I am a 29 year old female from Cape Town, South Africa. Over the years I have noticed the crowding of my bottom teeth (one tooth in particular that pushes back) has increased. It has bothered me to some degree as it's sort of like 'where is my tooth venturing off to and how long will its journey last' lol.
Also, during a visit with my dentist (a year or so ago), she made mention that my top front teeth were a bit skew - I soon realized what she meant when I saw a side photograph of myself (closeup) and yeah they were less straight than I'd imagined.
I think straight, well cared for teeth are so beautiful and after some thought decided to visit an orthodontist situated in Cape Town, SA to see what my options were.
The process was quite simple - photographs (as per the ones I have attached to my review), moulds - nothing unbearable by any means, and then the required X-rays. Seeing as I had had a root canal done a year prior (which required a pan X-ray) I was able to skip having an X-ray done at the orthodontist and forwarded along my pan X-ray from my dentists office.
Within a week or two I received a diagnosis + treatment plans + quotations from my orthodontist and after reading through my options decided Lingual braces were the way for me to go (although a bit more fussy, they are invisible as they are fixed to the back of ones teeth).
As I am from South Africa, here is an idea of pricing in Rands:
- Steel Straightwire Appliance =
- Steel Self-Ligating Brackets =
- Ceramic Straightwire Brackets =
- Ceramic Self-Ligating Brackets =
- Invisalign Type Appliance =
- Lingual Appliance =
As mentioned, I opted for the Lingual Braces @ R36 000.00. I needed to make a R14 500.00 payment upfront and the balance is to be paid off via a monthly eft over 18 months (interest free).
I had my Lingual Braces put on yesterday (22 November 2016) after having a compulsory teeth cleaning (on site oral hygienest). The cleaning took half an hour and the Linguals took about 2 hours for application. The process consisted of a second cleaning, the attaching of brackets (I think this is the correct term) with a type of cement to the back of my teeth followed by the inserting of wires. The procedure was totally fine except my jaw did get quite tired and the plastic contraption they use to keep ones mouth open got a little uncomfortable against my gums - and not to mention the image of it all that I had in my mind made me want to laugh at the start :P
The Dr and his assistant were lovely, checking in every now and then that I was alright and to see if I needed a break at any point. I took just one break, as per my orthodontist - go team go!! I didn't want to waste any time!
After my Linguals had been applied, I had a pink substance (feels like raised fillings almost) put on either side of my mouth (back teeth) so that when (if ever) I chew food, the pressure will fall on these temporary hardened pink blobs as opposed to me biting down on my braces.
I was advised accordingly how to clean clean CLEAN twice a day - brush, regular floss down to the point of each bracket, then use a pick type floss to get to the hard to reach places and finish off with a mouthwash - woah boy!! This better be worth it in the end ;)
I was also given the low down on what to eat and what not to eat. Goodbye fun food, hello liquid living (Including very soft foods). An example: nothing tough, crunchy, chewy or sizeable (bites) but rather soft, liquid... and if you'd like a apple for e.g. you must break off tiny pieces to chew at a time type thing...
As it is verrrrry early days for me right now, I have been advised to have soups, scrambled eggs, smoothies... and should pain/discomfort occur, sucking on ice blocks / lollies is the way to go. Oh and I was given some sort of rubber stuff to put against whichever brackets hurt my tongue at any given time.
Last night (being my first night having the Linguals), an attempt to eat soup left me very disheartened. It was awkward, uncomfortable and I felt like most of the soup was trapped behind bars, I mean Linguals, at the back of my teeth :/
I'm usually a very chatty person but a long-ish phone call left me completely spent,verbally, and my tongue felt really irritated and jabbed (by the wires and brackets). Also, the realization that I wouldn't be able to eat a whole range of awesome food items for some time (or at least with the same care free enjoyment as before) made me feel pretty bleak - but let's be honest, there are more malicious scenarios in this world than finding yourself forced into healthy eating, slow chewing & intense oral hygiene.
It is now the 'morning after' - Day 2 and I've woken up to the same level of discomfort as I went to bed with. No pain. Just discomfort at having metal brackets and wires pushed up agaisnt the bottom and sides of my tongue :/
I have my next orthodontist appointment in 4 weeks, at which point more wires will be inserted. Perhaps each patients process / application differs due to their specific requirements... hence my orthodontist not wanting to overload me with all the wires at once for xyz reason...).
So, to conclude, I do not regret my decision in the long term sense as I know the results will be beautiful (touch wood ;) however as with anything, in order to get to the finish line you gotta run the race and right now the starting line is not my favorite place to be. And I would LOVE to go for a proper breakfast now but that could just be me wanting what I can't have - ya'll know the appeal :)
Any questions, please ask away. I will keep posting updates on this thread of mine as and when there's any action.
Good luck to those who are going ahead with Linguals - or any other braces for that matter. It's a pain (a pun only for some) but I can only imagine how happy we will all be the day our smiles are on point and we can look back and say we are glad we went ahead with such a mean feat :)