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Abii

Concern Re. Braces During Law School

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Alright, I realize this might be a bit absurd to some of you, but it's a genuine concern for me. I've needed braces for a long time to fix a mild overbite (and I also grind my teeth). I was at the dentist today to get my teeth cleaned and she gave me an earful, which means I'm finally going to have to do this. Does anybody have any experience with braces during law school? My first concern is not being able to talk properly, but I've been told that I'll get used to it after a few months.

My other concern is regarding OCI's for 2L. Those happen at the start of 2L, correct? That means I might still be wearing my braces at that time. I'm curious to see if anybody here wears/worse braces during law school (fingers crossed I don't need jaw surgery, which is something my dentist hinted at today). 

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Just now, Abii said:

Alright, I realize this might be a bit absurd to some of you, but it's a genuine concern for me. I've needed braces for a long time to fix a mild overbite (and I also grind my teeth). I was at the dentist today to get my teeth cleaned and she gave me an earful, which means I'm finally going to have to do this. Does anybody have any experience with braces during law school? My first concern is not being able to talk properly, but I've been told that I'll get used to it after a few months.

My other concern is regarding OCI's for 2L. Those happen at the start of 2L, correct? That means I might still be wearing my braces at that time. I'm curious to see if anybody here wears/worse braces during law school (fingers crossed I don't need jaw surgery, which is something my dentist hinted at today). 

Hahahahhaha this is amazing.

I had braces in high school and it never affected my ability to talk properly, so I wouldn't worry about that.

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You can get damn near invisible braces these days. Clear everything. I work with a person who has braces and I did not notice for ages.

It is NOT the gleaming display of silverware you are imagining. Nor is it a headbrace. You will get used to them very quickly (except for flossing, which will suck every single day you have them).

You’re going to be so glad you did this. I know a number of colleagues in their thirties and forties who deeply regret neglecting their dental care. Good for you for taking action now. 

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My experience of braces (22 years ago) was that any issues for speech were dealt with in a matter of hours (a retainer is slightly worse, because it changes the shape of your palate a bit, but it's still dealt with quite quickly), and I imagine it's only improved with the much better technology. Sometimes eating with them can be a bit annoying, and you'll want to keep an eye on whether you're getting food stuck in them, but you'll know pretty quickly what to avoid and how to avoid any mishaps.  

Lots of adults get them nowadays and I wouldn't anyone would think twice about it, either in law school or OCIs. 

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Yes, get the clear/white braces that are hard to see. I don't think it will affect your speech or even be noticeable. People with braces sometimes act self-conscious about it and that's what interviewers will pick up on. Take the attitude, "Yeah, I have braces because I'm fabulous and they're gonna make me even more fabulous - so what?", dress sharp, have a great resume, present it in a personable, straightforward manner, and no one will even care.

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Thanks for the encouragement everyone lol 

Guess I'm finally doing this. @providence I still haven't gone in for a consultation, but my dentist made it sound like my overbite is a lot more serious than I've imagined it myself. This leads me to believe that I'm going to need metal ones (the clear ones don't deal with the more serious cases from what I've read). But apparently they can put braces on the inside of your teeth! It'll probably be way more expensive, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. @Hegdis Yeah, not dealing with your teeth when you can will hurt your pocket book wayyyy more down to line. It'll be a pain in the ass financially, but it needs to get done. I just wish I had done it 4-5 years ago when I had great coverage through my union job. Lesson learned. 

 

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1 hour ago, Hegdis said:

(except for flossing, which will suck every single day you have them)

Yeah, I totally flossed daily, as well as never chewing gum..........

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I am not in law school yet, but I have had a lot of experience with braces.  I recently got them a second time because I'm getting jaw surgery, and I'm much more worried about that than the braces so I understand what it's like to be worried over something so seemingly superficial.  I got the clear braces which I think look quite nice (at least as nice as they can look), but what I've noticed is that you notice them way more than other people do.  I have had people tell me they didn't even know I had braces months after I got them.  I also did not notice I spoke differently or had to adjust in any way when speaking.  I wonder the same as you do about the effect on OCI's, but I would imagine if you prove yourself to be capable, something like having braces won't matter.  If anything I've found people respect you for going through with major orthodontics/facial reconstruction in adulthood, because that is something a lot of people tend to neglect as mentioned.  You really just need to be confident with it and realize that the end result will make it all worth it in the end!

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3 hours ago, butfirstcoffee said:

I am not in law school yet, but I have had a lot of experience with braces.  I recently got them a second time because I'm getting jaw surgery, and I'm much more worried about that than the braces so I understand what it's like to be worried over something so seemingly superficial.  I got the clear braces which I think look quite nice (at least as nice as they can look), but what I've noticed is that you notice them way more than other people do.  I have had people tell me they didn't even know I had braces months after I got them.  I also did not notice I spoke differently or had to adjust in any way when speaking.  I wonder the same as you do about the effect on OCI's, but I would imagine if you prove yourself to be capable, something like having braces won't matter.  If anything I've found people respect you for going through with major orthodontics/facial reconstruction in adulthood, because that is something a lot of people tend to neglect as mentioned.  You really just need to be confident with it and realize that the end result will make it all worth it in the end!

