Braces…the beginning

It’s now day 5 of anywhere between 540 and 730 days in braces, a tiny step along the path of a pretty epic journey. Most of the people I’ve spoken to, though, say that these are the hardest days. These are the days most fraught with discomfort, paranoia (“was that wax coming off or a bracket? aaahhhh“) and just general thoughts of “why the heck am I doing this?!” I hope so. I hope it all gets better from here on in.

I have learned a few things along the way, though, that I hope might be of some use to others thinking about making the same choices I did.

First, lingual braces are actually quite comfortable. Maybe it’s because I had a tongue piercing once upon a time and I already had to go through that whole learning to talk around an injured tongue and dealing with discomfort thing, but really, they aren’t so bad. My speech is most certainly affected, but I have no doubts that given time and practice I’ll get rid of my annoying lisp.

Second, ceramic braces are not comfortable. I’m already regretting cheaping out and getting the linguals only on the top. After all the horror stories of discomfort and speech issues I decided that more standard braces on the bottom made sense. No one is going to see them anyway so why spend more for the fancy gold ones. The ceramic ones are more comfortable than the regular metal ones (my back molars have regular metal), but they’re still extremely discomforting. I’m feel as though my lip has had an altercation with a weed whacker.

Third, the area where the ceramics really shine is in hygiene. If you think flossing is bad normally, try doing it with threader floss while trying to open your mouth wide and look in the mirror so you can see what you’re doing. At least with the ceramics there are no jaw contortions needed, linguals, not so much. For that reason alone the extreme discomfort of the ceramics is worth it.

Fourth, wax is my friend in terms of comfort, but oh the hours I’ve already spent putting it on, taking it off, putting it on, taking it off, so on and so forth. Wax on, wax off, I feel like I’m in a classically campy 80s movie, just without the martial arts skills.

Fifth, when they say “You’ll start to see movement soon.” they really do mean soon. I thought with 6 weeks to go before my first adjustment, soon meant 2-3 weeks, not 36 hours. Feeling as your front two teeth begin to slowly move out of alignment is freaky. It’s like living in one of my worst nightmares. I’m sure it’ll only get worse from here on in, though. To anyone just getting started, just be prepared, soon comes sooner than you think!

Sixth, you can eat an astounding number of foods without chewing.

That’s it for now. I have every intention of posting pictures at some point, if only because some people (such as my little brother) are demanding them. I’m planning on posting updates at least every few weeks or once every adjustment, if only to chronicle things for my own memories, I might move them to a separate section of the site though. I know when I was doing my regular obsessive over-researching while making the decision about what types of braces to get, I enjoyed reading people’s experiences. So maybe someone out there will glean useful some information from mine.

3 Replies to “Braces…the beginning”

  1. Hi.

    I am in the process of getting iBrace uppers and ceramic lowers. Looks like we will be doing this journey at the same time.

    I got my lowers on yesterday, and have to wait the 6 – 8 weeks for the iBraces to come in. How long did yours take?

    BTW, this sucks already. 🙂

  2. 3 months! They told me 4-6 weeks and it took 3 months in the end for iBraces to process the order, agree that I was a suitable case, verify my treatment plan (those 3 things were 6 weeks right there) and then actually make the braces. My ortho wanted to wait to put on the lowers until the uppers were done so I had them on on the same day. It’s been “fun” so far, but improving on a day to day basis. Overall the ceramics are still worse than the linguals discomfort-wise.

  3. They took my impressions for the iBraces on Monday, so I will not expect any sooner than 8 weeks.

    I had to get 2 extractions on my lowers today. It was horrid, and I am sitting here with ice on both sides of my face. My dentist said I have very dense bone and to expect my ortho treatment to take the long side of my estimate because my teeth will be very hard to move.

    My bite needs to be aligned much more on the lower so I guess that is why they were willing to go ahead and put them on when I suggested.

    The good news about the extractions is that the discomfort from my ceramics is not even noticeable compared to the pain. 🙂

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