My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

 Kevin from South Carolina

I wore braces for many years in High School. When I finally got them off, I didn't wear my retainer and surprise, surprise my teeth moved back to the way they were before. I lived with it all through college and for many years after. I went to an orthodontist about 5 years ago because a permanent retainer that had been on my bottom teeth for years broke. They took the retainer out and while I was there I scheduled an appointment for an evaluation. I was hoping they would say that I would qualify for Invisalign. No such luck. The orthodontist wanted to put my in braces for a year, give me surgery to expand my palette and then put me back in braces for another year. That was enough to keep me from going back to that orthodontist. I always thought about getting braces again, but I just kept putting it off. A few years went by and I realized that if I had gone through with it the first time, I would have the braces off by now. I finally decided to bite the bullet and made an appointment with a different orthodontist.

I met with the new orthodontist and he told me that he would do everything he could to avoid surgery. He also told me about the benefits of Damon brackets. I decided to go for it. I had a new evaluation and had my new braces put on 6 days ago. Having the braces put on was not too bad. The only bad part was the discomfort of wearing the lip retractors for an hour or so. Once I was done and able to see reflection, I was completely freaked out by the look of the braces on my teeth. They also felt HUGE in my mouth. There was no turning back now!

I went back to work and got several surprised looks. I hadn't told a single person that I was thinking about getting them. Overall the response has been great. I was very worried about how people would react to my braces, but most people comment on them and then lose interest. Lots of people have complimented me for taking this step to improve my smile. The pain was not too bad. I stocked up on apple sauce and yogurt. I am finally getting to the point today where I can chew food.

Three days after getting my braces, I was set up on a blind date. Of course, I was very self conscience about my braces. I told my blind date on the phone that I had just gotten braces and she was very sympathetic. I found out why when I met her. She has the most perfect smile you could imagine. She wore braces as a teenager. Anyway, the date went great and we are going to go out again next week.

My worst fears about getting braces were how the people around me would react. In hindsight, I would have done this years ago. No one really cares. 90% of the people I meet had braces at one point so they are very sympathetic. I am looking forward to see my progress over the next few months and coming years. I am still nervous that I will need surgery, but it will all be worth it in the end.

I decided to post my story because I read so many of the other stories on this site and they helped me make my decision. Thanks to all who share their story!

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