As Angeline entered the teen years, she became much more concerned with her appearance. Like most teenage girls, she had a bevy of criticisms about herself: her hair was too frizzy, her birthmark was too noticeable, her arms were too hairy, she had crooked teeth. As much as we wanted to get Angeline braces to correct her crooked teeth, they always seemed just outside of our budget. When I was asked to join the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board – which meant that Angeline would receive complimentary Invisalign treatment if she was a good candidate – I was overjoyed! Angeline actually squealed!
If you aren’t familiar with Invisalign yet, Invisalign is a series of clear aligners that you change every few weeks, based on the treatment plan created by your orthodontist. They gradually straighten teeth without the use of metal, brackets and wires – or your orthodontist can even design a treatment plan to use Invisalign and metal braces, depending on the complexity of your dental issues. While Invisalign can be used for adults and teens, Angeline is using the Invisalign Teen aligners.
We went through the process of finding a qualified Invisalign provider, which we did by using the Invisalign Doctor Locator tool on their website. We found a Premier Preferred provider in our area and they were able to fit us in for a free consultation the very next week!
We had already done an Invisalign Smile Assessment at home, but when we arrived at the Orthodontics Only office, he performed an exam and took a ton of photos and X-rays. Within 30 minutes, he informed us that Angeline was an excellent candidate for Invisalign!
I can’t even tell you how happy she was when we heard the news! She is already so self conscious about her teeth; she was not keen on the idea of wearing traditional braces because they are so noticeable – not to mention the horror stories my niece has been telling her about her experience wearing braces over the last two years!
We had to wait about five weeks while Angeline’s Invisalign aligners were created, and we just picked them up from the orthodontist on Tuesday.
Angeline’s Invisalign treatment plan included correcting overcrowded teeth in one area, spaced teeth in another area, one of her front teeth being longer than the one next to it, and a slight overbite. I was actually a little surprised that the orthodontist said that she was a perfect candidate for Invisalign because the last time we were at the dentist for a cleaning, he told me that she needed braces! I guess that goes to show you that a second opinion never hurts!
Angeline had what the orthodontist referred to as a “black triangle” – where her two front teeth had a space in between them at the top, but then closed farther down, which meant that floss could not reach that area. In order to allow her teeth to close together, the orthodontist polished a tiny bit off of the insides of those teeth.
It only took a minute, and next I watched as they created three attachments on her teeth – he explained attachments as a way to help the Invisalign aligners do their job when a tooth was too round for the aligner to grip.
Can you see the attachments? They look like tiny little nubs and they’re the same color as her tooth enamel, so they don’t stand out very much.
Next he began teaching Angeline how to insert and remove her Invisalign aligners. As a mom, I really appreciated the way that Dr. Sanders took the time to explain each and every step to not only Angeline, but myself as well.
Being a teenager, she might forget or just rush through it and not do it properly – it’s best to have someone else know the right way to do it as well!
Dr. Sanders had Angeline hold up a mirror to watch as he inserted the Invisalign aligners, then removed them – and he did this a few times and explained to her that she needs to insert them on the front teeth before pressing down to secure them in the back. Then it’s the opposite for removing them.
After he did it a few times, he had Angeline remove and insert them a few times so that he was sure she knew how to do it properly.
After she got the hang of handling her Invisalign aligners, we learned about how to care for them; for instance, she learned that she can’t chew gum or eat and drink while wearing her aligners and has to remove them before eating and brush her teeth afterwards.
She can drink water while she has her Invisalign aligners in, which works out well because that’s mostly all she drinks anyway. She’s going to have a hard time giving up the gum, though!
Angeline was wearing a smile a mile wide as we left the orthodontist on Tuesday and I won’t lie, I am probably just as happy as she is that I was able to do this for her through my blog!
Can you even tell she has Invisalign aligners in this photo? I can see them if I am standing really close to her, but aside from that, they aren’t very noticeable.
As part of my role on the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board, I will be sharing information about Angeline’s progress as we go through her Invisalign treatment – which should last about 9 months if she wears her Invisalign aligners properly. Angeline’s orthodontist said that her treatment is actually taking less time with Invisalign aligners that it would have if he put braces on her – imagine that!
Check back with me each month as I share new information about Invisalign and updates about Angeline’s progress as her teeth begin to straighten out – including a video of her treatment plan!
Disclosure: I am a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board. I will be receiving complimentary treatment from Invisalign, but all opinions expressed are my own. http://shout.lt/ggGP