If you want to know the truth about getting braces as an adult, here’s the skinny!
In the few years approaching my 40th birthday, I took myself in hand and set about an overhaul that involved losing weight, straightening my teeth and generally trying to help myself look and feel like ‘me’ again. Somehow, maybe after having kids or trying to get a business off the ground from a standing start, I’d lost myself and this manifested itself physically as well as mentally. After 35, I decided enough was enough and it was time to put myself first for a while, and get sorted!
One of the things on my ‘to do’ list was to get braces. In the blog post below, I have cut and pasted the original post from my old blog (It’s still JuggleMum but it was on a different server and has had a makeover – I’m improving everything!)
From 23 November 2010:
Yes, just like ‘Ugly Betty’ I have got fixed metal braces on both sets of teeth – just had them fitted, and they will be in place for 18 months!
One part of me (after I had tooth and jaw ache for 3 days after having them applied) wondered “why oh why did I do this again?” but my more ‘sensible’ side told me to get on with it, and it will all be worth it at the end!
I had braces as a teenager you see. But being young and stupid I demanded that they be removed before my treatment had ended. I probably had about 6 months to go until *perfect teeth* but now I will have to wear them for 18 months and then wear a retainer to sleep -every night, forever! A few people have expressed surprise that braces still work when you are an adult – that you can still get results, and I have to confess that I wasn’t sure they’d be viable when I went to ask the dentist, but indeed you can, and the Treatment Co-ordinator at my Orthodontist told me she had her braces applied at the age of 38 and taken off at 40 and never regretted it!
When I was a teen, I’d just started seeing my boyfriend (who became my husband), and I had braces, spots, glasses and was overweight. I was the most tragic teen *looks wise* that there was, and I’d become fed up with it all and just wanted to be pretty like my friends! So I asked for my braces to be taken off, so I could snog my boyfriend all day and night with no chafing! (I didn’t tell them that of course!)
So I got what I asked for and the braces came off and I was happy, but when I got into my late twenties, I started to wish I had *perfect teeth*! It was just a niggling thought that was always there, but I was self conscious about my crooked teeth, not so you would notice, but the fact that I didn’t have the ‘perfect arc’ smile like you see on TV would always be on my mind. So I decided to take the plunge – again! It is very true that you can’t put an old head on young shoulders!
This time I’m older and wiser *guffaw!* but at least I understand the commitment I’m making and am prepared for the dentist visits every 6 weeks to get the brace tightened, the fact that I have to thoroughly brush my teeth and brace after every single meal which takes a good 5 minutes each time, and that I have finally given up drinking Diet Coke (and fizzy drinks in general) because I was warned that my addiction to Diet Coke would rot my teeth (which I knew but chose to ignore before) but now, with braces fitted it means that if I continued to drink Diet Coke, there was a strong possibility that I’d have little white squares on each tooth when the brace came off, after the teeth around the brace got eroded.
This was finally the kick up the backside I needed to ditch the Diet Coke, which I had an addiction to- I had a headache for 3 days after I stopped which was the sugar/ sweetener withdrawal.**
So braces in place I was a bit shy at first, my speech was slightly affected- I felt like I had a lisp, and I didn’t really want anyone to notice my braces. My kids (7 and 3) said that I look ‘sparkly’ with them and I look like I have jewels on my teeth, so I decided to embrace the mouth bling and just tell people “I’ve added a little extra sparkle into my life” if they ask about my brace!
People do notice- my friends who know me well enough to ask directly have all asked about the brace! But bless him, my dad didn’t notice. I sat through a Sunday Lunch with him waiting for him to ask, and when I actually said “Dad- can you see anything different about me?” he said “You’ve had Botox!”
**Note from June 2015: I haven’t managed to quit the Diet Coke addiction yet. It keeps drawing me back in but the good news is that I didn’t get white squares on my teeth when the brace was removed. I did however drink less fizzy drinks during the time the brace was on.
You can see the results of this dental work at My Braces Are Off