Oh god, what have I done?
Yesterday I had conventional ceramic braces fitted and today I am freaked out by the foreignness of my mouth. I feel like I have giant protruding objects on my tiny little teeth and they are going to burst through my lips. Please tell me this feeling ends soon?
To be honest, getting my teeth fixed is not something I’ve always wanted to do. I didn’t have braces as a kid as my wonky teeth weren’t considered severe enough for UK orthodontists and I’d become quite reconciled with my dodgy British smile.
Until social media came along.
Suddenly, when nattering away on Insta stories or filming vlogs for clients I was confronted with how my teeth looked when I was speaking, and I hated it.
Throw into the mix some poor judged dental care in Australia (I had a tooth extracted and was later told by another dentist it shouldn’t have been!) and the fact that my teeth have continued to move as I’ve aged, and suddenly all I could think about was having a semi-decent smile.
Some sibling rivalry also played into the mix as my sister has recently undergone treatment with Invisalign and now has the perfect smile. I thought perfect smiles were incompatible with our genes but she showed me otherwise. I wanted in!
I mulled over the decision of Invisalign versus traditional (conventional) braces for a long time. The first orthodontist I saw (who turned out to be a dentist who did the odd brace treatment!) told me I wasn’t a candidate for Invisalign but when I went for a second opinion at Collins Street Orthodontics they told me I was.
Invisalign costs the same and take the same amount of time as the ceramic braces I was interested in but you take them out for eating. For most people this is a plus (and as I continue to eat another meal of mush I can see why!) but for me I was worried that my lifestyle and laziness would hinder their effectiveness (they need to be worn for 22 hours a day). I had visions of me taking them out to eat on a long haul flight and next getting the chance to wash and replace them 10,000 miles away.
So instead, I’ve gone for upper and lower clear conventional braces, which can’t be removed for the next 2-ish years, and prevent me from eating the likes of crusty bread, chewy steak, diet coke or curry.
Again, what was I thinking?!
In all seriousness, my appointment yesterday went really well. The wonderful staff at Collins Street Orthodontics (who I am not sponsored by or affiliated with in any way FYI) were wonderful at alleviating my anxiety and the whole process was pain-free. Their offices in the Manchester Unity Building are super slick and stylish and the whole atmosphere fills you with confidence, as well as a little jealousy over their enviable views.
At the moment, I just have a temporary wire while my mouth adjusts to the brackets and thanks to the hygienist who sat down with me afterwards I have some clear instructions on how to care for my braces and teeth over the coming weeks. I was freaked out at the list of foods I needed to avoid but thank goodness the hygienist said I needn’t give up my 1 latte a day. She also advised that I can sneak in the odd curry just before my wires are changed as it won’t matter then if they get stained. Sugary foods like cakes, chocolate and donuts, however, need to be avoided to prevent cavities and staining – I may be a size 8 by the end of this experience!
I’ll be going back in about 4 weeks to start the tightening and get things moving. Would you like me to update you on how I’m doing? I know teeth aren’t travel related but I found there was little out there about adult’s getting train-tracks so I could potentially fill a gap. (What a pun artist!)
The specifics: I’m being treated by Dr David Austin at Collins Street Orthodontics. Ceramic braces cost $8200 AUD – you can pay in full or with monthly, interest-free instalments. They have a referral scheme so feel free to give my name if you go for a free consultation.
I’m not sponsored or endorsed by the company in any way, just a happy customer – or hope to be by the end of my treatment!