Why I Chose Invisalign for Myself

by Chloe Jeffreys · 23 comments

in Beauty at Any Age

Yes, that’s a large man’s shirt

For quite some time now,  I’ve wanted to write about the important role Invisalign* played in helping me get my groove back.

When I was mommy-ing full-time, I promise you that I didn’t buy 5 1/4″ stilettos; I didn’t spend my afternoons trying on 20 pairs of blue jeans; and I certainly didn’t wile away the hours curled up reading Sookie Stackhouse novels!

In fact, there are a heck of a lot of things I didn’t do. What I did do was hide under large men’s shirts.

While stilettos, skinny jeans, and my dearest Sookie are admittedly frivolous things, I also didn’t take time caring for any of my real needs either. I didn’t work out, take dietary calcium, or get enough sleep.

Busy taking care of the house and the needs of others, I was usually so exhausted by the end of the day that I barely brushed my teeth at night before collapsing into bed.

So getting braces? For myself?  No way!

Braces were for my children.

Rachel had a slight malocclusion compared to Wolfie’s–which is ironic since Rachel was the recalcitrant thumb-sucker–but we felt orthodontia was an important investment for both kids. We were fortunate to have excellent dental insurance and a flexible spending account that allowed us to put pre-taxed income in a special savings account reserved for medical expenses.

Because Invisalign Teen wasn’t offered, the kids had to have regular metal braces.  I was very pleased with the results.

 

 

I was also happy when orthodontia ended and I thought we’d need no more money going into the flexible spending account and no more ortho appointments.

And then I had a life-changing existential crisis in a dressing room.

You can read the well-written version of my crisis here, but for those of you with ADD (and that’s all of us today), here’s the Twitter version:

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While on a routine underwear shopping trip, piously frumpy homeschool mom discovers that she’s a self-righteous pompous ass.

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After that experience in the dressing room, I began to think more about how I was treating myself.

Sure, I took great care of my kids. Yes, I was a dedicated homeschool mom. Certainly, I was a busy little worker bee who didn’t waste my precious time or my husband’s hard-earned money on selfish little ole me. (I want to say here that I neither regret that time, nor did I feel like a martyr during it. I did what felt right for my family.)

But somewhere along the line I had also stopped seeing myself as a woman who deserved some time and attention, too.

Then I started looking at me.

And one thing I noticed was that my bottom teeth were beginning to seriously crowd. While I wasn’t too happy with the appearance, my main concern was that this crowding was affecting my dental health. I later learned that this migration of the bottom teeth towards the middle is common as people age and not only leads to some of the changes in facial structure we associate with aging, but more importantly, contributes to gum disease and tooth loss.

My bottom teeth had always been crooked, but because my top teeth were pretty straight I’d never considered myself as a candidate for braces.  Suddenly I was looking at my teeth with fresh eyes.

I was concerned about my teeth since my mother had lost her teeth at an early age. Not only could I plainly see how this had affected her once beautiful jawline, I also knew that gum disease and tooth loss are associated with accelerated aging and early mortality. (I firmly believe that my mother’s premature loss of teeth contributed to her illness and premature death.)

So in 2007, with the kids finally out of braces, I began to seriously think about them for myself. After talking with my orthodontist about my concerns, we agreed that Invisalign would be the best choice for me.

The pluses of Invisalign for me were many.

First and foremost, since Invisalign is nearly invisible, no one even needed to know I had them.

Invisalign is a series of clear plastic trays that are generated by a computer program from impressions made from your own crooked teeth. These trays place pressure on your teeth–just like metal braces–and slowly, but steadily, move your teeth into alignment.  Every two weeks you change out your trays to a new set.

My treatment lasted about two years and, other than a slight lisp in the first few weeks, most people were totally unaware I was wearing them. And when I really needed them to disappear I simply took them out.

Rachel got married during my treatment and I am very happy that I didn’t have to wear metal braces for pictures on her wedding day.

Another big benefit to me was that during treatment I knew I was developing good oral hygiene habits that I hope will last a lifetime.

Having seen the scary pictures in the ortho’s office of people who hadn’t kept up with good dental hygiene during orthodontia, I was very concerned about this. I was glad that I was able to remove the trays and thoroughly clean my teeth several times a day. And I wanted to floss often since I could feel every teeny, tiny morsel of food in those trays if I didn’t.

Before treatment, I noticed that I was having more gum bleeding from brushing and flossing, but within a few weeks of having Invisalign, the bleeding stopped entirely. I noticed that my breath was better and my gums looked healthier.

My one fear was losing a tray. And I did.

Of course it had to be while eating at the restaurant where my son worked, didn’t it? I had done the ultimate no-no and bunched up my trays in a napkin next to my plate. The busboy scooped up the braces hidden in the napkin and I didn’t realize it until I got home.

My son was the one who had to go dumpster diving to retrieve my discarded trays. He was furious. He told me that if he’d been the one who’d lost his retainers I would have gone ballistic. And he was right. Thoroughly chastised, I never lost another tray again.

I am very happy I did Invisalign. I do think my smile is prettier, but more importantly my gums and teeth are healthier.

