A couple of months back I got my braces off. I had them on for a year and 3 months. My teeth are now perfect and I am so happy with them, I would like to share my experience with you and hopefully, answer any questions you have.
I will include a picture of my teeth before and a picture after to show you the difference braces make.
This is a picture of my teeth before braces, the picture isn’t the best or biggest because I had to crop it. The problem with my teeth was they were quite gappy, the biggest problem was my front tooth, you can’t really see in the picture, but one of them turned outwards which wasn’t pretty! I also had an overbite.
As you can see, massive difference and my teeth are perfect ( even if I do say so myself. ) they are probably the best thing about my face! I love them and they have gave me such a confidence boost, I literally have not stopped smiling since my braces were taken off, its crazy what a difference these little things can make to the way you look at yourself.
So, this will be long, but please bare with me. I will try to fit in everything that happened from start to finish.
I thought I would put this in the beginning because its probably what people worry about the most. I will be honest and you probably won’t believe me, but the most painful part of my braces journey was getting the glue removed at the very end, it hurt me so much and I was nearly crying and wanted my orthodontist to just leave it all on!
Retainers and braces themselves are not painful, uncomfortable yeah, but painful no. You will probably get a little bit of pain that last 2-3 days when you first get your braces/retainers on, this is normal and expected since your teeth are moving! I found taking 2 paracetamol when it hurt really helped. Please put up with the pain and remember, it isn’t permanent and its worth it in the end!
RETAINERS BEFORE BRACES: Before I got my braces fitted, I had to have a retainer. I think my orthodontist said this was because of my overbite and he needed to push my teeth back. I only had a retainer on the top teeth. I had the retainer on for around 5 months. Most retainers are removable and made from thin metal wire and plastic.
The retainers I had before braces were a pain, you couldn’t forget they were in your mouth, they were not painful, just a nuisance. The thing that made them a nuisance was the hard plastic bit that sat in the roof of your mouth, it just made my mouth feel full and I hated knowing something was there!
Your orthodontist will sit with you and show you how to put your retainer in, usually you will just slide it into your mouth and there is usually two pieces of shaped wire somewhere on the wire which will lock onto your teeth so they stay into place. They are a little tricky at first, but within a day you will get the hang of it!
I was always advised to eat with these in, but I found that impossible so always took them out. If you can eat with them in then do it, if you can’t then it is not the end of the world but it really is best if you do.
Always take your retainer out for sports and clean them 3 times a day. I would leave mine in mouthwash for 20 minutes or so if I felt like they needed an extra good clean!
Here is a picture of me wearing my retainer, as you can it is not really noticeable, just a thin wire:
If your teeth are quite gappy, you will probably notice a little difference during the months you wear these. My gaps closed quite a lot which I was pleasantly surprised about as I hadn’t even got onto the proper braces!
Waiting time until I was given retainer = 1 month.
RETAINERS AFTER BRACES: I love my retainers that I have at the moment, they’re so comfortable and you can’t even tell that you’re wearing them.
After your braces are taken off, your orthodontist will take moulds of your teeth so they can build you a retainer to keep your teeth from moving back to where they were BEFORE braces. Wearing this retainer is REALLY important as you do not want to undo all the hard work and effort you and your orthodontist have put into you getting the perfect smile!
These retainers which you get after your braces will be a clear piece of plastic shaped like your teeth. All you do is slide these over your teeth and wear them every night ( you may have to wear them 24/7 for the first few months! ). This will keep your teeth in place. I don’t think anybody will have any problems with these, you can not even tell or feel that you’re wearing them.
Take care of them as these are meant to last you for a very long time, buy a retainer case and retainer bright to keep them looking new and fresh. Do not drink with them in ( only water. ) and don’t eat with them in. Do not brush them with a hard bristled toothbrush as you may scratch them, don’t use toothpaste on them as it could stain them.
Waiting time = 2 days after having braces removed.
So, here is the main part!
I was really nervous about having my braces fitted, I was worried it was going to hurt and that I was going to look really goofy and people would notice them straight away, I was so wrong!
They took about half an hour to fix onto my upper and lower teeth. The first thing your orthodontist will do is clean your teeth and remove any plaque. Next up, your orthodontist will apply glue to your teeth, you can not feel any of this and IT IS NOT PAINFUL! After the glue is applied, your ortho will quickly apply little metal tabs and then use a little heat gun to set the glue, the glue is REALLY powerful stuff and should hold your tabs in place for a long time no problem, don’t worry about them falling out, it does happen but you won’t die and it won’t mess up your teeth!
After the tabs are applied, a metal wire is threaded through them to move your teeth.
And that is it really, your orthodontist will tell you how long you need to have your braces on! During the time you have the braces on the thickness of the wire will probably get changed, it starts off quite a thin wire but as time goes on the thickness increases. The thicker the wire, the more force there is in your mouth, but don’t worry, it will not hurt anymore than the thin wire as your teeth will be adjusted to being pulled/having a wire there at this stage.
Having braces on your teeth is weird at first, but as time goes on you will get used to them and forget they are there. They will also be quite painful the first few days after each tightening etc..but bare with the pain as it really is worth it. If it gets too painful, take a paracetamol.
Cleaning your braces and teeth is really easy, just clean as you usually would and invest in a single bristle toothbrush, your dentist will probably sell these. They are perfect for getting inbetween wires and teeth, I think they are essential if you have braces! Make sure you floss and use mouthwash too.
PROBLEMS WITH BRACES:
The first time you get braces, you may notice that the tabs rub into your gums. I ended up with ripped gums which was quite painful, but luckily most stores sell a wax made for braces which you rub onto the tabs, this stops the tabs from being ’sharp’ and stays on for a good few hours. I only really had this problem during the first few weeks of having braces.
Wires coming loose was another problem I had, it happened about 3 times. I ended up with a very sharp wire poking into my gum for a few nights, if this happens to you try to get an appointment as soon as possible!
Tabs falling off – tabs falling off is really common, don’t stress about it too much, about 5 of mine fell off during the year I had braces. Just make sure to inform your dentist and they will tell you if you need to come and get them put back on.
So I had my braces removed about 2 months ago. It took about 30 minutes. The first thing they will do is remove the metal wire, the next thing they do is use a tool which grips the tabs and pulls them off, this was slightly painful. After that they will use a tool to scrape off the glue, for me this was REALLY painful but I think that could be due to me having sensitive teeth. After that, ta da! YOU NO LONGER HAVE BRACES AND YOUR TEETH LOOK AMAZING!
They will then take impressions/moulds so they can make you a retainer to prevent your teeth from moving back, and that is the end of your journey! Congratulations
I promise, it will be worth it, so stick with it and follow your orthodontist after care instructions properly! My teeth still look amazing, I am so happy, my journey was worth every second and I hope yours is too.
Any questions, please ask!