My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

 Gill from Kingston, Jamaica

My journey into the world of braces started in August 2006. I took my 9 year old son for a follow-up visit to the orthodontist. After his consultation, (which turned out that he could wait until he changed all his baby teeth before braces are considered for him) her secretary suggested I get a consultation. As it was at no charge, I decided to go along, just for the fun of it. Lo and behold, fun it was not when the orthodontist started out by saying “you should have been here long before your son!” I have always prided myself on the state of my teeth, yes I know they were not perfect, but I have often been told I have a nice smile. Well so much for that! The secretary alter told me she often watched me (I present news on television sometimes) and was determined to get me into the chair because she saw that my teeth needed help!

Turns out that my teeth have been shifting (after losing several during childhood, as an adult, I only have 27 teeth, including the wisdoms). One of them has also been twisted almost 90 degrees; and because they are so badly aligned, they are hitting against each other, causing tiny cracks; not to mention the wearing down. About two weeks prior to the orthodontist’s visit, I actually broke one of my teeth, and she said this would happen to the rest if I didn’t start to look about them now.

Two days after my consultation, I went to do the impressions, and one week later on August 29, (two days before my 42nd birthday), I was fitted with braces. The orthodontist says it will be at least 28 months before they are removed. Of course I was very apprehensive about getting them, but I figured I still have a while to go in the journalism business, so I would need my teeth to be in good condition.

The process of putting them on was quite relaxing. The technician who did it was very friendly and told me step by step what he would be doing as he proceeded. There was one problem with the repaired tooth, and the orthodontist had to come in and bond that one, but that too went well. The entire process took two and a half hours and was completely pain free.

My only regrets about getting braces? (Apart from the cost?) That I won’t be able to partake of two of my favourite foods…..cashews and mixed nuts, and Dentyne Ice  chewing gum.

My boss and a co-worker had braces, and they have been giving me advice and telling me what to expect (some of which I’m not looking forward to).

It will be an interesting journey, and I look forward to the end results.

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