My braces are off!

Hi folks, Just stopping by to let you know that my lingual braces have been removed.

In just under one year, with lingual braces across the top and a short stint with clear aligners on the bottom, my smile is straight and gap free. It feels great to be able to bite into a baguette without worrying and I have to admit that I do catch myself flashing a secret smile in the mirror from time to time. ūüėČ

The clinic’s therapist, Helena took the wires and brackets away and replaced them with a thin, inconspicuous wire which will remain on the back of my teeth as a permanent retainer to keep everything in place. Dr Chatoo then had some removable retainers made (a great belt and braces approach!) which I am due to pick up in a few weeks.

So now’s the time for a before and after. I really am so¬†happy with my result.¬†I can’t recommend Asif ¬†and his team at LLOC highly enough.

Thank you!<3

 

Before:image001

After:

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Lingual braces V Aligners

Hello ūüôā In my last post, I promised a video which would detail how I was getting along with the new aligners.¬†Luckily for you, I decided against using my rough¬†film-making skills¬†and have¬†proceeded with¬†a bit of writing instead.

Aligners?¬†¬†Clear aligners look a bit like a clear, thin mouthguard. You get a smaller size as you go along and they are a system which is gaining popularity in the world of adult tooth straightening. I was given a set of three aligners which¬†were designed to pull back my lower teeth so that my top teeth wouldn’t clash with them and treatment could be finished.

I thought it’d be a good idea to give an account of my short experience and compare it with my lingual braces which have been fixed onto the back of my top teeth for just over 10 months now. Here’s my verdict…

The Good

I am¬†really glad that I have been using these aligners because they have helped me move closer to having the teeth/smile¬†that I desire. Secondly, if worn for the amount of time that Dr Chatoo suggests (twenty¬†hours a day), the aligners seem to work quite quickly. I am lucky that my¬†lower teeth weren’t as bad as my top set. They had just a few mild,¬†wonky issues and because of this, I¬†saw movement after just three-four days of wearing the first aligner.

The bad

I wasn’t sure whether to entitle this section ‘ the bad’ or just ‘I’m bad’ because to be honest, the negative bit¬†of having my aligners is really down to me being a bit naughty. You’d think that being able to take my aligner out when I wished would have been a perk but in my experience, it became a bit of a curse. Knowing that I could just pop that bit of plastic out of my mouth when it got irritating or when I felt like it, was overwhelmingly tempting and¬†I¬†found that I started to¬†do it a lot. It got so bad that one morning, I spotted¬†my aligners on the floor, on the other side of the room-carelessly flung out of my mouth in middle of the night.

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Why I like lingual

Maybe it’s just that certain systems suit different people or maybe it’s lack of willpower on my part but I did find the aligners quite¬†hard¬†to get used to.

Discovering that I had a reckless attitude towards aligners is another reason why I am pleased that I chose to have lingual treatment on my upper teeth. Yes, the braces took some getting used to but because they were fixed to the back of my teeth, I had little choice but to get used to them and after just one to two months in, I even started to forget that they were there.

Before I got braces, I remember worrying a lot about what I would eat but later found that this was only an issue for the first few days. During this time, I ate as much soft food as I could. It was also quite easy to be creative with food choices. ( See an earlier post for some ideas!) By the second week, with just a little more care, I was eating whatever I wanted.

Both systems have played their part in creating my ‘new smile’. In some ways, having my teeth straightened has been a journey, I no longer hide behind a hand when I laugh or cringe at the size of my gap in pictures.¬†In others way, it’s been an¬†easy ride. Being able to see the gap in my teeth closing has been really exciting and I can’t believe that it won’t be long until the braces come off. What I’ve learnt so far is that with a good orthodontist and the right treatment, the positive side of lingual braces far out ways the negative.

 

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Aligners, tricks and nearing the end of treatment

Happy New Year everyone! I haven’t written here for a while so I thought I’d give you¬†a January update.

Story so far: My¬†lingual braces have become such a natural a part of my mouth that I hardly notice them. Aside from the fact that… I now have straight teeth! Yes, I can report that after just 7 months, my goofy top teeth are now straight, pulled back and aligned.

Latest gossip: However, due to the way my top teeth stuck out originally, my bottom teeth also grew a bit wonky and forward to match their counterparts. Seeing this, Dr Chatoo advised me to have aligners made for my bottom teeth to pull them back.

So here I am to write about the first day with these strange, transparent things. The aligners are made by Suresmile and were created in Texas by some robots (!) I received three fully customised aligners, each one slighter smaller than the last. The aligners (pictured below with their beautiful sparkly case) feel a bit like really thin, clear mouth guards. The upside of these is that I can take them out when I eat and consume hot drinks and they are invisible. I will only be wearing them for around 6 weeks, 2 weeks for each one.

Trick: When I got home¬†from my appointment today, I decided to test exactly how invisible my aligners were by asking a few people whether they noticed anything different and grinning madly at them. I’m pleased to report that no one noticed a thing and were shocked when I popped the clear aligner out to show off.

The downside is that they ache a bit at the moment. I keep wanting to take¬†them out which is probably an overall downside of aligners for reckless people like me who will¬†opt for comfort over being sensible. However¬†I’m going to stick with them as I¬†have noticed my teeth smashing¬†together recently which is exactly what Asif said would happen once the top row had been straightened.

