my two year journey with braces... - The Dainty Squid

my two year journey with braces...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

I've been meaning to blog about my braces since I first got them two years ago. It was something I was going to talk about often, photograph weekly and just generally journal about. But I ended up not doing that...at all. I barely have any pictures of my braces at all, but I have even less before pictures of my teeth.

My dentist was kind enough to email me 3D files of my teeth both before and after (dude, they're really neat!) I converted them to flat files so I could share them here because they're just about all I have. Here are my teeth before I got braces...
 (And here's the before picture from the orthodontist - if you really must see. It's not cute.)

I used to say they were the only thing about me I'd change. I was uncomfortable with my smile and would basically delete any picture showing them. Hence the fact I don't really have any. My smile was fairly straight until I was 14 or 15 and lost one of my last baby teeth. It was my left canine tooth (the right one in the above image) and when my adult one came in that sucker was so crooked. Something about it made me realize what a mess the rest of my teeth were. I asked my parents on multiple occasions for braces but they always declined. I tried to forget about it and just learn to love them but it never worked.

Finally two years ago I had had enough. I needed them fixed. I made an appointment with my dentist so I could get a recommendation to an orthodontist. My dentist said my problem was I had "too many cars in the garage". My mouth was too small for all my teeth to fit properly and I would most likely need some teeth pulled but ultimately that would be up to the orthodontist.

I visited two orthodontists before choosing the one I'd have help me with my teeth. It was important to me to feel comfortable with who was in charge of making my smile beautiful. The first guy I visited had a bad attitude, smelly gloves and some dirty looking tools. The second orthodontist I met with was perfect. My consultation went super smoothly, and we'd be able to get my braces on the next week which was important to me. I'm a get it done yesterday person. When I decide I want something done I want it as soon as possible so there couldn't have been a better scenario. He also agreed I'd need some teeth pulled. Eeep!

A week later I had braces...
(March 2011, Isn't it strange how much different I look!?)
I hated them. I cried and cried and cried when I saw myself in the mirror at home. They felt huge. I regretted getting them. I cried about how I really loved my teeth and that this was my biggest mistake ever. But I already had a hefty down payment on them and it would be so stupid to have to go back and ask for them off so I sucked it up. It definitely took time to get used to how they looked and felt but eventually I did.

The next month, in April 2011, it was time to get some teeth pulled to make room for the rest of my teeth to straighten out. I got four teeth pulled as well as getting my wisdom teeth removed at the same time. It was probably one of the worst experiences ever. The gas they had me hooked up to just made me ultra aware of what was going on, basically like an out of body experience. I couldn't feel any pain but I could feel pressure. It totally freaked me out how easy it seemed the dentist was able to pull out my teeth (which might have given me a bit of a complex about my teeth falling out...) It felt like it lasted for ever. Of course, getting your teeth pulled isn't going to be a pleasant experience but it was really horrible for me. The only plus side was I got to take my teeth home which was maybe a little too important to me. (You wouldn't believe what a hassle it was to find a dentist who'd let me take them home. There were a few mishaps and maybe some tears shed about the whole thing. I ended up getting my teeth pulled by my regular dentist even though he doesn't accept my insurance just so I could keep my teeth)

Like I said, braces were kind of hard to get used to at first. I didn't know how to hold my mouth. I had trouble eating a lot of things because my mouth was so sore. The back corners of my mouth were constantly raw from the wires cutting into them each time my teeth would shift just so slightly. Luckily this stage only lasted a month or so. After that the next two years flew by. It really was done in a flash.

Only after looking back do I realize how funny mouth looked and how many little changes my face made. For a long time it looked like I had a big wad of dip in my lip because of my lower braces. (Luckily, I never noticed until I started looking back at pictures or else I would have been super self conscious about it. Haha!)
 (After braces model)
Even with all the pain (I swear it's not that bad!), silly instances of my lip getting caught on my braces, food stuck in my braces and other not so great things they were 100% worth it. Of course, at times I felt funny being the only person in the orthodontists office over the age of 20 that wasn't there with a child*. But I have the teeth I've always dreamed of having now. I'm confident when I smile. I might even be smiling a little too obnoxiously now. I mean, when you spend a great deal of your life trying not to smile with your teeth and now they're super pretty it's kind of hard to keep them in your mouth! I catch myself staring at them in the mirror quite often and have actually gotten into the habit of taking better care of them Hello floss, nice to meet you again! I hope this feeling lasts forever. It's been two months and it only seems to be getting stronger.
Aaaand that's that!
xoxo

*Just last week when I went for one of my check ups at the orthodontist I saw the father of a child my nephew goes to school with who recognized me from plays, baseball games, etc and said "Oh, are you here with your child?" Yeah....no. I awkwardly responded by pointing at my teeth and saying "I had braces, they're off now" Ugh, I fail at interacting with strangers. Haha!

