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Category: Braces at 30

  1. Braces at 30 | 14th Tightening | 22 Months | Before and After Photos

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    My last appointment was at the end of November so as we’ve had Christmas in-between it seems like a long time ago!

    I was starting to feel really negative about the whole brace experience over my last couple of appointments.  At first it’s all exciting as it’s a new experience, albeit a sometimes painful or uncomfortable one.  When the brace first goes on the difference is clear to see.  But after a few months and especially coming up to two years, the differences between each appointment are so minimal and sometimes it’s hard to tell any at all.

    That’s not because my teeth are perfect yet either.  There are plenty of gaps to close still.

    But, luckily, this appointment was a lot more positive!

    Here's my 22 month top row.  See the end of the blog post for a timeline.

    22 month adult traintrack metal brace update false teeth peg tooth wire fix


    I was also worried about my overbite before.  I’d been wearing the pain-in-the-bum top to bottom elastics, yet at my last appointment my overbite had increased!  It made me feel miserable as my least favourite part of the brace has been these top to bottom elastics and they weren’t even working.  This time, they have been.  My overbite is now at around 4mm from almost 6mm.  So I’m thankful they are working as they are so annoying!

    Annoyingly though they have possibly moved my teeth too much to the left somehow as my centre line is now quite off centre!  So until my next appointment I’m only wearing one top to bottom elastic on the right hand side to try and pull them back over.  We solved one problem and created another!

    Top teeth are almost ready

    Aside from this on the top teeth, they’re ready!  She can’t see any more gaps to close and the space we have left for the false tooth and veneer are the right width now.

    Bottom teeth aren’t far off either

    The bottom teeth are close too.  They have a lot more gaps to close, so we’re going to have some close together appointments to try and achieve this by March.  I’m used to waiting anywhere from 7 to 10 weeks for an appointment, but I now have my next in just four weeks to change the elastics only and another appointment only four weeks after this too!  So two appointments before we hit the two year mark.

    After this we have booked in an appointment to take a mould for a retainer!!

    Then an appointment to remove the brace and put on the retainer!

    We might be getting ahead of ourselves, especially with the bottom teeth and numerous gaps there seems to be, but she says it’s better to book the appointments now and then change them to tightening’s or elastics being changed if we’re not ready.

    I have a new set of elastics on today and the wires have been tightened, so I hope this and 2 more elastic changing appointments is enough.  Then I can have them off!

    Not the end of my journey yet…

    That’s not the most exciting day for me though as I still won’t have my lateral incisors.  They’re the teeth either side of your two front teeth at the top.  So quite noticeable!  Once I’ve had the retainer for around 6 months then I can have my false tooth and veneer fitted, then I’ll be done. 

    So fingers crossed I’ll be done in around 9 months!

    Here's a timeline:

    22 months brace timeline before and after photos adult experience wire trai


    I’ve been recording my whole experience right from my first consultation.  Read my entire journey here: Braces at 30

  2. Braces at 30: My 13th tightening appointment update (20 months)

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    My last tightening appointment feels like forever ago now.  I had to change this one so it was around a 2 month wait instead of 6 weeks.  That extra couple of weeks really dragged!

    I can’t believe it’s been 20 months with a brace.  I was telling my good friend it will be 2 years in March and he couldn’t believe it.  It seems clear as day I was telling him I was thinking of getting a brace and now here we are, nearly two years with a brace!

    I was hoping the end was in sight, but not so.­

    My orthodontist guesses another six months with the brace and a further six months full time with the retainer before I can get my false tooth and veneer.

    I think for most people the big exciting day is when the brace is off and the teeth are perfect.  As I’ll need a false tooth at the front (lateral incisor) and a veneer over my peg tooth to make the other lateral incisor (these are both teeth either side of the front teeth), the brace off day isn’t going to be that exciting.

    My exciting day will be once I get the false teeth at the front as this will complete my perfect teeth and smile.

    Fingers crossed this will be by next Christmas!  That will be over two and a half years in total.

    Here’s what they look like at the moment:  (that lateral incisor is a false temporary tooth just attached to the brace to fill the huge gap for now.  It’s where I’ll have a false tooth, bridge style)

    Braces at 30 My 13th tightening appointment update 20 months photo blog

    What happened at my 13th appointment?

    The bottom wire was changed back to the thickest steel wire.  We now need to close all the gaps at the bottom starting from the centre gap between the front teeth, then move backwards and bring all the other teeth in to close all the new gaps that will form as the front teeth are closed.

    The big elastic that was all around my top teeth was removed and three elastics put on instead. One for the front teeth and two for each set of back teeth.  My peg tooth has too much space either side still so we need to close about 2mm so it’s equal to the gap on the other side.  Then my false tooth and veneer can be equal sizes.

    My overbite is now 6mm.  Arg!  It was 5.5mm and we were trying to reduce this.  So I’m back to the horrid top to bottom elastics which clamp my mouth shut and give a constant pressure in my mouth and face.  I really hate them so I hope they work to close this overbite or it’s a waste of a lot of discomfort!  I have to take them out when I eat or brush my teeth and put more in after.  I have to remember as often I forget as I’m so busy with work or the kids.

    Here’s what the horrid top to bottom elastics look like:

    top to bottom brace elastics photo image picture Braces at 30 My 13th tight

    With one full year and maybe even  more left to go, I’m feeling a bit disheartened, but I know it will all be worth it in the end.  It’s just a long time to have your mouth taken over and not feel like you can eat, kiss or smile properly!

    Find my entire journey here: Braces at 30

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    Braces at 30 My 13th tightening appointment update (20 months)

  3. 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



  4. 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!



  5. 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.