Braces - I just got 'em!!

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

So, here I am, 48 years old, and while in the process of getting numerous things in my mouth fixed, *before* getting a bridge made for one spot on the bottom, DH asks me if maybe, before (or instead of) putting in the bridge, might I be a candidate for braces? He urges me to find out as he knows how self-conscious I have always been about my terribly crooked bottom teeth. Well, lo and behold, the answer is YES. At the last visit I had with my regular dentist, *he* said that he figured I could wear them, so he referred me to a WONDERFUL orthodontist (whom I saw last Wednesday), who also said "YES!!" to braces for me, and so I went back this past Saturday and had them put on. Just the bottom teeth, but still, now this nearly-50-year-old has a new look, LOL!! And of course, me being me, I just HAD to have the hot pink bands put on. Can't go pinkless now can I? < =D

So now I'm wondering: Has anyone else here worn braces as an adult? Got any helpful hints or tips for this (old) newbie?

Cocoa Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

At age 30, I got my braces. My daughter had just gotten a job as a tech in an orthodontial service. Family discount. Six months later her brother got his. He was done in two years. I had wisdom teeth pulled and a couple of others, so it took a bit longer for me. But at 33 I had a lovely smile. I'm soon to be 70, so worth it. I developed a love affair with yogurt, it's nutritious, delicious and doesn't require chewing. Now there are so many wonderful flavors and kinds. I still make my own on occasion.

Virginia Beach, VA

Yes I had a major dental / cosmetic after I retired because I did not want to fork the $$ while children were in College.
My lower braces was just removed 3 weeks ago after 1-1/2 years and we are very pleased with the result. I have to use retainer and will follow orthodontist instructions because I do not want the teeth shifting .I went to the group where our children went when they were young.
I did not want colored bands, I preferred clear because I am a lot older than you.!! LOL!!

The dental work started with a 3 dental implant, my cousin who is a dentist extracted 3 teeth while I was in High School years ago so I used bridge for years. Our daughter who is a Dental Hygienist kept telling me to have the dental work but I kept telling her that I will after retiring. She wanted crowns on the smile line which is total 14 teeth.
IT is a coordination between a implant specialist, my regular dentist who did the crowns and the orthodontist.

Dental work is over and 100% satisfied!!! I am however very careful what I bite for fear of ruining the crowns!! LOL!!!

Good luck to you and use the wax religiously.


This message was edited Sep 17, 2012 9:05 AM

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Mittsy, thank you!! =) And yes Ma'am, I do so looooove yogurt too, have loved it for years, and now they have the "Greek" yogurts that are so wonderful!! I keep a large stock of them in the fridge at all times now, along with lots of applesauce. Any other food tips? So far, I've been keeping it "safe" with yogurt, applesauce, some mashed potatoes, and cottage cheese (which, of course, means that I only eat a SMALL amount of it, then run to the bathroom to floss and brush immediately afterwards, LOL!) I'm really not able to chew stuff yet 'cause he had to build up the surface of one of my front molars, to keep the backs of my top front teeth from hitting the braces when I bite down.. BAADDD over-bite.

Belle, WOW, you JUST got yours off a few weeks ago? CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I bet it feels wonderful!!!! I haven't used the wax yet (I'll get into that in a second), but I do carry around my little 'bag of tricks' with me everywhere I go, so I can floss and brush meticulously after everything I eat, and coffee is now down to a bare minimum so I can brush directly after a cup, since I put sugar and creamer in it.
But, about the wax... use it religiously? Is that due to the pokey things that tend to scrape the inside of my lower lip? I am already noticing 2 spots inside my lower lip that feel sorta raw, and DH was telling me last night that I should start to use the wax. Does it tend to stay in place pretty well? I tend to drink a LOT of water throughout the day, constantly, so I hope I won't dislodge the wax and swallow it. LOL!! I've had a habit for years of being a 'grazer', constantly nibbling all throughout the day, and now that bad habit is gone by the wayside. Now it's strictly 3 meals, with 3 flossings/brushings after each. I've lost 5 pounds already!! < =D (trust me, that's a good thing).

