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The Journey with Braces

Eden Beyene, Staff Writer

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After over a year of multiple appointments, tightenings, and absolutely no gum, I have recently undergone what millions of teenagers dream about: getting my braces off. As high school students, many of us have braces or will have them in the near future.  

Spoiler alert: they will probably be a pain at some point in your journey. Here is some advice about what you will experience and how to deal with it.  

 

  1. While eating, your teeth will get sore. 

The day I got braces, the orthodontist warned me that later in the day, my teeth would be hurt: he wasn’t kidding. As I attempted to enjoy a plate of soft spaghetti for dinner, pain began to spread throughout my gums. Whenever this happened, it helped to stop eating and wait for the aching to subside. This way, the pain did not get worse, and I could still eat. If you do not want to stop your meal, you could also eat soups and food that doesn’t require chewing.

2. You aren’t in the clear after your teeth stop hurting. 

Once your teeth stop getting sore, congratulations, you can eat pain-free! Unfortunately, you will soon become irritated by the bits of food constantly getting stuck in your braces. I dealt with this by rinsing with water after meals and double checking in the mirror. If this doesn’t work, a toothpick should finish the job. 

3. Avoid certain foods. 

It’s common knowledge that eating gum and popcorn is illegal with braces. Although many still enjoy these treats with braces, consumption could cause you to wear braces for longer. I avoided them, and it wasn’t as difficult as it seemed. Other foods that are recommended to avoid are nuts and hard fruits and veggies. I still enjoyed these (and had no issues), although I sometimes cut them into smaller pieces. 

4. Wear those rubber bands 

It’s common for people with braces to have to wear rubber bands. These bands go between your top and bottom jaws and help align them. When you first wear them, you will eventually feel a similar sense of pain. Try to take your mind of off the pain; it will subside as you get used to the bands. What you should not do is stop wearing them; this will extend the amount of time you have braces. 

5. When you finally get the braces off… 

Celebrate, you have your mouth back! But be prepared: you will be given permanent and temporary retainers. You may be familiar with plastic retainers that go on the top teeth, but a permanent retainer is a small piece of metal that is glued to the back of your bottom teeth. It is recommended that you wear it for your whole life. Thankfully, it is unnoticeable (even to the wearer), and you have the option of removing it later in life. 

 

Braces are long and painful journey; but if you stay strong and follow the orthodontist’s advice, you will soon get used to them. Before you know it, you will be scheduling your appointment to get them removed. 

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The Journey with Braces