Earlier in the year, I shared the news that I had begun Invisalign, in order to straighten my teeth. (Invisalign is a system of clear braces, consisting of a series of clear trays that you wear for two weeks each.) I had begun Invisalign back in January 2015 but before sharing the news on the blog, I waited a bit to get through the early stages and to get used to the trays.
If you’re interested, I wrote a long post in early March 2015 about what I learned thus far about the Invisalign process.
I wanted to share with y’all an update that I will actually complete my Invisalign trays by Christmas! Merry Christmas to me!! I also wanted to visually highlight the progress I’ve made throughout the Invisalign process. (Fair warning: if you suffer from odontophobia, which means a fear of teeth, then look no further.)
Here we go:
For the collage above, I chose closeups with red lipstick, to better highlight my smile and teeth. The “before” pic is from spring 2014; the “during” pic is from early April 2015, when I was about a third of the way through; and the “almost done” pic is from October 2015, about a month before I was done with my upper trays. (I have already completed my upper trays, just after Thanksgiving — my bottom teeth had two trays more than my upper teeth.)
My dentist, who did Invisalign herself a couple of years ago, recommended that I keep my first tray, to better appreciate at the end the progress my teeth had made. I’m so glad she recommended doing that! So to show y’all a different perspective of how far my teeth have come, I took pics of my first and final Invisalign trays. (And by the way, in case you have the heebie-jeebies about looking closeup at dental trays, YES, my trays seen below were freshly cleaned — first soaked in hydrogen peroxide and then brushed thoroughly and rinsed. If you still have the heebie-jeebies, then look away now.)
We good? Okay. 😉
I think I’m most surprised at how much my bottom teeth have changed and flattened out! And from the birds-eye view, you can really tell how much my bite has widened.
So what are the final steps now? Like I said, my lower teeth have two trays more than my upper teeth, so I’m wearing my final upper tray until I visit the dentist again right before Christmas. At that visit, my dentist will finalllllly take off the barnacles, which is what I call the tooth-colored “hooks” on my teeth that the dental trays hold on to. The barnacles are necessary, of course, but they became my least favorite part of the entire process. And then my dentist will bond a couple of my front teeth so that they all visually line up along the edges. And then I will enter the phase in which I wear retainers, for both my upper and lower teeth, until… whenever. I’ll keep y’all posted!
So what did I learn through this process?
- That I have become a flosser! Seriously, I now look forward to flossing after eating a meal! My dentist laughed when I told her that and said that will never change now! I am a flosser for life. 🙂
- That this whole process was worth it. I talked about this in my earlier post about Invisalign, that deciding to do this as an adult, after I’d come to terms with my crooked teeth, has meant more now than if I had gotten braces as a teen. My reasons for doing it as an adult were medical ones, thinking about prevention and keeping my teeth healthy as I age; my reasons back then as a teen for wanting braces were solely concerned with aesthetics. And that’s a good thing. I know I was more committed to the clear braces now as an adult, and I think I will appreciate the rewards more, too.
- That I never lost my smile. I’m still me, I’m still a person who loves to laugh and smile — even back when I had crooked teeth and even during this past year when I was lisping all over the place getting used to the Invisalign trays. As my husband said recently, “You still have the same smile, the same joy, just with straighter teeth.” ♥
Have you ever gone through Invisalign or braces? What did you learn from the experience? Please leave a comment and let me know! 🙂
And one last note, for total transparency: This post was NOT sponsored by Invisalign. I just wanted to share my personal experiences wearing Invisalign braces.