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Author Topic: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!  (Read 5026 times)

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Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« on: 19. May 2022, 19:49:01 PM »
It looks like I will be getting braces for the second time! It’s not totally decided, at least not where and when, but here is where things stand so far (I'm breaking it up into multiple posts in this topic).

My orthodontic background: I got braces when I was 13 (back in 1998). full metal brackets, bands on my first molars, elastics, and a removable biteplate for roughly 6 months. My teeth didn't look bad before getting braces, but I think it was at least partially to correct a deep bite. The orthodontist I had never explained what was going on (called the biteplate a retainer, and I was given no warning that I'd have one; one appointment they just set it down on the table and tell me that I need to wear it), and I can remember at the consultation, he just talked to my mom and didn't really talk to me. I got my braces off after 15-16 months. I was given an essix upper retainer and a permanent lower retainer. I did a good job wearing the upper retainer for the first two or three years, I think, but then mostly stopped wearing it. The deep bite came back pretty quickly (recollection was maybe even within a few months of getting braces off).

So, fast-forward to now. Starting about a month ago, I noticed that when biting down it didn’t feel the same on the right side as it did on the left side. Looking in the mirror, I could tell that the teeth on the right weren’t meeting together the way the teeth on the left did. Luckily, I had a normal dentist appointment scheduled for about two weeks later.

Before that, though, I found a highly rated orthodontist in my area who had a thing on their website for a virtual consultation. It guides you through taking a few photos of your teeth and submits them to the ortho’s office to be looked at (some googling and it looks like a lot of orthodontists around the US offer this same service using the same software, SmileSnap). They called me after a few days and told me that I had an edge-to-edge bite on the right side, where the teeth bite down on the cusps, instead of fitting in between each other. Didn’t give me a price or length of treatment over the phone, but asked if I wanted to come for an in-person consultation. Told them not at the moment, since I wanted to talk to my dentist and my wife before scheduling an in-person appointment with an orthodontist.

Told my wife that my bite wasn’t feeling right and didn’t look right, and that I’d be bringing it up to the dentist even though I pretty much knew the only thing they could really do is recommend seeing an orthodontist. She basically said let’s see what the dentist says.

At the dentist office on May 3rd, I mentioned it to the hygienist first when she asked if any teeth were bothering me (they always ask that right as I sit down). The hygienist didn’t seem to believe me that something was off, even though I told her that I had sent photos to an orthodontist and what they had said. After my teeth were cleaned, the dentist came in and I told her. She kinda looked at it some and was asking me questions like “Did you bite on something really hard? Did you get hit in the face?”. Which, no, nothing like that happened. The dentist did agree that the right side wasn’t quite right, and so she recommended two additional orthodontists that I could get opinions from.

I scheduled consultation appointments with those three orthos. One that my dentist recommended didn’t have an open consult appointment until late July! And this was scheduling in the first week of May! That office is also not open Fridays.

I’ve had the first two consultations, but I’ll make those as separate posts in this topic. Starting a little before the dentist appointment and going until those two consultations, I have also felt a tiny bit of tenderness if various teeth here and there, which leads me to believe that things have been pushed around in the last month as my mouth is adjusting to what's happening with my bite.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #1 on: 19. May 2022, 19:50:32 PM »
First consultation (Ortho A)

Had my first consultation last Friday. This was the orthodontist whom I sent photos to through their website.

They took photos and a panoramic x-ray there, and then had the orthodontist come in to look at my teeth and bite and measure and evaluate it. During this, he said "class 2 div 2", class 2 division 2, which I hadn't heard of divisions of class 2 before, but looking it up after the fact it means upper teeth are too far forward, but my upper incisors are tilted back (retroclined), which hides the amount of overbite. He explained this about my teeth without specifically telling me the classification terminology (though the letter that they said they will send my might, I don't know). So, what I was noticing that didn't feel right was the class 2 on the right side (left side is really close to class 1). I also have a significant deep bite, and a moderate curve of Spee. There are also a few small things that have mildly annoyed me for years, but none of which are bite issues that are causing issues.

With how my bite is, the teeth on the right side could wear down each other's cusps, and the deep bite with retroclined incisors will eventually cause my lower incisors to be worn down, too, against the backs of my upper incisors. I have to slightly pull my lower jaw back to bite down on my back teeth, because of the deep bite and retroclined incisors.

Here is what this orthodontist recommended:

First, brackets across the top front 8 teeth, first bicuspid to first bicuspid, for 4-6 months. This would be to correct the tilt of the upper incisors. Overbite would seem to get worse during this.

Then, they would remove the brackets from the bicuspids and canines (leaving the brackets on the incisors), and give me a Carriere distalizer appliance on both the upper right and upper left, canine to first molar. I would get bands on my lower first molars to hook the elastics to, with a lower lingual holding arch connecting the bands. This would be for 4-6 months, to correct how the teeth in the back match up when I bite down.

After that, the Carriere and lower lingual holding arch would be removed and I would get full braces, with box elastics to close up my bite in the back. If necessary, they would give me bite turbos on the back of my upper incisors to keep me from biting on the lower front brackets.

For retainers, they would give me an upper essix and lower permanent retainer, like I had before. However, they would also give me a lower essix for wearing at night. I appreciate this idea, since my lower bicuspids and molars moved after braces the first time and they had no retention. Also, and I found this very interesting, they would give me a clear upper retainer with acrylic behind the front teeth that my lower incisors would bite down on, like a biteplate, for wearing at night. This would be to prevent the deep bite from coming back and to provide transverse support (I think that's what the treatment coordinator said; I guess it provides stiffer support to the arch width that a normal essix).

Total treatment would be about 18 months, for $7,175. About the top end of what I was expecting to hear for the price. Clear brackets would be an extra $350.

There are other treatment options they could suggest if I just wanted to fix the alignment of one or two teeth or something (my left lateral upper incisor is a little further back than the other incisors, for example), but it wouldn't fix my bite, and that's what's bothering me and causing issues ("wreaking havoc" in the words of the treatment coordinator).

This office uses only Damon braces on all patients, except young kids who have expanders; they said they use the traditional twin brackets on those patients' front teeth (I don't know why). The treatment coordinator did mention that teenagers at their practice do still enjoy getting colored ligatures, but based on the models they showed me, it looks like they just put them entirely behind the archwire.

I really liked the treatment coordinator, who explained a lot of the details and answered a bunch of questions for me, though I wouldn't really interact with her as an active patient (though she said I can always email her during treatment if I have a question of what something is or why we're doing something). The office isn't too close to my home or work, but it isn't super far, either (15-20 minute drive, depending on traffic). I think it would be interesting to have the Carriere and the lower lingual holding arch (I've always wondered what one of those or a TPA would feel like to wear), but having brackets on just the front four teeth during this makes me wonder a little if it'll make me look like a little kid (I'd be even more worried about this if I had shorter hair and no facial hair). The downsides of essix and permanent retainers have annoyed me, but it does seem like, with diligent wear, they can do a better job of holding teeth in place than hawleys. The extra retainers for night is appealing to me, since it eliminates some of the concerns I've had with the retainers I have/had after having braces the first time. Kinda glad the clear brackets cost more, since I'd prefer metal and wouldn't want my wife trying to talk me into clear (I have no idea if she'd even have a preference).

Don't know if I'd ever try to ask for colors on the Damon braces; one of my regrets of my first time with braces was not trying out other colors and color combos. I just had blue ligatures and powerchains the whole time because I was afraid of any attention I'd get if someone pointed out or commented on the color on my braces changing. Looking back, this was a ridiculous worry, since literally like a quarter to a third of the kids in my grade had braces at the same time.

Overall, walked away from this consultation with a positive feeling about the office and the treatment they recommended.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #2 on: 19. May 2022, 19:51:51 PM »
Second Consultation (Ortho B)

I had this consultation this past Tuesday. This orthodontist was recommended by my dentist. The office is pretty close to where I live, and I have heard of this orthodontist. Some people I went to school with probably got their braces from him. He has a very good reputation (in fact, on their website he claims to be "one of the most celebrated orthodontists in the entire Midwest"; at most I think this might only be slightly exaggerated).

