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Adult brace experiences?? (teeth variety!)

(40 Posts)
chasingtail Wed 17-Oct-12 18:16:51

I have hated my teeth for as long as I can remember (courtesy of thumb sucking until 30!) and at 40 I finally plucked up the courage to see a specialist orthodontist.

After assessment I was offered Invisalign (4k) or traditional train tracks, albeit clear ones (3.5K). Once I picked myself up off the floor, he went through the pros and cons of each. Although I was initially thinking Invisalign, apparently it takes longer to work (approx 2 years in my case) and there may still be a requirement for fixed braces at the end, so I am now swaying to fixed braces.

Anybody had fixed braces as an adult - are they horrifically painful and ugly? Do they look really obvious? They will take 18 months to work which seems like an awfully long time but I'm trying to envisage that beautiful Hollywood smile at the end of it!! grin

lljkk Wed 17-Oct-12 19:57:43

My cousins had them done in their 20s, they are very pleased with results. Sorry I'm not sure which sort, but I think they were pretty obvious.
Yes it looks silly, but they were confident enough to laugh & shrug it off & be pleased with the results afterwards.

ToothGah Wed 17-Oct-12 20:11:43

I had fixed braces as a teenager and by god, they hurt! Don't want to put you off - just being honest.

Unfortunately mine didn't work and my teeth have moved back - couldn't face shelling out to have it done now I'm an adult so I'll have to put up with how they are smile

cookielove Wed 17-Oct-12 20:16:10

I had the train track style braces from aged 15 to 22 shock so mine were free, it did hurt to begin with, there was pain in my teeth and gums, a constant ache, and then the wire cut into the cheeks, and it also broke loads but then my teeth were really wonky. Now there is a huge improvement from before but they aren't straight. I am happy enough with what they look like.

raindroprhyme Wed 17-Oct-12 20:35:29

I have had fixed braces in since April I am 30. I was a thumb sucker too.

They are uncomfortable when you first get them in a week or two tops , but after that it has been fine. After each tightening (every 6 weeks) it hurts for the rest of the day but settles quickly.I will have mine in for 2 years and at the moment have to wear elastics connecting the top to the bottom at night. This will progress to through the day as well. I can be a bit stiff in the morning after having the elastics in but it is just the teeth shifting and is quite satisfying to know it is working.

People don't notice mine now. I forget I have them too so iIthink that helps.
I probably open my mouth, smile more now than I did before cos I have more confidencejust from knowing i am doing something to improve the state of my teeth.
I have full metal with silver bands as i think they blend in better. I think the clear ones look weird, you look at somone from a distance and are like 'what is wrong with their mouth?' then as you look and look you realise 'ahh braces'.

i would go for it if you can afford it and would recommend standard as they are really no more noticeable than the invisible.

raindroprhyme Wed 17-Oct-12 20:37:27

you have to clean and foss constantly but then that just becomes a habit too. Everytime i eat i pop off to give my teeth a quick once over. I have been lucky as i haven't had much problem with rubbing on my cheeks and any i have had has been sorted by wax on the brace and bonjela on my sore bits.

Yika Wed 17-Oct-12 20:43:24

I had invisalign and I'm absolutely delighted. So easy to use, truly invisible. I didn't have fixed braces at the end. The result is not 100% perfect but i knew it wouldnt be. However it's close enough and I'm very happy with the result. It did take 2 years. I wear the last invisalign set as retainers at night. I was adamant that I didn't want train tracks and I'm happy I chose invisalign.

Yika Wed 17-Oct-12 20:47:47

Ps my orthodontist initially told me too I would probably need fixed braces for a couple of months at the end of the treatment but in the end it wasn't necessary. Re discomfort: my teeth hurt from the pressure for about 3 days. Also, I had some trouble putting the first few sets in (1 set every two weeks) and taking them out. After a month or two, I never had any trouble or discomfort again.
I know you were asking about the train tracks but I've been so happy with invisalign I wanted to share my experience.

