THE BIG DAY IS HERE!
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.
WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE APPOINTMENT…
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.
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!