Thanks. Glad I made this thread. Good luck on your jaw surgery. I really hope I won't need it. When my dentist told me I might need it I laughed b/c I thought she was joking. When I got home I looked at some videos and pictures and got really anxious about the whole thing. What a pain in the ass. I'm sure my face would improve as a result of it, but for me it's not worth the pain. But if the orthodontist says I have to do it, then I'll have to go through with it I guess. 

So braces come before the surgery eh? In that case I can kick the surgery down the road. 

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12 minutes ago, Abii said:

Thanks. Glad I made this thread. Good luck on your jaw surgery. I really hope I won't need it. When my dentist told me I might need it I laughed b/c I thought she was joking. When I got home I looked at some videos and pictures and got really anxious about the whole thing. What a pain in the ass. I'm sure my face would improve as a result of it, but for me it's not worth the pain. But if the orthodontist says I have to do it, then I'll have to go through with it I guess. 

So braces come before the surgery eh? In that case I can kick the surgery down the road. 

Thank you!  I actually had a similar reaction, I had no idea I needed such a thing and was completely shocked when my orthodontist told me this.  I almost didn't know what to say back to him.  I also went home and researched it more and realized that although it would suck, it would probably make me a lot happier and confident.  I always disliked the way my jawline looked, and didn't know there was a surgery available that could correct this.  I'm also a bit of a perfectionist and am on the quest to be one of those people who has a perfect smile.  My surgeon told me the surgery isn't much more painful than wisdom teeth removal, I'm not sure how much I believe that though.

Yes, a lot of the time braces are required to align the teeth properly before the surgery.  In my case I had to have two bottom teeth removed (I have a small mouth and crowded teeth), and am supposed to have the braces on for a year and a half before surgery.  My lower jaw will then be pulled forward to be in line with my top teeth.  Sorry if that's graphic but I think the process is sort of interesting.  I then have to keep the braces on six months post-op, then I'll be getting a permanent retainer to prevent my teeth from shifting from then on.  It's a two year process.  I also think it will be somewhat comical coming into 2L looking like a completely different person to my peers, as I scheduled the surgery during the summer after 1L.  I've heard not many people get legal jobs during the first summer, so I should be able to get away with sitting at home eating through a straw and nursing my swollen face without much notice :lol:

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20 minutes ago, butfirstcoffee said:

Thank you!  I actually had a similar reaction, I had no idea I needed such a thing and was completely shocked when my orthodontist told me this.  I almost didn't know what to say back to him.  I also went home and researched it more and realized that although it would suck, it would probably make me a lot happier and confident.  I always disliked the way my jawline looked, and didn't know there was a surgery available that could correct this.  I'm also a bit of a perfectionist and am on the quest to be one of those people who has a perfect smile.  My surgeon told me the surgery isn't much more painful than wisdom teeth removal, I'm not sure how much I believe that though.

Yes, a lot of the time braces are required to align the teeth properly before the surgery.  In my case I had to have two bottom teeth removed (I have a small mouth and crowded teeth), and am supposed to have the braces on for a year and a half before surgery.  My lower jaw will then be pulled forward to be in line with my top teeth.  Sorry if that's graphic but I think the process is sort of interesting.  I then have to keep the braces on six months post-op, then I'll be getting a permanent retainer to prevent my teeth from shifting from then on.  It's a two year process.  I also think it will be somewhat comical coming into 2L looking like a completely different person to my peers, as I scheduled the surgery during the summer after 1L.  I've heard not many people get legal jobs during the first summer, so I should be able to get away with sitting at home eating through a straw and nursing my swollen face without much notice :lol:

If it's as your doctor said (similar to wisdom tooth removal) then hot damn. lol let's do it tomorrow. I remember I was eating the day I pulled all my 4 wisdom teeth out. 

And reading your post it seems like we have the same problem. My lower jaw sits back. I shifted my jaw forward in front of the mirror and my face genuinely improved in appearance, but still... If the orthodontist says I don't need it for medical reasons I don't think I'm gonna go for it. That said, my dentist was adamant that I do need it.

And yeah, 1L jobs seem like fairy tales for most people so that's a good idea. Did you ever inquire from your orthodontist about braces that go in the inside of your teeth? Those seem interesting, but probably expensive as fu...

Update this thread if you remember years from now lol. I'll be around. 

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A little late to the conversation, but I got braces in October of 1L and am currently a 2L and still have them. It has literally never been an issue. There are at least three other people in my college that I know of who also have braces. I can't comment on if it will affect OCIs or not, as they haven't happened yet for me, but at this point I don't see it being an issue. I also volunteer at a local poverty clinic and I've never had a client or opposing counsel say anything. 

My biggest advice is to keep a portable toothbrush and flossers in your backpack. Nothing sucks more than knowing you have food stuck in your teeth when you're stuck in class for the next few hours. 

Edited by deadjava
changed wording

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9 hours ago, Abii said:

If it's as your doctor said (similar to wisdom tooth removal) then hot damn. lol let's do it tomorrow. I remember I was eating the day I pulled all my 4 wisdom teeth out. 

