I thought it was kind of cool to have braces

Photo of a boy

Sean, 14 years old

“I was happy when I heard I was going to get fixed braces because I’d always thought they were cool. It was annoying in the first week because I couldn’t eat properly and it hurt quite a lot. But I soon got used to it.”

Four years ago, I first got removable braces and then fixed braces because I have an overbite. But nobody really told me how long I would have to wear them. They were supposed to come out last year but there were still a few corrections left to do.

I was happy when I heard I was going to get fixed braces because I’d always thought they were cool. I think braces look alright. I was asked if I had a preference about what kind of braces I got... metal ones that you can see or invisible ones. But I didn't really care.

Lots of people in my class had braces

I found the braces annoying after they were fitted because I couldn’t eat properly and they hurt quite a lot. But I soon got used to them.

I wasn’t worried that other people might think it was weird, either. Quite a lot of my friends in my class already had braces. It was almost normal.

We did make fun of one my friends a bit because in the last few months of his treatment he only had four brackets – two on the top incisors and two right below. He looked a bit like a little kid who had just got his first four teeth. Like Bugs Bunny. But he took it all in good humor and was cool about it.

You have to be careful eating candy or raw carrots and apples

Eating was okay. You just have to be careful not to eat things that are too sticky like caramel, otherwise it all gets stuck. And nothing that's too hard, either. I've often had brackets break off after biting into a carrot or an apple. Hard nuts are bad, too. Something funny happened to me once: A bracket had come loose and completely turned around in my mouth without me noticing. It was totally back to front. It looked pretty funny. But I was glad I hadn’t swallowed it.

Brushing my teeth and the elastics were annoying

One annoying thing was that it took longer to brush my teeth. I had to hold the toothbrush differently, too. And use special brushes for the gaps between my teeth, and between the braces and the teeth.

The elastics that are fixed to the hooks were annoying as well. I always had to take them out before eating, and I never knew where to put them, particularly at school.

At the end of the treatment I was supposed to leave them in when eating and chewing. But I didn't do that, it's just not possible. I couldn’t eat properly because I couldn’t open my mouth wide enough, and chewing was also difficult.

And you end up leaving the elastics everywhere which gets annoying. I often changed them for hygiene reasons but then forget to put new ones in.

It always hurts more for a few days after every check-up, but it’s bearable

I sometimes had sore areas and infections. Like if I had tighter wires fitted during a check-up, I felt the pressure right at the back. That almost felt like it did the first few days after having the braces fitted. But the pain only lasted for one or two days. You should expect it to hurt quite a bit in the week after a check-up, but it doesn’t last long.


Our real-life stories summarize interviews with people who are affected by the medical condition. Our interview partners have given us permission to publish their stories. We would like to express our sincere thanks to them.

The real-life stories give an insight into how other people cope and live with a medical condition. Their opinions and comments are not recommendations by IQWiG.

Please note: The names of our interview partners have been changed to protect their identity. The photos are of models.

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Created on February 13, 2023

Next planned update: 2026


Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany)

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