Lingual Braces: 1 Year Later

Yesterday, I went to the orthodontist. In case you had forgotten (as I often do), my mouth is secretly full of metal.

I have lingual braces on my upper teeth, which has slowly been straightening my smile over the past year.

teeth update

Though you may remember me reporting being in a lot of pain during the first week of having these puppies in, in the months since my last update it’s honestly like I’ve forgotten that they’re even there. Other than a bit of pain/soreness for a day or two when I get them adjusted, and the fact that food does get stuck back there pretty easily, they really are relatively forgettable. And don’t worry, that lisp I carried around for the first couple of weeks is looooong gone!

Unfortunately, while my original estimate from the orthodontist put me at being braces-free by the one-year mark, I experienced a little setback about a month ago. For some reason, my front teeth started making backwards progress, with the overlap between my front two teeth become more prominent and the unevenness between the teeth becoming more pronounced.

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I’m not sure if you can tell in the above pictures, but take my word for it. It was not fun to see my teeth were backsliding into crookedville. Luckily, my teeth were able to be pulled back into place with just one correctional visit. Unluckily, that still means it took an entire adjustment just to get back to where I was (I get them adjusted every 4 – 6 weeks). So that little setback means that I’m still a (secret) braceface, and tacked on at least a couple more months to my overall braces tally.

But, hey, I paid like four grand for these stupid metal brackets, so they can take as loooooong as they need to make things right!

January 28, 2014

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January 15, 2015
After my braces do finally come out, I’ll be getting a permanent retainer put in, which will be a single wire glued to the back of my teeth to keep them in place. I’ll still need to use a regular retainer as well, but the permanent one should help ensure that everything stays in place. I won’t be making the mistake of letting my teeth backslide this time! Having braces twice in your life is MORE than enough (especially when you’re the one who has to pay for it the second time, hahaha.)

I’d actually been recently considering starting work on my bottom teeth, via either lingual braces or Invisalign. Ultimately, though, I decided that there are other things I should be saving my money for right now. And since I primarily only show my top teeth when I smile, hopefully it won’t bug me too much that only half my mouth is celebrity-straight, haha.

Even with the associated cost, I will probably say that, second to me getting LASIK, getting braces is probably the best money I could’ve spent on myself. (LASIK is HANDS-DOWN the best thing I ever did for myself, without a doubt, but straight teeth is good too, haha.) I am that much more confident in my smile, I feel that much more beautiful, and definitely feel it money well-spent.

Have you ever considered anything like braces, LASIK, or anything else along those lines? If so, what’s preventing you from pulling the trigger?


  1. I got invasalign after I graduated from grad school (I had braces in 7th/8th grade), and I’m SO glad that I did. My front teeth shifted again within 2 months of getting my braces off (I wore a retainer all the time except for eating), so I’m not sure what happened. However, I’ve stayed dedicated to wearing my retainers every night since I got them off 3 years ago, and my teeth still look great! Lasik would be something that would be great too, but I’m definitely scared of that!

  2. Katie C.says:

    I’m actually staring down the braces barrel. My dentist told me that I am a good candidate for Invisalign and then when I walked into my orthodontic consultation, the orthodontist was like, “Uh, nope, in fact, you’ll be looking at 2 years of regular braces and maybe double jaw surgery!”
    I’m not super thrilled about being 27 and having braces, but I accept it and I am *gulp* looking forward to getting this whole thing started so that it can be over quickly.

    • Lenasays:

      Maybe try another orthodontist? The first one I went to told me I had to have 4 teeth pulled before I could get braces! Went to someone else and they were like “No! We’re not gonna pull healthy teeth!”

  3. Laurasays:

    I was just thinking the other day that your teeth were looking great! It’s subtle, but the overall effect can be surprisingly dramatic (yet it’s not something anyone would consciously notice). Looking good!!

    I had braces in middle school, then backslid as well and got Invisalign in high school. While they are great in theory, asking an irresponsible high school student to voluntarily wear those things every day is a terrible idea. I never finished them and my teeth are pretty meh. FULL OF REGRET.

    It’s good you’re getting the permanent retainer; I honestly believe that getting braces and not having a permanent retainer put on after is a waste of money.

  4. I’ll probably be seeing an orthodontist soon. I asked for a permanent retainer when my braces were removed in 9th grade, but that ortho wouldn’t do it. So i’m hoping I can do invisalign next, but we will see.

  5. Emmasays:

    When I was a kid and the dentist suggested braces, my mom said I could get them when I was a grownup and pay for them myself. 🙂 Unfortunately, I can’t afford them – I looked into them a few years ago, and even with insurance, it would still have cost me a few thousand dollars, and it’s just not possible for me to do that for vanity. Same with LASIK, I’m sure, although I haven’t looked into it – although if we could afford it, I’d push my husband to get it, as his eyes are worse than mine.

    Actually, he was going to get some dental implants a few years ago, but we found out it probably wouldn’t be covered either, so he has a partial/flipper instead. Sigh, American health care costs.

  6. I have had a permanent bar on the back of my lower teeth since my braces came off in high school! And wear a retainer on top every night (which doubles as a guard against grinding).

  7. Im a little over halfway through my invisalign treatment and I’m soooo incredibly thrilled to see the difference in my teeth. if you can afford it and if you want to do it – I’m a huge advocate for them. I love how my teeth are coming together.

  8. Samsays:

    I’ve loved reading about your lingual braces because my boyfriend never had braces and has always wondered about the “invisible” options!
    As far as LASIK goes, I’m a future eye doctor (intern year now, Dr. next year!) – and it’s really tempting to get it, but my ~45-year old patients who’ve had LASIK start to regret it because you need reading glasses much sooner. It’s a tradeoff, but sounds like it was worth it for you since you’re so happy with your results! 🙂

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