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95 thoughts

  1. I can't think of a normal way to say this, but when you smile your eyes look really cute! (I hope you understand what I mean...) x

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  2. Your teeth are amazing now, I wish I could just get braces to get my tooth problem fixed! I have tiny tiny teeth and don't like them at all - unfortunately, they are very neat and the orthodontist said there's nothing wrong with it really, all he could do was make them bigger by I don't know the english term for it. However, it's freaking expensive and I'll have to safe money for a long long time until I'll be able to afford it! Booo!

    Yours are truly amazing now. You smile like a goddess! WOW!

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  3. You have a beautiful smile!! I had braces too, and they're a pain (no pun intended) but to me the end result was worth the trouble! Do you have to wear a retainer for a while, or are you totally done?

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    1. I only have to wear my retainer at night but my orthodontist basically said wear my retainer at night for as long as I want my teeth to be straight. Eeep! So I guess that's the rest of my life. So far it hasn't been too much of a hassle, although I really hate waking up with it in my mouth. It tastes SO BAD. I cannot get it out of my mouth fast enough in the mornings. Haha! But I haven't missed a night yet.

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    2. I wore my retainer for maybe a month after I got my braces off but was "too cool" to keep it up. (I was 15) aannnnd now my top front teeth are a bit crooked. So.

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  4. Oh my gosh! Your experiences are exactly like mine were!! I got braces when I was 14. I bawled my eyes out when I went home knowing I'd be going back to Jr. High with a mouth full of metal! Looking back, of course I'm SO glad I got them. But my situation was exactly the same! My mouth was entirely too small to hold all of my teeth, so they were just piling up on top of each other. My two front teeth were totally off center. They had to pull all 4 wisdom teeth and the back 4 permanent teeth before I could get any work done. That was HORRIBLE! And I totally know what you mean by the "you can't feel it, but you can feel pressure" thing.. AH! But I admit, I did enjoy the gas mask thing.. haha! :) I've had my braces off for 11 years now, and my top teeth have shifted back a hair, but nothing too noticeable. I wore one of those clear plastic retainers for awhile, but I got sick of it, so I stopped. I've got a permanent retainer built in to the inside of my bottom teeth, just a wire that goes across them inside, so THOSE teeth are still perfect! Yay! :) There is nothing better than having confidence when you smile! If your teeth are jacked up, that's all people look at when you talk! So happy for you and your pearly whites! They're beautiful! :)

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    1. I opted out of the permanent retainer on my bottoms because I've heard nothing but bad things about them. Do you like yours?

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    2. I had braces for 18 months when I was 25-26 and like you said, the best thing I ever did! I was picked on so much growing up about my teeth so as soon as I could afford it, I had them put on. I've had a permanent retainer now for almost 6 years and it's been great. It is a little harder to floss my bottom teeth, but other than that no problems!

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    3. I'm 33 and have had the permanent retainer on the bottom since I was 16 with zero problems. Flossing can be a little more annoying, but I'm so used to it now I hardly notice. :)

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    4. Hmmm. Good to know!

      Have you guys ever had any problems with it coming loose because you ate something too hard?

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    5. I LOVE my permanent retainer. I don't ever notice it! It doesn't feel weird or anything. It's been in there for 10 years with no problems at all. I am a candy lover and I've never had it come undone or anything! :) I think what I love the most about it, is that it's always there to do the work for me. I bet my teeth would have shifted back a tiny bit if it wouldn't have been there, but they're still perfect and that makes me very happy! :D

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  5. i got braces when i was sixteen, and they had to pull 8 of my remaining baby teeth (which were mostly still in the front.) so for the first couple of months i got to walk around with gappy front teeth as well as every other tooth missing. i didn't smile much either. :)

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  6. Good to hear you are happy with the experience! It's amazing how much your teeth influence your face... Mine were pretty straight but I wore a retainer for five years to fix my underbite. My lower jaw used to be half an inch further to the back than it is now, and you see a very clear difference in the pictures... Wearing a retainer or braces sucks at times but the results can be so worth it!

