Smile for the Camera
As I slowly creep towards the big 5-0, I'm beginning to be become hyper aware of things about my physical appearance that I'm unhappy with. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate myself and I'm generally a very happy person, but I'm at a point in my life that I can do something about these areas that I don't love if I decided I want to. While I've ALWAYS hated my nose (have I told you about the meany boys who called me Cyrano when I was in grade 9 - you know who you are, assholes), I recently had some photos taken of me for the local news magazine I write for, and holy shit...where did I get those werwolf fangs from? Yuck, scary, frightening...get those teeth out my mouth tout suite was all I could think of. So I went to see my lovely dentist who informed me my teeth are 'perfect specimens' and that this was not a job for veneers...but a job for braces. GASP! I apparently needed to move some teeth about to make a bit of space so those fangs wouldn't be so prominent. I mean I just got my two teens out of braces, and headgear and retainers (multiple freakin' retainers). Was I actually ready to undergo the treatment required to eliminate the look of my giant fangs? Yes...where do I sign up?
I had pre decided (before seeing my orthodontist Dr. Arat at Leaside Orthodontic) that traditional braces wouldn't work for me, I was going with Invisalign treatment instead. I like that idea that you couldn't see them on my teeth and they required far fewer visits to the Doctor's office that traditional braces. Well I'm three weeks into my treatment (I won't bore you with the gory details about how the Invisalign trays are actually made for your mouth), and I've realized that that's where the benefits end. Invisalign is not a simple, strait forward Orthodontic treatment. Invisalign is a lifestyle - make the choice very carefully, because it might not be right for you.
Here's how your life changes during your Invisalign treatment:
- You suddenly have a lisp when speaking. This has generally wares off during treatment. At three weeks in I still catch my husband chuckling at me behind my back. Nice!
- Pain. There is pain with every tray change. I change my trays every two weeks - and it seems to take about three or four days til they feel ok in my mouth. Nothing a little dose of Advil doesn't help though.
- You can't drink or eat ANYTHING except water with your trays in...and for optimal results, trays should be worn for 22 hours a day. That means you have two hours a day to eat and drink. This is not a lot of time. I typically spend a half hour loving my morning coffee. Think about cocktail hour? More like cocktail five minutes now. You really become aware of how much time you spend eating and drinking in a day.
- The upside to wearing Invisalign for 22 hours a day is that you are automatically on the Invisalign Diet. I eat three meals a day now. No snacks. No candy. No ice cream. No popcorn. It's so much easier to pass on these extra indulgences that to remove my trays, eat, and then go through the routine of putting the trays back in.
- There's a routine you need to adhere to after you eat or drink. BRUSH. YOUR. TEETH. Seriously. I have noticed that the trays stain faster if I don't. And I don't like the idea of dingy trays. I now carry another cosmetic case in my purse that includes; toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and tray case. I'm now a regular in restaurant bathroom brushing my teeth. I have to admit, I love restaurants with private washrooms.
- While I don't wear red or pink lipstick - if you do, be very careful with application - it will stain your trays. I even find that the gloss I wear leaves a film on the upper tray. Eww. I've taken to wearing lip balm only, which is totally fine because I prefer a natural look anyway.
- Kissing is awkward...that's all.
Even with these inconveniences the Invisalign option to obtaining a perfect smile is the right one for me. I like the idea that in as little as six months I will be able to see my teeth changing. And while the wearing the trays for 22 hours a day is daunting...I'm in fact wearing them for about 21. I take a full 45 minutes in the morning without them. If this means I have to wear the trays for an extra month, so be it. It's all worth it and I'm so excited for my new smile.