Why I got braces as an adult (and how it’s going)

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damon braces

First day wearing my Damon braces

Why Did I Want Braces To Begin With?

I wasn’t blessed with beautiful teeth growing up… overcrowded, crooked teeth, with pointy canines. But as a child, I was lucky to go through an orthodontic process on the NHS. First, with a removable brace, later followed by a fixed ‘train track’ on my upper teeth. Back then, some *cough* 25 ish years ago, NHS orthodontics were very much different to how they are today. It was more clinical, not cosmetic, and cosmetic dentistry wasn’t really a ‘thing’ here in the UK. As a pre-teen, I was yet to even discover make-up let alone an appreciation for the enormous benefit beautiful teeth would have later on in life. I saw my braces as somewhat a punishment not privilege, nor did I understand the importance of wearing retainers.

When I finally got my braces off for once and for all, I looked in the mirror…

… and was disappointed.

My front teeth were no longer crooked, they were now side-by-side – but on a slant. Sure, it was slight, and yes, they looked WAY better than they did before braces… but it was noticeable. Since my lower teeth had not been treated, these remained entirely unchanged. My teeth continued to always bug me, but I got used to my smile and went along my way.

My real teeth issues began post-braces. After experiencing the freedom of having my braces removed, I was less than enthusiastic about wearing my retainer. And when I lost my retainer, I never bothered getting a replacement and my teeth started shifting almost immediately. Later, my wisdom teeth came through and over the years my teeth have started crowding again further changing the look of my teeth and smile.

I am naturally such a smiley person and I felt constantly inhibited; smiling behind my hand or closed lips and disliking all photos of me. Now, with two young children and so many wonderful memories to capture on photo, I began to realise that between my weight issues and my teeth issues, I was missing out on them all.

BAM! Entire the desire to change it all.

Why I chose Damon Clear Braces Over Regular Braces Or Invisalign

I made an appointment with Ringwood Dental here in Dorset (highly recommended by the way, they are awesome!) and figured I would simply need / want regular white braces,  although I was not adverse to metal ones.

Click here to find out more about Ringwood Dental ~

I had a very lengthy and detailed consultation with my orthodontist in which we discussed ALL types of braces: Six-Month Smiles, Damon braces, Invisalign, Incognito…

We spoke about treatment plan times with each option, the process involved, the costings… and importantly, the anticipated outcome. We also had a great chat about celebrity smiles… I was amazed to discover how many celebs with the seemingly ‘perfect smile’ are not actually sporting their own teeth. They are veneers! I’m not afraid of dental treatment (mostly), but a full set of veneers is one-step too far for this mamma!

before and after braces

Here are the reasons I chose Damon clear braces over regular braces

  • They are less noticeable. Regular braces are traditionally a silver-metal colour although many now offer a white alternative. With regular braces, you also require elastics on each bracket which add to the visibility of your brace. Whilst teenagers may opt for some funky bright colours, this was not on *my* agenda. White elastics also have a tendency to yellow or discolour depending on your food. Beetroot, anyone?
  • They are more comfortable. Damon braces don’t need to be ‘tightened’ and are gentle to the teeth and gums. They are also self-ligating which means each bracket moves independently to the others. The wire slides freely through each bracket and is not fixed to the tooth via an elastic as with conventional braces. This presents less friction so your teeth move quickly and more comfortably.
  • Fast treatment. Whilst everyone’s dental plan will be different, studies show that Damon braces can be up to six months faster than regular braces. That ‘s a long time when you have braces.
  • Easy to keep clean. Regular braces use dental elastics to hold the wire onto the brackets. With Damon braces the wire runs freely through the bracket. This small feature makes it easier to keep your brace clean and reduces bacteria and plaque in the mouth.

