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Category: Braces at 30

  1. Braces at 30 – the partial denture disappointment

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    Arg.  I feel totally deflated after picking up my denture today.  This whole braces journey has been a total rollercoaster of emotions.  Up on a high after one appointment with potential amazing plans, then down on a low after another where these plans are no more such as not being able to have an implant or having yet another tooth extracted so no veneer option.  Today was a day I had been looking forward to for six weeks since this dentist appointment where we had a plan to extract my peg tooth and then have a denture made so I could eat without embarrassment in front of others for 6-9 months until I get my bridges.  Well today was finally the day I picked up my denture, but it wasn’t as exciting as I had anticipated.  Read on below to see why.

    Welcome to my latest Braces at 30 blog post where I share my experience of wearing a brace as an adult with updates from each appointment.  I had my braces fitted when I was 30 years old.  I’m now 32 and wore braces for 28 months in total having had the lower set removed two weeks ago!  Below I share what happened at my latest appointment.

    Braces at 30 – the partial denture disappointment

    Braces at 30 – the partial denture disappointment

    Braces at 30 – the partial denture disappointment - denture with false late

    If you’ve been following my braces at 30 series then you’ll know I couldn’t wat for today as I was so eager to get this denture which I thought would blend in with my teeth and not be noticeable, plus allow me to eat food out and about without embarrassment.

    As soon as it was fitted and he passed me the mirror I was disappointed.

    Both teeth are tiny!  The right one must be 2mm shorter than my front tooth.  It’s dinky.  I didn’t know if I was over analysing, so when I got home I asked Ben and his face said it all! 

    I had two baby teeth removed at the very beginning of this journey – I certainly don’t want false baby teeth added back in at the end!!

    So the one tooth is super small and short.  The other tooth is better in length, still a bit too short, but it really sticks out.  It’s not flush with my teeth.

    I can’t believe s tooth artist made these teeth and thought they looked good.  They must have just thought ‘meh, they’ll do’.

    Which is why I am now going to go to a proper cosmetic dentist who costs an absolute fortune, but I am certain he would not be happy with this denture and will be able to get me a much better result.

    I know this denture is not permanent, but some people do use them as their permanent solution and the lab that made it had no idea this is only temporary for me.  So someone could be expected to walk around with this all the time!  It looks blinking awful!

    I haven’t spent thousands on having a brace for over two years to end up with substandard false teeth at the front of my mouth.

    This was on the NHS.  Obviously paid for under their band 3 charges so just shy of £260 I think I paid, but still, you’d think the quality and appearance would be better.  I guess they only pay for functioning mouths and not cosmetic.

    I was originally going private, but surprisingly at my last appointment he said I could do it on the NHS.  I think because I ended up with a problem with my peg tooth and had to have it extracted it then made my treatment necessary and not just cosmetic.

    Of course I thought this was brilliant as it made it all so much cheaper, but now I have totally changed my mind.

    The only great thing is that I decided to have the denture as I can now see how shoddy the lab’s work is.  I almost didn’t go for the denture and was just going to put up with the gaps and never eat out for months, but I’m glad I did as I’d never have known and could have ended up with two bridges with teeth as awful as this!

    Now it will cost me thousands again, probably as much as the brace, but fingers crossed I will get a more realistic result and that will also be the private cosmetics dentist aim to give me a beautiful smile as well as functioning teeth.  I hope we can work together and he will listen to how I want my teeth to look, not just bosh something in that sort of fits the gap.

    I’m also finding the denture a nightmare, but I know I shouldn’t really comment as I’ve only had it in for six hours so far.  It feels as bulky and uncomfortable as the Hawley retainer which I wrote about here just this morning.

    I’m meant to be able to eat with this in but I can’t even bite my teeth together!  My bottom teeth just hit the plastic behind my front teeth.  With the plastic on the roof of my mouth I gag as I try to eat and swallow and my tongue hits it.

    Speaking is a nightmare!  SO hard!

    I know it can take a few days to get used to it, but I don’t see how eating can get much better if I can’t even bite properly.

    We’ll see.  Maybe it will all get easier.

    I have actually booked an appointment with the orthodontist tomorrow to have a new Essix retainer made for my top teeth with two false teeth in.  I may just wear that and not eat out for months, unless I’m only with Ben, and scrap this denture if it doesn’t improve.

    I’ve also emailed a private cosmetic dentist and hope for an appointment there to discuss having a bridge with them and not my NHS dentist.


    Related blog posts

    12 reasons I hate the clear plastic Essix retainer

    Braces at 30

    Braces at 30 – the partial denture disappointment

  2. Braces at 30 - upper Hawley and lower Essix retainer fitting appointment

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    Yet another appointment for my teeth!  I had four teeth appointments within one week just recently.  The last of the four was to pick up my metal Hawley retainer for my top teeth which is a different style to the one I already have.  I also got my first retainer for my bottom teeth which is the clear Essix style retainer.  In this blog post I will share my first impressions of the new retainers.