Different feel to the office. Ortho A's had a more open feel, with higher ceilings in the reception area and longer sight-lines. This office felt much more closed in (probably mostly just because it's a bit older of this type of building). While sitting in the waiting room, saw an ortho assistant walk a young girl (maybe 8?) out to her mother and overheard her tell the mother that the girl would continue to wear her headgear at night.

Again, had photos and a panoramic x-ray taken (this x-ray machine would talk, it was kinda weird). Orthodontist comes and examines me. Discussing what he saw, it's the same diagnosis as Ortho A, though before he explained things he stated that he's very conservative about removing teeth and never wants to remove a healthy tooth. I appreciate hearing this, but I wasn't under the impression that was something I personally would be presented with. Ortho B spent more time talking about how my teeth could wear themselves down. He said that in 15 years, I'll probably find my lower incisors feeling rough as they sort of get shaved down by my upper incisors.

The models on the desk were only Damon braces again, so I don't know if this orthodontist uses traditional brackets on anyone.

Ortho B, pointing to a model on the desk, said that most adults coming in want clear brackets, and he can do that, but he said the metal Damon braces have ben updated a few times since the clear ones have been, and so they just have a higher level of technology. He said if I were his son, I'd get metal.

Recommended treatment is very similar to Ortho A Just some of the details are different (I wonder how much of this is that these two orthodontists used to share a practice, and how much is they are both very good orthos who honed in on the same issues and how to correct them). I am curious about the differences, and may contact them later to ask why.

As to the differences, Ortho B would start with brackets on all upper teeth when tilting the upper incisors. Same 4-6 month forecast. Then, he would also place a Carriere on both sides, but one tooth further back, first bicuspid to second molar (my wisdom teeth were removed several years ago). Instead of a lower lingual holding arch, he would put the lower brackets on at this point. He would leave the upper brackets on the incisors and canines. This would also be for 4-6 months. After the Carriere is removed, brackets would be put back on all the upper teeth. No description of what kind of elastics may or may not be needed at that point. I asked the treatment coordinator (after the ortho had left), and she said the deep bite would be corrected by the braces, but didn't elaborate on potential elastics or bite turbos or anything.

Retainers would be exactly what I got after I first had braces, upper essix and lower permanent. No extra nighttime retainers. The orthodontist did say that if I really wanted, after 5 years or something they could remove the permanent retainer and give me a lower essix. He said he's a big fan of permanent retainers and remarked that his oldest daughter (who is an orthodontist at this same practice) has had hers for 20 years. I've had mine for 23 now.

Total time for treatment is estimated at 21 months, maybe less if I'm really diligent with elastics wear. Cost would be $8,415.

Ortho B mentioned that he doesn't recommend invisalign for my case because, as attentive and detail-oriented I am with what's going on with my teeth, aligners couldn't get 80% of what I want and I'd be unhappy with the result.

I did not have quite the same positive feeling from this office. I'm sure the results would be great. However, the treatment coordinator wasn't as friendly and didn't go into as much detail about things (luckily I had had so much of basically the same thing explained in lots of detail four days earlier). She also kinda confused me about one or two things, though they did get straightened out. For example, when she showed me the form explaining the cost, she went through it explaining how paying in full or monthly payments would work, and then just sat there looking at me for a bit. She then said she'd like to make a copy of it. I said okay, and looked back at her. After an awkward few second, she finally asked if I needed time to think about it or if I'd like to get started. My interpretation of what happened is that she expected that I would want to start right away and so I'd sign the form, but she never asked that or even asked me to sign it. The treatment coordinator at Ortho A's office explained the same kind of form, but then did ask my to sign on a second blank, and explained that (at least for their office) signing was not any kind of obligation and just showed that the costs had been explained to me. Ortho B himself didn't give me significantly different vibes than Ortho A himself, but between the less positive interactions with the treatment coordinator, the $1,200 price difference, and not having the nighttime retainers that while maybe not necessary would make me feel more sure of the results being maintained long term, I feel pretty confident ruling out Ortho B. I think I may prefer having more brackets earlier and longer during treatment, but I can't justify that price difference with just that, and the lower lingual holding arch from Ortho A might be interesting.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #3 on: 19. May 2022, 19:53:04 PM »
What to do now

Discussing what the dentist and orthodontists have said, and how it has felt weird to bite down, my wife does agree that I should probably go ahead and pursue treatment. It is a lot of money, but we can afford it; it'll just push back house projects we want to do. Fixing my bite now and preventing the wear will be less expensive (and painful) and more healthy (and comfortable in the long term) than waiting until the teeth have gotten worn down and I need both orthodontic treatment and restoration of the teeth.

The treatment coordinator at Ortho A's office said "You're going to need braces and some kind of correction at some point in your life", and then told be about an 84-year-old patient they have whose bite has beaten up and worn down his teeth his whole life. His dentist can't restore it because the there's not enough space (as your teeth wear down, your bite closes down), so he's in braces to open up the bite and make space for the restoration. So why wait until that point? She said I'll have to address it at some time in my life, when just might depend on budgeting and what's going on in my life, but it will be a priority at some point.

Now, I have a couple decisions to make.

Do I seek a third (or more) consultation? I think I would be happy with Ortho A and what they've proposed. If I went to another consultation, and I wasn't quite as positive about them but they were noticeably cheaper, I'd feel odd telling my wife I want to spend $1,000 more or whatever just because I had a more positive feeling about the office and the people there. On the other hand, getting an opinion from someone who doesn't use Damon braces and maybe doesn't use Carriere appliances would be interesting to hear how they'd approach it.

I do have a consultation scheduled with the other orthodontist my dentist recommended (Ortho C), but their earliest consultation appointment wasn't until late July). If I'm going to get braces, part of me wants to start sooner so that I'll be that much sooner to my bite feeling comfortable again. On the other hand, my bite is going to be off for those two month either way, since it'd be 4-6 six months before the Carriere begins to correct that, and 4-6 months after that before it should be corrected. So my bite might be off, potentially still feeling wrong, for anywhere from 6 to 12 months. In light of that, starting two months later doesn't seem like a huge deal. A couple months of potential wear probably isn't much, considering Ortho B talked about really noticing the wear in 15 years or something.

I could still seek more consultations that are sooner than Ortho C, and just cancel that appointment. However, Ortho C is highly rated, like Ortho A and Ortho B, and in a fairly convenient location. Looking up other top orthodontists in my city, there aren't any in convenient locations. Not that they'd be hard to get to, but they're not near work and home, or along my commute somewhere. Ortho C being scheduled so far out shows high demand, I guess, but also leaves me with a negative impression. His office is only open Monday through Thursday, but open a little later than others. I'd be trying to make all my appointments during my work hours so that I can still get home in time for dinner and helping my wife with our young kids, so Ortho C's office hours are a turn off, as well (mostly that they’re closed on Fridays, but also don’t want them scheduling something for like when I’d normally be sitting down for dinner with my family).

My wife didn't voice an opinion one way or the other when I mentioned that I'm not sure if I should wait until the consult with Ortho C, find a different ortho sooner, or just go with Ortho A.

If I leave it at the two consultations I've had, I'm going with Ortho A. One thing my wife brought up and would make sure to do first is to get a credit card with a good promotional offer (of the "spend so much in the first few months or year, and get this much extra cash back or rewards points"). The orthodontists do take credits cards, so paying in full up front would hit that and more.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #4 on: 19. May 2022, 19:53:45 PM »
It's kind of exciting to thing that I'll be getting braces again. I've wanted to have them for a second time for more than 10 years at this point, I think, but didn't have (or hadn't noticed) any issues that justified spending thousands.

