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 Post subject: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:42 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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Baggy and I just came back from the dentist.
Her wisdoms are totally impacted, making her back molars totally screwed. she has a wicked overbite and needs to fix the molars, otherwise she only has one contact point in her bite.
she is not afraid of the wisdom extraction, but of the braces. They are talking 4 to 5 years of braces. She was crying in the car because she is most concerned that she won't be able to cosplay, her mouth will be swollen, and her face will be swollen, and it will be painful. And she is ashamed.

I am not making her do anything, it is her body, and we believe in letting her have an active voice in decisions affecting her body, but if she doesn't do braces not only will she be taking out her wisdoms but facing rotting molars and jaw problems. It breaks my heart to see her so upset.

Can anyone else who has experience with braces add anything else to this decision for her? Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:43 am 
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(PS they don't do plastic removable retainers here, only braces, i tried that avenue but no go.)

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:53 am 
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I've had braces 3 times in my life, 13, 18 & 38. The last two times were my choice and I don't regret a bit of it. In the UK they do coloured or clear fixings for braces, the kids can have them funky or just with the wire barely visible from the distance. When I had them done at 18 they were pretty painful, but technology has advanced so much now and they were much less painful at 38. I say braces should be seen as a positive thing, you have a problem and you're doing something about it, all the cool kids are doing braces here now.

The Mr has a mildly autistic 11yr old facing braces over the past few months, I think the worst thing for him is giving up sugar.. I have to say I cheated that by letting chocolate buttons melt at the back of my tongue, followed by drinking water and then teef brushing.


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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:00 pm 
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I wish my parents had given me braces when I was in middle school or highschool when a lot of other people had them, and when I was covered under their insurance. Instead, as an adult I spent years just saving up for them, and got them in my last year in college. 2 years later I still have them. I go to work in them, I got married in them, if I cosplayed I would definitely cosplay in them. They simply become a part of you, and you learn that nobody really cares if you have braces. Most people will relate or wish to themselves they had braces.

I didnt swell much when I first got them. At first it feels weird, like your teeth feel big, and your lips will have to learn to move around the braces. The inside of the lips will hurt for a while until they become used to the braces. Maybe a week or two. The orthodontist will provide wax and that is a lifesaver in the beginning.

Sometimes if they do a big adjustment it will hurt to chew. If you have a food processor, turn the food into mash. The pain from adjustments only lasts a day or two, and is treatable with ibuprofin.

As far as aesthetics go, there is a clear bracket option. For me ot was about $300 more than metal brackets, but I am so glad I got them. Many people don't even notice I have braces, because the clear brackets paired with the clear ties make them less noticable.

Lastly, regarding the bite, many bite issues can be corrected with orthodontocs. However your orthodontist may prescribe jaw surgury. I just went through this, and again, I wish this had been done when I was younger, living at home, with no job to worry about.

Good luck! In conclusion, better to do it young while in school, than later in life while uninsured, with a job and rent to worry about.


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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:38 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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thanks so much for your input, guys.
one of the good things about brazil is that dentistry and orthodontics are ridiculously cheap, and we aren't subjected to the tyranny of insurance for this kind of thing (i was, in the US, for years, and it sucked. I don't know where she will be spending her college and adult years, so doing it now, while we have the money, is a definite plus, but i don't want that to be the driving factor either).

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:46 pm 
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I did the invisalign and the reason, in my 30s, that I did it is because I was told that due to the wrong alignment of my teeth, my teeth were wearing down faster than normal. Everytime I go to the dentist, they mention the wear. Everytime. So anyway, I don't think braces are purely cosmetic, there are medical reasons for doing so.

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:50 pm 
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Is it possible to get a second opinion as well as a consult with a jaw surgeon? Some perspective on how dire the situation is or is not might be helpful.

Also, I have two colleagues and one friend in their 40s with braces. Perhaps by the time Baggita is an adult there would be different / better options?

I applaud you for letting her have input on this.

