All over…bar the last retainer!

Hey folks! Well, today was the day – the last day, the day of reckoning (if you will!). Today the bottom braces definitely WOULD be coming off (as that annoying gap came together just a scant two weeks after the top braces came off – dang it!)

Although I vaguely remembered the crunching and worrying thud of the pliers cracking the ceramic brackets off my top teeth last time I have to confess my memory had definitely softened the experience. It’s the strangest thing when a bracket comes off – simultaneously concerning (though there’s no real reason for concern, after all it’s not your actual tooth that’s cracking!) and really exciting as they finally fall away.

There’s also nothing quite like that moment when all the brackets are off and you can let your lips fall back over your teeth for a minute or two (until the next part of the process starts). Where there have been brackets, wires, elastics for months and months now there’s just a little glue to be polished off and it feels wonderful!

Despite the sometimes uncomfortable process of having braces removed, Lincoln Orthodontics (and the lovely Kerryl and Vicky – especially today) are experts at making the whole thing seem easy – taking time to make sure you’re as relaxed as possible and feel fully confident in them and the process. In addition to this you may also be treated to an impromptu freestyle dance from Vicky (if ‘Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough’ comes on the radio while you’re there!) 😉

After taking impressions of my teeth for another retainer (I’m not relishing the idea of a new retainer but I’m very used to the first one now so I feel confident this one will follow suit), I was allowed to have a good rinse of my mouth and a little look see in the mirror.

final

I’m lucky that my bottom teeth don’t really show when I smile so I doubt many people will even realise that I even had a brace on them – let alone that I’ve just had one taken off. However, I can tell you that they feel great and it’s SO nice to finally get my teeth back.

In case I never need to add anything to my blog again (if all goes well I shouldn’t need to) thank you for joining me on my journey to straight teeth and I hope that you’ve found it useful if you’re considering getting braces or you’re currently wearing them.

Definitely one of the best decisions I ever made – and one of my best investments. Every photo of me now comes with a good toothy smile!

Many, MANY thanks also to Lincoln Orthodontics who have made the whole process feel much less scary than I thought it would be – you’re all ace! Thanks also for the beautiful flowers – but I still think I should be giving them to you! 😉

flowers

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Gappy McGappyson!

Hi all!

I know, it’s been ages since I last blogged about my braces. Thing is, after a time, they become so familiar to you that they just don’t pull your focus anymore. However, there is a time that’s guaranteed to make you aware of them again – and that’s when you go to have your wires changed.

Today was “extra specially special” because not only did I have my wires changed but Mr Clare himself did some “extra specially special” ‘tweaking’ to my teeth to make them more symmetrical when they get pushed back together later on. I’ve got some larger gaps now because of it but the top front 6 teeth look fabbo individually 🙂

There was a bit of strong nudging to get the new wire around the bottom teeth but the staff are so lovely I never felt concerned.

There has been some really noticeable differences to my teeth since the braces were first installed and already some impact on my confidence levels when I smile too. Since starting the treatment I have become a certified Laughter Yoga Leader and one of the things you do a lot is laugh with all your teeth showing! Someone promoting my workshops asked for a photo of me to use and, for the first time EVER the photo I sent them shows me with my teeth (and braces) showing – and I’m amazingly fine with it!

ialt8

If I can feel like this not even halfway through how incredible am I going to feel when the braces finally come off??!! I’ll be a human version of the Cheshire Cat!

Well – it’s also close to Christmas so, while I’ve got your attention, let me take the opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

 

 

 

What price a confident smile?

So – here’s something I wasn’t quite expecting when I decided to fulfill my life’s ambition and get braces – that others wouldn’t be entirely supportive (or at least wouldn’t really understand why I got them).

It’s well known in my family that I hate my teeth, have always hated my teeth and, because of them, have never done a good toothy grin in a photo – ever! My sister and I went for a make-over/photography session in London 10 years ago as a treat. Hair and make-up were done to the nth degree (to be honest I didn’t really look like myself any more) and we were plied with champagne and compliments. MANY photos were taken and then, after the session, we were shown oodles of digital photos of ourselves and asked to pick out the ones we wanted to save. Without even taking a breath I said ‘get rid of all the photos that show my teeth’. They showed me one of the ‘toothy’ photos in an effort to persuade me they looked ok but, to me, they really didn’t. They had to go.

The chosen photos were lovely on the whole (as I said before I didn’t really look like me anyway) but each one had me with my mouth firmly closed with maybe some slight turn ups at the outer edges to prove that I was kind of happy/tipsy! 😉

My point is that, even with professional photography, lighting and make-up (and a decent amount of bubbly alcohol in my system) I still wasn’t able to accept my teeth in a natural smile. Sad really isn’t it?

This is something that I’ve always felt and, to add to my discontent, I’ve realised that my teeth have been getting worse over the years too (I’m sure I can’t be the only one who’s measured the movement of their teeth before? Am I?!)

So – my decision to have braces was a logical conclusion to my anti-grin stance and an attempt to get some confidence into my smile.

However, I’ve had a few people say to me since I had the braces installed, “why did you do that?” or “I didn’t think there was anything wrong with your teeth before”, “They’re not that bad are they?”

I know these things are said to genuinely make me feel better about myself and to reassure me that there was nothing ‘wrong’ with me before. Unfortunately what I hear is “That was a waste of money”, “What are you complaining about, there’s nothing wrong with your teeth” and “How vain you must be to care this much just about your teeth”. Thankfully I have enough people in my life who are (sometimes brutally) honest so I know that my teeth could definitely do with some improvement. I also trust my orthodontist not to sell me treatment I don’t need.

What I want to say to anyone out there contemplating having braces (and to myself as a bit of reassurance) is that, if your teeth are stopping you smiling, if you have to eradicate every image of yourself that might include your teeth, if you’re worried that they’re moving and may eventually look even worse than they already do – look into having braces. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks – they’re not living with your teeth. If you can’t smile with confidence that’s enough of a reason (if you’re in a solid position to do it) to seriously consider investing in yourself.

Ex braces wearers are the BEST at reassurance. They have been through it, remember what it was like before and after and are the first to say what a difference it will make to your smile and to your confidence. I choose to go with them – and their lovely straight teeth – and stay focused on the endgame. There are few things we can change about ourselves but our teeth we can – and I have chosen to do so. Thanks for the compliments and the good thoughts about my previous pearlies but I want a beautiful smile that I’m happy to share with anyone – and that’s what I’m aiming to have 🙂

Beauty portrait of a young brunette woman with beautiful smile

**Note to people who don’t know me – my smile does NOT look like this! 😉