My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

 Raven from Virginia

My name is Raven, I'm 22 from Leesburg, VA and I wanted to share with you my story of the first day getting my braces.

Before even getting the braces on, I endured a lot of dental work including many extractions to help clear up some space so the orthodontist could do what she needed to do. All in all, I had six teeth removed (4 were wisdoms) in order to free up some space and it took me close to a year for just the dental stuff. After they healed, I had my initial consultation in March 2004 with the orthodontist who outlined my treatment. After months of debating, I finally took the plunge to have it done. In July I had my first appointment and had a jaw impression done, x-rays, photos and spacers but on my back molars. Those were extremely painful!

In addition to that, she put in an expander on my top jaw so widen my teeth. Everyday I had to take a key and turn it so that it would slowly widen my jaw to where it should be. My mouth was too small and I had a lot of overlapped and crooked teeth which made me feel so embarrassed and also was starting to cause dental hygiene problems as well. On August 23, 2004 I had the actual braces put on and surprisingly even though there was some slight discomfort, it was not all that painful. The pain came from the soreness over the next few days afterwards. I had the metal ones put on and so it caused some mouth abrasions as well that truly hurt. That took a while to get used to and the wax was helpful but I got used to it so they limited how much they gave me so I could get used to wearing them without the wax.

After only 4 months I noticed a drastic change in the way my teeth were starting to shape. I kept up my appointments every month as followed and I was so thrilled with the progress, even though at times it was a bit painful. The self image issues I had since childhood about my appearance were slowly starting to fade away. I was initially concerned that my social life would be compromised slightly by this new appliance in my mouth, but it didnít in any way. I still have my friends and go on dates, some people even find it cute and it can make a great conversation piece.

I should only have them on a few more months and then they are off and I can't wait!

Thanks for allowing me to share my story, hopefully this way other young adults wont feel so self conscious about getting them on. It's well worth the sacrifice! :)

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