When I had braces as a kid it was all laid out, one year and done. I knew it would be easy so I went for it and was glad I did.
If I knew it was going to be some multi year ordeal I may not have wanted to go along with it.

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:52 pm 
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linanil wrote:
Everytime I go to the dentist, they mention the wear.


I still have excessive wear on my teeth because I grind them. I wear a night guard which helps some. But braces didn't make a difference for me in this regard.

Definitely there are reasons other than cosmetic for braces!

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:58 pm 
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I had braces when I was 14 through 16 years old. They weren't _bad_ but I was already pretty nerdy.

They'll ache when they're adjusted. They make your teeth feel big and weird. If you get whacked in the face it's a _lot_ worse than without braces. (I got to bleed all over the place a couple of times, so that was fun.)

Once they had been on a little while, I got used to them. And these days there are slimmer braces that are harder to see, and they don't have to be as big and clunky.

Having braces pretty significantly improved my ability to eat stuff, though-- I had interlocking teeth so if I got hit in the jaw there was a pretty good chance I'd break a couple of teeth. And I couldn't really bite through things very easily-- I had one pair of teeth that hit each other so I could bite things, but otherwise it was kind of a pain.

This is the sort of thing that should probably be fixed pretty soon, though, and it's better to do it when she's young. She'll still be able to cosplay, her face won't be swollen and her mouth won't be swollen. With her mouth closed she should look pretty much the same as she does without braces.

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:07 pm 
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I completely regret my many years of braces. It was all for naught, as my teeth only do the weird thing they do because of my jaw. and the all-totalled like 6-7 years were supposed to culminate in pretty extreme jaw surgery. I also only have like 1-3 contact points with my teeth, but I do just fine. Jaw surgery would have completely changed the look of my face, by the time they were starting to get me all scheduled for jaw surgery, I was 18, and then they showed me examples of how my face would look after, I said no forking way. I would have looked more conventionally attractive, yeah, but it was't me. It was like a different person and that wasn't cool with me. So now, all the braces did was completely fork up my gums permanently, and I'm going to eventually need to get surgery for that.

Probably not what you want to hear! I wonder if there'd be a less-invasive way to fix her bite, I mean, once those wisdom teeth are gone, the rest of her teeth will totally shift into a better position on their own once there's room. Maybe get the extractions, wait a year and re-evaluate? Maybe a retainer would be less drastic while still helping to get her more points of contact.

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:15 pm 
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P.S. I also held a grudge towards my parents for a long time about it, I felt like they were just being swept up by the orthodontist with scary jargon and they kept telling me I would be glad once I got older, because I'd 'feel more beautiful'.

I don't hold a grudge now towards them, once I got to a reasonable adult age I understood how they really felt like they were doing the right thing, and even though they said what did about beauty, they were definitely only doing it because they thought it was the right thing for my health. But it made the difficult teenage years more difficult that's for sure. Plenty of teen-tantrums over those things.

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:22 pm 
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I had braces a mere nine years ago, and it was primarily aesthetic and my mother's decision. I did have an overbite, and my mouth is super crowded on the bottom.

I didn't have any issues. I cut my mouth up a little bit, but I do that with my teeth now, anyway. They never felt clunky once I got used to them, and my mouth only ached a small amount for a couple hours after a tightening. I looked silly, but teenagers are gawky and awkward and will think they look silly with or without braces. I wasn't as into cosplay as Baggy is, but I did a little bit of it. Nobody ever mentioned the braces because it's such a normal thing for teens to have.

I popped brackets off my teeth twice, but it wasn't a huge deal- they just glued them back on at my next appointment each time.

I also...didn't give up sugar? I didn't know that was a thing! The only thing I really stopped eating due to the braces was gum. One of the times I popped a bracket off was from a frozen cookie (oops. Totally my bad), but the other time it was just because I tripped and stepped down really hard and I guess put too much pressure on my bite or something.

