My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

 Tracy from Pennsylvania


Hi everybody, I am so glad I found this web-site (Archwired).

I never had braces as a child or teenager, so am probably a big baby about this braces thing, but I very much want to correct crowding, especially in my lower teeth. The crowding started about age 40, and I am now 50. It got worse over 10 years' time, and I figure my teeth will continue to crowd in the future. So with the big 5-0, I decided to go for braces now.

That said, my first day or two was something of a disaster. I took ibuprofen every few hours, so the aligner didn't hurt at first, but I made the mistake of going out to dinner with girlfriends on day 2. I popped the Invisalign aligners out in the ladies room at the restaurant before our drink order arrived, so I could speak clearly to my friends and enjoy the food.

By the time I got the aligners back in, 2 hours had gone by! I developed a splitting headache. My friends and I had plans to go to a fashion show at a local church that evening after our meal ... and I was driving 2 friends. So I couldn't just go home. I went to the show with my head practically splitting open (it felt like - I know I am a baby) - I started to have a panic attack and took out the aligners again just to get through the evening.

It took a few weeks for me to get the nerve to try again. I hadn't had a panic attack for 10 years ... anyone who has ever had one knows it is very intense.

I told my orthodontist's assistant this story, and she was TOTALLY unsympathetic. I even considered not bothering to do the Invisalign thing at all, and waste all the money ... but tried again with the idea that I would NOT go out with friends for the first 2 weeks. My regular dentist (not the orthodontist's office) was very kind & took the time to tell me that the first 2 weeks are the most difficult, and also to try taking Aleve, which is also an anti-inflammatory.

So after a break of 3 weeks, this week I tried again, and it has gone MUCH better! It still isn't fun wearing the aligners, but after 4 days, I finally slept normally at night & feel pretty much normal. I cannot say I like having these things in my mouth. It is sort of like wearing tight control top pantyhose - you do get used to it, but it sure feels good to take them off! But I am very hopeful that I will have the fortitude to make it through the 9 months that this is expected to take. I am "into" my looks, and will be very happy to nice straight teeth.

Meanwhile, my husband's colleague invited us to dinner at his home with other co-workers ... and I asked my husband to use the excuse "my wife just got braces and she doesn't feel comfortable eating out with friends for a while." The co-worker accepted this excuse quite well, and we avoided the dinner party from hell! ha-ha-ha. You see, there is a silver lining to everything.

I don't plan on becoming a total social hermit! We are going to a wedding July 4 weekend and there are several days of activities and parties, and I plan to attend and enjoy myself .. but that is over 1 month away, and I hope to have the Invisalign well under control by then.

Good luck to everybody going through this braces thing. No pain no gain, and we do want to look gorgeous!

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