I had slowly been informing people I was due to have braces fitted. I don’t know if I needed to say it out loud to make it actually sink in or if I didn’t want to shock people when I
smiled. Either way, they are now on and I thought I would share my journey with you all. After scrolling through Instagram looking for #adultbraces trying to reassure myself I was going to lead a normal life (6 months) with a mouth full of metal, I thought sharing this might help anyone who is thinking of having braces fitted take that leap.
Why have I chosen to have braces at 26?
Like many of you reading this, I had braces fitted when I was 13. After a horrifically brutal description of my jaw, which had a ‘considerable’ (thanks for that) overbite and a gap in my front teeth (pretty eh?). There was talk of breaking my jaw, wiring it together and shaving my chin to make my profile even. I was happy with my face, and a massive food lover at 13 so the idea of a wired together jaw was every horror imaginable so I opted for the ‘train track’ option. As one of the first to have braces fitted in my year, I was pretty chuffed, I alternated between pink or blue bands and my Mum would always treat me to a shopping trip in Leamington after each appointment. After they were removed I was – as you can imagine a 15-year-old girl without braces to be – beyond pleased with the results and I continued to wear my retainer religiously for the next five years. Fast forward, my retainer broke and I couldn’t get a copy of my old retainer made so I thought what’s the harm I will be ok without it. I wasn’t.
Over the years my teeth have stayed together which prompts the question, why are you having braces your teeth are straight? However what is visible, maybe more to my scrutinising eye is how much they now flare forward, and it makes me so self-conscious. I am not a vain person, overall I am pretty happy with how I look. My face isn’t perfect but I don’t hate it, my skin is pretty good and I keep myself in relatively good shape. I have not gone into this hoping to look prettier at all, I am doing it because it is something so minor that affects how I feel about myself day to day and it is something I can fix relatively easily.
(examples of my teeth in photos – flare forward smile and the apparent loss of top lip, I hate. Or token I know I should smile to look happy but I hate how it looks, so even though I am trying to smile I still look miserable)
Why didn’t I get clear braces or Invisalign?
When you say adult braces, thoughts are generated of those nice clear braces most mature members of society wear, or even better Invisalign which looks like a retainer and is not fixed. So why didn’t I go for these? First off we shall start with Invisalign, whilst their adverts boast many benefits such as no fixed annoying brackets or painful wires. What they don’t tell you is that for many (I dare say the majority) of circumstances this method is not feasible to carry out the level of work needed (mine being one of them). Moving on to the clear fixed braces. Whilst these seem ideal to the self-conscious adult, they work out to be around £500 more and will take 20% longer due to the fact they are ceramic and don’t move as easily as metal and can often break. This is not to mention how easily they can stain and I much to my hygienist displeasure am an avid, herbal tea and coffee drinker. With that in mind, I thought I am going to be conscious of them on regardless so I might as well go with the faster more affordable option, instead of spending £500 more for everyone to spot them on my teeth for an extra few months.
Where is the Orthodontist I use?
I have gone with a dental surgery called Jones Dental Care in Rugby. I chose this Dentist because they are relatively close to me and ultimately because they have evening appointments which means I don’t need to book time off work or lose holiday. A massive perk. I went with a dental surgery over a cosmetic surgery as I felt like this was the best overall for me and I knew the treatment I was receiving was safe, approved and up to standard, especially when It came to my teeth whitening after.
I have heard many reasons as to why others would like braces but don’t want to go through with them when I talk about having mine fitted. It’s either that they’re too scared to get them (never reassuring to hear) or the cost, which I understand so I thought I would break down how much I have spent. The dentist I went to do offer a range of finance options but I didn’t want to go down this route. I had to pay £1000 the day my braces were fitted and then payments are broken down, paid after each check-up. Overall this is the cost of my treatment and this is what I pay each time.
Metal upper and lower fast braces = £2575.50 ( This will change depending on how long you have the braces for)
Fixed Bonded orthodontic Retainer x2 (these are a small wire fitted to the back of your teeth to keep them in place) £98 each
Teeth whitening – £155 (Discounted for braces)
Total = £2926
Verdict so far
I am honestly so pleased I have gone ahead with this. Don’t get me wrong I am only two days in but the hardest part was walking out of the orthodontists room and showing my Mum (yes she came with me, that’s the kind of mum I have) after that I treated myself to a banana milkshake from Mcdonalds had a look in some shops and slowly got used to them on my teeth.
The treatment was a million miles away from that I received when I was a teenager. I can’t stress enough how painless it was, sure there were moments where there was minor discomfort but I mean it was only minor. I couldn’t believe how fast they got it all done.
The fast braces have a completely different look to the type I wore before. The brackets are really small and mine have been set higher on my tooth so my lips cover the majority of them when I am talking. They also shaved parts of my teeth down and made a gap between my front two to give them more room, again this did not hurt at all, much to my surprise. I am writing this a day in and I can only say the downside has been eating. My teeth don’t feel painful unless I try to eat something and it is a real struggle so if it is something you are about to embark on make sure you have a smoothie maker because it has been a juice diet all the way for me.
So this is update one, I hope it helps any of you thinking of braces making that leap to go see an orthodontist. I will try to get some photos of them in the next couple of days when they don’t hurt so much.
Also wanted to say thanks (like the melodramatic, I think I need an award, type of gal I am) to my friends especially Lauren, Becky, Pip and Niece who have heard about this none stop and encouraged me the whole way. My mum fo taking the day off work to sit in a waiting room for me and my Dad for not questioning my reasons for spending so much money when he always is left to foot the bills at dinner.
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