Thank you guys, this is really encouraging and helpful!!

Virginia Beach, VA

Good morning,
Wow!! lost 5 lbs!!! Good for you!!!

Wax stays pretty good just press it well. I have colored ones and normally change them everyday and as needed. I was able to eat almost anything I liked just cut them in small pieces and chew slowly.

CVS carries the short tiny brush with short bristles for in between and pluckers worked well for me.
I carry with me a small mirror at all times.


Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Okey dokey, I've got that little 'starter pack' of wax, so I'll put that on right after I brush after breakfast, thank you! If I need to get more, I'll get more. =)

What are pluckers, and how do you use them? I've got this tiny soft little.. what they call a "end tuft" brush (picture below) that I use along with floss for those hard-to-reach places, but I haven't used the mirror... I just pull back my lower lip to see inside there, LOL! (not to mention using my tongue to feel around the backs of my teeth). Would the mirror be more helpful, and how?

Ya know what I'm finding to be priceless are the floss threaders for flossing. I'm gonna have to buy about a case of those things, they're GREAT!! Yeah, I've used 'em for my bridge for years, but they never struck me as so impressive as they do now, simply beyond value!

Thumbnail by speediebean
Virginia Beach, VA

For starters I use straw for all drinks except water. My daughter who has beautiful teeth does it too. No stains on my crowns. Beautiful smile!!!!
I do not like threaders floss.

Pluckers are floss with handles, Wallgreens, CVS carries them I use it several times a day . Off course the little bristles are my favorite,go the oral / dental section and browse, I think the brand is DENTON.
I broke my ankles 4 weeks ago so I have a cast. I do not go up often. I only go when i take a shower.

My girl friend is taking me out for breakfast so I will check this thread when i come back.

Love my new smile!!


Virginia Beach, VA

We had a good time and she pushed me on my wheelchair.
For the first time I did not take any narcotic meds.
Do not let oral ulcers develop, it can be prevented.

I got the brush, it is DENTEK slim brush and it is for deep cleaning for tight teeth.
I love them and so i need to get some more.


This message was edited Aug 15, 2012 5:45 PM

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Heavens to Betsy, how on earth did you break BOTH of your ankles!?!? =( Aaawww, I'm so sorry!!!! But very glad that you were able to have a day with no major medications!!

Hmmm, never thought of using a straw, but then again, I don't have any major staining either.. when I got my top partial made, my dentist commented on how WHITE my teeth are and actually had the guy who makes the appliances come in to see me and look at how white my teeth are so he'd be sure to be able to match it with the partial.

Aaaah, so that's what a 'plucker' is!! I've got those, the ones made for braces. I've not used any yet because so far I've actually had the time to floss after each meal. (yeah, even at work, heehee).

I used the wax yesterday morning and MY GOODNESS it's WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!! I'd completely forgotten it was in there by the time I'd finished with dinner last night, and when I went in to floss/brush, I was standing there wondering "What IS this weird stuff... OH YEAH!!" as the wax was dislodging in little bits here and there. Other than brushing, how do you safely remove it, anyway? Anyway, I'm going to have to get a couple cases of that stuff as well, GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!!! =)

I tell ya, I'm really looking forward to seeing the "after" pictures at the ortho's office when all this is done! =)

Virginia Beach, VA

Good morning!
where did you get the name Betsy!!! LOL!! I fractured my ankle on left foot not both!!

I am flossing a lot and using Dentek often too..
I am glad you like the wax and do not worry if pieces goes into your GI, it is .safe.

My freaky accident was on Tuesday, July 17 when my golf buddy made a very sharp turn so I was thrown landing on a concrete sustaining fracture of the 2 bones of my left ankle and several scrapes and bruises I knew I fractured something because I had severe pain.

I was driven to the club and luckily saw my husband on the way who drove me to the ER, a hospital where I retired from few years ago as an OR nurse in the OR.

