I had a lot of embarrassing moments as a teenager – didn’t we all! – but one thing I was never self-conscious about was big metal braces, namely because I never had them. I suppose that was a relief at the time, but the older I get, the more I dislike these crooked old British teeth. I’ve become more aware of it in the last few years working in social media, since my face is now part of my “Personal branding” and I get photographed about 100 million more times now than I did in the 1990s. The advent of quality digital cameras has been an amazing thing, but the only downside is that now every detail of my face is captured in high-definition constantly, instead of the old days where someone might snap my picture on 110 film a few times per year. As a result, I’ve become much more aware of how my smile looks. I became a lot more discontent with my teeth when I updated my headshots last year, and noticed how crooked my smile looked in some of the “Outtakes”:
And now you see why my mouth is closed in all my profile photos! I have been seriously considering getting braces over the last year or so, but I’ve had a lot of reservations. How much of a hassle would it be? How much would it cost? And would I just be stuck wearing a bulky retainer for life? From the research I’d done, it seemed like something that might be more trouble than it was worth, so I pushed it to the back of my mind. That is, until a recent visit to Seattle caused me to reconsider!
At the end of May, I attended a “Straight Talk” event hosted by Invisalign and The SITS Girls. In addition to cocktails, snacks, and some great blogging presentations, we also had the chance to talk to members of the Invisalign team and get our questions answered. As you may have heard, Invisalign are clear plastic aligners that provide an alternative to traditional metal braces. I assumed that they would have most of the same pitfalls as regular braces, with the exception of looking less noticable; however, I was wrong. The Q&A was a pretty eye-opening experience – I didn’t realize how many myths there are surrounding Invisalign treatment. For example, one common misconception is that Invisalign only works on mild cases. As it turns out, this treatment can actually be used on very severe orthodontic issues that go far beyond the cosmetic. I was amazed at some of the patient “Before & After” slides that we saw, from patients with everything from overcrowded teeth to gaps, crossbite to underbite, overbite to deepbite.
Pretty incredible, huh? You can see more photos of invisalign results on their website. Another thing I learned is that for young women like Kimberly, there is also Invisalign Teen, which is suitable for both teenagers as well as pre-teens. I think this is such a great option for young people; if I feel self-aware of how I look in photographs, just imagine how today’s teens feel – they often get more photos taken of themselves in one week than I did during the entire decade of the ’90s!
And since the Invisalign Teen aligners are removable, you can eat, brush, and floss as normal, as well as participate in extracurricular activities like sports without the risk of injury. And in case the word “Removable” has you sweating, take heart, parents: Another myth is that if your child loses their aligners, you’ll have to shell out big bucks to replace them. Wrong! Invisalign Teen provides you with up to six free replacement aligners as needed. How awesome is that?! Although the dentist we spoke to, Dr. Payam Ataii, told us that he actually sees a lot more adults losing their aligners than children. Ahem! 😉
If you’d like to learn more about getting treatment for yourself or your children, you can click here to check out a handy infographic on the Invisalign Website, in addition to following Invisalign on Facebook and Twitter.
Parents: Have you considered a treatment like Invisalign Teen for your children? How do you think it compares to traditional braces?