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Every Christmas growing up in my teens, I would write my Christmas list for my parents, detailing the things I'd had my eye on that year. Amongst other unrealistic super expensive, dream items, every single year without fail, there on the list would be 'braces'.
I apologise in advance for the length of this post, but hopefully you'll find it useful if you too are looking to get braces. I hope to share as much detail as possible, but if you have any other questions, feel free to drop me a question in the comments or tweet me!
I was constantly accused of being grumpy or giving people a dirty look when they first meet me.. but it simply wasn't the case! I'm generally a bubbly person, energetic and talkative (some would say I even talk too much!) But I suffer from a natural 'resting bitchy face' which I'm sure fellow sufferers would agree, it's a real problem that some of us girls face.
I did lots of research into the different types of braces and different options; veneers, lingual braces, clear removable braces (like Invisalign) and fixed braces, either metal, plastic and ceramic (train tracks) and I eventually settled on a fixed train track like brace. I found them to be much cheaper, get better results and I wouldn't ever be able to lose them as I did my retainer the first time round. The deciding factor was that invisible braces only tilt your out-of-line teeth into position, whereas fixed wired braces can physically move the position of the teeth in any direction, twisting, turning, tilting and pulling them into 'correct' alignment. They are also a lot faster at doing this than removable braces such as Invisalign. This just seemed more permanent and more effective!
This type of brace works by fixing brackets to each tooth in a particular place, which, when attached to a progressively stiffer wire (changed each month), will pull them into perfect alignment. The treatment is then finished off with not only a removable clear retainer (like the one you get with Invisalign) but a permanent fixed wire on the back of the teeth to keep them in line FOREVER!
As I needed both my top and bottom arches corrected, overcrowding and overlapping; I had several sets of moulds and photos taken at the dentist to confirm that this was the best course of action to take. Once confirmed, my monthly payment agreement was signed and was booked in the following week for my new braces to be fitted.
Being something which I've wanted for so long, I have no shame in admitting the price. All in, my braces, retainer, appointments, permanent wire, moulds, adjustments etc. is costing me £3,200. Over 3 years in a 0% interest payment agreement, and a small deposit, this is costing me around £73 a month.
At Christmas last year, in lieu of any presents, I asked relatives to instead kindly donate some money into my 'Tooth Fund' so that I could have a perfect smile for my perfect day. My very generous partner and parents will do the same for any upcoming birthdays and Christmases to help me pay it off. I just cant wait for them to see the final result!
Now I have the braces fitted, there's been quite the adjustment with what I can eat, how I eat and getting used to both wearing them, and their upkeep. With some luck, they should be off in time to have perfectly straight teeth for my wedding next June. There's been so much progress in movement in the 5 short weeks that I've had them on. My two front teeth, which previously overlapped and stuck out, are now almost in alignment and actually look half way to a decent smile. I'm so excited!!!!!!!!!!
Now, most people ask about pain. Initially there was some pain, but mainly due to the pre brace hygienist appointment which made my teeth super sensitive, the tips of my teeth were really tender. Biting or chewing anything was impossible. The pain went away in my teeth and jaw after about a week and since then, even after a wire change at week 4, there's not been much, if any pain.
The cost, if you were interested in braces like mine, will differ from dentist to dentist and dependant on how severe your misalignment is. There are many contributing factors to the price, so I would recommend you do as much research as possible into the different types and also, the different prices that dentists may offer. You may even be able to get your teeth whitened included in the price! Shop around for different prices and see what fits your budget. For me, this was not only the cheapest option, but the most effective. At my one month wire change, my dentist said that it may only take 6-8 months as my teeth have moved a huge amount already, so may not need them on for the 12 months I was initially quoted.
I now carry a small bag full of essentials with me everywhere, just in case I get food stuck in my teeth, have a fear of discolouration, and general cleaning and flossing after meals, as well as several packs of orthodontic wax for when the wire or brackets start grating away at my cheeks. I will go into further detail about the upkeep and my essentials in another post, so keep an eye out!
Obviously, as mentioned, I am funding these myself, and am very grateful to my family for their kindly gifted donation in helping me pay for them. When you finally get something you've wanted for so long, there's such a sense of relief and excitement. I just cannot wait for my big day to come so that I can finally show the happiness I am feeling!
If you want to know anything more about my braces and how they work/ how they're maintained, feel free to drop me a comment! I will be doing another post soon about the up keep essentials that I use every day in order to care for my teeth and braces.
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