To quote Hank Hill from King of the Hill, “Just another idiot with adult braces.” More and more adults are getting braces. And no, we are not idiots!
For those of you that do not know, last July I got braces for the first time. It’s been an interesting journey to say the least. My teeth have always been an issue for me, but my mom being a single mom, could not afford braces for me when I was younger. I always planned on getting braces and talked about doing so since high school.
The breaking point for me was when my already jacked-up lower teeth were crowding even more to the point that on one side, they were coming together to form a triangle. Every time I ate, food would get caught in the little pocket it formed. It got to be so awkward and frustrating that I had to be given a special tiny toothbrush to properly brush that area. Really? I had had enough!
Humor really does help. When I was filling out the paperwork for my first meeting with my orthodontist, I answered the question why are you interested in getting braces, as such: I have three teeth that are forming a triangle where food gets caught, my teeth are crowding forward way more than 20 years ago and I would like to look less British. This is no offense to British people. It is just my warped sense of humor. Luckily, my orthodontist gets my humor.
I have had a great experience so far with my braces. They are hopefully coming off in December of this year, fingers crossed. That said, I have had some bumps along the way. I thought I would share my experience to give my 40 year old mom vantage point as opposed to your average teenager (or younger) child going through this.
When I first got my braces on, I will tell you, it hurt way longer than I thought it would. I don’t think I even allowed my teeth to touch for at least 5 days, possibly longer. At the time, I was a vegan, so it was quite the change from my usual diet. It’s taken lots of adjustments and tweaking with my diet.
I find I eat a lot more nut butters than I did before. I have to cut up carrots now and find that tearing a sandwich into small pieces is preferential over just biting into it. Salads are doable but after eating one, I feel like I resemble the front car grill after an all-night summer drive!
I found out the hard way why they tell you NOT to eat popcorn when you have braces. My family eats popcorn at least twice a week. On top of that, the company I work for has a popcorn maker on every floor and popcorn is being made all day long. The worst part is smelling it. It’s like crack. I swear it is. (No, I’ve never taken drugs. I’m just saying!) One night I couldn’t take it anymore and in a moment of weakness, I ate some popcorn. It was heavenly…
I continued eating popcorn and not admitting it to my ortho with no consequences for about 4 months. Then one night, I was brushing my teeth and using that little dent-a-stick thing to floss and noticed my bottom back wire was completely bent and sticking out. Da da da DA!!!! Busted! The phone call the next morning went from overly casual on my end to Catholic confessional when asked if I had wax to put over the wire.
That was my first lesson learned. I got it. We all had a good laugh – at my expense.
Stay tuned for more less-than-Zen Adult Braces installments. If nothing else, it’s a good laugh, right?