My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

 Ian from England

First of all, thanks for producing such an informative and well-maintained website; it's keeping me company as I embark on the adventure of having braces fitted at the age of 38. As a teenager I wore a removable retainer to move my prominent upper canines into line, and at the time was offered orthodontic work on my very crooked and crowded lower teeth. Being a youngster and only thinking in the short-term I stupidly refused and it's taken until now to get my teeth in order.

As I write this I have been wearing Damon braces on my upper and lower teeth for just under a week. Damon braces have no elastic ligatures - the archwire runs through 'tunnels' in the bonded brackets - and for this I'm very grateful; one less thing to clean!

There was some pain for the first two or three days which was easily eased with paracetamol (I can't take Ibuprofen) but now, apart from sensitivity when I chew, my braces are starting to feel like part of me. In fact they feel quite comforting - working away at my perfect smile over the next two years while I just go about my daily life.

I run my own pub so I face large numbers of the public every day. Do I feel self-conscious? No, not really - in fact, I tend to forget I have them and beam at customers as they come in as always. It's only the look of slight puzzlement on some faces that reminds me I have a mouthful of gleaming metal!

Here's an unexpected side-benefit of wearing braces: At the grand old age of 38 I'm ashamed to admit that I still bite my fingernails. This looks totally daft on a grown man and introduces all sorts of nasty bugs into my system (I always seem to have a cold). Now, thanks to the metalwork, I CAN'T BITE THEM! No matter how I try my fingers simply won't get close enough to my fenced-off teeth. Already, in less than a week, the habit is nearly broken. Fantastic!

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