Brace yourself, I’m having treatment!
July 5, 2017
Hello! I’m Rachel, the Head Receptionist at Cotswold Orthodontics. I have recently started orthodontic treatment and wanted to share my experience with you. Whether you are due to start treatment yourself or are interested in what we offer here, I hope this gives you some insight.
I had been given retainers following my orthodontic treatment as a teenager, but like a lot of young people do, I lost them. Last seen somewhere near the washing machine! I didn’t think too much of it at the time and didn’t notice how my teeth were gradually moving and becoming crowded. That was until I got the job at Cotswold Orthodontics some 12 years later. I spend my days discussing teeth, sorting study models or answering queries about braces, so it was inevitable that I would start looking at my own teeth. I decided to ask the specialists upstairs for their opinion!
The first step was to have some impressions and X-rays taken to check that all was ok and I was in a position to start treatment. Clare, one of our Orthodontists, talked me through my options. Several of the braces we offer here would achieve the desired result, but I decided to go for the classic train track braces on my upper teeth, but with ceramic brackets which are a little less noticeable but just as effective.
Having them fitted was a speedy and pain-free experience. It is a relatively simple procedure from a patient’s point of view and you get to wear some rather fetching protective glasses! Clare talked me through everything she was doing as she went along so I knew what to expect. Once she finished we checked that there weren’t any wires digging in and it felt comfortable, which it did. I could talk normally so my afternoon stint on reception went smoothly!
The teeth are adjusting to the brace in the first few days and they did ache a little. My diet has had to change to softer foods, so that I don’t cause any damage to the wire or the brackets and I’m avoiding any sweets or fizzy drinks, anything that might harm my teeth whilst the brace is on. It was a little sore, but a little dental wax and pain relief sorted this out and it only lasted for a few days.
My next appointment will be in six weeks’ time to check the progress and change the wire. It’s been surprising how quickly I have become used to having a brace again; I don’t even feel like it’s there a lot of the time.
September 8, 2017
I’ve now had my brace on for over 2 months, where on earth did the summer go?! So far my teeth have moved successfully and Clare is happy with the progress I am making. Lots of our patients have spotted the brace too and have been asking many questions, which I am more than happy to answer. It helps our new patients to speak to someone wears an appliance so they can see how it looks on a real life person. I have been seen demonstrating how to use the relief wax several times in recent weeks!
As many of our patient’s experience, there have been a few niggly aches and pains as my teeth have shuffled and settled into position. I have a stubborn lateral incisor, which is root filled, so has taken a little persuasion to move to the right a bit. I have the relief wax with me all the time! There are already noticeable changes in my teeth, which I wasn’t expecting so soon, they are cooperating well and I am already very pleased with how they are looking.
I have avoided any breakages thanks to the advice from our Treatment Coordinators. You do have to be cautious when brushing and eating, but it’s mainly just common sense. Meals out over the last few weeks have seen me cutting my food in more manageable pieces and carefully selecting food from the menu which is brace-friendly. (My all-time favourite is crème brûlée so have had to bid that a fond farewell for the time being!)
These past summer months have seen us say goodbye to a lot of our patients as they have had their final retainer checks and have completed their orthodontic treatment. It’s always worth remembering that any discomfort is temporary and that by the time treatment is finished you will be left with a result that more than makes up for it.
And they're off!
January 10, 2018
Following six months of treatment, my brace is now off and the retainer is on! Now comes the part where I have to be disciplined if I want my nice straight teeth to stay that way!
I was given my clear plastic retainer this morning, Clare has shown me the correct way to wear and remove it and I have been given instructions on how to look after it. These are £75 each to replace so aftercare is key! My teeth are aching a little, but this is just because they have had a week of freedom and are trying to shuffle back to where they were before.
Retention is key. The British Orthodontic Society has a great video on the importance of wearing the retainer here, https://youtu.be/5wCIFjlStzc which explains things well. I will be wearing my retainer full time for the next two weeks, then just at night time.
Below are the before and after pictures of my teeth, I am delighted with the results! Even though the changes may be minimal to look at, it’s boosted my confidence knowing that they look the best they can and my bite is so much more comfortable.
I must say a huge thank you to Clare and the team for treating me. If you are interested in a course of orthodontic treatment, please take a look at our website. Here we have details for all the treatments we offer; along with our contact information should you wish to arrange a consultation.