Smile with Confidence: Before and After Braces
If someone told you that their entire journey with braces was enjoyable — from beginning to end — would you believe them?
If they’re a patient of i-Orthodontics, then it’s absolutely true.
Meet Glenny, a joyful 16-year-old who lived life smiling throughout her experience with braces.
When Glenny was in third grade she needed orthodontia “because I had two teeth on the side of my mouth that weren’t coming down… and I had an overbite too.”
Her mom Nancy says of her first i-Orthodontics experience: “It was outstanding!”
“I think they do an amazing job from start to finish. The second you walk into the office, they make you feel like you’re an important person. They value you and they want the best for you and your kids. Dr. Idiculla obviously has this amazing reputation, and for good reason.”
Glenny had braces in two stages: as a third-grader, and again as a seventh- and eighth-grader. The adolescent years can be challenging enough for a child’s confidence, but i-Orthodontics made sure Glenny felt good about herself throughout her time with braces.
The Right Vibe
No matter what brings you into our office, our first priority is making you feel comfortable. Clear, friendly communication in a fun environment is a key part of it. It’s what Glenny loved about her visits.
“They always have music on and they always talk to you and tell you exactly what they’re going to do. I was never worried about what they were going to do with my mouth.”
Transformation can be emotional, which is why emotional support is a major focus for us. We help you understand and embrace all the positive outcomes you can expect.
“[ i-Orthodontics was] super kind and supportive,” says Glenny. “They made it sound super exciting, that I would have such a beautiful smile when I was older, and how it was going to be awesome to get them off after a while.
I had no reason to be scared. I was never really freaked out, like having to cry or anything. I was just more curious and excited.”
Having those feelings of excitement and trust in her i-Orthodontics team made getting braces that much easier and stress-free for Glenny.
“I remember they were explaining everything to me. The woman who was doing my braces would say, ‘I’m putting the glue on, and now I’m putting the brace on, and here’s the wire.’ They made it very comfortable. They had music on, so it was a relaxing experience where I wasn’t constantly thinking about what was going on in my mouth.”
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Life with Braces
“You probably don’t hear this a lot, but I loved having my braces. I just loved it,” exclaims Glenny.
She enjoyed her first stage of braces so much, she was actively trying to speed up the process to get to the second stage. That meant coaxing a molar out.
“I had this molar in the back of my mouth that I kept playing with and trying to get out so I could get my braces. That’s how much I wanted them.”
When asked why she wanted to hurry back to i-Orthodontics, Glenny explains, “It was mostly because I was super excited to see Dr. I, and having the chance to change the rubber band colors on my braces because I knew that I’d have a really pretty smile afterward. I mean, I just loved the entire thing.”
Our rainbow of rubber band colors gave Glenny the chance to express herself, and show her holiday and school spirit.
“If it was Christmas, I’d do red and green. If it was Halloween, I’d do orange. If it was summer, I’d do blue and light blue. At school, I’d do my school colors or something fun.”
Our braces Smile Swag bag was a fun send-off for Glenny too. “It was exciting, it was almost like a gift bag. It had a pack of wax, chapstick, mirror, toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and a Waterpik. That was super nice.”
Glenny’s an athlete. She ran track in middle school, which means she had to wear a special mouthguard for her braces. But that wasn’t a major adjustment for her.
“It was just like another mouthguard. It didn’t really bother me, it just protected my braces. It was comfortable and I was able to talk and everything, so it was pretty easy.”
When issues do arise, we’re quick to fix them. Glenny remembers, “If there was a wire poking, they would automatically get me in to fix that. Or if a brace fell off they’d get me in quickly.”
Glenny’s mom, Nancy, notes, “Glenny did what she was supposed to do, so the final results happened quite fast.”
Live Life Smiling
Getting her braces off was a moment of “mixed emotions” for Glenny. She says she was “disappointed because I loved my braces and I wouldn’t be seeing the doctors as much anymore.”
But she admits she was also excited.
“When I got the braces off, my teeth felt super slimy. I was excited that I didn’t have any metal in my mouth anymore but it was bitter and sweet. I mean, I love my smile. I was super shocked about my smile.
It was just cool to see what all my hard work had done. I was sad but I was happy at the same time, so it was mixed emotions.”
Momentous occasions like these call for celebration, which is why we try to make our parting gift a special one. For Glenny, that meant indulging in some gourmet treats.
“They gave us a caramel apple and it was so good. It was a really big apple covered in chocolate and caramel. They gave me a cookie and stuff that I hadn’t been allowed to eat when I had my braces, so that was a lot of fun.”
During this unique time of COVID, we give individually wrapped sticky, chewy, tasty candy to patients when they get their braces removed!
Glenny’s new smile got her “a lot of compliments” at school. “They said that my smile was really pretty and that definitely raised my confidence a lot. I felt super happy. I was disappointed that my braces were gone but then again I was happy that my smile was really pretty. I loved that!”
Supporting the Next Generation
Glenny’s positive experience at i-Ortho has made a lasting impression on her.
“I was in about fifth grade when I realized that I want to become an orthodontist because of the experience I had there.”
We love helping the next generation explore the world of orthodontics. Having positive experiences and mentors are what inspired i-Orthodontic’s own Dr. I to pursue orthodontics. The positive impact that we can continue to pass on to others is not taken for granted at i-Orthodontics.
Related: Live Life Smiling: All About i-Orthodontics
That’s why we offered Glenny a paid internship when she entered ninth grade.
“Whenever little kids came in to get their braces, I could tell if they were extremely nervous. So I’d talk to them about cars or princesses, and tell them, ‘When I got my braces, I was super excited and afterward I had an amazing smile.’
“More recently, a little girl came in to get braces and she was very nervous. She was freaking out. So I held her hand and distracted her. I said, ‘It’s okay. You’re going to have a beautiful smile.’ I showed her a picture of what I looked like before I had braces and then afterward. And she said, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s awesome.’ And then I told her all the things that she’s going to get.”
In addition to her emotional support role, Glenny also learned some of the tools of the trade, like how to properly sterilize tools, clear work areas, and greet patients. She spent three summers as an intern at i-Ortho before Covid-19 changed her routine.
But that hasn’t put a stop to Glenny’s dream of becoming an orthodontist.
“The main reason why I want to become an orthodontist is to help kids feel the same way I did when I had my braces and just to make people smile. The first thing people notice when you meet someone is their smile. I want to make sure that everyone else has an amazing smile and I want to make sure that they’re happy with themselves.”