When boyfriend Tim proposed to mum-of-three Amy, she was over the moon – but immediately went into panic mode.
Like all brides-to-be, the 32-year-old desperately wanted to look her best on her big day, but one thing niggled – her smile.
Much like half the population in the UK, Amy was unhappy with her teeth and, with only six months between the marriage acceptance and her wedding day, she knew she only had a small window of time to fix them.
She says: ‘I wasn’t massively hung up about my teeth, but there were a few niggling things that I thought I would like to improve before they got worse. The wedding was the catalyst for me to do something about them.’
So, Amy let her fingers do the walking and went online to research the cosmetic dental treatments available to her.
She says: ‘I found my orthodontic clinic via www.comparethetreatment.com. I liked the fact that the website offered me an easy way to search for the appropriate cosmetic treatment and connect me to the relevant qualified clinician who could reliably straighten my teeth – and in the timescale I wanted.’
Having found her perfect match – London’s Metamorphosis Orthodontics in Fulham, and its award-winning orthodontist, Dr Neil Counihan – Amy was on the right track to her new, improved smile.
On advice from Dr Counihan, she settled on Damon braces – as she explains: ‘He recommended Damon system braces as the best choice for me and I chose the Damon clear as they were so discreet.’
She explains: ‘To begin with, I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t eat solids for a few days but they settled down quite quickly. I did get some really sore points in my mouth, where they rubbed, but applied dental wax to stop the friction.’
And were there any foods or drink she needed to avoid? ‘Toffees, of course,’ she says. ‘And spinach! You can drink anything – so having fixed braces was a positive. I didn’t have to remove them when drinking hot drinks and I do like to drink quite a lot of coffee throughout the day.’
With the wedding fast approaching and her treatment not yet completed, Dr Counihan removed the Damon braces and recommended that Amy use the popular Invisalign aligners that are custom-made, clear and removable, which means not only are they almost invisible but also the bride-to-be could conveniently take them out in order to enjoy her wedding day photos with confidence, knowing there would be no break in treatment.
Having enjoyed the big day, Amy remains delighted with her newly straightened teeth – and most of all is extremely happy that she did her research and found the best cosmetic treatment (and clinician) to suit her needs.
She says: ‘I am really happy about my new smile – and I do get a lot of compliments about my teeth, which is sometimes a little embarrassing. The best thing about the treatment was that it all tied in with our wedding day! I am so pleased with my teeth (and my wedding photos) – they are pictures that I’ll cherish forever.’
And as for the dental clinic she found to match the orthodontic system she required, she cannot speak highly enough.
She enthuses: ‘Neil has a really friendly professional team at Metamorphosis, who I got to know quite well over the period of my treatment. Their new practice is a pleasure to visit, spotlessly clean, light, bright and airy.’
And so enthusiastic was Amy’s testimonial about her cosmetic dental treatment – and Dr Counihan – that she inspired her mother-in-law, Lynn, to do the same thing!
Lynn, a 60-year-old grandmother also now has a new smile, thanks to the team at Metamorphosis, who persuaded her that she wasn’t too old to have orthodontic treatment.
With an overcrowded mouth and a long-term desire to seek dental treatment for it, Lynn had difficulty cleaning her teeth but, although she’d always considered teeth-straightening treatment, she felt she was simply ‘too old’.
Lynne explains: ‘My teeth were getting worse as the years went by but I was not aware that orthodontic treatment was available – or even successful – for my age group, so I hadn't seriously thought about it.’
She too had Damon braces – the treatment took 20 months and she hasn’t looked back.
She says: ‘The braces were more comfortable than I expected – and so too is the result. I am now much more confident. Improving my smile was not the only reason for treatment – I also wanted healthy gums and this was important as straighter teeth improved their condition, enabling me to keep my own teeth. My gums used to regularly bleed and now they are so much healthier, as my dentist confirmed.’
Now, with both of them in possession of smiles that most definitely have the ‘wow’ factor, it is important to maintain their newly straightened teeth.
Amy and Lynn are among the rising number of adults seeking teeth-straightening solutions, according to a recent survey by the British Orthodontics Society that reveals 75% of its member dentists have seen an increase in adult treatment.
And a removable and virtually invisible teeth straightening system such as Invisalign ticks many of the boxes for those adults wishing to straighten their teeth but not wanting everyone knowing nor needing the treatment having impact on their day-today lives.
Once treatment is over, however, it’s jut as important to look after a new straight smile. Studies show that, without retainers, straight teeth can gradually shift back towards their initial position – a risk Amy was not prepared to take.
Relapse is a common occurrence with all orthodontic treatment, but is one that can easily be overcome.
Amy now wears removable Invisalign Vivera retainers, which means not only is she keeping her teeth in their new position and, therefore, protecting her smile – they also looking after her investment, too, reducing the risk of having to pay out for remedial treatment somewhere down the line.
Amy says: ‘I had Invisalign aligners to complete my teeth-straightening treatment – and also had Invisalign treatment as a stop-gap for my wedding while the Damon brace was off – and these removable retainers are very comfortable to wear because, like the aligners, they too were custom-made to fit my new smile.’
Now she will need to wear her Vivera retainers from Invisalign for the rest of her life. She says: ‘It’s no big deal. They fit snugly in my mouth – so I know they’re keeping my teeth in line – and I can remove them whenever I want, which means keeping them clean and maintaining my oral hygiene is no problem either. They hardly interfere with my quality of life at all.’
After 12 months of continuous retainer wear, dentists usually recommend wearing retainers 3-5 times a week for the rest of your life.
And, much like a marriage, retainers should ensure that a newly straightened straight smile lasts forever.
For those of us considering adults orthodontics, Amy is unequivocal in her enthusiasm.
She urges: ‘Go for it; you won’t regret it. It might seem a bit of a pain to start but it is definitely worth it when they are finished.’
And, as an older adult patient, Lynn too is very happy with the results. She says: ‘My family were amazed that teeth could be moved so far without any being removed. I was not embarrassed at all to wear the braces and I’m secretly quite pleased with myself for embarking on the process.’
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