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Thread: 1.5 Month In

  1. 1.5 Month In

    Already seeing my teeth shifting to close the gaps from my extractions. I guess that is a good thing. I can't help but to search online to see other people's journeys with braces from start to finish...kinda makes me sad in a way that it has only been ONE 1/2 month and knowing that I will have at least another 17-20months to go. People say it passes by fast but I just can't help to think about it.

    ANYWAY, additional questions:

    1. My ortho has this "foods to avoid list" and soda is on it (of course). I just can't help to drink it sometimes during lunch. Is it ok to drink the diet sodas? =)...probably a rhetorical question.

    2. I notice that most people, sometime during their treatment, have to wear "power chains" to close the gaps between their teeth (i.e from extractions or towards the end of their treatment). I have not had them on yet or have been suggested to wear them. Is it usually required? - again probably another dumb question cuz I should be asking my ortho this but the treatment isn't coming up soon.

    3. I have porcelain braces with clear ligatures and yes they stain from all my bad coffee/soda drinking habits. I feel like even if I quit those habits I'd stain them anyway. Brushing with Colgate whitening wouldn't whiten them up would it? Or using the Listerine whitening mouth rinse....?

    4. Gum threaders are so expensive! Any cheaper alternatives? (I throw them away after one use)

    5. How often do you need to change the brushheads on the electric toothbrushes?

    I have more questions but I can't remember them cuz it is late. On a side note, been learning a lot from this forum...oral hygiene mostly. Now I am not getting as much plaque on my lower teeth ever since i switched over to an electric oral b toothbrush along with using those small dental pick/toothbrushes.

    Thanks! :thumb:

  2. #2
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    Hi and welcome to this forum 18monther! :wave:
    Quote Originally Posted by 18monther View Post
    1. My ortho has this "foods to avoid list" and soda is on it (of course). I just can't help to drink it sometimes during lunch. Is it ok to drink the diet sodas? =)...probably a rhetorical question.
    There's more to soda than the sugar, there's also a problem with acid. If you want to keep drinking it, then make sure you rinse your mouth many times with water and don't brush for at least 30 minutes after your last mouthful.
    Quote Originally Posted by 18monther View Post
    2. I notice that most people, sometime during their treatment, have to wear "power chains" to close the gaps between their teeth (i.e from extractions or towards the end of their treatment). I have not had them on yet or have been suggested to wear them. Is it usually required? - again probably another dumb question cuz I should be asking my ortho this but the treatment isn't coming up soon.
    Powerchains are used a lot, but not everyone has them. Also rarely are they used in the early months when alignment is the main focus. I've had them since the six month mark in some form or other and I find them amazing!
    Quote Originally Posted by 18monther View Post
    3. I have porcelain braces with clear ligatures and yes they stain from all my bad coffee/soda drinking habits. I feel like even if I quit those habits I'd stain them anyway. Brushing with Colgate whitening wouldn't whiten them up would it? Or using the Listerine whitening mouth rinse....?
    Clear and light coloured ligs stain the most and even some dark ones will change colour when you eat certain colours of foods ... for example blue will turn green if you eat food with tumeric in it. Brushing with whitening toothpaste will help lightening the staining and as it doesn't have the ability to whiten your teeth, it's a good way to keep your ligs looking brighter for a bit longer.

    Ask your ortho if you can have your ligs changed if they're stained and you have a special occasion that you want them looking great for. Most will let you pop in for a quick lig change here and there. I prefer dark ligs when I had ceramic brackets, so it wasn't an issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by 18monther View Post
    4. Gum threaders are so expensive! Any cheaper alternatives? (I throw them away after one use)
    Most of the floss designed for people with braces cost more ... due to there being such a ready market. The money spent is worth it though, as you don't want to risk gum disease and the possibility of loosing your teeth.
    Quote Originally Posted by 18monther View Post
    5. How often do you need to change the brushheads on the electric toothbrushes?
    You need to change it as soon as your brush shows sign of wear. It will be more often than if you didn't have brackets on your teeth. Some people change them monthly, others every couple of months and for others (like me) it varies, as I only use my electric toothbrush once a day and use my childs soft brush in the morning and if I need to brush at any other time during the day.

    Please feel free to ask questions here and also check these thing with your ortho!

    Good luck with your treatment! :thumb:
    After 5 years, 11 months and two days of stainless steel brackets ... my teeth now have upper and lower bonded, gold wire, retainers and removable clear retainers!

  3. #3
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    1. My ortho has this "foods to avoid list" and soda is on it (of course). I just can't help to drink it sometimes during lunch. Is it OK to drink the diet sodas? =)...probably a rhetorical question.