    Welcome to my latest Braces at 30 blog post where I share my experience of wearing a brace as an adult with updates from each appointment.  I had my braces fitted when I was 30 years old.  I’m now 32 and wore braces for 28 months in total having had the lower set removed two weeks ago!  Below I share what happened at my latest appointment.

    Here’s my last update if you missed it: My latest braces at 30 update – No more braces after 28 months (but it's not over yet)

    Braces at 30 - upper Hawley and lower Essix retainer fitting appointment



    Braces at 30 - Hawley and Essix Retainers with false lateral incisors teeth

    Hawley on upper and Essix on lower!

    Braces at 30 - what does a metal hawley retainer with false teeth look like

    Braces at 30 - photo of hawley retainer with false lateral incisor teeth

    Braces at 30 - metal hawley retainer with false teeth and roof of mouth pla


    Braces at 30 upper Hawley and lower Essix retainer fitting appointment

    So if you read my recent blog post titled 12 reasons I hate the clear plastic Essix retainer then you’ll know I really detest this plastic retainer!  It’s starting to split and as I had my peg tooth extracted, I needed a retainer with two false teeth instead of one.  The dentist simply added some filling material to the retainer but it’s not fixed in and only temporary.  I find the clear retainer really disgusting in the day to wear as it fills with spit and gives me bad breath, among other things, so I thought perhaps the metal Hawley retainer would be better.

    Oh how wrong I was.

    I hate this metal retainer even more!

    It feels giant in my mouth!  It has a plastic plate that goes on the roof of the mouth, but the front part which is behind the teeth curves downwards instead of upwards, which seems illogical to me.  So it doesn’t fit the shape of the roof of my mouth.  Instead it is constantly on my tongue so it’s impossible to talk.  I sound ridiculous! 

    The false teeth are also crap.  I know they don't custom make them when it's just for a retainer, they just find the closest size they can from what they have in stock, but these are so jagged they look like broken teeth in my mouth!  They look ridiculous.

    It also doesn’t feel as tight as the clear plastic Essix retainer.  I’ve been wearing the metal one at night times only and then changing into the plastic one in the morning and that feels tight.  So I’m sure the Hawley one is too loose.

    I’m going to the dentist today to pick up my denture so I’ll ask if I can order another clear plastic retainer with two teeth in from them, but I may have to go back to the orthodontist to order one.  They cost £100 to replace.

    I do find the plastic one really grotesque, but at least it’s comfortable to wear and I can talk properly!

    So at the moment here’s what I’m wearing:

    • Day time: plastic retainer on top, permanent on bottom
    • Night time: metal on top or plastic, plastic on bottom over the permanent retainer

    Once I pick up my denture today, providing it fits and looks OK, then I’ll be able to wear that at the top in the day times and finally be able to eat in front of people! Woohoo!  Fingers crossed it all looks good.


    I’ve been documenting my entire orthodontics journey with train track braces, retainers, consultations and tooth extractions for over two years.  Find my entire journey here: Braces at 30

    Braces at 30 - upper Hawley and lower Essix retainer fitting appointment

  3. 12 reasons I hate the clear plastic Essix retainer

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    I had my top train track brace removed after 25 months of continuous wear in May and I just had my bottom brace removed last week.  What would usually be a momentous and exciting occasion for most brace wearers was not so for me.  I have a lateral incisor missing at the top and once the brace was removed I had to have the other removed, so now I have two teeth missing right next to my top front teeth!  Obviously with the brace on I had a false tooth attached to the wire so no one knew I had any teeth missing. Now the brace has gone the gaps are there for all to see!  This has probably made my experience of the retainer worse than for others as when I remove it to eat I have missing teeth.

    As I’ve only just had the second tooth out I now have to wait 6-9 months to get my permanent false teeth in the form of bridges (either Maryland or traditional).  Until then I will have my clear retainer with one false tooth and filling material to cover the gaps.  I did pick up a Hawley retainer with two false teeth this week, but it may even be worse than this Essix retainer so I’ve only been sleeping in it so far.  Plus I think it’s moved my front teeth in only two nights of wear, so I may just stick with the Essix retainer even though I detest it!

    I’m getting a denture next week which I am praying looks normal and I can eat without embarrassment in the day and have my social life back.  I have friends that are keen to go out for a meal and I have to keep putting it off as I don’t want to have to talk and eat in front of other people with two teeth missing at the front!

