Joanne from New
I have read other adults
experiences on ArchWired over the last couple of days and
wish I had discovered your web site months ago!
I have never looked after my
teeth as I was never proud of them, they were quite crooked, all
slanted inwards and had heaps of fillings as a result of the
neglect, which I really regret now. Sometime when I was in my
teens my Mum took me to an orthodontist who charged a small
fortune, and I ended up with 3 secondary teeth being extracted
and a plate with a spring on one upper tooth that I was to wear
at night. Proved to be a useless attempt as it moved out at
night and back during the day.
I went to a new dentist June
2004 when we moved to a new town and asked about getting a
better smile and having that front tooth capped that was way
back behind the others. He suggested I could have a consultation
with a local orthodontist (NZ$40 - nothing to lose) which I did
a couple of weeks later. Turns out that was the single best
piece of dental advice I have had in my 44 years! I remember
saying to my husband, "well I'll see what he says but there's no
way I'd be bothered going through with anything as radical as
braces...". However the orthodontist commented that I was a
grinder (news to me...) and my top and bottom teeth bore no
relationship to each other (not really news to me). He said he
could do something for me and that would involve wearing braces
for 18-24 months. After discussion with my husband, I decided to
go ahead. The cost of NZ$5000 seemed reasonable enough.
My experiences of having the
braces put on are just like most of the other stories I've read
on this site, the same discomfort and mouth ulcers and that
thought over the first few days of "what on earth have I done?".
The top braces (clear) had to go on for 3 months before the
lower set could even be fitted, and the whole feeling was so
tight and altered my bite so radically with each adjustment that
eating became a mission. Soft food and anything I could eat with
a knife and fork were often the only options. The bottom set
were metal and had stainless steel wire ties which were really
uncomfortable. However they have now been on for 16 months and
the time has gone quite quickly. I had the usual ribbing from
friends and relatives who thought I was crazy, but my husband
has been a terrific support and I'm thrilled with the results -
it has definitely been worth it!
I have become a compulsive
tooth cleaner and flosser, and am looking forward to having my
teeth whitened when this is all over. Will also have a few
fillings replaced/renewed to complete the picture.
The best bonus of all has been
the weight loss, I have dropped 10 kgs (about 22 lbs) over the
time I have had the braces due to the eating problems and
required low sugar diet - best diet I have ever been on!! I am
back to the weight I was in my early 20's and have had to buy a
whole new wardrobe (bugger!!) And there is no way that weight is
ever going back on, my diet has changed for ever.
My next appointment, in 4 weeks
time, is for a new set of x-rays and a decision as to whether or
not a final new arch wire will be fitted, so I guess the end is
Thanks to all the others that
have posted advice and stories on this site, they are all
inspirational. Just wish I had searched for a site on
Orthodontics months ago!!