I made a promise to myself when I turned 30 that I would change the things all of the that have been bugging me about, well, me. Everything from reading more and stressing less to getting my hair in good health and being more present. But when it came to my appearance, getting adult braces was top of my priorities.
In January this year, with my wedding mere months away, I decided that it was the perfect excuse to bite the bullet and get the smile I’ve always wanted. My dentist had always threatened that I would need braces throughout my teenage years but put it off hoping that I could get away with it. Fast forward to my early twenties and a couple of wisdom teeth later and my mouth was starting to become very over-crowded.
My two front teeth had become twisted with no sign of slowing down. Over time I found myself becoming more conscious of my smile to the point where those wielding a camera would make an extra point of telling me to “smile” before snapping. I was never crippling insecure about them, at times I’d even find this individual quirk quite endearing, but it was an irritant I didn’t want critiquing on the big day.
After researching all of the options available, I decided that Smilelign adult braces were the most discreet, less invasive option for me and my lifestyle. With just a small twist to correct and a fragile ego to consider, it was the most natural choice. Now that I’ve come to the end of my treatments I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share my experience in the hope that it will help anyone else thinking of correcting their wonky smile.
Naively, I thought 6 months would be plenty of time to twist my teeth back to perfection but how wrong I was! Although my dentist was amazing and promised to get them well on their way before the wedding, he managed my expectations and told me straight off that the timeline was a little…unrealistic!
After a consultation and going through the prices and process, I had impressions taken of my teeth which were sent away to a lab in London to determine a) if I’m a good candidate for Smilelign and b) how many adult braces I’d need. A week later I was kitted out with my first completed moulds along with a digital mock-up of how my teeth would look after the course. It wasn’t until I saw the before and (potential) after images that I started to get really excited.
The lab made 6 adult braces catering for each stage of movement which I would slowly work my way through every two weeks. But first, I had to have a small tooth-coloured block attached to one of my front teeth. This fits perfectly into a small indent in the brace and acts as an anchor to twist it back round. Once I got over feeling as if I had a piece of food stuck on my tooth I barely noticed it.
I won’t lie, the first couple of braces took a little getting used to. They were uncomfortable and, for the first 2 days, a little painful as the teeth adjust to their new position. But, I persevered every day and night until they clipped in and out with ease, which was a tell-tale sign that it was time for a new set of braces!
After all 6 had been worn and discarded, I had more impressions taken for the lab to assess and see if I needed any additional brace or if it was time to move onto the end of the treatment – a small piece of wire that’s fixed to the back of the teeth to keep them in place and stop reverting back to how they were. After that you’re on the home stretch!
THE PROS AND CONS
Like all treatments, there are huge advantages and some not so great side effects. Whenever you change your appearance aesthetically, there are lots of points to consider so let’s start with the negatives. First off, having adult braces isn’t a decision to take lightly – it’s a big commitment and can be very expensive. The moulds have to be worn day and night, only to be taken out to eat and drink which can be a little irritating and inconvenient. I lost two braces, one pf which was chewed by my sister’s dog, so guard them with your life!
Thankfully I didn’t have to have any teeth removed, but a couple were lightly filed at the sides to make a little extra room which was totally painless, but apart from that there’s little prep that was needed. Although the braces are slightly uncomfortable at times, seeing the results unfold before your eyes every week makes every ache and twinge worth it.
While most of us are guilty of picturing Ugly Betty-style train tracks, adult braces couldn’t be further from their reputation. Firstly, they’re lightweight, plastic and completely undetectable. By clipping over your teeth, they can’t be seen by outsiders making them the perfect choice to fit into your everyday life without feeling self conscious. Admittedly, I did speak a little differently in the beginning while I got used to them, but it was only noticeable to me and passed after a few days.
After 11 months of adult braces, I can’t believe how straight my teeth now are – I absolutely love the results. Although I was disappointed they weren’t completely straight for the wedding, I was so relieved to see the majority of the twist straightened after just 4 months which made such a huge difference to our wedding photos and you can see how comfortable I look in them.
It was such an incredible day and I knew I’d been smiling throughout so it was a weight off my mind that I didn’t have to worry about the angle of the shot or someone taking a sneaky picture without me realising. I was worried that having a brace would hugely inconvenience my life but the entire process has been so simple, low maintenance and easy that I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner!