My Experience With Invisalign

Did you have braces as a teenager?  I didn’t.  But I sure should have.  It was obvious to everyone {including me, my parents, and my dentist} that I needed them, but I had heard too many horror stories from my friends about how awful braces were.  They were constantly complaining about how much they hurt and what a pain it was not to be able to eat what they wanted.  Plus, I already had thick glasses and was overweight, which were reasons enough to get picked on; I was afraid to add “metal mouth” to the list.  Sooo, I pitched a major fit and refused to get them {shocking, isn’t it?  You thought this Artsy Mama was a golden child, didn’t you?}  I eventually won my case and my parents didn’t force me.  But the older I got, the more self-conscious I was about my smile.  

You can see from this closeup photo of us in Myrtle Beach about 10 years ago {eep, that makes me feel old!} that I had some serious alignment issues, particularly with one tooth that was rotated almost 90 degrees from where it should have been.  I hated the way my smile looked in photos, especially our wedding pictures, and was self-conscious when I was talking to people outside my family or group of friends.  I began to wish as an adult that I had just dealt with the metal braces years ago and taken care of the problem.

Then, during a routine cleaning in 2006, my dentist asked me if I had ever considered getting braces as an adult.  He suggested a solution called Invisalign, which is a “clear alternative” to traditional braces for adults, teens, and pre-teens.  Rather than brackets and wires, Invisalign is a series of clear, virtually invisible aligners made of a lightweight plastic that gradually move teeth over time.  The aligners are removable and customized for your own particular treatment plan.

I set up a preliminary consultation with a local orthodontist, who told me that she did believe Invisalign could correct even as severe a case as my upper teeth.  First, I had to get my widsom teeth taken out, then we were in business.  The orthodontist took molds of my teeth, then sent it to the company, where they created a 3-D model of my teeth and a specialized plan just for me.  Ready to get really up close and personal?  Here’s a look at the pre-treatment photos they took:

Every two weeks, I put in a new set of trays that moved my teeth just a bit more than the previous set had done.  It took six months to straighten my bottom teeth, and a year and a half for the top.  Here’s a peek at my post-treatment teeth!

The orthodontist made me a set of clear plastic aligners to use as retainers, and I’m supposed to wear them every night while I’m sleeping to maintain my proper alignment.  Here’s how my smile looks today:

Yes, there was some discomfort each time I put in a new tray, but as they say, “no pain, no gain,” right?  After all, you can’t expect teeth to move without feeling something.  Overall, though, my experience was a very positive one, especially compared to what it would have been with traditional braces.  Just for fun, I asked some friends on Facebook what they hated about their metal braces as teenagers.  Here are some of their responses:

- Cleaning between them
- Keeping your teeth clean and not stained from tea or coffee
- No gum, chewy candy, popcorn, or nuts
- Wires poking you
- Sores on the inside of your lips
- No biting apples or corn on the cob
- It “hurt like mad” having them tightened
- Wearing rubber bands and losing them
- Felt ugly wearing them
- Getting cavities under the brackets
- Brackets and wire cutting into your mouth
- Extreme pain when getting new wires

Ugh.  Sounds like a real picnic, huh?  With that in mind, let me tell you the things I loved about Invisalign.  Because the trays are removable, I could take them off when I brushed, so my oral hygiene habits didn’t change a bit.  I also took them off to eat, which meant I could continue to eat whatever foods I wanted, whenever I wanted.  I  loved being able to see a visible difference in the position of my teeth in as little as three months’ time; it was good reassurance that the treatment was working.  Plus, the aligners really are virtually invisible, especially from a distance, so many people never even noticed them.

Really.  Here’s a picture from October 2007 where I’m wearing my aligners.  You can hardly tell, right?

Looking back, choosing to straighten my teeth with Invisalign was clearly the right decision for me.  {Pun most definitely intended.} To see if it’s the right fit for you or for your teen, you can complete the Smile Assessment online and/or find an Invisalign provider near you to schedule a consultation.  Personally, I couldn’t be happier with the results!

