Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Invisalign vs. the Six Month Smile

Recently, I was having a discussion with a friend about braces.  She had just started treatment with Invisalign.  This option is more flexible than the Six Month Smile braces in the fact that it's a removable retainer.  (Handy for picture taking, evenings out, etc.)  However, instead of raving about the experience, she told me that it's actually been more of a stresser. 

Her dentist told her to keep her Invisalign retainers in around the clock, taking them only out for meals.  As a teacher, she snacks when she can between classes.  In other words, her meals are more like frequent snacks as her breaks allow.  She was also warned that anything darker than water (tea, coffee, soda) may stain the retainers.  Taking the retainers in and out throughout the day is not only messy, but also increases the chance they get dirty/misplaced/etc. in the classroom.  (Picture an active group of 6th graders!)  Additionally, she felt like there was more wear and tear on the retainers because of her taking them out so frequently. Finally, there's the timeline.  I was out of my Six Month Smile braces in exactly six months.  (Though, frequently, patients take a couple of extra months to complete treatment...or they may even be able to take them off early!)

Though there were days that I wished I could have taken my Six Month Smile braces off, I'm so thankful that I could always eat, drink and be merry with them on!  Working in PR, I'm always "on" and I can't imagine sweeping my retainer out of sight if someone happened to step through my office door while I was nibbling.

What are your thoughts? Do you know someone who has Invisalign?  How do you feel they compare? There are benefits to both, but which is the better option for someone considering braces as an adult?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Life a Year and a Half Later - Retainer Q&A

It's been a year and a half since I started my adventure with braces. And yes, that picture above is me...smiling unabashedly at my younger daughter who is getting ready to show the pony.  I finally did break down and get those bonded retainers put in. The first few days I had those in, I was regretting my choice. I felt like I was back in braces...stuff was getting caught in the wires, things felt a little tight, and I was terribly aware of their presence. (My tongue would not leave those little brackets alone!) But, then, around the week mark, I began to forget they were there.

Here's a bit of Q&A on the retainers:
* Just for the record, the retainer brackets are MUCH smaller, and they certainly aren't as scratchy or pointy as the brackets you have with the Six Month Smile braces. 
*They are also placed behind your teeth, so no one will know you have them.
* You can eat nearly anything with them. Strangely, I haven't broken the wire holding the retainer together...and trust me, I've eaten just about everything crunchy!  While wearing the braces, I did break more than one bracket off eating thin crust pizza!
* They are attached to your teeth with the same type of "glue" that is used to adhere the Six Month Smile brackets. (Try not to get your tongue in the way when they apply the bonding material..it is bitter with a capital B.)

I want to thank all of you for writing such encouraging comments to me! I don't always have the time to reply, but I do appreciate hearing from you. I hope those of you who are considering the Six Month Smile braces will go for it. It really is life changing. I don't think twice about smiling for the camera anymore. (Or do the ever popular "tight-lipped" smile.)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The "life after" post

I've had my braces off for seven months now, and am LOVING it! Looking back, all the discomfort was worth it. So, for those of you who are currently enduring the challenges of sore gums, cheeks and lips, I'm telling you to hang in there!  I STILL haven't had my permanent bonded retainer placed. Nope, I'm enjoying life to the fullest with a retainer I take off during the day and put on every night.  It's working out GREAT! At some point, I'll most likely have the retainers put on, but I'm still enjoying the whole "nothing in my mouth" freedom feeling.

I hope all of you are doing well!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Woohoo! Done with braces!

So, Tuesday was the big reveal! We took another set of impressions and made retainers on site. I'll wear these 24 hours a day (minus eating) until my bonded retainers come in next month. It was definitely a tough visit because of doing the impressions, but I can't complain since it was for a good cause. Below is a photo of me wearing the retainer...barely visible. Pretty big change from where we began. I'm also starting ZOOM whitening and am using it in my retainers each evening.

Thanks to all of you for following my blog -- it's been a great adventure!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Less than 1 month to go before the braces come off!

December 17 will be a magical day in my book!  Braces will COME OFF!!  That day, I'll have the chips filled on my front teeth, and a whitening process down.  The power chains will finally come off (whoo hoo!) and the brackets will be removed.  Too exciting!  I'll have to share some grand finale photos when it's all said and done.  Can't believe I'm almost done with my Six Month Smile!  (And if you count the months, it really was a six month process!)

Friday, October 12, 2012

4 Months of Braces - my Six Month Smile is nearly done!

WOW!  Time is flying! Maybe it's because the school year is in full swing or because life's just going at full speed.  All I know, is that I'm more than half way done with my Six Month Smile!  And, just look at those straight teeth :) 

I took this cell phone picture this morning, so it's a pretty accurate representation of what's going on right now.  My bottom row of teeth have straightened out and my top row looks great.  I'm SO happy with what I see in the mirror these days! 

Working at a school, I have to have my photo taken annually for the yearbook.  This year, I laughed with my kids that I'd have braces -- just like many of the students!  (Actually, you could barely tell that I was wearing them because the final yearbook photo is so small -- thankfully!)

Things are still going fine with the braces overall. A couple weeks ago, I actually ate a bracket.  Yes, it happened while eating a slice of California Pizza Kitchen thin crust BBQ.  (Yum!) One bite of crust seemed particularly, well, crunchy.  When I flossed later that night, I realized that a wire was poking out of the back (metal) bracket and the last plastic bracket was gone altogether.  (Ooops.)  I called my dentist the next morning and he had everything back in place within a few minutes. 

Next week, I'll be entering the final phase of The Six Month braces -- power chains.  I have a real fear about getting these on because my dental tech told me that they can definitely cause some soreness in your mouth.  These power chains actually help link all of the brackets together even tighter to pull teeth back and close up gaps.  It's the last step in achieving a great smile.  I'll also get the final wire put on! 

I'm still hoping to make my December goal of no braces for Christmas...guess we'll see how it goes!  Hope everyone is doing well and thanks for all of your encouraging comments!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

10 Weeks Along in my Braces!

Just a quick check in!  All is well here.  No more brackets falling off and my teeth continue to straighten, slowly but surely.  Here's a quick cell phone shot of me at week 10.  If you compare this to week 6, (posted back in July) you'll see that my bottom row has straightened considerably.  Not bad progress for just one month's time!  At this point, I'm starting to notice some of the minor flaws -- like me chipped from tooth. But, until my braces come off, I can't do a darn thing about it. *sigh*  The good thing is that that will be a quick fix once everything is off.  (Or, at least the dentist has promised it will be a quick fix!!)

Hope everyone is well -- and that those of you starting your  journey in the Six Month Smile are having an easy go of it.  Signing off for now...

10 Weeks!