I had surgery on a Saturday AM by a ortho surgeon who specializes on ankles. The best part was a block on my left leg so i did not get any narcotic for 24 hours. Went hoe Sunday evening.

I am doing much better and in 2 weeks I will have an x-ray and if OK I will then get a walking cast then PT.

I do miss golf a lot because I had been laying for 17 years. we have a scheduled golf vacation on October so i hope I will be ready to play then.

Have a good day!!!


Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Haahahahaahaaa, Ok, how's about "Heavens To Bellie!!"? < =) I'm happy to hear that you're healing well, and I'll keep you in my prayers that you continue to. Sure will be nice to be up walking around again!
Oh, and the reason I thought it was both, was because you said, "I broke my ankles 4 weeks ago so I have a cast." =) I'm REALLY glad it was only just one!! Yikes!! < =/

I'm glad you mention the wax being safe if accidentally eaten.. I had this situation with my peanut butter and jelly sandwich at work yesterday... had forgotten the wax was on. < =D

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

OMG I had braces in 1969 or 1973 or something, maybe 1969 to 1973. I am very proud of all you people who chose to take the plunge as adults! I can tell you, I never thought about staining my teeth and of course, I have stains on my teeth. They didn't have wax back then, or if they did, I didn't know about it. I had constant sores the whole time I had braces. Uck! I do not remember ever flossing while I had braces....maybe I was supposed to but I don't recall. I am VERY impressed by the care you all are taking of your teeth! Good job! I mostly have gold and porcelain crowns on my back teeth now....wish I had taken better care when I had the chance. Keep up the good work!

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Thank you Carrie, quite frankly I feel like a silly goose; WHY am I subjecting myself to this at my age!? < =P

I had my first "adjustment" a few days ago... OH MY GOODNESS!! It was darn-near one of those "knee-on-the-chest-while-she-pulled-the-wire" situations, YIKES! LOL!!! But, I am happy to report that, the first thing the orthodontist said upon inspecting my mouth was "Oh, excellent oral hygiene!" < =D So far it looks like things are on schedule, all is moving like he'd hoped, and I'm still being a good girl keeping things scrubbed and flossed. Of course, I was pain-free until I got adjusted! < =/ When he put the "butterfly" (whatever that is) on the back molar, he said "You're REALLY gonna feel some pressure back here now!". Oh yay. Yeah, I can feel it alrighty!

I think, though, (speaking of staining), my teeth are actually looking whiter than before... I am embarassed to admit that I am a smoker, and I drink coffee... but I have found this wonderful whitening toothpaste that really works nicely, and between the Rotodent, and brushing 5 times a day, my teeth have never looked or felt so nice! =)
Why brush 5 times a day? Well, once upon awakening, once after each meal, (and btw, I've lost weight 'cause NO MORE SNACKING!!), and one last time at bed time. Rotodent morning and bedtime.

Haven't seen my regular dentist since I had them put on, that's scheduled for next month, can't wait to see him!! =)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

you're going to be so SMILEY when you're done! If you can afford it, it is worth it! I was in pain all the time with eating before I had all these caps put on....hadn't seen a dentist in YEARS. My mom finally sent me to her dentist (couple years ago) and then I found out all my molars were cracked and had cavities in the cracks. :( I never smiled. But this guy made it so I could drink cold drinks again and even (gasp) eat ice cream, something I had totally given up. I don't brush 5 X a day, but I floss every day now, and use my dentist's recommended electric toothbrush. After a few months of seeing him every 3 mos. DH said my teeth were looking whiter and shinier! I drink coffee or tea too, a lot.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Oh man, ice cream, YAAYYY!!! How nice to be able to smile again without reservations, huh!?? < =D A BIG thank you to your Mom for sending you to her dentist!!

