My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

 Barbara from North Carolina

First I would like to say how much I have enjoyed and gotten support from the ArchWired website. I am 51 and was worried there would be no one near my age writing, but I have been happy to see there are many adult women and men getting braces and sharing their experiences.

I had been wanting to straighten my front teeth for many years, as the small space between my front teeth closed and then the teeth started to overlap. As I got older my cheeks began to narrow a little, due to the natural aging process, and this made my upper palate narrow as well, which made my front teeth and general bite profile narrow and protrude slightly. I was told the Damon system would help the best with widening my palate and improving my smile, so I went with that. This is my second day in braces and there are times I wish I'd gone with the Invisalign program instead! However, I have read that there is discomfort with that as well. My brackets are all rough, not just the ones on the back molars, and the discomfort of them rubbing the entire inside of my cheeks and lips is worse than the pain of the teeth shifting in my mouth. From my daughter's experience years ago I remembered her using wax, but it was mostly for the back brackets or wires. I have used wax on many brackets, front and back, and it is a pain to put it on and then have to remove it to brush and clean my teeth, and then start all over with the wax!

Having said all this, I am determined to stick with it, knowing that it should result in a nice improvement in my smile and self confidence. It is only my second day, so I guess I should not be surprised that my teeth have shifted so that they don't align enough to bite into or chew food. If I try to, I bite into my cheek or have pain in a couple of teeth that are sore near the roots. Looks like it is soup, oatmeal and yogurt for a while! I have been amazed at the people who have had little or no pain with their braces and have been able to pretty much eat whatever they want if they cut it up. I hope this will be my case soon. I am wondering how long it generally takes for the teeth to settle into the corrected state that this initial correction is making. Hopefully once that happens I will be able to chew and have less discomfort. My total time in braces is supposed to only be a year, give or take, which I am told is one of the plusses in the Damon system of braces. However, I am sure that varies from patient to patient.

Thanks so much for maintaining this sight for all of us beginners! I was not prepared for the real experience of the first several days/weeks, so this is a big source of support for me. Good luck to all of you!

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