I am going to talk about a topic which usually, the less about, the better: braces. I am not going to bore you with the long story about why I got them at this late age. (I actually wrote a description all out but found it too dull. See how good I am to you?)
Anyway, I have braces and I am in my first year of university. When the appointment finally arrived for them to be installed, I thought that I may as well get them out the way. I wasn’t really concerned with how I’d look, although my family members did try to make me with their teasing! The reason why it didn’t work is because I thought that since I was in university, I would not have to deal with sitting in a classroom five hours a day with my braces glinting in the sunlight as I talked. The other reason was that we university students are a mature lot. Yes, yes you go ahead and laugh in disbelief but I have yet to be called brace face by anyone or even questioned about them.
I think the reason why we tend to fear having braces is because of the teasing we think we will receive but just like glasses/spectacles, the stigma is beginning to decrease. Saying that, I wouldn’t want the stigma to decrease totally because that may cause children to simply abandon their toothbrush. The other factor of course is the pain that comes with braces.
This was one thing I was quite interested in finding out as when people say that ‘it hurts’ then you never really know what to make of that unless you experience it yourself. After they were put into my mouth, I was fooled into thinking that they were okay. They felt normal! The packet soup that I had for dinner wasn’t even needed and I thought that people must make such a fuss over braces for no reason.
The next morning was a different story. I awoke to someone’s bony fingers wrapped around my teeth. That’s what the braces now felt like. I opened my mouth and that was when the pain began. Every time my teeth touched something slightly solid, they would cry out in protest and the tubs of yoghurt finished far too quickly. This lasted a week and then slowly, my teeth began to feel strong again. You know when you break your arm and they put it in a cast? The first few days, it feels terribly weak but by the end of the month, you’re walking around hitting people with it! Then when the cast is sawed off, you are astounded to see your tiny fragile looking arm sitting in your lap.
That’s how your teeth feel when your braces are tightened every few weeks. You are lulled into thinking they do not hurt anymore then suddenly the dentist appointment looms on your calendar and you come home needing soup.
It’s been two days since the last tightening and they have been hurting quite a bit. It is BEARABLE though, taking pain-killers help of course but you can manage with braces. All you need to do is ignore your brother when he calls you rail-tracks and endure the three-weekly pain by swallowing a couple of paracetamol pills. Oh and of course, take care of your teeth, we must not forget that. Although after reading the frightening warning leaflets at the Orthodontics I doubt you could even think about forgetting.
Until Next Time
A Worried Student