It's over, it's finally over! (well, mostly). If you follow me on twitter or instagram then you'll probably have noticed me moaning on the odd occasion about my braces and then you probably seen the excitement when I knew I was getting them off. I've been to hell and back with my teeth, so I felt that they deserved a little blog post all to themselves.
Like a lot of kids, I had squinty teeth when I was younger. Actually, they weren't really that squinty, I had fangs a little bit like Kirsten Dunst, but way less cute, and my bottom jaw was over crowded with too many teeth. So, my mum decided that she would take me to the dentist for some advice on getting braces. I was pretty nervous the first time, as being friends with people older than me who already had braces, I had heard quite a few horror stories. However, the dentist I went to see was incredibly friendly and was very keen to get me started on the treatment. I was pretty happy when I got my braces in as I knew I was on the path to a prettier smile. That happiness didn't last long, though.
After a few months, I noticed that the gaps weren't closing, despite the fact that my little cousin (who started her treatment within a week of me), and other friends, also had braces and their gaps closed almost instantly. I was pretty upset that the braces weren't making a difference. I was also annoyed that whenever I went to get them tightened, they never cut the wires properly, so I was constantly being stabbed in the gums and cheeks with the wire. All in all, it wasn't a good first couple of months. Things did pick up a little after the first year, my teeth were essentially straight and I was sure I was getting them out within the next few months. How silly I was.
Seven long years I had those braces in. It was awful. It turned out my dentist was a scammer, a fraud and was deliberately ruining patients teeth in order to keep them on the treatment longer and keeping him paid for longer. He was very clever at it, obviously expecting that the majority of people would never catch on considering how little they would know about dentistry and orthodontics. I honestly never knew, until I seen him in the local newspaper. His plans were quite simple, when "tightening" the wires in the brace, he would pull them too much at one side in order to cause a gap at the opposite side. This would then go under the excuse of "don't worry, we're just closing all the gaps" or "it will be fine, they'll eventually straighten out". On the next appointment he would do the same thing, only switching the side he would tighten and the side the gap was created on.
This plan of causing gaps went on for years, and it never occurred to me or my mum too seek outside advice, considering everyone else I knew who got braces at the same time as me got them out within the first eighteen months. It went kind of unnoticed. After a few years, I'm talking an easy five (yes, five!), a mother of another patient went to a private dentist to consult about her sons teeth, who had also had the treatment of causing gaps from my dentist. He quickly discovered what he was doing, and it spiralled quickly from there. An investigation was launched into his practice and it soon came out about everything he was doing. He was stripped of his ability to practice dentistry and was sacked, as was most of his staff who were doing the same thing.
After the mess he had caused with my teeth, including pulling out too many teeth on my bottom jaw, I pretty much had to start the treatment again from scratch, with a new dentist. I was quite scared to go to a new dentist after the shambles of the last guy, but it turned out the guy that took them off was lovely and he couldn't have been more apologetic about the way my treatment had been handled, even though it wasn't his fault. All in all, it wasn't a pleasant experience, but that was just my experience, I know plenty of people who have had braces with absolutely no complications whatsoever. I guess I was just unlucky with mine.
So now, I'm braceless!
It feels so good to not feel those sharp metal braces poking and stabbing my mouth any more. My teeth are straight, but will need whitened a little where the braces have been sitting for those years, as it's a little stained, but after the length of time I've had them, that's to be expected. I will have to wear a retainer, which I'm not really looking forward too, as it's another hassle, but as least I only need to wear that at night. I can't tell you how good it feels to finally be able to smile and not feel ashamed of being twenty-three and still wearing braces. I can smile confidently in photos now and not pull that mouth closed smile I always do. I smile with my gnashers now!
Seven years and it's finally over. I couldn't be more glad. If you know of any good whitening kits or toothpastes that whiten well then send a link my way! I will happily buy them all to test, haha.