Back when I was about 14/15, braces were becoming super cool. I remember the first of my friends to get them and I just thought she was unbelievably glamorous with those shiny silver tracks on her teeth and the fact that every month or so she would have different coloured bands on them - that she got to pick. The just looked cool and then everyone started getting them so naturally, I wanted them.
Then I got them.
Then I didn’t want them all that much anymore.
Braces. What the cool kids didn't tell you was the embarrassment of those first few days when you couldn’t speak without spittle flying everywhere, and how anything with an s in gave you an instant lisp. Nobody told you it would be a point and laugh situation when you had to go and brush your teeth in the toilets everyday after lunch, and of course, when that damn piece of ham got stuck right at the front, not even your best mate would tell you until 3 hours of behind the hand giggling later.
Apparently it was OK for the cool kids to go through this, but not you. Kids can be so cruel. But kids grow up and go away and eventually those memories just make for a good blog post - but straighter teeth and a more confident smile? That’s something you’ll carry with you for a lifetime (and apparently a lifelong bitterness towards those little gits).
Having the actual braces wasn’t all that bad - and I genuinely put that down to having both an amazing orthodontist. I had regular appointments with my orthodontist for check ups, tightenings, and band changes for close to 18 months. It was never always pleasant, I mean getting braces tightened should be considered a form of torture - and those little wax balls to stop the ends of the wire shredding your cheeks like a cheese grater? I don’t even want to think about how many I must have swallowed.
Having a good orthodontist is a must, so if you’re looking into getting braces this year, do your research! Looking around, places like The Old Spire offer top notch dental care. Braces have come a long way in the past 15 years and The Old Spire specialises in newer, less medieval torture-esq treatments. I love the look of the Invisalign - comfortable, clear and removable, these near invisible aligners do all the hard work and all you have to do is pop them in! No tracks, no bands, no extensive care. Maximum impact with minimal effort. My teeth are straight but my incisors turned in over the years because I didn’t follow my after care to a T all those years ago, the Invisalign would easily sort that out!
Top tips for surviving braces:
- Keep them clean! I was probably brushing my teeth 4 - 5 times a day but it was worth it, there is nothing worse than food getting stuck between the tracks or your teeth!
- Avoid hard foods: boiled sweets, extra crunchy apples, even popcorn (incase you bite a kernel!) can all snap the brace wires and not only cause issues with your braces but really bloody hurt too!
- Cut down on fizzy drinks! This is a given for good teeth in general but when wearing braces it’s equally important to cut your intake down to as little as possible - better still, none at all! They can corrode the tracks and glue, and stain your teeth - so when you’re braces come off you’ll have some interesting zebra patterns going on!
- Bite size! Cut all your food into smaller pieces, and try to avoid tearing food with your front teeth, you want to avoid putting any unnecessary strain on your braces!
- Keep up with the after care! Once the braces are off, there could still be work to do - most people get a retainer to wear for some time after - wear it. Your teeth can and will move and you don’t want them settling back into their old places after you’ve gone through so much with the braces!
Good days, bad days, but for the last 15 years I have become one open mouthed smiler. And I would do it again in a heartbeat. There is nothing more beautiful on a person than a confident smile!
Have you had braces?
Until next time,