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  7. I can totally relate to this, I had braces for two years as well, after having a few teeth out in the process. The worst part was definitely the ulcers for me but it was worth it in the end.
    You definitely pulled off your braces though and your teeth look great now too. So glad you feel happier with your smile!

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  8. So funny! I had the same problem you had. My mouth was to small, and my first dentist made a mess in my mouth. I had to go to a specialist, that find my mouth so so horrible ( he didn't say that he said that was a fascinant case) that he photographed my mouth to a lecture in a congress in USA that we was presenting. Imagine.. In total I lose 4 definitive teeths plus 2 wisdom teeth. I spend almost 3 years with the braces and I had besides the one you had one, on more in the palate that made talk a little strange in the beginnning. And after take the braces I spent more 3 years with another braces but only a little one, like a metal thread, on the inside of my maxilar. It was not easy, and I know all the problems like you did, but I subscribe to all you said: it's worth it!
    Just to show great smile like yours :)
    Kisses
    Sofia G

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  9. I had braces when I was 11 to 13. It was a lot of trouble and pain and I hated it all the way. Afterwards my teeth were perfect for a while. But as soon as my wisdom teeth started coming out, it ruined everything again. I had them pulled out too late, and the whole result was and is ruined. I regret that I even went through that trouble. I also feel that it weakened my teeth and I have quite a bit of trouble with them now (caries, several root treatments etc.).
    I'll live with my crooked teeth now, but I', glad you had your wisdom teeth pulled BEFOREHAND! I wish you best of luck with them, they look amazing!

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  10. I totally understand that sudden protectiveness about your teeth once you go through orthodontics - I had a pretty severe underbite, so i had a collective 7 years with braces and oral surgery to get things functional. I've definitely become manic about taking good care of my teeth. Though after a few years it did wear off a little. . .

    Enjoy the new teeth! Nothing like having a beautiful smile to get over self-consciousness

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  11. Wow, what a difference! All of the pain and hassle was absolutely worth it. So pleased for you!

    I have a child-sized jaw and a huge overbite and I'd love to get my teeth fixed but I just can't afford it at the moment.

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  12. I just wanted to say that you look great!

    I don't think your teeth were that bad in the before pictures...but if they really bothered you than that's what matters.

    I have a gap in my teeth (a la Madonna) and kids always asked me if I was going to get braces to fix it. Hella- no! My whole family has the same teeth, and my two aunts got their gaps filled in (granpa got dentures so no more gap). I think the gap makes me unique!
    I did get a crown for a front tooth since I broke it when I was a kid, and it straightened out my front teeth/gap a bit. My sister has a bit of a crooked gap but she loves it.

    Point of the story is "perfect" teeth are a north american propagation. Many dentists are now advising against unnecessary cosmetics because braces are putting ppl in debt, bleaching is ruining enamel, etc.

    I've seen adults with braces too! My friend's dad is a dentist, and he had braces in his 50s. They were clear plastic ones though, but he probably had the best dental plan ;)

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    1. I really love gaps! I honestly really wish I had one!

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  13. Do you know, I've been considering getting braces again....and I think this has been the push to go for it!

    I'm terrified of the dentist - it took me years to build up the courage to go to the orthodontist when I was fourteen (my teeth were overcrowding too, they were even growing in through the roof of my mouth!) And I couldn't hack them. I felt ugly ans so self conscious and after a month I had them taken out again.

    Now I hate my teeth even more - and I thought I'd be too old for braces. But seeing how happy and confident you look just makes me think it may be worth it!

    Thanks (from a long time reader!)
    Amii
    Xx

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  14. I had braces from age 8 to 14, and I can completely relate with what you said about your braces feeling "huge"! I always felt as if my mouth was sticking out strangely. Your teeth look great now & you have such a pretty smile :) I'm glad you feel happier with your new smile!

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  15. I wonder if Americans have more desire to have white, straight teeth than New Zealanders. I looked at your befor photo and your teeth looked totally normal to me! I have crooked, overlapping teeth and so does probably everyone I know, to varying degrees. There's really not much pressure to have "good" teeth here. There are advertisements for teeth whitening but I think they get ignored. Kids do get braces, but I think it's usually to correct bite problems or crazy out of place teeth.

