Disclaimer: If you are easily grossed out by teeth or gums or saliva, this may not be the post for you to read. But it's really not very gnarly, I promise.
My teeth weren't really that crooked. A little, sure, but not so much that I would have decided to get braces on them when I was 25. But when I was in my early teens, the dentist looked at an x-ray and said that my adult canines had come in sideways and were basically stuck resting on top of the roots of my other adult teeth. There was no way they were going to do a 90 degree turn on their own. The problem was, baby teeth won't hold up much more than 35 or 40 years. It was inevitable that they were going to fall apart if I lived to see my 40th birthday. So I figured that I would probably need braces and procedures at some point, but we never got around to it during my high school years. Then came college and tuition, and no time for braces then. But then I finished college and got a real job. By this time I was married, and would have much preferred to spend thousands of dollars on a luxury vacation, or a decent car, even. But I didn't want my husband to have to kiss a partially toothless woman if we made it to our 40s. So, we made to decision to go ahead and spend the money and get 'er done.
This month we hit the two year mark since I've had the metal in my mouth. Here is the brief summary:
January 2009: Get braces. You can't even see the baby teeth with no brackets because they're hiding behind the teeth next to them.
June 2009: Have oral surgery to extract the baby teeth, then cut through the gums and bone, bond brackets on the buried canines, attach chains to the brackets, close the gums, then attach the ends of the chains to my braces.
Fall 2009, Winter 09/10, Spring 2010: Tension on the chains that are slowly getting shorter, but no other changes.
May 2010: One of the canines finally breaks through.
July 2010: Laser off some of my gums to retrieve a lost chain and give the slow tooth less resistance.
October 2010: Bond real brackets on to both teeth, and tie them in!
January 2011: Take off the silver brackets and bond ceramic brackets, and tie them in!
Here is another shot from yesterday. My jaw is crooked, so my bottom teeth will always look like they're sliding to my left. Oh well. But look at those beautiful canines! So maybe they underestimated the guess of two years, but at least we're making progress. Maybe another 6 months?