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My teeth are getting more and more crooked and I am fed up. Come and tell me about yours, and what you did to make them straighter!

(44 Posts)
HopeForTheBest Tue 19-Jul-11 10:44:04

Obviously I need to go to a dentist, which I will do.
But I would like to go armed with a little knowledge, and (please please) some success stories!

My teeth have always been a bit crooked. Never really bothered me much.
They have, however, been getting worse and worse, and on recent photos I have been shocked at how ugly they are. I need to do something about it.

In my case, the main problem is the two top front teeth which are being pushedbackwards by the teeth on either side, which are then coming both forwards and leaning inwards. It is not a good look.

Bottom teeth are not completely straight, but there is no overlapping, so I would be happy to leave them as they are.

Wisdom teeth are still in, though my childhood dentist pulled out a couple of back teeth which is, I believe, what has contributed to the crookedness.

Many years ago, I went to see a dentist about it, but my situation is slightly complicated by the fact that my jaw is very unstable, in fact I can only open my mouth so far before the whole thing "shifts" and makes a horrible clicking sound. This sometimes hurts, but is usually just a bit uncomfortable. I do live in fear of it getting stuck open mid-yawn one day.

Anyway.

Please come and tell me that it is all fixable, it will not require us to remortgage our home to pay for it and - most important - it will of course not hurt a bit grin

Oh, I'm 38, btw.

purplepidjincantatem Tue 19-Jul-11 10:50:03

My Aunt just had her brace removed at the age of 66. For five years she hasn't been able to eat or drink freely, and has been in pain from the brace when it was tightened.

She has about 5 more years before they move back to where they were before.

hmm Personally, I'd suggest counselling to help you accept how you look as the cheaper and easier option!

mittenkitten Tue 19-Jul-11 10:52:40

I had full on railroad tracks from about aged 12 - 14, had perfect teeth for a decade or so and now have somewhat crooked bottom teeth so I have lots of experience here. Basically, as you age your bones change and therefore so does the shape of your jaw. What happened with me is that my tendency to crowding (too many teeth for my small jaw) reasserted itself and I got a degree of what they term "collapse." It's mostly just one tooth but it's getting worse and considering what I went through as a child it is bloody irritating.

Apparently around age 35 you start losing some bone mass from your facial bones, not just your spine -- so it's bound to affect your jaw too. Anyway, you probably need to have some sort of at least night brace to start straightening them. Depending on how much needs doing it may or may not hurt somewhat. However pain / discomfort is usually just limited to a day or two after they tighten the wire(s) -- if, that is, you have a permanent brace glued onto your teeth. BTW they can do it on the inside of the arch these days in many cases so it doesn't show.

The clicking might be fixable too with a bite guard type thingy you wear at night (not sure what the name is). Do you have TMJ? Anyway you need to see a proper orthodontist about this!

mittenkitten Tue 19-Jul-11 10:56:46

mm, well -- I see your point about counselling purple, but the thing is dental health is really important to your overall health and if your teeth / bite aren't aligned properly it can lead to other problems. Or so I was told as a child when I forgot to wear my retainer . . . . hmm

But for instance I do know gum disease is directly related to cardiovascular problems, so it's not simply vanity!

lulalullabye Tue 19-Jul-11 10:59:41

I did it when I was 30. Full metal braces. Painful two years but worth every penny. I now have very straight teeth a perfect bite! Worth it.
How ols e you?

ajandjjmum Tue 19-Jul-11 11:01:40

I have an 'overlapping' issue on my bottom jaw, but I thought having one back tooth removed a few years ago would help. It hasn't, and if anything it's getting worse.

I was quoted about £4,000 and 2 years to get it right - so I'm going to have to live with it at the moment!

Be interested to hear if anyone has has any success with just night time retainers.

brookeslay Tue 19-Jul-11 11:02:00

You could get veeneers for the front teeth. I have a couple of crowns that are very good you need a top person for them as the edge need to be extremley slight not showing. You can have lingual braces but be aware that braces that move teeth quickly move back quickly without wearing retainers.

www.drfillion.com/LingualTechniqueA.html

I need an implant tooth and will only go for laser guided as I`m not waiting a year. I hate my lower teeth as they are crooked and my jaw is also misalinged ( wow I sound lovely !). My top teeth are very good though so I smile just showing them.

