A high-flying career prompted marketing consultant Stephanie Clare to invest in her new beautiful smile.
The 29 year old’s regular globetrotting left her feeling a little down in the mouth when it came to her teeth and how these trips abroad impacted on her confidence.
She explains: ‘I travel a lot and meet a lot of Americans and Australians etc, who all have fantastic teeth, which is where the initial insecurity came from. It got to the point where every morning I was looking at my teeth in the mirror and feeling unhappy with an over-crowded mouth at the bottom and overlapping teeth at top.
‘Then, when my best friend decided to get married, I knew it would be a good deadline to work to. I still spent a few months deciding whether to take the plunge. My housemate at the time decided to get removable braces, which prompted me to take action. But it made me realise I definitely didn't want to pursue that option as it seemed so “faffy”, taking it in and out all the time and having the discipline to wear it 23/7.’
She adds: ‘I just knew I didn’t have the patience. Plus, the time period was a lot longer than having a permanent brace and I knew three people who were currently in the process and it was taking way longer than anticipated.
‘So, I went to a couple of consultations with Dr Mide Ojo and the rest is history.’
Stephanie had her tooth-coloured Cfast braces placed on 25 November – the bottom brace was removed on 31 March (taking four months) and top brace was off by 20 April (taking five months).
Following the cosmetic teeth-straightening treatment, she had bonding and whitening and a fixed retainer fitted. All in all, her new smile was created in just six and a half months.
So, what were the drawbacks?
Stephanie says: ‘It did affect my speech a little to start with, but you quickly get used to it. To be honest, you’re more aware of it than anyone else is. In terms of diet, it meant no chewing gum, no toffee and no fizzy drinks etc, but none of that bothered me. I wasn't “meant” to eat crusty bread – but I did – and subsequently broke my top brace. I was warned! I also had to be more conscious after eating, as often food would get stuck in my brace.’
And, would she recommend Cfast to those of us who need the front six teeth straightened?
She grins: ‘I 100% recommend it. The treatment was so quick, and I'm so happy with the result. I don't believe having full orthodontics would have made any visible difference to the result I achieved. I also had bonding on the four front, top teeth (where they build out your teeth). I think this added the finishing touches.’
And the positives are two pronged – ‘confidence and self-contentment,’ she says. 'I never hesitate to smile now.’
She adds: ‘I've had loads of compliments. The ones from people who didn't know I had a brace are the best. I've been in conversations at work or socially when (somehow) the topic gets onto teeth and people have said how they thought my teeth were lovely and straight.
‘When I tell them that I had braces recently, it always surprises people. They more often than not continue to tell me how much they want to have them, but haven't really looked into it properly or plucked up the courage. I always encourage them and give advice. In fact, only yesterday I was recommending Mide and Cfast!’
And, what are her thoughts about age?
She says: ‘I don't think you are ever too old to get braces. My mum is 56 and she's thinking about getting them! To be honest, lots of people didn't even notice that I was wearing them and, those who did thought it was great.
‘To be honest, it’s so much more popular now – I see people all the time with braces. Braces are definitely no longer just for teenagers. I think it’s become almost a social norm to take control and do something for yourself. Plus, it's over so quickly anyway!
And finally, her three top tips for having teeth straightening treatment?
- Don't eat crusty bread!
- Carry a toothbrush/toothpaste floss with you (or leave at work)
- Pay the extra to have a fixed retainer. It’s worth it! But don’t forget, you still need to wear your other retainer at night!
Dr Olumide Ojo (better known as Mide) maintains full membership to both the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the Royal College of Surgeons London and is a national lecturer for the Cfast cosmetic teeth-straightening system.