as an adult, especially the little extras plus movement is often harder to achieve and takes longer. It’ll all be worth it though, hey?”
I am not too sure what he means but at this point I am desperate to get out of the office, it feels like I have been part of a prank show – going in for a routine appointment and coming out again with orthodontic treatment. My hands are clammy and my heart is pounding. I nod and mumble an agreement so he lets me go. I schedule my appointment and race quickly back to my car. I take a few deep breaths and then slowly lean up towards the mirror, checking the spacers and frowning slightly when I realise how many there are. Last time I had 6. This time I have 20! 10 on each jaw, 5 on each side extending from my wisdom teeth all the way to my canines. I’m guessing it’s just to try and create as much space as possible since he said it can be hard to move teeth at this point. It’s probably just to hope that at least some of them create a gap that he can use to get the 4 molar bands on. My heart rate has calmed down but I still feel in a daze. I sit for a few minutes and realise, this is it. I’m going to have braces.  How did I agree to this?!

Offline TimeandBrace

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Re: Braced Becky
« Reply #1 on: 21. November 2020, 01:14:17 AM »
A great start!

Offline gux

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Re: Braced Becky
« Reply #2 on: 21. November 2020, 01:18:56 AM »
Very good start!

Offline napacaster

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Re: Braced Becky
« Reply #3 on: 21. November 2020, 05:33:52 AM »
Very good start. Looking forward to more.

Offline cbraces522

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Re: Braced Becky
« Reply #4 on: 21. November 2020, 06:09:32 AM »
Oooh this is good! Love new stories

Offline MagnetMouth

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Re: Braced Becky
« Reply #5 on: 21. November 2020, 11:50:16 AM »
Wow this is awesome, a great concept btw

Offline ortho218

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Re: Braced Becky
« Reply #6 on: 21. November 2020, 13:31:35 PM »
great start, looking forward to reading more :)

Offline carking

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Re: Braced Becky
« Reply #7 on: 23. November 2020, 17:49:04 PM »
Nice job!

Offline villie

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Re: Braced Becky
« Reply #8 on: 23. November 2020, 21:40:48 PM »
really nice - wonder what an all-in-one-appliance to be molded will be... ;D

Offline metalfoxy

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Re: Braced Becky
« Reply #9 on: 25. November 2020, 04:53:43 AM »
 I finally get home and greet my mum. She tries to hide her shock as I recount the last hour but the surprise is evident. She tries to reassure me but fails miserably. The only reassurance she can give is that at least it’ll all be covered by their insurance and it’ll prevent problems later in life. I take some painkillers and chill in front of the tv. Over the next few hours the pain in my teeth intensifies until they are continually throbbing. Even swallowing hurts and I wallow in self pity as I remember how painful braces actually are.

That night for dinner I manage a few spoonfuls of soup before deciding to just head to bed, hoping the pain subsides by the morning.
The next few days pass in a blur, the dentist office emails across some paperwork – contracts and insurance documents. I sign them hastily and give them to my mother to take in when she goes for her own dental work. The spacers eventually stop bothering me and although I was aware they were always there they were not painful at all.
Before I knew it, the day of my appointment rolled back around. That morning I took some final photos of me without my braces, realising that for a few months I would not see my smile properly again.

The morning passed in a blur and suddenly I found myself sitting in Dr Lewn’s chair, hands twiddling nervously while I waited for him to begin work.
After what felt like forever he strolled into the room “Hey Becky, ready for the big day?” I nodded nervously and he checked all my paperwork. “Great, so the insurance is going to cover it all – the only exception is if you do not comply with the treatment plan or terminate early. Due to a clause in your insurance this invalidates their cover and means you’d have to cover the full cost. Have you signed all the consent forms?” Again, I nod slowly while trying to slow my heartrate down. Eventually he seems happy with everything and comes over. ‘Has somebody gone over your treatment plan with you?’ I realise I hadn’t even thought to ask – I just assumed it would be straight forward metal braces. As he realised this error he began to describe to me that I would have an expander, metal brackets, some bite correctors, elastics and anything else that would be necessary. I was nervous to hear it all out there but I’d had an expander and elastics before so I wasn’t too concerned. I quickly agreed to it all and the process began.
He reclined my chair and got to work removing the elastics, my teeth were cleaned and then they used a strange toothbrush like tool to brush my upper and lower palate. I found that slightly strange but didn’t think too much about it, just accepting that the process had changed over the last decade. His assistant placed the suction in my mouth, ensuring it was all dry.

“Right Becky, we are trying something new to make the process of fitting braces easier. You know the lidocaine we use when somebody is having dental treatment?” I mumble a response, unable to talk properly with the lip spreaders in and my mouth held open. “Well, we use a short acting version of that. It wont leave you numb for long but means when we are getting the bands and appliances on it’s more comfortable for you and we can manipulate things a bit more.” I agree, grateful I wouldn’t have to deal with them digging around in my mouth. I tense slightly as the needle goes into different spots in my mouth and the cold medicine is injected. He attaches a new slip spreader, this time with a bar and block to keep my tongue out of the way and back towards my throat. I felt the numbness kicking in, becoming unable to feel my lips mouth or tongue. Dr Lewns placed some dark glasses on my face, attached a dental bib round my neck and shone the bright light on my mouth. 
 He confirmed I was numb, checked that my lips and tongue were completely out of his way and repositioned the suction to make sure my mouth was totally dry.
I suddenly felt incredible vulnerable and nervous, the glasses were so dark – to protect me from the dental light and the uv lamp needed to set the glue – I could barely see anything – only the outline of dr lewns and his assistant, I couldn’t feel a thing in my mouth and was laying totally flat with my mouth wide open. I realised I was totally under their control. Even though I could stop this at any time and it was only braces so nothing to be scared of I realised I was totally defenceless. This whole process meant they were in charge and the power balance had shifted. I worked hard to try and focus on what was going on but because I couldn’t feel anything and was laying totally flat so couldn’t see what they were doing I realised I would just have to wait and see how it all turned out.