    I'm glad you are happy with your teeth now though. I think a smiley face is always nicer to see than a face too self-conscious to look happy and you do look great :) I thought it was interesting to see you self-conscious about ordinary (to me) teeth though!

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  16. I had terrible teeth as kid. Before I could even get braces, I had four different appliances that widened my mouth; and then I had braces for four years. I finally got them off in eighth grade and I had a retainer I was supposed to wear at night, but playing the clarinet made one of my front teeth move, and then wearing the retainer moved it back, and it just always hurt so I stopped wearing it. -.-

    Your teeth look wonderful, though! Also, as a hopefully-not-creepy side note, I love your dimple. :)

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  17. I was a latecomer to braces too, although not quite as dramatically. I was 16 when I got mine and 19 when they came off. My teeth were HORRIBLE before. I had one tooth that was actually sideways. Yep.

    I always wanted braces (although my experience was traumatic as I had a horrible orthodontist who made me cry in the chair every single time!) and I was so happy to be getting my teeth sorted. I really suited my braces and, when they came off, I looked in my mum's car mirror and started sobbing in the passenger seat. I hated the way I looked without them. I felt like I had too much teeth.

    I got over that though!

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    1. Haha! I was so worried I'd miss mine but I didn't. There were a few times I looked in the mirror and was a bit bummed they weren't there though.

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  18. I had an orthodontist as a teenager who figured out wayyyyyy too late in the game (we're talking 3 years into the process) that my top jaw and bottom jaw were two different sizes, so my teeth weren't going to properly line up unless we started over and put an expander in, etc. I opted out, but wish that I had just done it! Good for you for getting everything squared (ha!) away! You're smile is beautiful!

    -Becca
    Ladyface Blog

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    1. It's not too bad! My jaw just clicks a tiny bit and if you look reeeeeeeeeeal close, you can see that my front teeth don't line up with each other.

      I may bite the bullet someday and get it taken care of, but we'll see!

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  19. I had to use braces for 7 years! You can imagine the joy I had when the dentist took them off :')
    PS: I love the last picture of you!
    Laura.

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    1. Ive had my braces on for almost 5 years. Still a couple years left to go.

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  20. Oh goodness, I had braces for six years! I mostly hated them until the day I got them off, and then I realized they're incredible. My teeth were pretty horrible before braces so I'm thankful for all of the pain and suffering lol. Your smile is beautiful :)

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  21. Gorgeous smile, Kaylah! I love that you weren't afraid to take cute pictures while the braces were still on.

    I never had braces growing up (prolly should of) but I was always weirdly jealous when my friends got them because I thought they were adorable. True story. :)

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    1. I don't think it's weird to jealous of things like that as a kid. I know I always wanted glasses. I was totally jealous when all my friends got them and I went to the eye doctor find I had perfect vision. Hah!

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  22. You had the same problems I did when I had my braces. I had mine for 4 hours, though. I had everything you could ever had, it was terrible. Head gear, bite plate, elastics. I wouldn't trade my smile for nothing now but back then it was terrible. I was so self conscious of having a sleep over with friends because they would see my head gear :( lol. You have a great smile now, so all the money and time put in is worth it :)

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  23. I had braces for two years in high school, I actually got them off right in time for senior portraits haha. Anyway, it was an interesting experience because I also was chronically unhappy with the way my smile looked and I had to get a few painful procedures done before I got the braces on, including having a few teeth pulled. I'm now a lot happier with my smile, even though I no longer wear my retainer. I had problems with it fitting from the first moment I got it, but my orthodontist ignored me telling her that it didn't fit.
    Also, completely unrelated, but what kind of pens do you use? I have a new journal, but I don't want to write in it until I have some really nice pens. A weird quirk of mine :p

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  24. thats so cool your dentist let you keep your teeth! i REALLY wanted to keep my wisdom teeth but the oral surgeon wouldnt let me, but my sisters let her keep hers and ive always been kind of jealous.

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  25. lawl I always had teeth dreams when I had braces, either of my teeth falling out or getting super huge or whatever. So terrifying.

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  26. Since yesterday I am not a braceface anymore. And I am soooooo happy :D

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  27. my teeth are similar (a bit worse) than yours before your braces. they've always made me feel self conscious and i try to never show them. my parents also refused to get me braces as a kid (why???) now i'm almost 27 and finally have dental insurance and i want to get them so bad but wonder if the long, painful process (not to mention being almost 30 with braces!) will be worth it. thanks for sharing your story!

