Brace Yourself for Getting Braces as an Adult

I recently did something without doing much research, and honestly, without thinking it through. This is a little out of character for me, and I hope I learned a valuable lesson young lady! It’s like I forgot who I was. What did I do, you ask? I got braces. Gasp! Sounds harmless, right? And so many people get them for good reason, so what’s the big deal?

Let me start with saying I completely understand that there are many reasons people need braces. To correct things like a bite that is off, overbite, underbite, all of which can cause headaches and even backaches, and also to correct severely misaligned teeth. Please do not take this post to mean that I don’t approve of braces categorically. I do. However, I wish I hadn’t gone that route to correct a minor imperfection. I got braces because a couple of my teeth were slightly out of place. Nobody noticed it. Ever. And I knew that, but when I looked at pictures of myself all I saw was my snaggletooth. And with our wedding fast approaching, I wanted it corrected in time to have snaggletooth-free wedding photos. So off to the doc I went.

I chose a system called “Six Month Smiles” that touts just that – your teeth straightened in 5 to 8 months on average. Since the big day was just over 5 months away, I willingly opened my mouth (and my wallet) and Dr. Powell inserted braces. I was expecting discomfort. What I got was pain. No, I mean PAIN. The first 48 hours were extremely painful. It not only hurt to eat or drink; it just plain hurt. The other part of the problem was that I have a bit of claustrophobia (for lack of a better self-diagnosis). I’m ok with small spaces, but I don’t like to be restrained or to have things attached to me. I can’t deal with fake nails, tight watches, and so on. So you can imagine the overwhelming feeling of wanting to tear these things off of my teeth. Every day. Brilliant.

Thank goodness I had them put on Friday afternoon which gave me the weekend to deal with the shock. By Monday I was able to function without Tylenol and vino, but still couldn’t eat solid food. Everything I ate came from a blender. After a few days I graduated to soft foods like hard boiled eggs, avocados, and bananas. Another week later I was eating most of my usual foods but with a fork and knife and cut into very small pieces. I willingly did this to myself (unbelievable).

I was eccstatic when the braces came off after just four months. Apparently I fall into a group of folks I call fast tooth movers. Dr. Powell probably has a much fancier term but I didn’t hang around to hear it. At one of my every-three-week appointments to have them tightened, I had a gap between two teeth at 7:45 a.m. and at 5:30 p.m. the gap was closed. I am not even kidding a little bit. No wonder it was so painful.

Before I get to the “this is what bugs me” section, I want to be very clear that the results are wonderful. Check out the before & afters. My teeth are straight for the first time that I can recall and I’m very happy with my smile. Kudos to Dr. Powell and his talent with fast-moving teeth! But in hindsight would I do it again? No. No. And let me just say, no.

(Ken very lovingly suggested I not post the ultra close-ups
from the dentist…he said they were oogy)



I think what doesn’t sit right with me is that this is not who I am. Yes, I am a girly-girl, but I will likely never use botox, nor will I ever have breast implants. I am not judging anyone who has chosen to do either; I’m just saying it’s not my cup of tea. But I was ok with having hardware installed in my mouth that caused extreme pain, prevented me from eating like a normal adult, and oh by the way the retainer I’m now wearing for 30 days makes me sound like Daffy Duck. All because one tooth was out of place? I did that? That’s what bugs me. Sigh. Well, only three more weeks of the retainer, and my smile is lovely. I forgive myself this time, but going forward I plan to not alter anything more than my hair color. Remind me 🙂