After 19 months of treatment
– the day was finally here. I ate my bagel for breakfast
thinking, "this will be the last time I have to pick the
food stuck in the back teeth!"
At my last appointment, they
had given me some Atropine tablets to take one hour before the
appointment to help dry up some of the saliva in my mouth. I
had to take half-day off from work since my appointment was at
1:00 p.m. I arrived exactly on time and there was only one
other person in the waiting room. Nothing like the hustle and
bustle of those morning appointments. I was led to the
treatment area, where I laid back in the chair and the
assistant began taking the rubber bands off.
But then she asked if I was concerned about anything. I did
mention that I seem to have some spacing issues still and
wondered if this was indeed the right time to take them off.
She agreed and decided to call in my orthodontist to have a
look. He looked at my chart, then in my mouth, had me open and
close a few times and then declared, “Nope, today is the
I was excited and apprehensive all at the same time. He began
by removing the arch wires, which actually took some hard tugs
to get them out of the back brackets. [Note: I was not
watching in a mirror, so I can only tell you what it felt
like, not what exact instruments he used]. Then he picked up
an instrument to begin removing the brackets from the teeth.
He just began snapping them off, it was loud and some places
did hurt, but in mere moments, they were all off and I was
left with a gritty feeling in my mouth. Next he picked up a
different instrument, something akin to a drill and began
scraping off the glue. That was loud, and when he got close to
the gum line (on the bottom teeth especially) it was a bit
painful. All the while, the assistant used a suction tube to
remove the debris and make sure not too much ended up in my
mouth. After he was done, he left for the assistant to
complete the process.
First she rinsed my mouth with water. Then she told me she was
using the same instrument the orthodontist had just used, only
with a rubber end to help smooth out the teeth surface. Other
than being loud, this part did not hurt at all. Once she
finished, I was finally able to get my first look at my new
teeth. She let me get out of the chair and go over to the sink
to rinse again and look in the mirror. When I smiled for the
first time, I was blown away! I had tried to imagine what they
would look like without the brackets and wires but I couldn’t
do it. They were so good looking! I immediately begin jumping
for joy. Another assistant commented that was one of the best
reactions she’d seen in a while!
I went back to the chair where she gave my teeth a polish to
get them nice and shiny and then Dr. Fristoe came back. He
told me instead of giving me retainers to wear right now; I
was going to wear an Ortho-Tain device for the next month.
They were going to take advantage of the “loose” feeling
my teeth still had and try to help close the spaces I had
commented on earlier. [Note: he had already considered this
course of treatment prior to me questioning it that morning]
It looks like a small blue mouthguard like you wear for
sporting activities. I am supposed to “exercise” my mouth
by squeezing and releasing it for 4-5 times a day and also
wear it to bed. Here is a link to the site: http://www.ortho-tain.com/interim.html.
They took one more x-ray and then I was ready to go. The whole
process only took 40 minutes. My next appointment is in 4
weeks and at that time they will give me retainers (they haven’t
decided if it will be permanent or removable) and also take my
I am so happy I did this – they look great and feel awesome.
I keep running my tongue over them. And I am smiling all the