My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

 Greg from New Jersey

A couple of days ago, I finally got my braces put on. As an 18 year old high school senior, ready to go to college, it was the WORST timing to get them on. Growing up, my parents never had the money for my brother and me to get braces, especially since they paid around $7,000 for my older sister's braces.

But, I'm kind of excited about my new braces, because I've always been insecure about my teeth, mostly because I have a huge overbite. I have a little bit of crowding on the bottom teeth, but they're relatively straight. The whole process started about a couple of months ago in November/December. My parents and I consulted an orthodontist and we sat down to discuss the basic procedure. A couple of weeks later, they took impressions of my teeth as well as various photographs of my face. After consulting with him again, he informed my that I would need to get teeth extracted in order to fix some of the crowding. My dentist removed 4 teeth, 2 from the top and 2 from the bottom.

The week before I was scheduled to get my braces put on, I went into the office for the orthodontist to put on "spacers," little rubber bands that help move the teeth slightly to accomadate the braces. They put 2 on the bottom and 2 on the top in the back section of my mouth. At first, it doesn't feel like anything, but after the first day, the pain starts kicking in, so I'd advise everyone to take some Advil or Aleve to help the pain. After 5 or 6 days, my teeth felt regular.

The day of my braces was pretty frustrating, considering I didn't really want to get them at this point in my life. I went into the office and awaited the orthodontist. After he came in, he just informed me of what he was going to do. He first placed ring braces around my molars which would hold the wire that runs through the top and bottom rows of my teeth. He then placed some type of substance on my teeth to bond the brace. The whole process took about an hour and was very easy and not painful. I opted to ceramic braces on top and metal braces on the bottom. It felt very unusual at first, and didn't hurt the day getting them.

Today, however, my teeth feel a little sensitive and uncomfortable, especially around the more crowded teeth. I've been taking a lot of medicine to relieve some of the sensitivity in my teeth. The ceramic braces are definitely worth the extra money, because the only thing that you can see is the thin wire that runs across. They are a little bigger than the metal braces but at first my friends didn't even notice it. The orthodontist also supplied me with dental wax just in case the metal scraps up my gums. He also provides a thin cleaning brush (similar to a pipe cleaner) to clean into the crevices of the brace.

Now that I have ceramic braces, I am very careful of the foods I eat. I always take around some mouth cleaner to help clean my teeth after I eat. Overall, even though I didn't really want them, I am quite excited to see what my teeth look without an overbite and straight. In the end, I know that getting braces was a good decision.

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