I just realized 5 years later that I never completed my “Mom Gets Braces” series for some reason! After 9 posts of watching me get a palate expander, upper braces, lower braces, then months of elastics, I completely left you hanging. Because of how many people are still reading those posts, I feel like I need to add a little ending.
After two months in the process, I had my braces removed. It was surprisingly painful! Most of the pain came from the bands that were around my crowns. So if you don’t have the metal bands, you may not have as much pain.
The orthodontist immediately made an imprint for my retainer, but I was completely free for an entire week!!! It was amazing to have absolutely nothing on my teeth before I picked up my retainer. But that feeling of happiness came to a screeching halt when I had to pick up my retainer the next week.
In addition to having little metal permanent retainers cemented to the backs of my middle teeth on the top and the bottom, I got a clear retainer that I would have to wear on the top a lot for a very long time. In fact, my orthodontist wanted me to wear it full-time for a year and then start to pull back to every night and then some nights after that.
I struggled with the retainer at first. In fact, I couldn’t even figure out how to get the retainer out the first few days! It was so tight that I dreaded eating because I didn’t want to have to take it out. My gums bled. It was miserable. I actually wished I had the braces back.
After awhile, I got used to it. Time passed and I started wearing it less out of the house. Then only at home. Then only at night. Now after 5 years I wear it once or twice a week overnight. If it starts to feel tight, I know I need to wear it more.
Here’s a little more close up of my teeth that I apparently took the day I got my braces off (the photo at the top of the post with my husband was about a month later):
In retrospect, I am incredibly happy that I went through all of it, especially when I did. Having it done before I hit 40 was a bonus, but I would probably do it again even now at 44 if my teeth were moving as fast as what they were in the 10 years before I got them.
My middle teeth on the top definitely want to push back to overlap again, but the permanent retainer prohibits it. Looking at these old pictures, I am thinking I need to start wearing my clear retainer just a bit more!
If you are an adult thinking about getting braces and want to see my full journey, here are all the posts I wrote over those 2 years:
- Mom Gets Braces: Spacers (1)
- Mom Gets Braces: Palate Expander (2)
- Mom Gets Braces: Surviving the Palate Expander (3)
- Mom Gets Braces: Top Braces are On (4)
- Mom Gets Braces: And Swallows Them (5)
- Mom Gets Braces: Palate Expander Removed (6)
- Pink Braces for Breast Cancer Awareness
- Mom Gets Braces: Triangle Elastics (7)
- Mom Gets Braces: More Rubber Bands (8)
- Mom Gets Braces: Know When to Hold ‘Em (9)