is turning 18 this month (Happy Birthday!) She had been in
braces for 3 years and has been through jaw surgery.
"Since I got jaw surgery last June, I still have a very
gummy smile, which will be corrected this summer (HOPEFULLY).
Smiling big really shows it, so that is the reason why my
smiles aren't very big. All you can see are my top gums and my
teeth, and not the bottoms. My surgeon says this is normal for
jaw surgery patients and it can be corrected by cutting tissue
and sort of "rearranging" it.
My gummy smile is due
to having high lips. Now that I've gotten my surgery and my
teeth are now touching, they have moved together, but my lips
have remained in their conditions. You can see more info here.
The jaw surgury has
changed my appearance dramatically. Before, I had an open bite
in which my top teeth didn't touch the bottoms. You could
stick a thumb in between the top and bottom teeth. Now they
are touching perfectly thanks to that painful surgery I've
gone through. My bottom jaw used to protrude back
further, and the surgery boosted it forward."
You can see what I've
had done by checking out this site: //www.cmartone.com/orthosurg.htm.
I had an open bite with a combination of Retrognathia. I
currently have an implant in my chin as well as metal plates
inside my cheeks. I wonder if I can pass security checks in
airports? I'll find out this summer!
On March 5th 2004, I went
into my orthodontist office for my regular appointment, and
the doctor says, "Brandy, open your mouth! Now close!
Open again! Close!" I was wondering why he was asking me
this. I thought maybe this was a good sign. It was then, when
he told me the good news that my braces would come off in 2-3
weeks. My face lit up, and I began smiling. I couldn't wait
until I got home so I could tell everybody! First thing I did
after I got home was call my friend, and she was very happy
for me. It was then, I began a countdown on my calendar and
got even more excited as the day approached. I told everyone!
I was going to keep it a secret, but I couldn't keep it in. I
was like, "I'm getting my braces off in 2 weeks!" (Editor's
note: Brandy had been in braces for three years).
March 30th was the day I've
been waiting for. I stayed home from school that day since my
appointment was early in the morning. When I got there, the
secretary at the check in/out desk was like, "Brandy! Are
you ready? Today is the day! Aren't you excited!?" I
shook my head yes and had a very big smile on my face. I ran
to the back, and brushed my teeth for the very last time
having braces, then I sat down and waited for my turn. It
seemed like such a long wait. As I was waiting, I couldn't
stop shaking and I almost screamed since I was so excited. No
wonder I couldn't sleep the night before!
Finally, they called me and I
walked over to my chair. They brought over retainer color
samples, and I picked out my colors. I picked sparkly purple
for the top, and sparkly blue for the bottom. Very pretty! I
loved knowing I had the option of having glitter on my
retainers and I took advantage. After picking my colors, they
lowered my chair, put my head back, and began the braces
The nurse began pulling on
the bands and they popped off after wiggling lightly. A wire
began poking me in the back, but since they were taking my
braces off it wouldn't be poking me any longer! She called the
doctor over and he removed my braces. He didn't even take off
the power chain! He just pulled my braces off with no problem.
He popped each bracket off one by one. Just a little tug on
each tooth and it was no problem at all! As soon as he took my
braces off, I pulled myself up, grabbed the mirror and looked
at my teeth. First thing I thought was, "Oh my
gosh!" I still had clumps of cement from where the
brackets used to be on my teeth, and I ran my tongue over the
front of my teeth and it tasted disgusting! They yelled at me
and told me to lay back down. "Brandy! Sit back down,
we're still not done yet! We need to get the cement and glue
So, I lay back down, and they
begin removing the cement and glue. In my opinion, this was
the most painful part of the whole procedure. She warned me
first, "Brandy, now I'm removing the glue and cement. Its
going to feel like your teeth are going to fall out, but don't
worry, they won't!" It consisted of scraping and it felt
like she was going to pull my teeth out, but I knew that
wouldn't happen since she warned me and that's what I
expected. This was pretty time consuming, because she had to
do each individual tooth and she had to make sure she got all
of it off. Then after all that painful scraping, she polished
my teeth. She put this fluoride stuff on my teeth, and used a
spinny tool to spread it around. I remember biting down and
hearing this crackling sound as I was biting on it, and it
didn't taste very good.
"All Done! You can go
rinse and brush now!" I walked over to the mirror, and
brushed my "braceless" teeth for the first time.
Then after brushed, I looked my teeth without braces for the
first time in 3 years. I was really happy and couldn't stop
smiling! I took that time and took advantage to floss my
teeth. Lets say, it was a lot easier without all that
"stuff" on my teeth.
After I brushed, they told me
to go sit back down in my chair. Now its was time for those
dreaded impressions for the retainers! "Ugh!" I
thought. I'm not good when it comes to these things, since I
tend to gag. It really wasn't as bad as I thought though. They
told me to breathe through my nose, not my mouth, and that is
what I did. It worked rather well and I didn't gag once. In
fact, they had to redo the top twice since the first one
didn't come out very well. After this process, I asked to
brush my teeth once again and they let me do so. Getting the
impressions were a lot easier without my braces now that I
didn't have to take the time to pick all the "gunk"
out of my brackets. That was a pain to do. After freshening
up, I sat back down in the chair and they brought out a
"Congrats" balloon as well as a bag of
"sticky" and "hard" candy. Things you
shouldn't eat with my braces on! That was nice of them to
think about their patient who has been suffering for 3 years
with "stuff" on their teeth. Does wonders doesn't
I walked over to my mom with
a big smile and she looks at my teeth. All the nurses and
dental assistants congratulated me. I felt so happy. Then we
walked up the front desk and made my appointment to pick up my
retainers a week later. I walked out of the ortho office
"braces free" that day feeling happy. 3 years of
pain really came a long way.
A week later (4/6/04), I had
my appointment after school to pick up my retainer. I was an
hour early to my appointment so I had to sit and wait for a
while. I brushed my teeth of course, and waited patiently.
Finally, they had some free space and took me in. First, the
assistant took X-rays of my teeth, some pictures, and then she
distributed my retainers. I bought 2 different types. The
Orthotain which a clear plastic one that fits over your teeth
and are invisible. They are just like Invisalign! I also got
the Hawley which fits in your mouth and has a metal bar over
the front of your teeth. I was asked to wear the Orthotain
during the day since its virtually invisible (indeed it is!)
and the Hawley at night while I'm sleeping. The assistant
showed me how to apply them to my teeth. At first, I didn't
really like how they felt, but then I instantly got used to
it. I guess it was because I've had braces so long, I just
adapted to having something in my mouth again, but only this
time its removable. I'm just happy that now I'm able to eat
whatever I want again for the first time in 3 years.
I like my retainers. They're
cool. Way cooler compared to my braces. I think they feel kind
of neat and I enjoy wearing them. At first my speech was bad
for a few days, but its getting better and they were also sore
at first, but I'm getting used to it. Very neat things must I
say, but they are a pain to keep track of. Must I never wrap
them in a napkin or lose them since I definitely won't. Trust
me, why would I want to lose these things when I love them so
much? I could wear them the rest of the life if I wanted to!
Braces were definitely worth
this long trip. I'm happy with the results, and I love my new
smile. If you're considering getting braces, it's well worth
the money, time, and pain, despite being called, "Metal
Mouth" and "Braceface".