After four and a half years of wearing braces, it has been an incredible feeling to let my tongue glide on my freshly polished straight teeth!
Truth be told, I didn’t like my smile growing up because I always fixated on my crooked teeth. They were all I saw whenever I looked at my grade school picture day photos or any photo for that matter. So, I decided to get braces after getting my wisdom teeth out. Our family dentist referred me to Dr. James Noble from Orthodontics at Don Mills.
Before getting a consultation, my dentist forwarded a copy of my recent X-rays so that Dr. Noble had a starting point to assess my case. We sat down for an initial consultation about my teeth, my goals and why I wanted to get braces. Dr. Noble was very honest with me about the commitment and investment that I needed to make, which I really appreciated. He is a passionate orthodontist whom truly loves what he does, and it shows in his work. Dr. Noble works with a diverse age range of patients from young children to adults, so he has extensive experience with different case severities.
Though, I couldn’t help but feel that I got more than a beautiful new smile. Reflecting on the last 4 ½ years of wearing braces, I learned 5 important life lessons.
At first glance, four years is a long time to wait for something you’ve always wanted to have. There were times when I grew a bit restless, failing to recognize that there is a much greater reward down the road.
Think of the bigger picture
I went to 64 (more or less) individual appointments for my orthodontist and regular cleaning over the course of my entire treatment. They had to remove 4 teeth before installing the wires and brackets and I can’t even tell you how many elastics I’ve used! If you look at each of these factors individually, getting those pearly white straight teeth seems awfully daunting. But if we just take a step back to look at the bigger picture, all of these sacrifices contribute to an overall goal.
When you’re in pain, speak up!
I happen to have a high pain tolerance so luckily the regular tightening wasn’t a big deal. Actually, I remember happily eating a bacon cheeseburger right after getting my braces installed! Though there were times when a piece of wire would irritate my inner cheek and a ball of wax wouldn’t be able to ease the irritation. Instead of taking the pain in, a phone call needed to be made. A quick snip and voila! The pain is gone.
It’s easy to sweep our pain under the rug, or even worse, bury it. Speaking up when you’re in pain doesn’t make you a burden. It means something needs to change.
Smile with confidence
Yeah, yeah there’s something on my teeth. A piece of spinach or rice perhaps? It happens. As odd as it may sound, wearing my braces helped me embrace my crooked teeth for what they are-a work in progress. Our imperfections make us who we are. Let’s wear them with pride!
Invest in yourself
My treatment cost a little over $8000. I admit, I spent a pretty penny on something that might seem vain and I am damn proud of it! I made this investment for me because I know the health benefits and confidence boost sufficiently justified the cost. Besides, do you know how amazing it is to wake up and look in the mirror and love who you see staring back at you? I get to feel that, so I’d say it’s worth it.
Smile as wide as you can. You deserve to, we all do.
Happy World Smile Day!
Big THANK YOU to Dr. Noble and his lovely hygienists at Orthodontics at Don Mills! Your patience, positive attitudes and dedication are greatly appreciated! 🙂