DH told me last night that, when these things come off, we're gonna go out to celebrate and have an apple-eating party! LOL! =D

I've got caps on some top teeth also (none on the bottoms), and just a few days before I got the braces put on (just the bottom) I got a new partial for the top as well. Talk about a lot of new stuff to get used to all at once, wow!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Ugh, caps are no fun. I think if I'd known what I was risking, I might have gone and got my teeth cleaned more often, like every 2-3 years! OTOH, I tell myself it's because the silver-amalgam fillings expanded over time. Either way, UGH. Yes, thanks Mom!!!

Do you have headgear? I had to wear head gear at night (major overbite) and man, oh, man, the sores on the corners of my mouth were so bad I hated to wear that thing.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Hmmmm, I don't find the caps so bad, but one thing I didn't like was the veneer that the schmuck "insisted" he should put on one of my teeth, to make 'em all match up. Turns out to have been the WORST idea ever!! Unbeknownst to me the tooth underneath rotted away, and I never knew it until AFTER the veneer fell off! GRRRR!!! So, that tooth had to go and now that's part of what the partial fills in. (needless to say I do NOT go to that dental practice anymore, darned money-grubbing quacks!)

No Ma'am, no head gear for me, thank God!! I've got a major overbite too (or so the orthodontist tells me), but he's just gonna have to bring all the bottom guys forward... however he's gonna do it. I have no idea how, guess I'll just have to wait and see. =) He did have to create this little build-up thing on one of my molars so that when I bite down I don't bite down with the backs of my top teeth onto the braces... the down-side to that is that NONE of my molars come together, so I am unable to grind my food, which majorly limits what I can eat. Lettuce is totally OUT. =(

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Awww, sounds bad.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Well, it sorta is a bummer... though on the upside, I do get to enjoy LOTS of mashed potatoes, and oodles of yogurt, both of which I LOVE! Oh, and applesauce too! I'm back fitting into jeans that I've not worn in quite a while, and that's a major plus too... or "minus", depending on how ya look at it. ;) heeheeheee < =D

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

That's great! (If you kept them....if not then I guess it's an excuse to go shopping.) Congrats. (Every time I finally get rid of something to big or too small, I gain or lose weight and wish I kept it.)

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Oh yes, I've got a stash of "fat clothes" and "skinny clothes" for just in case. ;) Good thing I keep 'em 'cause I know how my weight goes up and down like a yo-yo! The way it's going, these braces are doing me more good than just for my teeth. =)

So, how are your choppers doing since you've had all this work done? =)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Ack, they're fine. I hope I don't like ice cream *too much* because I've been the same weight for a long time. I used to have fat and skinny clothes, especially when I was having kids. Now I'm pretty much stabilized.

Virginia Beach, VA

I ate everything when I had braces as long as they are in small pieces.

One thing I learned about retainers is to remove when eating anything. I should have listened, I snacked on some chips one day and put holes on them . I am due for check up tomorrow so i will order another one. OI hope they are not expensive.

My daughter said she can make one but she lives in Alabama.

You will be pleased with the results.


Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

I do keep trying to eat whatever I feel like.. but I think I'm still really annoyed with this partial on top, and.. there's this "build-up" thing that the orthodontist put on one of my molars, to keep me from biting down on the braces with my over-bite, so I can't actually 'grind' food very well since my upper and lower molars don't "meet" anymore...for now, anyway. All together, eating is a real pain in the neck anymore. Which is fine, 'cause I'm now down by 13 pounds, which is having a positive effect on my blood pressure, and my jeans size. =)

I learned today that Cheese Puffs REALLY stick to dental appliances rather disgustingly. < =/

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Bump! =)

So, had another adjustment this morning, and WOW these choppers are making progress!!! So much so, in fact, that he took the coil off, yippeeee!!! No more coil, no more 'activators', now it's nothing but brackets and wires. This is nice, it will be soooo much easier to floss now and not have the floss getting stuck in between those coils and other little metal bits in there! =)
Of course it also means that that one tooth is no longer sitting BEHIND all the others, it is now in line with all the rest, and that is the biggest YIPPEEEE of all!!

