November 2, 2009

[For Me] 029. Get braces

Posted in For Me at 9:47 am by Heather

This story starts when I was seven years old and my sister and I were goofing off after swim lessons at the YMCA by playing kickball in the showers with the shampoo bottle.  In retrospect, not the smartest idea, but who thinks about that at seven?  As most of us would predict this ended up in an accident – which involved a spectacular fall teeth-first into the tile floor and having a tee-pee shaped void in my front two teeth.  And thus began one of the longest relationships of my life … with my dentist.

At seven, you have your permanent teeth in, but they’re surprisingly not actually full size yet – your teeth continue to grow until about age 16 or so.  So the dentist put on some semi permanent bonding substance onto what remained of my teeth to make them look normal, and then when I was 16, he went ahead and capped them.  One thing I never knew is that caps are meant to last quite a while but they’re not absolutely permanent.  These caps are 20 years old and they’re due for replacement, especially since the technology has changed so much in that time, and added to that is my front teeth caps are larger than they really should be.  So, before I get them recapped, I need to get braces to straighten everything out so the new caps are sized correctly.

I decided to get the clear braces, as I am a little vain and don’t want everyone to know I have braces and have to stare at a metal mouth in the mirror all the time, and everyone I’ve mentioned it to says “Oh, I didn’t even notice”, so I guess that’s a good thing.   I’ve only got the lower braces on for now, but the top braces go on November 17th, as well as a palette spacer of some sort (see picture on right).

I’ll need these for about 12 – 15 months, but after about two and a half weeks of having them on, I can tell you I pretty much hate them, clear or not.  The pain is less than it was the first day, but it’s very annoying to get stuff stuck in your teeth EVERY time you eat, and I’m now carrying around a toothbrush and toothpaste in my purse for when I eat out.  It’s ridiculous, but hopefully it’ll be worth it.

And I really had no idea how fragile these things are; I’ve already popped one of the brackets, but thankfully it’s staying in because it’s wired into the rest of my mouth, so it can wait until I go back in this month for my appointment.

But I’ve taken some before and after pictures which I’ll post at some point later.



  1. Amy said,

    I’m curious — did you look into options other than braces, like Invisiline? I want to straighten my teeth, too (which is why Invisiline is one of my goals). But, to be honest, I didn’t research it much before I made the goal.

    • Heather said,

      Basically, my orthodontist is qualified in Invisalign and regular braces and he said that I wasn’t qualified for Invisalign because of what they need to do with my teeth. I’d just say go talk to an ortho and ask them what they think is possible for you.

  2. […] Heather I’m back from the orthodontist, which I was dreading as you might have noticed that my first trip didn’t go so well.  I’m pleased to report that I’ve got my top set of braces on, and my teeth are […]

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