It´s been only a year since I had my adult dental braces on but I can already see how much my improved smile increased my self-confidence and overall happiness. I now smile all the time. 🙂
When I first started blogging at my personal style blog in 2009, I had a reader commented negatively on an outfit post I did. The commenter said that instead of spending money on my clothes, shoes and travel, I should spend it on fixing my ugly crooked smile.
I was new to blogging that time so the level of negativity I received totally affected me that I considered shutting down my blog. But my boyfriend (now husband) and my friends told me that I really looked great on that outfit and that the anonymous commenter was just jealous. They encouraged me to continue blogging, and so I did.
But there were personal reasons why I couldn´t fix my teeth during that time. I was the bread winner for my family; I was supporting three brothers who were simultaneously studying in universities. One brother who took up nursing even went to an exclusive (totally expensive) university. So all my earnings were directed to them. Too selfless, yes, but at the time I believed that it was the only way to help my family improve their economic status.
I spent over a decade supporting my entire family that even if I so wanted to have dental braces to fix my teeth, I had to put it off.
But even a long dark tunnel has an end. At some point, the umbilical cord has to be cut.
Late last year I made the brave decision to finally invest on my smile. Money was no longer the reason why I couldn´t do it, but it was my fear of the process. I dealt with a phobia of needles all my life. Going to hospitals and dental clinics terrified me. Teeth extraction scares the life out of me. I used to faint, literally.
But I reminded myself that I already endured two surgeries, so I must be tougher now. It´s not as scary as I think. I´m braver than my fear.
So I went to our family dentist to request for a plan for my dental braces. The dentist´s initial estimate was 3,000 euro. I knew I could handle the price. So I went ahead to have the braces.
When I was called to pick up the plan for my dental braces and to sign the contract, I saw that the total price is 6,000 euro. And because I also opted for porcelain (transparent) brackets, which makes the braces less visible (highly advisable for adults), I also have to pay an additional 300 euro. I almost collapsed at the dentist´s office when I saw the contract. I didn´t expect to spend a fortune on my teeth.
I regretted that I didn´t have it done when I was still in Asia. It only costs 40,000 pesos (800 euro) in the Philippines and 80,000 baht (2,100 euro) in Thailand. It costs me thrice as much here in Germany. But regret aside, I had no choice but to accept the contract. I´m now living permanently in Europe and I have to accept that the prices I have to pay now are in euro.
So I signed the contract and the process started. One year on and these are the lessons I learned from having adult dental braces.
1. Just start it.
You may find a thousand and a hundred reasons why you can´t have the braces now. But if you really want to fix your teeth and improve your smile, you just have to start it and the rest will find its own solutions.
You may need to tighten your belt while you´re still paying for your braces, maybe cut some extra expenses here and there, but because you’re allowed to pay for it on installment basis, you can definitely find ways to handle the expense.
2. Just brave the pain, it´s not as bad as you think.
My teeth were probably one of the toughest to fix. Six molar teeth had to be extracted. Five were already out and one is still scheduled for removal. From the five teeth that were extracted, one was a three-rooted submerged wisdom tooth which took 1.5 hours of surgery to remove. I also had two root canals done for a molar and a front tooth. I also had lots of fillings. And I had the root-canaled front tooth bleached so it does not look black. (The cost for the root canals, surgeries and fillings were excluded from the 6,000euro.)
While these treatments sound terrifying, they were actually painless because of the anesthesia and pain killers.
The most painful part is having wounds on the walls of your mouth, on your lips and sides of tongue from the sharp brackets of your braces. These happen on the first three months but it quickly gets better as your teeth move in. Six months later and you already mostly forgot the pain you´ve been through because you´re mesmerized by the evident improvement on the alignment of your teeth.
3. When you invest a fortune on your teeth, you take better care of it.
Teeth are the only parts in your body that don´t heal on their own. Yet they´re also the easiest to take for granted. If you have a perfect smile, which makes you feel good, you´re more likely to preserve that gorgeous smile. If you have to spend a fortune to get a better smile, then you´re more driven to take good care of your teeth.
4. A gorgeous smile makes you feel more confident.
The only reason why I don´t do videos on my blog is because I don´t feel confident of my smile. But that´s about to change. I now have plans to launch videos especially for my dating for single women site.
Whether it´s for work, networking, meeting new people, or dating, a beautiful smile can boost a person´s level of confidence. So if you´ve always been insecure of your smile because of your teeth, I definitely encourage you to have it fixed. You will never regret it.
5. It will make you happier.
Studies have found that smiling can improve your mood and boost your level of happiness. It doesn´t matter if you´re dealing with winter blues, as long as you smile, you will instantly feel happier. When you´re not worried about how your crooked teeth look, you´re more adept at smiling. You come off as friendly, people will like you more, and you will always feel happier from within.
I´m really excited to see the finish product of my adult dental braces. I still have two to three more years of wearing it. When all is paid and done, I will write another blog post about my expensive new smile.
Until then … keep smiling. 🙂