My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

 Paul from London

I am a 36-year-old bloke living and working in London and got braced on the 23 March so by the time this is posted it will have been over a month. One down and 11 to go!

The “bracing” process was actually quick and completely painless. Have got Damon 3’s on both upper and lower teeth and, as a lot of you probably know, they come ready made and are applied by slotting plastic trays containing the brackets onto your teeth and then getting the trays off and, somehow, the braces are stuck to your teeth. The arch wire is then threaded through. Very slick.

The first day was quite a novel experience. The braces felt weird rather than uncomfortable and talking was only slightly difficult. The next few days were a lot less fun, however, as the novelty soon wore off. I got quite a few sore mouth ulcers from where the brackets were rubbing against my cheek and I seemed to be applying dental wax constantly. Eating was sore and difficult and brushing was tedious and time-consuming. My mouth felt continually painful and never seemed to be clean. I seriously wondered how I was going to stand a year of this and, if I could have removed them then and there, I would have done so.

By coincidence I was booked to go on a skiing holiday two days after being braced, although when the time came there was nothing I felt like doing less. However, I went and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I was so busy skiing and falling and trying not to fall that it took my mind off my mouth for large parts of the days. And, magically, by about day 5 the sores began to heal over, the brace somehow felt less cumbersome and I found myself beginning to forget that I was wearing it.

It is now 12 days since I started wearing the Damons and I can honestly say that I hardly notice them and, when I do, they certainly aren’t painful. Yep, I get a few double takes and have had a few comments at work such as “Good lord, what have you got in your mouth” but no-one has actually thrown anything (!) or backed away in fright.

So, all in all, it isn’t going to be too bad and I guess if the point of these stories is – partly - to help others decide whether or not to go ahead with the process, then I would say yes. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t wearing them but a year (or even two) goes by fast and, if I didn’t do this, I know that I would regret it. Also, I’m hoping that in the months to come my teeth will gradually look better and that, in itself, will make the process seem all the more worthwhile.

Best of luck to all.

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