Getting Braces In My Twenties

adult ceramic braces

One of my New Year's resolutions was to fix my teeth for once and all. So, when my lovely Orthodontist opened up in January I immediately booked in and had my braces on before the end of February: that was another of my new year resolutions - to actually get stuff for me done.

Now, before I fully go into this I have to fully disclose that my teeth were never really all that bad but after having braces twice before this point (more on that lower down) I notice them and every single slight issue with them. I stopped filming for my YouTube channel a while back because of another issue that I might share at some point and the changes with my lower teeth became all the more apparent once I'd stopped filming, editing and examining my face each week.

It's something I've not documented anywhere this time around and as I've not filmed since before having them fitted it's not something there's a clear record of as such. But, you can clearly see such a change in my teeth if you really delve into the back catalogue of my YouTube channel - just look out for the ombre hair!

Over the last year, the bunching and varied heights of my lower teeth bothered me so much so I took the plunge at had braces, for the third time, aged 26.

I think it's best to go all the way back to the start. I had a retainer and then train tracks in my teens for maybe two years. It felt like forever at the time as I initially was seen by a totally useless Orthodontist: he'd decided that my braces were to be removed well before my teeth were ready and my Dentist referred me to a private Orthodontist where I finished off my treatment. I was thrilled with my perfectly straight and aligned teeth.

However, when I hit my 20's my teeth started to move. It was a real shock to me and quite painful: I'd remove my retainer in the morning and find that just a couple of hours later my teeth would have entirely moved. Why you're never advised that this could possibly happen over the many, many orthodontist appointments you attend before your 20s totally baffles me.

A few friends of mine at the time were starting their Invisalign treatments and, as I was keen to have straight teeth once more, I explored the options available to me. I spoke with a cosmetic dentist and several SmilePod situations. Each and every option was so, so out of my price range and budget that I quickly returned to my beloved orthodontist and had fixed train track braces once more: for six months on my lower teeth and three months on my upper teeth. I was twenty-three and it wasn't too much of a big deal for me as I was just so focused upon having nice teeth again. I didn't really go out-out much over the three months I had a full face of metal but otherwise, it wasn't really much of a trauma.

The plan all along had been for me to have a fixed retainer fitted on my lower teeth at the end of this treatment: it's a super-thin strip of metal that's placed on the inside side of your teeth, completely hidden from view, which prevents your teeth (hopefully) ever moving again! However, my Orthodontist attended several conferences ahead of my final date and they completely changed his opinion of having a permanently fixed brace. Studies and cases at the time were showing that the wire fitted behind your teeth has the potential to move, and break, without the wearer realising. Causing some peoples jaws and teeth to completely realign and potentially require surgery.

So, I didn't get the fixed brace at the end of my treatment. And three years later my lower teeth have continued to bunch together. Moving despite my regular retainer wear: this time around it's been more subtle but my teeth were pushed together so they were no longer at one lovely uniform length and instead raised and lowered horribly.

Their irregularity really bothered me, especially after going through the expense of having a fixed retainer not once but twice.

So I took a final plunge into the world of train track braces one again - I think I'm my Orthodontist's most pedantic client and he's been so good to me. I saw him in February had my braces fixed that same night. I've gone back once to have them tightened - as this time around the treatment was less full-on than my previous two times - and last week to have a mould taken ahead of the fixed wire being fitted tonight.

It's been quick, painless and I'd pick having a fixed brace over the other treatments every single time.

I think there's sadly still quite a stigma to wearing fixed braces as an adult and a worry as to what they'll make you feel and how they'll make you look: especially within a professional setting. Yet, so so, so many people have them. The prospect of having a full face of braces is absolutely overwhelming at points but the treatment for having a fixed option, in my case, was considerably cheaper and quicker.

**** updated 13th April 2021

So, I got braces again. I was involved in a cycling accident soon after publishing this article on my blog. My lower teeth were supported by these braces and came out of the whole situation unscathed. My top teeth, however, didn't get off so lightly.

To say it was traumatic would really be an understatement. 

Emergency dentist appointments, composite bonding, anti-scarring treatments and a whole year of waiting to see if the damage to the roots of my teeth might result in them dying. It was stressful.

I went for ceramic braces this time round so they would be a lot more subtle within work situations and had them fitted two months before the pandemic hit. They were only meant to be on for five months but with the first lockdown and uncertainty during the second I ended up having them on for fifteen months.

They've been hidden under masks and visors for the past year and I've truly forgotten about them. 



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