I have had my braces on for over a year now. I did receive a few emails and messages asking some questions as to how it works, or how it feels, or if it hurts a little or a lot, and I never got to talking (or writing about it). So here it is, kinda.
If you’re reading this and you were thinking of braces as an option to just look “cool” or “cute” or I don’t know what else, then please, don’t do it. I see a lot of Do-It-Yourself braces all over the internet and it makes me cringe every single time. First of all, orthodontists take years and years of studying and experience to actually know the specific treatments your teeth (and mouth) need. There’s some sort of measuring the actual tooth before the bracket gets put on, there’s some sort of analyzing first which to move here and here, which tooth should go, which tooth will hinder the other tooth from aligning with the rest of the teeth, all those stuff. And to do that by yourself, without the degree, without the years and years of study and experience, without the proper knowledge and skill, that’s crazy. Please don’t do it.
My teeth weren’t that bad, actually. I just had a weird bite, and it was very uncomfortable. My lower teeth weren’t that aligned, which was causing the bad bite. Thus, I had to be treated with braces.
So, here are a few questions you frequently ask, whether you’re planning to get braces, or you are new to braces, or you’re just downright curious (and some answers based on personal experience).
Do braces hurt?
YES, yes, and yes. They hurt a lot. My pain threshold is pretty high, so it wasn’t really that bad later on, especially when I got used to it. But when I just started with the treatment, it was really painful. And I’m telling you this without the drama, because really, it is going to hurt. The brackets are going to cut as well, so you better be ready with your dental wax at all times. Eventually, you will get the hang of it and it’s not so bad.
I was actually pretty happy when I started, because I was in so much pain that I could barely eat. And I lost a lot of weight. Goodie!
How should I clean my teeth and braces?
Flossing will be your worst nightmare during the later phases your treatment. I used to enjoy flossing, but when I started with my treatment, it was such a chore that sometimes it will take 45 minutes for me to finish flossing (especially with continuous ligatures or powerchains). But you do have to brush your teeth after every meal, and as much as possible, floss every single day.
How often will I need to visit the dentist while on braces?
I go every three to four weeks for adjustment, and then there’s the oral prophylaxis (or the teeth cleaning) every six months or so. I do enjoy going to the dentist, because that means you get to choose a new color of ligatures of powerchains for the month.
Does it hurt after adjustment?
This month, out of more than a year or so, has been the worst of them all. My braces were supposed to be taken out a couple of months ago, but then my lower teeth started moving again, and my bite got weird (again). When my dentist checked, she found out that my right lower molar band was actually loose and moving (which I thought this whole time was my actual teeth moving and I was terrified). She had to change my lower wire to a thicker one, and asked me to put on those really tight elastic rubber bands. Two days after the adjustment, one of my lower incisors moved out of place, and now, it’s the only one that’s not aligned with the rest of my lower teeth. So there’s that. It was horrible, I couldn’t sleep at night even, because of the pain. But it’s getting better. I will have to go back in two weeks time to have it checked again (and have the wires re-adjusted – yikes!).
What food should I avoid eating?
Well, normally, you are not allowed to eat so many things. Like taffy or sticky stuff or gum or popcorn. But I eat everything. A bracket popped out once during my whole treatment, and that is pretty good, considering that I eat a lot of things that shouldn’t be eaten with braces on, like barbecue. My bracket popped out when I was biting on a green mango. Crazy, right? But yes, you should be good to your braces, and try to avoid stuff that might damage them or your teeth. Avoid soda. Avoid coffee. Avoid chewy stuff. Avoid really hard peanuts or crisps.
Avoid pizza. Nah, just kidding.
I will have my braces removed in a couple of months time. I just have to wait until the lower teeth are fixed, and I’m good to go. My bite is so much better now. Go ask your orthodontist if you are in need of treatment. It does take some time before you see any improvement, but it’s awesome in the long run.
Do you have braces on or are you planning to get treated soon? I am an admin for this Facebook Group called Adult Braces Support Group, where people post questions and answers, you will get inspired, you will get motivated, you will get answers and you might find some helpful stuff. See you around! 🙂