Checking In: Why I Got Ceramic Braces Aged 33

Oh god, what have I done?

Yesterday I had conventional ceramic braces fitted and today I am freaked out by the foreignness of my mouth. I feel like I have giant protruding objects on my tiny little teeth and they are going to burst through my lips. Please tell me this feeling ends soon?

To be honest, getting my teeth fixed is not something I’ve always wanted to do. I didn’t have braces as a kid as my wonky teeth weren’t considered severe enough for UK orthodontists and I’d become quite reconciled with my dodgy British smile.

Until social media came along.

Girl Tweets World in India
I would rarely show my teeth in photos, hence a lot of shots of me looking miserable around the world!

Suddenly, when nattering away on Insta stories or filming vlogs for clients I was confronted with how my teeth looked when I was speaking, and I hated it.

Throw into the mix some poor judged dental care in Australia (I had a tooth extracted and was later told by another dentist it shouldn’t have been!) and the fact that my teeth have continued to move as I’ve aged, and suddenly all I could think about was having a semi-decent smile.

Some sibling rivalry also played into the mix as my sister has recently undergone treatment with Invisalign and now has the perfect smile. I thought perfect smiles were incompatible with our genes but she showed me otherwise. I wanted in!

I mulled over the decision of Invisalign versus traditional (conventional) braces for a long time. The first orthodontist I saw (who turned out to be a dentist who did the odd brace treatment!) told me I wasn’t a candidate for Invisalign but when I went for a second opinion at Collins Street Orthodontics they told me I was.

Adult ceramic braces
I went straight to the hairdressers after my appointment to make me feel better/ stop me from going home and crying. I’m also feeling like black and white selfies might be the way forward!

Invisalign costs the same and take the same amount of time as the ceramic braces I was interested in but you take them out for eating. For most people this is a plus (and as I continue to eat another meal of mush I can see why!) but for me I was worried that my lifestyle and laziness would hinder their effectiveness (they need to be worn for 22 hours a day). I had visions of me taking them out to eat on a long haul flight and next getting the chance to wash and replace them 10,000 miles away.

So instead, I’ve gone for upper and lower clear conventional braces, which can’t be removed for the next 2-ish years, and prevent me from eating the likes of crusty bread, chewy steak, diet coke or curry.

Again, what was I thinking?!

In all seriousness, my appointment yesterday went really well. The wonderful staff at Collins Street Orthodontics (who I am not sponsored by or affiliated with in any way FYI) were wonderful at alleviating my anxiety and the whole process was pain-free. Their offices in the Manchester Unity Building are super slick and stylish and the whole atmosphere fills you with confidence, as well as a little jealousy over their enviable views.

Collins Street Orthodontics Melbourne
Feeling at ease thanks to plush furnishings at Collins Street Orthodontics

At the moment, I just have a temporary wire while my mouth adjusts to the brackets and thanks to the hygienist who sat down with me afterwards I have some clear instructions on how to care for my braces and teeth over the coming weeks. I was freaked out at the list of foods I needed to avoid but thank goodness the hygienist said I needn’t give up my 1 latte a day. She also advised that I can sneak in the odd curry just before my wires are changed as it won’t matter then if they get stained. Sugary foods like cakes, chocolate and donuts, however, need to be avoided to prevent cavities and staining – I may be a size 8 by the end of this experience!

I’ll be going back in about 4 weeks to start the tightening and get things moving. Would you like me to update you on how I’m doing? I know teeth aren’t travel related but I found there was little out there about adult’s getting train-tracks so I could potentially fill a gap. (What a pun artist!)

Adult ceramic braces
Fells like there is a lot going on in my little mouth today. Hopefully I adjust soon.

The specifics: I’m being treated by Dr David Austin at Collins Street Orthodontics. Ceramic braces cost $8200 AUD – you can pay in full or with monthly, interest-free instalments. They have a referral scheme so feel free to give my name if you go for a free consultation.

I’m not sponsored or endorsed by the company in any way, just a happy customer – or hope to be by the end of my treatment!

About the author

I’m Jayne, a travel blogger, content creator and mum to a 4-year-old son. I’ve been blogging since 2010, travelled to 65 countries and share travel guides and tips to help you plan stylish, stress-free trips.

