On July 3, I was debraced!  This marks the end of my jaw surgery treatment plan.

First, I had a permanent retainer installed on my lower arch.  The retainer is just a thin piece of wire that is cemented to the back of my front 6 teeth – from canine to canine.  I had an option of getting a removable retainer instead, but I know myself and after a couple months I will inevitably get lazy and stop wearing my retainer like I’m supposed to.  A permanent one solves this problem with the only drawback that I have to brush a little more carefully and have to use floss threaders for those front 6 teeth.  After more than 2 years of having to floss thread all of my teeth, I think I can handle just 6.

Getting the retainer put in was pretty time consuming – it took probably 30+ minutes.  But after it was UV bonded in, it was time for the main event – getting those braces off!

The debracing process was easy, but not quite painless.  One of the techs used a special pliers-like tool and basically “crunched” off every one of my brackets.  I say crunch because that’s what it sounded *and* felt like.  The whole process took … oh … 20 seconds or so.  My tech didn’t even both taking off the arch-wire first.  This part was incredibly easy and was no more uncomfortable than any other tune-up where they are adding hooks or power chains or what-not.

I couldn’t help but rub my tongue all over my teeth.  It felt great!  … and kind of gritty.  There was still a bit of glue residue left over.  And when I looked in the mirror my teeth looked kind of chalky and gross.  Ugh I was ridiculously obsessed with brushing and flossing my first year with braces, but ever since my surgery I’ve gotten kind of lazy.  And that first glance in the mirror kind of looked like it.

My ortho came over a few minutes later to make sure everything was ok and then proceeded to polish my teeth.  Remember when I said the debracing process was “not quite painless”?  Apparently “polishing” teeth involves using what looks like a dental dremel to essentially sand off the top layer of your teeth.  It’s loud, sprays a fine white powder of glue and tooth dust all over your mouth, and worst of all, hurts like crazy.  Now after all this work – gum grafts, fillings, extractions, braces, surgery – I feel like I have a pretty high tolerance for dental pain but this was probably the most discomfort I felt orally through this whole journey.

I’m pretty sure my eyes watered a bit and I wanted to cry out, but after about 5-10 minutes of sanding my teeth it was all over.  I brushed my teeth, and looked in the mirror – my teeth were now ridiculously smooth & shiny – they even looked whiter! – compared to when I first had my braces off.  So all that pain was actually worth it – kind of.

Next, I had impressions made for my upper retainer, which is going to be made out of clear plastic.  I will get that on Friday.  The last thing was final records – basically taking the same photos I took when I had my first official appointment with my ortho.

I’ve worn braces since April 2010 and had really gotten used to them, so it feels kind of weird not having them on now.  But at the same time, it feels really, really good to finally have them off.

Photos and some deeper reflections to come soon.


About jeremiahjaw
27 year old engineer, living in LA and about to get double jaw surgery

2 Responses to Debraced!

  1. estranged says:

    wow. I know it’s kinda late to post in here. but I read ur journey n wow. I am not gonna do this whole jaw surgery thing cuz my main complaint is my asymmetry n jaw clicking although my orthodontist said I need to push in my lower jaw by 5mm. If I may ask, do u know how many mms was yours pushed in? (in case I “ever” consider). and at what age you did the surgery? when u wore the braces did u ever have crunchin noises around your jaw joints? (something thats really worrying me considerin its jus 25 days since I got my braces). n last but not the u feel completely fine now with no numbness?
    I hope to hear from you. n gud luck for future!!

  2. Thanks for detailing the deb racing process. I’m near the end of my braces treatment (hopefully) and your post really helped me visualize – and mentally prepare for – the eventual debracing.

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