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My Journey to Removable Braces

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My first hawley retainer was made of clear acrylic and did stain yellow/brown as you say. I ha ve a fixed retainer but was supposed also to wear the hawley 12/7 for the first 6 months. I could have done the 12 hours between dinner and breakfast but found I wasn't wearing the hawley during the evening and made up time the following morning and ended up drinking coffee with my hawley in. My subsequent two hawleys have both been transparent pink. I usually only ear them at night so risk of staining is minimal. But I did wear the second hawley 24/7 for 6 months after some relapse and was meticulous in taking it out when eating or drinking anything.

Your hawley has a huge plate and a very visible labial bow. I presume that is to your liking? Good luck with it!

Last appointment started with the ortho asking me if I had any problems with the new hawley. I said that everything was fine. I admitted the few small modifications I made to relieve the pressure in a few spots and round the edges. She didn't scold me but said that I should tell her if I do something like that so at least she can check that I didn't break anything. She checked the fit and made a few slight modifications for it to sit better. I asked her if we could check the bite with the plate in as I was wearing it for 16 hours straight to see if it affects my bite while wearing (as all the other removable braces I had had done). Luckily the bite was fine.

She activated the labial bow to apply pressure to my incisors and also push back the canines where the gaps were starting to reopen slightly. She also activated the spring behind my left lateral incisor to push it out a bit.

After the adjustment, we looked at the initial models of my teeth before starting treatment and models of the current state made during the previous visit. It's crazy to see the direct comparison. The lower incisors looked really rotated compared to now. The visible gaps behind my upper canines are gone. The molars have good contact now, especially considering the intermediate state where I had a posterior open bite due to the posterior bite plane.
The wisdom tooth didn't have any contact previously and were tilted outward. They now have contact towards the front. However, as I already noticed and tried to explain previously to the ortho, they don't have contact toward the back. That was really noticeable on the models. I asked her, if that could be fixed. She said that if it bothers me, she can add a button to the top wisdom tooth and use triangle elastics to pull it further down. However, it'll interfere with the new hawley plate. As such, she'll wait and see if maybe the wires of the hawley that go around the wisdom teeth and hook above them may be able to push them down.
I got a date for the next appointment for 8 weeks later and was on my way.

During the days after I noticed that my right lateral incisor was being pushed inwards too much. I went back to the ortho where she adjusted it a bit. She also adjusted the spring on the other incisor. Afterwards, when biting down I was biting on the spring, so she bent it up. However, this bending up means that after wearing the brace for a few hours it becomes a bit looser and the spring pushes it downwards making the front be lower in my mouth. At the same time it digs into my gums at the back more, which creates a significant impression in my gums when I take it out. Previously I was able to round off the edge a bit to make it less. But with the added pressure the plastic is too thin to properly round off to not create that imprint. I guess when the brace will be modified next (e.g. when the incisor spring is removed), I'll ask the ortho to make the acrylic a bit thicker (of course the imprint isn't the only motivator for that, but a good excuse ;) ).

--- Quote from: Embracer on 02. May 2023, 10:02:42 AM ---I usually only ear them at night so risk of staining is minimal. But I did wear the second hawley 24/7 for 6 months after some relapse and was meticulous in taking it out when eating or drinking anything.

--- End quote ---
I only drink water. And even with wearing my night guard only during the night, it started to turn yellow-brownish after about a year. I hope that it won't happen with the hawley, but either way I can't change it now.

--- Quote from: Embracer on 02. May 2023, 10:02:42 AM ---Your hawley has a huge plate and a very visible labial bow. I presume that is to your liking? Good luck with it!

--- End quote ---
The huge palatal plate was my request as previous removable braces left impressions in my gums which hurt when taking them out. One of the previous appliances already had full palatal coverage, which alleviated it. The labial acrylic is quite something to get used to, and to be honest I expected buccal acrylic coverage of the wire. As the wire is digging into my cheeks a bit, maybe that's another request I can make in the future.

My next appointment is on Tuesday. Let's see what it'll have in store.

On Sunday after writing the last post, three different things happened: First, while eating, a piece of the glue holding the fixed retainer broke off. When brushing after the meal, the wire through my two brackets broke in the middle and fell out. And when flossing, the floss went a bit behind the permanent retainer on a different tooth. Three completely different things occurred unrelated to each other within a few hours. Great.

Luckily my next scheduled appointment was only two days later. I called ahead to let them know. At the beginning of the appointment they fixed all of the above issues by adding glue to both teeth of the fixed retainer (without removing the previous glue as the retainer was not fully lose). A new wire was placed through the brackets without the previously bent step being added to the new wire. Due to that, there was quite some pressure on the wisdom tooth and second molar for a few days.
The removable brace was slightly modified. The ortho applied downwards pressure on my wisdom teeth to push them down and close the vertical gap on both sides.

And with that I scheduled a new appointment for two weeks from now. As something came up I needed to reschedule the appointment. However, the weeks after, they are on holiday and the weeks before they don't have any free slot. But they did just have a cancellation for tomorrow, so my appointment moved forwards by nearly two weeks.

It sounds like there are (not many) sensible orthodontists out there somewhere.  I had far more problems chewing, after my treatment (during the last 55 years post age 13) than before.

Not much happened in the last appointment. A quick check that everything was still fine, a quick adjustment to the acrylic of the labial bow of the upper plate to reduce pressure on one incisor, and off I was again. I asked about the wisdom teeth, which she was still somewhat apprehensive about, that the contact is good enough mesially. No further modifications of the brace in that regard as there was still slight pressure downwards from the wire. Otherwise the wisdom teeth moved inwards a bit, but there is still no contact distally.

With the next appointment tomorrow I did a quick check of the progress today. The upper left lateral incisor moved back and is now providing perfect cutting ability again. However, now the central incisors are a bit forward compared to the lateral ones. I hope that they can be moved back a bit as there's currently only one contact point between the upper left central incisor and the lower left lateral incisor.
The previous gap between my left first molars seems to have opened up a bit again. Not that I can see it, but there isn't any mesial contact anymore.
On the bright side, the spaces that slightly opened back up behind my upper canines are completely gone again and floss requires pressure to go in there.

I wonder what the ortho's gonna do about the above imperfections. My assumption would be that she'll ignore the molars for now, get the upper incisors in place, install the fixed upper retainer (including the first premolars), then place more buttons and it's back to rubber bands.
I still really don't want a fixed retainer, keeping the bottom one clean and flossing around it is an absolute chore. If she really insists, I may ask her about a v-loop / wave retainer.

Do any of you have experiences with those? They seem to at least make flossing easier. Also are those used in Germany? I can't seem to find anything about them in German sources.


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