My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

 Christy from Indiana

My story is similar to many others that I read on your "First Day Stories". I have needed braces since I was a child, but it never worked out for my parent to do that for me. I have been self-conscious all my life, and never liked looking at my mouth, or my smile.

Recently, at the age of 34, I decided to look into what it would entail, how much it would cost, and how long I would have to wear them. I was unpleasantly surprised at all of the above. It was going to be much more expensive, and much longer than I had guessed. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I agreed to give it a go. I actually left the consultation appointment in tears because of the emotion of finally doing something I had wanted to do for so long. The day of getting the braces was not too bad. I had a procedure done in which they apply all of the brackets in 4 steps. I even went back to work (teaching) that afternoon. I had no pain or anything.

I thought it was going to be a piece of cake! I could not have been more wrong. The next day my mouth started feeling the aftermath of the braces. I had cuts all over the inside of my mouth. I couldn't eat much of anything but mashed potatoes and milkshakes. I wanted to go back in to have them all removed. I didn't think I could make it for 33 months of this. Well, fortunately things felt a little better each day after about a week. I was actually starting to think that I could deal with these things, when I had a new appliance installed. I had to get an expander in the roof of my mouth to make room for the crowding.

This was way worse than the braces. The first night I could not talk without spitting on everyone. I kept gagging on the new stuff in my mouth, and I was back to square one with eating again, because everything went directly above the expander and I still really haven't found a good way to solve that problem. (It's been a great diet plan for me!) Each day I am seeing little improvements. I still sound like I have mush in my mouth, but my students are getting used to it. I keep reminding myself that this is the worst it will be. It's going to be a long road, but I'm sure the end result will be worth all the pain, annoyance, and money.

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