Open mouth. Close mouth. Hmm, weird. Smile. Look in mirror.
Tomorrow marks the first month since those thoughts first rushed into my head following that fateful encounter in the dentist’s chair. Or, in other words, the first month since I became a braceface.
Getting and having braces is annoying. And really, I’m not just saying that. In fact, for those of you going through this phase now … I feel you, I really do. And for those considering getting braces, just be wary.
- Be prepared to sit in the dentist’s chair for longer than you’d like. Unlike regular teeth-cleaning sessions, having your braces put on can take much longer. The dentist took … almost an hour doing mine, I think! Obviously, it can be quite a time-stealer, but if you’re looking for something productive to do: hey, sleeping isn’t such a bad idea. (If you really do want to know, I did take a nap while the dentist was putting the brackets on my teeth. Though in my defense, I was trying to catch up on sleep!)
- Brace yourself for the pain. (Pun intended!) Boldly proclaim that you’re getting braces and this is the kind of response they’ll most likely give you, especially those speaking from a first-hand experience. And though I wish I could tell you how untrue it all is … alas! They speak the truth. It may just seem extremely awkward at the start, but on the first day, your teeth’ll begin to hurt. And unfortunately, the pain isn’t exactly short-lived. Later on, you’re bound to get mouth sores too. But take comfort: at least, it’s not that bad?
- It’s worse than if you’d just gotten a haircut. Of course, that Monday back at school doesn’t do much to help. Your fellow metal-mouthed friends will gush over you and cries and comments like “Oh my gosh, you got BRACES!” or “Dude! Nice.” won’t be short in supply. For some crazy reason, people suddenly like giving you big smiles too. A lot. Weird, I know. Told you it was worse than getting a haircut.
- You’ll appreciate food much, much more. Oh, food. I love food. Don’t get me started on the food. Those first few days, it’s absolutely impossible to enjoy any of the food you eat. Me? I was stuck eating soft foods such as lugaw (savory Filipino rice porridge), scrambled eggs with lots of milk and very airy chiffon cake. And when offered something that looks absolutely delectable, but too hard to chew? “No thanks I can’t eat that.” Horrible words, really. After my first week, I thought I might actually be able to upgrade! But, no such luck because to make matters worse, they put an expander in my upper jaw. Brilliant. Back to the lugaw. This is probably one of the greatest banes of every braceface. I mean, let me tell you: A fellow bracefaced friend, who’s had hers for longer than I have, asked me at lunch two weeks ago if I wanted to try her spring rolls. Without speaking word, I gave her that “Are you kidding me?” look – glaring eyes and mouth in a straight line. The effect was immediate. “Oh, right,” she said, understanding completely. You see? YOU SEE?!
My dad though, being optimistic, remarked that hey, at least I’ll lose weight. Fun? Er, not so much. But true? Haha, alright, yes.
- Food will get stuck. It’s the inevitable. Where there’s space for food to get stuck, it will – whether it’s in between your teeth, under your wire or somewhere else. A tiny toothbrush that can poke in-between the spaces under your wire certainly isn’t a bad idea. Thank goodness for mirrors too.
Well, at least for now, it’s not too bad. I mean, you do get used to the braces after a while and I think I can safely say that for the moment, the worst is over. I have been warned that the painful mushy-food phase will repeat itself every time the dentist adjusts my braces though, which is likely to be on a monthly basis.
So, they say 18-24 months of this? Oh, joy.