Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Braces Journey: Part 1

Hello everyone! I thought about this for a long time and I've decided to start a post about my braces journey! I always knew I needed braces (crowding on bottom row) and I'm recently in the process of getting them! When I first heard I was finally getting them, I was shocked because I never expected to get them, I was also scared because I needed to have my teeth pulled out

 Part 1 would involve the following topics: Spacers, Metal Brackets (I'm not sure what those are called), Top Braces, and Teeth removing! I hope this gives people reassurance and a deeper understanding of the process of braces!

 This will be a text heavy post (no pictures, sorry! )
The first step when you decide you are getting braces is having a meeting with the orthodontist. This meeting would consist of them just checking out your teeth and sometimes, taking an x-ray (some offices would accept the x-ray from your dental clinic). For me, this took around half an hour, the orthodontist was very kind to me, and just pointed out that I needed two teeth removed on my bottom row to eliminate the crowding problem and that was it. During this meeting they would also tell you an estimate of how long you will need the braces on.

After this meeting, I came into the office once every week, this would be different depending on the clinic, your situation, and the orthodontist.

Spacers

For the first week, my orthodontist gave me spacers. They are these small blue rubber bands that they will floss in between your teeth. I had four of those and I had them in my mouth for one week. For me this was the most painful, the spacers were around 0.3 inches in length or less, and 0.1 inches and smaller in width. It took me majority of the week to adjust to them (around 4 to 5 days), and if these come off during the first 3 days, you will need to go back to the office and they will put them back in The amount of spacers you get varies, I did read online that some people had 5 in their mouth at one time.

The spacers job is to create space for the metal brackets (I don't know the exact term for this). As your teeth adjust to the spacers, they will feel numb and weak. I couldn't eat any hard food during that week, and the food that I couldn't eat included bread (not toasted) and rice

Everyone reacts to these differently, my brother had no trouble eating a McDonald Snack Wrap!

Metal Brackets (Bands)

After one week, I returned to my orthodontist He removed the spacers and replaced them with these square, metal bracket For me, these didn't hurt as much as the spacers did. Since I had the spacers on for one whole week, my mouth created space for the brackets so it was not only easy for the brackets to go in, I didn't have trouble eating either.

I had spacers and the brackets placed on my first molar teeth (picture taken from Google)
Since I had four spacers, I also received four metal brackets. The metal brackets is to hold the wire of the braces in place.

Top Braces

After another week passed by, I went back to my orthodontist to get my top braces done During the appointment, I got to choose what colors my braces would be. They had many different colors and I choose clear because I didn't want my braces to be as noticeable
The first step in getting braces on the top or the bottom, is the glue. They will apply glue to every tooth and then they will apply the metal brackets on the glue for it to stay. The process was very fast, it didn't hurt at all. After I got the metal wire and the brackets on, I was good to go! I didn't feel any pain during the process of getting top braces, however, after half an hour, my teeth did feel numb and weak, just like it did when I got spacers. I had to limit my eating and I had soup and soft food all week!

Teeth Removing

Believe it or not, this was actually the painless part. I got the numbing medicine in my gums and then the orthodontist waited around 20 minutes to start the process. He also checked before he started, to see if my gums were numb and if anything hurt when he gave me another dose of the numbing medicine.

I was super scared for this process, because I've always heard that removing adult teeth would hurt a lot. Adult teeth has roots unlike baby teeth.

It took the orthodontist around 3 minutes to pull out my teeth (he swayed it side by side) and during that 3 minutes, I didn't feel ANY pain.

However, I did had trouble with the bleeding, it wouldn't stop. And I couldn't consume any solid food, I had liquid food through a straw to avoid the fresh wound in my gum. During majority of the week, my gums did hurt because the root of the tooth was so long. But this didn't stop me from consuming solid food afterwards!

 Now I am waiting for next week to come, where I will have another tooth removed But I'm not as scared as I was last week because I know the process is very fast and I won't feel a thing!

I hope this helps someone and eases there fear of getting braces!
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