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So you've been thinking about getting braces, but you're not sure you're ready to take the plunge. You're saying to yourself, "I'm too old for braces." Or, "Do I really want to have a grown-up metal mouth?" Well, stop worrying. Here are the top FIVE reasons you should reconsider:

  • Your smile is one of the first things about you that people notice - take the time to make it beautiful! Improving your smile not only can improve your entire appearance, but build confidence and boost your general happiness as well.
  • Having straight teeth is good for your dental health. Crooked teeth are more difficult to keep clean, and wear down quicker. Once your teeth are aligned, you'll be more likely to ensure that your great smile will last a lifetime!
  • Having straight teeth is good for your overall health, too. As the first step in the digestive process, aligned teeth will make digestion easy on your stomach and other organs.
  • Other adults are doing it too! In fact, about 20% of orthodontic patients today are not children - even celebrities like Tom Cruise and Gwen Stefani have worn braces.
  • You don't HAVE to have a metal mouth! Braces today are not the braces of your childhood nightmares. With new technologies such as Invisalign, you can straighten your teeth without any metal at all. In fact, with Invisalign, no one can even tell you are wearing them. (Click here for more information about Invisalign).

So, go for it! You deserve to have the smile you've always wanted.

April 19, 2007

So you are thinking about braces. Or maybe you need braces and you have no choice. Well the good news is..... they have gotten a little better over the years...!! For starters you have the infamous Invisalign teeth fixing magic that nobody knows you have on. You may also have the option of clear braces if they are in your budget and your orthodontist offers them to you as an option. Because I will be documenting my experience with braces, you should know that I have chosen clear braces. I will be fitted with full braces on both upper and lower teeth.

So where do you begin. How do you get braces. How do you know if you will need braces. Do you want perfectly straight teeth and decide on your own. If you do, now what should you do...?

For me its not a cosmetic concern, for the most part. I would personally prefer not to wear braces for two years, however I need to get a bridge repaired and I do not want to have another Maryland bridge installed. If you do not know what a Maryland bridge is I will explain. I have a tooth missing and a very simple and easy way to fill the gap is to create a fake tooth and give it metal wings. These metal wings are then bonded to neighboring teeth. The problem with Maryland bridges is that have a short shelf life. The tend to loosen and brake off in a short period of time. Most of the dentists I have went to give them a shelf life of 3 years. I had he first bridge fall off once while chewing gum.

Ok so when am I going to get to the braces. Well because I don't want to get another Maryland bridge and I have some missing bone in my jaw, I need to get my teeth straight so that a cosmetic dentist can work his or her magic using another type of bridge, sort of....

So here I am... At the dentist. I tell him what I want to do after he offers a few solutions and I tell him that I would like to see an orthodontist and which one would he recommend. He tells me the name of the Doctor and provides me with a little bit of history about the orthodontist and gives me his honest opinion of his work and relationship with this particular orthodontist. I respect my Dentists opinion so I have his office manager book me an appointment for an initial consultation. A few days later I am on my way to see my orthodontist and his supportive staff.

April 26, 2007

In route to the orthodontist. I find the practice after driving around the block a few times. The office is on a what appears to be a residential street and my GPS system is telling me I am in the right place. I pick up my cell and call the front desk and tell the young lady where I am and she says to me "You are in the right place and our address is this and you can see us very easily if you just come back up the street. I do it again. Turn around and head back up the street. I cannot see a single business anywhere. After a few more turnarounds and another phone call I am in front of the office. It was right in front of me and I still couldn't find it... Oh well, now I am a little nervous. It looks like this orthodontist is working out of his home office!! I park my car and walk in. Boy was I impressed. A flat screen monitor that asked me to sign in and the place looked great on the inside. Beautiful waiting room and lots of eager patients waiting to get their next torque or better, get their braces taken off...!

An office manager / dental assistant comes out and says "hello, let me show you around." She proceeds to give me a detailed tour of the facility and shows me where I will be treated. Because I am an adult, I get access to a private room with one dental chair. The younger generations are in the bull pen room with several chairs and a central command center, complete with sinks and supplies for the patients, dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants. After the tour I am sat down and we talk about my needs and concerns. After that I am asked to watch a video. The video was an infomercial for Invisalign. I am very familiar with Invisalign and was hopeful that I would be a strong candidate for the clear appliances. I was also pretty certain that I Invisalign would not move my teeth enough and would need to get traditional braces in order to get the best results. After the Invisalign video I was taken into an Xray room where I had to stand in the middle of a machine that scanned my jaw by moving around my head from back to front. After that they took a few more Xrays using those things that have to get wedged in your mouth. They don't hurt but its always strange. Ok all done with the Xrays. Now we are headed into the photo studio. Time for some sexy head shots. I mean teeth shots. Nothing like openening your mouth as wide as possible so that some dental assistant can photograph your teeth.

Okay, I am glad the photo shoot is over.

Braces Food List

You may NOT eat or chew the following items at any time:

  • Gum - Any Type
  • Taffy
  • Caramel
  • Peanuts
  • Any other nuts
  • Doritos
  • Fritos
  • Any other Corn Chip
  • Popcorn
  • Pizza Crust
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Hard Candy
  • Lolli Pops
  • Ice Cubes
  • Corn on the cob
  • Licorice
  • Granola Bars
  • Fruit roll ups, bites, etc
  • Jelly Beans
  • Pens, Pencils
  • Fingernaiils
  • Pretzels - hard only
  • Or any other sticky, chewy, hard foods.

The following items must be broken or cut into bite size pieces:

  • Bagels - not toasted
  • Pizza
  • Hard Rolls
  • Soft Pretzels
  • Hero Sandwiches
  • Meat - Steak, chicken on bone etc
  • Raw carrots
  • Raw celery
  • Apples
  • Italian Bread
  • Potato Chips

Any other hard vegetables or fruit