After two long years, my orthodontist finally told me what any person with braces wants to hear: “You’re getting your braces off.” Those words gave me a sense of comfort and eased me from my worries about having to start high school with braces, as I had considered them another feature I would be insecure about. It felt like another achievement before reaching my final milestone, which was my middle school culmination. However, even without braces physically stuck to my teeth, a routine just as bothersome chased after me and my final appointment to the orthodontist; retainers.
I assumed putting on retainers throughout the day and when going to bed would not be a problem, but that was much easier said than done. Pushing back regular house chores, like washing the dishes or vacuuming the floor, saying you would do them later, was no different from wearing retainers. If I had finished a meal and considered putting in my retainers, I would have to brush my teeth and clean the day retainers every time I took them out, which I was too lazy to do. One day, my laziness caught up with my teeth, and after two days of not wearing them, I decided to try my retainers on again.
The reassurance that kept me going was that it had only been two days since I had put my retainers in. I thought it would be impossible for my teeth to move a noticeable amount, but I was wrong. I popped in my retainers starting with my bottom set, and as soon as I heard the regular click noise, I was introduced to a new pain. The uncomfortable pain did go away, and soon after I became used to the retainer pushing against my teeth. However, it was at this point that I realized I needed to be responsible and ensure myself this type of incident wouldn’t happen again.
I have not lost any retainers yet; however, that could easily change just by misplacing them. I could leave them on a napkin when eating a meal, which could then be thrown away without anyone knowing. Moreover, retainers give me a sense of responsibility and even pushed me to plan a night routine, which surprisingly led me to get more rest and work done by the end of each day. Even though this sounds very exaggerated, keeping a mindset of “all the effort I put in now will turn into relief and success in the future” has definitely motivated me to make a habit of consistently wearing my retainers.