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  28. I had braces in high school and had a similar experience, I had a couple teeth removed just so my one incisor would shift down to the correct position (it was way up high and when I smiled my lips would get caught on it!). I remember one time I was walking by a chain link fence and a broken chain sticking out caught my jacket and my momentum spun me around to smack the fence with my face causing my braces to hook onto the inside of my cheek... that was fun. Hilarious.

    Anyway, haha, congrats, your smile really is beautiful. :)

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  29. Awesome chompers! And it's never too late - my mom had braces when she was pregnant with my sister at 31 years old!

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  30. I can totally relate to this! I got braces during 7th grade, had them off by 9th...and then had to get them put back on during my freshman year of college. It was such a bummer! The first time I had them I didn't feel all that self conscious because lots of people have braces during middle school, but having them on during college was hard. I felt so awkward! But in the end it was all worth it. Having a confident smile makes such a huge difference!

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  31. Beautiful! I am slightly jealous! If I were you, I'd be smiling all over town, too.

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  32. I felt the same way when I had braces, and I had to have them twice in my life AND retainers. It is definitely worth it!

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  33. This is wonderful! I just got my braces off about two weeks ago and it's such a relief not having to explain having braces as an adult. Congrats! :)

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  34. Getting my wisdom teeth pulled was the worst experience of my life; I'm so sorry you had even MORE teeth pulled at the same time! I love that you got braces, even though you were older. Your smile is beautiful!

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  35. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you writing this post. I had braces fitted last year as I'm missing my lateral incisors and I need to create more space to get implants put in. I've always been incredibly self conscious about my teeth and would also go out of my way not to smile with my mouth open but being a 26yr old with braces has been a bit of a challenge - I guess I'm more vain than I thought, ha! Anyway, you've made me see the light at the end of the tunnel so thank you and your teeth look amazing! x Becky

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  36. You have such a beautiful smile! I hated my braces when I had them for five years (fortunately it was between grades 3 and 8). x

    Melissa
    http://wildflwrchild.blogspot.com
    p.s. I'm hosting an OASAP giveaway on my blog!

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  37. I think you'll appreciate having had them more now than you would have if you'd had them younger. I had braces for two years between the ages of 15-17, had perfect teeth by the end of it then ruined it all by not wearing my retainer. I hate myself for that so much now. My teeth are still way better than they were before braces (I had so many teeth before I couldn't close my mouth properly) but they're not as straight as they should be.

    You can really tell in your lest few images how much happier and more confident you look, so it was definitely money well spent!

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  38. Oh what a difference! Well done to you for sticking with it :) They look wonderful. Rosie xx

    http://everywordhandwritten.blogspot.co.uk/

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  39. I wore some kind of orthodontic piece in my mouth from 3rd grade until I was a junior in high school. My son who is 11 had teeth as bad as me and will have his braces on for a year in August and his teeth look amazing. Orthodontia has come along way. I had teeth pulled, wore headgear, appliances and it all hurt. I had chronic migraines from them, though I would never change having them done. My teeth are beautiful now. You look great and your smile is wonderful!

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  40. I had braces for 4 years, and I still wear a retainer. I know that feel, girl. And, I worry about my teeth falling out all the time, I even have dreams about it!

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  41. I can relate to pretty much everything you said! I had braces for four years and I'd have to say that the worst thing was the wires scraping against my cheeks. It got so sore that I wouldn't even open my mouth. Also, did you ever get impressions made of your teeth by your orthodontist? I had them done several times and mine let me keep one of them that was taken before my braces were put on, and it is super cool to have to remember what my teeth looked like. Maybe you could request to have yours if you did get them done? (:

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  42. They look great now!!!

    I completely understand the whole not showing your teeth thing. When I was a toddler, Heinz just out an apple juice that ended up being mostly sugar water. It rotted my upper teeth and I had to have the top four front ones pulled, and four others capped. I was three or four. My adult teeth did not finish coming in until I was nine. Almost every picture of me is with a closed mouth smile. It carried over a bit into adulthood too.At least my teeth now are near perfect, AND I managed to not get a lisp.

