The life of braces…. let me start off by saying that I want to rip them out of my mouth right about now! Yep, I said that! I know, I know.. I’m being over dramatic and it will be so worth it in the end, but c’mon! At times it’s hard to eat, my teeth are sensitive, my cheeks are mad at me, and I hate the fact that food gets stuck in between the brackets and in my teeth; which makes flossing that much more difficult!!!
In case you missed it in my previous blog, we went to California to see my aunt (who has her own office there and is a dentist (Carson Dental Care)). Long story short, I thought I was going there for a cleaning and to take care of some cavities, oh and that she did! However, I also walked out of there and driving back home to Vegas with braces too! Something I was not expecting and completely NOT mentally prepared for.
So, I thought I’d track the progress and experience of what it’s like the first 7 days of braces.
Cleaning was done and cavities were taken care of… then came the spacers! Spacers, are small rubber bands (or metal) that are placed in between your molars before braces are placed on, and are to be in there for at least 3 days to possibly weeks. Of course, I was a little different. Because I live in Las Vegas, and she’s in California, she wanted to try and complete the process the following day.
It did not hurt at all for the spacers to be placed in. Honestly, it just feels like food is stuck in between your teeth. And, if your anything like me, it’s the worst feeling! Later that night the soreness kicked in. Eating, yeah that didn’t really happen, and of course we all choose to eat at a Korean BBQ Place. **From my experience save yourself the money and DO NOT do that!**
Impressions of my teeth were taken, and before pictures were taken as well. My aunt wasn’t sure if she would even be able to place the braces on because as mentioned above the spacers normally have to stay in for at least 3 days. Well, with a little push and shove, she was able to get the metal bracket around my 4 molars. Nope, still didn’t hurt. You just feel a little pressure when they place it in.
After came the brackets. This process took a while, about an hour to be precise. They have to measure where the brackets are going to be placed on the tooth and then glue it on.
Next came the wires and tightening.. let me just say this is when it’s over! The pressure of the wires joining with the other teeth and then tightening at the end… yup this is when that moment kicked in and me saying “WHY ON EARTH DID I DO THIS!!!”. It took about another hour for them to complete placing the wires and bands around the brackets (which you can choose from a variety of colors.. I went basic and choose clear). Oh, and eating.. well this time we played it safe and had Chicken Pho (rice noodle soup). I couldn’t eat the chicken, but I was able to eat the noodles (mostly just swallowing it and not chewing). About an hour to 2 hours into the braces… the soreness and pain started to really kick in.
Let’s also talk about the braces cutting your cheeks. Oh yes, was that painful. I’ve heard some people say they’ve never experienced that and some say they barely had to use the wax. Me on the other hand, oh I used the crap out of that wax, like there was no tomorrow! One stick was used in one night!
Pain, was definitely still there. My cheeks were screaming at me for what I’ve done, and my salivary glands, were pissed at me! The wires kept attaching to my glands and pulling on my cheeks.. ouch! So, wax has definitely been my best friend. I was also experiencing my teeth being very sensitive to the cold, which was no fun at all.
Eating, was still a no go. Soup it was again! Also, flossing… before braces would maybe take about 5 minutes or less? With braces, flossing takes about 15-20 minutes now. I’m sure you’ll become a pro at it.. in some point in this process, but for now it’s taking me that long.
Not much has changed at this point. The soreness was still there and the pain would kick in when I would eat. I’ve also came into conclusion that pasta, rice, and soup was the extent of what I could eat without my teeth hurting.
We are finally making progress. I was experiencing some recovery! My cheeks started developing scar tissue on the sides of my mouth, which meant I didn’t have to use a ton of wax anymore, except on my molars.
I’m at a point where the soreness is gone! The only time it really bothers me, is when I’m eating. I’m sure I will get use to it at some point in this process, but right now.. eating is still a bit difficult. So, just a suggestion… just because you are not experiencing the soreness, don’t go ordering food (like wings) thinking you’ll be ok to eat it. Yup, that’s exactly what I did. Once, I started trying to eat the wings.. I couldn’t.
Also, sensitivity still has not left the building since day 1. I’ve discovered using a straw when drinking anything cold, which has definitely helped!
Eating is starting to get a little better. Definitely still experiencing the soreness afterwards, but it’s slowly coming back and starting to be normal!
So, my overall opinion on the first 7 days of braces; I definitely would say I was terrified when I heard I was getting braces on, that’s for sure! I thought putting braces on would be extremely painful, but truth be told, it was not! Now, there were some discomfort moments for sure, but not pain!
Lets talk about when the braces are on and you’re all said and done.. now that is a different story. For me, I have moments where I’m saying “I’m over it.. I want it off” and then I have moments, where I’m liking them and can’t wait to see the end result!
It’s definitely a different look and something I have to get use too. My husband says I look like a 14 year old… hmmmm thanks?!?!?
The wax becomes your best friend, but I’m pretty sure I’ve consumed about 3 sticks already. When you eat, you forget it’s there (at least for me). Even when brushing my teeth, I forget to remove the wax, until it ends up in my mouth filled with toothpaste. Flossing becomes annoying. You have to use special floss threaders to be able to get the floss inbetween your teeth, but it sure does feel better once you get all that junk out of your teeth and braces.
I do have to visit my aunt’s dental office every month to every other month to have my bands changes, wires adjusted (if needed), and to tighten the braces; which I heard is the same experience as when braces are just placed on and the first few days of having them on…. great! But, overall I am excited for the end process and to finally have a beautiful and confident smile!!!
For those of you who are interested in getting braces or will be getting braces in the future, good luck. Just remember, it will all be worth it and everyone is different in experiencing their braces! Heck, you might be one of the lucky ones and not experience what I have.
All with love,