Just Call Me Brace Face

Last Monday, I had braces fitted onto my upper and lower teeth.

That’s right, let it out….call me “Brace Face”, “Metal Mouth”, or “Train Tracks”…

Feel better? Right, let’s move on, shall we? To the FAQ I’ve been answering for the past seven days:

But there was nothing wrong with your teeth!….Was there??
Yes, there was. It may not have been obvious to other people, but to me, my crowded teeth were my biggest flaw. For most of my adult life, I’ve hated them. I remember my first few dinner dates with Tall: I ate with a hand nonchalantly covering my mouth. When the photographer was happily snapping away at our wedding, I was silently wishing she was standing at a different angle: there are a number of photos that I think are gorgeous but won’t display, because of my teeth. I first decided to get the braces purely for cosmetic reasons, but it transpires I have an overbite and my teeth don’t meet where they should, so the decision has actually been a very good one. A very good friend also had braces fitted a few months ago, and I asked this exact question of her – I thought she had lovely teeth. Then, when I told her I was getting them, she said the same thing to me…what we see as a flaw in ourselves might not be seen at all by others.

WeddingWhy did you wait until now to get them?
I actually had braces on my bottom teeth when I was about 15 years old, but when the retainer broke off a month or so after they’d come off, my idiotic dentist took it upon himself to remove it entirely, telling me I’d be fine without it (same idiotic dentist also removed one tooth and used insufficient anaesthetic, meaning I break out in a cold sweat thinking about that experience even now). Then my wisdom teeth came through, and it turns out they are functional (ie: no impaction or issues)…which is all well-and-good, except I have an extremely narrow palate and a child-like jaw. Too many teeth + not enough space = crowdy-crowdy; then both pregnancies saw them move about too…oh joy. So now that we’re finished having babies, the time seemed right, and I’m looking forward to finally having a smile to be proud of.

How long do you have to wear them for?
18-20 months, or until I’m happy with the results. It sounds like a long time, but I’m looking at it from an age-of-my-Pickle point of view, and that time has gone FAST.

Do they hurt??
Yes, they do, but as a good friend said: “No pain, no gain, right?” They were easy and pain-free to get put on, but a few hours later, the pressure became quite intense. That dull, constant ache lasted for about four days, and painkillers at bedtime solved the problem. My biggest issue has been catching my lower lip on the brackets during the night, resulting in a bit of tearing, but wax on the brackets does the trick. No pain, no gain. No pain, no gain.

Aren’t they really expensive?
They ain’t cheap, but I think the cost is worth it in the end. Plus the orthodontist I chose offers a monthly payment plan (with no extra charges) over the course of treatment, which makes it more affordable.

For the past week, my little men have delighted in calling me Mama Train Tracks, running their little fingers gently across my teeth. It’s endearing, and I’m not offended by it at all, and while I’m a little self-conscious when I first see someone, their reassurances that they’re hardly noticeable soon make me forget they’re even there.

Except I still can’t eat properly. Urgh.

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21 thoughts on “Just Call Me Brace Face

  1. Go you, well done! I can relate relate relate!! I am looking forward to being able to get some too hopefully in the near future. I had braces for many years as a teen and then my great dentist left and an idiot took over who didn’t complete years of intense work properly sooooo gone were the almost straight teeth, not to mention the baby hormones moving them like crazy! Soon you’ll be able to eat and soon the pain will dull – go you!

    • Wow – your story sounds very familiar! I hope you can start treatment soon (with a kind orthodontist with a payment plan!) and fix that lovely smile. You’re one of the only other people who’ve nodded when I said the baby hormones played a part too!

      On 5 May 2014 10:53, Tall, Short, Tiny & a Pickle wrote:

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  2. It is amazing how many adults are getting braces at this stage of their lives. i am suprememly grateful to my parents for the cost of my braces when I was 11-13 (a great time of life to have them – might as well get all the awkwardness done at the same time!). I have had 8 teeth out as well because I have the same issue of a small jaw – albeit incredibly well worked out! 4 of these were wisdom teeth that I got out as soon as they appeared because I knew my teeth problem was about crowding. We have started a savings account for our boys orthodontic treatment already because we both needed them and I want them to have them if needed too. Good for you!

    • And you have lovely teeth! I feel bad for my parents because they forked out a lot of money for my first braces, and it feels like that money was wasted. My sister and brother both had the full set and they both have loooooovely teeth, and I’m looking forward to a sibling photo when my braces come off!

      On 5 May 2014 11:46, Tall, Short, Tiny & a Pickle wrote:

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  3. So very brave of you…I love your confidence to change what you least like .
    We are 6 months into our 15 year olds braces and she would heartily agree with all you have said…and we too have a generous ortho that let’s us pay as we go phew!
    Time will be gone before you know it and you will have the rest of your life to look even more gorgeous than you do now. Xx

    • Thank goodness for generous orthodontists! I hope your daughter is happy with the progress so far 🙂

      On 5 May 2014 12:37, Tall, Short, Tiny & a Pickle wrote:

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  4. Thanks for the FAQ – very insightful. I have all the things you mentioned (VERY big overbite, wonky teeth – although I am minus my wisdom teeth now) and have often thought about whether I should get them at this late stage. BUT I am a wimp too……the TERRIBLE experience I had getting my wisdom teeth out about 4 years ago where I got a nasty case of dry socket and multiple trips to the oral surgeon later have REALLY put me off doing anything to inflict further pain on my mouth, i.e. I regularly tell people I would rather go through labour with no pain-relief again (not going to happen!) than have any more done in my mouth. But I can definitely see the benefits. Sigh. What to do?! I am very interested in how your journey unfolds though so do keep us updated!!! You might convince met yet 🙂 xx

    • Ugh, what a terrible experience you had! I can see why that would make you hesitant. My orthodontist thought I might have to have teeth removed, and I didn’t know how anxious I felt about that until she said I DIDN’T need that! She is great; the first appointment was for x-rays and a chat, then the second wasn’t for another month, by which time she’d been able to study the records and offer me the best option. I too wondered if it was too late to be worth it, but decided that it would be worth it to not hate having my photo taken anymore!

      Join me…?!?!

      On 5 May 2014 13:11, Tall, Short, Tiny & a Pickle wrote:

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  5. I absolutely hate my teeth and my smile but yet Mr B loves my smile
    I wear a plate with 4 teeth on it and I hate it
    I understand why we do these things
    If there was one thing I could change it would be my teeth, sadly they can’t be so *sigh*

    • Isn’t it interesting that something we see about ourselves is not what others see?

      On 5 May 2014 20:15, Tall, Short, Tiny & a Pickle wrote:

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