Archives for February, 2016

Six month smile

Six month smile (6 month) review

I was one of one children who had brace after brace as a youngster, from primary school through to senior school, all the way from ten up to fifteen years old. So when it came time to have my brace off, the last thing I was going to do was wear yet ANOTHER ‘brace’ in the form of a retainer! Sadly, no one explained the consequences to me of not wearing a retainer and that my teeth would naturally drift. And drift they did..

So here I am in adulthood, hating the fact that my lateral incisors (the ones next to my front teeth) were slightly in standing and my canine teeth were slightly out of the natural arch. I thought of many options over the years, when veneers came in I though of having my laterals veneered so that there were all level together, but that would be a procedure that was irreversible, potentially damaging to my teeth and would need replacing at some point during my life – maybe more than once. Not really an option.

So when the six month smile system was introduced it seemed like the option I had been waiting for. Short term, cosmetic orthodontics for exactly my situation. So I had the assessment and I was a good candidate for having it done. I had the initial photographs and impressions done and then waited a couple of weeks for my brackets etc to come back from the laboratory.

The initial appointment was a long one, the preparation of the teeth and the fitting of the brackets in each quadrant of my mouth and the arch wires fitted too. It cast my mind back to my days at school of having them on. It was uncomfortable for about a week and then I kind of forgot that I had them at all. I returned every 4-6 weeks to have them adjusted, the odd power chain on to close gaps and new arch wires on, all according to how the movement of my teeth was progressing. Each time they were adjusted it was slightly uncomfortable for about 24 hours then it all settled down again. There were certain foods I had to avoid – anything hard like nuts or crusty baguettes and anything with a strong colour like curry. I didn’t always manage to avoid curries, but it did turn my bands a nice luminous yellow colour from the turmeric.

The whole treatment took about 9 months because one of my front teeth wasn’t moving as quickly as the others, a quick X-ray revealed a hooked root which was anchoring the tooth in a certain position. My options were to move it very slowly – thereby extending my treatment or settle for how it was. I was quite happy with my results, so I opted to leave it as it was.

The day I had my braces off, I couldn’t stop smiling. My teeth felt so straight and my lateral incisors were now almost perfectly in alignment – just what I wanted. I feel I now have a natural smile with straight teeth and it really has improved my confidence to smile. My teeth were also re shaped during the treatment so they weren’t quite as flared as they had been and I am so happy with the result.

The one thing I will be doing every single night is…wear my retainers!
By Jo Russel