I've not gotten any new pics yet, since this just happened this morning.. and quite honestly, I'm REEEALLY embarrassed by how my teeth used to look, but I've just gotta keep track of progress somehow, so... I'll share the progressive photos so far.. and please don't point and laugh! < =/

The first shot is "Before" anything. You can see how AWFUL that set-back tooth is on the bottom. UGH

Second shot, first day of braces and I'd JUST gotten home with them. Sorry about the graininess of the shot, but you can see the coil across that set-back tooth pretty well.

Third shot, taken about a week and a half ago... MAJOR progress already, you can actually SEE the tooth when I smile!! (and I swear, my smile has changed some already too... of course ya can't tell in these shots, heh heh).

I'll update the shots of the outcome of today's visit (sans coil) when I get DH to take them. < =D WHEEEEE, we're rollin' now!!!

Thumbnail by speediebean Thumbnail by speediebean Thumbnail by speediebean
Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

YIKES, those are some scary pictures up there!! o_0

OK, DH got home and we took a few pics of my new mouff. =)

We're getting there! < =D

Thumbnail by speediebean Thumbnail by speediebean
Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Your teeth are so pretty! Guess I should take better care of my teeth. You look great!!!!

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Thank you! =) I am embarrassed to admit that, they sure would look better if I did not drink coffee and smoke.. and of course, I hear all about it from the dentist, dental hygienist, AND orthodontist all the time. **Deeep sigh**.... maybe one day. But health-wise, all is well in there, and yeah, I finally now DO keep up on flossing (at least once, usually twice a day) and brushing a LOT more than I used to. Everything is healthy, but Ooooh the staining!! < =/

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I hear you. I don't smoke and NOW I usually only drink coffee once a day but I used to drink a lot more, and before that I drank caffeinated tea ALL DAY.

Every time I go back to Boston, I get my teeth cleaned, and last time I said "you know this tooth still hurts even though I have a lovely porcelain cap." I thought I had a cavity between the cap and the root (is that possible?) and they said wham bam root canal. Apparently this was not the first time I had complained about this tooth and they were thinking of sending me for one all along but wanted to see if they could get away without it. So now I have one fewer of my own brown teeth.

Every time they put in a porcelain crown, they match it to my own color and I always want to say NO i DON'T WANT THAT TO BE "MY" COLOR! But I never do. Surely some day I'll have more fake than real and I'll wish they were whiter.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Oh dear.. I'm sorry to say but YES, it is possible to have decaying or a cavity underneath a cap. I'm REALLY glad they were able to find that in a timely manner and do your root canal!!! (been there, done that. Had one of mine have a BIG problem under a badly-placed cap... now it's gone and that space is a part of my partial). :(

Hmmmm, I wonder if there is any way to whiten porcelain? I mean, the crowns you've got now.... When do you go back again? Would it be too much trouble to call and ask them? Maybe you could set it up for discussion for the next time you're in for a cleaning.

Virginia Beach, VA

My upper smile line --14 teeth is capped with porcelain in which the color was matched with my lower. i had braces on the lower which I wrote earlier. My daughter who is a dental hygienist told me that porcelain can not be whitened but this was 2 years ago. Maybe there is something new now. she told me however that you can avoid discoloration by using straw when having coffee which I do not do.

i get my lower whitened when we go visit her..

You can also whiten teeth brushing with baking soda.

Dental work is very expensive so take care of those teeth.


Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Drnking coffee through a straw sounds like no fun. Better just to take a No-Doz. And I'm nowhere near having caps on the rest--but someday. I'll just plan on really white dentures!