Dr Lewns began to fit my expander, unknowingly to me tapping bands onto 5 teeth each side on each jaw. I had bands going from my wisdom teeth to my premolars – leaving only the front 6 teeth free on both my upper and lower jaws. They welded the upper and lower expanders to these bands – they spidered out all the way across my palates. Next he moved onto adding the brackets to my remaining teeth, shining the uv light to set them on. Before he added the archwire he had me bite up and down – checking the positioning of my jaws for the brackets. He spoke quietly to the nurse about turbos or blocks which I didn’t understand. He seemed to add something else to my back teeth and used the UV light to set that. He went back to fixing the archwire in and added grey ligatures. After this he seemed satisfied with what he had done. I thought this meant it would all be over but instead he went back to his tray and grabbed something else to fit into my mouth. He had me bite onto it and then made more adjustments. He took it out and set it in a box on the table next to me.
Just as he started to finish off, the numbing medicine began to wear off – the pins and needles travelling round my face as the sensation returned.
He sat me up and took the lip spreader out. He used his fingers to pry between my lips, feeling to make sure he was happy with how everything was. He explained that he would leave me for about 10 minutes to let the medicine wear off completely and then would come back and check to make sure everything was comfortable before I left for the day.

As soon as he left I snuck my phone out and opened the front camera. I was so shocked as I saw what was crammed into my mouth, I assumed I was getting a quad helix expander like last time but instead was stuck with a big bulky box on both jaws with holes in. I had bands going all the way near the front of my mouth, as soon as I opened my lips they were visible. There would be no hiding these. The brackets on my front teeth were fine – similar to what was used last time I had braces. The archwire seemed bulky and the grey ligatures just added to the dull colour shining from my mouth. I realised I couldn’t shut my mouth properly, there were little bumps on my back teeth that when I closed my jaw touched and stopped to from shutting properly – it was constantly open about 1/8 inch. I tried to close my lips which was difficult and definitely didn’t hide the jumbled mess in my mouth, It was painfully obvious this was going to be an embarrassing process that I couldn’t hide.

I realised I had to tell Dr Lewns he would have to adapt this process, i began to plan what to say just as he walked back in, smiling broadly “So, how’s everything?”
“Noth good”. My eyes widened as I spoke for the first time – realising not only how bad my speech was but how hard it actually was to even talk.
He was sympathetic to me” I understand it might seem like a lot right now but we have a few limitations. 1) now youre older we have to apply more force to see the benefit of any movement. Your upper and lower jaws need to be expanded to allow room for the teeth to be moved. This is a crucial process that really is the key to getting you a good smile.
2) your insurance only covers this process for 18 months, so we really need to get it moving quickly – we want to try and get you done in that time so you don’t have to pay. It’s going to be pushing it already so we need all the help we can get”.
All logic went out my head and my rehearsed speech was instantly forgotten “Pleath. Take thomething out. This ith terrible”.
He shook his head slightly “Sorry, these really are the basic appliances. We will add more in time but you need time to adapt to this. I know it’s a bit of a shock but you’ll get used to it. Also you don’t want to have to cover the costs do you? It’s important you comply with the treatment plan outlines in the contracts you signed.”

The importance of those contracts that I didn’t read dawned on me. I had no idea what I was in for. I zoned out from everything he was saying and instead began to plot my way out of all of these monstrosities. As his speech towards the end I began to listen again, realising I should be paying attention. He picked up the small box that was on the table “I was going to start this today but I think maybe you’ve got enough to get used to. We can start this next week. For now I’ll get one of the nurses to go through some basic care for you and to explain how to turn the expanders. You need to do it 2 times in the morning and 2 in the evening. We will schedule you an appointment for a weeks time to check in on it all. You can do that at reception when you leave. Any problems then give us a call, if not I’ll see you next week.
The panic set in as he left, realising I really was going to be stuck with all of this. The nurse came over and showed my how to turn my expanders and how to look after my braces but I was to preoccupied to listen properly. She handed me a bunch of aftercare leaflets and sent me on my way. I tried to schedule an appointment for the next week but the receptionist couldn’t understand me at all so in the end the nurse who had been with me took over and did it for me, writing the date and time down on an appointment card. I took it quickly and rushed outside, bowing my head as I left – hoping nobody had seen.
I found myself sat in my car, once again trying to calm myself down. I leant up to the mirror to check my mouth again, hoping it didn’t look as bad as I first thought. As I opened my lips I grimaced as I realised if anything it looked worse. I prepared myself to face my family and began the drive home, wondering how my family were going to respond to this…

Offline cbraces522

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Re: Braced Becky
« Reply #10 on: 02. December 2020, 20:11:15 PM »
I keep checking this one! You should add more!

Offline Boheme

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Re: Braced Becky
« Reply #11 on: 19. December 2020, 01:48:55 AM »
Love love love