Sometimes adults feel sheepish about getting braces or getting their teeth straight. The benefits of having a great smile go beyond just health benefits. Here is a personal testimony of a patient that decided to pursue orthodontic treatment in her 20's. Thanks so much for writing this LN!
Growing up my parents didn't think braces were a necessity for me. They felt that my teeth "came in pretty straight." Consequently, I was being compared to my older brother who had teeth coming in from all different directions, and had orthodontic treatment for about 3-4 years. So...yes, compared to him my teeth were dealt the better hand.
Around the age of 20 I started to pay more attention to my smile, I was always told that I have a, “big beautiful smile and that braces would make it even better.” So I strongly considered them and how much better it could be if I just invested in braces. The mental image of Ugly Betty always came to mind considering what I would look like with braces on...especially in my 20s!
Luckily now there are options for those adults who would prefer not to have the traditional metal braces. Clear braces and Invisalign are a growing technology that in the past we were unable to capitalize on. Growing up in Orange County, California our looks are very important for more than just superficial reasons. Colleges and Employers strongly consider who is representing their schools/companies so impeccable appearance is a necessity, unfortunately but that is the reality.
A few more years passed and I finally committed to Orthodontic Treatment for the next 18-24 months of my life. It was everything I was told it would be: “sore for the first week, avoid certain foods during your treatment time" but that it would all be worth it once I saw my new smile. My orthodontic treatment was completed in 18 months! I never broke a wire or bracket. I understood the importance of properly taking care of my braces and how it would affect how long I stay in orthodontic treatment.
Women have a lot of pressure when it comes to psychical appearance. There is so much pressure to look perfect that many end up creating temporary and false perceptions of themselves. As a girl in my twenties I definitely felt a lot of pressure to be skinny, have perfect skin, and of course perfect teeth. There are so many temporary things a girl can do to make herself feel better about her looks such as, makeup, hair extensions, or the not so temporary and get plastic surgery. I decided that I wasn't interested in the temporary or the drastic steps I could take. I chose to work on myself by being the best version of who I already was. I felt more confident with making a life long commitment to a healthy life style change at the age of twenty two to lose weight, have a healthy diet so that my hair and skin look healthy, and invest in braces to get my perfect smile. Now looking back at the transformation and the difference it has made to my confidence, and overall happiness, it was the best decision I have ever made! The results from my Orthodontic Treatment was much greater than I imagined.
Through my own personal journey with orthodontic treatment I learned so much about the process and had such a great experience that I made the career move to the dental field to work in orthodontics! To see every patient's before and after pictures and go through their journey with them, to relate and understand how our patients feel along the journey to their perfect smile has been a very rewarding experience. -LN