All in all, braces were a nothing thing for me for two years. I just did it. By the time they had the mold for my retainer made, though, it didn't fit my teeth because they moved back so quickly to their crooked ways. I tried to wear it for two weeks and that was way worse than the braces ever were. My teeth are back to crooked, but my bite is way better. And they didn't leave any marks or wear on my teeth, either! I know people who have that, and I'd just be wary, make sure she's getting regular cleanings while she has braces, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:27 pm 
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Mars wrote:
swept up by the orthodontist with scary jargon and they kept telling me I would be glad once I got older


Yep. Here in the US orthodontists can be pretty aggressive about selling orthodontia. Not sure if that's the same where you are, Torque.

Quote:
But it made the difficult teenage years more difficult that's for sure.

That would be my concern for Baggy.

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:30 pm 
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I had braces from 13-15. I got them at an age when like at least 50% of the kids at school had them, so it wasn't out of the ordinary at all. I'm not sure they had clear glue-on braces yet -- I had silver, though they did have clear bands (I was dumb and would get my school colors, maroon and gold, which looked gross!). Invisalign was pretty new then and I only know one friend who had it done. The braces were fine and no big deal at all, but I also had headgear I had to wear at night for a portion of that time and that was basically the most soul-crushing, self-esteem-destroying thing of my life. I'm a stomach sleeper so it was also a year of not being able to sleep comfortably.

I remember being sore after first getting them on and it took a little while to get used to it, but other than slight soreness when they got tightened I never really had a problem. My mom would take me out of school the rest of the afternoon on tightening days and we'd do something fun. I don't remember being swollen ever. I couldn't eat sticky things like caramel apples or but I have never heard of having to give up sugar entirely, thank god. I was petrified that when they came off I'd have a braces outline due to staining but fortunately that didn't happen!


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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:35 pm 
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Mars, I definitely do appreciate your opinion too. We did specifically talk about the possibility of doing some pulling and letting the teeth "move" around, and the dentist immediately showed us on the xrays how it wasn't going to solve the problems of the sidewise back molars that actually have no bite surface pointing up (we were both, I think, hoping that extraction might be an easier way around the problem, but unfortunately....)

Getting another opinion is a good idea, I will have to see if Ortho #1 will let us take the xrays, photos and models to another doctor though. I told Baggy that she should just sleep on it and we can talk about it tomorrow. No matter what, the wisdoms have to come out first, and the doctor who does that just had a baby and only does extractions once a month now, so it might be a bit before we need to make the decision.

Thanks everyone, and please keep your opinions coming!! Our dentist suggested Baggy get braces years ago, but "only when she can take care of her teeth adequately" and that day never really came- now she has kinda--- i hate to say this out loud- cat breath that is the result of those back molars starting to rot, because they can't be cleaned. When we went to the dentist a few weeks ago for a cleaning, she had to prescribe a special mouthwash because Bag's gums are in a state. Maybe she will realize now that she's a little big to not be taking care of herself. Oh, and she already grinds the shiitake out of her teeth. We didn't get a mouthguard yet because we were waiting to see about the braces first. Not sure you can do a mouthguard with braces, I shudder to think about it.

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:41 pm 
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Sz, the dentist was very upfront about not doing it unless you want it to, and she actually did sit and talk to us for about half an hour, explaining pros and cons. She probably thought I was nuts, giving her a choice, and that Baggy was nuts, not wanting braces.
It sounds crazy but braces are a status symbol here (like C section births, which is a WHOLE nother ball of wax), and everyone and their grandmother, practically, has braces (give you an idea- all the mechanics in our shop have braces). People want their kids to have braces and Baggy may actually be the only kid in her class without them (certainly, she is the only kid in the family without them). So there is a bit of a "fight the power" factor going on in Baggy's head as well, I'm sure. We are very carefully not talking about looks or beauty, since we don't really roll that way, but talking about function and potential tooth damage.