StormyWeek Wed 17-Oct-12 20:50:20

I had 6 month smile ones, which are more of a cosmetic fix, in that it concentrates on the front 6 teeth. I think it cost about 2500, and took 5 months. Dentist train to do it, so its frowned on by orthodontists.
The results are fab, and I wear a retainer every night. They were white braces, which discoloured v quickly.They hurt horribly for the first 2 weeks and I was really conscious all the time I had them, but they were worth every second.
I went to a family wedding at the weekend and so many people were so perplexed at how great I looked. Had I lost weight? Etc. I didn't let on, just smiled elegantly and shrugged. Worth every penny. Did them when I was 37, I'm 40 now.

VerySmallSqueak Wed 17-Oct-12 20:52:14

I had braces for years.I remember discomfort after tightening and sometimes ulcers and rubbing,but that's not all the time and it certainly wasn't hell for me.
My teeth where quite badly wonky.
Unfortunately mine went back quite a bit.I would definitely have them again (if I could afford it) so it didn't put me off - and I imagine nowadays they have far better techniques and braces.
I have to say that whether I went for invisalign or visible braces would probably depend on how long visible braces would have to be worn at the end.If it's a short time I'd opt for longer with invisalign,but if it's a longer time (eg 6 months) I'd probably go for the visible ones.
Do you have to pay up front or can you have interest free credit/pay by instalments?

VerySmallSqueak Wed 17-Oct-12 20:53:39

StormyWeek that sounds brilliant!

maybunny Wed 17-Oct-12 21:01:21

I had train tracks in my 20s but only on the bottom teeth so not very visible. I would recommend them, they didn't hurt at all unless they has been tightened too much, then I would go back to have them adjusted. I had to wear a clear guard at night after they came off but tbh I barely wore it and it was fine! I now have a splint fixed permanently on the inside of my teeth to stop then from moving but there has been slight movement but it's fine.
I say go for it as its such a short space of time for a lifetime of benefitting from the results!

Oinkypig Wed 17-Oct-12 21:04:40

I think with braces the most predictable result is always with "train tracks" that's not to say you can't get good results with other types just the result might not be as good or it might take longer. Any dentist I know who has had braces of any type as an adult wear their retainers indefinitely, maybe not everynight but every other night or have permanent retention(a wire bonded to the back of teeth) or both!

chasingtail Wed 17-Oct-12 21:25:50

wow, thanks everyone for sharing your experiences.
WRT fees, I have been given 3 options, with a 10% discount for full payment upfront. This would equates to £350 discount for the train tracks but DH is loathe to give such a large amount all in one pre-treatment hit (cynical business mind in action!).

I have also been advised by a dental hygienist friend to ensure I get fixed retainers at the end of treatment (included in price) as opposed to a plastic removable one, as this will guarantee the teeth won't move back.

Interesting what you say Rain about going for the standard braces - I have also heard that the clear ones discolour really easily.

The pain factor does bother me but looking on the bright side maybe it'll stop me grazing all day!! grin

chasingtail Wed 17-Oct-12 21:27:12

Also wondering - do they affect your speech??

StormyWeek Wed 17-Oct-12 21:51:27

No, they don't stop you grazing! I thought that too. I had mine done just before Christmas, and they certainly took the shine off eating in public- I became quite paranoid about that.
I got them just after my last baby, with the idea being that I was in the new born baby hole, never going out etc, and I'd relaunch with a new smile, figure regained and everything fabulous when baby was about 6 months old. It pretty much worked, but I was surprised at how uncomfortable they were. I felt positively foolish to be going through that while breast feeding/ broken nights etc. Perhaps because it's entirely your own choice, and it's all about vanity.
I found that people were70/30 positive about it- and people commented alot!
But it all passed, and as I said already, well worth it.

Specialbrew Wed 17-Oct-12 22:53:39

I had mine done in my mid thirties when I was left some money (I couldn't have afforded it otherwise). It is one of the best things I have ever done, as I was too embarrased to smile properly before, and the 18 months flew by.

I had metal ones on the bottom and clear at the top. I now have a fixed retainer for top and bottom which no one can see.

The day they were tightened they were a bit sore, but not too bad, and yes, there were noticeable, but you soon start to notice lots of other adults have them too. It's really no big deal.

