Who would have thought I would be damn near 30 years old with braces?
Growing up with a cousin and brother with a similar smile as mine, never really cautioned me to think that anything was wrong with my teeth. Even as a child, my dentist would tell my mother that my teeth would straighten out on its own. It wasn’t until I got to be a bit older, I began to have a slight complex about my smile.
To categorize what was going on in my mouth (for lack of better words), I identified with people with abnormal eruption teeth.
Abnormal eruption is basically when your teeth are crowded and erupt a but higher than it was suppose to since it cannot fall into place because other teeth are blocking it from taking its natural place. (For my case).
After going in for a normal 6 months cleaning, I informed my Dentist that I wanted to improve the state of my teeth in order to get braces. She told me that I was making a wise choice for wanting to correct the health of my teeth before the look of my teeth. For me, I believe my teeth needed some tender loving care at that time. I would brush once maybe twice a day and I would skip out on regular dentist visits. Therefore, I knew my teeth weren’t at its best state. I also knew for sure every tooth in my mouth had a cavity and I would need thousands of dollars of work done before they placed the braces on. However to my surprise, I only had 5 cavities and went through a deep cleaning on each side. That was the first time I knew of cavities because the year before I did not have any. I never was in pain and I did not notice any decaying on my teeth. The left side of my mouth took the most of the work as that was the side I kept my cough drops on when I slept. Don’t ask me why I did that, it was just a habit I picked up because I was not sick. I think I was in love with the menthol in the cough drops more so. Anyways, after they placed the fillings in my teeth and the deep cleaning was done, I started to feel this sharp pain in my jaw. Soon after the pain went from my jaw to my ear and then my neck. It scared the hell out of me because I haven’t had a tooth ache since I had to get my wisdom teeth pulled. I went to my dentist which she couldn’t find anything. She told me that I should see an ear, nose and throat Doctor and that they can better help me with what was going on. I delayed that process because it took me a whole month in a half to go to urgent care because the pain was unbearable. The doctor at the urgent care ruled out a tooth and ear infection but told me to still see an ear, nose and throat doctor and placed me on antibiotics just in case he missed something. I went to the ear, nose and throat doctor and he told me the same thing, that it wasn’t an ear infection and my lymph nodes were swollen but that wouldn’t cause the pain I was feeling. He then asked me if I grind my teeth when I am sleeping and I told him yes. After while I noticed that I grind my teeth while I am at work or when I am stressed… He then asked me if I felt pressure on my teeth and I told him all of the time. He had this sort of eureka moment and he went on with this elaborate story of one of his other patients who had the same issue as me. To make a long story short, he said that I had TMJ – Temporomandibular joint disorder. He prescribed me a steroid for inflammation and then told me to exercise my jaw throughout the day. I went back to the dentist and told them what the ear, nose and throat Doctor said and they were oh so eagered to give me a custom made mouth guard which was too much money for my liking.
*disclaimer- that was no shade to my dentist office. I continue to go to them and I would still recommend them to anyone who ask me where I go*
Anyways, after all of that drama, I went in for my consultation with my Orthodontist. She and her staff were pretty nice and comfortable to be around. To place the icing on the cake, she’s located in the same office as my dentist which is next to my church and job. *insert happy face here.*
She asked me a series of questions, like what were my concerns about my teeth and what medications was I on as well as my diet (for the heads up of the foods I cannot eat while wearing my braces). To my surprise again, she didn’t have to pull any teeth and I will only have to wear the braces for 16 months. The only disappointing information I received that day was the price and the fact that I would only get metal braces.
The following week I went in for my records. That’s where they take molds of my teeth, which was really weird, X-rays and beforepictures. I was supposed to get spacers in but they kept popping out.
The week after that, I got my braces. During my consultation, the orthodontist told me that I would have to be there for about 2 hours in order to get everything done. (or maybe that was if I got my records done as well as the braces). However, I was only there for maybe 45 minutes at the most. It wasn’t uncomfortable at all with the little horse stirrups looking thing in my mouth. I was only worried that I was drooling on my shirt because somehow my covering fell off. I didn’t taste the glue that everyone said tasted horrible. The Orthodontist assistant was very cautious of that which was excellent. Before getting the braces on, I did a bit of research on what I can and cannot do before getting them on. Somehow I forgot to take my Tylenol as well as not brush with whitening toothpaste. However, to make matters a bit better, I didn’t know my toothpaste was a whitening toothpaste. So because I brushed with a whitening toothpaste, my brackets kept popping off. It was a bit funny, I was talking to my mom and I could feel this big pop. I thought it was because the air hit the glue or something and the cool air was just something I couldn’t be around. So I called the dentist office to tell them and the front desk employee told me to quickly come in because my brackets were no longer placed on my teeth and that is a dental emergency. I went back to the office and a few more popped off. The orthodontist assistance then asked if I used whitening toothpaste and I told her yes and she placed the uv tooth dryer on the brackets a bit longer than she did before.
On my way home my teeth felt fine, no pressure or pain. I popped a Tylenol and went to McDonalds to get some pancakes and sausages. The pancakes were easy to chew but I didn’t like the feeling of food between my brackets and the wire. Then I tried to eat the sausage and I noticed that I couldn’t really chew down all the way. I think that is when I noticed the first bit of how uncomfortable braces can be. Over the next week, I noticed that my lips and inside my mouth felt really raw. However, I can honestly say that the uncomfortable feeling didn’t last very long at all, maybe a week or two.
Around my second week I noticed my front tooth was a bit loose and freaked out. I was on my verge of calling my orthodontist and telling her to take these things off right now. However, again, going to google and researching, I found out that loose teeth are normal and that means that they are shifting into place. After reading that I became super excited and started to call my family members to tell them that **it was about to go down** in my Kevin Hart voice because I knew that my beautiful smile is on the way.
I hope to have more wonderful brace face blogs for you all shortly. I know it’s been a while since my last blog, but I am coming around. Lol
How many of you wore braces after your teenage years?
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