February 22, 2016

Adult Braces Update 2 | How I Keep My Teeth Super White With Braces

Welcome to my second official adult braces update! It’s been 13 weeks since I got my upper braces and ten weeks since I got the bottom. Time is certainly going by fast, which is amazing because obviously no one really dreams of getting braces at 30 years old. In this month’s update, we’re going to take a look at how my progress is going through photos, as well as, disassemble my ‘toolkit’ of products I use to keep my teeth white and clean both at home and in my purse.

adult braces update, keeping teeth white with braces, products used to keep teeth white with braces

Adult braces month one documented on my blog

adult braces update at 30, month three update, top and bottom braces on adult woman

What’s happened since my last update

Last month, I noted that I had two adjustments done by nine weeks – a wire adjustment on both top and bottom and the top wire had been upgraded. This month, we upgraded my top to an even stronger wire again (third wire on top now; yay) and upgraded my bottom wire (second wire on bottom).

Last month’s new top wire and bottom adjustments did not hurt whatsoever. I was prepared for the worst considering it was a new, stronger wire on top but I had absolutely no soreness at all. The bottom had no pain, either, but I also didn’t notice any changes at all on the bottom. There’s one tooth on the bottom corner (you can see in my photos) that really needs some major turning and it’s holding up all the others from moving to their desired place. I went to the ortho this past Friday and he warned me that with this new bottom wire and adjustment, I should be prepared for some major soreness because that tooth is going to do some considerable movement these next two months. It’s about time, because it’s definitely been the most annoying tooth so far! MOVEEEE, B, GET OUT THE WAYYY…

Since Friday’s adjustment, I have had some soreness on the bottom. Nothing worse than the first two months though, and no inflammation/puffiness. I can pop two Tylenol and I’m fine to eat any soft foods with no issues. My top teeth haven’t had any pain at all. I’m starting to think I have quite a high tolerance to pain, which I never thought I had.

There was one time over the last month where my top and bottom teeth on the left side were rubbing against my cheek pretty badly, but just like I said last update, nothing a nice dose of wax didn’t heal overnight.

Have I noticed any changes?

Now that the top teeth are a lot more straight, they’re starting to make visible gaps especially between the front two. I feel sort of like a hillbilly, but I’m also being considerably dramatic, lol. These gaps should continue to happen until everyone is in their proper spot and then they’ll pull them all back together.

The two teeth next to my main top/front ones were the biggest offenders – they were totally turned to the side before the braces and now they’re about 95% aligned with the others.

The bottom – as I mentioned above – haven’t really done anything due to that side corner tooth. I am expecting these next two months will show some major progress with the bottom and overall alignment of the top/bottom together.

adult braces update with products used to help keep braces clean at home - toothpaste, mouthwash, floss on bathroom counter

What I use at home to keep my braces clean

I brush about three times a day with Colgate Optic White Enamel White toothpaste. I loved this toothpaste before braces and especially with them because I find it truly brightens my teeth in just a few days. With metal/ceramic braces, your teeth tend to stain pretty easily because unseen food can get stuck in the brackets and over time, even with brushing, it just seems to slightly stain the teeth. If you’re OCD about keeping your teeth clean like me, you’ll do whatever you can to keep them as white as they were before braces.


SIDE NOTE: The week I got my braces put on, I professionally whitened my teeth with custom bleach trays that I had from my wedding. I figured if they were super white when I got the brackets on and I kept them super white during treatment, they would look pretty good when the braces came off. I could totally be wrong but I’ll cross that bridge when I get them off…


I always use Listerine Total Care Stain Remover mouthwash after I brush. Again, it has a whitening component (hydrogen peroxide) which definitely makes me feel like a rabid animal foaming at the mouth when I use it, but it works to keep my teeth as white as possible. It also has fluoride as an anti-cavity – which not all mouthwashes do, so be sure to check.

I floss about two to three times a week with Glide floss or Colgate Total dental floss (it’s the thinnest/smoothest) just because it’s literally a 20-minute process to get the floss around and through the wires. I cannot floss without these Bridgeaid floss threaders. It helps get between the back teeth by threading the floss through. As my teeth are shifting and making more room for each other, I’m using the threaders less and less because there’s more space now (joy!).

If I have a snack mid-day and just get something stuck in my teeth and don’t feel like brushing again (my gums were a bit raw the first few weeks of all this brushing), I keep these interdental brushes (those mini little brush picks) handy to get between the teeth/under wires. They’re amazing.

When my brackets are rubbing against my cheek/lip/inside of mouth, I am not shy about loading up on the unflavored wax and sticking that crap on my brackets. If you hate wearing it during the day, I find that putting it on at night and sleeping really helps my mouth heal quickly. I just get this from my ortho’s office and I’m currently on my fourth little container. I’ve talked to people who hate the wax and it’s always because they’re using a mint or cinnamon flavored variety. WHO DOES THIS! If you are an orthodontist or patient who has to deal with this… please get the unflavored wax!? So gross to have mint or cinnamon wax in your mouth if you’re drinking coffee or orange juice…

What I keep in my purse to keep my braces clean

I keep a mini toothbrush, an interdental brush, toothpaste and wax in my purse at all times. It’s 100% necessary to at least have the interdental brush and wax with you (if you’re a guy or don’t carry a purse). I’ve used these on numerous occasions when out to dinner and would never ever be without them. I’ve even brought a mini Listerine mouthwash with me if I knew we were going out somewhere I wouldn’t have running water (park, beach, daytime festival, etc).


Products I use to keep my teeth white during braces, adult braces

That wraps it up for this month’s adult braces update. Again, I don’t LOVE wearing these at my age, but if I am lucky and get them off within the shorter-end of my initial one year-18 month estimate, I only have 38 weeks left haha!

Next month, we’ll be talking about foods I tend to avoid either because it’s too hard to chew, or it’s just too annoying to eat. Check back for that and more progress photos on Mar. 28.

Happy braces cleaning,

-Steffanie

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