So its now over 7 months since op and the braces are off!! (been off for a while-oops)
They came off on the 28th August 2008. It wasnt the most pleasant of experiances, if im honest. i had some pain from one of my banded teeth, but the rest came of pretty easily.
Firstly the bands were loosened, and then the brackets were removed, which sounded much worse than it felt, then the bands were removed and the whole lot came off in 2 pieces (one upper, one lower.) Then came an industrial scale cleaning to remove all the cement etc. This was ok. Then i had impressions taken for the retainers and i was on my way. As soon as i was outside i checked out my teeth and they looked absolutely HUGE! But i was very happy with the results.
In the afternoon, i went back for the fitting of my Essix retainer. These were not as uncomfy as i expected, tho the 1st night i was not a fan of them and uttered the imortal words "i want my braces back!"-shocking i know, but sadly true.
I soon got used to the retainers tho, and its fab having naked teeth during the day. No more stuck food :) :) :)
Only downside for me is that, im getting TMJ issues again, im clenching and grinding badly and in quite alot of pain at times. My jaw opening movement is also pretty bad and its at a maximum of 2 fingers still.
But even with this and everything else ive been through, im so happy with my new smile, its done my confidence SO much good. Im sure the pain issues will resolve themselves after a while. Ive got a joint clinic appointment with the ortho and surgeon next thursday, so will see what they have to say about it then, as there has been mention of either muscle relaxants or a bite plate, to get me out of this habit for good.
Am very happy with my smile, my teeth look great! :)