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Category: Braces at 30

  1. Braces at 30: My 12th tightening appointment update (18 months)

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    I can’t quite believe it, but I’ve had my brace on for 18 months now!  It feels like a milestone!  And perhaps not the most joyous of milestones as it was predicted I’d need a brace for 18-24 months, so this means the 18 month window has gone out the window!  It’s looking more like 24 months now as there’s still a lot to fix.  We left it a few months to put the bottom brace on as it seemed like less work, but now I think the top is coming together and there still seems to be a lot to do at the bottom.  Perhaps it would have been best to just put them both on at the same time?

    I may be wrong though and my orthodontist says sometimes it all falls into place at the end.  I hope so as I am ready to have my mouth back please.  Get this thing off me!

    I will be patient though and will wait until everything is as perfect as can be.  There’s no point in spending all this time and money to rush the brace off and not be 100% happy with the outcome.

    Since my 11th appointment I haven’t noticed a huge difference.  I can’t tell any difference at the top at all, though a couple of friends and family have remarked how good my teeth are looking, so maybe they have changed.  They definitely look perfectly aligned, but I think because there are so many gaps to the front around my peg tooth and next to the false tooth, I can’t see past these.

    Here’s what’s going on:

    Braces at 30 My 12th tightening appointment update 18 months before and af


    My silly overbite is still 5.5mm, even though I made sure I was wearing those annoying top to bottom elastics most of the time.  Luckily I don’t have to wear them at the moment as I have gone back a wire on the bottom teeth for now.  So we’ll probably come back to this overbite once I have the thick steel on again.

    Gaps for false tooth and veneer

    The peg tooth and its gaps are 8mm and these need to be 6mm.  The false tooth gap is fine.  I now have a very long elastic across all of the top brace to bring them altogether and close this 2mm.  Then, as far as I know this is everything at the top aside from the overbite.

    Gaps at bottom

    I’d noticed there was still a gap in the middle of my bottom front teeth.  The teeth had closed at the very top, but were on a slant so there was quite a sizeable space which I could fit a large interdental brush between.  My orthodontist said it could either be the teeth have gone together slightly slanted and not perfectly upright, or the edges of the teeth aren’t straight.  She thinks they have gone together at an angle, like a triangle, so just the top bits have met.  We’ve gone back a step with the wire and she changed it to the last wire to move the teeth into a better position.  Hopefully this will bring them more upright and then we can close this gap for good!  It means the rest of the gaps at the bottom will have to wait for now.

    Next steps

    Closing gaps and improving overbite seems to be everything there is left to do.  I also need to ask my dentist at what point he’ll do the veneer and bridge.  Some like the retainer to be on for a while first, whereas some might do it sooner.  I’ll see what he has to say, but I hope it’s sooner rather than later or we could be heading over three years before I get the finished result.

    My 18th month brace timeline

    It’s quite disgusting looking so close at my mouth!  But I loved looking at other people’s photos when I was researching whether to have a brace, so I’ve decided to share mine.  It’s also quite amazing to see the progress.  At this stage, when very little seems to be happening, it’s easy to forget just how awful my teeth were and how they upset me every day.  Seeing this difference makes it all worthwhile and reminds me to be patient!

    Braces Timeline Before and After My 12th tightening appointment update 18 m



  2. Braces at 30: My 11th Appointment closing gaps and improving overbite

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    Braces at 30:  My 11th Appointment closing gaps and improving overbite

    Since my 10th Appointment Getting a Temporary False Tooth Fitted blog post I have actually popped back for a mini appointment to get another false tooth fitted.  The other one was too white, so I went back two weeks later just for a 5 minute appointment to fit a new colour false tooth.  These are only temporary false teeth so not the real deal.  I’ve been told they are the size my false teeth will be, which is strange as the gap is a lot bigger.  They’ve made the gap bigger than it needs to be, so I guess they’ll make it smaller again soon?  Not sure of the exact reason for this, I might ask her at my next appointment.

