Where do I start?

These photos were taken by my Orthodontist – she called it the Wallace and Gromit smile pics and you can see why!

This what my teeth look like today:

Pam teeth before treatment
Pam's teeth before treatment
Front view on before treatment

I never had braces when I was a teenager. The dentist asked me if I wanted them and I nearly cried at the thought. I had just moved from London to Somerset, was the tallest, skinniest 13 year old girl, with glasses, frizzy hair and no confidence. I had been teased and bullied until I had become conscious of all my ‘faults’. Braces were not an everyday thing at that time and the last thing I needed to do was to add to the list of things I could be taunted about, so that was simply that then!

Over the years, I have lived to regret that decision but learned to live with it. That is, until about a month ago, some 40 odd years later.

My company, White Knight Marketing is the virtual marketing department for Confident Orthodontics. We have been working with them for the last 2 years and during that time pretty much got behind all the various treatments that they have to offer; and many times have been amazed at just what can be achieved today.

I realised that I was just as uncomfortable now with my smile as I had ever been and after a little while, I bit the bullet and told Julie, the practice manager. Julie spoke to Dr Helen Griffith and before you knew it, I was sitting in the surgery discussing my options!

Was this some sort of mid-life crisis?

I was absolutely excited, terrified and embarrassed, all at the same time. Was it just vanity? Was I too old? Would people think I was having some sort of mid-life crisis? Would they laugh? Back came all the old insecurities. 

Helen was brilliant; she assured me that I was far from the oldest patient; that was currently septuagenarian! We talked through all the various options and which would work for my teeth. The obvious one for me was Invisalign – a fabulous new treatment that uses clear aligners to gradually move your teeth around with no obvious brace.

I went home to mull it over; I spoke to my husband who said simply “why not? You have a great opportunity here.” I spoke to both of my daughters, one of whom had significant treatment in her teens and has perfect teeth now and the second who wishes she had. Both said go for it and not be silly, it was no ‘big deal’ in their eyes.

Next day I phoned Julie and said I was going for it! She cheered down the phone and promptly booked another appointment with Helen to get the ball rolling – I felt like Cinderella going to the ball, excited and nervous.

That was 3 weeks ago, and I am sitting here, writing this wearing my Invisalign braces, and not one person I have spoken to has noticed! Neither of my daughters spotted that I was wearing them, nor my husband after a 30 minute conversation on day one. They are amazing!

So that is the story of my emotional journey. Over the next few months, I will share the process and how it feels to actually undergo this treatment. What happens when, and why? What I can say to you, even this early on in the journey, is that I am so glad I have taken this step – and you know what? I will have lovely straight teeth for my next Birthday!

I offered to write this blog to help others that are struggling with their own feelings and lack of confidence. Don’t get me wrong, I am now a very confident woman, a long way from that bullied teenager but I have spoken to so many others now who have felt that they couldn’t justify the treatment, that it would just be considered vanity, but who would love to have lovely straight teeth.

I would like to ask those of you struggling with yourself, to think of the teenagers of today; would they think twice about it? Then maybe we shouldn’t.

Pam Knight