About my blog

I was supposed to have conventional braces as a teenager, but ducked out because I felt too self conscious to go through two years with a removable brace and train tracks.

Aged 27, I’ve decided it’s about time I felt able to smile confidently, so I’m joining the growing ranks of adults with braces.

After a lot of research I decided to choose lingual braces, which are a fixed appliance fitted to the inside surface of the teeth. I’m being treated at The London Lingual Orthodontic Clinic using the STb Light Lingual System. My treatment is expected to take 18-22 months and began in January 2012.

While researching lingual braces I was surprised how few accounts there were from real patients documenting their experiences. I hope this blog will act as a source of information, tips and advice for anyone else considering or being treated with lingual braces.

PS: I should mention that this blog is about my personal experience of my treatment, orthodontist, products etc so you shouldn’t act on any of my advice or reviews without speaking to a professional.

PPS: From July 2014 I have arranged for Inside I’m Smiling to be overseen by the team at my orthodontist’s clinic, London Lingual, to make sure you can still ask any questions you might have after my treatment ended and I finished writing this blog. All of the blog posts about my journey remain the same and are based entirely on my personal experience and opinions, but comments you leave might now be answered by an expert (instead of me personally) from time to time.

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11 thoughts on “About my blog

  1. Thank you for sharing! I recognize myself in the first two sentences (well, not quite, I’m 28, but other than that). I hadn’t actually yet decided to go all in on the linguals, but now I feel more confident and think I’ll make my move. I like it that you began your journey well before me (feels like less surprises for me, sweet).

    I love your sense of humor in your posts, it makes the reading quite enjoyable. Pictures, yes pictures, very good. You seem to have at least one picture per post. That is a bar right there, don’t lower it (please).

    Keep on fighting and good luck! Ok, time for me to tell those teeth that playtime is over. No more Mr Nice Guy. Viva la resistance!

    • Interesting. Almost to the day, one year after my comment, I fitted my linguals the 27th. Somebody still had some doubts it seems. Oh well, now it’s too late.

      So far I have a sore tongue, my middle teeth are starting starting to get active = more soreness, and then there’s the lisp. Oh, the lisp. You will be the death of me. However if it doesn’t improve through my countless hours of intensive sweat breaking practice I think I’ll give Steven Hawking a call.

      By the way, don’t mind me. I’m just in dire need to whine publicly after days of solitude. 🙂

      • Hi Miika, I’m really pleased for you that you decided to take the step and get braces. I guess you must be a good distance into your treatment now (sorry for the late update)… how are you getting along? Hopefully you found that it does get a lot better over time and you’re beginning to enjoy your new smile!

  2. Thanks for your post. For me too it is a real boost to see another woman’s real experience! I’m 26 and I have a lot of jaw pain and I actually need two operations plus braces. I had the standard braces as a teen and hated them. My upper jaw is too small for my lower jaw, along with a technically wrong bite! I should have had surgery when I was younger. However, the UK seem very conventional with how they treat teeth and the way my orthodontist tried to correct my bite has caused me a lot of issues as an adult. The jaw pain is my main issue, but my surgeon said there will be pleasing results in aesthetics of my teeth and face so that’s a bonus!!

    I grew up in England and now live in Australia and they seem much more forward thinking with their dental solutions. I was told a year ago that I needed this treatment but I did not go ahead with it because of my resistance to having braces (plus scary ops!). I know it is silly to feel low on confidence because of braces, but I already look young for 26 and I hated the way I looked with them. However, after researching the lingual brace and hearing your stories I have decided to go ahead with it!! So thank you!

    • Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment Imogen. I am so pleased to hear this blog might’ve been helpful to you in a small way. Surgery sounds scary but if your jaw is painful you will feel so much better afterwards. Good luck with your journey and pop back to tell us how you get on!

  3. Hi, great blog! I’m also an adult woman with braces, but mine are the conventional kind that just go across the front of the teeth. I was wondering if you have any advice on how to deal with the self confidence and self esteem issues that can arise when you are an adult with braces?

    • Hi Steph. Well done for being brave and taking that step. I feel really proud of all of us who have! I think really the thing that’s helped me most is by feeling excited about my new smile and telling anyone that asks that I have that attitude. When you tell people you have braces it’s amazing how many say ‘wow, I wish I could do that’ or ‘I had braces when I was a child – I’m so gutted my teeth have moved back’. I also had the support of my family which helped – they all said ‘well done’ when I told them and revealed they’d always felt a bit sad for me that I never smiled properly in photos. I think having lingual braces definitely made things easier for me because people really don’t have to know you’ve got them unless you speak – it’s the speech problems that knocked my self esteem most which I guess you don’t have to worry about as much with conventional braces.
      I think that to be honest you have to get yourself in a mind frame where you’re certain the end result is worth it. The braces are only a short, temporary inconvenience in getting a lovely smile you’ll have forever. When I have a wobble of confidence I tell myself that.
      Good luck and keep in touch!

  4. Hi, thanks for you blog! 🙂 I’m happy not to be alone… this is my first day with lingual braces. I can’t imagine 1,5 year of being unable to chew normaly. is chewing easier and better with conventional braces? maybe I have to change lingual for conventional, if it helps to chew better. Is there the difference?

    • Thanks for your comment Kristine – congratulations on taking the first step on your journey. I’m not sure if this is any consolation but you are definitely in the very worst part of your treatment… after the first couple of weeks it will definitely get easier. Of course I have only had an experience of lingual braces but my understanding is that they are more painful at first than conventional ones because of the rubbing on your tongue. But you definitely need to give it more of a chance before making any drastic decisions! Just stock your cupboards with soft foods, take ibufrofen when you need to and stay strong. Take a look at this post for ideas of foods to try: https://insideimsmiling.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/what-can-you-eat-with-lingual-braces/

      Good luck and stick with it!

  5. Hi, thanks so much for posting this blog, and congratulations on having them taken off and your new smile! I hope you are enjoying it. I am a 32 year old female and after years of mulling over it, I finally had my lingual brace put on yesterday. In many ways I wish I had it done when I was a child, but I was just too self-conscious to do it.

    My lingual brace is only for my front teeth, for the bottom teeth they are outside, following my orthodontist’s advice. On the same day I had four teeth extracted so it was all a bit traumatic. Thankfully my husband is very supportive and was with me through the whole experience.

    I was trying to google how long it would take before I could eat properly again as that seems to be hardest thing (I am already looking up soup recipes!), which is when I came across your blog. It’s comforting to read about your experiences, particularly the part where you say it’s a temporary inconvenience to having a good smile forever!

    On cost, I can share that I am having my treatment done in South Africa and the cost seems to be much more reasonable. I was quoted 47,000 rands, which works out to about 4,500 dollars. I am happy with the clinic and the orthodontist who has a lot of experience.

    Thanks again

    • Hi Natasha – thank you for your comment. It’s always nice to hear that my posts have been useful and I hope you are coping ok with your treatment now. The first couple of weeks is definitely the worst. Good luck with the rest of your journey and enjoy your lovely new smile!

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