    I’ll not count my quickie appointment as an actual one as it was literally to swap over the false tooth and nothing else.

    I’ve now had my 11th appointment to tighten the wires and see what’s been happening.

    A very, very rare photo of me showing my teeth:

    Braces at 30:  My 11th Appointment closing gaps and improving overbite

    Closing gaps with elastics

    At the bottom we’re closing all the gaps.  We closed the front gap, then the next gaps, now we’re closing the gaps that have formed by my third teeth back.  Then the next two, and so on until there are no gaps.  After these gaps are closed I have three more teeth on one side and four on the other (as I have one tooth missing altogether at the bottom), so this means at least four more appointments to get all these gaps closed which will go into 2018 with six weeks between each appointment.

    My dream of being brace free by Christmas has disappeared.

    Correcting overbite with elastics

    My overbite is around 5.5mm (should be 2mm-ish) and I admitted I hadn’t been wearing my top to bottom elastics full time.  They are such a pain!  But more than this, it’s because I have to take them out to brush my teeth and eat, so I remove them 5-7 times a day, then I totally forget to put them back in!  Usually by the time I remember, it’s nearly time to eat again so there’s no point, and then I forget again!  I’m going to try and make more of an effort to remember as it’s the only way to correct my bite.

    I did wonder if I could not wear them in the day and double up at night, but after Googling I discovered it’s not the strength of the force, but the continuous force that helps, so part time wear doesn’t work.

    Considering an implant

    I was considering an implant, or two, instead of the planned bridge and veneer, but they are super expensive!  I thought I’d seen they cost £1000-£1500 which was OK as they last forever and look the most realistic, but I’ve found a local quote for £2500 per tooth!  Way too expensive.  My veneer and bridge should cost closer to £1000 for both.  The only downside being they may only last 5 years.  I have read if you look after them and they are done well, they can last 10-20 years.

    My brace timeline:

    16 months with an adult brace before and after photos timeline

    Next steps

    All the teeth are aligned correctly, so it’s just the overbite and closing all the gaps.  The gaps at the top for the false teeth are too wide, so these need reducing again I think.  I think once all the bottom gaps are closed they’ll bring all my top teeth together.  Then fingers crossed it will be time for the brace off and wearing a retainer.

    I just want them off now

    I’ve definitely got used to the brace and don’t find eating so disgusting or a chore anymore, but I think I’ve just got so used to what I can eat and how to eat it.  The tightenings are only painful for a couple of days so this is fine.  I’m just kind of sick of having them on now.  I feel like I need them off just to give my teeth a REALLY good clean.  I feel like my teeth are dirty and my breath always smells.  I’m also so conscious of being such a metal mouth when I talk and smile.  It’s hard to smile with mouth closed because the brace is so in the way.  It’s also so hard to kiss!  I said before I wasn’t that bothered about this, but after one year and four months of not being able to properly kiss my husband, I am starting to get a bit annoyed with this!

    Hang in there

    I don’t want to feel negative about it all and so looking at old photos of my teeth and how much they have changed is reassuring, though it’s really hard to tell much difference in the photos and not in person.  I think the false teeth will make all the difference.  It’s hard to imagine the final result as I have so many gaps at the top front.  It will look so different I’m sure with the false teeth and no gaps, but I just find it hard to imagine.  I hope by the end of this year I’ll have some indication of how much longer I’ll have left and when I can start thinking about getting the false teeth!



  3. Braces at 30: My 10th Appointment Getting a Temporary False Tooth Fitted

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    Check out my new Tic Tac tooth!

    Following on from my last appointment (9th tightening experience with false tooth impression taken) which was only at the start of this month, I went back last week to have the false tooth fitted which we took an impression for last time.

    If you're new to this series, it's my journey having an adult brace from start to finish on my quest for a lovely adult smile with adult teeth - I still had some baby teeth and no adult lateral incisors!

    adult brace journey results after 14 months

    This appointment was just a quickie to fit the false tooth as the orthodontist had only recently tightened the wires.  She did change the elastics, so they’re all fresh and a lot tighter.

