Joidy's canine teeth had been pushed up into his jaw, out of alignment with the rest of his teeth
Crooked, uneven...and crowded. That's how Joidy Fermin described his teeth - before braces.
There simply wasn't enough room in Joidy's mouth to fit all his teeth. "Once my wisdom teeth came in, my mouth became really crowded," remembers 23-year-old Joidy. "My teeth shifted forward and my canine teeth were pushed up. It seemed as though they were growing out of my nostrils! It looked terrible."
The crowding in Joidy's mouth also made it difficult to keep his teeth clean. His gums became red and puffy and bled frequently. "Things went from bad to worse," said Joidy, a Paterson resident who works as assistant product manager for a clinical drug packaging company. "I had to do something."
For several years, Joidy had been coming to the NJDS clinic for checkups and preventive care. During a visit in early 1996, a dental resident casually said, "You know, one of the orthodontists in our clinic could probably fix those canines for you." That was all the encouragement Joidy needed. He headed straight to the orthodontic clinic for treatment.
To make more room in Joidy's mouth, four premolars and two wisdom teeth were extracted. Then braces were put on his teeth to straighten them and bring the canines into proper position. He was given a choice between clear-colored braces or traditional metal ones. "I chose metal, because they do the job more quickly," he said. "At first it felt weird, having braces at my age. But people were very supportive. In fact, I inspired two of my friends to get their teeth fixed. They thought they were too old for braces until they saw mine!"
Joidy's braces came off in February, 1998-and he is delighted with his new smile. "Having braces improved my entire appearance," he says. "I'm not self-conscious about my teeth anymore. I look better and feel better."