17 thoughts on “Checking In: Why I Got Ceramic Braces Aged 33”

  1. I feel ya. I wore braces at the same age. Mine were silver. I refused to wear my glasses at the same time. What’s worse? I wore head gear at night and rubber bands during the day. My bands would break and hit my students while I was teaching. Amazing. It’s all worth it in the end. You’ve got this!

    • Oh Meg, you’ve got to laugh haven’t you! If you can put up with breaking bands and headgear surely I can handle the crowded mouth situation?! Thanks for giving me some perspective haha

  2. Am so glad I did mine! My teeth were fine until babies (seems a lot shifts with all those hormones!!) and once front teeth started to cross it just kept getting worse. Feels weird, you’ll never look at an apple in the same way. But so worth it in the end!! Good luck!!

    • Thanks Leanne! I guess it’s just daunting as I’m on Day 1. It’s nice to read comments from people who made it to the end haha

  3. Well done! I was lucky enough to get the braces out of the way in a very awkward teenage phase after 3 years of regular retainers that didn’t do shit. Very happy my parents made me then so I really applaud you for taking the leap now even though it might feel weird as first. And as far as curries go – I would assume after India you are set for a while 😉

    • I totally wish I had got it out the way sooner but better late than never hey. And I could never have my fill of curries but you’re right I am good for a little while haha.

  4. They aren’t that noticeable and will be well worth it! When I had braces as a teen they were much more noticeable and I used to cover my mouth when I smiled. If I did it again I wouldn’t try to hide them. Especially as they look so much better these days. Good luck!

  5. Well done you for starting the process. I’ve been looking at Invisalign seriously over the last year, even getting as far as going onto my local “smile clinic” website to book a consultation, then chickening out. I think this is the kick up the arse I needed though, thank you 🙂

    • Confession: I booked at least 2 orthodontist appointments and chickened out and I nearly bottled it altogether after seeing someone that didn’t fill me confidence. I def recommend doing research about the surgery etc as the staff (and even the ambience – not gonna lie) make a world of difference about how you feel. I had no qualms about booking in with the guys I went with as they made it all so stress-free.

  6. Exciting times Miss! The time is sure to fly – how long has it been since you moved to M-town?! haha.
    I still remember the feeling of freedom and running my tongue over freshly de-braced teeth so many years ago. *sighs*

    I’ve been looking at getting my gaps fixed (had braces when I was a teen, broke the damn plate and my teeth moved) so will be interested to hear how your follow-up and what not goes because my orthodontist is in Adelaide and I’ve been too chicken to find one in Melbourne! (slight irrational fear of dentists ^^;;;)

    Can’t wait to catch up and hear all about your experience so far. 🙂

    • You make a very good point about time flying! I figured I could spend another 2 years thinking about it or just start now and have straight teeth in 2 years. Man are the first few days dragging though lol. I can totally recommend the guys I’m with – they are super pro and not any more expensive than other quotes I got. I think I’ll be having a permanent wire put in behind my teeth at the end of the braces to make sure nothing shifts. Hope you are enjoying your travels and look forward to catching up southside soon. 😀

  7. I had them twice! I got them taken off early because I didn’t want them for my senior year photos and I still have some gaps in my back teeth but didn’t care since you couldn’t see it. Kinda wish I’d left them.

    • This is my first time so it’s all a bit new to me. I have huge respect for all the teenagers who had them now though as it’s a pain in the bum (gum!)

  8. I have the Invisalign type braces but honestly wish I’d gone with the fixed ones. Mine was only a minor bit of overcrowding that could have been corrected in about 3-4 months with fixed braces. Went with the removable kind but they haven’t worked that well and I’ve needed so many refinements. Problem is I take them out to eat and then before you know it, you’ve had them out for like 2 hours chatting.

    • That’s what I thought I might do – and I have a lot of crowding to fix so I didn’t want to turn an 18 month treatment into a 3 year thing. Hope you get sorted soon.

  9. Feels so good reading the article and the comments! I’m 29 and got my braces fixed just yesterday. For the second time had them removed 2yrs ago, broke my fixed retainers during the lockdown and now my teeth have moved. Also, my previous dentist hadn’t completely fixed it so with time, my right upper front tooth started protruding and looking more obvious.
    Can’t go back to the wonky smile I had so broke the mental blockage and went for it again :X hopefully it goes well this time and being in WFH I hope I can hide my braces under masks as long as I can <3


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