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.
Why 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.