I had the pleasure of treating a 14-year-old young man once with fixed braces. Let’s call him Sam. The consequences of having orthodontic treatment were most unexpected not just for him… for his whole family too.
He was a good patient… meaning he turned up for appointments, didn’t break his braces and kept his braces clean. As to what our patients would define as a “good orthodontist”… a discussion for another day perhaps!
Back to the exemplary Sam. It came to that happiest of days when his braces were to be removed. The result was (and I hope you won’t take this as being in any way boastful) utterly fantastic.
It was at this point that his mum and dad started telling me some interesting things. Because of the advice we had given Sam at the start of his treatment, his parents had suggested that he cut out chocolates, fizzy drinks and the like.
And the snacking stopped. Too much of a chew on having to get the bits of crisps and crumbs from around your brackets on an hourly basis… so just stick to meal times.
So Sam started loosing weight. Quite a lot of weight in fact. Which made him enjoy exercise more… which made him lose more weight… you see where I’m going with this.
One in… all in!
And it didn’t stop there. To support Sam through his treatment, his mum, dad and sisters agreed that it wasn’t really fair for them to be noshing on nibbles while he was mending his ways.
So the whole family became healthier and felt fitter.
New teeth… new you.
Many patients do enjoy “unintended consequences” of having orthodontic treatment. No point having a fantastic smile if every day is a bad hair day. And if your hair is now as sharp as your smile, what on earth are you doing going around in those trousers? You seriously need to smarten up, fellah!
And then there’s the confidence thing. That’s the thing people tell us that they get most of from their treatment. The confidence to smile around your friends, family and colleagues.
So when people sometimes say to me “You’re an orthodontist… really? Don’t you get sick of just making teeth straight”… I often think of Sam.
Because one thing is certain… it’s not just about the teeth!
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net