Actually, this post is over a month overdue, but......... I am now brace-free!!!!! Well, not retainer free, but, hey, beggars can't be choosers ;)
It all just happened so quickly... went to an adjustment in early June, which was torture! Probably the worst appointment at the ortho ever! The wires were taken out to get some moulds of my teeth, but because they hadn't been changed in a long time, they were pretty stuck, so they were basically yanked out. Then the moulds... that was fun (not!)... 2 sets, obviously with the brackets still on my teeth... again, a lot of yanking took place. And finally, just to top the pain scale, new wires were put in which involved a lot of twisting and pressure on my already sore jaws... ouch!
Anyway, I was told to come back 2 weeks later, and for this one I came prepared, just in case there was more pain coming my way: I took some Ibuprofen and mentally prepared myself for a lot of pain... and guess what? She looked at me and said "good, good"... at that point I didn't even dare to ask what was so good, just in case she was thinking how good it would be to inflict some more pain on my poor self. But, then she went and called the senior ortho and he had another good look around and said "all good, go ahead". Huh? Next thing I know, she's going clip, clip, clip on my teeth and the whole brace, brackets and all are out! Whaaaa...?! And then the bottom brace... Yes! Well, I don't know if it was the painkillers I had taken or the fact that I was distracted thinking "I can't believe they're out! I can't believe they're out!", but even the next part, which involved filing out my teeth (to remove the remnants of the glue) was easy!
I was still in shock and I think she realised, because she took the opportunity to take another 3 sets of moulds and a whole bunch of pictures and I was just an obedient patient... Then she had my retainers made out for me and off I went, still in disbelief at what had just occurred... Anyway, I'm still wearing my retainers for most of the day (which doesn't bother me as they are clear, so apart for a little change to my speech, they're hardly noticeable) and still have to got back there at least once more, for her to check if all is ok, I am basically done.
Here are some before (well, as soon as I got the braces) and after photos: