Thursday, October 2, 2014


I'm actually pre-wrote this because I didn't want to post it and make my friends suspicious of me getting my braces off because I didn't tell them prior to getting them off.

So, I'm sure you've already heard about tons of stuff about braces. But I'll tell you what you didn't know. ...Or maybe you did know. Either way, here we go.

  • How braces work.
    • The wire is a special kind of wire (not the kind you use for jewelry making or whatever) that when it gets to body temperature, it warms up and tries to straighten out, pulling your teeth along with it. The colored bands just hold the wire to the brackets.
  • What you can and can't eat.
    • You can eat basically anything. The ONLY thing I avoid is Cliff bars. I love Cliff bars, but I've eaten two with braces, and both times, I broke my chain. A chain is the colored thing that connects all of your brackets. I've had a chain and no chain, and I found that I need to be more careful with avoiding certain foods if I have a chain, because it breaks more easily. But other than that, I can basically eat anything. Just be aware that certain foods will be harder to get out of your braces than others. Popcorn is particularly hard to get out of your braces, because of the kernel shells that get stuck under brackets. But that doesn't mean you can't eat it.

  • Tips I recommend carrying around floss, those things (pictured on left - your orthodontist will probably give you some, if not, you can find them at the grocery store in the toothpaste aisle), and Colgate Wisps (mini toothbrushes with built-in toothpaste) in case you get anything stuck in your braces.

  • How you can avoid getting those white spots on your teeth
    • Just brush your teeth, and brush them well. Those spots are caused by leaving plaque on your teeth, which causes a white stain surrounding where the bracket was. So if you prevent plaque by brushing your teeth, you should be fine. My guess is that orthodontists just want to scare you into brushing your teeth, and this only happens to 2% of people with braces.
  • The white spots aren't always from braces.
    • So don't make assumptions! One of my teeth has a white spot, and it's not from braces. It was there before. Same story with one of my friends, but she has more of them. The white spots that were caused by not brushing with braces look more like there's white surrounding an invisible square.
  • Are braces really that bad?
    • Someone asked me that recently. No. They're actually fine. I once heard someone say they wished they had braces because "they're like jewelry for your teeth."
  • Braces or Invisalign?
    • I say braces, because it's cheaper and FAR less time consuming. However, it's really a case-by-case thing, so if you're given an option, I would say braces.
  • How long I had my braces
    • 2 and a quarter years.
  • Worst part of braces for me?
    • I had a 100% overbite when I started braces, so I had a lot of extra stuff done to my teeth, which is what was the worst. I had turbos, which are pieces of cement that go under your two front teeth if you have an overbite to prevent you from biting down on your braces. Those were bad because it was just frustrating not to be able to bite down all the way. It made it harder to chew, because my back teeth were about a centimeter apart when I bit down.
    • Also, I had springs for a while instead of elastics because the elastics weren't effective enough, and the springs cut my mouth a lot.
    • Also, mouth cutting in general was annoying. Sometimes there were sharp parts that cut my mouth. It's definitely manageable though, nothing too painful.
  • Retainers
    • Right after you get your braces off, they tell you that you're in for a lifetime of retainer wearing. It's quite a downer after you're all excited about getting your braces off.
    • I got a clear (Essix) retainer for my top teeth and I'm going to be getting a metal wire (Hawley) retainer for my bottom teeth. I might write a blog post comparing the two. I'm going to have to wear them for 4 months all day and all night, then just at night. If after 4 months, my front teeth start to gap, I'm going to get a permanent retainer just behind those teeth, which is a metal wire that's bonded to the backs of the teeth to keep them in place. So maybe I'll end up with all 3 types of retainers! But anyway, the clear retainer is really annoying and I always feel the need to take it out because it's plastic in my mouth and it feels weird and super frustrating. It also makes my teeth feel a lot thicker. I haven't gotten my metal wire retainer yet.

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