If you're not blessed with straight teeth and have been told you've got braces, you just want to find out or you may already have them, then this post is for you. I've had my braces for nearly a year now so I pretty much have had everything thrown at me. I'll say it now before you really read on, I will go into slight detail, and they're are obviously pictures of teeth, if you are not fans of either things about dentistry then I'd advise not reading on, however this is helpful as I will give you tips and things and things that the dentist or friends tell you haha!
So, lets start from the beginning, I got my braces in November 2010. This is what I looked like before braces. This was 2009 despite the label ha-ha, this was a meal out at Frankie and Bennie's and as you can see, I am a big smiler, and this was how I used to smile, you can see a full set of teeth and there are some that poke out more. Despite not visiting a dentist for 2 years 2008-2009 as they kicked me off the list as it went private, I had not many problems with my teeth and I didn't really think that I needed braces because I was happy to smile and I was happy with my smile.
Later on, my parents decided it would be good to get a check up on my teeth and despite a small amount of discoloration, I didn't think the first appointment would be ' YOU NEEDED! Braces'. So I said yes, I was ready to have them, no time like the present and to be on the NHS and get £2000-£4000 worth of dentistry performed for free I would be very silly to say no.
I think my teeth had got somewhat worse in the months before my treatment, shown here.
You can see my overbite, and I dont know the correct term but obviously teeth that are not aligned or straight. I think this photo really sums up how bad they got, and luckily two months later I got the brace.
So November, I got my brace put in, here's kinda the running order of that day.
-I was told to come in for a 45 minute appointment, thinking it would be moulds, photos and xrays ect. So theres me in my school uniform just popped out of school thinking I'd be returning, I go in to find I get an xray and they put the brace on.
-I had been told by my regular dentist (I have two, regular teeth inspection , and Orthodontist, the one who deals with all things brace related) that I would have 2 teeth out to even out the teeth and to remove the crowding.
-The brace was put on and then they told me to return in 2 months. That was it, you get given a brace pack with things to help you out and you're done.
Things they do not tell you:
-You're lips go incredibly dry because you're mouth is like opened up wide by a separator so all teeth are visible. Make sure to apply tons of vaseline to your lips before your treatment so that you dont walk out feeling like you've not drunk in 2 years.
-Instantly your teeth feel sensitive, you cannot bite on even bread or put glasses in your mouth because if the glass was to accidently touch your teeth, trust me, it hurts!
-You just want to sleep, that is the main pain reliever.
Basically, I went home and took the day off school, I didn't know really what was to happen so I just stayed home and laid down. It aches a lot, not like a pain its just an ache that cant really be treated with paracetamol, it helps a little but it doesn't work because you're moving teeth which cant exactly be treated for pain.
My main advice which no one gave me, is to sleep, find a comfy cushion (that you don't mind dribble on, ew!! I know, but you're mouth goes a bit odd and you may dribble in your sleep ,only the first day.) Just relax it.
As for food, there isn't much I did eat. I think the best food is a non spicy chilli con carne, because you don't have to chew it and it will stop the hunger. Some people say Ice Cream, but I found anything cold hurt. Its up to you what your pain threshold can take, everyone is different but this was my experience.
The first day you look really odd in braces, they probably wont 'suit' you on the first day as your mouth wont open the way it should.
So a month later, I had one tooth taken out, which is the worst. I had like 7 injections to numb my gums because apparently my gums are just too macho for one. That is the worst because the took it out with a brace in, not even sure that was like possible, but it is. Then another week later I had the same tooth on the other side out. I really didn't like the gap, it made me feel a bit weary of my appearance, but they soon hide away, and you can barely see mine anymore.
So every few months they are tightened, thats not much fun as they ache quite a lot however you see instant results with the tightening and the gaps become smaller each time. Mine still have a little to go but they've decreased a lot. Here are some more pictures of me and my brace over the past year, and then I'll go onto bands.
So as you can see, the sticky out tooth in the first picture is unnoticeable, gaps are not noticeable and overbite is definitely smaller. The top two pictures are 8 months of treatment.
So onto bands! These are like the big pull, I dont honestly know how long I have left, but from what i've seen through friends and online, bands are put on near the end of your treatment to make everything really work. They do ache for like 2 days and eating is such a pain. Physically and not. Again I ate chilli and really soft things. You have to take them out every meal and sometimes on a snack, rumored that if you wear them when you eat it helps them to work but I have no idea if its true, I just cant be bothered to keep taking them out. You get a few packets to get on with and the dentist will show you how to apply yours, mine are like this.
Sorry about the skin and the close up, the bands are a yellow colour which is such a pain as it looks gross. I also have the brackets on it on the top teeth. As you can see everything is straight and on its way to nearly being finished.
Basically, its been a long road, but you get used to them. Apart from pictures I cant really remember not having them on. Brushing is easy, eating got so easy that I could have a corn on the cob.
The worst foods are BREAD! (bread is the worst, gets so stuck its like the devil) and Apple would probably break your teeth. I even managed to eat gum (slaps wrist, despite not meaning to).
Pain/ache's only last a few days, and whats a few days for a lifetime of straight teeth and nice smiles.
OF course I can help you out with any questions you had, THIS IS MY EXPERIENCE. That does not mean that I AM A DENTIST, THAT I KNOW WHAT IS DEFIANTLY RIGHT OR WRONG AND THAT I HAVE NO OBLIGATION TO SAY ANY OF THIS. THIS IS JUST WHAT I'VE BEEN THROUGH AND THAT IT WILL HELP SOMEONE OUT THERE.
I will obviously post you my new smile when it is done, I cant imagine I have more than 6 months to go. (Trust me, goes so quickly, It feels like I've only had the brace for a few months, not 10/11!)
I hope this has honestly helped you out, I really recommend them if you have the opportunity to get them.
Many thanks for reading all of this!