Adult braces. Pretty much something I never thought would happen to ME. I’ve done quite a bit of thinking about this the last few weeks. My support network sure has stepped up to make me feel better about it too.
This journey to adult braces (which I’m getting on June 1st) started with some jaw pain. The aching got to a point that I couldn’t ignore it any longer. After a trip to the dentist followed by X-rays and a trip to the orthodontist, it turns out that my teeth have moved so much that they are causing incorrect pressure on each other and pushing in the wrong directions. Additionally, I put stress on my back teeth and clench down without even knowing it. All of this together is causing some big issues and the only way to correct it is with standard braces.
I have also started seeing a physical therapist for my jaw. I have seen him about 3-4 times and we’ve done stretching, massaging, heat, ultrasounds, and dry needling. I think it’s been helping.
Dry needling is a technique physical therapists use to treat myofascial pain. The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle, known as trigger points.
Physical therapists use dry needling with the goal of releasing or inactivating trigger points to relieve pain or improve range of motion. Preliminary research 2 supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, and normalizes dysfunctions of the motor end plates, the sites at which nerve impulses are transmitted to muscles. This can help speed up the patient’s return to active rehabilitation. (source)
It seems silly to say but accepting braces really took a blow to my ego. I had braces for six years as a tween and never thought I’d need them again. My treatment plan is maybe a year long and my oldest daughter reassured me that I’ll still be pretty and we can have braces together. It was very touching of her to say that to her mom. But still, it took me over a week to really come to terms with the idea of having braces again. I’m not scared, just frustrated and I guess worried what people will think of me. Yes, silly to worry about that, but it’s true. There are plenty of adults out there with braces and really I should be grateful that I have the ability to pay for this treatment. There are also plenty of people that can’t pay for braces.
I’ll have lots more updates for you as I begin my journey with braces the second time around. I’ll also have some updates on Charlotte when she gets her this summer some time.