Back in March, we began following James’s treatment journey as a new patient adjusting to life in lingual braces. Just weeks after we shared his initial thoughts, feelings around motivations for orthodontic treatment, the UK plunged into lockdown.
We caught up with James to see how he has adjusted to life in braces so far and whether the lockdown period has brought about any questions or concerns for the duration of his treatment.
How have you found keeping up a dental hygiene routine?
I really enjoy self-care routines so, working from home in lockdown I now have a much more regimented skincare and dental care routine, from morning to evening. Brushing and flossing three times a day makes for a nice break from the screen for me, plus one of the things I find easier in isolation is always having access to my own bathroom.
It’s also allowed me to have better conversations with my two young boys around the importance of keeping up routines. Before lockdown, with everyone rushing around in the mornings for school and work, it can be all too easy for something to slip; being at home together, they see the importance of self-care and oral hygiene even more.
Has the lockdown period made you more aware of what you eat?
I’ve definitely had concerns around eating food that might fall onto the ‘naughty list’ and been nervous about things going wrong, where I know I can’t visit the clinic. So I’ve been more mindful, cutting food into smaller bites and choosing to eat things which don’t involve too much chewing or biting.
It’s funny because you feel certain movement on some teeth on different days. I think with being at home, you are more sensitive to this and aware of it, which can make you feel more nervous, but knowing I have Dr Chatoo’s number if I need it is reassuring and he has also checked in a number of times.
Have you noticed any significant changes after three months in braces?
I’m more conscious of where teeth are touching more and definitely more mindful when I’m chewing, which can’t be a bad thing anyway. Aesthetically, I’ve noticed my front teeth already look straighter, which is exciting to be able to see.
Since the first month of having my braces fitted, aside from being more conscious of what I’m eating or how my teeth feel on some days, I don’t even think about the actual braces at all. I recently delivered a three-hour lecture and the thought of my braces being noticeable or affecting my speech didn’t cross my mind once.
Have you had any concerns around your treatment since lockdown?
The overall treatment duration is definitely something I’ve thought about as, having not had a wire change for three months, there is inevitably going to be some delay. This doesn’t concern me too much as public speaking engagements are still some time away and I feel much more confident generally knowing my braces can’t be seen.
However, it’s times like these that make you think more about the decisions in your life and, for me, choosing someone that is such an expert in their field has been very reassuring.
James has kindly agreed to continue to share his experiences throughout the course of his orthodontic treatment. You can see some more updates and videos over on our Instagram or sign up to receive our email newsletter and follow along.
If you’ve got any questions around orthodontic treatment, or would like to find out more about the different options, please do not hesitate to get in touch.