My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

 Chris from Connecticut

I've been looking at this site since I first entertained getting braces. It's been a source of confidence and amusement for over 2 years. I'd like to take a moment and share with you my experiences with having braces (and getting them removed!)

Our family had always traveled, so it was difficult when I was young to get braces. I needed the work done, but we didn't want to start the procedure with one dentist and then move to another. Years went by, and finally at the age of 31, I decided to get my teeth fixed. The cramping of my teeth were starting to cause some dental problems, so I made an appointment with an excellent orthodontist and started the process. You can see how my teeth started in the Initial picture.

After some consultation, I decided to go for the ceramic ones. I was very happy with that decision, but I sure did get obsessed with brushing my teeth! I always have a pack of toothpicks with me, and I would brush sometimes 4-5 times a day. I just hated the feeling that there may be some food or bit of spinach (that's the worst!) in my braces!

The pain was not as bad as I thought (or had heard) it would be. Certainly after getting them adjusted there was some pain and tension, but that would go away after a few days.

I've had springs to help spread my front top teeth and let the ones stuck behind move forward. I remember what a great feeling it was to see them moving in line with the rest of my teeth! I also needed some of those little rubber bands to help fix a cross-bite in the back teeth. You can see the springs and the nibs on the back of my back top teeth that were for holding the rubber bands in the Progress picture. After these photos were taken, they removed one of the teeth on the bottom due to over-crowding (that one tooth just would not rotate!)

So today I finally got by braces removed! I thought they were going to be removed 3 weeks ago, because the dentist told me they needed to take impressions for the permanent bonded retainers. I figured they would need to remove the braces to take the impressions, but no... I felt a little silly for not checking with him, but at least I knew they were coming off today! My girlfriend and I would call it B-Day for 'Braces Day' and it was all over the calendars.

With the braces still on, he placed and glued the bonded retainers to the back of my top and bottom front teeth. Took a little time for the glue to set, and the suction wasn't quite in the right place, so that was a little uncomfortable with all the spit collecting in the back of my mouth! Once they were fixed, he took off the bands, wire, and proceeded to remove the braces. All but two came off easy! No discomfort or pain at all.

He then used his drill to clean off the bits of glue and shaved some of the teeth for a better fit. This was a little uncomfortable because of the cold water from the jet, but he had me give him a signal with my fingers if it started to get too sensitive. After this was complete, he had me rinse and then they took the final photos. I'm still amazed at the difference! I'm still getting used to the bonded retainers, but the weird feeling should go away in a few weeks. They gave me a 'whitening' kit which they said I could use in a week as a gift. Very nice of them!

I've been smiling all day, and can't wait to show them off to everyone at my Grandmother's 90th Birthday next week!

Thanks for your educational and amusing website! It really helped me decide to go for getting my teeth straightened! Reading the stories of others who've had their braces removed kept me going...

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