My First Day in Braces

experiences of ArchWired readers

Rika from Tennessee

Here it is nearly October, and Iím almost done with my braces. If Iím correct, Iíve had them 1 year, 9 months, and six days yet it still kind of feels like yesterday. I can still remember itÖ..


I had ALWAYS (and I mean ALWAYS) wanted braces. Even before it was said that I needed them I wanted them. I saw people with them and was SO jealous. They looked cool with all the neat colors and whatnot. When I was about 10, my dentist gave my mother a card for an orthodontist but we werenít financially in a good position at that time, so to my disappointment, we didnít think anymore of it.  


I had been living in Tennessee since I was 3 months old and my mama got married to a military man so we had to move to Washington State . There, the teasing was almost unbearable. As a teenager, I was so self conscious of my teeth. The kids there made me realize that my teeth were horrible. I had just wanted braces for fun but never realized that I NEEDED them until Washington . Years passed and I longed for braces even more.


Finally, my dentist here referred me to an orthodontist. I was so excited but still felt sort of left out because most braces wearers had had their braces off for a while or just got them off or about to get them off and here I was just getting them but, I was happy.


Before I got them I had to get 4 teeth pulled. I had bad crowding and my orthodontist said I didnít HAVE to have them pulled but it would be a better result so I did. The day I got them on was a wonderful day (Dec. 19th 2002). My braces cost $4500 but insurance covered $1500. I didnít have to have bands at the back or anything. My ortho said they werenít needed. I didnít have to have rubber bands or nothing of the sort. I just had chains to close me extraction gaps.


2004 came and I was looking forward to December because that would be the 2 year mark. In July I moved back to Tennessee . My ortho said that if I wanted them off before I left, then he could most likely do it but 2 years was almost up, so whatís a few more months. After I got settled back in Tennessee , I went to a new orthodontist about a week ago (9/21) & he said I was pretty much done. The next time I go, he will be removing them and getting measurements for retainers which will be ready about 2 weeks after that. But before I go back, I have to scrounge up $800 that will include the removal of my braces, the retainer, & 2 years of appointments for adjustments and checkups. Because I changed orthodontist, I have to pay extra. After the braces come off I have to get some bonding because I have small lateral incisors, then I will be done!


Overall, this experience has been wonderful! I LOVE my teeth and would do it again.

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