Wellbeing

My smile story PART 1. MERCER DENTAL

April 9, 2019

I posted recently about how I learned to smile with my mouth closed four years ago.  I noticed that my friend effortlessly smiled without showing her teeth and I wanted to to the same so I would stop scrutinising my crooked teeth when the photos were printed. I have a beauty spot above one side of my lip so always felt my smile was “wonky” anyway then my teeth were crowded on the top left and the crushed pegs on the bottom of my mouth made me self conscious. Don’t get me wrong, if you see me from a certain angle and a distance you can’t notice, but we all have our “thing” that bothers us don’t we?

Perhaps my vision of dentist practices is warped due to my own poor dental hygiene growing up. The green chair I sat in during visits to the country practice near my home was not an exciting place to be. Knowing the next filling was on it’s way with a drill zing and a slow movement of the dentists chair towards that numbing injection is not a vision I remember fondly!

So, at the age of 35 I have found the courage to invest in the braces I begged for as a teenager  and  I am happy to skip in to Mercer dental practice in Bangor for my new clear aligner and inman aligner. This is a part gifted collaboration with Mercer and one I feel is an investment for me and my smile. It is not all vanity related as I have a heart defect (which you can read about here) and dental hygiene is the most important thing for me so, less crowded teeth means easier cleaning.

What can I say about mercer dental practice other than they have been professional from the very beginning. I have worked with Emma at Mercer who came along to my art and wine workshop in Guillemot a few weeks ago and I have found her whole outlook on teeth and life refreshing, I don’t say that lightly. She is meticulous and passionate about her job which put me at ease from the get go. Especially today when they filed my lower teeth and the sensitivity had me jumping, Emma was in tune with all of that and geared the appointment to get this done with as little discomfort as possible.


Clear braces really do what they say on the tin- they move the teeth behind a clear shield and even though I feel like everyone can notice, not one person has yet! I can also remove them when I eat or drink which I imagine is better than when my poor friend had the braces along her mouth and couldn’t eat anything only soft food for days.

I started with a consultation and we discussed what needed to happen with my teeth. Emma explained to me that my teeth and their overlapping is mild but the more I sit in that chair the happier I am that I am doing this for my smile. The second appointment was taking moulds of my teeth. This always reminds me of the sculpture floor at art college!

The third appointment was three weeks later when the moulds were with the lab. I saw a video analyses of what my teeth will look like from beginning to end after the braces are removed. I have found during the process to be even more realistic about the outcome. I guess it is like photographing weddings, some brides think they will be a supermodel in the photos when in reality you can only work with what you see in front of you. My teeth won’t necessarily resemble that same supermodels but I don’t want them to, I want to look like myself – a straighter version-of-teeth-Aly but still my smile from ear to ear.

Now that I am a week in to my treatment I can say that it has been interesting to change my eating habits- I snack a whole lot. I also swim twice a week at the minute so that means I have to remove them. You would think I would like the time away from the braces but because of the little composites on my teeth to anchor the brace and to move the teeth, I just want the braces back in as soon as possible! They feel so odd and now since my teeth have been filed to allow them room to move I find my smile uglier than ever and a ready to keep the retention in the aligners so they move asap! The inman aligner on the bottom has been more of a struggle. I got a pretty bad ulcer  from the acrylic on the bottom left jaw which Mercer fixed in less than 24 hours giving me an appointment as soon as I called and explained that the pain I felt was much more than teeth moving.

Two weeks in now I can already notice changes and I am happy to get moving with it all now that I am fully committed! Unlike my history of sitting in a dentist chair , it is all for the greater good- as dramatic as that may sound!! I am happily going through the motions of filing, shaping and fitting bearing in mind that ,all being well, I only have 5 months of this. Furthermore, the braces ( apart from my lisp!) are not noticeable at all. My husband doesn’t even notice my speech being affected but my first born likes to point out about how different my ‘S’ and my ‘H’s sound which is nice of him!!

I am very happy to be on this journey. I have the aligners changed every two weeks so I will keep you posted on the movement- literally! In the meantime enjoy the glorious photos of my face and teeth above and check out Mercer for details of my treatment and how you could take on your own smile journey like me!!

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