Friday, 18 December 2015

Smile! My experience (so far) with Incognito Braces

A bit of a different post today - advance apologies for this being quite long and for containing pictures of teeth. After dithering for five months over whether to post about this I realised I actually do have quite a lot to say. Extra apologies if you are reading over breakfast.

One of the biggest and best decisions I made in 2015 was to get braces. I've read a few posts by other bloggers I follow on the subject and thought I’d share my story too after posting a progress pic on Twitter a couple of weeks ago as while I’ve had braces since July you can’t actually see them and most of my friends have had no idea until I’ve told them! (Apart from the few who have listened patiently to be complaining about my teeth hurting and oh-my-goodness-why-is-there-now-a-gap-between-my-front-teeth? Said gap has now gone, thank goodness.)

I am so happy with the results so far and I’m not even half way through the process. Backstory: I had braces as a teenager (a gross removable one and then metal train tracks) but upon them being taken off the relief at not having a mouth of metal totally trumped my doubts that no, my teeth don’t look anything like Britney Spears’ and that my back teeth didn't even bite together properly.

An old "smiling with teeth picture" - not too many exist! 
When my early 20s hit and I was regularly confronted with Facebook pictures of myself and then started voluntarily uploading pictures of myself as a blogger I started to dislike my smile and teeth - they were small and wonky and having American friends at university with their perfectly straight, white teeth didn't help. I adopted a closed mouth smile and parked the idea of braces for when I was "planning my wedding".

Fast-forward to my late(r) twenties with no wedding in sight I started looking into my options for fixing my teeth for life and not for one day's worth of wedding photographs. I looked into Invisalign a couple of years ago but was told that it wasn’t right for my teeth and that the only option was traditional braces. As a single girl I couldn’t face the thought of having metal braces – I work in a corporate environment, am always meeting new people though my job and blog, constantly post pictures of myself online and don’t even get me started on the prospect of dating or the idea of getting food stuck in them while on my mission to basically eat everything in London...I went down the route of Incognito braces the braces are like traditional metal braces but go behind the teeth and so are completely invisible.

The downside? They cost a lot more as they have to be custom made, are not removable and can affect eating and talking (my two true loves!). I went for a consultation and as soon as I was told that they would work for me I made the decision – teeth are for life and the few designer handbags that I could have bought with the money would not be, no matter how hard I tried try to convince myself.I had my braces fitted in mid-July – the week before I had had 2 lower pre-molars extracted to make space for my crowded bottom teeth and to match with my upper set which I had had the same 2 teeth removed from as a teen. The extractions didn’t hurt and healed really fast – I just had to pre-vet all my social plans that week to make sure that any restaurant I went to had soft food on the menu! The gaps are now almost closed and didn’t show when smiling / talking.

Photo Booth fun a couple of weeks ago.
The first week I felt super aware of the braces and paranoid that anything I ate would break them but I got used to them so quickly – I’d read horror stories of people developing a list that never goes away but aside from the first week when I just avoided saying “s” words I didn’t really have any issues and now I genuinely barely even notice that they are there.

The first week was definitely the worst – I don’t particularly like soup, my tongue was sore and scratched from the brackets and I felt super paranoid that everyone knew I had the braces even though they are invisible but it seriously gets so much better! Five months on and I’m already so much happier with my smile. I don’t automatically press my lips together when smiling for photos and I’m not embarrassed by the state of teeth. My bright lipsticks have come out of retirement and every time I see my teeth in the mirror and can’t believe how different they look! Only a few of my friends have noticed the braces and they are 99% invisible - I am shorter than all my friends which means that the lower set can be seen but only by people who spend a lot of time with me.

Incognito braces before and after
Yes, the lighting is very different but mid-July 2015 - mid-December 2015 - quite a bit change!
The other downside is that biting through crunchy bread, apples and pizza is a no-no - both because it hurts my teeth and I'm terrified of breaking the braces but I can eat most things if I cut them up and hey, it means that I eat things in a more ladylike manner. I also avoid bread in any form as it gets stuck in the brackets (yes gross), nuts, chewing gum and (my absolute favourite) peanut M&Ms.Being fixed there is no temptation to not wear them like with Invisalign but around the days of getting them adjusted I do end up choosing less chewy foods and sticking to smoothies, soups and Itsu rice pots! I found this blog super helpful for getting through the first week and you can see more of what the braces look like too.

I’ll do an update in a few months’ time as there's still some way to go but here's to ending 2015 smiling happily for a lot of reasons :)
lilylipstick
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3 comments

  1. They have made such a difference already, I had metal braces when I was at school and hated every minute!

    Maria xxx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting post. I never had braces and I regret it as my teeth aren't great. I'd hate to have traditional braces though so this might be an option...for the mysterious future!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had no idea, Lily! I had braces as a teen too and now my teeth have really started shifting back to how they were before, which is really upsetting me. These braces seem like a possible option for me too...x

    ReplyDelete

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