I've had my braces on for 2 1/2 years now and I've had it all. I had jaw surgery to expand my palate, I had a palate expander to widen it, then HUGE gaps in my top teeth which were closed by braces and powerchains for months, and now heavy wires and elastics to adjust my bite and fix my crossbite. Tomorrow, I had my most recent adjustment and my orthodontist told me that in 4 weeks I need to come back for my next adjustment and to get new molds made because in September...I'm getting my braces off and getting my retainers!
I'm really excited. Even though braces have been fine and were not nearly as bad as I thought they'd be when I first began this journey, it is a bit of a hassle not being able to eat certain foods (*cough*), flossing and brushing is a chore (and must been done 3 times a day, a habit I'm going to keep even after I'm debraced), I can't really bite into anything (also a byproduct of my surgery), and the soreness and aching after each adjustment and wearing the heavy elastics...well, it's not that bad and I'm used to it, but I can't say I'll miss it! I will, however, miss braces a bit. I'm so used to them and the way they feel and the way I look with them that it's going to be weird when they first come off. Also, they make me unique in a way...not a lot of adults have them (although I see more and more ever since I got mine on than I ever did before).
Still, overall, to be done with them will be really nice...I can't wait for September!