I’m excited to announce that I’m starting treatment with Invisalign very soon. I’m a member of the Invisalign Moms Advisory Board, and will be receiving complimentary treatment. Invisalign are those clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth and straighten them just like braces do, but with one major difference: I can take them out when I want to eat or brush my teeth!
I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. When I tell people I hate my teeth they think I’m crazy. And if you just see me smiling, they don’t look that bad:
Pretty straight, right? Well, the things that are wrong with my teeth are hard to see when I’m smiling like that. For one thing, one of my front teeth overlaps the other one. This used to be a lot more obvious, but in my twenties – with no money for braces – I had my dentist file them down so that the overlapping isn’t as obvious, especially from the front.
When I start to talk, though, it’s hard not to notice just what a train wreck my bottom teeth are (please excuse the hideously dry lips – I’m recovering from pneumonia!):
Yeah. Not so pretty. The big semi-OK top teeth that hide all the bad stuff go away when I talk, and pretty much all you see is that, up there.
My first step was checking out the Invisalign Smile Assessment tool, and using the doctor locator. My initial consultation with Dr. Hung was exciting, but also a little disconcerting. He spent a lot of time discussing with me just how little time those aligner trays can spend out of my mouth. He told me that they need to be worn at least twenty-two hours a day in order for treatment to be affective.
After that all I could think about was how much time I spend eating. Sure, on a normal day I don’t think it would be a problem. But if I go out to eat with my husband we’re easily in that restaurant with food in front of us – from bread at the beginning to dessert at the end – for two hours. What about a movie? I munch popcorn during the whole thing! And that would be it, for the entire day!
But I really want my teeth fixed, and I know that I can follow the rules. It will be tricky at times, I’m sure, but I want this to work. And hey, at least I can have things like popcorn – a huge benefit over regular braces.
The next step was getting my mouth scanned. I’ve compared notes with some other people whose orthodontists didn’t have a scanner, and I’m very glad my office did. (The alternative is using some kind of goop to make impressions of your teeth.) The scan took about twenty minutes, and was only uncomfortable a couple of times when I had to fight my gag reflex. Other than that it was a piece of cake.
The iTero scanner
Having my scan done took about 20 minutes
Yesterday I met with my doctor and he showed me my treatment plan, which is so cool! Remember that scan they made of my mouth? Well, here are the before and after shots of my bottom teeth – twenty-six aligner trays, roughly a year. I’m giddy.
Now I’m just waiting for my aligner trays, which should be here in about two weeks. I’m trying to get myself ready for this mentally, not only for what the trays will feel like in my mouth, but the logistics of keeping them in there as much as possible. As I was making my son’s lunch this morning I almost licked the knife, and then I thought about what that would entail two weeks from now: taking my aligners out, licking the knife, brushing my teeth, and putting the aligners back in. I don’t think so! Many knives are going to go unlicked, many free samples will go untaken.
I think I’m going to tape that last picture up in my kitchen, to remind me of why I’m doing this. :-)
I am a member of the Invisalign Moms Advisory Board. I am receiving complimentary Invisalign treatment as part of this program. All opinions are my own and based on my own treatment experience. Full disclosure can be found here: http://shout.lt/ggGP
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 1. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.