• Second Time’s The Charm: The First Big Leap

    • November 21, 2017
    • 2 min read
    • Featured writers

    So I know what you’re thinking. You’ve read my ‘Meet Meredith’ blog post and may have guessed I had braces as an adult (4 years of treatment!). In a perfect world, we would get the results we want in a short amount of time and end up with a perfect smile for the rest of our life. Sadly, it is not. Over the course of three years post-braces, my teeth changed quite a bit; I was no longer completely happy with my smile. So, I made a choice that so many of you may have made or are considering making. I was going to do it all again. Because second time’s the charm, right?

    I’ve been in the field of dental and orthodontics for well over 9 years, which has allowed me to see the most traditional and also the most advanced methods of corrective treatment. It’s provided me insight into what works for certain individuals, and what doesn’t. Personally, it’s allowed me to form an opinion on what method would work best for me… should I ever need to go through treatment again.

    The first option I considered was Invisalign. Pros: super discreet, and it would be effective in fixing some spacing on the upper arch. However, in my opinion, if I was going to do Invisalign I might as well be doing it on the bottom as well. So I’d get two trays (also called aligners) and then follow the sequence of switching to new trays every one to two weeks. Seems easy enough right? But there’s a huge factor to consider: compliance. The trays only work if you remember to wear them and not fall behind. I’ll admit it, I have had some compliance issues in the past with my retainers (especially on the upper) which has partially led me to where I am now. Oh well, you live and learn.

    Okay so Invisalign isn’t a realistic option for me. Which brings me to another option: traditional braces. My first time in braces, I had the typical metal (stainless steel) bracket and that’s how it was for four years. I wanted to go a little more subdued this time. I was excited that Dr. A suggested clear brackets as an option. The idea of discreet traditional braces made me a little more eager to start the process.

    Much like every patient coming in, I went through the initial exam of photos and x-rays. It’s a different perspective being the patient in the chair as opposed to the one working with the patient. I truly appreciate how thorough Dr. A was during my exam. She treated me like family and was genuinely dedicated to finding the right treatment plan and option for me.

    Sure, I had gone through braces before, but this time — granted a shorter planned treatment (4-6 months estimated) — I was a tad more nervous and self-conscious. Of course, I knew exactly what to expect, but it’s a life changing process.

    I scheduled myself in for October 24th and that was the day my journey began. It wasn’t as bad as I had expected! Initially, the brackets felt much more bulky than the metal ones I had before but that wouldn’t be as noticeable as I adjusted. I was sore for maybe five days initially, but have adjusted to them and I’ve even transitioned back to a more normal diet with the exception of foods to avoid (gummy bears are my favorite and those were still out). Other than that, it hasn’t been so bad! I did, however, forget how awkward it is to brush and keep everything clean with braces. All it took were some simple adjustments to the routine. So far, so good.

    This post is the first of many on my journey to improving my smile. I am so excited for you all to join me and to experience it through my eyes. Thanks for reading!

    May all the smiles be with you,

    Clinical Care Specialist (and resident Jedi).