What It’s Like Having Adult Braces
One day in August 2016 I woke up for my orthodontist appointment to fit my braces. It’s been quite a ride & I wanted to share the experience with you. There may be others like me out there who want to fix their teeth but don’t know the How-T0. So here goes my experience, the fun & the not so great.
The process starts with taking scans & images for the DR to decide the treatment and what needs to be fixed. There is a consultation fee to this which is about R500, medical aid pays for this if you have one. This is followed by the Dr explaining what s/he will be fixing i.e. what teeth will be pushed pulled etc. This also comes with a quote of the entire process. Mine was ……… It shocked me as I assumed not that much needed to be fixed. Anyways there was a monthly payment plan, which made it way easier. There was an initial payment which was also handled by my medical aid. The braces then get fitted in the same or follow up appointment.
The first week was the hardest. Adjusting to them as well as the soreness/pain you feel. It’s really not bumping your little toe pain, but it is painful. Remember braces move teeth embedded in bone, sooo you can imagine. I could’t chew for those days and ate liquids mostly. Brushing teeth was also hard because of the pain.
After a week or so, the pain subsides and you start eating. I go for follow up’s every 4/5 weeks where the braces get tightened or adjusted. This continues until the end of the treatment
The myth/belief that people get braces to lock their teeth so they don’t eat as much is not true. You can eat as much as you like, just certain things are not recommended as they may break the braces. E.g. I have not had ribs, bitten into an apple, rusk etc for over a year.
Food gets stuck in your braces all the time. Brushing of teeth happens all the time after meals so your bag will always have a set of tooth cleaning products. You will get strange looks in restaurant bathrooms when you brush your teeth midday post a steak meal. A lady once said to me “Gosh was the food that bad you had to wash the taste off” “”rolling eyes””. Yes I brush at work, in restaurants, chisa nyama you name it. I am that girl brushing her teeth while others are fixing their faces in the bathroom.
___________________________________The Politics of it all____________________________
If I was given money for every time I was asked to grin so that people may see my teeth, I’d finally afford that holiday. People annoyed me to death asking me that. Not sure what they wanted to see. So I was supposed to be a clown giving a grin for their pleasure because they want to see my braces. Anyways….
Then there were the sexual questions like Dineo can you still kiss your man? Oh well I guess some people use their teeth when kissing to which I say good luck with that relationship. They will even go as far as asking if you can still give a blowjob. Again not sure what the front of their teeth have to do with this activity. Maybe I have been doing wrong all the while.
Some people will be as mean as saying “aren’t you too old for braces?”. It stings a bit but then you realize how sad maybe that person is.
I wanted the clear adult ones but the cost was too high for me & I had to go for the “normal ones”. Of course my journey did not start with me having braces fitted. It started with a Dineo who grew up very insecure. My smile was one thing I hated the most about myself. It made me feel so uncomfortable even though when I told my friends they would always say I’m crazy. Anyways I knew that I always wanted to do something about it. In my community I never saw much of it, I guess because of the cost and access to the DR’s that do it.
At first you will be self conscious and not smile as much, but then if you are having braces it means there was something to be self conscious about in the first place hence we are here. This all goes away as they become part of you (only for a while). It goes away eventually and you soon just roll with it.
Any journey that is for self and self improvement I am always pro. There will be negative’s along the way but the beauty of it all is also that you are now grown and can deal with them with a hint of “I know who I am”.
What I’m Wearing
The dress is from H&M, the Earrings are from WAIF, & the Bubbles from JC Le Roux, A fave of mine