Updated: Dec 18, 2018
I have spent all of my adult life trying to hide my teeth, and as a Qualfiied Dental Professional, working for College Street Dental Centre, Petersfield,for the last 8 years, I have become increasingly intrigued by the whole “teeth straightening” process.
As a child, I had reasonably straight teeth and always thought I was one of the lucky ones until the rise and rise of social media & “selfies” took over the world……
I have quite small teeth with large gums and one of the teeth seems to have sunk inwards. Now that almost everyone carries a camera phone and jumps at every opportunity to take a picture, I realised this small, set back tooth looked like I actually had a gap…a missing tooth!! Not ideal if you are the Practice Manager in a High End Private Dental Practice!!
So after seeing our Specialist Orthodontist, Dr Shabnam Ganji, creating beautiful smiles for more and more adults, I took the plunge and booked myself in. Having worked as her Orthodontic Nurse on many occasions over the years, I had every confidence that she was the woman for the job! I wouldn’t trust anyone else with my teeth!
I did have mixed emotions about it though; as an adult, in a client facing role, I was self-conscious. I hesitated. Could I really do this? What would people say? Would people stare at me? As the day of my “fit” appointment drew closer, I considered postponing as I had a family wedding to attend. But then, I realised, there will always be a wedding, a party or a function and I need to get used to having the braces. I couldn’t just take them off as and when it doesn’t fit in with my social schedule….
The big day itself arrived.….the day I was having my braces fitted. I already knew the process: a quite straightforward one I had seen and assisted with numerous times: Sitting in the dental chair, my lips were gently moved out of the way to as not to interfere with the braces being fitted. My teeth were thoroughly cleaned and then a small square bracket was placed on each individual tooth and held in place with a special glue. A wire was then attached between each tooth/bracket. I struggled with keeping my mouth open which may sound unbelievable to anyone that knows me, however in less than 30 minutes – there they were…My new clear braces!! I had chosen clear brackets, (aesthetic braces) for the upper jaw which are often the popular choice as they more aesthetically pleasing, especially beneficial for client facing professionals worried how they might look.
Initially, having braces on my teeth felt quite strange, an almost tight feeling and I was very aware that my lip kept catching on the brackets, so I applied the orthodontic wax as instructed by Shabnam. I was told that these feelings are quite normal in the first few days, until your mind and mouth get used to it. The wax helped so much and I hardly noticed having them at all. In fact neither did anyone else! I had spent all those years hiding my teeth, choosing aesthetic brackets to keep them as discrete as possible and then, when nobody actually noticed I had them on at all, I wondered why I hadn’t done it years ago!!
I am now about a third of the way through my Orthodontic treatment, and although I was slightly sore for a few days, it didn’t last very long. Initially, it felt quite tender to bite down on anything, but this is a normal side effect, and again didn’t last long. I am now wearing elastics on my teeth (not everybody needs to, it is case dependent.) which I have very quickly adjusted to wearing. The elastics train the jaw to sit in the correct position, which in my case, currently sits too far back.
Practically, I have had to make a few adjustments to the way I eat. For example, I need to cut up apples into small pieces before eating them. I can’t eat corn on the cob. Bread has a habit of sticking to my braces, so I need to make sure I’ve thoroughly brushed my teeth after.
Now I’m into my stride, and I can honestly say that I am no longer self-conscious. I can even go so far as to say, I’m actually enjoying wearing them – I can see my smile slowly changing shape and I cannot wait to see the end result!
I would recommend having Ortho to any adult who, like me, has thought about it, and dismissed it as not an option! It most certainly is!
For further insights into wearing braces, you can speak to me, Natalie Montgomery, personally by phoning College Street Dental Centre on 01730 263180 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Consultations are also half price at only £45, so what have you got to lose!
For further information or advice contact College Street Dental Centre in Petersfield, Hampshire on 01730 263180