So I could be your tooth buddy for our search to better teeth

btw dr.fillion did Kate Middletons teeth.

brookeslay Tue 19-Jul-11 11:17:50

Cheaper options local dental hospital I did attend Guys.

smarmyarmy Tue 19-Jul-11 11:27:41

I would go to a specialist dentist - there are so many options out there. You can get invisible braces, veneers, crowns etc. I work with dentists. Where are you based - I could recommend a few!

purplepidjincantatem Tue 19-Jul-11 11:32:05

mittenkitten, my Aunt's was purely for cosmetic purposes, hence the hmm at all the faff, not to mention tens of thousands of pounds! Obviously, if there were an impact on a person's physical health it needs to be done - but if it's purely for mental health, there are other options.

mittenkitten Tue 19-Jul-11 11:48:06

yy purple. I think OP should definitely get the jaw clicking thing properly looked into though.

I shall be leaving my crooked lower tooth alone although I suppose the dentist will shake her head and tell me the crowding puts me at increased risk of tooth decay . . . .

Verso Tue 19-Jul-11 12:20:27

I have always had very crowded upper teeth and my dentist has never cautioned me re decay - just encourages me to use floss like she would anyone, and my teeth are fine healthwise. She occasionally takes a full set of x-rays to double-check between the teeth but no probs so far (I'm 41).

For a long time I wanted to get them straightened, as they look (IMO) terrible - my Mum wouldn't let me have a brace when I was younger because "it's just vanity" hmm. Anyway, I'd more or less decided to start saving, until a close friend had braces a few years ago, said it was v painful every time they were tightened and he hated the feeling of loose teeth, and now, a few years on, his teeth are moving back to where they were, so it was effectively a complete waste of his time.

It's also v expensive! So I'm trying to live with my teeth - but I do know what it's like and can totally understand you thinking of doing something about it.

mittenkitten Tue 19-Jul-11 12:29:51

When I had my braces tightened I would sometimes run a slight fever from the pain but the orthodontist implied that I was something of a delicate flower . . . I got paracetamol but certainly was not allowed to miss school, so in a (perverse) way that proves the pain part is manageable . . . er, maybe.

Misaligned teeth lead to uneven wear on biting surfaces, which can lead to thin spots in the enamel and increased risk of tooth decay. I think this is more of an issue with molars, though. I had a crossbite and an overbite so it was considered important to correct those for that reason -- and they have stayed corrected, although I was left with a slight overbite despite having had to wear one of those awful outside braces every night.

Complete collapse of the straightened teeth is not that common from what I know.

HuntForGalaxyHazelnut Tue 19-Jul-11 12:46:28

Hello HopeForTheBest

I had metal train track braces when i was 12/13, but i never wore my retainer and my teeth went crooked again. My teeth sound like yours, one tooth was moving backwards and the two teeth on either side were pushing to the front. Plus my 2 front teeth were buckling inwards. (beautiful!)

Anyway, my NHS dentist referred me to an NHS orthodontist and i had metal train track braces again from 22-24. The treatment took longer than if I'd gone privately, however i only paid about £400 in total for it because it was an NHS referral and that was the maximum the NHS could charge at that time for a dental treatment - and my 3 years of brace wearing counted as one treatment! In your case this might be something that the NHS will pay for due to your jaw problems.

I didn't have to have any teeth out (I had already had 4 out when i had my original brace) and the orthodontist made room for all my teeth by fitting the 2 'pushing' teeth to either end of a spring type contraption, pushing them apart and making room for my 'backwards' tooth.

My brace was tightened every couple of months, and for a few days after the tightening my teeth would feel loose and painful, but it wasn't unbearably painful. There are certain foods you can't eat, like chewing gum (gets caught on the brace) and apples (puts too much pressure on the brace), but you just get used to these restrictions.

I still wear a retainer every night (I am now 28) because I'm paranoid about my teeth moving again.

I would definitely recommend it, it gave me so much more confidence and people compliment my teeth quite often now.

Groupon also sometimes have private orthodontic treatment at knock down rates (Invisible brace for £750 was one i saw recently) so maybe that's something that you could look into?

If you want to know anything else then feel free to PM me.
Good Luck! smile

HopeForTheBest Tue 19-Jul-11 12:51:48

Thank you for all your replies! It is nice (well, you know what I mean) to know I'm not alone!

I have been considering this on and off for a while, but always for more vanity reasons than anything else tbh. My teeth are horrible. Really. I am doing that tight-lipped smile now so as not to show them, and I don't wear lipstick because it draws attention to them.
(Am vaguely considering posting a pic to demonstrate just how bad they are but think I might scare you all off grin )

On a slightly less vain point, they are harder to clean because there is so much overlap.

