The Brace-ful Lifestyle

Last week, someone in our office had her braces removed. She is now on retainers and wears a closeup smile. Sigh! All I could do was look at her with a tinge of envy, wishing my braces were coming off soon too.

For those who have never gone through braces, and do not have to, count yourselves lucky. Much as finding out you had a health condition that limits the kind of food you can take in, getting braces likewise entails some lifestyle changes.

Ms. Jaws – Keep your self-esteem intact because all your photos for the next couple of years will have you sporting the metallic look. Find time to practice your smile before a mirror, taking note of the best angle and side that does not reveal too much teeth wire. And if you cannot truly stand your new look, be ready to plunk down some money for a crash course in Adobe Photoshop so you can be a techie and make those metals vanish in a flash.

Kikay Kit – And who says only teens and yuppies have kikay kits? I carry my dental kikay kit around with me all the time! While my daughters have their mascara, nail polish, comb, blusher and lip gloss inside, the contents of my kikay kit are as follows: wax (an absolute must), interdental brush (for those nasty food particles that choose to embed themselves in the most obvious of places between your teeth), a handy toothbrush and a tiny tube of toothpaste.

It does not matter if I am just going to a coffeeshop, watching a movie, or going to a formal affair. The kikay kit is part and parcel of my “outfit”. Even when attending weddings, the wax and interdental brush come with me, even if I have to stuff them down my husband’s pants pocket (which I have successfully avoided so far despite the fact that my purse is usually a teenie weenie one).

Food Choices – Out with the chicharon, nuts, gum and sticky stuff. Soft diet RULES!!! (OK, that is my way of coping instead of griping, so bear with me). Every time I come from the ortho with brand new adjustments that move teeth here and there, the cook at home knows that my food choices for the next several days should be as mushy as Gerber.

The Art of Flossing – If you find flossing a pain in the —, trust me it is nothing compared to flossing with braces. Never, never again will I complain about flossing once these contraptions come off. Picture this. Give yourself at least 20-30 minutes from start to end. Instead of the thread just being brought between the teeth in downward-upward motion, you now have to tackle the teeth ONE AT A TIME. And for every tooth, the waxed thread has to be inserted under and through the bracket, carefully inserted between the teeth, pulled up, then back again through the bracket. Multiply this motion by the number of teeth you have, UP AND DOWN!

But through all these, I find myself enduring and bearing up. In a few months, hopefully, I will be in the same position as my officemate who flashed her greatest smile sans the braces. With great power pain comes great responsibility smile! 🙂

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0 thoughts on “The Brace-ful Lifestyle

  1. My bag tends to be heavy because of my kikay kit. I can never leave out without it. I never really noticed you wore braces. Maybe because you have a natural smile which distracts me from focusing on the braces. I don’t know how it feels to wear braces but I had 2 girls who endured it for many years. And your tips are quite useful.

    Jane:
    Ay, thanks naman Noemi. I actually love your smile, photogenic. Large bags will probably stay in fashion for quite some time to accommodate our kikay kits. 🙂

  2. youre in pain, pero im amused by how you wrote about it. kakatuwa 🙂
    i used to wear retainers and it was tough. so mas mahirap pala pag braces,kala ko pareho lang 🙂

    Jane: Cess, di hamak na mas mahirap mag braces kaysa sa retainers. Almost 1-1/2 yrs na rin ako with this. What’s a few more months?

  3. LOL, i agree with Cess! You wrote this in a very amusing way.

    I must let my daughter read this post.. Because she is excited to get her braces next summer. LOL akala nya hindi mahirap.. She knows it will be painful. But, the flossing, my gosh, mabusisi pala. I will let her read this. Though she really has no choice, she must have braces. Hay, kawawa.

    Konting tiis nalang, and you will soon have that pretty close-up smile! 🙂

    Jane: Chats! My high school son also wants braces before he smiles for his graduation picture. So it may be some time next year too. Told him we will only do it when he is good and ready AND wants it. Thanks for the boost, it sure makes me feel better. Lapit na! 🙂

  4. I have a long way to go with my braces. My ortho is looking at one year. I’m on my way to 2nd month of having these metal wires. One good thing is I’m able to have forced diet. I can’t eat just like that though. Not even pasta coz I couldn’t bite well. It takes me a long time to chew. And the adjustment, oh wow..I asked my ortho if there is anything that can ease the pain while adjusting the wires, like put something on the gum to make it numb. Wala daw. I’m just looking at the “end product”, my teeth will be properly aligned after all these and I’ll smile better perhaps. 🙂

    Jane:
    Hi Lynn. Wow, your 2nd month! Yes, you are going through the worst part of braces since your gums are still tender and sores just keep popping up everywhere. And those adjustments are killers! I know exactly how you feel but trust me, it will get better. And together, we can look forward to the time when they come off. How about we celebrate your “coming off day” by pigging out, huh?

  5. and I concur with everyone, you’re kinda witty pa and candid in writing this post though I can sense the braises must have been very inconvenient to wear. way to go Jane, konting tyaga pa and you’ll have that perfect smile finally!

    so you’re Ok na Jane after surgery?

    Jane: Feng, lucky me (hindi ba soup yon? :-). I did not have to undergo invasive surgery. The stone blasting done on me used shockwaves and fortunately, it worked. The stone is blasted to pieces. But….some fragments remain inside so I have to be diligent about drinking LOTS of liquid to flush these out.

  6. Funny but my daughter and I were reviewing my high school photos and she said “Eew mom, you had braces in third year?” so I told her that she was blessed because I had hers installed way before her HS years. Of course she countered that she had to wear it for yes, almost five years! Now that they are off though, all the trouble (not to mention money!)was truly worth it 🙂

    Jane: Yes, I am sure P’s closeup smile shows just how worth it her pain was.

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