I’m Just Average Teen Me. As some of you may already know, I have braces. Correction: I used to have braces. Well, now I have a clear retainer and I’m not actually sure if it counts as braces but hey. In case there are any of you out there who are about to get braces, or maybe you already have braces, I thought it would be useful to give you a bit of a heads up, as someone who has been through it all.
So, for anyone about to get braces, don’t worry. That’s my first piece of advice. If you get too worried before you have them fitted, you’re body will think something is wrong and start to panic a little, so try to tell yourself it will be fine, because it will. Really, there’s nothing at all to worry about. Except if you have long hair, like me. Just hold your hair in your hands so the orthodontist doesn’t roll over it with his chair.
Getting braces put on doesn’t hurt at all. They clean your teeth first, and then put the glue on, and then the brackets (the little squares) and then hold a light on to dry the glue. You’ll probably be wearing sunglasses (given by the orthodontist) so it isn’t too bright. Depending on how your orthodontist does it, you might have to come back again the week after or something to have the actual wire put on. Or maybe it’ll just be on the same day.
After the wire is on, and after every time you get them tightened, your teeth will probably feel a little numb, because they’re being pulled into the right place – don’t worry, they move really slow, over years. A couple hours later, it will probably hurt. The orthodontist might have told you that they might feel ‘sensitive’ or ‘tense’ but you’ll probably have your own way of describing it. Here are a few things I’ve found useful in helping to deal with the ache:
- Yogurt – if you keep it in the fridge, it is really relaxing to hold in your mouth, and let the cold get to your teeth
- Ice Lollies – again, the cold helps to numb it a little
- Ibuprofen or other painkillers – just make sure you don’t overdose on anything!
- Anbesol – Did you ever use gel when you were little for teething? Well, this is the same concept, but for teenagers and adults, so it works a lot better, and helps to numb your gums a little. I have both a liquid one and a gel.
You’ll more than likely be told to eat softer foods too, which is definitely a good idea, since biting straight into an apple may kill you. Some of the foods I found easier to eat were:
- Yogurt – again, it helps with the pain but it’s really tasty if you get the flavours you like!
- Porridge – if you don’t like porridge, then this probably isn’t a good idea but I’ve liked the Quaker Oats Apple and Blueberry one for years now. Staple for me!
- Fish fingers – when you’re just eating liquidy foods every day, you might not be getting any normal food in either. Fish fingers are super soft when they’re cooked perfectly, so that’s what I ate for dinner quite a lot
- Pasta – spaghetti, lasagne, however you like it, pasta is definitely a lot easier than some other options!
- Soup – this one is kind of a no-brainer for anyone that likes soup, but I don’t (there literally isn’t a soup that I’ve ever liked)
- Eggs – especially scrambled! Similar to pasta, eggs don’t need much chewing at all so they’re super easy on sore teeth
Before you ask, no, you don’t have to eat like that for the entirety of your brace life – just for as long as they aren’t feeling up to chewing normal food. For me, that was normally about a week. After then, you can go back to what you’d normally eat, minus the sugar because it can break the braces.
Now, the part that I have been dealing with for just over the last two weeks. Getting your braces out will definitely come as a surprise, and no matter how people describe it to you, you’ll still feel really weird. I should warn you, though, you have to do another one of those gross mold things, with the gooey stuff. I know, disgusting, but the orthodontists need it for making your retainer.
Having them taken off doesn’t hurt, or it didn’t for me. They just pop off all of the squares, and lazer the glue off. Your teeth will feel super slimy. Not just slimy, but like there’s something coating them. I thought I still had the wax from the mold on them, so I looked in the mirror and BAM. There was my brace-less teeth. I instantly hated it, but I had to just sit there awkwardly until I got back in the car, and refused to look at them again.
Piece of advice: don’t stress over how big and empty your teeth look. Ashley told me after I’d freaked out and texted her a billion times, she reassured me that I would look completely different in the morning. Obviously, I didn’t but to myself, I looked verrrrrrry different. After a week, I looked normal.
The retainer is exactly the same, you feel like your mouth is a completely different shape, that you can’t talk and you’re going to die for the next 3-6 months that you have to wear it, but after a week, you’ll forget it’s even in. Just try to remember to take it out when you’re eating and drinking 😀
That’s some of the advice I thought might be useful to anyone with braces, about to get braces, or just brace-curious. Apologies for it being so long (verging on 1,000 words).
–Just Average Teen Me