Incognito lingual braces: 6 week update

When I last posted about my Incognito lingual braces, I was kind of freaking out a bit about them. My first two days were not easy at all, and I was having serious second thoughts. So I thought I’d update you on the time following those first two days, until the first tightening six weeks later.

I’m hoping this will help you if you’re thinking of getting Incognito lingual braces, or have recently got them and are having some difficulty with them like me. Don’t worry, I’m here to tell you:

it gets better.

Incognito lingual braces after 6 weeks

If you want to know more about Incognito lingual braces, I explain more about them on my previous post; but in brief, they’re just like train tracks only they go on the backs of your teeth so are therefore almost invisible to others. I chose them so they wouldn’t make me look like a teenager at work, although I soon had second thoughts about the wisdom of this choice…

Week 1

After the first 72 hours, I was pretty miserable. I couldn’t speak very well at all, and I was in a fair amount of pain both from my achey teeth and from my tongue which was not enjoying its new metal neighbours.

Two days post brace fitting I went out for supper with some family members and they picked up on my strange speech straight away, which didn’t help my confidence. The room was quite noisy and I found that certain syllables just didn’t make it out of my mouth. I mostly ate mashed potato and was a little bit miserable.

Two days later I had another family lunch, where I discovered that kale and braces are not a good mix. I took about twice as long as everyone else to eat my roast lunch but other than that, I did feel that my speech was improving gradually.

Week 1 also included my two dreaded pitch meetings, 5 and 6 days post fitting respectively. I was so nervous about them, but if I concentrated really hard on my speech I managed to just about sound normal. I think I got away with it because none of my colleagues mentioned anything, and I’d like to think they’d tell me if I sounded like a total prat. (Sidenote: we won both jobs so I think that’s a good indication that I didn’t totally ruin things!)

I survived this week by coating basically all the brackets in gishy goo or dental wax, whichever was to hand, which made talking slightly more difficult (because that meant there was even less room for my tongue to move) but much less painful. I still struggled to eat, so I tried to stick to soft foods. Mostly ice cream.

Week 2

I was mostly working from home this week which meant I could break in the braces gently. The exception was our big monthly meeting which, of course, I happened to be rota’d on to lead. This involves standing at the front of a room full of your rowdy colleagues who all want to chat to each other, and trying to get them to listen to you instead. Not an easy feat at the best of times! I was quite worried about this, but it was actually fine. A lot of people didn’t even notice, and I managed to do half the day gishy goo and wax free.

With eating, I discovered that if I cut everything up with a knife and fork, I could just post it to the back of my mouth where my un-braced molars were able to chew with much less of a problem. Being still unable to close my teeth together, I occasionally caught a tooth on a bracket which made me wince, but mostly things were much improved.

I went to a baby shower with one of the people who came to dinner the day I’d had my braces fitted. She said my speech was so improved she assumed I’d gotten fed up of the braces and had them taken off. So I’d say that’s a pretty good review!

I also felt much buoyed after meeting Kelly for a brace-friendly ice cream date, and I managed to talk just fine. Things were looking up. My teeth were still a bit achey, but nothing major.

The main downside at this stage was how long it took me to clean my teeth. I genuinely needed to adjust my morning and evening routine because of it!

Week 3

I had some more good spells of working from home which meant my tongue was feeling much more happy at this point. My main issues were that I still couldn’t use my front teeth to bite anything, and eating in general was still a bit tricky. I tended to stick to soft foods still, and continued to cut everything up. I couldn’t deal with anything vaguely sticky or stringy. If I had a particularly full day of talking for one reason or another, my tongue really suffered, but if I stayed at home and didn’t talk I was almost pain free.

Week 4

This week marked the point at which I started to feel like everything was going to be ok. I met up with some of my old university friends and they didn’t even notice me talking differently, which was great. I didn’t have much pain, although I still struggled with overly crunchy foods like some fruit and vegetables, and my s’s got lost if I tried to talk at any kind of volume.

Week 5

This was the week I went to Santorini! I was having practically zero problems at this point, no pain, and was even tentatively trying to bite (fairly soft…) things with my front teeth. Occasionally my tongue would catch the brackets while I was talking, which would result in me mispronouncing a word or spitting unfortunately (sorry, poor husband) rather than any pain.

Week 6: the first tightening

Having been told various horror stories about people crying in the orthodontist’s chair when having their braces tightened, I was a bit apprehensive about this part. I’d just begun to get used to my new crazy teeth and I didn’t want to have to start all over again with it all.

I needn’t have worried though, because the tightening appointment went really well. My orthodontist had a quick look at my teeth and braces as they were, and told me I’d been taking good care of my teeth and to keep it up.

