Braces at 30 – The Consultation
I did something last week I’d been thinking about for a long time. I had a consultation with an orthodontist to finally sort my teeth out, at 30 years old!
I really, really dislike my teeth. They are a total mess. Here are the problems:
- I have three teeth missing – there aren’t big gaps – they just aren’t there
- Well, I have small gaps between my bottom teeth, so the absence of a tooth here might have caused that
- My canines are next to my two front teeth instead of being the third tooth back on each side
- One of these canines is twisted 180 degrees so looks like a fang
- I have no lateral incisors at the top
- I have three baby teeth at the top so they are much smaller than my other teeth – there are no adult teeth to replace them so they never came out, but they might one day as they shouldn’t last so long and one dentist thinks one is wobbly
- Two of the baby teeth are canines – so I have four canines in my top jaw currently
- I have a peg tooth overlapping one of my top front teeth and canine, kind of where my lateral incisor should be – a random extra small tooth – a genetic anomaly according to the dentist, but common in people with missing teeth
- My teeth lean into my mouth – not something I’ve ever noticed myself, but something the orthodontist could tell and showed me. They can be pulled forward to give me a better bite apparently.
I sound like I must look hideous, right?! Lots of people say to me, aaw your teeth aren’t that bad. No they could be worse, but to me, that’s quite a lot wrong and quite a lot I’d like to sort out. I'm pretty sure the people who say to me they're fine wouldn't ever want to swap teeth with me! I hate smiling with my teeth. I am so paranoid about them. I even hate talking to people I don’t know because I feel they are thinking what awful teeth I have. Sometimes I bite my bottom lip and my ‘fang’ gets caught on it, especially if my lips are dry. Where I have gaps at the bottom I can see the sides of the teeth are wearing away a little. They basically bother me every single day. I think about how much I dislike them as soon as I see them each morning. I don't want to think about them anymore. I want to be proud of my teeth and smile. I look awkward and nervous in photos because I’m so paranoid about smiling; I smile with my mouth shut. Absolutely detesting my huge nose also doesn’t help, but that’s a story for another time!
So, I finally mustered up the courage (and a whopping £100) to have a consultation to see what the verdict was and various options. If I’m going to have something as drastic and expensive as braces for a few years then I want it done properly. There was an option to just replace the baby teeth, but my teeth would still look the same. The second option was to work with what I’ve got by leaving them in the same place and just straighten them out. Well, they’d look better, but they’d still be all different shapes and sizes with a peg tooth and canines in the wrong position. So I don’t think I’d be 100% happy with the end result.
My best option, but probably most daunting is to sort the whole lot out which involves some pretty scary looking teeth for up to two and a half years! Yikes! Here’s what they’d do:
- Remove the two canine baby teeth (currently third position back at the top)
- Fix braces to top and bottom
- Move my adult canines back into third position where they should be whilst also twisting the twisted one so it faces the correct way
- Move my bottom teeth together so there are no gaps between the teeth
- Change the angle of my teeth to improve my bite – making them more vertical rather than leaning slightly into my mouth
- Move peg tooth into middle of where one of the lateral incisors should be– then a veneer can be added or restorative work to build a tooth
- Add a false tooth (either implant or bridge) to the gap on the other side where the second lateral incisor should be
But before the false teeth (one each side of my front two teeth to be my lateral incisors) can be added, I would need to wear a retainer for six months after the braces (18-24 months). They might be able to add a false tooth of some sort to the retainer so I don’t look like I have two teeth missing for six months (even though I will have).
And, whilst having the braces, I will at first have two gaps where they have removed my baby canines, then once my adult canines have moved into place I’ll have a full tooth sized gap where one lateral incisor should be and a peg tooth in the middle of the lateral incisor space on the other side! With some lovely braces over the top for up to two years too! I kind of think the braces will be OK though as at least people can tell I’m having my teeth straightened and fixed, so I’ve not just got a bunch of teeth missing without cause.
So, for me, it’s not quite as simple as just having the braces to deal with. I’ll also have to deal with obvious missing teeth right at the front of my mouth.
But, no pain no gain right? That’s all I keep thinking. Plus, I keep imagining the day they are totally sorted. Retainer off and false teeth/veneers/restorative work (whatever I choose) complete and I have a perfect smile. I just know when that day comes I will think it was all totally worth it.
Two and a half years seems like a long time, but then I think how quickly time has gone since Bella was born and now she’s three and a third! So I’m certain the time would whizz by and I’ll have lovely teeth in no time!
So I’m still in the pondering process after my consultation, but I think I’ve made my mind up and I think I’m going to go for it. If I do I won’t start the process until next year, hopefully March once I can leave Reuben for a few hours (I’m still breastfeeding currently), and I’ll document my appointments and journey here. Once I’m brave enough to have a photo of my teeth (at the end I expect) I will show the transformation in before, after and during photos. I tried to look for blog posts or videos of people having braces in their 30s, but struggled to find much, so I think it will be good to document my journey.
Have you ever had braces? How old were you? How was it?