My top brace goes on

London Lingual Orthodontic Clinic}


This afternoon I went along to see my orthodontist to get my top brace fitted. Since I took the decision to go ahead with lingual braces I’d say I’ve been 50/50 with excitement and anxiety but as I approached the clinic I was definitely more like 20/80! I was so nervous!

However, before I go into detail I should say that the fitting process was nowhere near as bad as I expected.


1) the orthodontist gave me some lip balm as your lips get quite stretched and dry while your brace is going on.

2) cotton wool pads were placed inside my cheeks and my mouth was kept open with a plastic spacer thingy. I also had another plastic thing put over my tongue to keep it at the back of my mouth. This sounds horrible but was actually quite a relief as it meant I could relax my tongue and didn’t have to worry about it getting in the way.

3) the ortho and nurse gave my teeth a thorough clean using a water jet. They then painted a gel onto the inside surface of my teeth in preparation for the brackets being fixed. The gel tasted a bit nasty but as my tongue was covered it wasn’t too bad.

4) the nurse put this machine against each tooth first and it made a beeping sound… I assumed this was some kind of laser but I’m not sure. I will ask next time I go and get my bottom brace fitted. UPDATE: it’s a machine that emits a very intense beam of light, which activates the adhesive.

5) then the brackets were attached to each tooth using a strong adhesive. I think each one was attached to some sort of plastic casing, which the ortho pressed hard onto each tooth while the adhesive dried then snapped the casing away. The pressing action on to my teeth was a tiny bit uncomfortable and my jaw was starting to ache by now!

6) because I have an overbite, a resin-type substance was built up onto my upper back teeth to stop me closing my teeth completely, thereby knocking the brackets off my top teeth with my bottom ones. I will warn you, if you need this done if feels really strange at first ( it still feels completely weird as I’m writing this).

7) Finally, wire was threaded through the brackets. I expected this part to take ages but it was really quick. Looking at my brace now I can see that the ortho has used different thicknesses of wire between different teeth – I can’t believe how complex the wire looks considering how fast it went on.

8) DONE! The whole process took about 40 minutes and aside from a little jaw-ache and pressure on my teeth it wasn’t painful at all.

I took a couple of ibuprofen before going into my appointment just in case. If nothing else, I think it calmed my nerves to know I was armed against pain in case I experienced any. I need to go back in a fortnight to get my bottom braces fitted and I don’t think I’ll bother taking painkillers again.

After the orthodontist had done his bit the nurse gave me a goodie bag (below) with some wax, mouthwash, an orthodontic toothbrush etc and also the emergency contact numbers for my ortho in case I experience any problems during the evenings or weekends. I’m hoping it won’t ever come to that but she was very clear that I shouldn’t suffer in silence which is reassuring to know.

{© Inside I’m Smiling}

I’m not in any pain yet but am quite tired and lispy so will be back soon with an update on my first 48 hours and how I’ve got on with speaking and eating so far.

I can’t believe my braces journey has actually started… no going back now!


8 thoughts on “My top brace goes on

  1. Pingback: My lower brace goes on: good news and the bad news | Inside I'm Smiling

  2. Hi. I’ll keep checking your blog as I started with the same in mid Jan 2012. BTW how are you getting on with the lisp? I still can’t get it right. Have you any advice or have you mastered it yet? That Rainbow Passage does not help.
    I don’t think I’d have gone through with this if I’d know how stupid I would sound. People in work keep asking what is up with my voice OR why I’m so quiet. I do everything I can by email anymore so I don’t have to talk on the phone.
    Good luck with your journey.

    • Hi Ann, thanks for commenting and I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling. I know just how you feel! My bottom brace is still very painful – my tongue feels like it has gashes all down the side so won’t move properly when I speak. Hence, still lisping! I feel as though I’ve had to muster quite a lot of personal strength to overcome feeling self-conscious when lisping, especially at work. I have been open with the colleagues I work closest with about my brace so they have been very understanding. I’ve also made a very conscious effort not to go into my shell and stop speaking altogether… a few years ago this would definitely have been my response but I’m determined not to let this brace get the better of me – speech impediment or no speech impediment.
      Have you tried Gishy Goo? It’s really excellent at smoothing over the brackets (better than standard wax) so your tongue is happier to move over them in your mouth, making it easier to shape sounds. I’ve just bought a second tube on Amazon.
      Apart from the lisping, how have you found your brace in terms of pain, eating etc?
      I really hope it gets better for you (and me!)… I hope you’ll pop back here and keep in touch.

  3. Pingback: First adjustment – pictures | Inside I'm Smiling

  4. Pingback: My teeth: four months into my lingual braces journey | Inside I'm Smiling

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  6. I went exactly through the same things when I first had my top braces on.

    Except that my ortho put a bit too much adhesive gel. It spread to the spaces between my teeth and after the brackets were on, she had to remove the extra gel, already hardened, with a sharp metal pointed tool! It was really scary because it was extremely …intrusive and forceful. She was quite frustrated and I was getting more nervous. Her assistant had a look and commented “you put too much gel”,and she got more frustrated and me, even more nervous…

    The same thing happened when I had my lower braces on.

    Also, the ends of the wires tend to stick out more and more everyday after I brush my teeth. They scratch my tougue quite badly. I asked my ortho to trim them and she did. However when the wire is replaced the same thing happened again. It’s painful and getting really boring.

    Does the same thing happen to your wires?

    • When my ortho changes my wires he puts a dab of something (dental cement of some kind??) on the cut end of the wire so they’re no so sharp, but it soon breaks off. I find that as long as the wire points directly backwards it’s not too bad but sometimes it bends out or downwards, and then it really pokes my tongue.

      At the beginning I went back to the ortho to get him to put more of the cement on and also used some Gishy Goo to cover the sharp bit. More recently though I just leave it and use an antiseptic mouthwash (Corsodyl) for a few days which I find helps my tongue heal up and build up some resistance.

      I also think that the end of the wire sticks out more as I get towards each new wire. I wonder if perhaps it becomes more ‘slack’ as my teeth move? Or perhaps the new shape of my teeth as they move mean it becomes angled in a slightly different way?

      Thankfully I haven’t had that problem with the adhesive. The only similar experience is when I had the little metal buttons removed to be replaced with proper brackets. The ortho had to break the adhesive to get them off and it really felt like he was going to pull my teeth out. Makes me worry about having all the brackets removed at the very end of my treatment. That adhesive is STRONG!

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