All About Braces

I JUST GOT MY BRACES OFF!!!

Yes! After almost three years (since April of 2013) I finally have my white teeth back! No more turquoise, pink, or purple ones!  I was sure everyone wanted to see, so here’s the picture:

braces_off!

With my favourite accessory, Luvems.

Now I’m going to talk a little bit about braces. I’ve had a lot of question concerning them from people who are getting braces soon. The most frequently asked questions are…

What Can I Eat With Braces?

Basically, anything, except for these –

  1. Chewy and sticky – like taffy, liquorice, and caramel candies. Also, include chewing gum with that. It gets caught on the brackets and it’s very hard to get off – worse than getting it caught in your hair! (Which, I have a remedy for that which I’ll share sometime…)
  2. Crunchy and hard – Biting into apples and carrots (not to mention corn on the cob!) is really difficult, and the apple will get all caught in your front brackets and you’ll have to pick it all out. Once, from biting into an apple, a wire popped out! Yeah, not a good idea. Hard foods like nuts are actually fine, only it hurts because the nuts will get caught in your back braces, and it will push up against your gums, irritating them. Also, ice is a no-no. I’ve crunched on ice and hard candies – and reshaped my wire!
  3. Other – popcorn and chips are alright. They’re fine. The orthodontist tells you no, but after experience, I tell ya, it’s okay!

Do they hurt?

First, what do braces do? They move your teeth. Do you think they’re going to be able to move your teeth without hurting? Nope. The real question is how long they hurt. And this is a long answer. Basically, after you first get them on, they’re moving your teeth around and they will hurt for about a week. That’s a week on yogurt, smoothies, soup, and mashed potatoes. After that they’re fine – your teeth, at least. Of course, you can take Advil to help them, but I prefer not to.

Braces aren’t smooth like your teeth – they’re rough. Because braces are rough, they’ll irritate the inside of your mouth. Orthodontists offer wax to put on them to smooth them, which I’ve had to use. All that rough braces rubbing against the inside of your mouth is going to hurt for a while. I say give that a week or two. Use wax, it really helps! Your mouth will get used to it, but it’s always good to have a nice supply of wax, because even after having them on for two years, some days it will irritate my mouth, causing sores. Go figure.

Tightening – You’ll probably go to the orthodontist every 4-8 weeks when you have your braces on. Each time they’ll tighten your braces, and you might get a power chain. You also will get thicker wire. Each time your teeth will hurt for about a week. Now, power chains are painful. They’re one long strip of rubber band that goes on your brackets, pulling all the teeth close together. Because it’s doing so much pulling, it does hurt pretty badly. I recommend you do take Advil. But after a week, even though they’re still pulling, you don’t feel it anymore. I’ve had to go through many power chains – one on the top four teeth, then one on ALL the top teeth, then another on ALL the bottom teeth. It hurts! But you’ll be fine – after a week.

Will I have to wear rubber bands?

Well, it depends on the people and their teeth. I had to wear rubber bands in many places, and I believe that most people have to wear rubber bands. At least, all the people I’ve seen wearing braces do. Rubber bands aren’t that bad, only it limits eating. Because of that, I didn’t wear them often, so I had braces on longer. If you wear them all the time, you’ll get your braces off real fast! Rubber bands aren’t too painful, just the first few days when you wear them. Start out with only one, and then you can double up.

Will I only have to wear braces or some other appliance as well?

As with rubber bands, this also depends on the person. The first year I had braces, I only had them on the top and I had to wear a Mara appliance. The Mara appliance was to help my lower jaw. You see, my upper jaw grew twice as fast as my lower one, creating a deep overbite. It wasn’t painful, but it sure was inconvenient. For a whole year I had a big problem eating chicken, because it would get caught in the appliance. What the Mara did was bring my lower jaw forward. I was so happy to get it off. I was like, “FREEDOM!!!” However, to answer the question, I would have to be a professional orthodontist and look at your teeth. Your orthodontist will answer this question for you.

How do I clean them?

This is the easiest question to answer! I haven’t had braces for nearly three years without knowing how to clean them! Your orthodontist will show you three ways to brush them. But I’ll go through that here, in case you forgot. First, with the tooth brush bristles pointing down and the smooth part up, run it across the top of your braces. Do the opposite on the bottom. Then brush straight across your teeth. That’s how you brush. Next, you’ll find that food gets caught between the brackets and you can’t brush there. The orthodontist will give you what they call a “Christmas tree brush”. It kind of looks like one. What the brush is for is to get between those nooks and crannies! Lastly, floss. Every day. They’ll also give you a special flosser to get under your wires.

 How long do they have to stay on?

This depends on two things. One, the person. If your teeth are really bad and need a lot of fixing, it’s going to be longer! Two, rubber bands. If you wear rubber bands, wear them a lot, because the more you wear them, the faster you’ll get your braces off! I believe the normal wear is about two years though.

Will I have to wear braces more than once?

Again, this depends on the person! When I was eight, I wore braces for a year, on just my top four teeth. These last almost three years were my second and last round of braces.  It also depends on retainer wearing. After your braces are off they’ll give you a retainer to wear every night, and with some people, in the daytime.

What’s a retainer?

A retainer is a hollow plastic mould of your perfect teeth that you wear every night after you get your braces off. It’s to keep your teeth from moving out of place to keep your perfect bite. Wear your retainer EVERY NIGHT! If you forget, your teeth will move and it will be painful and hard to put your retainer on again. Some people have worn their retainers for ten years but I say that three years should be sufficient. Make sure you wear it for at least a year and a half, though! Also, there are other types of retainers. I believe the other type is a metal bar across you teeth. But I never had it, so I don’t know much about that kind.

I hope this was helpful! Took me an hour to write. This is all based on personal experience. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me through my agirlandacat contact page.

xoxo
Aria & Luvems
Braces Experts

P.S. I updated the picture on my About Me page because well, you need a  new picture once you are without metallic teeth, right? 😛