Shiny braces? First, I should say that they aren't shiny at all. My braces are clear. They aren't the invisalign, retainer-style braces. The brackets are actually made of a dense, clear ceramic. It takes people a few minutes to realize that I actually have a full set of braces on my teeth. From a few feet away they are completely unnoticeable, it isn't until you are talking face-to-face that you finally see them. The only bit of metal that you see is the arch wire that connects the brackets together. I'm very happy with the look of them, I actually kind of like them!
How does it feel? Like I told you before, the first few days that the braces were on I was acutely aware of each and every one of my teeth. It was a strange feeling, but that eventually subsided. I was really concerned about the pain that the braces would inflict, mostly because of all of the stories my coworkers were telling me. It seems that 80% of the people that I work with had orthodontia work in the past. From their tales of pain and woe I was bracing myself (ha!) for the pain and stocking up on Tylenol It really hasn't been that bad.
The first few days, my mouth was tender and I ate a lot of soup and sipped many smoothies (and lost a few pounds). Now I feel a whole lot better and even ate those tasty chicken wings last week. I generally steer away from foods that I consider "hard to eat" (such as sandwiches) or "hard to clean-up" (like anything with seeds!). Occasionally I'll have one tooth or another that is sore, but I know that means something is working and it's worth it.
What about the dreaded monthly tightening? I was really concerned about the tightening. I was picturing the orthodontist with pliers, wrenches and other medieval torture devices, tightening the wires and brackets in my mouth. Let me tell you that I was nothing like that. In fact I was in and out of the office in five minutes. After a quick check of my progress, the orthodontist removed the old bands (the ones that hold the arch wire to the bracket) and replaced them with new ones. Done, braces tightened. I was pleasantly surprised.
Have I noticed a difference yet? Yes! I have been told that as an adult with braces, I'll be much more aware of the changes happening in my mouth. This must be because I am used to my teeth and bite, any change will be obvious to me. It's so true! Each day my bite feels a little different or I can notice that a tooth isn't in the same place it was before. Even my crazy tooth (some call it a snaggle tooth!) has begun to line up with the rest of my teeth. I can see my new smile taking shape, only 17 more months to go!
If you are an adult considering getting braces, you should totally do it! Join me in my adventure, it will be worth it! Just buy yourself a good blender first. Not only because you'll want the occasional easy to eat breakfast, but because smoothies are delicious!