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:03 pm 
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I had braces, and sorta like mars my molars only have one decent contact point on one side around the biscuspids, and the tops of my lower front teeth are eroding from the retainers they glued on the backs of my front teeth, but no dentist/ortho will remove them (i would like them off... but one of my teeth also cracked when they pulled the brackets off... so that is something i am worried about too). if there is a way you can avoid having anything glued permanently to her teeth, do it. at least they look nice! /s

pre braces, my molars all touched but i had an awful overbite and massive gaps between all my front teeth.

if it means anything, there was very little i changed in my day-to-day life while i had braces (ages 12-15)- i even had a method for chewing gum and eating popcorn and was in the school fashion show. i think i'm glad i had them, but wasn't given the choice to decide for myself, either.


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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:52 pm 
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postnothing wrote:
but one of my teeth also cracked when they pulled the brackets off....

well there is more nightmare fodder!!!! i never even considered that. ^goes off and cries in the corner^

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:10 pm 
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torque wrote:
Our dentist suggested Baggy get braces years ago, but "only when she can take care of her teeth adequately" and that day never really came- now she has kinda--- i hate to say this out loud- cat breath that is the result of those back molars starting to rot, because they can't be cleaned. When we went to the dentist a few weeks ago for a cleaning, she had to prescribe a special mouthwash because Bag's gums are in a state. Maybe she will realize now that she's a little big to not be taking care of herself.


Ooooh, I feel for you both. When I was young, three of my teeth rotted out and I had terrible breath. My family never talked about dental care, and by the time I saw a dentist for the first time, I was already 14... Have you talked to Baggy about her oral hygiene? Maybe even nag! Even if it seems like she SHOULD think of this herself, clearly she doesn't. I didn't think about showering, brushing, flossing, wearing clean clothes... this led to some bad, bad times. Even the brightest young people may be overlooking some useful life skills.


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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:13 pm 
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I had braces for 8 years, 8-16, and am still using the plastic retainers I got when I was 16 at night. (I had replacements/upgrades made in 2009, but they're too tight, and got stuck once. My dentist took them off and made me put them on/take them off about 20 times before he let me leave his office, but I still don't want to.) ANYWAY, for me, it was not a choice. Mom said you're doing it, and that was that. It took so long because my teeth have super short roots so they had to go at half speed. My teeth still wriggle around if I don't wear the retainer, but I can normally manage wearing it once a week. I was one of the first of my friends to get braces (and also, last to get rid of them), but pretty much everyone had them, and it was a bonding point to choose tie colors and the rest, or complain about adjustment pain, etc. I understand why an 8 year old didn't get a choice over that --- a 13 year old is different. All I can say in hindsight is that I'm glad mom made me. Having a proper bite rocks, and not having teeth in funny positions means I get fewer stares.

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:15 pm 
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I had braces from age 10 to 15 and they were a nuisance, but didn't really affect my quality of life. I could eat everything I wanted (never heard about the no sugar thing either), they only hurt right after adjustments, and I definitely never had a swollen mouth or cheeks. For the first few years, I even had double braces. Brackets on my teeth and a wire contraption attached to my top back molars that went all the way to the front of my mouth, along the outside of my cheeks, to a strap that went around the back of my neck. Not pretty or convenient, but it was okay and I survived just fine. I could take it out for a few hours for special occasions if I wanted to. Like this:

Image

I have nice straight healthy teeth now. I still have a wire glued to the back of my lower front teeth, but I never think about it. It's just part of me now.

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:54 pm 
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Agreed that braces will not make for puffy face, and of course you can still cosplay with braces! Also needing braces is nothing to be ashamed of. There is nothing that she "did" to cause her wisdom teeth to be impacted or her molars to grow in the direction that they did. <3

I had braces for about 3 years (around Baggy's age), then off for a bit, then back on for a bit. So probably 4 total.

I had a fine, non-awful experience with them. Getting brackets put on does not hurt. Sometimes it hurts a bit when they first attach the wire with the rubber bands. I really didn't need the wax all that much but if someone has a more sensitive mouth it can help (to cover the brackets). The worst thing was one time they didn't trim the wire properly (in the back it went through a little metal tube attached to a band that went all the way around a molar, not a bracket) and it was stabbing me. My mom took me back and they trimmed it and then it was fine.