    I drink soda on occasion, and I always try to use a straw so I avoid getting it on my teeth. I think if you greatly reduce your soda consumption to only 1-2 a week you'll be okay (not to mention much healthier).


    2. I notice that most people, sometime during their treatment, have to wear "power chains" to close the gaps between their teeth (i.e from extractions or towards the end of their treatment). I have not had them on yet or have been suggested to wear them. Is it usually required? - again probably another dumb question cuz I should be asking my ortho this but the treatment isn't coming up soon.


    I didn't get power chains until 6 months into my treatment. I did get it on the side where I had an extraction to assist in the movement. Mine is clear plastic and it wraps around the brackets. You can't even see it.

    3. I have porcelain braces with clear ligatures and yes they stain from all my bad coffee/soda drinking habits. I feel like even if I quit those habits I'd stain them anyway. Brushing with Colgate whitening wouldn't whiten them up would it? Or using the Listerine whitening mouth rinse....?


    They may stain from many foods yes, such as tomato-based sauces, curry, etc. But reducing your consumption of foods and drinks that will stain will help. Like I mentioned before...use a straw when drinking soda, coffee, etc and it will help. I also try to avoid letting any 'staining' type foods touch my brackets. Your porcelain brackets probably won't stain but you should talk to your ortho about what you can do to avoid embarrassing yellow ligs.

    4. Gum threaders are so expensive! Any cheaper alternatives? (I throw them away after one use)

    I don't know about this one, I don't use them. I just thread the floss through the wires. It's a skill you'll come to master in time :)

    5. How often do you need to change the brush heads on the electric toothbrushes?

    Some brushes have the blue dye in the bristles, so you know when it's time to replace. However, I think if you replace every 3-4 months you should be fine. I also have an Oral B electric toothbrush, that I bought in October and I'm getting ready to change the brush head myself.

  4. #4
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    Hi there! I totally get the whole this "is never going to end feeling!!!" When I got my braces on Jan of last year, I couldn't help but dwell on all the time I had to go. My plan is for 18 months also and I am almost 14 months in now. I would tell myself that the time is going to go by regardless....I can either go through the motions with teeth that I hate or I could wear these darn things and be a whole better off later! It does fly by...maybe not in the beginning when you are looking in the mirror every time!! I am so guilty of that...but I found myself not peering in the mirror, bleary eyed, first thing in the morning, looking for overnight changes around the 5 month mark..after that...I stopped being so crazy about it!
    I have ceramic uppers with clear ligs and metal lowers, I drink soda..not every day but sometimes. I use a straw though, as I still do with my coffee. I never bite into my food as to not get food stuck all up in the front. I chew carefully and I haven't had a "food" stain yet. My rubber bands do, but I change those every couple of hours...so no biggie there.
    Power chains, I started one about 6 months in also and I may be crazy..but I love them...they are so tight and packed in there...I can just feel it working! LOL They had to reposition a bracket a few months ago and took my powerchain off for 6 weeks and put regular ligs on, and I hated it..I felt my teeth moving out again...my cheeks were tore up from the minimal movement and I couldn't wait to get it back on. I have one that reaches all the uppers and next month I get one on my lowers.
    As for gum threaders...I use mine for a little while before I toss it...I use the ones that look like needles though..with a small eye hole, not the blue ones with the big loop (hate that one) I rinse it after and put it away....so far so good...It's plastic and sturdy...I don't see the point in reusing a new one every time! There is a super floss that is stiff though, you wouldn't need to use one with that.
    I prefer my manual brush now...I have an Oral B rechargable...I just have an aversion to them...I hate the feeling of them when I hit my teeth with the plastic. I use the little christmas tree brushes to get in between after flossing and I brush really well with my usual toothbrush. I have had 2 dental cleanings since getting them on, and seems to be all okay.
    You will not regret doing this for yourself, especially as you see all the great changes...it keeps you going! I can't believe it's me saying "you'll forget they are on, they become a part of you after a while" I was the one saing EEEK! How am I going to do this???
    Good luck with your journey!!!
    Candy--ceramic uppers/metal lowers--sentenced for 24 months!







  5. Thanks to all for the swift responses.

    To Candy, I don't think I'll ever get to the stage where Im acquainted with my braces (some of my friends who had braces felt the same way you did too). I hate them and I want them off asap.

    I also dislike the fact that some or almost all orthos want to adjust your mouth perfectly, thus skewing the est. time of the braces or making false promises from month to month. If I am satisfied with the way my teeth look by the 18th month and I want them off...is the ortho obligated to take them off?

