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Archive for the ‘before braces – feeling’ Category

I had my alarm clock set to start off at 7:15 am, but I actually woke up by myself at 6:45 am.  I wanted to get more sleep until 7:15 am, so I tried to fall asleep again on the bed, but I couldn’t.  Lying on the bed with closed eyes but a clear head, I began to think about the questions I want to ask Dr. G later and the fact that I am going to get my braces on… today!

At 7:15 am, my alarm clock went off, but I didn’t leave my bed until 7:30 am.  It was time to eat breakfast and get ready for my 9:15 am appointment (I am supposed to be at Dr. G’s office by 9:00 am though).  Before this day came, I had thought about what kind of breakfast I would have before getting my braces.  I imagined it to be a big breakfast because I probably wouldn’t be able to eat and chew freely after I get my braces.

But when I went to the kitchen, I just felt that an ordinary breakfast would be good enough.  Something I have been eating lately.  So I had a piece of toasted bread with tomato and basil hummus, a bowl of soy bean milk, and a handful of farmers market strawberries.  When I bit into my strawberries, I was thinking that I would miss this feeling after having my braces.

After eating breakfast, I brushed my teeth.  I also enjoyed brushing my teeth freely at that moment, because I knew soon enough I wouldn’t be able to feel the same way when brushing my teeth after having braces.  I also did a final check on the documents I want to bring with me to Dr. G’s office.

At 8:25 am, it is time for me to leave for the orthodontic treatment.  So, oh my gosh… I am really leaving home to get braces now.  I feel so nervous.

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I am going to see my orthodontist, Dr. G, for the treatment tomorrow at 9:15 am. 

Earlier today I was feeling nervous but excited that I am going to get the treatment tomorrow, but now, on top of these two feelings, I also feel a bit scared….  I still have some questions I want to get answers from Dr. G, like how exactly will my teeth be moved, etc., and I am going to meet him around 9:00 am to ask my questions.  I am glad to get an email reply from Dr. G that he has time to meet me around 9:00 am tomorrow to go over my treatment plan, expected results, wisdom teeth, and timing again before I sign the contract….

Now what I need to do is to get a good night of sleep and remember all the questions I need to ask tomorrow.  And be on time to the appointment tomorrow.

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It has been 10 days since last time I posted on my blog.  I know I have decided and self-encouraged myself to just get the braces this coming Saturday and try not to think about how others might think about my look with braces, but during the past 10 days, my thoughts still swung back and forth: Should I really get braces?  Maybe I would still be okay without getting braces?  Would I be able to live with braces 24/7 for the next one to two years?  Would my teeth really turn out to look great at the end of the treatment?  Would there be a chance that my smile and facial profile could be worse than now?  All these questions keep popping in my head as the date for getting my braces is approaching….

I guess my biggest concern would be if I would still look okay (meaning, not ugly) with braces.  I know I am not alone when it comes to concerning about appearance.  I have seen people mentioning online their worries about not so sure how others would think of them with braces.  After reading what others have shared, I get the impression that it is really no big deal to get braces as an adult and people wouldn’t pay much attention to your braces for a long time anyway.

Speaking of which, I really like the braces forum on Braces Review.  People there are going through what I am about to go through, and they just seem like a group of nice people sharing their experience and supporting each other on this forum.  It actually makes me feel great after reading some threads and posts on this forum.  I just feel I am so ready to get braces now, and my worries and concerns are all eased.  (Hopefully this feeling can last long into this coming Saturday….)

Besides, a few days ago, I was browsing randomly on the internet, and then I tumbled into a collection of pictures of a cute Asian lady with braces.  After browsing through her pictures, I just realized that no matter a person has braces or not, if the person is cute/good-looking, then he/she is going to look cute/good-looking even if they have braces, especially they can still smile confidently with their braces!

So, I tell (or hypnotize) myself that probably no one is going to think I look worse than now when I get my braces because there are so many adults getting braces so it is not a big deal anymore.  And, I think I will still look as good as now when I get my braces if I can just accept the fact that I will now have braces and that I can still smile happily and confidently.

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When I was a student, I didn’t think about getting braces.  Some of my friends were getting braces, but my parents told me that my teeth were straight, so back then, my perception about my teeth was that my teeth were looking fine.  Over the years I get more exposure to magazines and advertisement, on which they always show people with beautiful smiles and straight teeth (I know they photoshop people, but still…), and looking at the mirror to compare mine with theirs, I have to admit that, okay, my teeth are looking fine, no cavity, but not that straight.  And then there is a general belief that if your teeth are straight, you can have a better facial profile.  Looking better than now is most women’s wish, so I begin to think that maybe I should get braces to straighten my teeth.

But, I wasn’t making money and didn’t have dental insurance.  So my plan to get braces got pushed off.  After graduating, I found a part-time benefited job in September 2008.  I did a basic research online about braces and scheduled to meet with one dentist and one orthodontist.  I asked the dentist about regular braces and Invisalign.  Personally I prefer to get invisible braces, but the dentist told me that a few of my teeth probably have to be shaved a little to fit into Invisalign.  (He was the only person telling me this, and I thanked him for his honesty.)  Regular braces was another option, but I thought they would just be looking too obvious on my teeth, so I didn’t like this option either.  Then, I learned about Damon braces from the orthodontist.  That was my first time hearing about Damon braces.  I went through the panoramic x-ray and got pictures taken on my teeth, and the orthodontist was a talkative and friendly person, but they only had metal brackets back then and she couldn’t give me an estimated cost unless I first paid for the teeth study model ($100).  She did told me that it could cost from $2,000 to $5,500, but this amount range was big that this piece of information became meaningless to me.  My first attempt to get braces just stopped there.