Here are the reasons I chose Damon clear braces over Invisalign

  • They are NOT removable. I’ve had braces twice before as a teenager (removable and fixed). This was my FINAL chance. I wanted them bolted on! No removing. No temptation. Braces fixed and job done, please!
  • They are more hygienic. Given the option to remove my braces at any given time, I know I probably would. I did as a teenager. I recall carrying around a little plastic retainer pot to put my brace in, or worse, wrapping it in a tissue and stuffing it in my pocket or bag. Ewww.
  • It forces you to make good food choices. I won’t lie. There are some foods you just can NOT eat with a fixed brace. Take my beloved Curly Wurly’s for example. I learned the hard way after spending the best part of an hour trying to pick the caramel out of my brace brackets. If I had Invisalign, I would have removed the brace trays without hesitation.
  • The corrections are more accurate. Damon braces can do more than straighten your teeth. They can also take into consideration your facial profile and align your teeth, bite and smile.
  • No speech difficulties. I remember walking away from the dental office with my first removable brace in tears because I had a terrible lisp. Not everyone experiences speech impediments with Invisalign, but it’s a possibility. Sure, with practice it’s easy to overcome but I speak to clients EVERY day and this was a big concern for me.

damon braces

The downsides to Damon Braces

If you can’t tell, I’m a Damon braces cheerleader :) Simply because, that is what I have right now – and it’s WORKING! But to be fair, there are some downsides – although the importance of which will vary from person to person.

  • Regular appointments. With fixed braces you will be required to make regular appointments to see your orthodontist. This will vary depending on your personal treatment plan, but anticipate at least monthly appointments, with fortnightly being a possibility during certain stages of treatment. (Side note, another reason I chose my orthodontist is because they have a great appointment schedule, with late night appointments also available!)
  • Mouth Ulcers. I have always been prone to mouth ulcers, often caused by a simple scratch to the gums or triggered by stress. So painful! I knew that having braces could affect this. I have suffered with mouth ulcers during my course of treatment, but I have also discovered some great mouth ulcer remedies so don’t let that put you off.
  • Damon braces are more expensive. But not the most expensive. All good things have a price tag. As with any orthodontic treatment, the more complex the process / appliance, the higher  the cost will be. Speak to your orthodontist and see which treatment / brace is best for YOU. Even ‘cheap braces‘ are costly and there is no point spending money on a cheaper brace if it will not give you the results you desire. Equally, a cheaper brace may take longer to reach the desired results, so Damon may prove cost-effective for you!

adult braces

Whew, that was a long one!

But there you have it – the background on why I got adult braces and how I chose the one’s I did.

If you’ve ever considered getting braces, be sure to check back in a short while as I’ll be sharing more of my braces journey and how you can make the best braces decision for you, if that is something you want to do.

natalie-obw-sig

 

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Natalie I feel your pain and joy. I would be a different girl if i had my original bucked teeth. I should ring my parents right now to again thank them for investing in my smile. I was wrapped in metal for literally years – but so worth it. My kids will no doubt need work soon. Loved reading your comparisons. How much longer do you have to go?

  2. says

    I think it is smart to get braces no matter what your age is. having straight beautiful teeth adds to a person’s self esteem. I think it is great you are going for it again! The end result will definitely be worth it. I know I am so grateful that I had them

  3. says

    You know I’m an avid reader of your brace journey and I still have those details to contact when we have some free money. Next year – fingers crossed x

  4. says

    how exciting to see the end result Natalie! And such discipline to choose the non removal option. I was spared orthodontics as a kid but my time may come as a parent!

  5. says

    I never had braces because my top teeth are naturally quite straight, but my bottom teeth are horrible. I know they’re not as visible, but I still wish they were nice and straight. I enquired about getting braces for them once but was told I’d have to get them on top as well (can’t remember why)… but if I could only get them on the bottom, I’d definitely consider it. Good on you for doing it Nat! A great smile is a huge asset.

    • Natalie says

      Hmmm, I’m not sure why you can’t get them on the bottom only – since you can get top only. I’d definitely seek a consultation with another orthodontist and find out!

      They do a really cool brace now which goes on the inside of your teeth so it’s almost invisible. A bit pricier, but very cool. Apparently, Kate Middleton had it on hers and nobody ever knew!

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