Adult Braces

It seems like I usher in the new year by getting dental work. It’s a tradition I’d like to ditch, but that seems fairly unlikely. This year’s dental project is adult braces! Why? Well, I had an upper tooth extracted, a dental implant put in, then the tooth next to it shifted significantly, and braces are the least damaging method to get enough space to to put in a new tooth on the implant post. At this point I’ve exceeded the down-payment on my house dealing with one tooth, and it’s probably close to buying a new car.

I recently had a transpalatal arch hooked up (put in? installed? is there any less awkward wording? Haha). It’s like a harness or bra in your teeth. For me, this is step one, which will help straighten out the one wonky tooth, and slowly push it back to where it should be. Eventually I might get brackets if there’s a lot of shifting with the rest of my teeth to even it out. My teeth are fairly straight, though I’ve got some crowding just beyond the front. Braces were suggested as a kid, though I never got them and for some reason I always wanted them since a lot of my friends had them and got cool rubber bands put on their brackets. I was a weird, and incredibly stupid kid. Braces suck. I’m barely a week in to this non-bracketed set up and I already can’t wait to get them off.

Let’s go to the beginning. What’s it like to get adult braces on?

First, they put teeny rubber bands between your teeth to make room for the metal. That was the most painful part of this so far. After a week they remove the rubber bands and put in the metal gear. It’s still a bit sore after slapping in the metal parts of the arch/braces, but only when eating. The arch lays above the tongue/just below the roof of the mouth. It makes eating fairly difficult. So far leafy greens get caught up in it very easily. My tongue also keeps rubbing against the arch, which wasn’t really noticeable until about day 5 when it started getting a little sore.

I’ve been able to mow small bits of meat with more ease than I thought, but soft foods rule for the most part. I though this would result in weight loss, but my fast reliance on pudding, ice cream, and soft cheese is starting to indicate otherwise. Even bread is a bit difficult to eat, which is weird. It gets caught in the side bracket of the arch in a way that bothers me and isn’t easily removed.

The other side of this is that for some reason the arch makes me feel thirsty, so I’m constantly drinking water, so I’m very hydrated.

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