In August 2010, I got a full-time benefited job, so I looked more closely into my dental coverage, and was feeling sad to learn that it only covers orthodontia work up to age 19.  Definitely I pass that age, so this part of dental insurance is not helpful for me.  I have to pay everything out-of-pocket.  Realizing this, I pretty much can get service from any orthodontist without caring for my dental plan’s policy.  I began my research about different orthodontic treatments, and then I remembered Damon braces.   I went to their website, researched on its system, read what people say about Damon braces, and then I decided to look for only orthodontists who provide Damon braces.  That was a good start to narrow down my research, and after I filtered the list of orthodontists by location and weekend/evening business hours, I scheduled to meet with four orthodontists.

9/01/2010 – 1st orthodontist (Dr. M):
I called to schedule for an appointment, and his staff was rude on the phone.  Not only was her tone impatient, but also she hung up on me.  I had to call back again and got an appointment.  I didn’t have a good impression about the orthodontist, because he was kind of distant, only spent about 7 seconds examining my teeth, and he had a really low voice so it was hard to understand him.  No photographs or x-ray was done during this appointment.  When his staff came to talk about the financial plan, I recognized she was the lady who hung up on me.  Even though she was nicer in person, I felt she just wanted to sell the business to me.  She was confident enough to tell me that no one could provide a price as low as theirs.  She quoted me $4,000 with metal Damon and $5,000 with clear Damon.  Records were $300 extra.  The estimated time to straighten my teeth was 1.5-2 years, and the cost included 1 year of retainer maintenance.

9/25/2010 – 2nd orthodontist (Dr. G):
I had a pretty good impression about Dr. G and his staff.  The staff were friendly, soft-spoken, patient, and nice.  They took panoramic x-ray of my teeth and took photographs of my teeth and facial profile.  The conversation with Dr. G was pleasant; he was really patient and answered all the questions I had.  At that point, I was pretty impressed about his professionalism and overall presentation of his team.  He also gave me a nice folder full of information.  (He was the only orthodontist who gave me a nice folder to hold stuff; the others I consulted with only gave me printed papers.)  His financial advisor quoted me $5,400 for Invisalign, $5,200 for metal Damon, and 5,450 for clear Damon (records fee was included).  The estimated time to straighten my teeth was 1-1.5 years, and the cost included 1 year of retainer maintenance.

10/20/2010 – 3rd orthodontist (Dr. C):
His staff was friendly, but I felt she was trying hard to be friendly.  She only took photographs of my teeth.  Dr. S was a out-spoken person so that kind of encouraged me to ask many questions, and he was patient to answer all of them.  He was also professional, but I got a bit annoyed by his staff/financial advisor standing next to us listening to our conversation.  Normally the satff/financial advisor would give the orthodontist and patient some space to talk about issues, so I felt her not leaving the room was a bit strange.  She quoted me $5,700 for clear Damon and $6,400 for Invisalign.  Records were $737 extra.  The estimated time to straighten my teeth was 1.5-2 years, and the cost included 3 years of retainer maintenance.

11/17/2010 – 4th orthodontist (Dr. S):
Even though his office was not big, it was welcoming.  When I got there, Dr. S still had several patients in the office, so his assistant examined my teeth for him instead.  No photographs or x-ray was done during this appointment.  His assistant was friendly and tried to have conversation with me while I waited for Dr. S to be free to see me.  When I met with Dr. S, I felt that he was also friendly and professional (in fact, he was quite good-looking), but maybe he had other patients waiting for him, I didn’t get to ask some of my questions.  He wanted me to schedule another appointment to do the records and would answer other questions I might have.  His assistant quoted me $5,400 for metal Damon and $6,200 for ceramic/clear Damon.  Records were $425 extra.  The estimated time to straighten my teeth was 1.5-2 years, and the cost included 1 years of retainer maintenance.

After consulting with four different orthodontists, I was pretty tired of the process of meeting them to get a quote.  I thought I should just pick one among the four to sign the contract.  I remembered my initial consultation with Dr. G was pretty good, and he was the only orthodontist who sent me a mail to follow up with me and mentioned that he could adjust the quote to be considerate to my financial needs.  Because of this mail, I contacted Dr. G to ask follow-up questions and got a better quote than the initial quote.  After another phone call to Dr. G’s office, I had decided on 11/30/2010 to go to Dr. G for straightening my teeth.

I am scheduled to start the treatment on 2/19/2011, and it is only two weeks away from that.  I feel anticipated but also worried that the treatment would take longer than the estimated time because everyone’s teeth move at different rate.  No matter what, since I have already spent so much time on researching and filtering the orthodontists, and finally I have found one who seems to be decent, I should really stick with my plan and go for it.  I know I can back up still if I want to, but if I did, it would just be like my first attempt, where two years had passed and I got nothing done on my teeth.  No one has countless two years to spend.  I should just go for this and don’t let noises, fear, or excuses stop me from getting braces this time.

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