January 16, 2018
As of the 10th, I have had braces for exactly 1 year. 12 months. 365 days. Only 10-12 more months to go.
Looking at the before and the now, there has been such a tremendous transition. I have gained so much confidence when I smile and also am more than willing to be in a picture. Before I had braces I would look at other people and see their perfect teeth and get very self-conscious.
At first, when I got the braces it was just the top and my front gap was closed right away. Only the top was applied because I had such an overbite that if I got the bottoms they would be bitten off in like 10 minutes. Ouch!!
Since I have Hypodontia and have either missing teeth or just have baby teeth halfway through the year I got my canines shaved down to look like the missing lateral incisors and my 1st premolars reshaped into the canines. The other option would have been to have implants put in to replace the lateral incisors, but that costs a lot of money $3,000- $5,000, which we do not have, and I think I would have looked funny with perfectly nice teeth but no incisors.
Also, the orthodontist found that underneath one of my baby teeth on the bottom there was a “hidden” adult tooth that could have become infected down the road. I had another decision to make: I could just leave the baby tooth alone and then in 3-5 years have an oral surgeon surgically remove it (ouch!!) or…I could have the baby tooth pulled and try and pull the adult tooth up and get a cap put on. Either way, the adult tooth was going to need to be dealt with so I didn’t get oral cancer. Being that I am scared of the possibility of getting any type of cancer I had the surgery to remove the baby tooth and found that the adult tooth wasn’t viable so it was also removed and a good chunk of my jaw bone. The recovery was longer than when I had my wisdom tooth removal, and I have to say more painful. Still a good decision.
The past year has changed my oral hygiene for the better. I have had to learn how to properly do it, and also the time and money needed to invest in the correct care. At first, it was difficult because I knew that I needed to brush but it was usually a quick 30 seconds of minimum effort once a day. So to do it twice a day for a full 2 minutes and add flossing, mouthwash, and the last few month using a Waterpik. I gotta say 30 seconds a day to a full 15-20 minutes twice a day was quite a transition for me. Now I can feel when my mouth is dirty.
Some of you will say, “How could you not know?” or something about how I was so gross. I have to agree. It was gross and I didn’t know because I wasn’t taught. I never went to the dentist growing up, I got a new toothbrush once a year. I’m very lucky that I even got a toothbrush in general with how I grew up. Now that I’m older and making a conscious decision to better myself and my family I’m learning a lot. This is all part of the journey. My kids will not have to worry about not knowing how to take care of their teeth. They brush, floss and Waterpik with me every morning and night. And if they need it (knowing Husband had braces for two years, and I have braces now they most likely will as well) they will be getting them.
Did you have braces? When? How long? Do you wish you had braces? Are you going to get braces in the future? Let me know. Be a part of this journey and tell me your experience in the comments.
See you on the other side.