Tuesday, October 1, 2013

All For Vanity?

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I am nearing the twelve month mark of having Invisalign. Did I mention that I have Invisilign? Well, I do and I hate it! 

Once upon a time, when I was 13 or so, I had too many teeth and not enough space in my mouth. My dentist, Dr. Gunner, set me up with braces. This was many years ago when braces only came in silver and the brackets, which were huge, could only be glued to the front sides of your teeth. If you have ever had braces, you know that it changes the way you smile, talk, etc. I was constantly afraid that If I smiled I likely had clumps of bread or other food hung up in my metal grill. Once every 4 weeks or so, I'd make the trip to Dr. Gunner for adjustments and tightening only to have a sore mouth for the next week. 

Okay, fast forward: when they say to wear your retainer forever, they mean FOREVER! I, of course, knowing more than any dentist, stopped wearing mine sometime during college. A dentist that I visited in my twenties removed my "permanent" retainer that had been glued to the back of my lower teeth (a later dentist said, "why would it have been removed, it is a permanent retainer). 

Fast forward again: in my thirties, I noticed significant movement and crowding once again. I had a consultation and full braces were recommended. I was devastated! Have I mentioned that I have a very public job? One that involves a lunch meeting nearly daily? One that requires public speaking? The thought of braces horrifies me. Thus enters the idea for Invisalign. It sounds wonderful. The testimonials and after-treatment pictures are amazing. So I go for it. 

First of all, it took about 2 months for me to finally get the Invisalign after my "fitting" and the dentist noted
that I'd have to wear them for longer than the typical treatment. No big deal, right? I mean, they're invisible, right? Wrong. What they don't tell you about or show you pictures of is the "buttons". After my first 6 weeks I get fit with buttons. These are essentially glued bumps on certain teeth to aide in moving them the right direction. The Invisalign has corresponding bumps as well, which you can see. I am way more self conscious about my smile than I ever was with braces or crooked teeth. 

I am nearing the end of treatment (January 24th to be exact) and while I will have straighter and whiter teeth and I saved $1,000 over the braces, if I had it to do again, I'd go with braces. They are so different now. You can get them In clear, the brackets are smaller, and they are barely noticeable. Plus, you don't feel like you're trying to hide something that is pretty obvious, which is the way I feel about my Invisalign, like I have a secret that everyone knows but is pretending not to know. 

Another negative about Invisalign is that you have to take it out to eat, so if someone hands you something to try and you weren't expecting to eat...awkward! 

The good news is that this is not all for vanity's sake. Straight and uncrowded teeth are healthier. They are easier to brush and easier to floss, ultimately leading to an overall healthier life. Just be aware of the various choices out there to correct your teeth, many of which seem misleading. 

Until Next Time,

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