The journey to my new smile by Ruben age 14

 

First Visit

When I was 11, I went to see Dr. Christina. My teeth were a mess—super crowded, and I could even stick my tongue through a gap in the front! At first I was freaked out that I’d need some teeth pulled, but Dr. Christina thought a speech therapist could help because my tongue was weak and I wasn’t holding it in the right place.

Anna taking 2D scan SmileDesigner Orthodontist Den Haag
Anna taking 2D scan SmileDesigner Orthodontist Den Haag

Speech Therapist

I started working with Peter, a speech therapist (something called OMFT – Oro-myofunctionele therapie). He gave me this thing called a Myobrace to wear and showed me exercises to strengthen my tongue and hold it in the right place, called “the spot.” For a few months, I did stuff like clucking 100 times a day and swallowing exercises. My favourite was practising swallowing with vanilla custard! The idea was to strengthen my tongue so that my jaw would grow if I kept my tongue in the right place and swallowed properly.

Then I had to wait for my teeth to grow more. I kept checking in with Peter to make sure I was still swallowing right and keeping my tongue on “the spot.”

Luckily, I didn’t have to get any teeth pulled because my jaw grew enough for my adult teeth. Those speech therapy exercises really helped.

Fixed or Invisible Braces?

I got my braces a few days after my 13th birthday. I chose fixed braces because I thought they’d work faster than Invisalign. I just wasn’t sure I could keep Invisalign in for 22 hours a day like you’re supposed to.

The first few weeks weren’t as bad as I thought. The brackets rubbed my gums a bit, but the wax SmileDesigner gave me helped. At first, I was terrible at brushing my teeth, so I had to see the hygienist a few times. But I got the hang of it, and the assistants at SmileDesigner said I was doing great as time went on.

I broke a few brackets here and there and mostly waited until my next appointment to get them replaced. One night, I had a wire poking out. My mum tried to cut it, but totally messed up the bracket! Good job I already had an appointment at SmileDesigner the next day.

I found the foods that I could eat without breaking the brackets and learned how to cut foods up really small to make it easier. I changed my eating habits a bit, but I knew the more I worked with my braces, the less hassle it would be.

Elastics

I was really determined and wore my elastics all the time (except when eating). I took special care of my teeth and braces, so my treatment went super fast. After less than a year and a half, it was time to get my braces off.

Feels strange

After the braces came off, it felt super weird for the first few days. I keep biting my lips as I forget that the braces are gone. I’m sure I’ll get used to it though. I’m already used to the retainer wire that’s at the back of my teeth.

It’s so nice to be able to eat everything again, pizzaaaaa!

Aftercare

I’m getting a night guard soon. They will first take a scan to make the right size, and then I’ll pick it up a few weeks later. I guess I have to wear it every night to help keep my teeth straight.

Estelle placing Invisalign

I love my new smile!

Thank you, Dr. Christina and the SmileDesigner team!