It's also weird to think about for a few reasons. One is that if you just see me talking or smiling, you'd probably say my teeth look straight and I don't need braces (or at least most people would; people here might notice the incisor that's a little out of line; my wife couldn’t really even notice how that tooth was different after I pointed it out to her). I have family and friends with teeth that are significantly more out of alignment, at least what is visible when they talk and smile, so it feels weird that I'd seek treatment and they wouldn't, but maybe they just really don't care. My mother's upper incisors are similarly retroclined, or maybe worse, and her upper arch is narrow and kind of V-shaped, but I've never heard her express any dissatisfaction other than the slight gap between her two front teeth (her childhood dentist cut her frenulum to try to let it close up some when she was a teenager, I think).

I don't want to have to explain to people why I have braces in my late 30's, but I have a legitimate reason so it shouldn't be hard, I guess. Nice in some ways that I'll be done with braces, and mostly done with 24/7 retainer wear, before I turn 40.

At the very least, I'm waiting until I get the letters with the measurements and diagnoses from Orthos A and B that they said they'd send before officially making a decision (not that those should really influence me, but I want to see just how similar they are).

I wanted to post all this here since I thought people would find it interesting. I know I included a lot of detail. I’ll continue to post here as things progress, and I can try to answer question you all might have for me.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #5 on: 28. May 2022, 07:11:09 AM »
I've scheduled the appointment to get my braces on! I'll be getting metal Damon braces on my top teeth, from first bicuspid to first bicuspid (eight teeth) on June 20th. I chose Ortho A.

On Wednesday, I called Ortho C's office to cancel my consult (scheduled for late July) with them, though if they had something much sooner I would reschedule. They didn't have any openings earlier than August at this point, so I just canceled.

I contacted the treatment coordinators for both Ortho A and Ortho B, and asked them a few questions about the differences in their recommended treatments: starting with 8 upper brackets (A) vs full upper braces (B), Carriere from canine to first molar (A) vs from first bicuspid to second molar (B), and lower lingual holding arch (LLHA) with Carriere (A) vs full lower braces with Carriere (B).

Treatment Coordinator B got back to me first, on Thursday. Her answers to the questions weren't really answers. It was basically that Ortho B thought what he recommended would be best for me, but she gave no info as to why. Part of me wishes I had thought on my feet better and asked more, but I can't always think fast enough on my feet in those kinds of situations. Obviously what Ortho B recommended is what he thinks is best for me, otherwise he wouldn't have recommended it! Treatment Coordinator B did tell me that Ortho B trained Ortho A (I knew they previously worked together), and that they have "different view on how to use the Carriere appliance". No elaboration on that.

Today (Friday), Treatment Coordinator A called me back to answer my questions. While she didn't have really technical answers, that's because she had previously told me that Ortho A would be on vacation until June 1st, and if I wanted to wait until he was back for answers I could, but I was fine with just the Treatment Coordinator telling me what she knew. Her answers to the questions were basically that she didn't think the differences seemed significant. Ortho B putting the Carriere a tooth further back might be that he wants to open the space that it produces a tooth further back, but Treatment Coordinator A wasn't sure. As to doing full braces before the Carriere vs just the front 8, she said that Ortho B's plan to do full upper braces would mostly differ in just needing to take off more brackets when it was time to get the Carriere.

I did have a good conversation with Treatment Coordinator A, and was able to ask a couple other questions I had. I then told her that I've thought over things and wanted to pursue treatment at their office. They could have gotten me in as early as June 9th, but I have a lot going on that week and didn't want to take more time off then, so their next slot was the morning of June 20th. I'll be getting the aforementioned upper brackets on my front eight teeth that morning. I chose them partially because Treatment Coordinator A was so much more helpful in answering questions and made me feel more understood and welcomed, partially because the extra nighttime retainers that Ortho A said they'd give me makes me think relapse would be even less likely, and they're charging $1,200 less.

Treatment Coordinator A also told me that at their office, the orthodontist sees every patient at every appointment and you always see the same assistants, while she knows that Ortho B doesn't necessarily (she said he takes a lot of vacation, and patients might get seen my his daughter who just recently became an orthodontist, or another ortho they brought onboard, because his daughter will be off for a while). That helped me feel more comfortable with my choice, too. It's interesting hearing the perspectives from each office about each other, because I think both treatment coordinators worked at those offices when Ortho A and Ortho B worked at both.

So, now I have a date to count down to. Exciting, though I'm not thrilled about having to explain to friends or family why I got braces despite having seemingly straight teeth. While I know that I'll have to wait for the Carriere to fully correct this (though the front upper braces fixing the tilt of those teeth will help some), I can't wait for my bite to feel normal and comfortable again.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #6 on: 01. June 2022, 23:26:34 PM »
Congratulations on your decision to pursue treatment! I myself got braces again about 2 months ago for the 2nd time and I’m loving it.

Just out of curiosity, you mentioned you were excited to get braces again. Is this purely due to a medical reason (fixing your bite)? Or do you feel any special attraction to braces? Sorry if this is an uncomfortable question, you don’t have to respond if you feel uncomfortable.

Either way, best of luck with your treatment and I hope everything goes smoothly for you!

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #7 on: 05. June 2022, 05:24:24 AM »
Just out of curiosity, you mentioned you were excited to get braces again. Is this purely due to a medical reason (fixing your bite)? Or do you feel any special attraction to braces? Sorry if this is an uncomfortable question, you don’t have to respond if you feel uncomfortable.

I do really want my bite to feel normal/comfortable again, and I’m looking forward to fixing the little things that have annoyed me for years.

But also, I (mostly) liked having braces back when I was a kid, and kinda missed them after they were taken off. I also think braces are generally attractive-looking on people (moreso women than men, so I’m not sure what I’ll think of how they look on me).

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #8 on: 08. June 2022, 06:12:25 AM »
Here are the photos that were taken at the consult with Ortho A:

https://dereferer.me/?https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/R02511

They do a good job of showing the deep bite, the retroclined (tilted in towards mouth) incisors, and the class 2 bite on the right side (bottom left photo). My bite on the left side (bottom right photo) is very slightly class 2, also.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #9 on: 09. June 2022, 02:42:32 AM »
I do really want my bite to feel normal/comfortable again, and I’m looking forward to fixing the little things that have annoyed me for years.

But also, I (mostly) liked having braces back when I was a kid, and kinda missed them after they were taken off. I also think braces are generally attractive-looking on people (moreso women than men, so I’m not sure what I’ll think of how they look on me).

Nice! And thanks for responding. I also liked braces as a kid but strangely enough I feel like I like them even MORE now after getting them as an adult. Maybe because as an adult I “feel” the braces and the pressure a little bit more than when I was a kid and I enjoy the metal feeling.

Best of luck on your journey and keep us updated! I’m so excited for you!!

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #10 on: 22. June 2022, 02:39:59 AM »
Hey, did you go through with it? Excited for you!! Would be curious to see any updates.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #11 on: 23. June 2022, 19:55:11 PM »
I meant to post here a little sooner, but life's been busy this week. I did get braces on this past Monday! Metal Damon on top from first bicuspid to first bicuspid, no colored ligatures.

At the ortho's office, they first took another kind of x-ray (I think maybe a profile view; they took a panoramic at the consultation), and then used an iTero scanner to make a 3D model of my teeth, instead of taking an impression (though they still do that for fitting banded appliances, so I'll have to do that for the lower lingual holding arch when it's time to get the Carriere appliance). The woman who did the x-ray and scan was young and asked if I'd be getting colors on my braces (based on an earlier question she asked, I think she thought I was younger than I am, though it had come up that I had young kids). I told her probably not, but maybe at a future appointment. She said she wishes she had braces again so she could get different colors! The scan probably took about as long as taking impressions would have, but I guess then it's all done, and they don't have to create molds from the impressions. She briefly showed me the finished scan, but I didn't really get to look at it much.