    Additional questions:

    6. When I went to get my first adjustment, they extended the wires to my back molar, whereas before it was free...I thought they wanted me to have those 4 back teeth to help me to eat. The day I got the braces I started eating filet mignon cubes and the bracket just fell right off haha. Anyway, I always thought the back molars get a special metal crown around it instead of a bracket? Has this changed in recent years? Also, missing my bracket and wire on the back tooth would not adversely affect my progress right?

    7. A continuation of the above questions, when my back molar's bracket fell off, the wire was of course sticking out. I tried cutting it with a nail clipper to no avail. If it happens again, what would you guys/gals recommend i cut it with? assuming I don't have time to go to the ortho to have it cut. Btw, if anyone is experience the same problem and is unable to put wax on it...a cotton ball is a great solution! Also, my otho has a weird schedule and I'm almost never free on the weekdays, is it common for other orthos to do "courtesy" adjustments? (i.e simply cutting a wire)

    8. I know it is a long way but when the braces come off...would your individual tooth color be diff? Like it would be whiter on the parts where your brackets were bonded? And I believe most people who ended their braces treatment have thought about or like to get their teeth whiten (might as well right? :) ) Are professional (i.e dental office) whitening better or over the counter kits (i.e Crest White Strips) in terms of effectiveness vs. cost?

    9. I am 23 and still have many friends who do not know I have braces on. I am somewhat shy to catch up with them sometimes. What is a good way to let them know that I have braces without being awkward? Weird question but I'm just wondering if there is a protocol haha

    10. Ok powerchain question answered. NOW, people have rubberbands to adjust their over/underbite. The ortho put 2 clay molds on my upper back molars, indicating I might have a slight overbite, and he didn't want me to bite on my lower brackets. When I bite down, it appears that there is just a slight overbite, which I believe is a bit normal. Are rubberbands as common as powerchains? Can you talk normally when you have them on?

    11. We all know that coffee, tea, turmeric?, curry, soda, etc etc will stain your ligs. What about the following: Beer, wine, soy sauce, grapes, blueberries, oranges/tangerines, apple cider, and milk.

    12. Is there any POSSIBLE way I can speed my treatment up aside from keeping good oral hygiene? Going for adjustments within a shorter span? Consuming certain food(s) and or vitamins? Start going to church? Just kidding about the last one.

    Thats all the questions for this time. Will be back for more of course =)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 18monther View Post
    I also dislike the fact that some or almost all orthos want to adjust your mouth perfectly, thus skewing the est. time of the braces or making false promises from month to month. If I am satisfied with the way my teeth look by the 18th month and I want them off...is the ortho obligated to take them off?
    If you want to ask for them off, that's up to you, but remember that what you see is only the exposed part of your teeth. What's also very important with orthodontic treatment is the root section which is under the gum. If the roots aren't positioned correctly the exposed section of your teeth will not be able to stay in position, as that's the area that moves the faster to align and to return to non alignment.
    Quote Originally Posted by 18monther View Post
    6. When I went to get my first adjustment, they extended the wires to my back molar, whereas before it was free...I thought they wanted me to have those 4 back teeth to help me to eat. The day I got the braces I started eating filet mignon cubes and the bracket just fell right off haha. Anyway, I always thought the back molars get a special metal crown around it instead of a bracket? Has this changed in recent years? Also, missing my bracket and wire on the back tooth would not adversely affect my progress right?
    Molar bands are not used very often now, although some orthos still use them. The bonding used to hold the buccal molar brackets in place is as solid as for all your other teeth and the brackets should not come off due to you eating meat. Maybe there were bonding issues, or a lot of pressure from the archwire on those buccal brackets. The missing brackets from your back molars will only affect those molars as the archwire is engaged for your other teeth.
    Quote Originally Posted by 18monther View Post
    7. A continuation of the above questions, when my back molar's bracket fell off, the wire was of course sticking out. I tried cutting it with a nail clipper to no avail. If it happens again, what would you guys/gals recommend i cut it with? assuming I don't have time to go to the ortho to have it cut. Btw, if anyone is experience the same problem and is unable to put wax on it...a cotton ball is a great solution! Also, my otho has a weird schedule and I'm almost never free on the weekdays, is it common for other orthos to do "courtesy" adjustments? (i.e simply cutting a wire)
    If the wire is poking you, give your ortho's office a call to get it trimmed. You don't have to see your ortho to get this done, as it's not an adjustment ... it's about comfort and most importantly about looking after the inside of your mouth.
    Quote Originally Posted by 18monther View Post
    8. I know it is a long way but when the braces come off...would your individual tooth color be diff? Like it would be whiter on the parts where your brackets were bonded? And I believe most people who ended their braces treatment have thought about or like to get their teeth whiten (might as well right? :) ) Are professional (i.e dental office) whitening better or over the counter kits (i.e Crest White Strips) in terms of effectiveness vs. cost?
    With good oral hygiene they should be the same and if they're not, it's important to get them the same before considering whitening, or you'll end up with different shades. Professional whitening is the real deal, but I think there are some other good ones available, especially with professionally made mouth pieces ... like the clear retainers.
    Quote Originally Posted by 18monther View Post
    9. I am 23 and still have many friends who do not know I have braces on. I am somewhat shy to catch up with them sometimes. What is a good way to let them know that I have braces without being awkward? Weird question but I'm just wondering if there is a protocol haha
    The best way for me was to not say anything and be confident and mostly the result was that my friends didn't say anything ... even after these years many of the people I see every day have never talked about me having braces ... which is how I like it. I have felt awkward at times, then I remind myself to get over it, that my mouth is not important to my friends ... and life continues as it should do!
    Quote Originally Posted by 18monther View Post
    10. Ok powerchain question answered. NOW, people have rubberbands to adjust their over/underbite. The ortho put 2 clay molds on my upper back molars, indicating I might have a slight overbite, and he didn't want me to bite on my lower brackets. When I bite down, it appears that there is just a slight overbite, which I believe is a bit normal. Are rubberbands as common as powerchains? Can you talk normally when you have them on?
    Not everyone has powerchains, not everyone has elastics ... but more do than don't have both of these. Elastics can be worn in many different ways and rarely do they affect how you speech, although of course some people are affected by things that don't affect others.

