Happy day, Friends! I got my braces off!
No more brushing and flossing all day long...
No more weird looks from adults...
No more weird looks from little, sweet, innocent children at Kate's school..
No more, "But your teeth looked great..."
My teeth DID look great..they look even greater..if not GREATEST now. Here is the story:
About seven years ago, my teeth started to shift. Didn't you have braces when you were a kid? Yes... I didn't wear my retainers. I was 12 years old. So, during routine exams, my dentist would start to notice that my teeth were not touching when I bit down. Try it... bite down and see where your upper and lower teeth touch. Mine? Almost nowhere. Yep. I couldn't chew food well at all...and the chewing was causing all sorts of pain in my jaw not to mention the possibility of really irregular wear on said chompers.
You can see me acting through the pain the videos for The Mixed Media Variety Hour online workshop, as well as in the Act Natural class promo. The camera-left side of my mouth was turned upward, and I was straining to pronounce every word. Off camera, I was sad and in pain. For a long time..
See....the first orthodontist told me I needed braces 4 years ago. He told me I needed oral surgery and 2-3 years of treatment. I was depressed about the oral surgery portion of the treatment and paying for the consultation for it in the first place (which...by the way...none of this would be covered by my insurance)..I asked for a referral from my favorite ENT doctor. My ENT is the head of all surgery neck and up in my medical group...I think he is a genius...and...coincidentally, he has dental experience.
When I got to the ENT, I explained the problem and he told me, "You want a referral for what?? With who?? You're crazy. Don't do it. Don't ever go for elective surgery." Enough said.
Last year, the pain in my jaw and face became so intense, I was a disaster. I don't like taking medicine, so I suffered through everything. Until I googled "holistic" orthodontist and had my consultation with one Dr. C. Hulsey in Rancho Bernardo. Luckily I actually knew three people who went to this orthodontist..things started to look up.
At my consultation with Dr. Hulsey, he told me that he wanted me to wear a splint for 6 months to correct the jaw pain..and then to read THIS BOOK. (I hate reading...but I did it. If reading a book and wearing a splint was going to eliminate surgery in my mouth...I was going to do it. STAT.) After a few months, he told me I would need braces for about a year..and not to get discouraged if it was 12-16 months.. I told him, "A year and you've got a deal."
I went home. Ordered the book immediately. I then read the book and did the exercises for jaw pain daily as directed. I swear...my pain was gone in about 4 days! GONE! If you're in pain, take a look at that book.. After a few weeks, I went back to Hulsey, ready to get fitted for my first splint...and I told him I was cured.
I have to tell you, that book saved me about 6 months of treatment time NOT TO MENTION the $$$ associated with that portion of the non-insurance-covered treatment! Boom. Done. Braces were ordered.
My braces were the "Damon" system. In this treatment (now..this is my non-medical lingo...you should consult your orthodontist with any questions about your treatment, of course), there is not a rubber band around each bracket. Remember how the kids get them and they get wild colors? No rubber bands for Julie. This way, the wire moves freely between each bracket resulting in happy teeth...happy teeth move faster I have been told.. and I believe it. My teeth moved FAR to re-align with each other and at the speed of light...
When you have braces as an adult, it's like a secret club. I liked asking everyone else I saw with braces, "How long are you in for?" Most of the patients replied 3 years. Gulp. Most of the patients who replied three years had conventional braces.. mama mia was I happy.
Do they cost more? Yah....I think treatment to treatment..it was about $600 higher for the Damon system...but the time it saved me? Golden.
I religiously followed Hulsey's instructions. Never skipped rubber bands (the type that connect the upper to the lower teeth as needed), flossed and brushed all day long..and the result? I got out in exactly 364 days. One day short of my "estimate".
So hurray for dental health...hurray for braces.....and oh..this whole experience has also helped me with my overall health due to diet and exercise..and the stretching! Feels great... yay teeth!
Thanks for stopping by today.. I'm going to go put in my retainer.