After that, went and paid (in full to get a slight discount, but ouch!), and then was taken back to the clinic area where the exam chairs are for patients during appointments. I had to wait for a bit for the ortho to be done with the other exams he had before me (assistant polished my teeth, then we waited a bit, then she used the etch I think, then she did something and used the UV light, then we waited more with my mouth open and lip spreader in). When I first sat down, there was a woman in the exam chair next to me who was probably in her 50's. I think she was the only other patient I noticed who looked older than a teenager. It'll be interesting to see how often I see other adult patients.

Finally the ortho came over to place the brackets. When told/shown that I had chosen metal (over clear), he made a comment about how he likes the metal brackets and am glad I made that choice. Probably similar view to Ortho B about the metal Damon brackets being newer and better than the clear Damon brackets, but just doesn't push that or try to sell it to patients who might otherwise want clear. He placed the brackets by hand and by eye, told the assistant what wire to start with, and then went on to the next patient.

Got the lip spreader out before the assistant placed the wire. The brackets feel really weird when brand new to your mouth, with the doors open! The assistant trimmed the wire to match the length to just what brackets I have and put it into the brackets. She then went over a few things and gave me the "goodie bag" they give every new patient. I then went to the front desk and scheduled out 8 weeks for my next appointment.

While walking out to my car, it felt like my left lateral incisor had already moved forward a tiny bit (just like 5-10 minutes after the wire was placed). Got in the car and got to look at them for the first time. It's weird seeing myself in braces again, 23 years after getting them removed the first time. The brackets are so small that it makes my teeth look even bigger than they are, and the Damon brackets are definitely pokey-er than what I remember from having traditional brackets (though maybe what I remember is from after I had adjusted to having braces, and/or when I had powerchains that made the braces feel a lot smoother). Damon brackets with the wire, so far, feel a like what traditional brackets felt like with the wire removed (at my ortho as a kid, sometimes they would take off the ligatures and wire and then let you go brush your teeth before putting the new wire and ligatures on).

Here is a photo from that first day right after I got home: https://dereferer.me/?https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/y0618P

The colored dots are all basically off as of yesterday. I don’t know what the blue stuff on the center of the archwire is, but it’s gone, too.

Looking up stuff on Ormco's website (the company that makes Damon braces) and looking carefully at my braces, I think I have Damon Ultima brackets on the four incisors, and Damon Q brackets on the canines and first bicuspids (those will be removed when the Carriere is placed). Ultima is their new bracket/system that, I think, has only been for sale for just under a year. That basically lines up with how Ortho B had told me that the metal brackets have been updated a couple times since the clear ones were, and how the metal work a lot better, in his opinion.

I'll write up more soon (maybe today, maybe in the next few days) about how these first few days have gone. Still definitely just getting used to them.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #12 on: 23. June 2022, 21:19:30 PM »
First few days

So I've had my top front braces for three days now. I'm starting to get used to seeing braces on my teeth when looking in a mirror. Still not totally used to it, but it doesn't look as strange. My mouth is also starting to get used to the sensation of them. Last night in bed, there were a few times where, if my lips were in the right place, the feeling of the braces kind of went away even though I knew my lips were still touching them. Most of the time, though, very aware of their presence.

The Damon brackets still seem to "poke" more than what I remember of traditional braces. Not like my lips or cheeks are getting hooked on them or anything, but I can feel the sharp corners, and the ligatures on traditional braces kind of padded the brackets a little, I feel. The tie wings on the brackets on my incisors, in particular, feel sharp when I press my lips against them. The ends of the wire haven't bothered me at all, the assistant did a great job of bending and tucking them back (well, except for the fact that I have to be really careful when flossing there that the floss doesn't get hooked on the wire). I have found that the brackets irritate my lips and cheeks more when wearing a mask, but putting wax on the bicuspid brackets helps a lot with that.

Overall, I haven't felt pain or soreness when not pressing on a tooth, biting down on something, or my lower teeth accidentally hitting my upper teeth (or when my four-year-old raised her hand quickly while sitting in my lap and hit my face). Day two (Tuesday) was the worst, and it's gotten better yesterday and today. Still can't eat normally, but because the braces are only on the top, and not on my molars or second bicuspids, I can stick small bites of food into my mouth and chew on those teeth. Started being able to take small bites of soft foods with my front two incisors yesterday afternoon. The right lateral incisor (the one with a stop on either side of the bracket in the photo I posted) has been the most sore by a decent margin. I'm guessing it has felt some left/right forces that the other teeth haven't.

My left lateral incisor moved quickly! It has been back a little bit in my mouth compared to the teeth around it for along time (can see it in photos from the end of high school, 20 years ago; I must have stopped wearing my upper retainer at night half to two-thirds of the way through high school). I thought I had felt it move a little before I even got to my car after getting the braces on. By Wednesday (and still now), it is very nearly lined up with the incisor next to it. Wednesday, and even Tuesday, I kept running my tongue along the backs of my upper incisors, because they haven't felt that lined up to each other for, yeah, 20+ years. Makes that side of the front of my mouth feel just a touch bigger to my tongue. It was really exciting to notice that kind of movement that quickly.

I'm sure other movement has been happening, despite not really seeing it yet, because the way my bite feels, particularly in the front, has changed a little over these few days. Can't really describe it, but it's just a little different.

When I do run my tongue along the inside of my upper teeth, I can feel the connectedness from the wire, and even some tightness across those teeth.

The brackets on my incisors seem placed fairly low to me. I'll ask about the reason for that at some point, but it does make me worried that, once the soreness has gone away enough, it will be easy to knock a bracket off while eating.

I am kind of a meek or shy person, so I have been worried about people seeing my braces and how they'll react. I don't think I'm as worried about that as I was as a young teen with braces, but now it's not like a huge number of my peers are also in braces at the same time. I am still wearing a mask when at work, except when alone in my office, so no coworkers have seen my braces or know about them yet. No lisp (to my ear) so I don't think there's anything to give it away yet. Haven't seen friends in person yet, so I still don't know how they will react. I had a followup with my allergist yesterday, and while that building requires masks for everyone, the doctor checks your throat, ears, and nose at followups, so outside of the orthodontist's office or my immediate family, my allergist was the first person to see my braces face-to-face. She asked how they were, and I told her I had just gotten them that week. She mentioned that she did invisalign, and that it helped with her jaw clenching. I knew the allergist would see the braces at that appointment, but hadn't worried about it at all since one, she's a medical professional doing her job, and two, I hadn't seen her in almost a year and my next followup won't be for another year. I have a followup of sorts with my dentist this afternoon having to do with a filling I got last week (or more precisely, some jaw muscle soreness/tightness I've had since the filling, has only added to the difficulties of eating), but I did tell her last week at that appointment that I had chosen an orthodontist and would be starting this week, so my dentist shouldn't be surprised. With how low the brackets are on my incisors and my deep bite, I couldn't hide the braces while talking even if I wanted to. I've been making a conscious effort at home with my wife and kids to just be natural and normal as to how much and when I show my teeth and smile, kind of as practice for being around friends (and eventually coworkers) who will see my braces.

I'm still definitely adjusting to these braces. I've even woken up in the middle of the night the past three night. Not because there was soreness or pain or anything, but I think my body just knew something out of the ordinary was going on and so it decided to wake me up. Hopefully the soreness when biting goes away soon, and I'm looking forward to seeing more progress as I go!

Offline bracessd

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #13 on: 24. June 2022, 17:44:14 PM »
Congrats and thanks for the update!

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #14 on: 05. July 2022, 05:38:32 AM »
Two Weeks

Today marks two weeks since I got braces. I’m still adjusting to them, but they are starting to feel more normal.

Sensitivity when biting down is mostly gone. The day after getting the braces on was definitely the worst, and has gradually gotten better since then. While at first my lateral incisors were most sensitive (especially the right one that has stops on both sides of the bracket), now my canines are most sensitive. I’m guessing this is because the way the brackets are placed on them looks like they’re going to tip the roots towards the bicuspids (to get ready for the Carriere, maybe?).

