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Let's Make Better Choices (Life Lessons from Adult Braces!)

There was a gap - a big one. Front and centre, right smack bang in the middle. A gap where a tooth used to be. Now this was an adult tooth, and it had played havoc with me for years due to an unrelenting abscess - the pain had led to the decision to remove the tooth rather than to save it.

The story begins a month after giving birth to my first child. I woke in the middle of the night with a throbbing pain in my bottom gum. I told myself "Get a grip, you've just given birth, go back to sleep, it'll be fine." To only lie awake for a couple of hours, praying that the pain would subside. Two Paracetamol pain killers later, and there was no let up in the agony. Again, I berated myself: "For goodness sake woman! You've been through labour with less fuss. You can cope with this." But no, I couldn't and an emergency visit to the dentist was needed. The abscess was found, and I was prescribed antibiotics. The general consensus was to have a root canal the following week.

I didn't have the root canal, I was put off by various people and I hoped the abscess would resolve on its own. Fast forward 10 years and I found myself in agony again. Literally rocking with pain until the emergency dentist was available. Same abscess, same problem, same pain. But this time I was resolute - I was going to do something about it straight away. Two months on and I was fitted with fancy clear adult braces, or aligners as they are called. But with a gaping big hole in my front teeth.

I have learned some great life lessons from this. Apart from the importance of good dental hygiene and regular check-ups, this whole process started with an unresolved trauma, which I didn't pay attention to, leading to