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!!

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?