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! 🙂