Hello 🙂 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…
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.
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.
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.