For years, whenever I've looked at a photograph of myself a little bit of me dies inside with the realisation that I don't have the perfect straight, white teeth which everyone seems to have on television and in magazines. I hated my teeth when I was younger, and always smiled with my mouth shut. It was only when some brave soul told me that it looked stupid that I stopped. I'm a lot older now and have gained confidence along the way, so now I smile, showing off my teeth. They may not be perfect, but they're mine.
That was all working well until a series of events had me sitting in an orthodontist's chair. My husband works for an orthodontic practice and my own dentist had been devoid of nursing staff when I last saw him. My teeth were in a worse state than usual, desperate for a scale and polish, and my husband suggested I visit his practice. Before seeing the hygienist, I had to see the orthodontist. He asked how I felt about my teeth and made a throw away comment about how he could straighten them easily and to let him know if I was ever interested. I then saw the hygienist for the most thorough (and stressful) cleaning my teeth had ever had, but the seed had been sown.
Three months on and today was my consultation appointment to decide what could be done. He started by discussing what was motivating me to be there and what I was looking to achieve. He then examined my teeth to check they were all healthy and had a panoramic x-ray done of my teeth, to check my roots were all strong and healthy. I also had impressions done. Then it was a case of discussing options. I have a crossover bite, with two of my incisors biting inside, not outside my lower teeth. As such, that left me with the options of traditional metal braces, the modern equivalent of ceramic braces or lingual braces. I immediately ruled out metal braces, in my mind I know with full certainty that I would look like Jaws from the James Bond films. After much feeling of the model teeth on his desk displaying each of the options, I decided on ceramic braces. Linguals fit inside your teeth and as such are invisible but can give you a lisp initially and your tongue is sore until you get used to them. The ceramic braces, whilst visible, aren't awful to look at, and are easier to get used to. Seeing pictures of both Tom Cruise and Danny from McFly both wearing them made me think that maybe I can convince myself that I'm joining an exclusive club for 12 to 15 months. That's how long it will take, by Christmas 2013, I may have the straight, white teeth that I've always wanted.
The only downside is that I need a tooth out to give a bit more room for movement. Everyone tells me it'll be fine and it won't hurt, but I still know that I'll be a nervous wreck on the day. I just need to focus on the fact that it'll be worth it in the end.
I'll post updates on my progress and, of course the obligatory before and after shots! But for now, this is the exclusive club I'll be joining!