The jaw thing is becoming more worrying, though, and I need to get that looked at. I am slightly scared that I am going to need an operation and that it is going to be v. painful and a v. long process to get it ok again, hence my ostrich-like policy of ignoring it up to now.

I should also admit that I have not been to a dentist for <mumble-mumble> years. As with the doc's, I tend only to go if there is something wrong which I cannot fix myself. This attitude has obviously contributed to me having done bugger all about my teeth years ago when it might have been easier to fix.
With hindsight, I really should have done this about 10 years ago.

Ho hum.

I am in Germany, so will ask around for a dentist/orthodontist recommendation.

I realise it's going to be expensive and take (at least) a couple of years, but I'm not yet 40 and my teeth are getting worse and worse. I do not want to end up looking like that bloke from the Pogues grin

MindtheGappp Tue 19-Jul-11 12:56:27

Braces! I got mine on my 38th birthday and had them about 6 months. It's not the same as needing them for three years as a teen when your face is growing and new teeth coming in.

The key thing is to wear your retainer afterwards otherwise everything will just move back. I have a fixed, permanent retainer so I don't have to think about it.

mittenkitten Tue 19-Jul-11 12:58:48

Hope, the jaw thing is quite possibly TMJ. Do you know if you clench or grind your teeth while you are asleep?

A friend of mine has this and has to wear a mouth guard at night.

It is very treatable and I have never heard of it requiring surgery!!!!

tulpe Tue 19-Jul-11 13:06:18

Hopeforthebest - I too feared I was straying into Shane McGowan territory so I had fixed ceramic braces (trade name is Clarity I think) fitted in January. I am 6 months in to treatment and have between 3 and 6 months left (depending on how the teeth shift) I am so pleased I went ahead with it. I only have discomfort when they are tightened every 6 weeks - usually no more than 2-3 days and definitely not enough to take pain relief. The only other discomfort occurs when you inadvertently chew down on something using the front teeth and that is a count to ten situation!

Agree with MindtheGapp that as long as you wear your retainers afterwards, the teeth should remain in line. My orthodontist recommends wearing the retainers at least 3 nights a week.

No idea how it would compare in Germany but my quotes were:
metal - £2,000
clear ceramics: £2,500
Invisalign: £3,000

My orthodontist recommended the metal braces because they really do the best job and reduce treatment time. At the time I felt I couldn't cope with them and opted for ceramic clear. TBH, they are obvious anyway so I wish I had just gone with the metal. The "clear" ones discolour too, no matter how much you scrub! The Invisalign are supposed to be good but they often require treatment to be finished with fixed braces anyway to get the correct finish.

HopeForTheBest Tue 19-Jul-11 13:09:20

Am going to show my utter ignorance here: what is TMJ please?

tulpe that is so very, very, VERY cheering to hear!

brookslay grin @ "tooth buddy" . I could do with all the support I can get!

ednurse Tue 19-Jul-11 13:09:27

I have had 12 years of dentistry from age 12. Train tracks, plates with two teeth on from where I was missing two (cleft palate) invisaligns, three bone grafts and finally two dental implants across 3 big orthodontists (broomfield, great ormond street and the eastman) all done by top consultants.

Definitely worth it in the end. grin

I didn't pay for any of it but the cost would've been around £30,000.

ednurse Tue 19-Jul-11 13:10:22

oh and I have a permanent fixed brace on the BACK of my bottom teeth so they don't shift.

MindtheGappp Tue 19-Jul-11 13:11:14

My orthodontist recommended metal braces for their efficiency, so that's what I went for.

Besides, when you talk to someone with ceramic braces, you can't miss them.

Wearing braces was the best diet I have ever been on - no eating between meals!

HopeForTheBest Tue 19-Jul-11 13:11:33

OMG ednurse shock
Bet you've got a lovely smile now, though grin

mittenkitten Tue 19-Jul-11 14:03:18

TMJ = temporomandibular joint -- joint that connects the jaw to the skull. But usually when laypeople say TMJ they mean TMJ disorder, which as far as I know is always to do with grinding / clenching the teeth while asleep. Causes joint pain, clicking, stiffness -- and wears down the teeth as well.

mittenkitten Tue 19-Jul-11 14:05:37

second the OMG, ednurse! That sounds totally brutal, dude . . . . grin

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