Even though it’s hard to tell when looking in the mirror or in a photo, I can feel that both lateral incisors have moved some. The left one has come forward some, and the right one has rotated in place, I think (used to be lined up with neighboring teeth, now one side is a little behind the central incisor, and the other side is a little ahead of the canine). I can’t tell if there’s been any other movement, yet, but things just feel different (for the past day or two, my canines on the right hit when I bite down; they didn’t used to do that).

It still doesn’t quite look normal to me when seeing my braces in the mirror or in a photo, but not as weird as the first few days. My wife mentioned the other day that my teeth don’t look as big as they did the first few days with the braces, so I think she’s getting a little more used to seeing them.

A few times now over the past few days, if my lips and cheeks are in just the right spot and don't move, I don't feel the braces. And for one conversation today, I wasn't thinking about how they felt or how to position my lips around them. Mostly, though, I'm still almost always aware of them.

A few people I know have seen them now, or at least had the chance to. Dropped something off at a friend’s house, and they didn’t seem to notice, but they may not have even looked at my mouth, and it was only like a 10 second interaction. My parents visited us out in our front yard, and kept at a distance some they had recently been exposed to Covid, and so had my wife. They either didn’t notice, or decided not to comment at all (though I think my wife had briefly mentioned to my mom a couple days before I got them that I would be getting braces again). My in-laws also stopped by outside, and they noticed, but it was a pretty quick part of the conversation. My mother-in-law mentioned she wished she had gotten braces in the past. I told them my ortho’s office has had adult patients of all ages, even up to an 84-year-old, but I don’t think that’s going to get her to look into it for herself. Her teeth are quite visibly crowded.

Here is a photo of my teeth as of today: https://dereferer.me/?https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/r18KU7

I don’t know if I’ll post another update before my appointment in August, maybe if I notice more changes.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #15 on: 14. July 2022, 16:45:48 PM »
So, starting last night, it feels like my incisors are starting to tilt the wrong way. Can’t tell looking in the mirror or in photos (at least not yet).

Looking closely at my braces, it does look like they put the wrong torque brackets on my incisors (based on how the archwire slot is tilted and what the product webpage for those brackets shows).

I sent an email to the treatment coordinator this morning; don’t know when or how she’ll respond, if I’m just imagining this or if there is an issue. If there is, though, I didn’t want my teeth to move in the wrong direction for five more weeks before saying or doing anything about it.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #16 on: 20. July 2022, 22:07:27 PM »
As of yesterday morning, I had not heard back from my orthodontist's office regarding my email. Looking some at my teeth some the day before, I think my left central incisor isn't tilting back, but has shifted back a little, making the shape of my upper arch a little lop-sided (I can feel with my tongue that the right incisors are a little further out than the left incisors). My guess is this happened because my left lateral incisor was behind the other teeth, and so as it has moved forward some, it has pulled the teeth (mostly the central incisor) next to it back some.

Because of noticing this, yesterday I emailed my treatment coordinator again to say that I think I had incorrectly jumped to the conclusion that the tooth was tilting back. I mentioned that I still am not sure if the brackets on my incisors are the correct ones.

In that email, I also included that I have noticed that where the assistant bent back the archwire when I got my braces on, the ends of the wire are now touching my teeth, rubbing when the archwire is bumped or wiggled. (She bent the ends at basically a right angle, so the end points in between the last tooth with a bracket, the first bicuspid, and the tooth behind it, the second bicuspid; now that end is touching the tooth with the last bracket.)

Later yesterday, the treatment coordinator emailed me back to say that the wire will not damage the tooth but if it's poking gums or cheeks, I can come it for them to trim it. Otherwise, it'll get taken care of my appointment in a month.

A little later the same day, she emailed me again. She noticed that she had written a response to my email from last Thursday, but had forgot to actually send it, so she sent it to me. According to that, the ortho says the correct brackets are on my teeth. She said I will not notice tilting yet because the first wire is a round wire. That kind of change will happen once I've graduated through wires. She said they can talk about it in detail with me at my appointment.

I still think the wrong torque brackets are on my incisors, but I can ask the ortho for info about that at my appointment. And I suspected the first round wire couldn't really do the tilting, but given that my bite had changed, I wanted to bring it up (when I bite down right now, my lower incisors hit my left central incisor first, and I have to pull my lower jaw a little further back than normal to bite down on my back teeth).

I didn't bring this up in my emails, though may at my appointment if the torque of the brackets is actually correct, but I think the bracket on my left central incisor is actually twisted/bent just a little bit. The face of the bracket isn't quite square to the base that is glued to my tooth. Also, since I got my braces on, feeling around on them, I noticed that the under-tie-area of that bracket isn't as deep as any of the other brackets. Any other bracket I can fit my thumbnail in there with a little play, but on that bracket I can't quite fit my thumbnail.

Looking forward to moving up a wire size, one so that I get to see more movement, and two this first wire is so thin it almost feels sharp to my tongue, but also my lips basically don't feel it. It almost feels like just brackets with no wire. I'm guessing it'll be a little more comfortable on my lips and cheeks with a thicker wire.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #17 on: 21. July 2022, 09:07:09 AM »
I'm sure your orthodontist knows what they are doing. Don't over think it. Good luck with your treatment.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #18 on: 21. July 2022, 21:20:29 PM »
I'm sure your orthodontist knows what they are doing. Don't over think it. Good luck with your treatment.

He is a very good orthodontist. I am curious to hear him explain how those teeth will be tilted, because what I see when looking at the brackets looks like it will tilt them the wrong way.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #19 on: 22. August 2022, 16:47:58 PM »
Friday afternoon I had my first appointment since getting my braces.

I had been thinking about it for a while, and I decided to ask to get colored ligatures put on. I have Damon braces, but my ortho lets patients get colored ligatures put on their six front upper teeth. They get put around the bracket under the wire, so they don't interfere with or add friction to the wire. I went with the darkest blue they had that wasn't navy blue, since I know they look lighter once their stretched onto the bracket.

Here's a photo:
https://dereferer.me/?https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/6pA3LepevV

At this appointment, they stepped me up to a rectangular wire (I peeked at the computer monitor at the chair, and it said .014 x .027, some seaching online after the appointment shows that there is a Damon Ultima archwire that is .014 x .0275; my first wire was a round .016). This is supposed to start torquing my incisors forward. The wire size is almost odd; it's so thin from the front but so thick when viewed from the top or bottom. My understanding is that it fills the entire horizontal dimension of the bracket slot.

Here is a photo where you can sort of see the thickness of the archwire:
https://dereferer.me/?https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/S181B96918

I am concerned that the brackets I have will actually tip them further in. I asked the orthodontist about it, and he said I have the correct high torque brackets. I then showed him a photo I had taken with a macro lens of one of my brackets where you can see the angle of the slot, and it matches those that would tip the teeth in from an animation on the Damon Ultima webpage.

Here's the photo I showed him:
https://dereferer.me/?https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/1210kug198
And the animation (I didn't show him, since he should know this stuff) is about halfway down this page, where it talks about retrocline and procline brackets:
https://dereferer.me/?https://ormco.com/products/damon-ultima-system/

The photo kind of gave him a little pause, and then he looked at my brackets again and how the archwire was fitting into them (it was placed, but the doors weren't shut). He then still said I have the high-torque brackets, but admitted that my photo didn't look like it. I think he just thought the photo might be deceiving. He did say (and had the assistant note this) that at my next appointment, they can get out some extra-thick wire or something to see how it deflects when being inserted into the brackets to tell for sure.

When the assistant fully seated the wire and started closing the doors, it was a lot tighter! She even warned that it would feel tight. Starting a few hours after the appointment, my teeth started getting sore. About six hours after or so, I know teeth had moved some because my left first bicuspids were hitting first when biting down, and they didn't used to do that. This is annoying because one, I can't bite down all the way on my other teeth (or as much as I could, as my bite was already off on the right), and two, because that upper bicuspid has been one of the more sore teeth this time.

I hope the ortho is actually right about the bracket torque, because I'm excited to see those teeth start to tip forward some so I don't have to pull my lower jaw back to bite down.

