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Author Topic: Hello!  (Read 1493 times)

Offline jay82

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Hello!
« on: 21. January 2018, 00:34:22 AM »
Hi!  I’ve been a member here for a long time, but I haven’t posted very often.  I guess I just don’t have much to say most of the time.  Recently, there’s been some discussion about encouraging people to contribute more to the forum, so I’d like to try to do my part.  I don’t have any photos, videos, or fictional stories to share, so I’ll just tell a little about myself.

I’ve always been interested in braces.  In the late 1970s, when I was about seven or eight years old, some of the older kids I knew got braces.  Whenever I saw them, I found myself staring at their braces, not because I thought their braces were ugly or disfiguring, but because I was fascinated.  I really thought braces were cool.

When I was eleven, I was told that I would need braces.  My family treated this as a very serious matter.  I know now that it was because braces were expensive and money was tight.  At the time though, I couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about.  I knew a bunch of kids with braces, and it didn’t seem to me like it was a traumatic experience for any of them.  Some of the girls who had braces even seemed to like them.  Most of the boys, however, behaved indifferently toward having braces.  I figured I’d follow their lead and act like having to get braces was no big deal.  Secretly though, I was thrilled.

Before I got braces, I got an upper expander.  From the day that I got it, I didn’t like it.  It was bulky and uncomfortable, it caused me to salivate a lot, and it made speaking and eating difficult.  Worst of all, I couldn’t take it out.  On the plus side, it didn’t hurt, even when its screw mechanism was turned.  My teeth were pretty messed up before the expander, but once it started doing its job, my teeth were even more messed up, with a nice big gap front and center.  After a few weeks, the screw mechanism didn’t have to be turned anymore, but the expander remained in place.

A few months later, on the day that my expander was removed, I got braces, headgear, and an upper retainer.  At first, I got braces -- bands -- only on my lower front teeth.  Once the bands were in place and my lower teeth were all wired up, I got my headgear, which I was told I was supposed to wear fourteen hours a day.  Finally, I got a removable upper retainer to hold everything in place since my expander had been removed.

While I was happy to have finally gotten braces, I wasn’t too happy about having to wear headgear.  My headgear didn’t hurt, but it branded me as a nerd or a geek.  Somehow, braces were socially acceptable, but headgear was not.  My mother was pretty strict with me about wearing my headgear as prescribed, so in order to get my wear time in, and not be ridiculed for wearing it, I chose to just spend more time at home.  I refused to wear my headgear to school, so I ended up having to put it on as soon as I got home from school, and except for a short break to eat dinner, wear it continuously until the next morning.  That didn’t quite meet my fourteen-hour daily minimum, so I had to wear my headgear for most of the day on weekends as well.

Aside from the headgear, I liked having braces.  With braces only on my lower teeth though, some people didn’t even notice that I had them.  After a few months, I got bands on my upper front teeth.  There was no mistaking that I had braces then.  I got to stop wearing my upper retainer when I got my upper braces.  Over the next few months, I got bands on my canines and premolars, until I had bands on all my teeth.  Finally!  A full set of braces!

After about a year of wearing my headgear fourteen hours a day, my wear time was reduced to just overnight while sleeping.  I felt like I had been paroled.  After about six months of overnight wear, I didn’t have to wear my headgear at all.  Unfortunately, my orthodontist also started talking about finishing up and my braces coming off within a few months.  I was glad to be done with my headgear, but I wasn’t ready for my braces to be removed.

A few weeks before I started high school, I got my braces off.  I got another removable upper retainer and a fixed lower retainer.  My braces had been on for a little over two years.  Counting the time that I had an expander, my total treatment time was just short of two and a half years.  I acted as if I was happy to be done with braces, because that’s what was expected, but really, I would’ve been happier to continue wearing my braces.

During the time that I had braces, one of my friends went to the same orthodontist.  Each time one of us had an orthodontist appointment, we’d compare notes afterward, discussing the work that was done and which of the orthodontist’s assistants had done the work.  We each had our favorite assistants, the ones we thought were prettier, nicer, or just gentler while twisting the wires around our braces.

When I found out that I needed and would be getting braces, it was understood that I would be getting a mouthful of metal bands.  At that time, that’s what braces were.  There was no discussion about bands vs. brackets.  Everyone just got bands.  Bonded brackets had been in use for a while, but no one I knew had them.  The first time I saw someone with brackets instead of bands, I’d already had my braces for about a year.

