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. 😉
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.
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.
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
So here’s my first lingual bracevlog addition! It’s been quite strange talking to a little hole in the laptop screen but I’ve tried to cover a few eating tips, sometravel essentials and how it feels to have the wire changed and tightened up for the first time.
It’s now just under a week until lingual braces are fixed onto my top teeth and I’m both nervous and excited. To mark my vulnerable feelings, I thought I’d share my x-rays with you all. 😉
Look how far our teeth go down into our jaws! Seeing my own bones for the first time was a bit weird and I couldn’t believe how pushed forward my teeth looked in this second image. It’s safe to say that this pic alone has made the decision to have my teeth straightened 100% concrete.
At some stage last year, ‘lingual braces’ were brought to my attention. They work like train tracks but function from the back of your teeth. After some looking around, I was introduced to an orthodontist in the centre of town called Dr Asif Chatoo. I felt lucky when I found out that Asif is actually a highly regarded specialist in lingual braces. Soon enough I was going along for an initial consultation where I threw a lot of questions at him and got a lot of answers back! After diagnosis, Asif was also the first person to point out that my teeth are slightly too small for my mouth and that that was one of the main reasons for the gaps.
There is a society dedicated to the lingual system system- www.blos.co.uk It was here that I found out ‘lingual’ comes from the latin word Lingua; a term for ‘Tongue’. This makes sense as they are placed on the back of the teeth rather than the front and in this way, are nearly invisible.
UPDATE | Mould-taking day came around a few weeks ago. The therapist explained that because lingual braces are customised, they had to take impressions of all sides of my teeth. Having the putty moulds put in and taken out definitely wasn’t my finest moment but the team were genuinely lovely and didn’t even bat an eyelid when my tooth got stuck to my lip at the end.
To be honest, my teeth were never much of a big deal before. Ever since the arrival of my adult teeth, there’d always been a big gap at the front. The gaps and slightly forward facing front teeth were put down to my thumb sucking as a child and after feeling a bit self conscious in my early years I decided that the best course of action was just to learn to love them. I laughed about them a lot and took great pleasure in pulling goofy faces and doing party tricks by sticking things in between them. In the end, I kind of came to like the old muckers.
At 14, I was referred to the local orthodontist by my dentist. A consultation and other conversations passed by and my mum and dad explained that this was the best time to do something about my teeth. My best friend, who was also starting her own orthodontic treatment had already got underway. It was the perfect time. Looking back, they were probably right. (Sorry mum!)
Unfortunately, these appointments took place during my heavy metal, days spent in dark bedrooms listening to Pearl Jam (they’re still great), baggy jeans and general teenage rebellion phase. It didn’t take long until I went off the idea. I didn’t want teeth like everyone else. Besides, I had a boyfriend, didn’t want to be a metal mouth and what about those elastic bands?
On the day of mould taking, I was in full rebellion mode. I lay on the dentist chair staring up at a polystyrene head in the orthodontic surgery. It stared back at me with a weirdly over-sized set of metal glued to its mouth. It was then, to my parents and the orthodontist’s dismay that I sprang up out of the chair and announced that I didn’t want braces ANYMORE. I didn’t care about my gaps and never would.
That little tale happened over 14 years ago. So why did I decide to come back to braces? In short, I had a wisdom tooth removed last year and since then I started to notice that my teeth were moving and gaps have now appeared on either side of my two front teeth. The other reason is that a few years back, I started to take my musical hobby as a singer and songwriter a bit more seriously. I recorded an EP and started to gig. Every time a photo was taken, all I could see was… the teeth! Oh how my mum and dad were right. After some thought, I decided to settle that niggling anxiety once and for all and give braces another go.