Whoa – where has all this time gone? Last time, I was posting about surviving extractions and surviving on soups and home made veggie juices. Well, it took the better part of three weeks but I was finally able to start on solid foods again – albeit cut up with a knife and fork into dainty little pieces that I could get around my eight gaps – when the Day of the Brace came. And just like that – I was back on soups again!!!
Yes, the braces are finally on! And just like that, I wished they had never come on.
I’m just kidding. Well, I wasn’t, at one point. At the beginning, I was wondering what the hell have I done to myself. That my smile wasn’t that bad. That I could have lived without this – with less pain. But I’ve already gone through all the bother of consultations and the payments and the pain of extractions. So I had to put up with it… and guess what? It really, really does get better each day. And I definitely can’t wait for the day I get my braces off!
First things first – the one thing everyone wants to know – do braces hurt?
Basically, the actual process of getting braces on did not hurt at all. My orthodontist popped a couple of molar bands (now that is an icky subject – more on that later) on my teeth to get the right sizing bands, kind of like trying on shoe sizes – “Oh, looks like the size 30 is too big, let’s go for the 28½ one instead” – and when he was satisfied with the size, he applied some glue (which tasted a bit gritty and yucky, if you happen to be unlucky enough to get some on your tongue, but other than that it was no big issue), shone a light on my teeth to dry the glue, then stuck on the molar bands.
After I’ve done the big rinse and spit to get rid of the rest of the glue taste, it was back on the chair and time for the banding of brackets to my teeth. I can’t remember whether he inserted plates around my lips and cheeks to keep them away from my teeth for the molar bands, but he definitely did use plates for the banding of the brackets. Some people have commented on the discomfort, but really the plates didn’t bug me at all. Ditto for the gluing of the brackets to my teeth and the threading of the arch wire through the brackets (my orthodontist told me the wire he used was very gentle and didn’t hurt at all – in fact, they find that applying gentle pressure on the braces helps your teeth move better and faster than if you applied too hard a pressure, which can weaken the teeth too much and might even cause your teeth too fall out!).
Basically, all I did was lie in my chair with those dorky plastic sunnies they make you wear and listen to my orthodontist and his assistant chat away about the new lunch bar with a good lemon salad and my orthodontist’s forthcoming holiday and the fact that he’d recently move house too and before you know it, hey presto – we were done! In fact, we were done a whole lot faster than I’d originally accounted for – just the better part of one hour. In fact, less than an hour. Close to 50 minutes. And, no, it didn’t hurt at all. Before I knew it, I was standing in front of the mirror, checking out my new braces and loving the fact that you could hardly see them at all in the mirror. (I’d gotten ceramic on the top and the usual metal ones at the bottom. And even the metal ones were tiny, not at all like those massive metal things you used to see on kids at school).
So what exactly did hurt? And what didn’t? I’ll let you know in the next post!