    The brace journey certainly isn’t over once the brace is removed, but it is one step closer.  I’ve had to wear retainers full time for three months and then I have a review.  Then hopefully retainers will be part time at night only.  I now have all three styles of retainer: metal Hawley, clear Essix and permanent bonded retainer.

    I’ve had the clear Essix retainer on the top teeth for two months already (full time) so I feel qualified to give my experience of this brace.  Whilst it’s great it is clear and from a slight distance you can’t even tell a brace is being worn, it also has lots of negatives too.  I can’t wait to only have to wear it part time at night!

    NO MORE BRACES AFTER 28 MONTHS (BUT ITS NOT OVER YET) - orthodontics at 30

    At least you can't see my two gaps when I have this on.  The two teeth next to the front top teeth are missing.  This Essix retainer has a false tooth to cover one gap and some filling material from the dentist to cover the other.

    Here are 12 reasons I hate the Essix retainer:

    Bad breath

    Yep it gives me stinking bad breath.  Really gross.  Probably because all the spit just collects in it all day long and doesn’t flow through the mouth or get swallowed.  I’m brushing my teeth after every meal so more than ever, sometimes four times a day and using mouthwash, but it still stinks.

    Can’t eat with it in

    I can’t eat with it in.  This probably won’t be a problem for those who have no missing teeth, but for me it’s meant I have to reveal my missing teeth whenever I eat or drink anything other than water.  This has meant avoiding any social situations where I need to eat, drink and talk to people.

    Love life killer

    It’s like wearing a mouth guard so it’s hard to kiss, plus I’m conscious of the bad breath, missing teeth and spit that is visible within it.  Any love life I did manage to have whilst wearing braces (and feeling gross with those) is now totally out of bounds.

    Disgusting in the morning

    The morning is the worst!  A whole night of sleeping with spit and bacteria accumulating!  So most people get morning breath, but aplify that by a billion and you can imagine how it is.  It tastes and feels gross first thing, but just wait until you remove it to brush your teeth.  It’s like all the bad air, taste and smell is released from its protective case (being the retainer) and it’s oh so disgusting…  Luckily this is only for a moment as teeth are brushed right away to rid this awfulness!

    Spit when I talk

    I spit when I talk.  It’s so embarrassing.  If I’m talking a lot to a friend then it’s next level.  If I drink some water whilst talking then I’m just showering them. 

    Can’t snack

    Well I can, but then I’d have to take my retainer out just to have a nibble and then clean it and brush my teeth before putting it back in… too much hassle.  Good if you’re trying to eat less though!

    Have to brush teeth several times per day

    After taking it out to eat then you have to brush your teeth and clean the retainer.  Believe me, you’ll want to as well!  A couple of times I’ve been on the go and just popped it back in and heaved in the process!  It’s so gross.  It smells bad, tastes bad and looks bad.  It’s really not nice putting it back in without being able to clean it.  This means taking toothpaste and a toothbrush everywhere and trying to avoid any situation where I can’t brush my teeth after eating or drinking.

    Can‘t lick spoons or knives

    I never before noticed how often I do this!  When making the kids lunchboxes or breakfast I often just eat what’s left on the knife or fork.  Even when cooking or baking and trying the food.  With a retainer in there’s no eating or drinking anything other than water.

    Breaks easily

    It’s just plastic so it can break.  I’ve been really careful to look after mine, but it’s already split at the front after only two months.  I think it’s OK for now but it will probably get worse.  I’ve since read online they can only last six months which isn’t long when they cost £100 to replace.

    Can’t bite natural teeth together

    I couldn’t with the brace either as they put biting blocks on my teeth to prevent me biting together, so it’s frustrating I still can’t bite together now!  No biting nails (maybe a good thing for some), Selotape, thread and so on.

    Always covered in spit

    I really hate spit.  Ask Ben, my husband.  I hate even using a spoon as I hate when the saliva is dragged all over it… it’s something I’ve always hated.  I’d always use a fork if eating cake and never a spoon.  I hate people who spit in public too.  Spit and saliva are just eew to me.  This thing is a spit machine!  It fills with spit which are always on the teeth.  The spit is visible close up as it’s see-through.  When I take it out there is loads of stringy saliva hanging off.  It makes me feel disgusting.

    Lisp when I talk

    When I first put it on I could barely talk at all and was lisping terribly.  I’m much better now, but there are some words I can’t say and Ben keeps mis-hearing me (though I just swear he’s losing his hearing sometimes…)  Either way, it’s frustrating sometimes.

    So there we go.  All the reasons I do not like the clear plastic Essix retainer.  At least with the brace I had a false tooth and could eat on the go without all the grossness of having to remove it and worry about being able to brush my teeth right away.  Plus there was no spit.


    Read my entire braces at 30 journey here: 

    12 reasons I hate the clear plastic Essix retainer