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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Confession: I have braces!!!!

I have a confession... I have BRACES (again)!!!! 

I really don't tell people that I have them and I have become increasingly aware that I don't smile very much anymore as I'm trying to hide them. I also way OCD on making sure in any photos that you can't see the tracks literally covering my mouth with my hand where possible.

I say I have them 'again' as I had them in my very early teens and thought I was rid of them for good.... turns out I'm a bit unlucky! Basically I had quite a bad accident by falling down a huge flight of stairs and landed on my face :( I fractured my jaw quite badly and ended up with some extreme swelling which over the 6 month healing time distorted my teeth and my only real option was to have braces again. I can tell you now that I had been majorly down after the accident and feeling really sorry for myself and after finding out I needed braces from my GP I really did hit a low. I'm not ashamed to say I cried alot and couldn't bear the thought of having braces for a second time. 

After around 6-7 months of healing my GP referred me back to my normal dentist who talked me through all the brace options but after a lot of questioning on my part it turned out I didn't feel comfortable with my dentist at all and looked into other options. 

I'm pretty lucky in that the industry I work in allows me to find out a bit more info than you probably could normally on the medical profession so was pointed in the direction of Brackenwood Cosmetic Dentistry in Edgbaston Birmingham by a colleague. 

I booked my consult and really glad I did. 

Here's my teeth before hand - apologies for the photos and funny faces now :(
The close ups - very crooked and my bite was really off

Brackenwood: Dr Gee Chatha is the dentist who deals with me and I can tell you know he immediately put me at ease as he could tell I was very nervous. I think the first impression of the clinic helped me as well as its in a particularly lovely area and on first entry you are greeted by a beautiful and very clean clinic - cleanliness is everything!

The actual room where it all happened!
Dr Gee looked over my teeth and took some x-rays to see how my teeth sat at that time. I basically had two options: veneers or braces. He was very honest and explained that teeth always move as we grow older and veneers would only hide my teeth not really fix them for the long term. I decided on braces but may look into veneers later if I feel like I need to, but even making that decision was hard as I was having flash backs from my old brace days constantly :( oh the pain!

Here's my teeth straight after the top set was fitted. A week or so later had the bottom set done:

The type I went for is a clear style brace called Radiance as I couldn't bear the thought of metal train tracks again. They have clear fixings to the teeth and the wires are all white so it makes them less noticeable over all but they still have the strength to be able to really make a difference to the teeth quickly. This really was the right choice for me as most people don't really notice them unless they are paying close attention (or if sometimes I've brushed too hard with the wrong brush, the white on the wire can lift leaving a normal metal wire beneath but that's my fault!) Looking back on these photos from the fitting I can really see how crooked my teeth had got :(

On writing this blog I've had them on for about 8 months now and I can really see a difference on looking back at these photos from before hand. I think at my next appointment I will having the elastic bands fitted that will pull my jaw so that my teeth line up properly. I'm not looking forward to it but I know it means I am getting near the end of my braces stint....WOOP! 

 I think in hindsight I was very self conscious after the accident and it has no where near been as painful as my memory had lead me to think it was first time around. I'm not going to lie and say its been a picnic and when the wires are tightened it can be uncomfortable but no where near unbearable. I do know that choosing the clear option, although more expensive, was the completely right choice for me personally. I have to say I'm really looking forward to having them off now but I will be patient and wait until they are 100% done!

I have learnt some important things whilst having braces so if you're going to have them learn from me and take this advice on board:

My Top Tips When Getting Braces:

1) Make sure you are 100% comfortable and confident with the dentist and clinic you choose - this can make all the difference.

2) Invest in a good orthodontic toothbrush and lots of brace wax to cover those sore spots. Dental hygiene is extremely important! I didn't discover this type of brush the first time around and definitely makes life a lot easier and the whole cleaning process much less time consuming.
Photo by dental express
3) Make sure you follow all the advice the dentist gives you when it comes to how to take care of your braces - it's all right and true, believe me. 

4) Don't eat curry! I've broken this rule twice during my time and it just dyed my brace bands and wires yellow which looks vile until the dentist changes them again at your next appointment. 

Doesn't it look sooo yummy!! Photo by http://gbruk.org.uk/

5) Be patient. I went into this really wanting to have braces for as short as time as possible but after research and talking to dentists I learnt that moving teeth quickly can cause alot of dental damage and can really affect your gums in later life. Patience is a virtue after all :)

If you are in the Birmingham area and are looking for a phenomenal dentist I would seriously point you in the direction of Dr Gee and Brackenwood. If you're like me and have been through it all before or are extremely scared of dentists, they will really be honest and help you feel comfortable in the clinic. 

Before writing this blog I'd not really understood how how deep this hang up I have about having braces was and is something I need to let go of. 

I wrote it because I thought that maybe other people in the same position I was may be interested in braces from the perspective of someone whose had them TWICE!!!. Hope it helps!

*This is NOT a sponsored post. All opinions are my own*


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