All Smiles

I can hardly believe it, but it’s true. After years of toil, trouble, and pretty much constant tooth soreness, I am officially done with my braces!

Some of you may remember that back in February 2014, I got lingual braces behind my top teeth. I got them removed a little over a year later, and then, because I just have to do everything as inefficiently as possible, a couple months later I started Invisalign.

My bottom teeth were still quite crooked, and I decided that I wasn’t actually as satisfied as I thought I’d be with just a straight top set (this happened right around the same time as Sean’s proposal, but I’m sure that’s just coincidence.) I posted an update on my whole braces journey back in June, so I won’t repeat everything again, but as you can probably guess, I have one final update for you:

 
I’m done!

I had my final Invisalign appointment at Smiles at Fairfax Corner last week, after a year of my initial Invisalign treatment, plus an additional 5 (?) months of adjustment trays. Phew! It sounds like a lot of time, of course, but the reality is that time is going to press on anyway, so why not perfect your smile while you’re at it?

It definitely took much longer than I thought it would, considering how I had already gotten lingual braces on top, but that just goes to show that you really should just take care of your top + bottom teeth at the same time. A lot of the reason that my Invisalign treatment took so long was to correct my bite — which may or may not have gotten more out of whack due to my linguals-on-top-only. It’s hard to say.

Regardless, I’m thrilled to be able to finally say I am D-O-N-E. No more switching out aligners. No more attachments on my teeth. And you better believe I will be wearing my retainer every night until the day I die. I’m not letting these puppies backslide the way I did in college! Putting your own money into your smile really makes you value that retainer, I tell you what.

I may end up getting a permanent retainer (a wire glued to the back of my teeth) if it’s deemed necessary in the future, but for right now, I’m just going to relish not having anything permanently attached to my chompers. If you have any questions about either Invisalign OR lingual braces, I’m happy to answer them! Because I can! Because I’M DONEEEEEEE!!

8 Comments

  1. Good work!!! I could qualify for another set since I stopped wearing my retainers almost immediately. But I’m not there yet. eventually. maybe. when I stock up my hsa, or win the lottery.

  2. Helenasays:

    Your teeth look amazing!! I had lingual braces fitted behind my top teeth 3 days ago and I could cry. It is agonising. It actually feels like torture. I can’t eat, I can’t talk, my tongue is ripped to shreds. And I start a new job in precisely 7 days. Please help me – what’s the likelihood of the pain calming down in 7 days / being able to talk properly?????

    • I’m so sorry you’re in so much pain — I remember it well! I know it probably doesn’t help much right now but it does get SO much better! It’s hard for me to remember but I’d say that it stopped hurting so much after the first week, and my lisp went away completely after maybe 2 or 3 weeks? It’ll get better soon! Use wax on your braces to help protect your tongue and take ibuprofen or tylenol. Hugs!

  3. Inessays:

    Duude, if you haven´t yet, get a permanent retainer!!
    I´ve been through a similarly inefficient-long-painful-expensive-seeminglyworthlessbutthenactuallyniceresults journey, and please please please believe me when I say: you definitely need to get yourself a permanent retainer. Why?? Because in spite of your teeth feeling shiny and new for the first time in a gazillion years, that will soon not make up for the fact that the incredible amount of money you forked out´ll have gone to waste when they inevitably and slowly but annoyingly surely start moving AGAIN. It does not matter how diligent you are with removable retainers: teeth move a lot quicker than you care to notice and you´ll never ever have to think about wether you´ve brought your retainer with you on your next camping trip to your preferred destination!
    Lots of love from Spain. =)
    Just my humble and very badly worded opinion.
    Congrats on having made it through to the other side. 😉

  4. Jessicasays:

    Hi Everyone,

    Just installed my lingual braces yesterday and totally regretting it. It’s absolute torture. Is it worth all the pain?

    • No it was totally worth it — the first week or 10 days or so I really regretted it but I swear your tongue will get used to it. Use wax!!

  5. Ellasays:

    Gretchen!

    I need your advice.

    I had regular braces fitted last spring, but due to ++ pain and extreme social anxiety, in a panic I decided to have them removed. However, this was a big mistake because I wasn’t put on a retention plan and everything has shifted back into a worse position than before.

    I am now faced with the fact that I might need to do further dental work just to stabilise my bite – and I’m trying to decide between incognito braces and invisalign to do it. I will need to wear buttons on the outside and get IPR if I do the invisalign.

    If you had to do yours again, which method would you choose? The idea of Incognito braces interests me because I feel that they would be the easiest to hide (which it turns out is very important for me) – however, was the pain considerably more with this method? What do the backs of your teeth look like now?

    • If I had to do it again, I would do incognito braces, I think. The beginning suuuuuucked (raw tongue! Lisp!) but you do get used to it and honestly, Invisalign is HARDLY invisible esp with the attachments/buttons )(I had to have them too) and it was a lopt of upkeep having to take them in and out, brush and floss each time, and my teeth always hurt when I put them back in.

      The incognito braces are more expensive though, I think, so that may be something to keep in mind! I highly recommend getting a permanent retainer put in after you’re done, regardless of what way you do it. I had one after my incognito, which they removed when I got my invisalign, but I didn’t get it put back in after that was done and I feel like my teeth shift slightly even just during the day until I put my retainer back in at night (esp on the bottom – womp wompppp)

      Good luck!!!

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