Teeth – The one part of your face that at some point everyone is going to notice and for the most part of my life was always an issue for me. Today I feel confident to smile and laugh freely, but I can assure you that has not always been the case.
Let me take you back to the year 1999 I was in the 7th grade, 11 years of age and I attended a private school that I absolutely hated. I spend my younger years coming up through the public system and little did my parents, or I know, that making the change from public to private schooling would be such an awful experience for me.
Throughout the course of that year I remember my mother asking me “Honey, do you want to get braces?”, “I really think that we should go together and see a dentist”, “Everyone has braces, it’s not a big deal” but to me it WAS a big deal! I knew my teeth were crooked but the consequences of getting braces for me were most definitely not worth it.
I was being bullied every day for any and every reason. I was excluded by the “mean girl” type cliques that had formed well before I had entered the private schooling system and evidently because of this, the rest of my grade followed suit. I most definitely was not what you would call a “popular kid “so there was no way that I ever would have wanted to draw unnecessary attention to myself – Can you imagine that? They would have swooped in like a pack of seagulls to a hot chip, at the beach on a summers day.
After two years and two terms of living in my version of hell, I finally convinced my parents to let me go back to the public system to finish my schooling. They finally agreed and that was the best decision, we as a family could have ever made.
Fast-forward to 2009 when I was 21 years of age I had just started my weight loss journey and had absolutely no self-confidence. I was struggling with many things and people could see I was barely able to keep my head above water, yet they still felt it was it was ok to make passing comments or ask passive aggressive questions like “When exactly are you planning on getting braces?”, “So… are your teeth something you’re going to get fixed?”, “You’d look much prettier if you had straight teeth”.
Over the next five to six years these teeth of mine started to become a real problem for me. I had developed a complex to the point I would purposely mumble when meeting new people. I discovered injectables and had an excessive amount of product pumped into my lips which was just another way for me to try and hide my "crooked smile" when in hindsight all that did was draw a ridiculous amount of attention to my mouth – At one point I looked like a damn groper fish!
Finally, after many years of procrastinating, making excuses and being extremely self-conscious, I had, had enough!!! In January 2017 I decided to embark on “My Teeth Journey” with Potts Point Dental.
At the time they were relatively new to the neighborhood, but immediately after having my first consultation with Doctor Seung and his assistant Gina I knew that this was going to be the perfect dentist for me.
We had a realistic discussion about my options. I wanted veneers and emphasized the fact that I was happy for him to extract and shave down as many teeth as he needed to, so I didn’t have to get braces - I did NOT want braces!
After a lengthy chat and explanation, I soon realized that the idea I had in my head of an in & out, quick-fix process, was not an option. Dr Seung explained that in order for me to be able to get veneers I still needed to have braces due to the overcrowding in my mouth and long-term it wouldn’t have been feasible given that my teeth were in relatively good condition.
After a lot of consideration I finally decided to bite the bullet! - At 30 years of age I was going to get braces but before I did that, I needed to have some pre-work done which included three wisdom teeth extractions (two at the bottom and one at the top), two fillings and a clean.
The estimated braces time was 1-2 years with regular visits every two weeks. I had clear porcelain braces with white wires but if I’m being honest, in my head I felt as though I was wearing full-blown orthodontic headgear.
For the first four months I had chronic social anxiety and barely left my unit, however, as time passed I started to care less and less because I was seeing an incredible amount of progress!! I found myself looking forward to my dentist visits because I wanted to see how much they had moved and Dr Seung and Gina became like my second family!
On the 20th May 2018 I received the best birthday present I could have ask for! At 31 years of age I was given confidence to smile and laugh without hesitation - I had my braces removed!!
For 20 years smiling and showing my teeth had always been something I associated to negative emotions, self-loathing and embarrassment and in 18 months that all had been eliminated!!
On that note,
Goodbye groper fish lips, mumbling and awkward poses.
Hello happiness, self-love, and future possibilities.
Thank you, Potts Point Dental, Dr Seung and Gina - you have not only transformed part of my physical appearance, but mentally you helped me overcome so much more than my fear of braces.
I couldn’t have asked for an all-round better experience.