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

 

 

20 weeks | How my teeth look now

I watched a video of a performance¬†from last year and was a bit horrified by how big the gaps in my teeth had got. In despair, I thought that this would be a good time to update the blog about how things¬†are looking. Still a way¬†to go but¬†things are moving which can only be good! If you are thinking about having your teeth straightened or are starting treatment, please feel free to¬†get in touch and I’ll try to answer¬†any questions you may have.