Same as others have said - they feel weird when you first get them, but you adjust. You will often be sore for a few days whenever you get them tightened, but not so bad I couldn't eat or anything. I didn't eat corn on the cob and would cut up things like apples rather than bite, but that's because I was too lazy to clean all the pulp out of my front brackets after. hahaha. I think the only thing I officially couldn't have was gum.


I have to say... the worst pain and discomfort and puffy face was from having my wisdom teeth extracted! Sorry Baggy! It is unpleasant but temporary. Mine were so bad they had to break them to get them out. Then my extraction sites got infected and had to be cut back open and have surgical rubber strips sewn in so they could heal super slowly from the bottom up. (because the stupid hygienist did NOT show me how to clean them properly... when I came back with pain and fever and the dentist cleaned them I was like... "THAT'S what I was supposed to be doing???" "yes, didn't they show you?" "NO!!!" I was supposed to insert the needle of this syringe they gave me down below my gum line and flush them out with prescription mouthwash. She just showed me to squirt it along the tops of the stitches. NOT THE SAME THING. I still hate her to this very day. When the dentist flushed them it hurt like hell and like a tablespoon of pus came out. Of each one. HORRIBLLLLLLLE)

AWFUL. And yes I had chipmunk cheeks for a couple weeks. I only tell this story because I think it is important to reeeeallly stress, especially to a person who maybe does not pay strict attention to their dental hygiene, that you DO HAVE TO PAY STRICT ATTENTION to your post extraction hygiene. You will be sorry if you don't.

I think you are doing the right thing in talking to her, and making it about function and potential tooth damage, rather than making it about looks and laying down the law ("you are DOING this!"). I really wish you well, I've never parented a teen so I can't imagine. I just... the story about her molars & gums makes me cringe for her. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but what are the dangers to her self esteem of having braces, versus possibly losing her molars to rot at a young age and having "cat breath"? I send you both love and peace for dental decision making...

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:44 pm 
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oh believe me you guys, but nagging has been done, lots and lots of nagging.
Finally, there may be some renewed interest in oral hygiene-- specifically (i bet) because of what you just said right here, Mack, the social implications of having kitty cat breath. Then again, having taught high schoolers, there was a lot of BO and kitty breath as well as dog breath, lol.
She even has a model for what happens when you don't take care of your teeth-- Mr T didn't see a dentist til he was 18 (due to poverty, not neglect), and his mouth is full of prosthetics. I think she has never really thought about it too much, and since she doesn't have obvious snaggleteeth in the front she thought she got off easy.

Your healing story is terrifying, btw!! i was told when i did mine (due to my "advanced age") they would be rough, i survived just fine and healed in record time, but I blame that more on fate smiling kindly than anything I did (i didn't hear anything about syringes and stuff either). It is scary to think about the kid having that kind of work done.

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:30 pm 
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Heh. I should add that my healing may have been worse/more complicated because my wisdom teeth had not erupted through the gums. They had to go digging for them! I had them out when I was 18 - probably to 1) get it done while I was still home and on mom and dad's insurance, and 2) to have them out BEFORE they started growing up and pushing my molars around thus ruining the years of expensive braces mentioned earlier.

So yeah. I think it was because they had to cut the gums open and then dig them out of my jawbone that I had such deep sockets to keep clean to begin with...

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 Post subject: Re: please talk to us about braces?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:47 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:16 am
Posts: 2840
Location: SF Bay area
Ugh I had orthodontia from 7-15, braces for 4 of those. I hated it as a teen because I was self conscious. Turned out no one cared, it fixed some of my jaw problems, and I don't have snaggle teeth as an adult. Plus I didn't have to pay for it. I would much rather spend my adulthood with a beautiful smile and able to chew well!

But don't ask 13 year old me. Different story ;)

I think it's great you're giving baggy a choice!

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