C-fast braces at The Perfect Smile, Hertford
Disclaimer: I have not been commissioned to produce this review and am not receiving any benefits or discounts from The Perfect Smile.
I have wanted to have my teeth straightened for a seriously long time.
Looking in the mirror I was never horrified by my teeth but in photographs… well that was an entirely different matter.
Overcrowding and vampy fangs were all I could ever see in photos of myself.
I came close to taking the plunge with Invisalign before my wedding in 2017 but having already blown our wedding budget spectacularly I reasoned that it may not be the right time. Plus, we were paying the photographer enough to make my teeth look great anyway, right?
At the start of this year I returned to my dentist for cosmetic crisis talks.
I knew I’d be given the option of Invisalign and as expected, I left with leaflets, an approximate cost (gulp) and a timeframe of around 12 months to get the teeth I’d always wanted. I knew that if I opted for this teeth straightening solution I’d have to return to the dentist every month or so to pick up a new retainers to gradually realign my smile.
I wasn’t entirely convinced that Invisalign was the best option.
Surely there’s a faster way to get perfect teeth, I thought. How about veneers? They sounded easier albeit slightly dramatic, perhaps.
I decided to seek a second opinion at a different cosmetic dentist surgery called The Perfect Smile, which was based in Hertford.
My journey toward achieving The Perfect Smile
I booked my first consultation and paid £25. Armed with internet research I was prepared to request a full set of veneers or Lumineers (the less invasive option where the original tooth isn’t filed down to a point) to achieve my perfect smile.
The consultant I met with at The Perfect Smile clinic politely suggested that my teeth were not ideal candidates for veneers or Lumineers. They simply weren’t wonky or vampy enough for veneers and I was dissuaded from going down that route.
Instead, I was introduced to C-fast braces. Practically invisible, these fixed braces use clear fixings with white metal wires to offer adults a socially acceptable way to straighten teeth, faster.
They look like this (without the perfect teeth, in most cases).
I was given an estimate of 3-6 months of wearing c-fast braces before my teeth were de-fanged and perfectly aligned, and was advised that composite bonding might be something I’d like to consider once the braces were off.
Composite bonding is a colour matched filling material that is used to improve the shape and overall appearance of teeth. It is fast, minimally invasive and should last between 5-10 years.
Biju – the inventor of C-fast and the dentist I would be seeing – famously transformed Holly Willoughby’s smile with C-fast braces.
Well if it’s good enough for Holly…
I bounced out of the clinic with a wide, imperfect smile and a semi prepared pitch for my husband as to why this would be the best investment my face could ask for.
My c-fast Treatment
Getting started with c-fast
My first appointment with Biju involved ‘before’ photographs (urgh – although a clever way to remind me why I’m here), an x-ray and mould’s being taken.
My treatment plan was discussed in detail and monthly appointments were booked in bulk.
Here is what was included in my treatment plan:
- C-fast fitted brace
- fixed retainer – a small metal wire fixed to the back of teeth to prevent movement
- removable retainer – to be worn after treatment is complete to help keep teeth aligned
- teeth whitening shields and bleach
A couple of weeks later, I had my brace fitted. It took around 30-40 minutes and involved gluing, curing (with light) and fitting the wire. No injections, no pain.
I also had two invisible fillings placed on my bottom molars – one on each side – to adjust my bite and ensure I wouldn’t bite the brace. This adjustment took some getting used to over the course of a day or two.
The first month after my brace was fitted was less than ideal. My mouth was having a hard time adjusting to the metal of the brace and I suffered with horrible cuts and ulcers.
Biju gifted me with wax strips to press on the brace in areas that rubbed and caused irritation. The wax was a godsend and really helped my mouth heal, although I often forgot it was there and regularly swallowed it along with my lunchtime panini. Gross.
As soon as my mouth started adjusting to the brace it was time to return to the dentist for tightening. Dread.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by how little the tightening bothered me. Yes, your teeth ache for a couple of days but let’s face it, you’re not biting into apples with a brace anyway. A couple of days of careful chewing and things were back to normal.
How diet is affected
Without a doubt, you’ll have to carefully consider your diet throughout treatment.
Here are my top tips.
- Don’t bite into anything too hard. Not only will it hurt, but you’ll risk damaging the brace. I had to return twice to have a fitting re-glued because of overzealous munching. Cut your food into bitesize pieces.
- Try to avoid rich colours. Spices like Turmeric and Saffron will dye your brace yellow. Tomato soup and red wine can tint your brace red. Yes, it’s a pain but it’s worth being aware of the foods and spices that might give you that 90’s coloured train track look. I did become quite lax with this and often had to ask Biju to help me ‘return to invisible’ at my monthly appointments.
- Avoid breads and stringy foods when dining out – for vanity reasons. Bread was one of the worst culprits for congealing in gooey white clumps around the metalwork of my brace – a major faux pas when eating out. Anything leafy or stringy also has a tendency to hang around and embarrass you.
Being pregnant with c-fast braces
I found out I was pregnant soon after having my brace fitted. Luckily, I’d already had my x-ray prior to conception, otherwise we’d have had to proceeded treatment without it. X-rays are a big no no for pregnant women but it won’t halt treatment so you can proceed without having them .
Fortunately, I didn’t suffer with morning sickness and so having a brace in that respect wasn’t a big issue for me. That being said, if you’re feeling even a little queasy, finding a lump of soggy food in your brace an hour after eating is enough to finish anyone off.
Also worth considering is that most pregnant women – if you’re anything like me – are hungry as well as fussy with the foods they can stomach (especially in the first trimester). During the first few weeks of having my brace, I tried to eat soft foods and soups, yet all I fancied was plain crackers or cereals. Not ideal.
I’d recommend that, if possible, you save C-fast braces until trimester two when you’re probably feeling less sick, less fussy and are more capable of coping with the inconveniences that metal in the mouth presents.
It is also worth noting that pregnant women are advised to wait until after pregnancy and breastfeeding to have teeth bleached, so you’ll have to return to the dentist at a later date to arrange this. If you opt for composite bonding, this will be delayed too as the bonding material is colour matched to your newly whitened teeth.
After three months, my bottom brace was off. The top brace followed one month later.
I can’t put into words how amazed I am with the results. My teeth are straight. STRAIGHT.
Biju filed and smoothed the edges of some teeth to create a naturally polished finish. I haven’t whitened my teeth yet because I’m pregnant so here are the semi-finished results.
As you can see, the differences are subtle but they make such a difference to me.
I’ll be back in 2020 for whitening and perhaps some composite bonding.
All that’s left to say is a huge thanks to Biju and the team at The Perfect Smile. Although I’m thrilled to have my teeth released from their shackles the entire process has absolutely been worth it.
In fact my new smile has since inspired two friends to visit The Perfect Smile and begin the same C-fast journey.
If you’re interested in a free consultation, contact The Perfect Smile.