09 December 2014

I'm getting braces today!

So, I'm getting braces fitted to my teeth today!

First, a bit of terminology. When I was growing up, we only ever spoke about “getting a brace”, and “braces” was either an Americanism or something used to hold up your trousers! So I had a brace on my lower teeth when I was thirteen. But now, I’ve fully embraced the American style, and am calling them braces, because I’m getting them top and bottom!

Now, your first reaction may be (as many of my friends did say), “But, Emma, your teeth are fine!”, and they're certainly much improved since some of my childhood photos (below), so I’d like to explain a bit about why I’m getting braces now.

A few years ago, when I was having my teeth whitened, the hygienist asked me if I’d ever thought of straightening my teeth, and I said no, I was quite happy with them. I just thought of them as a little quirky, like me! OK, I have a tooth that I occasionally refer to as a fang, but I don’t mind it too much.

Last year I started getting a sharp pain in one of my teeth. Now, for someone who has only ever had one filling, this was a very unusual experience! The pain seemed to be coming from the area of that filling, so I had it replaced (with a white one, which was a bonus!). But I still got this occasional pain… until one day a piece of my back tooth (the one behind the one with the filling) broke off!

I went to see the dentist, and she was quite surprised that the tooth had broken, as there seemed to be no decay or other reason for it breaking. She said that my bite might be misaligned, so she referred me to the orthodontist.

The orthodontist assessed my teeth, and sent off a report to the NHS to see if they would approve the treatment. They asked for more information from me about the orthodontic treatment I’d had as a teenager, then, eventually, I heard that the treatment had been approved! Which means it will cost me hundreds rather than thousands of pounds!

Looking at the moulds I had made of my teeth when they were whitened, I could see where the problem lies that might have caused my tooth to break – the only teeth that are really making contact at that side are the back two. Whereas at the other side (which to me looked less visually appealing, with a tooth I referred to as a fang), the teeth seem to be interlocking more neatly.

I have to say that there is a tiny bit of vanity involved too. I’ve noticed in photos that one of my front teeth tends to be in shadow because it is slightly behind the teeth either side of it, so it often looks dark in photos. Also my fang sticks out in photos from the sides!

So, now, almost exactly 30 years on from when I had my first brace removed (Christmas Eve 1984), I'm getting braces on my top and bottom teeth!

I’m sure you’ll hear more from me over the year about how I’m getting on with my braces, and probably some braces-friendly cookery ideas too!

1 comment:

Karen Perry said...

It's okay to get braces for vanity reasons. Hahaha! Nobody should deny you of the confidence that comes with having a perfect smile. I actually think you're already very pretty, Emma. Although the decision to get braces may sometimes be for aesthetic reasons, there are definitely other reasons to why people get them. Anyway, thanks for the update. All the best to you! :)

Karen Perry @ Brookside Dental Care

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