Orthodontics - Orthognathic surgery

Orthodontics - Orthognathic surgery > My story > OCTOBER 20, 2006 - The installation of my first braces

My story

OCTOBER 20, 2006 - The installation of my first braces

Read the introduction on my story

Note: What follows is not an email that I had sent to my loved ones. It's rather the story of the installation of my upper braces as I remember it. I thought that it would be a good idea to present this story to prepare those who don't know what to expect during their appointment to install their braces.

The day I got my first braces installed will forever be engraved in my mind. (I specified the installation of my "first braces", because the installation of my lower braces was done a few weeks after the installation of my upper braces. Indeed, my upper teeth needed to move more, which would take a little bit more time than the movements to perform on my lower teeth. On October 20, 2006, I underwent the installation of the upper braces only.) I had heard so many horror stories about hours and days following the installation of braces that I was afraid, on the morning of Friday, October 20, 2006, to go get my braces installed.

I knew that my braces were a long-term investment on my health and on my self-esteem, but I also knew that several things that still scared me would happen during my orthodontic treatments, such as the planned orthognathic surgery.

My appointment to get my braces installed was early in the afternoon and I had decided in advance what I would eat as the last meal without braces: a club sandwich! I told myself that it was a judicious choice, because I love this meal and I had heard people say that I would not be able to bite with my front teeth for the total duration of my orthodontic treatments. I can tell you that I savored my club sandwich thoroughly that lunchtime at my cubicle at work!

I was so hectic when I went to my appointment at my orthodontist's clinic. I didn't go there unwillingly, because my decision was made and I was at peace with it, but I was still quite nervous about what would happen! I then came in and after a few minutes waiting, a hygienist came for me in the waiting room to bring me to the "torture chair" as I had previously designated it.

The installation of my upper braces took more than an hour if I remember well, because the hygienists and my orthodontist had to glue the brackets one by one on all my upper teeth, except on the wisdom teeth. The brackets also had to be glued at the right place according to the location chosen by my orthodontist by analyzing my teeth models which had been made during a previous appointment. It looked like a whole fastidious work to glue the brackets, because my teeth had to be dry for the glue to bind correctly. I must specify that throughout the installation of brackets, my lips were held by a device so they would not fall back on my teeth. (It was not very pleasant, let's say it!) After all the brackets were glued to my upper teeth, a hygienist proceeded to the installation of the orthodontic wire through the brackets. It was difficult to achieve this, because a few of my teeth were so crooked compared to their neighbors that the orthodontic wire would not stay in place! She had to make little ligatures using metal tie wires instead of conventional elastics to be able to hold the wire properly through the brackets!

When the hygienist told me that the installation was over, I was very surprised to feel less pain than I expected. I was under the impression that I would feel a pressure on my teeth immediately after the installation of the orthodontic wire through the brackets. The hygienist told me that the pain would kick in in the following hours and she suggested that I take Advil caplets as a preventive measure.

I followed her advice and it was a smart move! At dinnertime, the pain had already kicked in and I was under the effect of an Advil caplet! I remember spending a weird evening that night... I watched the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" and I must admit that even though the movie is "special", I felt as if I were in another world with my pain in the mouth! It's difficult to explain, but it felt as if my upper teeth were all numb and extremely painful! I also remember taking another Advil caplet before going to bed that evening, as a preventive measure to spend an acceptable night... Fortunately, it was Friday night, so I would have the whole weekend to recover from all the emotions of the day.

On the following day, that is Saturday morning, I woke up with a horrible pain in my upper teeth! The first thing I thought of at that moment was to ask myself how come I had had the idea of getting braces installed! I could not believe that I would have braces for a period ranging from 24 to 30 months!! When I tried to touch my teeth without inflicting too much pain on myself, I was also under the impression that my teeth were already a little loose in the gum.

Soft food and Advil caplets were a most on the first days following the installation of my upper braces. At first, I could not bear biting or chewing with my teeth, but after a few days, I was already used to the pain which kept on subsiding day after day. At first, the rubbing of the brackets against the inside of my cheeks caused a lot of irritation, but with time, the skin got used to it and it would not hurt me as much.

Throughout my orthodontic treatments and from the first day my braces were installed, it took me a lot more time to clean my teeth after meals. However, it was important to me to have an exceptional dental hygiene during my orthodontic treatments, so it didn't bother me to invest time to keep my teeth as clean as possible. Indeed, my orthodontist had told me that with a meticulous dental hygiene, I was putting all chances on my side for having my teeth move quickly and for my treatments to last the planned duration.

The first weeks, my upper teeth seem to move before my eyes! I was already very happy with the results and I was also amazed to see how fast my teeth were moving. At least, I was not suffering for nothing! It was very encouraging and I was almost looking forward to having my lower braces installed...


Read the next email

Return to the top of the page