BLOG: A Whole New Smile

 

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 which was done to get actual  mold of  mouth and teeth using a tray of material.  This was a little  uncomfortable.

The most challenging part  was that day when those square ceramics (brackets) were glued on each individual tooth.  I had to open  my mouth as wide as I could till work was done.

The pain of  how some  of  the  brackets  rubbed  my  gums during the earlier  months was tolerable at times  with the help of gum wax.  Tiis ganda ‘ika nga. 

The entire work involved  visiting the ortho clinic  once every month for wire adjustment.  Pressure on mouth  was common after each visit.

And yes, 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.

Of course, brushing and flossing became harder  and longer.

The biggest effect would be on food choices and habits.   It always helped to have a tag-along extra toothbrush everytime.

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.

I do not regret not being able to have  it when I was younger  because since it  is more modern now,  I guess,  the entire procedure was  less painful, more convenient  and  more efficient using high technology.

I appreciate my kids and my  husband Joji’s support.  My siblings Antonette and Giuse  were helpful with some tips. You are all right. It’s not too late for me na mas gumanda. Charot!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in All Stories, Donna Natividad-Arenas
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