The smile behind my smile | Invisalign updates

Librarian for Life + Style | Same smile quoteEarlier 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:

Librarian for Life + Style | Invisalign progress

left  //  middle  //  right

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. 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Invisalign progress

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.


7 thoughts on “The smile behind my smile | Invisalign updates

  1. Erin @ Loop Looks

    Very cool! That was a great idea from your dentist to keep your first trays; you can really see a huge difference.

    I wore traditional braces starting in 5th grade until the end of my freshman year of high school. Yep, that’s a long time to wear braces. I had a huge gap between my two front teeth and generally a very narrow bite. The braces were less about aesthetics and more about just making sure my mouth didn’t get crowded! Thankfully my teeth have stayed in approximately the same places since I was 15, although I think my bite naturally narrowed a bit.

    Here’s the before and after pictures!

    1. Jen @ Librarian for Life and Style Post author

      Such cute photos of you — thanks so much for sharing! That is a long time to wear braces, and I’m glad they worked out so well for you. My mom also wore traditional braces for quite a few years in her teen years, so we’ve been exchanging stories about our braces for the past year! 🙂

  2. Mike

    Wow Jen, that’s so awesome! I couldn’t even tell that you had the trays on your teeth. Very cool! And I’m with you on the flossing. I’m a flosser for life too; do it all the time now! I never had braces before but I’ve had so much work done on my teeth in the past 2 years that going to the dentist was a regular routine for me. When I was little, I never understood the importance of flossing. But now as an adult, I do. And I actually like it! Sounds weird I know but I like the feel of it. 🙂

      1. Mike

        Me too. And it makes one come to appreciate such things even more when they get older. I know that’s the case with me. I take great pride in keeping my teeth well brushed and am so proud of myself for my consistent flossing the past few years. I like your idea of a dental kit. I think I may have to prepare one for myself! Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and a small bottle of mouthwash; all very essential items for clean, healthy teeth!

  3. Mike

    I forgot to mention in my earlier post that ever since I had my… dental dilemma (a really bad cavity is what started me on the path to better dental care), I have been brushing constantly ever since, even after lunch when I’m at work. I specifically buy a small tube of the same brand of toothpaste that use at home and another brush that I carry with me just for this purpose so there’s no forgetting to put them in my bag each day. I get funny looks when people walk in and see me brushing but what do I care what they think? It’s not THEIR teeth that I care about! And as I said before, I have become a flosser, at least twice daily or when I feel that I need to. I’m VERY self conscious about my teeth, more for health reasons than for appearance (though I want a clean smile when I do smile). And I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about having to visit your dentist several times a year that makes you want to avoid all the things that are bad for your teeth, like hard candy, which has been the start of all this a few years back. I’ve given it up completely and don’t even miss it. 🙂
    I could share dental tales all day but I’ll stop here and just say that it’s refreshing to know that I’m not the only one who cares about their dental hygiene. Keep up the great work Jen!

  4. Pingback: The smile behind my smile | Review of Smile Brilliant whitening kit + GIVEAWAY | Librarian for Life and Style

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