So, I’ve always been a little self-conscious about my smile. My teeth used to be perfectly fine, straight, normal, but then my wisdom teeth arrived. My dentist had always said I had a small mouth so when my wisdom teeth came through my other teeth moved to make room. My wisdom teeth are perfectly healthy teeth and there was no point removing them which I was happy to hear, but after some time, and looking at photos of me smiling, I noticed a difference and I wasn’t happy.
I researched a variety of different braces from clear plastic moulds (Invisalign), to braces behind my teeth (incognito), to the standard metal wire braces. Ultimately, I had to narrow down what mattered most and I decided I wanted braces that weren’t too expensive, that I didn’t need for a long time and that wouldn’t affect my studies. That was when I landed on Six Month Smiles. They’re normal braces but they’re coloured to match your teeth so you can’t notice they’re there unless you’re really looking. They’re perfect for small movements like mine and you have them for 4-9 months depending on the movement. You go to the dentist every 4 weeks to get them tightened and that’s it. The cost of the Six Month Smile is £2000, so not cheap, however this is actually cheaper than some other options. My dentist offered a discount if I paid all up front, instead of monthly, so I actually only paid £1500.
Making the phone call:
Although I knew I wanted braces, I was nervous. I didn’t know any other 21 year olds getting braces for the first time so I felt self-conscious, I was worried about the amount of money that I would be spending and would it really be worth it? I kept putting off booking an appointment, saying ‘I’ll call next week’, and before I knew it over a month had passed and I was getting annoyed at myself. In the end I sucked it up, rang the dentist and booked myself for the consultation.
Having the consultation
The consultation lasted about 10 minutes. It was quick and very reassuring. My dentist checked my teeth, looking more at the cosmetics of my teeth than the health, assessing if I would benefit from the six month smile scheme. I was so worried he’d say, ‘no not dramatic enough of a difference to warrant getting braces’ or, possibly worse, ‘you need far more movement so you’ll have to pay for braces that last 2+ years’. Luckily, he sat me down and said, “there is definitely a small amount of crowding and you’ve got an open and cross bite so I would definitely say you’d be perfect for the six month smile scheme.” He talked me through the procedure, answered all my questions and I left feeling so much better, reassured that I wasn’t being overly insecure and was raring to go for it. I booked and paid for it there and then.
The first stage
My return to the dentist started with a general x-ray of my teeth to check there were no major problems before starting my journey. He even sat me down in front of my scan and explained everything he saw before saying there were no problems and he’s perfectly happy to go ahead. The next part was something I’d heard friends go on about in school and made it seem like a horror movie; getting the moulds. First he took photographs of my teeth to use as my before pictures, and this was actually the most painful bit for me. They use a plastic apparatus to pull your lips away from the teeth to get them all in the photo but then he tried to put a mirror in my mouth as well, which with my small mouth meant the plastic apparatus was pushing a very sharp edge into my gums, and my eyes actually started to cry, a lot. Then came the mould. It was gooey, the bottom set made it impossible to swallow, but the top set wasn’t nearly as bad, and pulling the mould off certainly felt like they were going to pull all my teeth out, but again, I was just overthinking and it was over in about 10/15 minutes.
I was told it would take at least 2 weeks before the braces would be ready so I booked my appointment and now, all I can do is wait. I’m so excited for this journey.