My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

Diana from Madrid, Spain

I'm 23 years old and today I got braces. I wore one of those removable things (retainers?) when I was a kid, but of course it was useless and didn't do much. I have crossbite and that will affect my gums in as little as 3 years' time, giving me serious gum problems. This was the main reason I was advised to wear braces, but I actually went to the dentist because I was unhappy with the way my teeth looked.

That was four months ago, when I should've got the braces put on. But I was so scared I kept delaying it until today. The process itself was painless (and I need Valium just to tame my nerves every time I go to the dentist!!), and only took around 40 mins. The dentist told me it would be done in stages. Today I got my upper teeth done, and only the front bit- the bit you can actually see, I'm having ceramic ones and the bits you can't see will be metallic because it's better material. She put the glue and stuck the pieces one by one, and then put the wire through. After that she put the ligatures (small elastics that go around the brackets). Oh, and the spacers.....have you ever had pieces of meat stuck between your back teeth? Yeah, well, this is the same, only it's elastics not meat.

Four hours later I'm in my room writing this. It's starting to hurt slightly (the worst will come tomorrow), but I've managed soup for dinner.
I'm a responsible, mature adult who's been through tough experiences and is able to cope with many difficult situations in life. But I have to say that, although I'm happy I made this decision and will be grateful for the rest of my life, right now I can't stop crying. Because I'm wearing braces and my self confidence is suffering. Sorry if I sound vain, I'm only being honest.

P.S. thanks ever so much for the site, it has and will continue to help me through my time with braces.

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