Friday, August 13, 2010

My Braces Story: Brenda

Let me introduce myself. My name is Brenda, and I am the newest member of the team here at OASECT- I work in the IT department. Although I’ve worked here for just over a month now, OASECT has been part of my life for a long time- I got braces here as a teenager.

I actually didn’t get my braces on until winter of my senior year of high school, which I thought was a little untraditional, but was totally fine with nonetheless. I remember many details of the morning I had them put on. I was dismissed from school during art class, which I had first period, and I was wearing a pink striped rugby shirt- I got bands (this was before we started using the Damon system here) to match.

I was more excited than nervous to have them put on. After, I was a little sore, but it wasn’t too bad, nothing a little ibuprofen wouldn’t cure, and it usually would go away after a day or so. I got clear brackets in the front, which was cool because you could hardly tell I even had braces (except for those hot pink bands I sometimes got!)

My sisters and me in 2002. I had my braces on for a few months at that point.

The following fall, I started college at Boston University. I always remember how accommodating the office staff was in scheduling my routine appointments. We always made it work, scheduling around long weekends and breaks. I would come home for a weekend, and have an appointment late Friday, or early Monday morning, and still make it back to Boston in time for classes.

Me, and my friends Zahra and James, in college, just a few months before I got my braces taken off.

Let me mention that I had headgear- even though it wasn’t anything like Lisa Simpson crazy cartoon headgear- it still makes me shudder to think of it. My roommate my freshman year made fun of me every night- good naturedly though. I wasn’t the best headgear wearer- I think my treatment was slightly longer because of it- but I wore it often enough. I had braces on for just over two years.

Getting them off was stranger then getting them on. Sometime before I got them off, I had a conversation with a friend of mine who had gotten his braces off a couple of years earlier. He said that it would be weird, because you’re used to having braces on and when you get them off, your teeth feel so smooth- it was like night and day. It was February of 2004, and I headed back to Boston during the spring semester of my sophomore year with a brand new, brace-free smile. Six years later, I look in the mirror sometimes and smile- at my smile.

I still have my retainers- I even used them as part of my “Ugly Betty” Halloween costume a couple years ago- I was “Betty” to a T. I wrapped some tiny strips of foil around the wire to make the brackets. People even came up to me halfway through the night and said they’d JUST realized it was me.

Me dressed as Ugly Betty for Halloween, complete with "braces" made by wrapping foil strips around my retainer.

So that is my braces story. I liked having them on (except for occasional soreness), loved all the staff in the office (especially my mom, Dilphia, who works in the lab here), and now, almost ten years after I got them on, I work here.

Me in May of 2010 at Disneyworld. Six years later, I still absolutely love my smile.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life with Braces...

*When you first get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressure for three to five days. If the tenderness is severe take any pain reliever that you normally take for a headache or discomfort.
*Your braces may rub on your lips, tongue, or cheeks. Place silicone (wax) over the rubbing bracket before these spots get raw and painful. The tissue will soon toughen up so that you don't need the silicone. The silicone adheres better if the area is dry.
Common Orthodontic Emergencies:
*A broken bracket usually does not need to be repaired immediately, but can often wait for several days. Please call our office during normal business hours so we can schedule you to come in. Please save the brace and bring it with you to the repair appointment.
*A poking wire is irritating. If you experience this, use a blunt tool (pencil eraser) to gently push the wire away from the sore area. A poking wire can also be cut using fingernail clippers.
*If you have a lost or broken retainer, we should replace it as soon as possible so your teeth do not shift.
*Food caught in between your teeth is not an emergency but can be a little uncomfortable or embarrassing for the brace wearing patient. It is easily remedied with a piece of dental floss. Use your floss threader or proxy brush.
Please visit our website for illustrated instructions and much more!