I never had a girlfriend with braces or even kissed a girl with braces.  I had a girlfriend in college who sometimes hinted that she liked braces, but I wasn’t self-confident enough back then to really open up to her about my fascination with braces.  Years later, I told a different girlfriend about my interest in braces, and although she wasn’t judgmental about it, she also had no interest in getting some fake braces made in order to indulge me.

I’m very happily married now, and I’ve told my wife about my braces fascination.  She thinks it’s strange, but that’s about it.  She’s never had braces, and although our dentist has tried to persuade her to seek orthodontic treatment, she remains solidly uninterested at this point in her life.  She has said that maybe down the road, it’s something that she might reconsider.  Maybe, just maybe, someday, she’ll change her mind.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #1 on: 21. January 2018, 00:47:29 AM »
As I have been one of the people saying to contribute, Thank you very much for your positive contribution to this group. I very much enjoyed reading this.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #2 on: 21. January 2018, 18:12:05 PM »
An interesting story, Jay82, thank you for sharing it!

Offline jay82

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #3 on: 21. January 2018, 23:41:29 PM »
Glad to share.  Maybe it will inspire others to do the same.

Offline radian

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #4 on: 22. January 2018, 18:16:05 PM »
Intersting story, Thanks for sharing !

Offline OtherNotion

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #5 on: 22. January 2018, 23:05:56 PM »
This contrasts my experience vis a vis my parents and braces, they didn't think it was serious and it wasn't until I was 18 that I actually got braces as I had a little more autonomy. They had a serious distrust of the dental profession in general and felt it was superfluous treatment where I was super interested in getting them and watched friends, partners and the like go through treatment. At this point my partner doesn't really know that I'm interested in them.

Offline jay82

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #6 on: 23. January 2018, 00:59:20 AM »
When I first became aware of braces, when I was about seven or eight, I didn't really know what their function was.  I just knew that some older kids had them while others didn't.  Once I knew that braces were for straightening teeth, I kind of figured that I'd end up having to get them someday, since my teeth were a crooked mess.  When my mother told me that our dentist had recommended that she take me to see an orthodontist, I wasn't at all surprised.

I think my mom was so strict about following all the orthodontist's instructions because braces were expensive and she didn't want to spend all that money and have it go to waste just because I couldn't be bothered to do what the orthodontist said.  It may also have been because I was the first person in my family to get braces and my parents didn't have any other experiences for the sake of comparison.  Some of my friends who had braces and whose parents also had braces years earlier were a little more lenient when it came to headgear wear time.

Offline erin_wires

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #7 on: 23. January 2018, 04:57:08 AM »
Welcome to the forums, thanks for sharing your story!

Offline thrownaway

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #8 on: 23. January 2018, 05:55:55 AM »
Thanks for sharing! For me, I think my fascination (as another user aptly put it) with braces started when I was young when a girl in my class was the first one to get them. It turned into more of an attraction when I hit puberty yada yada. I was fortunate enough to date one girl with braces in high school and fooled around with another. It was extra satisfying but I never let on that I had that special attraction. Sometimes I wish I did to the girlfriend since she would have been understanding but it wasn't the kind of thing I wanted outed in case things didn't end amicably. I'm a very guarded person I guess.

Offline jay82

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #9 on: 24. January 2018, 01:07:49 AM »
When I was in school, it seemed like more girls had braces than boys, but I don't know if that's actually true, or just the way I remember it.  Maybe more girls really did have braces, and that has something to do with my fascination with braces.  Who knows?

As I said before, when I was in college, I had a girlfriend who I think might have had a similar fascination with braces.  I sometimes wish I had been comfortable enough to tell her about my fascination.  That was a long time ago, before you could buy fake braces on the Internet or whatever, but it still may have made for some interesting conversation.

Offline cp927

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #10 on: 11. February 2018, 00:35:24 AM »
I think my mom was so strict about following all the orthodontist's instructions because braces were expensive and she didn't want to spend all that money and have it go to waste just because I couldn't be bothered to do what the orthodontist said.
My mother was also very strict too about my wearing time.
At the begging, I had fixed brace, was easy.
But when I had my headgear, was so difficult to do the 14hours a day, and my mother follow my log book each day...