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Back in December I went to The Dental Studio to talk about having orthodontic treatment and getting my teeth straightened. This is something I had been hoping to get done ever since my teens – when I’d last had braces – and my teeth all moved back after I stopped wearing my retainer.
I wrote about my reasons for getting my teeth straightened and I also wrote an update after a month of treatment. I was planning on writing other updates a few months in as well but, in the end, I only needed the braces for just over five months and so I thought I would wait until now, with the braces off, to write about the whole experience.
What adult braces did I have?
Instead of invisible braces, I had CFast braces fitted – ceramic braces that are tooth coloured with clear or white bands. These fixed braces were as invisible as they could be and after the first weeks of getting used to them I didn’t really notice them much at all. Yes, my mouth hurt to begin with and it took a while for the inside of my mouth to settle down where the brackets rubbed but after that the whole process was pretty pain-free.
I had to go back to The Dental Studio every 3-4 weeks for adjustments on the clear braces. These appointments were only about fifteen minutes long and involved the wire being taken off my teeth, my teeth stripped in places if necessary and then the wire being put back on.
What is interdental stripping?
The interdental stripping wasn’t a pleasant experience but it meant I didn’t have to have any teeth removed through the treatment process. Instead, the enamel on my teeth was filed down in places where I had an excess of it to make room for the teeth to move. Although it did hurt at the time there were instant results, especially on my bottom teeth that went from being so overcrowded to being pretty straight within the first couple of months. Seeing the results made the initial pain so worthwhile.
Is having your teeth straightened painful?
Each time my braces were adjusted my teeth, jaw and sometimes my whole face ached for anything up to three days afterwards. My teeth felt quite unsettled and often I couldn’t chew for those first days so mashed potato, protein shakes and soup were my best friends. But, it did lead to weight loss, an unexpected benefit!
Throughout the treatment I had to make sure I cleaned my teeth really well and soon got into the habit of cleaning my teeth after every meal. I used special brushes between my teeth instead of flossing and had special heads for my electric toothbrush that made cleaning my teeth so much easier. It was always a time consuming process but a really necessary one.
My dentist, Stephen Pitt, has been so great throughout the treatment process. When I first met him I was pretty terrified of getting my teeth straightened, although I wanted it so badly. But he put me at ease, spoke to me about the options available and really set my mind at rest. Then, month by month he’d talk to me about what was happening with my teeth, the progress being made and the next steps. I really couldn’t have had a better experience.
But, The Dental Studio is also such a welcoming, friendly place. Every other dentist I have been to has been quite clinical and sterile but The Dental Studio was so different. The reception staff were always so happy and friendly and although it was still very much a dentist it had a really warm feeling to it, with the clinical aspects blended in to a really homely building and atmosphere. It really opened my eyes to how a dental practice should – and could – be.
My braces came off in the middle of May in a relatively pain-free process. My teeth were cleaned up and I had fixed retainers put on the back of my front teeth to stop them moving as time passes. The fixed retainers are basically a wire stuck to the back of my teeth with white filling material. After the first day of having them I didn’t notice them at all and now they are just a normal part of my mouth.
What are fixed retainers like?
Due to the fixed retainers I can no longer floss my teeth but instead I use special floss and interdental brushes to make sure my teeth are as clean as possible. Cleaning my teeth has definitely become something I no longer take for granted.
I went back to the Dental Studio a couple of weeks after having the braces off to pick up removable retainers – to wear overnight – and a course of teeth whitening treatment which has worked so well. My teeth are whiter than they have ever been before and thanks to the whitening trays – which are also my retainers – the whitening process was so easy and worked much better than I ever expected.
So I’ve told you all about the teeth straightening process. I’ve told you about the mechanics, the pain and how well Cfast worked. You can see from the pictures what a difference it has made to my teeth. But, what I haven’t told you yet is that Cfast has done so much more than just straighten my teeth – Cfast and The Dental Studio have changed my life.
Now, with straight teeth, I feel so much happier and I have confidence that I never knew was possible. I’m happy to talk to anyone, to try new things and to put myself out there in a way I never would have a year ago. I feel comfortable in my skin for the first time in my life, I feel as valid as the next person and I feel like this has given me a new lease of life, one with a fresh outlook.
I feel like a completely different person, in such a good way, and I really can’t thank Stephen enough for the work he did on my teeth. It has had more of an impact than he, the Dental Studio or Cfast will ever realise.
If you have ever thought of getting your teeth straightened – do it. I really wish I’d had this done ten or even fifteen years ago but, it’s never too late to make a change and I now have the rest of my life to appreciate my new smile. The treatment time varies from person to person but I’m amazed with my smile now compared to my mouth of crowded teeth before!
The Dental Studio currently have an offer on treatment just like mine: Upper and lower Cfast braces, upper and lower fixed and removable retainers and tooth whitening for only £2700.
Here’s a little video I made of the teeth straightening process: