On Tuesday, two weeks after my braces were removed I made what I thought could possibly be my last visit to Jones Dental Care to collect my retainers and teeth whitening set. Flowers and thank you card in tow, I couldn’t believe I was two days away from a year anniversary of the fitting of my braces, which is today, can you believe? I was filled with mixed feelings, I am constantly smiling from ear to ear, I naturally feel at ease smiling, something I never thought would happen at the same time there was a little sadness the whole thing was over. Jones Dental isn’t my actual everyday dentist so I knew once my treatment was complete I would no longer need to make my frequent visits to the lovely ladies at the practice. It is the little things like their customer service, always being greeted with a smile and how they go above and beyond which have all contributed massively to the whole process. I wanted to end my brace progress with a little summery posts and with absolute fear and dread, I am going to hit publish sharing some before and after photos I never thought I would share.
My concerns towards my smile
I decided to take the plunge to have my braces fitted back in February 2017. I had been deliberating over the decision since 2015 when I had my initial consultations. After the support of my friends and family, I decided to get back in touch with Jones dental care to see if we could make it happen. My appointment took place on the 2nd of February, with a follow up on the 14th March and that was all it took. After my second meeting with Lana, we booked the 10th May for my fitting. I couldn’t believe how fast the process was. There was no time to change my mind and back out which is exactly what I needed. Had the initial stages taken longer I think the worry about what life with braces would be like would have unsettled me further and perhaps made me change my mind.
My reasons behind the decision to have braces fitted was my overjet from my front teeth. Years after my teenage braces had been removed, my teeth had begun to move back. Although I didn’t have the gap I had as a child the overjet and the fact that my teeth were all over the place and didn’t sit comfortably together really made me hate my smile and damaged my confidence more than one could imagine teeth could. My teeth reminded me of characters out of a Quentin Blake illustration (Roald Daul book) because of this I would refuse to smile in photos, I even hated laughing when I was in company, often finding ways to cover my mouth. Without wanting to continue through my twenties feeling this negative towards myself I finally did something about it and have not looked back since.
I know it is probably easy for me to say this now it is over, but for any of you reading this who have just started or just about to embark on braces, I promise the feeling at the end is completely worth it.
The year with braces
If I am honest, when my braces were fitted, I don’t think Lana or I believed the treatment would take a year. We had a rough time frame of 6-9 months, but as I have mentioned in all of my posts I did not dwell upon a time frame. I was conscious I wanted results I was happy with and I wasn’t overly concerned about the time they took. If they could be removed within a year/ before my 28th birthday I was happy.
I had appointments every 3- 4 weeks. The joy of Jones Dental which I have mentioned endlessly is their flexible hours. I had some appointments at 8 am and some after work. This meant the appointments every 3-4 weeks did not eat into my working hours which kept my treatment on track. I only missed one appointment due to sickness. It is important to commit to this time frame to speed the treatment along. Most of the movement from the brace adjustment happens within the first 24 hours but the 3 week resting period allows your teeth to settle down and not be so sore for your next appointment.
My braces made no negative impact on my year other than at Christmas when I suddenly realised I Couldn’t eat the toffees from the quality street tin. I can’t stress enough how little people care about you having braces on. If anything came from me having braces, apart from my new smile is the number of messages I received from girls my age saying my posts had convinced them to have braces fitted. One even went to Jones Dental care too. Don’t let the prospect of time or what you think others will think put you off because it really did not matter.
I won’t cover too much here as many of my posts have touched upon the treatment I had. For anyone who is reading these posts for the first time, I went with metal Fastbraces. They resemble the traditional train track options which you can have fitted in clear ceramic too. There are pros and cons to both metal and ceramic. Ceramic is a lot more aesthetically pleasing, you cannot notice them as much, however, they are more expensive and are not as easy to manipulate as metal so can take longer to gain results. Both are great options though, so go with the one which suits you the best. If you want to know more about Fastbraces I have linked them just here.
So the results. I really didn’t think I would share these, mainly because Lana’s camera picks up every hair on your face, and I wanted a nice smile, not to start doubting whether I am half Yetti (I’m kidding) anyway I thought it was only fair as you have all supported my journey and read through these all that I share my before and after photos. I am hoping to do the same for my teeth whitening as well. Photos are so important because you look at your teeth every day so it easy (however stupid you feel you are being) to convince yourself that nothing has changed. Lana was great and taking plenty of photos of my teeth but make sure you document some too. Stacewiththebraces is great and taking shots of hers, I don’t know logistically how she does it but check them out for a bit of inspiration.
The whitening sets
The last stage of it all is my teeth whitening. I picked this up with my retainers this week and cannot wait to get started. Lana advised me to wait a little while before starting it as my teeth need time to settle and they can often be sensitive once the braces have been removed. I have been given Philips whitening set which I can use consecutive nights until I feel my teeth are white enough. The gel sits in my retainers overnight and hopefully does it’s magic. I cannot wait to get started. My teeth have discoloured over the years after not caring that much about the coloured teas and wine I drank, from probably not attending the hygienist enough and marks left over from my teenage braces. I will keep track of my whitening progress and let you all know what I think of the Philips set. Clearly not ready to say goodbye to my brace posts and journey quite yet.