My Experience With Adult Braces
Earlier this week I sat down with my orthodontist, Dr. Karen Varone at Varone Orthodontics to talk about all things braces. In case your new around here I’ve been wearing Incognito braces or ‘adult braces’ as I call them. Y’all have been wanting to know all about them - so today I’m sharing everything including a short video at the end with Dr. Varone. Let’s start with a little background — my Dad is a dentist so I value having nice teeth and a beautiful smile. Like most kids growing up I had braces. Post braces I wore a fixed bottom retainer and removable top retainer. Somewhere over the years they removed my fixed bottom retainer — big mistake. As time went on I watched my perfectly straight teeth begin to move. It was mostly my bottom teeth, so much that it started to make me feel self conscious. In my late 20’s I decided it was time to do something about it.
My second attempt at braces was Invisalign. First of all I’d like to say that I know Invisalign works great for so many people. My failed success was only my own fault. In my experience my Invisalign aligner trays were to be worn on both my top and bottom teeth. They are meant to be worn 24/7 with the exception of eating meals and drinking anything other then water. Every few weeks you can graduate to new trays that will guide your teeth to that perfectly straight smile. The key to success is wearing them ALL.THE.TIME. This was not something I was successful at; I would either forget to put them back in, or just choose not to wear them. I’m what they would call a non-compliant patient.
Eventually I gave up the trays and went about life. Fast forward to about a year ago my oldest daughter Elle's dentist suggested we see an orthodontist. He said she would most likely need an expander and braces. I was shocked that my sweet 8 year old was already ready for braces but I followed his directions and called the orthodontist.
We were referred to Varone Orthodontists by many raving patients and parents who had either previously used her or were currently in treatment. During Elle’s visit I noticed an entire wall of false teeth showing all different kinds of braces and expanders — traditional braces, clear braces, Invisalign, and braces on the inside? I had to know more. After Elle’s appointment I set up my own consultation to get the answers I was looking for.
I went into my consultation wanting to know one thing — was I going to be a good candidate for these braces that go on the inside of my teeth?
During my consultation I explained my history with both braces and Invisalign. Dr. Varone was able to examine my bite and confirm that yes I was a candidate, she answered all my questions and we scheduled my appointment for Incognito braces. For those that may not know, Incognito braces are placed on the back side of the teeth making them invisible from the front. Not only were they aesthetically pleasing to me but my estimated treatment time was only 10-11 months!
In September, right after my 36th Birthday I went to get my braces put on. I won’t lie it was pretty rough at first. I lisp’d SO bad, my teeth hurt and I was definitely feeling like ‘what the heck have I done’. For the first few days I was on a strict smoothie diet but by the end of week one I was talking 20x better and had resumed my ‘new normal’ eating habits.
Six months into treatment I’m beyond thrilled with my current results and amazed at how quickly these braces have transformed my teeth and smile. Because of their aesthetics I can walk around without people knowing I wear braces. I feel confident and comfortable and could not recommend them enough to any young adult looking to correct their teeth.
Q: Why did you pick Incognito over Invisalign?
A: As I mentioned above I was not compliant with the Invisalign, I knew I needed something that I could not remove from my mouth. I want this to be the last time in braces. I also preferred the aesthetics of the Incognito.
Q: What is the overall comfort level compared to Invisalign?
A: I go in for wire changes/adjustments about every 6-8 weeks, after the appointment my teeth are sore for about 24-48 hours. After that time frame they don’t bother me at all and I resume all normal eating habits.
Q: Does everyone lisp with the braces?
A: NO! First of all I will say I sound so much better than when I first got my braces on. Like anything it took some getting used to. Since they are on the inside of my teeth it took awhile to re-train my tongue.
Q: Is it more challenging to eat with incognito braces?
A: Yes, because with Invisalign you take them out and eat as normal. With my incognito braces I prefer to cut up most of my foods and chew on my back molars. Using my front teeth to bite into sandwiches, etc just increases the amount of food that gets stuck in my braces. This is one of many reasons I went back to having smoothies for lunch :) I try and stay away from crunchy bread or crackers, I made the mistake of breaking a bracket the last time I bit into a crusty baguette. To some this might sound like torture but its been a great way to cut back on things I shouldn't be eating anyways!
Thank you to Dr. Karen Varone and staff for allowing me to film this short video. This post is not sponsored in anyway, just felt the need to share. Video outfit details Varone Orthodontics
2916 Bee Ridge Road
Sarasota, FL 34239