My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

 "Raleighsmile" from North Carolina

First off, I'm a very anxious person. I'm 36 and I've always wanted a better smile, but was very nervous about the whole process. I had my braces put on Wednesday, December 14. It has been almost a week and so far it has been OK. I've not really been in any pain, but it is just a strange feeling having all this stuff in my mouth.

The process actually began on December 6, when they put 10 spacers in. Surprisingly the spacers were very painless. They had them in within minutes and I could hardly tell they were in. I could see them; three on each side on the top and two on each side of the bottom. They told me that they may hurt later, especially when I tried to eat, but never really noticed them.

The braces were a different story. It took them about two hours to get my braces on. I was very comfortable while they were putting them on. No bleeding, no pain, I really didn't feel anything.....but it just felt like it was taking forever. I think what took the longest was them putting these metal bands around six of my teeth. I have two metal bands around teeth in the back on each sides of the top, and one on each side of the bottom. The bands didn't hurt putting them on, all I felt was some pressure as they pushed them over my teeth. What took so long was them trying different bands until they found the ones they wanted to use.

Then they put this plastic thing in my mouth that was keeping my jaw open and tongue out of the way. I had that on for almost an hour. That is when they began bonding the brackets to my teeth. I think the orthodontist spent a lot of time during this process because he seemed to want to make sure that the brackets were in the right place.

Once the brackets were on we had to wait a short period for the bonding material to hardend and then they removed the guard out of my mouth. That was when I first felt the braces in my mouth. That was the most weird feeling I think I have ever had! It felt like my lips were sticking way out. And where they had put metal bands around my teeth felt very strange.

After feeling all this stuff in my mouth, I honestly thought that maybe I had made a mistake. I've not been in any pain, but I tell you....when I first left the orthodontist office and was driving home....I really had the urge to turn around and tell them to take all this out. I didn't of course, but I was afraid I wouldn't get used to the feeling of these brackets and wires in my mouth. I can tell you that you do get used to it. It took me about three days before I really stopped thinking about all the new gear in my mouth.

So far I've been eating almost normal. I've been avoiding hard or chewy stuff. I've not had steak or caramel....but I didn't eat much of those types foods to begin with. My teeth were a little tender in the beginning....but it didn't stop me from eating. The only thing now is that I'm really self-consciences when eating around others. I keep catching myself putting my hand over my mouth or hiding while I try to eat. And I've stuck a toothbrush, proxi-tip spiral brush, and a small tubes of toothpaste in various locations like my desk drawer, car, coat pockets, etc. I can say now that I've brushed my teeth in places I never thought I the bowling alley! I'm a bowler and we had a holiday party recently at the bowling alley. Next thing you know, I'm in the bathroom at the bowling alley brushing my teeth. Who would have thought!

Anyway, so far so good and now I just can't wait until this whole two year experience is behind me. I'm glad I did it and I know that if I can handle this with as much worrying as I do...anyone can do it.

I've posted some pictures at: //

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