I’ve previously written about the work that I’ve had done on my teeth. This blog post from 2014 goes into detail, but in essence, I spent 7 years wearing some kind of device to straighten my teeth.
The worst period was when I was 15. The teeth in my top jaw stuck out far more than they should have done, so after having some removed to make way, I needed to wear a fixed brace to pull them back into my mouth. In addition, I had to wear headgear at night. This consisted of a metal frame that clipped onto my braces, and cloth straps that went over the top and around the back of my head.
If you’re having trouble imagining what this looks like, have a look at some of the photos on Wikipedia. None of these were quite the same as the one I wore, but it’ll give you an idea. Suffice to say, I found it difficult to sleep on my side whilst wearing it.
I was fortunate that I was given the choice to wear headgear. I could have decided not to, but my orthodontist recommended that I should do; wearing headgear would produce a better result, and it would only be for a few months. Which it was. And, as a 15 year old, I was deeply uncool; there was no risk of headgear turning off a potential partner.
With hindsight, I made the right choice. My teeth are still quite straight, even though it’s been 12 years since I wore any kind of corrective device, and they don’t stick out.
My only regret is that I don’t have any photos of me wearing the headgear. I can understand why – at the time, I was embarrassed to wear it, and relieved that I only had to do so at night. But it would be good to look back at that episode of my life. The decision I made at the time has meant that I have much better teeth in adulthood, even if it was not a pleasant experience.