I have started my orthodontics treatment 1 year ago. A complex case, with a lot of work to be done to get a decent bite and some well-aligned teeth. I had severe crowding, a canine that was too high and almost over the near incisor, a bicuspid in front of the other (even my doc was shocked) .. a lot of fun for the orthodontist. He was sure this is one of the hardest cases for him so far and the guy treated hundreds of patients.
Even if this “uniqueness” made me a bit proud, I kinda knew what to expect: a lot of discomforts, a lot of hardware in my mouth, some good and some very bad days. But I was up to this, as I am now, after 1 year with 15 months of treatment still ahead of me.
With all the work done so far and all the huge changes in my life, I was ready for it all and had a very positive attitude that REALLY helped me. A lot of other patients were shocked to see how much this changes their lives and how many days are not that good, but I knew from the beginning this is not an easy ride and went ahead with all my strength.
The weird thing is that this attitude made my treatment more than bearable, I went through 7 months of Damon braces and almost 3 months of Invisalign now, countless power chains tied on my teeth, now a mini-implant (a small screw “stuck” in my jaw bone, under the teeth) and all the jazz without too much suffering. My doctor was pleased to see my attitude and told me this also helped a lot.
They have a lot of patients who don’t take it well. They are shocked to see how many things they have to change in their lives, that sometimes it does hurt a bit, there are plastic things, ceramics or metal in their mouth, they look weird, they feel weird and those teeth seem to take forever to move.
Here are some of the things/ideas that helped me “fly” through 1 year of treatment and be ready for 16 more months.
1. I CHOSE this, it’s not enforced on me.
I think this was the thing that really helped me. In case you get sick, you have to go to the hospital and undergo treatment because you are “forced” by the illness and the doctors who are there to save your life.
In this case, the orthodontics treatment was MY choice. I didn’t get sick, I didn’t have a terminal disease (God forbid). I chose to go through all this because I wanted a better healthier bite or (to be honest) to have some good looking teeth. I was the one to go to the doctor and ask for a fix. I asked for it and now I got it.
2. What you know can’t hurt you
When I was a teenager I used to read Shogun. I had a thing for Japanese culture, so it was just logical to “eat” up the book. Some of the ideas stuck in my head for years and one was “Ignorance is death”. Sure, not knowing what the orthodontics treatment is about won’t mean you’re gonna get killed, but it helps A LOT knowing what to expect there.
When I was certain I’d go through all this, I was already well informed. Read all I could about this and shocked my doctors with the knowledge I had. It’s something that will affect my life, it’s normal to care about this as much as to read some articles. This blog was “born” from my need to also share some of my information.
Read all you can and ask your orthodontist ALL kinds of questions. Don’t be shy, it’s your right to be as informed as possible. The moment you have all the facts you won’t be scared anymore, you’ll know what’s happening to you and why.
3. In the end, there’s nothing a painkiller can’t fix.
We are scared of the pain. This is one of the things ANYONE fears when entering such a treatment. There will be a pain, don’t expect your teeth to rotate and move without any discomfort because you’ll be in for a big surprise.
Still, this pain is not like giving birth or having a dislocated shoulder (I tried the latter option and it wasn’t pleasant at all). Don’t expect huge pains, don’t expect Morphine. Still, there will be some pain when they place spacers (some patients require these), when you’re getting your brackets placed on your teeth (first days), when putting a new Invisalign aligner.
I recall using a light painkiller twice in my entire treatment. Once after having the 3rd extraction in 8 days time (1 pill) and one after the second adjustment (when wearing Damon). In 13 months of treatment, I required 2 pills. The pain was most of the time light and wouldn’t require medication. You can take painkillers with no problems if you feel like it.
For some people the discomfort is bigger, for others, it’s almost nothing. You can take medication to ease it when you just want to be relaxed.
4. I have a good doctor and trust him completely.
The advantage of choosing a TOP orthodontist is clear. My doctor had hundreds of cases so far, is one of the best in Romania and also Germany. He’s got a lot of experience and knows what to do. I trust him completely and wasn’t wrong to do so. 13 months in the treatment and all look excellent, the teeth are aligning little by little and I am very positive about this all.
These would be the things you should also have in mind. Don’t be scared, or at least don’t let these feelings make you dread the treatment. Just think about the outcome and be ready for the result. The road to this goal is a tad scary, unpleasant sometimes, but the result makes it worth it. THINK ABOUT THAT!