1 new notification and I see a picture of me, happy and smiling with friends, how lovely? Not really, I hated it or rather my teeth. To me I looked like my childhood pet, dear Henrietta, the guinea pig, slightly buck tooth with protruding bottom teeth. My teeth were getting worse, and suddenly my smile was not something I wanted to show off anymore. Of course my friends and family said “there’s nothing wrong with your teeth” or “they’re not that bad” or my favourite “they give you character”. But this wasn’t about them; it was about me and wanting a smile that felt like me. So, I looked into braces...
If it meant that I could have the smile that I wanted then, yes, yes I could and actually, why should age be a factor? Braces are not what they used to be (thank god). Their smaller, with faster treatment times, there are even different types; some of them are even invisible! Of course, the cost is a factor in all this, as well as the most effective method of treatment for each person. But, braces aren’t just for children and teenagers.
"I want to be happy with my smile, as well as the dental health benefits that come with that. So why should that be ageist?"
Not actually the first time with braces…Yes, you heard right, I’ve had braces before and apparently having braces again is more common than you think. As a child my teeth were horrendous, it was like they had all fallen out and someone had stuck the ones they could find, back in, blindfolded. I think I had my first brace when I was about 8, maybe even younger. From then I had an array of different braces until the age of 18. Post braces, I didn’t think I had to wear my retainers for life. So I stopped. At the age of 24 my teeth had moved so much and worse still they were still moving.
Why? I spoke to my orthodontist about this and it’s pretty common actually, it’s about retention. Everyone’s teeth are different so your teeth move differently and need to be retained. Teeth can move for many different reasons and teeth corrected with braces always have the potential “to go back”.
The Braces I choose
At this point, I should probably tell you more about what braces I have and why. I have Damon braces, which are self-ligating. Which means no multi-coloured elastics for me. Devastating. Damon braces have been proven to move teeth faster with fewer adjustments. The bottom parts of my braces are all metal and the top I have tooth coloured brackets stuck to my teeth. Both are fitted with a metal wire.
I chose Damon braces as they gave me the shortest treatment time; they were also the most cost-effective. In searching and finding out more information about adult braces I have noticed the more invisible the brace, the usually more expensive, and the most discreet braces don’t necessarily give you the quickest treatment time.
Looking after your teeth with Braces
I’m not going to pretend like I don’t get food stuck in my braces and that cleaning them isn’t sometimes a pain in the ….
I know that keeping your teeth clean with braces is very important and can be a little more difficult. But there are many things that do make cleaning my braces easier and less time-consuming. I have an electric toothbrush that really helps in thoroughly cleaning my teeth, I also carry around interdental brushes as well as a floss. I hear waterpiks are really helpful too!
Do having braces make you feel self-conscious?
Honestly, at the beginning, sometimes it did but now not at all. Having braces especially noticeable braces is something to get used to. I don’t feel they drastically change the way I look so as soon as I was used to them, they didn’t bother me.
Can you eat what you want?
You can eat and drink practically what you want, but with some braces, elastics will stain and fizzy drinks are bad anyway. Your orthodontist is the best to speak to as different braces different terms. With my braces the most noticeable thing is the way I eat; you can’t bite into an apple or chew on a corn of the cob, as you’ll probably break a bracket. But that doesn’t mean you can’t meticulously use your knife and fork or cut things up.
Does it hurt?
Braces are not painless; when your braces are tightened or tweaked they can be painful for the first few days to a week. Paracetamol or ibuprofen helped, I also found that this was more in the beginning of my treatment, they don’t really hurt that much now when they’re adjusted. This also goes for mouth sores, they will happen, unfortunately, and they can be more irritating than painful. But again, this was more at the beginning of my treatment, I don’t get any now.
Are you happy you got Braces?
Definitely, I can see the amazing changes to my teeth already; I’m so excited about my new smile. I also had a bad overbite which is being corrected which is noticeably balancing out my facial features.Yes!
Something you didn’t expect from getting braces?
I did start getting ID’d a bit more; I even got ID’d for a scratch card once, the age is 16 and did I mention I'm nearly 6ft? That kind of stuff doesn’t bother me though.