All I want for Christmas is my new straight teeth (thanks to lingual braces)

They may not be a fashion accessory, but your teeth do make a helluva difference to your fashion mojo. My teeth had always been a source of self consciousness; when I was a kid, my denist happily extracted a couple of them to correct my overbite, furnishing me with a (removable) brace (that I never wore – I was an impessionable 11 year-old with a growing interest in boys; do you blame me?)

As a result, my sizeable overbite and gappy gnashers came with me into adulthood, and always made me wince when I saw photos. My smile was fine absolutely straight on, but the side view was not pretty, with two gaping holes and a bit fat “buck”.

And it was a photo (above – where I’d never seen them looking so goofy and the gaps so obvious), taken at my friend’s hen party, that made me realise I finally wanted to do something about them….

You might say my teeth were “prominent”
It were Cheryl cole wot spurred me on, with her Invisilign braces. It was 2009, when Chezza was in her second year of X judging and going wild as a style icon, and I was constantly admiring her teeth (and bemoaning mine after that awful photo). 
When I found out she wore invisible braces I was beside myself. I’d always wanted to finish the orthodontic treatment my dentist started, but the thought of wearing metal train tracks to photo shoots (which I was doing more of in my role as intrepid journalist) seemed horrific. I may be vain, but the very idea of having my teeth sorted without anyone knowing felt like a dream come true. I imagined the cost would be totally prohibitive, and only fit for the likes of Cheryl, but when my friend revealed that she already wore Invisilign and didn’t have to rob a bank to get them, I made an appointment with my dentist.
With El in summer 2009: “Mind the gap, Mum”
Turns out, Invisilign was going to cost in excess of £8,000 and they were going to whip out more teeth on the bottom. My dentist advised against it and I wanted to cry. But he put me in touch with his own orthodontist, the brilliant Dr. Chaw Su Kyi at Welcome Orthodontics in Hammersmith
I’d never even heard of lingual braces (as worn by Myleene Klass, so I’m told) until I stepped into Chaw Su’s waiting room, but gold braces that fix to the back of your teeth (made in Germany by a company called Incognito) seemed even more appealing than Invisilign; I wouldn’t be able to take them out willy nilly, and I could just have my top teeth fixed-up. The fact that it cost half the price I was originally quoted sealed the deal.
During the treatment: It don’t look pretty on the inside, but it sure does the trick
Fast forward 18-months and my braces are now gone. I’m still wearing a retainer at night and there’s a very thin permanent wire bonded to the back of my front teeth, but none of that is inconvenient or uncomfortable.
I won’t lie, wearing lingual braces isn’t the most pleasant of experiences. I was lisping terribly for the first few weeks and couldn’t even eat soup for a day or so after the braces were adjusted, my teeth were so sore. But my gob rose to the challenge and now I can grin like a Cheshire cat, with abandon, without worrying if those unslightly gaps are on parade. Plus, I had plenty of posh nights out and pics taken (for this blog alone) during the course of the treatment, and I bet you never even knew…

What better Christmas present could there be?
Just before the braces were whipped off and I was feeling very chuffed with the smile (not the loony expression, though)
Gaps all gone
What next? Whitening or Botox???

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Written by Johanna Payton