    The false tooth was added to a bracket and fitted to the wire.  It felt a bit loose, so she added an elastic around this tooth and my front teeth to make it more secure.

    It’s not a permanent tooth – just something to disguise the huge gap whilst I have the brace.  When the brace is complete I’ll have a proper tooth that actually fits the gap and will cost around £400-£500, so it won’t look this terrible!

    This false tooth is an acrylic false tooth that’s pretty much just balancing on the brace.  I can wobble it with my tongue and I can’t stop playing with it!

    It’s also the wrong colour!  It’s too white, so it looks like a Tic Tac!!

    It’s also too small!  Since the last appointment when we tooth the impression, my front teeth have moved together and my canine along a little more, so this false tooth doesn’t fill the whole gap.  Doh!

    Still, I think it looks much better than the huge 6mm gap I had next to my front teeth, so I decided to wear it anyway whilst she gets one made up in a slightly more yellow shade!

    I’ll be going back in only two weeks to have the more yellowy one fitted which should hopefully blend in a lot more with my teeth.

    I do feel like I can smile a bit more now there’s not as huge a gap.  I look forward to having no gaps soon.


  4. Braces at 30: 9th tightening experience with false tooth impression taken

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    14 months with a brace as an adult

    If you missed last month’s brace-face blog post click to read all about my experience getting elastics top to bottom!

    I have a brace.  I’m now 31 and I decided at 30 years old I wanted to get a brace to sort my awful teeth out once and for all.  I’ve documented my whole journey right from the original consultation right here in this very blog.  If you’re thinking about getting a brace then I’ll be sharing everything that’s happened to me at each appointment which may be very helpful in helping you make up your mind.  I struggled to find full experiences from other people when I was researching and deciding, especially with those having teeth removed and false teeth added.

    This month marks 14 months of wearing a brace so I’m pretty used to the tightening appointments by now!  Still, it’s amazing to hear the progress and the next steps each time as this experience hopefully starts drawing to an end.

    Braces at 30 9th tightening experience with false tooth impression taken 14

    Here’s what happened at my 9th tightening appointment:

    Took impression for false tooth

    Yippee!  I’ve been waiting all year for this as my canine just wouldn’t budge for months, meaning the gap was never wide enough.  It’s at 6mm and so she took an impression.  It’s like a mouth mould filled with clay which I had to bite into for a few seconds.  This is sent off to some sort of tooth person who will create an acrylic tooth to wear with the brace.  The tooth is only temporary whilst I have the brace and will have a bracket attached to it to sit on the wire.  It’s not permanent so I expect I’ll have to be very careful with it and what I choose to eat.  Lots more mushy foods! 

    The trickiest part was picking the correct tooth colour.  Picking the wrong shade means it will really stand out.  Though it can’t stand out much more than a 6mm gap!  I jokingly said ‘yellow?’ and she replied to say they actually look quite white.  I think she was being very complimentary! 

    I feel like it’s so hard to keep teeth clean with a brace on, especially since having the bottom brace fitted as everything must just collect underneath the brace (TMI I know, gross right?!)

    Elastics on top front two teeth

    My top front teeth had parted a little and there was a small gap forming.  She put elastics just on these two and they closed within hours. 

    Elastics from peg tooth

    The peg tooth needs moving into middle ready for a veneer, so 5 elastics were added to the peg tooth and teeth behind it to pull this tooth over.  I’m sure we did this two appointments ago also, but it wasn’t redone last time.

    Elastics at the bottom to close a gap

    My front two bottom teeth have finally pushed together after she put elastics on these two only, but it means there are now gaps the other side of the teeth so these are being closed with elastics.

    Elastics top to bottom

    I still have to wear the dreaded elastics from top to bottom to improve my bite.  It doesn’t look like it’s moved at all and I can see this holding up the whole process.  These are the worst part so far as they give me a bit of a headache when I’m wearing them – it instantly disappears when I take them off.

