I remember being very excited about getting braces. Nice perfect teeth were important to me in general. I went to the orthodontist in 8th grade where id have to sit and wait a dew minutes before they called my name. The atmosphere of the waiting room was small and quiet, clean. I was happy I never had to wait too long unlike other doctor visits. They’d call my name and I went I and they took photos of my mouth from all angles. The process of putting them on was very painless, I got silver bands the very first time then black the rest.
It wasn’t until I had to get them tightened every month did I feel pain. I went through school smiling a lot but never during pictures. I guess I didn’t think braces were seen as stylish and attractive so I never opened my mouth in pictures. Invisalign got popular because of that, who wouldn’t want braces you can’t see?
Another thing was the dietary restrictions, no popcorn, no gummy candy. I wasn’t the biggest junk food eater so that wasn’t too bad.
I do recall once getting my braces and I preferred certain orthodontic assistant but you never got to choose. I got one lady that was very rough treated my mouth like it wasn’t attached to a human. She clearly didn’t want to be there but as a patient I didn’t want her helping me and she brought my mood down as a result.
After I got my braces i went to the dentist. He told me my wisdom teeth were coming in and would need to be removed. My mom and I were worried it would effect my progress or my braces. We questioned why he didn’t tell us this before I got them on. He assured us it would be okay and it didn’t matter. And luckily it didn’t.
My first time in surgery was exciting I was going under anesthesia. They asked my questions about school and about myself. The next thing I know I was out. I honestly thought they cared but mom said they just needed to make sure I was out. I came out of sleep a little and remember them moving my mouth, then I went under again. After the procedure, I basically panicked for no reason. I wasn’t hurting, I just started sobbing. They assured me that my reaction was normal and it happens sometimes.
Once I went home with gauze and pain pills, I couldn’t eat hard things. I ate mashed potatoes, Mac and cheese and for dessert my mom made me chocolate shakes. I was in the bed most of the time they told me not to talk as much either. I enjoyed being taken care of. The only complication was one extraction point was bleeding a bit too much, so they told me to use tea bags instead. That wasn’t typical of biomedicine to suggest an herbal remedy, but it did work.
Overall the surgery was successful. The only downside was my reaction the the anesthesia and he excess bleeding. It was a quick procedure that’s didn’t have any long term health effects overall. That’s a strength of biomedicine, surgery.
Three years went by before I could get my braces off. I got my retainer but they didn’t give me any cleaning instructions, I had to ask. That was a little weird. Thy just said “oh you can use denture cleaner” so that’s what I’ve been using.
I know if I stop wearing my retainer my teeth will go back to wear they were because I have a friend who’s lost hers like twice. Braces are very expensive but aren’t a permanent fix. I try to wear mine every night (I probably can do it less than that) because it became a habit and I don’t want to reverse the process.