And reading your post it seems like we have the same problem. My lower jaw sits back. I shifted my jaw forward in front of the mirror and my face genuinely improved in appearance, but still... If the orthodontist says I don't need it for medical reasons I don't think I'm gonna go for it. That said, my dentist was adamant that I do need it.

And yeah, 1L jobs seem like fairy tales for most people so that's a good idea. Did you ever inquire from your orthodontist about braces that go in the inside of your teeth? Those seem interesting, but probably expensive as fu...

Update this thread if you remember years from now lol. I'll be around. 

Yeah, if its like wisdom teeth removal then it shouldn't be too bad.  I've heard the worst part is the uncomfortable swelling the days after, not so much the pain of it.

Yes, we do have the same problem.  Surprisingly, I do not grind my teeth or have jaw pain like many people with this same problem do.  I am mainly getting the surgery done to correct my bite and for aesthetic reasons.  I am also still deciding whether or not I will also be getting upper jaw surgery at the same time as the lower, which my surgeon says isn't necessary but will enhance my appearance more.

I have heard of those types of braces, but my orthodontist never mentioned them.  I am not even sure he offers that as an option.  I'm not sure it would be worth it to pay extra for that either in my opinion.  I just wanted to make sure that I was able to get the clear ones.

Alright!  I will try to remember, if everything goes as planned it will all be said and done by December of 2019! :D

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I've had experience with the dental correction / jaw surgery process, but during practice rather than law school. Don't really want to get into details here, but feel free to PM me if you have questions.

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On 2018-02-28 at 5:57 PM, Hegdis said:

You can get damn near invisible braces these days. Clear everything. I work with a person who has braces and I did not notice for ages.

It is NOT the gleaming display of silverware you are imagining. Nor is it a headbrace. You will get used to them very quickly (except for flossing, which will suck every single day you have them).

You’re going to be so glad you did this. I know a number of colleagues in their thirties and forties who deeply regret neglecting their dental care. Good for you for taking action now. 

I've used invisalign and I suggest braces. Speaking with the trays is much more difficult than braces because it's essentially like wearing retainers. Also, you can get better results with braces. I had an overbite and it was generally fixed with invisalign but braces does a much better job. 

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Braces are like glasses for your teeth. So don't worry about it. They'll just make you look smarter. 

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On 3/1/2018 at 7:05 PM, sucheese said:

I've used invisalign and I suggest braces. Speaking with the trays is much more difficult than braces because it's essentially like wearing retainers. Also, you can get better results with braces. I had an overbite and it was generally fixed with invisalign but braces does a much better job. 

This varies by person. I needed a couple of days to adjust to speaking with Invisalign, but then got used to it and it was fine. Obviously listen to your own dental professional and determine what's appropriate for your needs, but I'm a big proponent of Invisalign if you have professional considerations.

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On 3/2/2018 at 7:28 PM, Diplock said:

Braces are like glasses for your teeth. So don't worry about it. They'll just make you look smarter. 

Yeah we're all a bunch of nerds anyway. Might as well get the dental appliances to match.

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On 2/28/2018 at 5:40 PM, Abii said:

Alright, I realize this might be a bit absurd to some of you, but it's a genuine concern for me. I've needed braces for a long time to fix a mild overbite (and I also grind my teeth). I was at the dentist today to get my teeth cleaned and she gave me an earful, which means I'm finally going to have to do this. Does anybody have any experience with braces during law school? My first concern is not being able to talk properly, but I've been told that I'll get used to it after a few months.

My other concern is regarding OCI's for 2L. Those happen at the start of 2L, correct? That means I might still be wearing my braces at that time. I'm curious to see if anybody here wears/worse braces during law school (fingers crossed I don't need jaw surgery, which is something my dentist hinted at today). 

Here's my practical advice.

1:  Get a second opinion.  I have an underbite and crossbite, and was advised by a prior dentist that I should get it fixed.  However, the surgeon who took out my wisdom teeth and current dentist both adamantly say there's no point unless I'm having functional issues.  

2:  Other reasons to delay braces might be the availability of collateral benefits through a future employer.  Braces can cost thousands of dollars, and if funds are an issue for you, it may make more sense to wait.  

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58 minutes ago, utmguy said:

Here's my practical advice.

1:  Get a second opinion.  I have an underbite and crossbite, and was advised by a prior dentist that I should get it fixed.  However, the surgeon who took out my wisdom teeth and current dentist both adamantly say there's no point unless I'm having functional issues.  

2:  Other reasons to delay braces might be the availability of collateral benefits through a future employer.  Braces can cost thousands of dollars, and if funds are an issue for you, it may make more sense to wait.  

Re: the bolded - my law firm's insurance policy only covers orthodontics for minors/dependents. This probably varies by firm, but to OP, don't necessarily rely on being able to get insurance help later.

There are other reasons you might want to delay, though. I found out about my own dental issue during law school, but knew that it would be a years-long process to address. Law school was stressful, things were hectic, life already felt on the verge of overwhelming, and I didn't want to pile some other big thing on top of it. So I waited to begin the process until I finished articling and had some degree of stability in my job. It worked out well for me to wait.

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