My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

Julie from England

I am 40 years old and have just had my brace fitted today! I wanted to share my story because there seems to be a lot of horror stories out there and I thought it would be nice for you to hear some positive feedback for once. Particularly if you are searching this site and about to start treatment or still making your mind up.

I was not referred for orthodontic treatment as a teenager and have lived with extremely overcrowded and crocked teeth for all of my adult life. The last straw came when I looked at a photograph taken of me at a Halloween party, I was dressed up but looked like I had added 'false horror teeth' for effect, I hadn't that really was me.

I plucked up the courage to visit an orthodontist and began treatment. To start with I was fitted with a removable plate brace in February 2005 and had my teeth taken out, I am not going to say that this was anything other than unpleasant but if someone like me can get through it anyone can. My orthodontist advised that treatment would take around two and a half to three years to complete, with teeth as bad as mine there was no quick fix. The removable brace was painful to start with and with each adjustment I went though the usual few days of discomfort and pain but nothing was unbearable and I found ibuprofen really effective at easing the discomfort. On the positive side it hardly showed, so many people did not even realise that I was undergoing treatment. I was expected to wear the brace at all times except for cleaning my teeth and swimming, I decided early on that as a grown women I was also taking it out for eating and kissing!

Finally the time came to switch to a fitted brace this week and I was so scared I got myself in a right state before I went down to have the spacers fitted on Tuesday. I almost didn't go but you will be pleased to hear that the spacers slid into place without and trouble and thank goodness came back out again today as easy as anything and completely without any pain at all. Then bands were fitted to my back teeth, lots of pressure for this but no pain. Then the little brackets were stuck onto each tooth, the arch wire was threaded through and tied on and I was free to go!

That was 9 hours ago and I can honestly say I have no pain at all, I even managed to eat dinner this evening (albeit a nice soft pasta and sauce). My teeth are so much better than before treatment, each one has been moved to the correct place with the removable brace, this last stage is just the final tweaking. I am due to have the brace removed in 9 months time and I will forever be able to smile and laugh without embarrassment when my photograph is taken.

Of course being the 'baby' that I am I am already worrying about having the brace removed, so if anyone has a nice positive brace removable story please write into this site to give me some hope! Thanks.

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