My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

Derek from North Carolina

Actually I am 56 and this is my first time in braces. I had orthodontic treatment in my teens but it was all via retainers which did not leave me with straight teeth. My crooked teeth always “bugged” me but it wasn’t until I ran across the Damon braces website that I began to actively pursue getting braces. One of the selling points of the Damon system is that it doesn’t use the traditional rubber band ligatures. I also have friends and acquaintances that got braces from in their mid-30s up to their 70s. My research on the web also dispelled another major concern - getting braces with dental crowns of which I have several.

When I met with my orthodontist for the initial consultation I was told that I was a candidate for Damon braces but I was also told that I might require an extraction of one of my lower front teeth – surprise! However measurements would be made and a simulation would be run to determine if that would be required. Luckily, the simulation showed a better final result if I kept the tooth but several upper teeth would need to be shifted before the lower teeth could be braced. It’s worth the delay to keep that tooth. My lower teeth will actually require the most shifting. I was also lucky to find an orthodontist that would finance my treatment in house with no finance charges. My dental plan only covers orthodontic treatment for dependent children which means my treatment is all out of pocket. Unfortunately my wife, who was braced in her 20’s, is not very supportive of my braces due to the added drain on the monthly budget.

I was “braced” on my upper teeth about a week ago, Jan 30th. The teeth with crowns took a little more preparation to assure proper bonding of the brackets. The whole procedure took under an hour and a half. I was instructed as to proper cleaning technique and what foods to avoid. I left with my braces kit.

My braces felt really strange at first but I got used to them in only a few days. So far I’ve experienced only slight tooth soreness and no mouth sores. I have augmented my “kit” with a different type of proxy brush and a fluoride rinse. Proper brushing and flossing is a more laborious process than before braces and I’m still improving my technique with a floss threader. My orthodontist told me that it would be at least two months before I would have any noticeable tooth movement and that it would probably be 3 to 5 months before I got braces on my lower teeth.

I’m sure that I’m one of the older people posting here but perhaps my tale might serve to inspire one of the “braces wanabe’s” out there who is thinking they are too old. My orthodontist told me that at least 40% of their practice was adults.

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