I've been a metal mouth since the age of 14. I have a really small mouth and at the time had really overcrowded teeth so was referred to an orthodontist at the age of 12 (the waiting lists for orthodontic treatment are unbelievably long!). I was initially referred to an Ortho in Salford where the orthodontist had suggested that I would have a retainer for the first year on my top teeth and then traintracks on the bottom. After the first year the top would be changed to traintracks also. At this point I still had baby teeth so had to have them taken out at my local dentist which wasn't a problem. I had all my x-rays, moulds (the most uncomfortable experience ever!) and regular check ups and was pretty much ready to have my brace put on.
Before putting the brace on the orthodontist wanted 4 of my adult teeth taken out at the back of my mouth so that there was more room for the procedure so I went to my local dentist to have this done. My dentist refused to take these teeth out as they were 'healthy adult teeth' and he felt that the procedure could occur without the removal of these teeth - he claimed to have 'orthodontic experience' and suggested that he took over the procedure which at the time seemed like the better idea as it was closer to home and meant that I didn't have to have teeth removed - Bonus!
A few weeks later my dentist put on traintracks on the first 6 top teeth to align them. This meant that the metal was free on the ends and often scratched against my top lip causing uncomfort and a lot of bleeding - the wax given to help this was no help and often fell off within the first few minutes of application. The pain was honestly unbearable half of the time and I struggled to eat properly the majority of the time. This was evident in the amount of weight I lost during the process.. I think I've lost about 2 stone since having braces. I had this brace for almost a year and a half and it did eventually straighten my teeth (only the front ones baring in mind). In the summer of 2013 (aged 16) my dentist all of a sudden decided that he couldn't carry on my procedure, took off my brace without giving me a retainer, and referred me back to another orthodontist. You can imagine how annoying and disheartening this was at the time and despite my teeth appearing straight it didn't take long for them to move back to their previous state which made me even more self-conscious.
Aged 17 (very nearly 18) I was eventually referred to my current Ortho in Gorton who, alike the first orthodontist, told me to have the same 4 teeth removed. 4 teeth down, moulds and x-rays re-taken I finally got my top brace put on (the whole way round this time!). Over half a year later I then had my bottom brace put on which didn't take much time at all to straighten. I currently have one tooth slightly out of line to the others and a spring inbetween the two surrounding teeth to allow it the space to move into line with the rest. This time the pain was hardly noticeable, more uncomfortable after having them tightened but apart from that I don't really feel any kind of pain. No rubbing either.
I still have quite a while left with braces - I have that one tooth that needs to be aligned and then my terrible overbite will eventually need elastics to help fix. I'll then have retainers which I'll have to wear afterwards to keep them in their new state. My brace journey has been quite eventful to say the least and would have been over and done with if I hadn't been messed around in the first place but even so I'm thankful to have them as it enables me to smile confidently which I couldn't do in my younger years. Anyone who has the opportunity to have them should honestly go for it - A good smile is a major confidence booster!
Have you had braces? what're your experiences? I'd love to hear your stories in the comments! I'll try and do a follow up post as my treatment progresses so any questions or tips you want answering just leave in the comments below!
All my love,