Okay, okay, the title of this post is a slight white lie… I’ve actually had my Damon Braces for 1 year, 1 month and 20 days. When I first got them, I planned to post regular updates on this blog, but soon realised “they hurt when they get adjusted, my teeth are moving, I still have a way to go” isn’t that engaging when it comes to ~content~.
So here is a 1 year on update, which I’m hoping might actually be of interest to anyone with or considering braces.
When it came to braces, I didn’t give it much thought. I wasn’t unhappy with my smile, you wouldn’t have thought I needed braces by looking at my teeth, I had no plans to get them. It was a decision taken out of my hands because I had a retained baby tooth that the adult tooth was growing behind, and leaving it would have caused a lot of issues and resulted in braces anyway. (Just more complicated ones when I was even older – no thanks!).
Deciding To Get Braces
My decision to get them was relatively straightforward, not really my own decision actually. I was told I needed them by my dentist, who referred me to an orthodontist, I had a scour of their website/reviews, booked in a consultation, and it went from there. It was quite quick considering how big a decision it was.
And I’m so happy that was my experience. I’m glad I didn’t have time to linger on my decision, or change my mind, or put it off. I could so easily not even have them on right now, rather than being a year away from removal.
I’m still quite ~old~ in terms of having braces, but in the grand scheme of life I’m hopefully still quite young. (Or am I doing that thing my mum and her mates do where they bang on about being “only as young as you feel” while their kids eye roll at how ancient they are???).
Choosing The Damon System
So anyway: Damon braces.
The Damon system was recommended to me by my orthodontist, and I went for clear on the top, metal on the bottom. The clear aren’t as obvious as the metal, of course, but until I started my new job I always thought they were still very noticeable. Turns out a couple of people didn’t even realise I had them, and I’ve been there around a month now.
So yes, the clear are definitely worth going for if the appearance of braces is something that puts you off them.
As far as I can tell amongst all the science-y mumbo jumbo, the way the Damon system works is the metal wire has a ‘memory’ and tries to return to its original shape. The brackets allow the wire to move freely, so as the wire returns to its original shape it brings your teeth along for the ride – resulting in straight teeth in a perfect shape.
Pain wise? They’re supposed to be less painful than traditional braces, but I fail to see how when I CAN’T EAT AND HAVE TO DOSE MYSELF UP ON PAINKILLERS FOR ABOUT 4 DAYS AFTER EVERY APPOINTMENT!
I am quite a wimp when it comes to pain – but it genuinely shocked me that it hurt so much. I mean, duh, your bones are literally being dragged around your skull, and when you put it like that it’s quite obvious it’s going to hurt. But naive little 23 year old me was very surprised it hurt, which I can only put down to not having many friends who had braces when I was younger, and therefore nobody around me discussing their orthodontic trials and tribulations.
The Journey So Far
I had my braces fitted in October 2016, and since that day they have made a space for my adult tooth, I’ve had my baby tooth removed, the adult tooth had been dragged down, and now we’re in the process of popping it into place properly, as it’s come down slightly twisted.
If you read my very first braces post, you’ll know I was very bitter, upset, and dreading the thought of having them fitted.
But you know what, as much as I hate to admit everyone was right, they’re just not a big deal to me anymore.
They’re just a part of my life. Extra teeth brushing/equipment is just second nature now, my cheeks have been torn apart enough that they’ve scarred over and aren’t sensitive to the braces anymore, and everyone in my life is used to them.
When going through interview processes/starting a new job, I was very conscious of my braces potentially impacting me negatively. Were people going to take me seriously with them, would it make me unsuccessful in certain roles because the interviewer would think I was too young, would it affect my salary, people’s perceptions of me, my own confidence when meeting new people who hadn’t known me pre-braces?
But it’s been fine. Maybe it affected me getting a role, I don’t know. But what I do know is that I’m happy in my current role, which seems perfect for me/my skills, and maybe my mum wasn’t lying when she said “everything happens for a reason” (BLERGH).
But the braces, they’re just not a thing now. I don’t think about them day to day, if at all. My mouth is used to them, I’m used to them. I no longer do a double take at my own reflection, and if anything I think I’m going to go through another process of getting used to my face again when I do have them removed.
If you’re considering braces, but holding back because you’re worried about appearance, or being taken seriously, from experience I can tell you it really isn’t a big deal long term. You adjust, you adapt, and so do the people around you.
I’ve not had mine off yet to know if it’s been “the best decision of my life” etc etc, but what I do know is I’m already seeing huge changes to my smile, nobody else cares about them, I don’t care about them anymore, and I can’t wait to see the final result.
Roll on October 2018! (And yes I realise most people say that about holidays to Malia, but I’m 24 and have no foreseeable 18-30 holidays booked… so roll on brace removal please and thanks).