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  43. Ah, it is so interesting to hear about your experience with braces! I had a lot of teeth problems as a kid - something about long-rooted teeth, they would never come out on their own. My adult teeth started to grow in around the baby ones when they weren't even loose, so growing up I had all but one or two teeth pulled by the dentist. By 9th grade, I still had 8 baby teeth, so they pulled 4 and then another 4 within about 6 months and then I got braces. That whole period was awful. We moved to a new state while I was in the middle of my braces, and while my first orthodontist said I only would need them about a year and a half, I ended up spending over two years with braces. I didn't even know a permanent retainer was an option, and wore my retainer for about a year as I was instructed. As soon as I stopped wearing the retainer (lost it? not sure) my bottom front teeth went crooked again. Ah, teeth... It's funny to me that I actually don't mind the dentist despite all the trauma of pulling all my teeth. Also, I think it's crazy that they wouldn't let you keep your teeth! I was given my teeth every time they were pulled as a kid (wisdom teeth were another story because they were a mess).

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  44. Your smile is super beautiful! :)
    ..and I fail at interacting with strangers too!

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  45. Loving this post! Your teeth look so amazing; isn't such a great feeling? I still can't believe that mine are off! :)

    xoxo,
    Laura
    http://lauraisthriftingthroughlife.blogspot.com/

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  46. You have the most perfect teeth ever! My teeth are really straight since I got my braces off, but my smile is still crooked because of how my jaw was before I had braces.

    Oh and I immediately thought of you when I found this totally awesome necklace. It is a little terrarium with a live plant inside of it! It seemed like something you would wear.

    http://scoutmob.com/p/Cylinder-terrarium-necklace?ref=cat_jewelry_necklaces&sort=recommended

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  47. My canine teeth are almost in exactly the same positions as yours were before, but my front lower teeth are much more crooked. I can't afford braces, but I don't really mind my teeth being crooked any more. I used to be really self-conscious about it when I was younger.

    Anyway, I think that you have just about the best smile ever. I can tell that you're really happy in your pictures, which is great.

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  48. In the 8th grade, a boy told me I reminded him of Dracula and man if that didn't scar me for life. I never really loved my teeth, but after that I really tried never to smile showing my teeth. I felt so self conscious. My parents both had a strong fear of the dentist (still do) and were completely unwilling to ever get me braces. I told my husband that it was a dream of mine to have braces before I turned 30 (I'm 26 now). I knew life as an adult with braces would be full of insecurities, but I also knew that the pain, embarrassment and financial strain would be well worth it in the end. Of course I never thought I would actually get them. Then my dentist told me I had to see an orthodontist because of the severe wear on my teeth from grinding them at night. Since I didn't want to be completely toothless by 30, I decided to take the plunge. I'm 5 months in to an 18 month plan and I can't believe how much my teeth have changed. I just had the bottom ones put in a few weeks ago. Its been tough teaching myself how to smile again without looking like a loon, haha! All in all, it's about holding your head up high and rockin' the braces! Super huge congrats on making it through!! I can't wait to write a blog post when I'm done with my journey with braces :)

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  49. I'm currently working on year four of braces :( I had to have seven baby teeth pulled before I got them on. I'm terrified of the orthodontist, due to a traumatic experience with the first one I went to. When they were poking around for cavities with their little hook thingy, it broke off in my mouth and cut my gums. I ended up with stitches and had to have x-rays to make sure the end of the hook wasn't lodged anywhere it shouldn't be. Any amount of pressure scares me so much now! I'm even afraid to get them off, even though I'd love to be braces free when I start college in the fall.

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  50. I REALLY need braces but I've always been way too scared to/it's expensive as hell over here once you're over 18 (3 grand versus 200 pounds :/) but I'm slowly coming round to the inevitable... It just seems like such a long time to have them on! Zoe <3

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  51. I just got pullesda teeth, so I totally understand that you say it was one of your worst experiences! Unlike yours, my teeth just wouldn't come out and it was a lot of pulling and even sawing. But at least it was no problem to take it home - at least the broken bits that were left.

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  52. I had braces from 16-18 and it was the best thing I've done for myself. I get compliments on my teeth all the time! My ortho actually gave me the molds of my old teeth, it's probably the coolest thing I own! I wanted to keep my wisdoms but they didn't let me... I think they had to be broken apart to get them out is why, so, yep. And word of advice: DO NOT STOP WEARING YOUR RETAINER! I made that mistake and my teeth shifted a little and I can't get my retainer in anymore. :(

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  53. I love this post so much. Before I got braces, I had a top front tooth that was so crooked it was nearly literally turned sideways. I was ashamed to smile! But after I got braces (for three years, from 17-20), I feel so freakin' lucky to have a straight smile that I'm not ashamed to show off. Unfortunately, though, my wisdom teeth started coming in RIGHT after I got the braces off, and while they didn't affect my top teeth, they forced themselves up so steadfastly that they warped my bottom braces and my bottom teeth are now crooked again. But I'd take that any day over how my top teeth used to be; at least I can still smile with pride!! ^_^ One of these days I plan to look into getting invisalign for my bottom teeth, now that I've had my wisdom teeth removed.