My next appointment will be in mid-to-late October, and I think the ortho said I'd be getting a thicker wire again at that appointment (both at the appointment getting braces and at this one, the orthodontist has told the assistant what size wire I'll get at the next appointment; the way this played out is then at this appointment after I sat down in the chair, she got the wire and got it all ready and trimmed to size before he even came over and looked at me; at the orthodontist I had as a kid, the assistant would remove the ligatures and wires, then the ortho would come over, look at my teeth, and then tell the assistant what wire and elastics to put on for that appointment).

Offline bracessd

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #20 on: 23. August 2022, 17:38:32 PM »
Thanks for the update and pics!

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #21 on: 24. August 2022, 20:44:46 PM »
I’ve really been enjoying how detailed you’ve been with everything you’ve shared so far.  I’m curious why you went with blue? I think in one of your previous posts you said you only ever did blue before, so I think I’d be tired of blue from the get go :)

I also think if it were me in your place I’d be a little nervous asking such detailed questions from the orthodontist for fear I’d be “found out,” although I guess with so much information available online perhaps many many people would know enough to ask such specific questions and it’s nothing usual.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #22 on: 24. August 2022, 23:18:30 PM »
I’ve really been enjoying how detailed you’ve been with everything you’ve shared so far.

Yeah, I wanted to give detail so that others here could better understand and/or picture what’s going on. I also initially thought I’d go to more than two consults and it would be interesting to compare the proposed treatments, but I really liked the office I chose and started to get impatient to start the process.

I also find myself being really wordy in written communication like this.  ::)

Quote
I’m curious why you went with blue? I think in one of your previous posts you said you only ever did blue before, so I think I’d be tired of blue from the get go :)

I went with blue for a couple reasons.

One, because I have had it before, it feels safe in a way, since I know I liked how blue looked on me as a kid. So I figured start with what I know before branching out.

Two, based on my past experience and photos I’ve seen online, blue tends to not have shades that look much better or much worse than others, the way some colors can (say, green or yellow), and I didn’t want to worry about choosing the wrong shade.

Three, it’s more subtle than some of the bright colors, and some people I know are still seeing my braces for the first time. I guess I don’t want too much attention on my braces, at least not yet.

I do want to make sure to try other colors this time around (almost thought of telling the assistant to make sure I don’t just ask for blue every time!). Right now, I’m thinking of getting red at my next appointment, as it’ll be the middle of college football season and I’m an Ohio State fan. The appointment after that should be mid-December, so maybe I’ll get a good green for Christmas, if they have one, but I’m not decided on that yet.

I know some people like the all-metal look of self-lighting brackets and think that getting colored ligatures on them ruins that. I actually very quickly have really liked how they look. This surprised me, because it usually takes me a while to get used to a change (it took a couple weeks with the braces for me to not think they made my front teeth look huge, and a few weeks after that to be pretty used to seeing them in the mirror). I do wonder it part of liking the look so quickly is due to almost all of the braces having the colored ligs. My ortho’s office only puts them on the top front six teeth, but I only have eight brackets so far. Once I get full braces in another 6-10 months, I may feel differently when it’s just a minority of teeth getting the color.

Something about having the ligs on them makes them look more “right” to my eye, and a little more complete somehow, while still leaving a lot of shiny metal and being subtle since they are entirely behind the wire.

Quote
I also think if it were me in your place I’d be a little nervous asking such detailed questions from the orthodontist for fear I’d be “found out,” although I guess with so much information available online perhaps many many people would know enough to ask such specific questions and it’s nothing usual.

Yeah, I have been a bit nervous of being either questioned (“How would you know that?”) or dismissed when bringing up my concern that the front brackets have the wrong torque (the ortho I had as a kid seemed confrontational the one time I asked a question that wasn’t 100% in agreement with him). However, that’s offset by me not wanting the teeth to tip inward even more, which would extend treatment and, more importantly, look terrible I think.

I have been running a voice recorder app on my phone at the consults and appointments (I live in a one-party consent state). For the consults, it was great because I didn’t have to immediately write down every answer to every question I had, and I have the recording as something I can go back to to refresh my understanding of the plan of my treatment. For the appointments, there’s a lot of background noise to it makes it harder to listen to the recording (suction sounds during getting the braces on, and the room with the exam chairs has a really high ceiling, so it echos a lot).

Listening back to what the ortho said about my new wire at my appointment, he explained that because it’s not filling the height of the bracket slot, the torquing of the front teeth that I should experience before my next appointment will be mostly just from the wire wanting to bend back to straight across; you can see in my photos that my incisors are lower than the canines/premolars/molars, so the wire dips down in the middle to go through those brackets. At my next appointment, the plan is to get a .018x.0275 wire that will fully fill the slot, and we can see how it fits to judge the torque. My ortho said if that doesn’t seem like enough torque, they’ll try a .019 “set” wire, that is pre-torqued, and that kind of wire would really move those teeth

 He also said that they can get out some low torque and high torque brackets for me to see the distance, and even take photos with my “macro lens” (I had told him the photo where the bracket slot was visible was taken with a macro lens, which is close enough to the truth; it was taken with a normal lens with an extension tube to allow it to focus closer; photography is a hobby of mine). I was pleasantly surprised by that offer. I suppose, though, that it shouldn’t be surprising that a (good) orthodontist would want to nerd out about some detail like that.

My ortho taking like that to me about those details and actually telling me the wire sizes in that part of the conversation is something I appreciate so much. The ortho I had as a kid didn’t interact with patients well. After the assistant had taken off your ligs and wire, he’d come over, look at your mouth for a second, maybe ask if you’d been wearing your elastics, tell the assistant something (wire size and elastic size/configuration) in a way that was indecipherable to a young teen, and then walk off.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #23 on: 07. September 2022, 23:26:05 PM »
Got a small update.

Last week, I emailed the treatment coordinator asking when should I expect to notice my incisors tilting out, since I haven’t yet, though I’ve noticed my first bicuspids tilt out some (those teeth were slightly tilted in, and I think tilting those teeth out some is how Damon braces achieve the “wider smile” that they brag about in marketing material). I also asked if it’s expected to be really tight between my incisors when flossing; flossing has been a little tight between all my teeth (probably since I got my braces off as a kid), but it’s been much tighter between the upper incisors ever since I got the rectangular wire. Basically, I was trying to ask about how to notice changes that might tell if the brackets on my incisors are the wrong torque or not, without saying that.

She said she didn’t know but would ask the ortho.

Yesterday morning, she emailed back that the ortho wanted to see me next week for a check. I called the office and got an appointment scheduled for next Thursday.j

I could be wrong, but I’m guessing he asked to have me come in because my questions indicated that things aren’t moving correctly. He knows that I was wondering if the brackets had the wrong torque since we spoke about it at my last appointment, so he probably wants to check that again. Looking today and comparing to photos from a month or two ago and to the photos they took at my consult, I think my incisors have tilted in a little, which is the opposite of the direction we want them to be going in.

If I’m right about that, I suppose they’d remove those brackets and place new, correct brackets on those teeth. I’m guessing that would be a separate appointment, if it happens.

Seeing what looks to be those teeth tilting in, it feels good to know that I was right about what I was seeing with the brackets earlier. However, it’s a bit annoying that I might have been set back several weeks, and my teeth are moving to where they shouldn’t go.

I’ll be sure to update after that appointment next week.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #24 on: 19. September 2022, 22:22:15 PM »
Last Thursday I had an appointment to check my progress, since I had emailed the office with some questions about the progress I should be seeing. The rectangular wire I had should have been tipping my teeth out a little, but it felt like they were tipping in, I think because the torque of the brackets is incorrect.

To orthodontist had the assistant take out my archwire and then he looked at my teeth and brackets, and even looked at loose high torque and low torque brackets to try to compare them. He didn't comment on my progress, and said he still thinks I have the correct high torque brackets on .