    With a class I bite ... the correct bite, your upper teeth close just slightly in front of your lowers.
    Quote Originally Posted by 18monther View Post
    11. We all know that coffee, tea, turmeric?, curry, soda, etc etc will stain your ligs. What about the following: Beer, wine, soy sauce, grapes, blueberries, oranges/tangerines, apple cider, and milk.
    Clear ligs will stain with anything thats got colour in it. Tooth coloured ligs will stain anything that would stain a white shirt etc. Some foods stain a lot faster ... tumeric and tomato based are two speedy ones, also some of the dark red wines and dark berries do a good job on clear and white. I think the affect of beer, soy sauce, grapes, oranges, tangerines, apple cider and milk on clear and white ligs will be slower ... with non flavoured milk probably not producing any staining long term.
    Quote Originally Posted by 18monther View Post
    12. Is there any POSSIBLE way I can speed my treatment up aside from keeping good oral hygiene? Going for adjustments within a shorter span? Consuming certain food(s) and or vitamins? Start going to church? Just kidding about the last one.
    Chewing as often as you can is good for the blood flow in gums and considered by many to improve tooth movement. Reduce the intake of pain meds as some have been shown to slow tooth movement. Mostly tooth movement is an individual thing and the more slowly teeth move the better for your teeth, gums and chances of retaining that movement. I guess the most important way to help your treatment progress at the best speed, is for you not to do anything you think will speed movement. For example doubling up elastics, pressing teeth in the direction you think they need to go etc ... are not good things, as your ortho will no what's needed and treat you accordingly. Sometimes patients doing these types of things, send their treatment off plan, which results in treatment being longer due to work needing to be done that back tracks.

    I love all the questions ... so please feel free to ask more! :thumb:
    After 5 years, 11 months and two days of stainless steel brackets ... my teeth now have upper and lower bonded, gold wire, retainers and removable clear retainers!

  7. #7
    1. I drink soda but I don't think its ok :(
    2. I didn't realize I was getting power chains until the days they were going on - at which point I was like "Wha!? Noooooooooooo!" so good for you asking beforehand! Always try to eliminate the element of surprise
    3. Maybe you could try a different color ligature?
    4. IDK, sorry
    5. When it starts looking awful - usually every other month
    6. I had a bracket at first then one popped off and my ortho attached the metal crown to the uppers - again I went "wha!?" I don't do much research...
    7. I just stuck wax on mine, no way am I coordinated enough to have cut it myself
    8. I expect mine to stained from above mentioned soda
    9. I don't mention it unless it comes up - if they don't notice its not their business
    10. Idk, no experience with this one
    11. Doritos are the worst! I didn't notice issues with: beer, grapes, blueberries, oranges/tangerines or milk and the other stuff I don't consume often enough to notice
    12. If you find it let us know!
    RandomAnny.Com

    I had my upper braces on for 17 months, 1 week and 2 days.
    The bottoms were on for 13 months and 3 days

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