    /longcomment

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  54. Your post inspired me - I need braces but my parents could never afford them. Now at 27 I am considering of saving up and getting them on my own!! Thank you for this post!!

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  55. I love brace stories.
    I wore braces from 13 to 15, and i absolutely loved it.
    I even loved getting 4 teeth pulled (i thought it was funny how they were holding my head on one end and pulling really hard on the other and it felt like nothing).
    It felt cool being part of the braces club.
    Whenever i see someone my age with them i feel so jealous.
    Also, you did it at the right time, after you removed your wisdom teeth. My case was too urgent, but because i used braces way before my wisdom teeth started showing, my bottom jaw is completely screwed, again.
    I can't afford a do over, unfortunately.
    But anyway, you look great!
    So worth it!

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  56. Ahh, this post made me happy! I had braces when I was 12/13, they were off by high school, and I think I was way too young to get them- my grandmother paid for them but my retainer was poorly formed and when we FINALLY got a proper one in it was 3 weeks later, my teeth had already shifted, and I cried and cried and had to take a vicodin (!) when I forced it into my mouth. DUMB. Wear your [properly made] retainers, kids! We even drove ~1.5 hours to my ortho's other office to pick up the retainer at the end of it all, cuz he was only local to me for a few particular days a month... ehh.

    Anyway! Right now I am a DENTIST ADVENTURER! Obviously, with the story like the above, I was totally negligent during high school and college, and I'm paying for it! Not bad, but I've had a crown and an implant in the past year. I wanna get my mouth healthy and then maybe when I'm a little older I'll get invisiline or something... I'm 24~

    My bottom teeth are totes janked up, but my top teeth look about the same as always. humm.

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  57. I had the same work done when I was an adult (I was actually in my 30s) and it is worth every single penny.

    You look fantastic!

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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  58. congrats on getting the smile you wanted! that's crazy about some places not letting you keep the teeth - what's the big deal? mine gave me my wisdom teeth without me even asking. and they gave me a general anesthesia too, i wasn't awake at all. it was the best dental experience i ever had (recovery not included) haha. so weird to hear teeth removal procedures go otherwise.

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  59. Thanks for the insight, it sounds like the whole experience was painful but worth it.

    Is it uncommon to get braces in the US? here (in Australia) lots of people get them, mainly between the ages of 12-15. I had braces for 3 years. I remember how painful and uncomfortable they were, but eventually got used to the inconvenience. Then when they got taken off I remember how amazing soft and smooth the inside of my mouth was without them! I could eat rice and cookies and all sorts of things without finding food debris stuck in there later! haha.

    I have 3 siblings and all of us bar one had braces, most of my friends got them too.

    You should be proud of your smile, you earned it, and it sure is a lovely one!

    xx Michelle

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  60. lovely smile! i had a similar experience but i was 9. my dentist (back when dentists were allowed to perform heavy duty oral surgery) said my mouth was going to be too small for my adult teeth. he pulled 12 teeth in 4 hours (the remaining 7 baby teeth and 5 adult ones--4 of which he cut out from my gums). i had an iv, 4 shots in my gums, numbing gel and the gas--but he couldn't get me to go to sleep! it's been close to 20 years, so i don't remember everything--but i remember the insane pressure. my face was bloated for a week. i ended up with retainers, and then braces in high school. turned out my dentist had been wrong and took out way too many :( the braces (and invisble retainers for a year after) worked, but my two front teeth have come apart as the years have gone on. i have a few gaps now, but they are still straight :) i will definitely be keeping my wisdom teeth if i can, though!

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  61. You have such a pretty smile! I'm glad you're so happy with your teeth now!

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  62. I was looking forward to this post! I had braces in high school but my teeth became crooked again after some retainer issues related to oral surgery. It was years until I finally bought a Groupon for Invisalign and started the Invisalign process. I am done in July after about a year and a half of Invisalign and I LOVE my new smile!! Teeth are such an important investment so I can totally appreciate you saying the pain is worth it - it's true!