I know an old man (who may or may not be a relation) who had too much money and was unspeakably vain. He got his teeth whitened 25-35 years ago as well as having his eyes "done." Now, if he doesn't rewhiten theeth (daily? regularly) they turn gray. I'd rather be normal and have brown teeth.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

I have a feeling you're still right Bell, porcelain most likely still cannot be whitened. I remember now you mentioning drinking coffee through a straw but had forgotten all about it in the interim! Yikes! Now I need to pull that straw dispenser down off the top of the fridge... ok, gonna do it .. RIGHT NOW, brb... OK, now it's on the counter next to the coffee pot so I won't forget. =) THANK YOU! I've started a new 'routine' where, one of the 42 times a day that I brush I use baking soda. Hopefully that will help with the upkeep, along with the straw with the coffee.

My entire top smile-line is porcelain as well (as you can tell from the pic), but when they put them all in, I had JUST had my teeth cleaned, so the dentist matched up the caps (and tooth colour of the partial) to my clean (bottom) teeth colour.

Carrie, LOL @ no-doz... I like the taste of coffee, so I'll just use a straw from now on.. HONEST! =)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Me too, and I like the texture on my tongue, and the feeling on my lips, feels like I'd be giving up too much. 42 x a day? That's 84 more times than I brush my teeth.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Heeheeheee, ok, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little bit. ;) (But, I have been known to brush like 5 times day... but that's when I'm working, and actually eat 3 meals a day).

NO WAY will I give up my coffee unless my Dr. tells me to. Until then, I'll just keep straws handy. =)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Can't see myself drinking coffee through a straw,

I should mention that when I was 19, I was a nurse's aide in a nursing home, and one of the ladies I aided had ALS.

She was a very nice not nearly old enough lady. She couldn't chew or move things around in her mouth, so they used to take her food and throw it all in the blender. I remember it as pulverized chicken-potatoes-carrots-and-stuffing, but it PROBABLY was chicken in one pile, carrots in one pile, potatoes in one pile and no stuffing. Anyway....she had a cup of hot black coffee (an institutional plastic mug of institutional coffee) with every meal which she drank through a straw. That's the image I'm trying to avoid remembering.

She had a hard time pronouncing words, so although SHE knew what she wanted to say, she couldn't make herself understood. She was no Stephen Hawking (same disease), but computers were not much used yet. We still took BP manually, T with mercury thermometer, R by counting. You needed a watch with a second hand.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Oh wow, what memories!

I've got my own long-term care memories as well.. and yes, PLENTY of those with coffee cups with straws. < =/ I had this one guy, Tom... GOSH I loved that man!! He'd been an officer in the Navy, but had had a stroke, so when he moved into the Veteran's Home he was in a wheelchair and had a really hard time with speech. Mostly all he could say was "This is it, G*D* it, this is it!" Haahahahaaa, I remember the day he moved in... (I'm stubborn, by the way, made a PERFECT match for him!)... he was getting frustrated with his inability to communicate and tried to wheel himself away from me, so I stepped around in front of his chair, put my hands on the arms to stop him and got right down in his face and said, "I'm just as stubborn as you are and I WILL NOT stop until you're satisfied that I have heard you sufficiently, got it!?" LOL!!! We ended up being really good friends, and I would visit him long after I stopped working there. I just ADORED that man!! < ='D

Sometimes those memories can be really really sweet, if we let them. =')

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I wonder what became of her--I JUST remembered her first AND last name! Memories can be really sweet--whoops, you just said that. Well, I concur!

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Would you ever have a chance to go back and visit her? I bet she would really like that!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Oh dear, she was very ill, months expected life expectancy, in 1983. I very much doubt she's still alive. Plus she WASN'T Stephen Hawking. He is brilliant, is a world-renowned physicist and has trouble doing everything he wants to do with cutting edge technology in 2013. Her family/Medicaid/occupational therapists etc. didn't even have any type of rudimentary ANYTHING to help her communicate in 1983. But that was 30 years ago! If she was 50 then, she would be 80 now! Even with excellent health, that's sort of asking a lot.

And I googled her last night and found no record. I could be remembering her name wrong, prolly am. Anyway, maybe she feels a mental hug, wherever she is.

Io only worked there for 6 mos or so--she would have no reason to remember me. Never saw any family, though.

Anyway, how are you and your teeth today?

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