So I've decided to step aside from beauty and fashion blogging for once to write more of an 'advice and guidance' post which I know will apply to many of my readers. I've had my braces off for a year and have been wearing retainers (only at night - I'll explain why later) since then. I've been rooting around for a photo of me before my braces but can't find one anywhere, argh!
Truth is, you don't really know what to expect with braces until you have them. There's so many myths around which made me feel so worried but now I believe that having braces for 2 and a half years of my teenage life was one of the best things I've ever done. My teeth were incredibly wonky and messy beforehand, which made me very self-conscious of my smile - which is difficult considering I'm a very smiley person!
Having my braces fitted took around 45 minutes and no, it didn't hurt. Of course, I appreciate that everyone will have unique experiences but mine was pretty good. However, my mouth ached for around 5 days afterwards and I was limited to softer foods which took me ages to eat. After that though, I didn't really have any problems. I was told that I couldn't eat a large number of foods including chocolate and crisps but I was naughty and rebelled as usual and did exactly as I pleased. The way I see it, you can eat and drink whatever you like as long as you look after your braces properly and take extra care when chewing.
You make them your own - I changed the colour of my braces every time I went to get them tightened. You could have them almost any colour; I had blue, purple, pink and green. I had my braces during prom and because my prom dress was royal blue, I had my braces the same colour - talk about co-ordinated!
Getting them tightened really isn't that bad! The first few times it does ache but it isn't painful. Towards the end of my treatment, I stopped noticing the ache more and more - I guess I just got used to it.
I wore my braces for 2 and a half years, though my treatment was only expected to last for a year and a half. My retainers are clear and fit over my teeth - they're almost invisible when being worn. I am supposed to wear them all the time but I find them very annoying and uncomfortable and they leave you with a yucky taste in your mouth. As usual, me following my own rules, I decided to only wear them at night - which hasn't caused any damage at all surprisingly though I wouldn't openly recommend doing this. However, I would strongly advise that you do wear retainers because I know people who had braces but didn't wear retainers afterwards and their teeth moved back to their original setting. You may not like them but the finished result - something you'll have for the rest of your life - is far more important. My teeth are still straight and I am super happy with the finished result.