Biting back in old age!


BRACES are for teenagers not for middle aged women who felt liberated in the 70s and rebelled against any show of vanity. But when I hit 50 and looked at myself in the mirror I realised just how crooked my teeth were.

It was probably prompted by the fact my son was nagging me to have his teeth straightened but every time I passed the mirror I took a second look and they seemed to get more crooked every day.

Matters weren’t helped by the fact I had been made redundant on my 50th birthday – great timing – and decided to start my own business in PR. Now Carmel Harrison PR doesn’t actually do the makeup and fashion PR but nevertheless you are always under scrutiny and need to look and feel good every minute of the day. While I could easily re apply makeup or change my clothes straightening and whitening my teeth would need a bit of help.

My saviour came in the form of a client Dr Catherine McCanny. For so long I had been grabbing column inches for her Dewsbury Road practice, now it was her turn to help me. When St Michael’s ran an Invisalign open evening I checked in to find out if they could help an old timer like myself.

I know the team anyway but moving from supplier to patient was transformational. Suddenly the professional way they handled nervous patients was turned on me. I haven’t commonly been frightened about the dentist but knew my teeth were sensitive and my understanding of what would happen was rudimentary.

Lead by Catherine the team was marvellous. They explained every single step of the treatment. How they would measure my teeth at the start of treatment and monitor the progress. They gave me an impression of the changes that would occur every two weeks and an idea of how my teeth would look.

Catherine was brutally honest. She had never treated teeth as crooked as mine without surgery so could make no guarantees. And to be honest I am not a great patient. When it was explained to me that I couldn’t drink hot tea or coffee with them in I wondered how I would get though one winter never mind two!

And having to wear them for 22 hours a day seemed like an eternity. In the end the treatment was pain free. Of course there was a bit of discomfort when I put a new set of braces in, but nothing like I imagined.

I missed a lot of PR perks. Canapés were never my favourite but it seemed too fiddly taking them out for half an hour at a major drinks event, no one noticed I was wearing them so I left them in and survived on champagne instead! I even had my photograph taken at a national awards event that has ended up on the front cover of the following year’s brochure.

Margaret Wood at the Manufacturer Top 100 (1)

That’s how invisible Invisalign is. Of course there were cynics, George my other half told me he loved me as I was, but even he was impressed by the difference Invisalign made. He couldn’t argue with the proof of the before and after photos.

A year on the thing I notice the most is that food doesn’t get stuck between my teeth, there’s nowhere for it to get stuck and my teeth are a gorgeous white. Of course there is a down side. Now I am not wearing my Invisalign braces I have no reason not to eat when going to swanky PR receptions so I’m not just drinking champagne!

By Carmel Harrison PR


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