My daughter got braces put on her teeth yesterday. I had braces back when I was in 7th grade but that was a millennium ago. I have vague recollections of wires being tightened and my teeth hurting but what I mostly remember is that my orthodontist had a Dig Dug cabinet in the office that we could play for free. Dig Dug was awesome. I think there was also a Ms. Pac-Man table but I didn’t play that nearly as much as Dig Dug.
Needless to say, I went into this whole braces thing with a little bit of knowledge but not a ton.
The whole thing started back in the beginning of February. Braces, nowadays, are fitted by computer. They take computer scans of your teeth. From these scans, custom brackets are made just for you. It takes approximately seven weeks for the orthodontist to get these custom brackets back from the manufacturer. Once the brackets arrive, those computer scans tell the orthodontist where on your teeth to place them. Depending on what all you are getting, that can take anywhere from one to two hours. My daughter’s appointment took just under two hours.
And that is that. You get instructions on how to brush your teeth properly and about a hundred different devices to make sure both your brackets and teeth are clean. My daughter got a new toothbrush and a mini toothbrush-like tool to use at school. There were two different types of floss and a little mint-flavored stick-thing that helps in between teeth. Lots of little do-dads to help keep your teeth awesome.
Then there is a list of types of food you shouldn’t eat. Chewy things, like caramel or sour patch kids, aren’t good because they can dislodge brackets and they are difficult to clean out of crevices in teeth. (Honestly, they aren’t good for non-braced teeth either.) Biting into fruits like apples is a no-go because you can rip the brackets off your front teeth. These foods need to be sliced up. To this day, I still slice all of my fruit. Popcorn is another snack that isn’t great for braced or regular teeth due to the kernel shells that get stuck in between teeth and gums. There are probably a ton more than I can’t remember off the top of my head.
Yeah, it will suck having braces for awhile. (My daughter is supposed to have them for about 22 months.) But it will be better in the long run when your teeth function properly.