Even with that, he decided to have the assistant place a "SET" wire, which is a rectangular wire that has a twist in it to put torque on the incisors separate/in addition to what the bracket slot will do by itself. The assistant had to use some force to get the wire into the brackets and close the doors.

I mentioned that my left first bicuspid was hitting early when I bite down. The ortho put a bend in the wire just before that tooth to raise it up a little to help with that. I think it was hitting because the bicuspid had tipped out a little. That bend hasn't stopped that tooth from hitting early yet, but it did make it extra sore for a couple days, which in a way was even worse, since I've still been occasionally hitting it unexpectedly! The extra soreness is gone now, but that tooth still hits early, so I've been trying to be careful when chewing.

The assistant didn't ask me anything about changing the colored ligatures (that are around the base of the brackets, behind the wire) and she didn't remove the blue I already had. This is fine with me, since they kept my already scheduled appointment in four weeks (normally eight weeks apart), and I had already been thinking about getting colors at my next couple appointments that coordinate with what would be happening between those appointments, and changing the timing of appointments would mean I'd have to rethink that.

After the orthodontist had left and the assistant had placed the wire and closed all the bracket doors, the assistant and I looked at the loose high- and low-torque brackets and, because I had brought my camera with a lens and extension tube so I can take close-up photos, I took photos of the loose brackets for the sake of comparison. I remained convinced I have the wrong brackets on. The assistant said something about the angle that the doors are at when open, but she also said wasn't crazy for thinking I was seeing what I am seeing. She said she thinks I have the correct brackets, too, but it sounded like she was looking at how the wire sat in the bracket slot, rather than the shape of the bracket itself. She also said that she thinks the SET wire will take care of it. I tried to explain what I was looking at, but I'm not sure how well I did.

The assistant did say she would talk to the ortho about and put in my notes the idea of replacing the four incisor brackets when they remove the other brackets to place the Carriere appliance, as something to help me feel reassured and not worry about it during the rest of my treatment.

A later day, looking at the photos I took of the loose brackets and photos of my braces, I think I know what happened. I had been confused because the slots looked like low-torque brackets, but the day I got them on they had the red dots on them that looking online (and the assistant said at my most recent appointment) means they are high-torque. I noticed the loose brackets also had a blue dot off to one side on the upper part of the face of the bracket. Looking up the manufacturer's catalog for Damon braces, that indicates that the bracket is for an upper central incisor. In the first photo of my braces, there is only the red high-torque dot on my central incisor brackets, and the red dot and an orange dot on the lower part of the face of the brackets on my lateral incisors. I'm confident this orange dot means lower lateral incisor. The brackets on my incisors are for lower incisors, not upper. They are high-torque, but on the wrong arch they then roughly match low-torque upper brackets. An assistant or someone must have grabbed lower brackets instead of upper brackets when I got my braces on. (The brackets on my canines and bicuspids appear to have had the correct, upper arch dots, so those are fine.)

I think the SET wire will roughly just cancel out the incorrect torque of the brackets, so I'm not expecting as much tipping as my ortho is probably expecting. I'm not sure if or how to bring up the issue for a third time, but I did put a few photos on my phone so I can clearly show what I'm talking about if/when I do try to explain it again. It feels weird that the ortho has looked at it a couple times and not seen what I'm seeing, though he's only looked with naked eye and the differences between the brackets are really small, physically.


Other things to note:

I've seen at least one or two other adult patients at each appointment I've had so far. At this one, there was a woman a few chairs down who, from what I overheard, was getting invisalign/aligner attachments removed and would be getting retainers soon (didn't want to look over and stare). Sounded like she was asking if she could keep wearing her last trays until she got her retainers, even though the attachments would be gone.

A few days out from the appointment now, and my teeth have not been too sore. Definitely a lot less than the first week or so with the first rectangular wire.

Speaking of, the new wire catches the light more and is more shiny than the previous one. The previous wire (one of the "Damon Ultima" wires) was "rectangular", but it was flat on the top and bottom and rounded on the front and back. In addition, it seemed to have a finish that was less shiny (or maybe they are different materials?). This new one is plain rectangular in shape, so the front is flat, and it's noticeably shinier. The wire feels sharper to my tongue, probably because of the more square edges. I like how this wire is shinier, so I'm wondering how much I'll have those Damon Ultima wires and how much I'll have normal rectangular wire.


Next appointment is in about four weeks, and they'll check my progress from getting this new wire.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #25 on: 11. October 2022, 21:58:15 PM »
There is less than a week until my next appointment now, and the SET wire has barely moved my incisors, as far as I can tell. I can feel that the left lateral incisor has tilted out a small amount, but the others I can’t even tell if they have moved.

Based on those results and the close-up pictures I’ve taken, I’m still convinced I have the wrong brackets on my incisors. I will try to do a good job explaining this to the orthodontist at my appointment. I think the only real way to fix it and get things moving how they should would be to remove and replace those brackets. If they do agree to do that, I don’t know how quickly that would happen.

My intention right now is to ask for red ligatures (for Ohio State football).

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #26 on: 20. October 2022, 22:19:59 PM »
I had an orthodontist appointment this past Monday.

I hadn't seen as much progress as I bet the orthodontist expected from the SET wire (even though it had only been four weeks), so I brought up again to the assistant that I thought I had the wrong brackets on. I showed here photos of my braces, the example brackets they showed me last time, and when I first got my braces on so you could see the colored dots that indicate which tooth they go on. I explained that I think they are lower incisor brackets.

When the orthodontist came over, I explained that to him and showed him the photo, and he decided to remove the brackets and replace them with the correct (high-torque upper incisor) brackets right then and there. I had hoped this would be the conclusion reached, but expected to have to schedule another appointment for it to happen, so I was pleasantly surprised.

Barely noticed the brackets being popped off, but having the cement ground off was much more uncomfortable than I remember from getting my braces off as a kid.

They got the new brackets on, put on the red ligatures I chose this time, and then put in a new wire. This time I got an .018 x .0275 Damon Ultima wire (so same shape as the wire I got in August, but thicker).

It didn't take long for me to feel the new brackets and thicker wire (the assistant even recommended taking ibuprofen once I left). That evening and the follow day, my teeth were pretty sore, even when not touching those teeth. My incisors are still fairly tender.

I'm glad to have finally been believed, and to have the correct brackets on now. I'm slightly surprised my 2-year-old and 4-year-old haven't said anything about now having red (less surprised that my wife hasn't said anything; she doesn't notice details), but they never commented on me having blue for the past two months, either. I guess having the colored ligatures be entirely behind the wire makes them a lot more subtle. That might encourage me to be even more adventurous in the future.

I'll try to get a picture uploaded that I can link to some time in the next several days.

My next appointment is mid December. I'm hoping there is enough progress by then to start the Carriere (that would put me at the long end of the 4-6 months they forecasted of braces before the Carriere). I hope there wasn't too much time wasted by having the wrong brackets and my teeth moving in the wrong direction for a few weeks.

Offline bracessd

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #27 on: 21. October 2022, 18:02:06 PM »
Looking forward to seeing the progress

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #28 on: 23. October 2022, 21:25:25 PM »
Here's a photo from just the other day with the red ligatures:

https://dereferer.me/?https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/81XWE947c5

They are more hidden/subtle in person than they are in that photo. You can also kind of see the shape of the rectangular wire.

Offline Cassandra

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #29 on: 29. October 2022, 00:50:26 AM »
I am feeling kind of annoyed on your behalf about the delay due to the wrong brackets, especially since you knew you were right all along. I would get so antsy waiting 8 whole weeks between appointments too, that seems so long but I guess that is normal these days!!! I guess the newer braces are more efficient like that, but also unfortunately if anything isn’t right it doesn’t get resolved for eight whole weeks, which is long. I’m glad they decided to just replace the brackets either way. It’s funny your teeth look so straight in your pics but you’ve got a pretty great list of different things you will get to experience, whereas someone with crooked teeth could very well go through a whole treatment with just brackets and maybe elastics.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #30 on: 31. October 2022, 20:33:52 PM »
I am feeling kind of annoyed on your behalf about the delay due to the wrong brackets, especially since you knew you were right all along. I would get so antsy waiting 8 whole weeks between appointments too, that seems so long but I guess that is normal these days!!! I guess the newer braces are more efficient like that, but also unfortunately if anything isn’t right it doesn’t get resolved for eight whole weeks, which is long. I’m glad they decided to just replace the brackets either way.

