After having wires on for three years, my braces were finally off today. A big day in my adult braces journey. I am sharing my story for others who are contemplating on having braces later on in their lives. This blog hopefully provides a picture of the general experience.
Why I had braces in the first place? It was due to issue with my twisted molars, poorly aligned teeth, gaps, protruding front teeth among others.
Our family dentist and I talked about options for improving teeth condition and overall oral health. Dr Hala Salama of Clarity Dental presented the pros and cons of both the Invisalign and the traditional metal braces. Together we decided on that the latter was more appropriate for my case.
She referred me to an orthodontic specialist, Dr Susan Tsang. Her clinic is in Grant Mall which is accessible to me as I live around same neighborhood.
Dr Tsang was patient in explaning every little detail. She said the time to straigthen teeth varies from person to person. Average treatment lasts two years. I understand that the entire process may take longer for me than other kids or teenagers because of my case or my age.
In 2015, I joined the bandwagon of adults wearing braces- which I realize was common considering the advanced modern orthodontic system, accessibility and perhaps affordability these days.
I found myself excited, at times nervous or anxious. The journey was not simple for me. It involved seeing a periodontist for some gum concerns. I underwent gum grafting, a type of dental surgery to correct recession of gum.
Preparations included various X-Rays. And then this thing called dental impressions or getting molds of your mouth –which was really uncomfortable.
The most challenging part was when those square ceramics called brackets were glued on each individual tooth. I had to open my mouth as wide as I could till work was done.
The pain when brackets rubbed my gums during the earlier months was tolerable at times with the help of gum wax. Tiis ganda ‘ika nga.
Entire work involved visiting the ortho clinic once every month for wire adjustment. Pressure on mouth was common after each visit.
Somehow, I enjoyed having to pick a color for elastics as I sat along side kids with braces who were same age as my kids. Haha.
Brushing and flossing became harder and longer. Biggest effect would be on food choices and habits. I always needed a tag-along extra toothbrush.
And since my job entails talking, wearing an appliance during the first year somehow affected the way I sounded on the radio. But that was temporary. Soon enough, I got used to it and just forgot about it.
Fast forward past three years, it was a good feeling to see my name on the board along with those clinic patients whose braces will be taken off!
The ordeal is done! Ha ha. And I am glad I went through it.
It was a lot of help that my husband’s dental insurance plans cover part of the expenses for braces and most orthodontic services required.
If braces are suggested for you as an adult and is contemplating on the idea, first thing to ask yourself is – are you READY to COMMIT to go through all the areas of treatment including sticking to all the routine visits? If you say YES then you are close to your goal.
Carefully discuss with professionals the pros and cons for you. Magkakaiba naman tayo ng kondisyon. Do not be shy to discuss and find out about your financial options.
And lastly, find a team that you can trust, with whom you can be comfortable working for a long time and that would have flexible schedules for you.
I commend Dr Tsang and her team at Winnipeg Orthdontic Clinic for their knowledge, warmth and professional care. Thank you to dental assistants Jhunnie and Natalie for the hardwork and patience with me. Thank you. as well. to Dr Salama for being always available for consulations.
All the “singaws” (mouth sores) are worth it. I am HAPPY with my new smile.