One thing I did notice though is that my face 'profile' changed a bit. My teeth used to push onto my lips so my lips looked bigger, making them straighter meant pushing them in a bit, so my lips now look a bit thinner. It's probably not noticeable to other people, but it took awhile for me to get used to.

Oh, and you have to change your eating habits a bit as you can't bite properly, but again, not a big deal

Good luck!

Inneedofbrandy Wed 17-Oct-12 22:59:14

I had braces from primary school to Yr10. My teeth have now moved back and will probably end up back where they started.

echt Thu 18-Oct-12 07:50:33

I had train tracks in my late 40s.

Yes. they are painful, and now Adcortyl is no longer available in the UK, even more so.

Stops grazing in its tracks, good for about 7-9 lbs weight loss, which was OK in some ways ) I was size 12 and dropped to a rather slim 10, but not a flattering look for the older brace wearer.grin

Second what Specialbrew said about lip shape changing, my rather nicely full upper lip became thinner, but still a nice shape.

Go for it. I have a very public job as a teacher, and never had a negative comment/ tease form a student.

chasingtail Thu 18-Oct-12 11:15:37

spent most of last night thinking about this (sad I know!). Am pretty much resolved to go ahead but am now more undecided between Invisalign & train tracks. The idea of an invisible brace& less pain is definately tempting but does it justify another £500 & extra 6 months?? Ho hum......

TabbyM Thu 18-Oct-12 12:44:40

I had mine done early 30s on the NHS due to jaw problems though I had to travel to a dental hospital. Train tracks are actually not that bad, I felt a lot less self conscious than I thought I would. The first few weeks eating is awkward but after that no probs and sadly no weight loss. Just avoid toffee and apples.

Sandydunes Thu 18-Oct-12 12:55:07

Watching this thread with interest as I have been considering getting a brace on again (in my 30's). Did not realise that the price was so high, although someone told me that you can get some of it on NHS if your teeth are particularly bad?

Why is it that the Invisalign ones aren't as effective?

BigFairy Thu 18-Oct-12 12:55:25

I had fixed braces as a teenager but unfortunately, despite continuing to wear retainers at night, my teeth moved a lot. I got Invisalign at age 29 to fix this and it took 13.5 months (was told a year) and I am really happy with the results. I then wore Invisalign retainers full time for about 6 months, now just at night.

In my experience Invisalign was much better than fixed braces and seemed to move my teeth much more quickly (though obviously I'm comparing to orthodontics in the 1990's). The only problem I had was that the aligners were sometimes very difficult to put in when new and sometimes almost impossible to take out the next morning as so tight. However, each aligner is worn for a fortnight and this only happened for the first day or so, and was only really bad with the first about 4 aligners. I found the aligners comfortable and they didn't affect my speech at all as they fit so closely over the teeth. It is a bit annoying that you can only have water with them in and have to brush and floss before putting them back, but you get used to it and it's actually quite nice being so clean all the time!

If you go for Invisalign, some things to be aware of are whether you will need attachments (fixed tooth coloured bits) on some teeth. I needed 13 and was a bit disappointed as it made it not totally removable. But they were not as noticeable as I had expected. Also, either option, whether you will need IPR, which involves having a tiny amount of enamel 'shaved' off from the side of your teeth. I had to have this done and was not happy about it, but managed to have the amount minimised by having a longer treatment plan (so the arches were widened to make some more space). I had an experienced dentist treat me as cheaper than orthodontist. Make sure whoever it is has experience of fixing cases similar to yours.

Overall, I'm really glad I went ahead and feel it was worth the suffering and cost (3K).

chasingtail Thu 18-Oct-12 14:10:15

Fairy thank you! You have just reminded me of so many things I'd forgotten since my assessment.

Yes, the orthodontist did tell me I'd need attachments with Invisalign and potentially some enamel shaved off at the end of treatment for either option.

just wish Invisalign wasn't sooooo expensive shock

VerySmallSqueak Thu 18-Oct-12 14:20:41

BigFairy what is IPR?
If you have enamel shaved off,doesn't that weaken the tooth? confused

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