When I look back on the process of rediscovering myself, I consider Invisalign to be one of the most important steps I took along the way. Making myself and my health a priority was an important shift I needed to make.

*This is my very first sponsored post. Don’t tell Invisalign, but I would have written it anyway even if they hadn’t paid me.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Emz January 15, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I think its time for me to get invisalign for myself as well. Your post is telling me the reason why I need one. Thank you for this.
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Steve Wilson November 9, 2012 at 7:36 am

Good choice Chloe, Invisalign is a great option for those people who want their teeth corrected but doesn’t like the idea of wearing an awfully obvious braces. Its very convenient plus its removable anytime at your choice.

My daughter used to be a very shy little girl, it was like a pain inside each time i looked at her holding off a smile coz she knew she looks aweful. But everything changed since we went to our local dentist at Invisalign Manhattan Beach and got her an Invisalign that they have and that was amazing although during the first two weeks she was having this hard time talking and eating, but now she can smile the widest and i’m so happy for her.
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Chloe Jeffreys November 10, 2012 at 10:16 am

I am so glad I did invisalign. Then my husband did them too.

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Kristal October 15, 2012 at 11:01 pm

We are considering Invisalign for our daughter. She may require bite correction. The bite issue will probably need to be corrected before she is ready for it..
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Jack@TheJackB December 2, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I have thought about using them a time or two.
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Anne (@notasupermom) December 2, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Jack, I’m seven or eight weeks into my treatment (I won it in a blog contest!) and I am thrilled with it.

I have extremely crooked teeth and I see a big difference already.
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Chloe December 2, 2011 at 3:50 pm

It is fun to watch your teeth move, isn’t it?

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Chloe December 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Jack, let me encourage you to look into it.

My husband was experiencing the same crowding that I was and I encouraged him to get them when I was done.

My husband in nearing the end of his treatment and we’re really pleased with his results.

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Susan in the Boonies December 2, 2011 at 2:42 am

I learned something! I didn’t realize that having one’s lower teeth crowd was typical of the aging process. Mine have always been crowded, but you sure have given me food for thought!

Well done! I’m sure the fine folks at Invisalign more than got their money’s worth!
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Chloe December 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I always had crowding on the bottom too, but I was noticing it was getting worse. The Orthodontist told me that it was common as we age for the bottom teeth migrate toward the center as mine were doing.

If Invisalign is 1/100th as happy with my post as I am with their product then we’re doing well.

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Heidi Jo December 1, 2011 at 7:59 pm

I grabbed a flosser while reading this. Thanks :)

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Chloe December 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I’m glad! Flossing is so important. And you have gorgeous teeth, Heidi. Take care of those puppies!

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Suzanne Young December 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Well done! My husband had metal braces as an adult. While he liked the “after” more than the before. I am sure he would have preferred using Invisalign.

When you have the time, I’d love to hear more about how you secured the sponsored post.

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Chloe December 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I’m sure you saw that Invisalign is a sponsor of the SitsGirls Bloggy Bootcamps. They were there when I was in Atlanta. I just walked up to their table and asked them if they’d be interested in me writing a post about their product and they said, “Yes.”

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Magnolia December 1, 2011 at 10:50 am

I started out with Invisalign and then ended up with metal braces anyway. But, like you, I was glad I invested in myself. It was one of those….”I’m turning fifty, now what?” decisions that I made.

It was a good one and worth every dollar.

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Chloe December 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I believe that Invisalign has made some changes to their product lately (more buttons, etc), but my ortho also mentioned that I might end up needing metal braces. I didn’t, and boy was I glad. But I would have done metal if I’d had to.

I am so happy I did this for myself. It was something I could do to make myself feel prettier and benefited my heath to boot. Who wouldn’t want that?

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Robin December 1, 2011 at 10:00 am

Thou almost persuadest me! I need to sell a whole lot more stuff in my etsy shop first. :-)
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Chloe December 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Let’s get that shop a-rolling!!!

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Chris December 1, 2011 at 9:01 am

I’ve been thinking about getting the Invisilign, too. My teeth used to be (!!!) straight top and bottom with a slight overbite. My overbite has gotten larger and my teeth are no longer perfectly straight. *sigh*
Aging bites.
However, as The Queen (age 9) is just now embarking on her orthodontic journey (and it’ll be a doozy), I think I’ll wait a bit.

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Chloe December 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm

It was easier spending money we were already living without. If my kids hadn’t had braces, I’m not sure I would have done it. But I’m so glad I had my turn. And my husband is just finishing with his Invisalign!!

All told, our family has spent the past 10 years in an Orthodontist’s office. Oh. My. Damn English teeth.

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Maddie Kertay December 1, 2011 at 8:48 am

I have been totally thinking about doing these for myself.. I had braces as a teen but also see the movement in my mouth and am NOT happy with it. Guess I need to get on this!

Maddie
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Chloe December 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Do it!!!

My own Orthodontist was in Invisalign when I went to see him. He’d also had braces when he was young and hadn’t kept up with his retainers. I’m two years out and I still wear my retainers most nights. The retainers can be easily used as whitening trays as well. I’m a huge fan of Invsalign and they didn’t even have to pay me to say that.

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