Friday, 7 March 2014

My story with braces!

I thought I would share with you my long braces story, after FINALLY getting my fixed Damon braces off last month. I still have a few months to go now with Invisalign, which will be 2 whole years after first getting braces. But I am happy now they are off, in time for my wedding in May. I am so glad I went through with the treatment though, as the end result is totally worth it. So if you are thinking of getting braces, go for it! You won't regret it in the end.

Why get braces and what braces to get?

My teeth weren't bad enough as a teen to qualify for "free" treatment as I was never really under much pressure by the dentist or my parents to get them, so I didn't. This is something I really regret now, as obviously you don't want braces as a teen but at least then the treatment is over and you have perfect teeth by the time you hit your 20's! Hey ho. So I carried on throughout my early twenties not really having an issue with my teeth or being that bothered about straightening them actually. However it all changed when I started working for a dental insurance company and started writing and reading about teeth all day. The whole team were obsessed with teeth! Then I visited a private dentist through my company and I was told that my teeth, especially my bottom teeth, were overcrowded and I would have problems later on in life with gum disease as I couldn't clean my teeth properly due to lack of space. So I was told I could either have teeth out, or get a brace. This was the main reason, not cosmetic reasons why I opted to get a brace. The NHS do a fantastic job and we are lucky to have their services, but for me it is really worth investing in a private dentist who will look for preventative options rather than just if you need a filling right now. If I had not visited the private dentist, my teeth would still be crooked and crowded now. 

My teeth before treatment (I am on the left!)

 I spent some time researching on the internet and opted to go to Denise Taylor Orthodontics, who is so lovely and based in Southampton. I loved her no pressure attitude and have trusted her totally from day one which is so important when choosing an orthodontist. She recommended Damon Braces,which are fast, fixed cosmetic braces that use a unique low friction mechanism that minimises the friction and binding associated with conventional braces. These not only result in quicker treatment times for fitting braces but the lighter forces associated with damon braces make them a more comfortable form of treatment.

As you can see below, the braces are clear which I loved, plus unlike Invisalign they work 24 hours a day so you get your result much quicker. My teeth were too overcrowded for Invisalign anyway, so my recommendation is if you want to see quicker results and have more than a few teeth to move, go for Damon. People honestly didn't notice my braces much at all, which I know most people are worried about when they get a fixed brace. Being 26 and having braces can make you feel embarrassed but I always felt that my clear braces didn't show up as much on photos and enabled me to carry on as normal confidence wise. The best part about Damon is you don't have to have painful tightenings like traditional braces, just a new wire which is so much less painful!

My fixed Damon braces
What it like when you first get braces?

I am not going to lie, the first few weeks are difficult. It is painful and your teeth do ache a lot to start off with, but that is a sign they are moving! I had the bottom wire put on first, two weeks before the top teeth, which I totally recommend asking for. This means you give your mouth time to get used to having braces and I was actually able to eat fairly normally. I know my cousin who had normal braces at the same time had to eat soup and through a straw for two weeks as it was so painful when she had both fitted at the same time. You also need to cut out food like crunchy bread and apples as you don't want to break your brace. I think Damon is easily broken compared to traditional braces, as I ended up breaking the brackets and the wire several times! Or maybe I am just really clumsy?!

Once you get the first few weeks out of the way and get used to talking with braces in it is totally fine trust me. The only problems I suffered after that were brace sores, they hurt like hell especially if I didn't drink enough water before I went to bed or had been drinking that night. This Gishy Goo brace wax was a godsend to me that my orthodontist kindly gave to me - keep using it on sore parts even as a prevention overnight. I really suffer with mouth ulcers as well, so I think that is why my mouth might be extra sensitive.

The end result!

The last few months I was DESPERATE to get the braces off, particularly as I am now living in Germany so was unable to have as many orthodontist visits as before. After nearly two years here is the final result! It felt amazing after the braces were removed - my teeth felt really slippery and huge! I still forget I can eat apples and crunchy food again and chop up all my food ha ha! I am now wearing Invisalign for a few months to finish off my look in time for the wedding. The first few days with my aligners I really struggled and couldn't even take them out, let alone talk. I also hate having to keep taking them out, cleaning them etc after every meal. They are a good short term solution for minor orthodontic issues, but I spend way too much time eating clearly so my aligners are not as effective as the fixed brace was!

My orthodontist Denise also kindly gave me some Polanight teeth whitening gel to wear in my retainers at night and I love the final result! I have used the syringes for the past few weeks and it is so easy to use as part of my nightime routine. I love how sparkly and white my teeth look! The only problem I have encountered with the gel is sensitive teeth but that disappeared after a few days. I definitely recommend finishing off your look with  professional teeth whitening but definitely make sure you visit your dentist first to get the treatment. 

So there you go, my braces story. Let me know if you have any questions or what you think of my new look. Hopefully if you are considering braces this will help you make your mind up. My advice is don't look back, it is the best thing you will ever do and I love smiling now and showing off my teeth. 
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