What about you, friends?  Have you ever had braces?  Have your children?  Did you know about Invisalign as a “clear alternative”?
Hugs & Glitter,

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Invisalign.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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13 comments on My Experience With Invisalign

  1. Susan@Organized31
    May 25, 2013 at 12:09 PM (11 months ago)

    Well worth the “pain” you have a beautiful smile, Amy, both before and after. But feeling more confident is invaluable.

    Reply
  2. Eva Scott
    May 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM (11 months ago)

    Your after looks great! I wore traditional braces for almost 3 years! My teeth were SOOOOOOOOOOOO bad but I had a friend do Invisalign as a 40+ year old and she had a great experience too.

    Reply
  3. Grandma
    May 25, 2013 at 3:19 PM (11 months ago)

    Wow!! What an awesome smile….
    I love your smile…
    Invisalign is amazing…

    Reply
  4. Emily
    May 25, 2013 at 6:58 PM (11 months ago)

    I wore metal braces for 4 years as a teen, and since becoming an adult, my teeth have moved. I’ve wondered if Invisalign would help fix this slight shift! I’m glad to hear that you had a positive experience with it!

    ~Emily
    A Tossed Salad Life

    Reply
    • Dianna @ Craft A Spell
      May 29, 2013 at 8:49 PM (11 months ago)

      It might, Emily! My friend had braces for years growing up but because she didn’t wear her retainer, her teeth shifted horribly and she had to get them again. I still have my retainer from 10 years ago and I just wear it one night every other month when I feel like they’re moving and I’ve had no problem.

      Reply
  5. Melissa@TheHappierHomemaker
    May 27, 2013 at 2:49 AM (11 months ago)

    You have a beautiful smile! I had invisalign at age 25-27 because my mother could not afford braces for me growing up-I had a horrible, horrible misalignment that made me so insecure growing up. The difference has been night and day for me. It literally changed my life. I used to cover my mouth with my hand when I smiled because I was so embarrassed and had been made fun of so much but now I don’t think twice about it. I love Invisalign and everything it did for me!

    Reply
  6. Marilyn Clark
    May 27, 2013 at 11:51 AM (11 months ago)

    This seems like a great alternative to traditional braces! Thanks for the introduction to this amazing product, Amy!

    Reply
  7. Kadie
    May 27, 2013 at 5:20 PM (11 months ago)

    These sound much better than having the traditional braces. I remember {more than once} leaving the Ortho. in tears because he had pulled and pushed on my teeth/braces. NOT fun at all!

    Reply
  8. Nancy Bandzuch
    May 28, 2013 at 2:16 AM (11 months ago)

    My husband and I both fit into the “should have gotten braces” camp. We’ve thought about invisalign…humm… I’ll have to look into it!

    Reply
  9. Meredith @ Wait Til Your Father Gets Home
    May 28, 2013 at 10:25 AM (11 months ago)

    I had traditional braces and absolutely hated them! Wish I would have known about this option back in the day! P.S. Love your pictures…you were so cute!! {not that you aren’t anymore} :)

    Reply
  10. Dianna @ Craft A Spell
    May 29, 2013 at 8:47 PM (11 months ago)

    Your teeth look great! I had braces for a few years. They weren’t too bad but I had a special piece put in on the roof of my mouth that my mom had to crank open at night every month. I think it helped push my teeth out because they were too close together. HATED that! And hearing headgear! I would have loved to have something like invisalign (because I WAS the overweight kid with glasses and braces haha).

    Reply
  11. Designed by Dawn Nicole
    May 31, 2013 at 7:12 PM (11 months ago)

    I looked into this a while back and really want to do it! I never had braces but have one funky tooth in the front that looks really similar to you before pic…they say it can be fixed easily with Invisalign but my insurance doesn’t cover it so I’ll have to wait a few more years! Glad to read it worked so well! :)

    Reply

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