Little Words of Little Things.. · Uncategorized

The truth about braces: Confirming and debunking myths.

I recently got my teeth braced… precisely a month now. And oh boy, EVERYONE should know these first before jumping to the dentist’s chair and asking for one.

***disclaimer*** (everyone is different, we have different experiences, pain tolerance, dentists, cases, and etc. so don’t fully rely on me.)

so I waited a month before writing this (I’ve been tempted a lot of times to do this) because I want to get to the first adjustment before making my review (or warning).  before we start, a background story first.

I used to suck my thumbs every day until grade school, and admittedly, doing it sometimes when I’m so stressed (Don’t judge!) that my teeth grew this way. I have the open bite case (where my upper and lower front teeth are jutting outwards and whenever I bite there’s a gaping hole at the front.) my pre-molars and molars are actually aligned, which is a relief so in my case we only need to push back my incisors and canines and aligned them to get it fixed. But, getting them fixed is hard because my wisdom teeth aren’t out yet. and pushing them back in might crowd everything… talk about more problems right?

But what really prompted me to go and get them braced is because:

  • i can’t bite with my canines and incisors anymore.
  • my face doesn’t look aligned anymore (explaining this is hard.)
  • i’m having a hard time saying “sh”, “t”, “ch” sounds
  • doing it later when I’m older will be harder.
  • because my Mom insisted
  • Because it’s part of the things I’m conscious about.

So now we’re over with that… let’s get to the Myths.

  1. It takes long to get braces

Nuh-uh! It doesn’t!! 

(again, it depends on the case) but the longest it can get is two (2) hours. processing is what makes it long. but the installation itself, not much. Mine took 30-45 minutes to glue the brackets in, size and put the metal line thing, and seal with rubber. It took me 15 minutes to fill out the papers about personal information, my dental history, in case of emergency contact, and the contract form.

Then as part of the requirement, the x-rays. I got mine 3 days before I was scheduled to meet my dentist, and it took me 30 minutes to get one. I stood for about 10 minutes, i think for 2 x-rays and waited about 20 minutes during the preparations, printing, and payment. x-rays can be claimed almost as soon as you take it so no need for waiting a few days before coming back and getting it.

So no need to cancel a whole day of meetings to get your braces, it DOES NOT TAKE THAT LONG.

The adjustment also didn’t take long. only 10 minutes. It took me a few minutes to choose a new color for the rubber–I chose gray… to commemorate the Fifty Shades Darker showing date– and the dentist just changed the rubbers, and adjusted the metal line thing.

2. Does it hurt?

here is the long part.

this still depends on your pain tolerance. so don’t rely too much on this.

My pain tolerance is average at most. I scream at any sort of pain but after a while, I get used to it so I adapt to the pain. I try not to take painkillers whenever I feel one because when the real pain kicks in the painkillers won’t do it’s job anymore.

The installation itself DOES NOT HURT. I repeat, IT DOES NOT HURT. All the dentist is doing is checking your teeth, make sure where she’s gonna stick the bracket, how she’s gonna do it, do a minor cleaning, stick those bracket in, size the metal line thing, double check if it’s not too long, then put it in, then seal with those colorful rubbers in place.

The whole time though your mouth is open wide. that’s the tiring part. but there are times your dentist will ask you to gargle and that’s your breather from it. then when she seals it with the rubber. that’s when you’ll feel the tightness. 

Once those rubbers are in, you’ll feel your teeth tighten and being tugged. it’s not painful, more like uncomfortable and weird. You won’t run away screaming “F*ck it hurts so much!!” so don’t worry. and once she takes out that thing that hinders you from closing your mouth, you’ll feel weird with the feeling of your gums all over the braces. but you’ll adjust to it.

So, you’re done installing the braces… but the pain is about to start.

