Hey guys! So as you may or may not know for the last nearly two years I’ve been wearing fixed braces (not a decision I took lightly as a newly turned 28 year old I tell you), and I wanted to share with you my experience just in case you’re thinking about getting them or have just had them fitted.
I wrote [this blog post] shortly after having my braces fitted and what I will admit to is that I did slack off slightly after around a year of having my braces on i.e. I didn’t brush the braces as much during the day and I no longer used my ‘hot straws’ for tea and coffee, BUT there were some things that I DID keep up just to keep my braces intact and looking good; and if you carry on reading (and watch the video below) you will find out what they are!
Here are my top 5 tips when it comes to considering having and/or wearing fixed braces as an ADULT!
- 1) Don’t put it off for any longer – If you’re unhappy with your teeth then I highly recommend looking into and getting fixed braces. It may be pricey (£3-4k) but it is honestly the best money that I’ve ever spent and after a paying a deposit most dentists allow you to pay the remaining balance monthly, interest free. I wanted to feel happy with my smile not only for my videos and for myself in general, but for when I got married, so I knew that I had to start my treatment two years before the big day (they actually will have been off a year before I get married!).
- 2) Find a dentist who you feel comfortable with – If you’re going to be seeing someone once every 6 weeks for the next 1 to 2 years then my advice is to find a dentist who you like and who you feel that you can trust. I got such a nice feeling when I went to Honesty Dental Care (a private dentist practice near where I live) and really liked how Dr. Duffy spoke to me and seemed to operate. I actually met with Dr. Duffy in 2013 for an initial consultation, and then in 2014 (after having 4 wisdom teeth removed) we set about having my fixed clear braces fitted. I couldn’t have Invisalign treatment (removable clear braces) due to the nature of my teeth and what I wanted to achieve within a 2 year period.
- 3) Remember the first 2 weeks are tough – I will always remember those 2 weeks, and I tell everyone who is going to get braces on to expect the worst but know that it does get better! Just after your braces are fitted your speech will be slightly impaired and it may hurt/be difficult to eat. Soft foods will be your friend initially (think yoghurt consistency; things that don’t require much chewing!), as will the ‘wax pack’ that your dentist should give you; I had to break pieces of the wax off and stick them onto the brackets to stop my mouth and lips from rubbing against them and hurting until my lips ‘grew around’ them and my mouth got used to it! I didn’t experience much pain after the initial two weeks, expect for perhaps 1-2 days after they got ‘tightened’ (every 6-8 weeks).
- 4) Avoid staining and/or breaking your braces – If you go for the clear bracket braces then it’s best to avoid foods that will stain it. I learnt this the hard way and managed to discolour my braces (they turned a little yellow!) with the following foods; korma and Thai green curry and the following drink; orange squash (don’t worry though they go back to clear after your 6 or 8 week dentist appointment when he changes the wire and rubbers!). I used to only drink tea or coffee from a hot straw but eventually figured out that I could drink these without any staining so I ditched the hot straws after a year! I also made sure that I brushed my teeth well at least twice a day (morning and night). So that I didn’t break my braces, I always chopped up hard fruits such as apples before eating and I avoided sticky sweets such as toffees. I also didn’t bite straight into foods such as sandwiches (I would break pieces off to eat) just so that bread didn’t get caught on the fronts of my teeth – oh the things you do!!
- 5) Keep up with the aftercare – After 22 months (April 2016 for me) my braces came off and I now have a permeant brace behind both my bottom and top teeth; it’s a small thin wire that’s glued on and after a week or so of it being in I got used to it! I also have to wear (for life) Invisalign braces at night to stop my teeth from moving. I had to wear my Invisalign braces (I have 2 sets which I alternate daily) for 22 hours a day initially (I took them out only to eat) and then after a month this reduced to 12 hours a day (which is where I am currently at). I’m due to go back to see my dentist in a few weeks and at this point I think he’s going to tell me to only wear them on an evening and then ultimately only whilst I sleep. I clean my Invisalign braces with a manual tooth brush and tooth paste and then once a week use a proper cleaner (I use Retainer Brite).
So there you have it – my 22 month braces story and top tips as an adult!! If you are going to get fixed braces then good luck, it’s the best decision you’ve ever made and if you have any questions for me please just ask!
P.S In case you want to see what I looked like before my braces check out [this video] and here are pictures of me with my braces on; white wire (top picture for special occasions) and silver wire (bottom as these give better results long term); you can click on the images to enlarge them!
*I am not a dentist and the above tips are from personal experience only. Please ask your own dentist for more information.