    Next time

    I managed to bring my next appointment forward by two weeks so I can have my temporary false tooth fitted at the end of May!  I’m very excited as it’s a lateral incisor which I’ve never had before!  I never had any -  my canines were originally next to my front teeth!

    I still feel a million miles away from perfect teeth, but I hope the addition of a false tooth next time will really change my appearance and help me imagine the finished result.

    Read my entire braces in my 30s journey here





  5. Braces at 30: 8th tightening experience with elastics TOP to BOTTOM

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    Life with braces as an adult: elastics top to bottom

    It's that time again - an update on my adult experience wearing braces.  If you are thinking of getting braces do feel free to ask me any questions in the comments and I'll get back to you.  These blog posts are a way of me documenting each tightening appointment and tracking the change in my teeth from before to after.  Does a brace tightening hurt?  Read on to find out!  I also struggled to find many blog journeys about wearing a  brace as an adult, so I hope they are helpful if you're thinking about having a brace.

    Braces in my 30s blog experience tightening elastics top to bottom

    On Thursday 23rd March 2017 I had my 8th brace tightening for my top teeth (5th for the bottom).  It was also my brace year anniversary on the 10th March – how quickly has that gone?  I can’t believe I’ve been wearing an adult brace for a whole year already.  I also can’t imagine myself without a brace now as I’m so used to it, it’s just become a part of me.  Not that I don’t want it off – I cannot wait for that day!

    Before this appointment I’d started to feel a little disheartened about the progress.  Nothing noticeable had changed in my last two appointments.  The huge lateral incisor gap they are making for a false tooth had been stuck at 5mm for two appointments even with elastics trying to pull it across.  It needs to be 7mm.  I’m glad to say it’s now 6mm, so has finally moved another 1mm this whole year!  Yay!  My orthodontist is confident she can take an impression at the next appointment so I can have a temporary false tooth whilst I wear the brace and stop feeling so gappy!

    The peg tooth and its gap is now 7mm and the peg tooth needs to move into the middle of the gap instead of being at the side where it is now.  I’m not sure if she’s trying to move this yet, I must remember to ask next time as it hasn’t moved if she is.  It needs to be in the middle in preparation for a veneer which will sit better if it’s central.  I feel a bit gappy on the peg tooth side too, but not as bad as the other side!

    The gap at the bottom front had not moved at all in 3 appointments.  She’d put elastics on 6 teeth to try to move them altogether, but did say last time this might be a bit adventurous.  So in this appointment she put elastics just on the front two and OH MY GOODNESS!  The gap is almost gone!  It literally halved in size within 24 hours.  I can tell too as OWEEEEE!  My front bottom teeth were super sensitive for around 3 days.  That feeling has died off now, but hopefully they’ll continue to pull together and gap be gone.

    The bottom wire was changed for the thickest wire!  Yay!  So no more wire changes, just tightenings.

    The biggie this appointment was elastics TOP to BOTTOM!

    So this is a bit different…

    I have little hooks on my brace now at the top front for the elastics to slide over.  I have to change these elastics every day and take them out for eating and teeth brushing.  By changing them every day it means I have a fresh taut pair on, so the pull is constant and I can feel the pressure all the time.  Usually the pressure eases and disappears a couple of days after a tightening appointment, but this new type of elastic means the pressure is always there.  It’s a minor inconvenience for perfect teeth though and at least it must be doing something!  As far as I can remember it’s to improve my bite which is still miles off and this should really speed things up.  I hope so!

    I’m still feeling miles off perfect teeth.   They look an absolute mess to me still, but I guess it’s hard to imagine what the end result will be when I have so many gaps and a peg tooth at the front.  I hope once I get a false tooth I’ll start to see what the end result will look like!  They are so different to where I began a year ago, so I must remind myself of that.

    Read my entire braces in my 30s journey here