I had had braces when I was younger. However, by the age of 19, my teeth were noticeably wonky again, possibly due to my retainers inexplicably taking a trip through the washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher. In the summer before my final year at university, I made the decision of having braces again. It seemed like a good idea, getting my teeth sorted out before entering the “real world.” Plus, the problem could only get worse, culminating with teeth growing up into my face, leaving me looking like some sort of mutant.
With an initial appointment priced at £100 and the cheapest braces option at just under £2,000, this wasn’t a cheap decision to make. However, teeth are on display every day — an accessory that is well worth the investment.
The instalment was nothing short of terrifying. Watching the dentist lean over my face with instruments reminiscent of weapons of torture in my mouth made for an awkward appointment. Returning home and examining my new “teeth jewellery” almost reduced me to tears. Not only did they dominate my teeth, when I closed my mouth, it lead to a slight protrusion where the braces were, making me look like some sort of disgusting gorilla-monster. I already greatly anticipated their removal. This possibility was not in the distant future, after my braces falling out of my mouth later that day at a friend’s dinner party. Strangely, I have not been invited back there since to dine.
Having quickly adapted to the painful blisters along the interior of my lips, the remnants of my last meal catching in the wire of the brace (which, people found hilarious, exclaiming “oh, I see you’ve had salad for lunch today”), and the constant dull aching; it soon came to my realization that when the orthodontist instructed me not to eat hard foods, this included nuts. Breaking the brace whilst snacking on some almonds prompted a third visit to the orthodontist in just under a month. I was quickly deemed one of those customers whose visit was possibly dreaded.
Whilst working at a café all summer, it was common for customers to grimace after I smiled. I always managed to catch my lip in the brace during conversations, where it would stick. Braces were humiliating. It became clear that they gave me an unwanted youthfulness after bar staff commonly mistaking me for a child.
Eight months quickly passed. However, the awkwardness and continuous self-consciousness of the braces never left. I could see the marked improvement of my teeth, which was comforting, but I still just wanted them off. When I thought it couldn’t get worse, I was told I would have to wear elastic bands. These became an unwanted staple in my diet, as they were to be worn even when eating. Upon opening my mouth they spontaneously snapped off, including during conversations. Sandwiches were definitely off the menu.
I finally had the braces removed at 10 months, involving the orthodontist to physically pull out the brackets with what seemed like pliers. I felt ecstatic and relieved. The results made the 10 months worth it. 10 months having a “metal mouth” was much better then the alternative; a lifetime of wonky teeth. So far, my retainers have steered clear of any washing utensil. As brilliant as braces were at straightening my teeth, I never want to go back to them again!
These days, adults wearing braces are not that uncommon. I am increasingly noticing more and more adults, adults who are older then me, wearing fixed braces. Yes, aesthetics may be the main motivating factor; however at the end of the day, crooked teeth are harder to clean, thereby increasing the risk of tooth decay. Even though my experience with braces has been somewhat brief in comparison to most, I would recommend anyone considering braces to do it sooner rather then later; you will not regret the results.
Braces Cement Placement – Aine D – flickr.com – Some Rights Reserved
Guest Author Bio
I have recently graduated from university, and like most graduates, I am looking for a real job. It’s pretty frustrating, so in my spare time I like to write. I’ve written quite a few articles that are just left sitting on my computer and decided, maybe someone else might enjoy reading them!
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