Then she popped off the elastic bands that had been keeping the wire in place, and removed the wire. She gave my teeth a quick clean whilst the wire was off, which she warned me might feel a bit unpleasant but it wasn’t at all. It felt very strange to have my teeth back for a split second – and then the new wire and elastic bands went back on. This required a bit of pushing and pulling, and to my sensitive teeth this was a bit uncomfortable.

However, it was nothing too dramatic and was over pretty quickly. I even got some new elastic bands on the backs of my upper teeth that felt more comfortable than the last lot. Although of course that required another adjustment to my speech …

This appointment took less than half an hour and I was soon back home again. I needed some painkillers for the next day or so but after that was absolutely fine. I adjusted to the new rubber bands pretty well, and I even managed to eat a pizza without cutting it into tiny pieces first! I also met up with Kelly again, who says she thinks she can see my gap shrinking already. I’ll take her word for it – happily so!

Lingual incognito braces

Here’s a bonus picture of me which shows the most visible part of my brace, the bar behind my gap. This is also a picture of me laughing at my own attempts to smile nicely for the camera. I am so incapable of taking pictures of myself it’s not even funny. Ok it’s a bit funny.

At this point I’m feeling much more confident about the journey ahead. I think I stand a good chance of getting through this whilst a) keeping my job and b) enjoying food again. (Priorities). Basically I’m now feeling a lot more like this whole Incognito lingual braces thing hasn’t been a huge mistake.

Thanks everyone for your kind and encouraging words at the end of my last post. It really did help me feel less down about it all!

-Rachel

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27 Comments

  1. 26th June 2016 / 21:15

    I’m glad they got easier! If it helps then it definitely is also a pain with front braces as well to eat and talk, kind of the opposite in that your lips get cut up rather than the tongue! It definitely gets easier. I ate a lot of canned spaghetti, so soft!

    • 27th June 2016 / 18:09

      Thank you! I’m glad too. Whilst I’m not glad to hear that you had pain from normal braces in any way, I am comforted that I didn’t make an overly painful choice! Good shout on the canned spaghetti. I’ve been eating a lot of chicken soup and yoghurt. Not together…

  2. 27th June 2016 / 00:25

    I’m glad your teeth were feeling better for Santorini, that was good timing! I know all to well how tender teeth can feel whilst their on the move.

    I no longer have to wear my Invisalign during the day, just at night now. To be extra sure they don’t move, I asked for the metal bar to be fitted to the back of my teeth as I’d hate to undo the hard work.

    Honestly, any pain is worth it in the end! I still look at mine everyday haha

    Ami x
    http://www.cranberryandapricot.com

    • 27th June 2016 / 18:08

      Yes if it had spoiled my holiday I would have been so mad. Teeth on the move are definitely sore! Sometimes I clonk myself in the mouth with cutlery or my glass by accident and I certainly know about it. I’m glad you had a good Invisalign experience, I was aiming for that initially but apparently I’m not a suitable candidate 🙁

  3. 27th June 2016 / 01:05

    I’m glad it got better! I remember having a braces as a teen, and it was miserable. I suppose it was worth it though 🙂

    • 27th June 2016 / 18:06

      Yeah the first part was definitely miserable. It’s not too bad now though, apart from the lisping from time to time! I’m hoping it will all be worth it…!

  4. Jen
    27th June 2016 / 01:53

    I’m so glad it got better!!! 🙂 I’m getting braces after my daughter is born and I’m a little stressed about it.

    • 27th June 2016 / 18:06

      Thanks Jen! I’m definitely feeling more cheerful about it. Good luck with your braces! Don’t be stressed, it’s not the most fun thing but it’s definitely doable. And you run marathons! You got this 🙂

  5. 27th June 2016 / 13:45

    aw this is so good to hear that it’s all going smoothly! may be a route for me in the future. i had perfectly straight teeth (i know, boo hiss) but now they are shifting. isn’t getting older the best? haha. i didn’t even know you could put them behind the teeth! extraordinary 🙂

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • 27th June 2016 / 18:05

      Darn teeth! You never notice them until they’re going wrong, and then they’re the worst thing ever. I hope your teeth start behaving! And yes, out of all the things about getting older I never knew teeth would be an issue. Add that to the list!

  6. 27th June 2016 / 16:58

    I’m so glad the parts people dread weren’t horrible for you.
    I can already see the difference!
    cant wait to see the finishing picture!!!

    • 27th June 2016 / 18:09

      Me too! It all went pretty smoothly all told! I think I can see the difference too, which is VERY exciting. Only another 7 months to go..!

  7. 27th June 2016 / 21:17

    That’s great that things are getting back to normal for you, and that your friend can already see your gap shrinking! I remember when I got my traditional braces and it was no fun, and I felt like my lips always got cut!

    • 29th June 2016 / 21:24

      Oh no! That’s rough. I had assumed normal braces were less fierce than mine but it sounds like that’s not the case! I’m just focusing on the end goal, it’s not too far away now!

