Bye Bye Braces

Ok, not quite. ;) But I have, at most, 3 weeks to go. The orthodontist put "chains" on a few days ago (the teeth are a little flared out, this is supposed to correct that)... this should be the final stage! I can't WAIT to have them off.

To give some perspective, this is what my teeth looked like in the beginning:

This is what they look like now, 6 months later:

They're not perfect, but they look a lot better than before. And pretty good for only 6 months. :)

For those of you considering getting braces, here's a summary of what I went through:
Cost - $5400 (probably a bit on the expensive side; but that's partially due to where I live. It's also sans insurance. in any event, I really liked my ortho and his staff, so I felt it was worth it :))
Length - 6 months (the ortho initially thought it would be 8)
Process - (1) Wisdom teeth removed (all 4); (2) 1 month recovery, 3 months of happily pigging out on crunchy foods; (3) thorough dental cleaning and check-up; (4) spacers in for 2 weeks; (5) braces placed; (6) monthly office visits for tightenings and adjustments
Most Pain - spacers (continuous aching for all 2 weeks - the process is fast, so the aching is intense); first week with the braces (not as bad as the spacers, or maybe that prepared me for the pain :p); tightenings (teeth ached for a week; but this was only the first 3-4 visits, afterwards I guess my teeth didn't need to move so much); elastics (rubber bands that hook around your brackets depending how your ortho wants your teeth to move; you need to change them 2x/day; near the end of the treatment); and power chains (not as scary as they sound; they're rubber bands chained together, used to close extraction gaps or, in my case, to pull your teeth back) .
How I Coped: Alot of chocolate ice cream. Alot of Advil. ;) I even tried a teething ring in the beginning. (didn't work as well as I'd hoped) LOL! Oh, and Little Miss Moneybags pointed out something I'd forgotten - chewing will help ease the achiness. A great excuse to go out and eat a burger! ;)


Little Miss Moneybags said...

Wow! You're going to have such a great smile when you're done.

When I had braces in my teens, my orthodontist told me to go to Burger King or McDonalds immediately after having the braces tightened and to eat a chewy burger. He said somehow that helped the muscles get used to the new tension and made the pain go away faster. Sounds crazy, and it might have been all mental--but it worked!

Shtinkykat said...

Waddaya mean they're not perfect? They look pretty perfect to me. (Emphasis on the "pretty".) Can I ask -- how much did this cost you? I'm considering getting my teeth done too but I kind'a want to get an idea of what I'd be paying...

Sunflowers said...

@Little Miss Moneybags: My ortho told me something similar... I love legitimate excuses to get some fast food! ;)

@Shtinkykat: Aww, thanks ;) The bottom of my teeth are kinda jagged in a few areas... there's still a bit of an overbite... yeah, I'm just being picky. ;)

It cost me $5400. I paid $1200 up front and have been paying $439/mo (no interest). That was with no insurance (would've been $1800 cheaper with the PPO I had through work). The metal brackets would've been cheaper, but I think that would've made me really self-conscious. I think it was a little on the expensive side. I really liked my ortho though and his staff, and his new shiny office (that I was probably partially paying for :p). But yeah... I think you could probably get it for around $4000?

Serendipity said...

Oh wowza. They look so good! I'm a bit nervous for me but I know after I get it all said and done, it will be so worth it. And your smile is beautiful :)

Simplelivin' said...

Wow that is such an amazing change, and in only 6 months! That's awesome!!! Hope the next 3 weeks fly by for you!!!

Anonymous said...

You're teeth look fantastic. Very nice!

Sunflowers said...

Thanks ladies!! :)

@Serendipity: It's a trial, but it's definitely worth it! :)

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