Exactly two weeks before Christmas Day I had my most recent orthodontist appointment, and he started me on elastics in a triangle configuration on both sides, worn 24/7 except when eating and brushing/flossing my teeth.
I may be the most excited patient he's ever had to be told she has to wear elastics, but I was really anxious to get them and start working on straightening out my bite, as that was the reason for getting braces in the first place. I could have lived with the slight crookedness of my teeth easily for the rest of my life had I not fractured my jaw and messed up my bite, but not being able to chew properly is a big deal.
In just a little over two weeks of wearing my elastics religiously, I can already tell a difference in my bite. I am so pleased!
Here's what my bite looked like on day 1 in braces (left) and eight weeks later (right). You can see how off-center my midline (the line between the center two teeth) is on the bottom. As a result, my molars were not meeting correctly.
You can't see from straight-on photos how much of an overbite (technically an "overjet") I have. It's still there but less severe since starting elastics. One of these days I need to take a side view photo.
The alignment of my top teeth hasn't changed nearly as much as the bottoms as he's been using a lighter wire there, and top teeth just tend to move more slowly, for reasons known only to orthodontists, but there has been a small amount of improvement there.
If I were to stop wearing elastics today, I am sure my bite would revert back quickly. I'm not sure how long I have to wear them to make the changes permanent, but my orthodontist will keep me in them until he knows the changes will "stick", I'm sure. Although I want to be done with braces as soon as possible, I want to wear them until I know my bite will be fixed permanently. I'll wear retainers afterwards to keep the teeth aligned, but they do nothing for bites.
My teeth have been a bit sore since I started wearing elastics, but after the first 3-4 days, nothing I can't handle. My next appointment is not until the end of January, so we'll see how things go between now and then.
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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