  8. 28th June 2016 / 14:04

    Oh my goodness, you are so brave to do this! I remember having braces when I was younger and they were SO painful when they first put them on … I wanted to rip them off! I wore them for two years, I think, and was so relieved when they were off. Your smile is looking great!

    • 29th June 2016 / 21:25

      Two years! Yikes. Mine will only be on for 9 months total and that already feels like a big ask. I’m not sure whether I’m brave or stupid, I’m just focusing on how good I’ll feel when they’re off and I’m all sorted.

  9. 28th June 2016 / 17:51

    yayyy i am so glad the pain went away. i am such a baby when it comes to dental pain, i think i would have had to take like 6 weeks off haha. but seriously i am super glad things are going well. you just need to eat more ice cream!

    • 29th June 2016 / 21:28

      Dental pain is the worst, it’s one of those things that you forget how miserable it is until you have it. I’m trying to be brave, after all I did choose to do this so I don’t really think I have the right to complain! Oh and the ice cream definitely stops me whingeing. Ben & Jerry are my two best friends right now 🙂

  10. 29th June 2016 / 19:26

    You got this! I remember how painful braces were when I was younger, and now I really regret not being better about wearing my retainers after the braces were taken off. My top teeth are fine, but my bottom… not so much.

    Hang in there! It DOES get easier and easier, although some tightenings may randomly be worse than others. You’re keeping the end goal in sight, which is the only way to do it! 🙂

    • 29th June 2016 / 21:30

      Thanks Katrina! I’m getting there, I’m actually a bit late putting this post up so I’m actually 2.5 months down at this point. Only 6.5 months to go! Wahhoooo! Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂 I’m definitely going to be meticulous about my retainers – I think I’m getting a wire glued to the back of my teeth so there can be no possible way they’ll move back again. That would be so annoying.

  11. Rach
    9th July 2016 / 22:22

    Hey,
    Great to read! Just had mine fitted yesterday and apart from the pain (which weirdly comforts me-knowing it’s working!) I have the worse lisp!! I’m so glad you affirm that it really does abate; I’m all for giggles, but I fear being asked to repeat myself or people/friends/family just trying not too laugh would get old very soon!! I’ll keep an avid view on your blog as your ahead of me and I can prepare myself !!
    Good luck honey!

    • 10th July 2016 / 00:03

      Oh I’m so glad to hear you’re going ok so far and that this has helped. I had no fun at all for the first couple of weeks, but it does get better! And I’m seeing results so quickly. My gap is even smaller than it is in this photo already!

      I do find I have to repeat myself sometimes still, as my s’s aren’t the clearest. But 99% of the time I’m able to make myself understood; that or people are just very polite and nod and smile! It’s amusing at first but does get old quickly when you just want to get your point across.

      Good luck with yours! Let me know if I can help with anything else 🙂

  12. 14th July 2016 / 08:00

    Hello ~ Awesome article ~ Thank You

  13. Jo
    12th November 2016 / 19:07

    Hello! I’m on day three of my braces and have to say I’m surprised and thankful that I’ve had no cuts or sores on my tongue and my teeth only hurt when I accidentally hit the front teeth together.

    My speech on the day they went on was 98% normal so I thought I was going to be lucky but nope it’s so lispy! So much saliva!

    I’m really finding the not being able to eat thing really hard. I didn’t realise how much I snack during meals and missed
    It so much!

    I am having real trouble cleaning between the braces with those little brushes. The gaps are far to small to fit anything in there and impossible to see the top ones. Did you find this?

    • 14th November 2016 / 16:54

      Wow! You’ve had good luck with no cuts or sores. That was the worst part for me – that and not being able to actually close my teeth together because the brackets got in the way. I’m happy to say I can do that now, so it gets better! I hope you’re managing with the lack of food. Soup is good for minimal chewing 🙂

      And you’re totally right about the saliva. It’s so grim but there’s nothing I can do about it!

      In terms of cleaning, I was told to use a little mirror to see the top brackets. That works to a certain extent. I use the Te Pe brushes which I find do fit, but if you’re struggling I hear some people use a water pick (?) which is a little machine that squirts water between your teeth. It’s a bit of a spend but it might be worth it if you really are struggling to clean your teeth?

      • Jo
        14th November 2016 / 17:29

        I have a slight sore spot right at the back of my tongue today which I think is down to me now forcing myself to gently chew soft food but it’s nothing major. The salvia has calmed down a tad so I am hopeful. My speech seems to be effected by the amount of saliva in my mouth so I have to remember to swallow between sentences.

        I was given a mirror in my starter pack but it’s not that great trying to do two things at once. I have ordered one of those water picks/flossers online so hopefully it will do the trick! Thanks!

        Just hoping I can eat properly in time for my Christmas dinner! Haha.

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