It was annoying knowing it wasn’t right but waiting so long for it to be addressed. Hopefully, though, it doesn’t set me back too far because my teeth were only moving in the wrong direction for about 4 weeks. The initial round wire wasn’t doing any torquing, and the pre-torqued SET wire did move then very slightly in the correct direction with the wrong brackets on (they mostly offset each other, though, I think).

Setting aside the wrong brackets, the 8 week interval does make me feel impatient. I notice change mostly over those first couple weeks, and the. I get impatient for the next appointment to see the next change.

It does take time for the wire to do everything it can do, though. The assistant this last time did tell me that my current wire would be active for a long time. I get the sense that the torquing movement that I need right now is a lot slower than other movements (which would kinda make sense when you consider the size of the “lever” used to apply the force only being the 0.0275 inches that is the depth of this wire as opposed to the distance between two teeth for other simpler movements; at least that’s my guess).

Given how little movement I’ve seen over two weeks so far (and I think there has been some positive movement), I wouldn’t be surprised if my teeth aren’t in position for the Carriere appliance until February. Still hoping for December, though!

Quote
It’s funny your teeth look so straight in your pics but you’ve got a pretty great list of different things you will get to experience, whereas someone with crooked teeth could very well go through a whole treatment with just brackets and maybe elastics.

Yeah, it made it feel really weird telling my wife that I thought I needed to see an orthodontist, and setting up those consults and going to them. I’ve been happy with my smile (minus the one tooth that was slightly out of line), and I’ve received compliments about my smile. But the functionality of your bite is so much more important, and it takes longer to fix and more appliances to fix (minimum of elastics, but sometimes more). And it was annoying, being able to feel that my teeth weren’t (and still aren’t) hitting right each time I bite down. So far my treatment is just in preparation for correcting that, which is something I’m looking forward to.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #31 on: 15. November 2022, 20:36:37 PM »
Just a quick update.


Last week I had my first dentist appointment/cleaning since getting the braces on. I had cleanings when I had braces as a kid, but didn't remember anything notable about them. Nothing special this time, either. Didn't even seem to take longer than normal (though I'm guessing it will take longer once I have full braces on). The only thing to say was, while the hygienist was scraping the backs of my upper incisors, she was pushing against the braces a bit with other fingers of the hand holding the tool. Caused a tiny bit of soreness in the teeth in that area, but barely worth mentioning. There didn't seem to be any issues with her cleaning around the wire. Dentist commented on my orthodontic progress looking great (only visible change really is that my front teeth leveled out vertically after the first rectangular wire, instead of the incisors being lower/extruded compared to my other teeth).


Yesterday marks halfway between my last ortho appointment and my next. I can't visibly see a difference in the tilt of my incisors, but starting yesterday it feels slightly different in the front when I bite down, almost like there's a tiny bit more space, so I take that to mean that there is some small amount of gradual progress. Curious to see what the ortho says at my December appointment. I want to start the Carriere then so my bite can start feeling how it should, but I still suspect I won't be ready for it then.

Starting to think about what color ligatures I would want to ask for at my next appointment, but I'm not sure yet. Maybe green (for Christmas)? I don't think I'd want to do red and green because I expect to have them until some time in February (assuming the same 8 weeks between appointments).

Offline TrainTrack

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #32 on: 15. November 2022, 23:22:24 PM »
Starting to think about what color ligatures I would want to ask for at my next appointment, but I'm not sure yet. Maybe green (for Christmas)? I don't think I'd want to do red and green because I expect to have them until some time in February (assuming the same 8 weeks between appointments).
Totally in the same boat. I also have 8 weeks between appointments with an appointment in December. I was thinking about doing red for the top and green for the bottom, because the bottom doesn’t show very well. I don’t know how that would work though.

Offline bracessd

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #33 on: 16. November 2022, 17:28:48 PM »
Thanks for the update @person Looking forward to seeing some progress pics after your next adjustment

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #34 on: 16. November 2022, 18:48:50 PM »
Totally in the same boat. I also have 8 weeks between appointments with an appointment in December. I was thinking about doing red for the top and green for the bottom, because the bottom doesn’t show very well. I don’t know how that would work though.

With the right shades of red and green, I bet it could look really good! Let us know what you do end up picking!

It’s definitely a downside of 8 week appointment intervals that I hadn’t thought about before getting braces this time, that you would have seasonal or holiday ligatures for longer, well before or after the holiday. When I had braces as a kid, I think my appointments were 5-6 weeks apart.

I don’t have my bottom braces now, but even if I did I wouldn’t be able to do a top/bottom color combo like you’re considering, because my ortho’s office only puts colored ligatures on the six front upper brackets.

I’m not sure yet if they do colored powerchains, though. In all of my ortho’s social media posts, I could only see one photo of a patient with a powerchain; it was an adult with clear brackets, and the powerchain was white or off-white and behind the wire (picture only shows the top teeth, too).

Offline TrainTrack

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #35 on: 16. November 2022, 23:43:27 PM »
I am getting my bottom braces on at next appointment in approximately a month. It’s a shame that you can only get colored ligatures on the top six, but I guess it makes sense because people can’t really see much farther back than that. Otherwise I am considering dark purple. It is hard that you have to have colors for so long afterwards or beforehand. I was told it was because they could monitor my teeth with a ScanBox Pro which is essentially a lip spreader that connects to your phone which gives you instructions through an app. It is the picture on this link.
https://dereferer.me/?https://dental-monitoring.com/scanbox-pro-launch/

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #36 on: 17. November 2022, 05:30:35 AM »
I haven't heard of that before! So your orthodontist gave you one of those boxes/devices, and you have to use it every so often or something? Are your appointments scheduled based on the results from it?

In my case, I have self-ligating braces (Damon specifically), and the 8 week interval seems pretty common for them. They don't have to worry about the elastic ligatures losing tightness, and with thermal memory wires the archwires can stay active longer than plain old stainless steel.

I'm guessing my ortho's office only offers colored ligatures on those six teeth partially as a cost-saving thing and partially as a time-saving thing (since one of the advertised benefits of self-ligating braces is less chair time at appointments because the assistants don't have to take the time to get ligatures onto every bracket).

Offline TrainTrack

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #37 on: 17. November 2022, 05:38:42 AM »
Yes. I have to use it every week on a set date. My appointments are already selected, but supposedly if they see something is wrong, they will reach out. It hasn’t happened yet. I have standard metal braces. You put the tube thing into your mouth and your phone connects to the grasping thing. Google ScanBox Pro to see more.

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Re: Looks like I’ll be getting braces again!
« Reply #38 on: 06. December 2022, 03:16:16 AM »
One week until my next appointment (though, my daughter was exposed to Covid at school, so I might reschedule it if we get sick).

I want to be ready to move on to getting my Carriere appliance, but don’t think my incisors have tilted forward enough. I can feel a small difference, but don’t really see a difference. I think it’s more likely they give me a stronger and/or pre-torqued archwire to get those teeth to more more, but we’ll see.

For colored ligatures, I’ll probably try some shade of green. If they don’t have a good green, I’m not sure what I want to do. If they say I’m about ready for the Carriere and put the spacers in for the lower lingual holding arch (LLHA), I did have the idea that I could get red and green alternating. Then, when I come back two weeks later to get the Carriere installed, I would then switch to just green or something else. (They told me that when it happens, I’d get the spacers, one week later have an impression of my lower teeth for the LLHA, and then one week after that get the Carriere and LLHA installed.)