I’m the baby in my family – #4 out of 4. As my luck would have it, my big brother right in front of me had a set of teeth similar to that of a barracuda, rows and rows of teeth. Needless to say, my parents spent some serious coin on his perfect smile – pretty sure it took him 5 years to complete the process. So when I rolled around, my teeth were straight enough. Actually, I was never self conscious of my smile, although my crooked bottom teeth always bugged me. Not until I decided to do Invisalign a year and a half ago did I realize how crooked my top teeth were too.
I consulted my orthodontist and good friend, Dr. Grant Coleman (yep, he is your friend today too since it’s your last chance to win our latest giveaway for a $500 gift certificate to orthodontic treatment for you OR your kids!). I could tell he was pretty excited, he said I was a perfect Invisalign candidate. My dentist had been courting me for Invisalign since it was invented, but I always knew I would go to an expert, an orthodontist, who specializes in straightening teeth.
My treatment started a year and a half ago and I have been really pleased. It may seem like a long time, but that’s only because we are perfectionists and I have ONE stubborn tooth on the bottom, so I knew it would take longer than your typical Invisalign treatment. I’m pretty sure most of you who have had braces in your youth, but now have crowding, would most definitely qualify for Invisalign Express, which is a much quicker process. I know as an adult, I have been a perfect patient. I chose to do this treatment myself, and I hold myself accountable for following the rules. In the beginning, you are required to wear your trays for 23 out of 24 hours. I was super anal and I think it paid off. You take the trays out for eating and if you’re drinking a colored drink, like wine or grape juice. If you’re a caffeine junkie like I am, you’ll most definitely find that your trays will stain, which is pretty eye-opening b/c you can see just how much that stuff stains your teeth. But I found that Crest Whitening Expressions Wintergreen Ice (no other flavor!) really helped keep my trays clear. There is also a product that you can order through your orthodontist that is supposed to work wonders, but I never wasted my $ on that. I changed my trays every two weeks, so if it got really bad the last few days, I just smiled without showing my teeth!
I was hoping to report a huge weight loss since you have to “take your teeth out” to eat, so you think twice about every single thing you put in your mouth. But my body is secretly holding on to 15 lbs, and you just can’t trick it! So weight loss was not an added perk for me, but that’s not to say it won’t happen for someone else.
One really cool thing that I experienced as an adult Invisalign patient is the role model that I have actively played in my children. They have watched me for almost two years take great care and pride in my teeth and braces. Now on the cusp of my oldest entering the world of orthodontics, she can see how important it was to me and hopefully she’ll appreciate the process. I know, wishful thinking, but I’m going with this right now!
Here I am in the home stretch, I think I have 2 months at most left. I haven’t minded my trays, in fact, I feel kind of naked without them. You can hardly tell they are in. If I was a brave soul, I would include pics of my trays in right now, but I think that’s kind of gross. I may be inspired to do an official before and after when I’m officially done. I’ll warn you though, my “before” shot was on a day after I went to the gym, so I wasn’t looking cute at all – go figure!
So Invisalign was a great experience for me and I can’t speak highly enough about Drs. Hull & Coleman. They are incredibly experienced and they know how to keep a kid excited to come back. It seems like every time I go to an appointment, they are hosting a new super fun contest. The last one over the summer, they gave away an iPad, a Flip video camera, a Wii and a weekend at Great Wolf Lodge. Kids were literally skipping in the door to get to their appointment – brillz to the genius who thought up that contest!
Have you had braces as an adult? What was your experience like? I’m just super excited to see my official end result. Wish me luck!