I got mine off at the end of 2009. I had ceramics as well so the bands did tend to stain. I ate curry once and they went fleuro yellow, it was so gross! Anyway, my friend worked as the dental assistant so I asked if I could have a few packs of bands and a spare metal hook instrument and they were happy to oblige; after that I just changed them myself at home.
I didn't like the wax, so I preferred to just bend the wire back a bit and then book an appointment as soon as possible to get the excess chopped off. I was warned about drinking coke etc and pretty much everything else which has already been mentioned.
I remember it was really, really annoying getting food stuck in them. It used to drive me nuts. Biting into a sandwich was quite the sight
They feel really bizarre to begin with, but it's amazing how quickly you get used to something being in your mouth.