adult braces – initial thoughts and feelings

I’m just about half way through my time with adult braces and I am just recently feeling like I am getting the hang of them. My orthodontist originally pitched up to 18 months to straighten everything out, but he says we are way ahead of schedule. (insert smiley emoji)

Before making the decision to finally get braces, I tried doing a bit of research online about adult braces but did not find much. So, I’ll share my thoughts and feelings so far.

first day with braces — right before the wire was put on

starting off

It was a Monday when I originally went in and got my braces “installed“, and I scheduled it right before work (like a dummy). By about 10:30 am I was feeling the pain! It hurt just to open my mouth so I basically drank tea for lunch. I could feel the roots of my teeth trying to budge for the next few days. I took ibuprofen regularly for the first two and a half days. My diet consisted of soups, apple sauces, noodles, and mashed potatoes for at least a week. When I finally was able to chew and use my teeth, it basically felt like my teeth were going to fall out. You know in the cartoons when characters jump on a piano and all the keys sprawl out under the pressure? That was how it felt to bite, my teeth were those piano keys.

 
My younger siblings had had braces when we were kids but I wish I had realized how much pain I would really be in as an adult. It never really crossed my mind that so deep in my twenties my teeth were fairly cemented in. The complaints I had heard in my teens were about the braces and the pain from friction against the inside of the mouth. So it was a bit daunting to realize that my whole face was hurting less than four hours after I’d had the braces put in.

ceramic vs. metal braces

I had heard that ceramic braces were more likely to break than metal braces. I still hear that they will stain and change colors, too. So far, I have not experienced either. No brackets have popped off while I was eating, yet, and it’s been over six months now. Rubber bands have stained over time with the foods that I am eating, but by that time my next appointment is right around the corner.

Ceramic braces were more expensive. My insurance did not cover adult braces either way, though. When I talked to my orthodontist about the differences, it really came down to aesthetics, they function pretty much the same. I had just started planning my wedding, I have a milestone birthday coming up, and it just felt worth it to pay the additional upfront money to go with ceramic. I don’t get to change my rubber band colors every month, but I also can angle photos just right so that my braces don’t even show. Fair trade-off if you ask me.

feelings now

Over time, adult braces have not been so bad. I wouldn’t even say I had a moment when I truly wanted them taken off. I have joked about it from time to time, to be honest! Just based off of the progress I have already seen, I would say the pain has been worth it. Once per month I go in to get checked out and re-adjusted. At this point I pretty much know what to expect and how to make it through the cycle without whining. We’ve really been chugging along but we’re at the point where it’s time to slowly stage my teeth, so I should see less and less movement.

I do have moments when I am self-conscious about having braces as an adult but for the most part it’s something I get over quickly. Eating in public usually makes me a little nervous that I will literally have spinach stuck in my teeth when I smile, but I’ve set up a whole little braces travel kit that stays in my purse to deal with that.

I hope this post helps someone out there, or at least satisfies some curiosities. I am happy to answer specific questions about my experience so far! Just leave them in the comments.

4 Comments

  1. December 14, 2017 / 12:21 am

    Your braces look good! I can barely tell:) I had adult braces too but chose the metal braces because I was warned about the same problems of staining and breaking. I had them almost two years. I think it was definitely worth it!

    • December 14, 2017 / 9:47 pm

      I tend to agree so far! We’ll see how I feel when they come off…..

  2. RC
    January 21, 2018 / 6:14 pm

    Thank you for posting this!! I’ve been debating adult braves for about 6 months now and know my dental situation will only get worse and after reading your post, I’m ready! Bring on those ceramics!

    • January 21, 2018 / 6:30 pm

      I’m glad it answered some questions for you, RC! My teeth had been moving due to clenching so in my case, yes, it would only continue to get worse. It was more practical to fix the issue first, and then move on to retainers.

      I would really love to hear how it goes with your braces, too. Good luck!!

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