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Aligner no.2 and no.3

Aligners:

  • Must be worn 20 hours per day
  • Take out when you eat and drink anything but water

I’m off to give these aligners a shot and¬†learn a bit more about what it’s like to have them. Bon-voyage for now but I promise to return soon with a short video¬†clip explaining¬†what the first few days have been like with them, the lingual braces as well as any tips I pick up along the way that might be useful for ya. xx

 

 

Blogging about braces

Ever since I began writing this blog, I have come across a surprising amount of other people who have also written about their orthodontic experience. Many of these are really detailed, helpful and worth a look if you are considering having braces.

Take six:

https://insideimsmiling.wordpress.com/

www.ukadultbraces.co.uk 

http://rockmystyle.co.uk/my-best-beauty-investment-ever/

http://myjourneywithbraces.tumblr.com/

Adultbracesjourney.co.uk

… and finally, my orthodontist’s blog. There is loads of interesting¬†content here about braces, teeth and health in general:¬†www.londonlingualbraces.com/blog

xx

The joys of seeing a hygienist

Last week I decided to add a hygiene session into my usual tightening/ wire change appointment. I know that I sound pretty strange saying¬†that I enjoyed my time having my teeth cleaned and scaled- it was great! Sarah Urquhart is the in-house hygienist at my orthodontic practice and her services are more than just convenient. As well as¬†finding¬†some common ground in our ancestry from up t’North, she was really¬†friendly and the session was thorough and educational.

The best part of the appointment (which lasted around 45 minutes) was the Prophy Jet clean. Slightly¬†contrary to use¬†the words ‘gentle’ and ‘blast’ in the same sentence but this is exactly what the experience was. Sarah used the¬†small hand held device to meticulously blast around my teeth just after she had completed her hygiene routine. There was definitely a ‘licking own teeth’ moment as I walked¬†back to the tube station.

You can find out more about¬†Sarah’s¬†appointments here:¬†http://www.londonlingualbraces.com/in-clinic-hygiene-lloc

Bad breath and braces | 5 ways to avoid it

No one likes to¬†talk about it and it’s something that everyone wants to avoid.

Bad breath

The truth is that wearing braces can increase your chances of having bad breath.  The reason for this is that there are more places for food particles to get trapped. In my experience, having braces fitted to the back of my teeth, with my tongue in constant contact can quickly make my mouth seem quite dry. Dehydration and left over, trapped food can cause problems with smelly breath. To help totally avoid the dreaded stink while you are having orthodontic treatment, follow my 5 tips:

  1. Stay on top of your dental health-¬†A good dental health¬†routine¬†is important even if you aren’t wearing braces¬†but for the time that you are, sticking to it is absolutely essential. When your braces were first fitted, your orthodontist probably ran through some ways that you should be using your tooth brush. I have found that you have to be much more thorough and really get in between all of the gaps and brackets. Floss is way¬†more difficult to use when you have braces. To be honest,¬†I don’t always do it but on the whole, orthodontists and dentists recommend using it so just try and work with it! ¬†With lingual braces, you should spend quite a lot of time cleaning the BACK of your teeth. Don’t forget that teeth have 5 sides, so paying attention to all of these as well as your tongue and gums ( be gentle) is essential.

2. Carry a travel kit- Carrying a travel sized toothbrush, paste, mini mouth wash, if you are a new brace wearer- ortho wax and floss is a really good idea. With a travel kit in your bag, you never have to worry about getting caught short after a meal or worrying about lingering bad breath when you’re out.

3. Drink lots of water- Have you ever had dry mouth¬†or¬†know that pang of worry¬†when your mouth starts to taste weird and you’re in mid-conversation? I can tell you that this feeling is increased by 100%¬†when you have braces! Aside from the obvious reasons, drinking lots of water will help wash away in unwanted food particles and stay¬†hydrated, thus helping to avoid bad breath.¬†In 2010, a report from The EU¬†Food Safety Authority suggested that the minimum levels of water we should all be drinking is¬†2 litres for men and 1.6 litres for women. It’s good for your skin, your brain and your mouth so just grab yourself a bottle and try to carry water around with you when you can.

4. Avoid sticky, moderate sugary and don’t eat smelly foods when you’re about to head out-¬†This is a no brainer for anyone, even without braces. Eat delicious onions, garlic and strong cheese to your hearts content… but remember that they can linger on the breath so not always best¬†eaten before a meeting or night out. The stuff to moderate is sugar. Frequent contact with sugary drinks and food can and will cause tooth decay which is bad in itself and poor dental health can contribute to bad breath. Although I have been found guilty of continuing to chew chewing gum with my braces on :/ , sticky stuff will get stuck in your braces. It is hard to clean away and the best practice is just to avoid it altogether.

5. See the hygienist-¬†Luckily, my orthodontist offers a hygiene service and if yours does too, make sure you book in at least once a year during your treatment. If this service isn’t on offer, just make an appointment at your dental practice with your normal hygienist. Regular examinations and cleaning are an essential way of helping you stay dentally healthy and smelly breath- freeee!

Three months into treatment

I cannot believe how much my teeth have moved in just three months! The gap at the front has nearly closed and my teeth on the left hand side look more aligned. I still have some time to go with the old linguals but just thought I would share an update with you.

 

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Please excuse the DRY lips

I am due a hygiene appointment at the clinic with LLOC‘s orthodontic hygienist, Sarah Urquhart next month and will report back to you after my session with her.