Getting braces when you’re a teen can sometimes feel like the end of the world. Especially at school. Suddenly, you find yourself with these strange metal contraptions jutting out your mouth. And there’s no chance of hiding it, either—if it’s not your smile that gives it away, it’s the way you speak. First-timers might find that the sensation can take a lot of getting used to, mainly when you eat or speak. Any attempts to do so ranges from slight discomfort to the mildly horrifying. The experience is so ubiquitous that people have taken to Twitter to recount their best and worst experiences #growingupwithbraces.
Social media is a funny thing, in a sense. In the absence of a physical collective, it stands in as a collection of the hopes, fears, and worries of a particular demographic. And in the case of #growingupwithbraces, it’s the travails of eating after a tightening session and getting stabbed in the cheek from a stray braces wire. And while it’s all good fun, for the most part, there are some things we can learn from these experiences.
Whether you’re about to get braces for the first time or an orthodontist with a penchant for surfing the web, it’s always helpful to know what to expect. And, if possible, know what could be improved on. That said, here are a few things you could gather from #growingupwithbraces.
- Getting a dental impression isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be
The #growingupwithbraces Twitter has made its verdict, and it is this: dental impressions are officially the worst. The taste isn’t mainly the best thing in the world. You can’t help but feel there’s something not quite right once it’s put in place. And you still have to wait for the icky stuff to set. Unfortunately, they won’t be going away any time soon—they’re essential for building whatever restoration you need, braces or otherwise. Fortunately, you might not need to slog through this for long. Currently, there’s been work on the way to take digital dental impressions, where images of the teeth are used to create an impression. The technology still isn’t very widely circulated, however, and still needs a few tweaks. Nonetheless, hopefully down the line, this method should make getting braces a little less nasty.
- Being cut with metal wire is more common than you think
Braces injuries are no fun—especially if they’re a literal hole in your mouth. One of the hardest things about getting braces is when the orthodontist forgets to cut off the wire, leading to a mild case of impalement. Bottom line? Don’t forget to cut the extra cord—your patient will forever be grateful for it.
- Eating after braces tightening is the worst
Once you get braces, you’ll find you’re cut off from a lot of things. Eating your favorite food is, unfortunately, one of them. Attempting to do so post-braces—and after getting them tightened—will most likely feel like punishment. While most people may opt to binge all their favorites as a way of saying goodbye, this period of your life doesn’t need to be all that terrible. Making a list of food you can and do want to eat can alleviate much of those braces woes.
- Sometimes you eat the things you shouldn’t
Sometimes the lure of food proves too strong, and you end up breaking your brace brackets on something you shouldn’t have eaten. When this happens, chances are you might feel a bout of guilt before your follow-up appointment.
Sure, it can prove to be a significant setback on your progress, but not all is lost. Despite everything, your orthodontist will most likely understand. And you will be able to bounce back from it eventually. But just in case, you might want not to do it again the next time.