There is something so nice and rewarding about keeping a journal whether it is for social events and travel, life plans or a reflection of what you have been up to. Keeping a braces journal is also a great way to record your progress and to reflect on the whole experience. Journals can be kept in private or published on the internet for all to see but whatever method you choose, you will find this a rewarding activity.
I kept two journals, a private one that recorded the technical details of each appointment and stage of my treatment and the other, a blog on my experiences having braces as an adult. My private journal helped me to remember what happened at each stage of my treatment, who I saw at each appointment, what was done and any reflections I had on how things were going. This enabled me to see how long each stage was taking and to prepare questions for each new appointment as I learned more about this fascinating topic. At the end of my treatment I was able to look back and not only know how many days I had class 2 elastics for but also how many appointments and adjustments I attended, the ligature colour choices I tried out, how long each stage took and so much more.
My braces blog detailed my experiences before, during and after braces and was a great way to rationalise my thoughts about what was happening and to seek support from others. My own blog has been read by over 28,000 people from all over the world and I have been privileged to ‘chat’ and to get to know other brace wearers from the USA, Australia, France, Greece, Hawaii, Canada and the UK. I found writing about my experiences much easier at the beginning when it was all so new and different with an audience keen to learn about what I was experiencing, what brackets I had chosen, how I was getting on with them, what I was eating etc. Towards the latter part of my treatment, it was a struggle to think of new things to write about and it was at this time I started this site to share much of what I had learned.
There is another type of journal that I kept and that was a photo journal that recorded my progress between appointments. I had an idea that if I took enough photo’s I would be able to create a time-lapse clip of my treatment but taking an orthodontic selfie is more tricky than it might first appear. I certainly have quite a lot of photos and it was good to review early days pictures to remind myself of how far I had progressed during my treatment.
There are plenty of adult braces blogs and video blogs on the internet and I still enjoy learning about other peoples experiences and will continue to share links as I come across these. I still keep my journals up to date as I enter this important retention phase of my treatment and occasionally look back at just how far I have progressed over the last three years.
If you are thinking about starting a braces journal, I can certainly recommend this to be a rewarding activity and if you feel like sharing it, let me know and I will post a link to your blog.
Image: © PeterO / Fotolia