I have had bottom braces for 3 months now. If your advisors think you need braces, then get them sooner rather than later. I am quite a bit older than you and this is my first time in braces, and I wish I had been able to get them sooner. Actually, on my "regrets" list at this age, that is one of my biggest regrets--not having straightened my teeth sooner.
The braces don't really hurt me, but sometimes there is a little pressure. My bottom teeth were quite crooked, but now, after 3 months, they have straightened up nicely. Today, I called my ortho's office and asked them to put a note in my file to have him explain things more completely when I am there for treatments, because I can't ask while I am there--I can't use my mouth with them in there!
She assured me they will explain things better.
Also, I can't wait to get my tops braced! Due to my age, and because I took Fosamax which I would NEVER take again,
my orthodontist is being very cautious (i.e., SLOW) with my treatment.
Incidentally, the ONLY people who have ever commented to me on my braces, are adults in braces too! Our eyes seem to meet in the line at the grocery store or wherever, and then we smile even bigger at each other, and the comments begin, ALL POSITIVE.
So I am making new friends this year, due to braces, and I am getting a prettier smile, and more functional (and easier to floss) teeth!
Good luck to you!