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  63. Hey, just wanted to let you know that I have loved the braces on you and you have inspired me to get my teeth fixed. I'm 24 and have always been very self conscious of my smile, but seeing them on you has made me super excited about getting them! Too cute! Also, love your blog, have been following you for about 5 years now wah!!
    -Ria

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  64. My sister and I follow your blog and she told me to read this as I'm getting my braces put on today. I'm 21 and they're costing me a fortune but I hope they'll be worth it.I'm crazy anxious about this afternoon though. I know I'm going to hate the way they look so I'm just trying to prepare myself for that.
    Thanks for sharing your story. I think it made me feel a bit better.

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  65. Your teeth look absolutely perfect now! I'm forever grateful my parents got me braces even though they were a pain for the first few months. I had an overcrowding problem too, but luckily I kind of grew into my teeth and once I got them off they were the right size for my face!

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  66. I had my braces taken off just a few hours ago and it's the strangest feeling ever! also, I got so used to seeing myself with metal on my teeth that now I feel like it's not my mouth at all. oh well. guess I have to get used to my new smile before I can feel head over heels for it.
    aaaand I just wanted to tell you that you were a big inspiration and one of the main reasons that convinced me to get braces in the first place. I was feeling super bad about it when first I made the appointment, being 19 and everything, but seeing photos of you looking extra pretty made me feel better...just thought maybe you'd like to know :)

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  67. ugh, I had braces for four years. We had a bum ortho in our town who would put braces on kids and leave them on for a veeeeery long time. One girl in my school had braces for EIGHT years!! This guy was such a hack! I think someone turned him in and another ortho took over his practice and freed dozens of kids from their braces.

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  68. I REALLY wanted/needed braces when I was younger, and definitely need some teeth out to make some space. But I lived in a small town and my dentist was the kind of dentist that wouldn't take teeth out unless it was absolutely necessary, and the only orthodontist in town wouldn't give me braces unless my dentist agreed to pull the spare teeth. So frustrating. I just got a new job, and the first thing on my list is to start saving up to get braces. I know that at 27 I'm a somewhat older that most people getting braces, but I've spent the last 15 years of my life not smiling in photos, and covering my mouth when I laugh. It's nice to know I'm not the only person in their 20s who will be getting braces for the first time!

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  69. That is awesome and your smile looks beautiful! I will be turning 35 in November, and every year I think about getting braces. Actually... I need to get my wisdom teeth pulled first, then braces. Only problem, my hubby and I are both self employed, so we don't have any medical or dental insurance and everything has to come out of pocket. What I was wondering, if it isn't too personal, was how expensive was it to get/have braces? I heard that it is way more expensive once you are an adult. I know this is true for wisdom teeth extraction; I have been quoted between $5,000-$20,000 to have my 3 wisdom teeth pulled... so we are saving up. I would imagine that braces are something similar, but I don't know anyone else that is older who has had braces, so I thought I would ask you. :)

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  70. I have to get braces in Bedford, thanks for sharing your experiences with it.

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  71. i really loved reading this page..To tell you the truth i'm going through this experience too, like right now! just got a one out of my 4 teeth removed yesteday. adding to the coincidence, we seem to have the same problem- over crowding, not confident when we smile so and so forth. this gives me some confidence to face the days to come. i just hope I'm as satsfied as you are. :)

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  72. You look adorable....I love your smile!

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  73. Your smile is beautiful!! Sadly, after I got my braces off, I didn't keep up with my retainer on top and now my teeth are a little crooked. :/ I'm wondering if I want to get braces again to correct it or if I should just let them be. However, I'll have to be putting kids through braces so maybe not! I'll have to find someone to do Bedford orthodontics - maybe I should star researching now! Thanks for sharing your journey!

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  74. Your teeth look amazing now, so so pretty!
    I just had a new type of brace and Inman Aligner check out my post
    http://yayalicemay.blogspot.co.uk/ xx

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  75. It's always nice knowing someone else went through the same thing I'm going through now :]

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  76. That smile.. It looks amazing! The teeth braces worth our time!

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  77. I am 25 and have to get braces and I'm dreading it. That's something people get in high school. You pull them off really well though! I need to just be confident with them and not try to hide them. I love your hair by the way.

    Stacey
    http://www.bracesinc.com/types.asp

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  78. Love your style, and your teeth look fantastic! I'm getting braces in 2 weeks. Wish me luck!

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