I went to Mcdonald’s after the installation, because there’s one across the street and I ordered a large fries and coke because damn, I survived that and didn’t feel any pain (I thought it was a success on my part… after hearing these stories of painful braces, I’m here laughing at those.) So I started eating, enjoying my fries and Snapchatting my new braces. then out of the blue, it starts to hurt. It’s about an hour after my installation that I felt like my teeth is grinding into my gums. It hurts when I bite, so much so that I can’t eat a greasy, soft fry. It’s so painful by then that I stopped eating at all and just drank my coke.

The next 4 days have been hell. I couldn’t eat anything except for a scrambled egg, any type of juice or beverage, just cooked rice and soup. I couldn’t chew even if the lottery gave me a million bucks. And speaking that involves me grinding my teeth together is freaking torture. It’s that painful. I couldn’t sleep at night so I took painkillers only at night. I didn’t eat any solid or hard food for four days and drank a lot of milk and cold drinks to numb the pain.

then after that godforsaken four days, it doesn’t hurt anymore. Took me a week to get used to eating and getting those little food stuck in between, then I’m back to when I was before I had my braces.Speaking took a few days of adjusting but I’m doing okay now. and the next month flew by.

now, The adjustment.

The adjustment didn’t hurt too while it was happening. but now a few hours after, my lower teeth feels like it’s being tugged again. It’s not like with before. this one is milder and tolerable. Eating is a little uncomfortable too, I didn’t eat anything hard today, but I haven’t been eating anything hard over the month so no change really.

3. do you have a hard time speaking with braces?

for me, no. As I’ve said, I couldn’t pronounce some sounds already so having braces on didn’t change a thing. But I have a hard time keeping my lips shut. adding the braces got my mouth crowded so if i’m just resting my face it looks like my mouth is open a bit.

4. You couldn’t eat anything once you got your braces

No! not true!

if you’re really hungry, you can and will find something to eat.

But, it is hard to eat. It’s going to be rough for the first few days because you wouldn’t be able to chew food like you used to… You’d either be part of the people who lost weight because they didn’t eat much, or be part of the people who learned how to chew a few times then swallow the rest. (I got the latter one… I am not giving up food people!) So probably stick to soft foods for a few days and slowly work your way through the usual food you eat, just refrain from chewing gums, and eating hard foods because that’s a huge no-no for all of us.

5. Will I be stuck eating soft foods forever?

From my experience, no. I know I’ve only got my braces for a month, but in that one month, I’ve tried eating almost everything. if you can find a way to chew hard foods without it hitting your brackets, you’re fine. And as long as it doesn’t hurt you to do it, then go for it.

6. You need to brush your teeth ALL THE TIME.

Um, kinda?

It depends. I know a few who still keep the brushing routine to twice or thrice a day–a normal number of brushes for a person every day–and too much brushing is also bad. But, with braces on, there are some parts of your teeth that you wouldn’t be able to brush just like you used to. Add in the little food stuck in there every time you eat and you got yourself a perfect place to grow a plaque.

My routine change. I brush my teeth every after meal. So it depends to how many times a day I brush. It’s usually three times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If it’s just a snack, I don’t bother. Sometimes the venue isn’t also applicable for me to brush my teeth so I don’t. But as long as you keep those teeth healthy, it doesn’t matter how much you brush your teeth.

7. It will bleed.

No blood has been shed during the whole process. and after. only pain but no blood.

8. there’s a lot of tips to lessen the pain, which one works?

  • eating or drinking cold foods/beverages works. it numbs your gums lessens the pain. I eating ice when it was hard for me to bare the pain.
  • drinking milk seems to work–for me. Maybe because it’s also cold but adjusting to pain is bearable whenever I drink milk.
  • taking pain meds is okay. But i don’t recommend going for it all the time. it will wear out and then taking one again won’t work anymore.
  • distracting yourself works. If i’m too busy I forget the pain and forgot about the braces at all.

Any other questions about braces?

you can ask me about it, or google about it but make sure it’s reliable. because some people out there are just scaring you guys, it’s not really that horrible.

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