Sarah What discovers Invisalign – the virtually invisible way to straighten your teeth
They’ve come a long way from initially being mocked to becoming highly coveted.
‘Poster girls of pretty’ Jessica Hart, Lindsay Vixon and Georgia May Jagger – all have impressively large gaps.
Go back to the 80’s and Madonna even found herself a space in the spotlight thanks to her unique teeth.
The thing is – even if a quirk has become mod – it doesn’t necessarily mean that you want it.
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For me, having a gap always made me feel more insecure – I never liked the way it looked in photos – and even when others told me it was cute and made me different, I didn’t like feeling like all eyes were on my gap instead of on my more attractive features.
In high school I embarked on my first attempt to rid of my ‘interesting flaw’ – I did what most teens between the ages of 13 to 17 do – see an orthodontist alongside their parents.
The first thing my orthodontist said, without myself even having to mention what I wanted changed, was ‘so you don’t want the Madonna gap anymore?’.
Here on after I spent a good three and half years with porcelain braces – what I considered an enviable alternative at the time.
Although being slightly less noticeable, they were quickly stained a gorgeous orange colour and they cut at my gums causing ulcers and blood.
I also had to wear that gross sticky wax on wires that decided to stick out and shred the side of my mouth. I even had to wear elastics, springs and tubes! Basically anything you’d find in a child’s craft box to seal the deal and get the job done.
I was then whisked off to visit a specialist who thought that cutting my ‘muscle frenum’ (the tendon that sits in-between my two front teeth that essentially causes the gap) would help my teeth never open up again.
After having the tendon snipped, and even sewn up with stitches (making me feel even more like Frankensteins bride) I waited patiently for my dream teeth to make their appearance – and to never (as everyone promised) have a gap again.
So, after two years of straight white teeth between the ages of 18 to 20 you can imagine my delight when my gap started to re-open – and at first it was just a slither.
Yes, I was wearing my retainers each night that were literally forced down my mouth to wear – so why was this happening to me?! During the daylight hours when I wasn’t meant to wear them I could visibly see my teeth migrating.
Four years on at the wise old age of 24 and with a large, well established gap once more, I did some investigating.
Surly there’s a way to remove this pesky space between my teeth that everyone claims is meant to make me rich. Psh!
It was then that I started reading about Invisalign – clear plastic aligners that you wear 22 hours a day that help to move your teeth into an aesthetically appealing alignment without everyone knowing.
The best part? You pop in a fresh pair every two weeks.
Being in my mid 20’s in a somewhat high pressure job (I’m a lifestyle journalist who writes beauty, fashion and celebrity content) the thought of myself being a ‘brace face’ just didn’t suit my lifestyle.
I totally understood that episode of Sex And The City where Miranda has her metal braces taken off after feeling insecure working at her law firm.
I loved the idea that I could transform my teeth without any one knowing – a very sneaky beauty move indeed.
It also appealed to me that Invisalign would literally ALIGN with my lifestyle – if I had an important meeting to attend, I didn’t have to wear my aligners, I could just take them out and pop them back in on my taxi ride home. There is no way you can do that with braces.
Sitting down with representatives of the brand, and discussing how Invisalign works, is what really made me decide to opt for the innovative treatment.
I could see that they were enjoying a normal lifestyle, eating breakfast with me and drinking coffee despite both of them having Invisalign. All they had to do was skip off to the ladies bathroom to pop their retainers into their little container and they was back indulging in breakfast – I could totally do this I thought!
To get the ball rolling I just had to visit my own dentist to make sure I didn’t have any present dental work that needed to be done.
Once getting my dentists tick of approval I was off to my specialist Invisalign provider in Sydney to have a proper consultation where I was told whether the aligners would work on my teeth or not. After a quick look around my mouth I was told yes – such an exciting moment.
The next consultation saw me getting my teeth x-rayed and photographed with a machine that looked like a hand held gun – very sci-fi stuff I know!
Positioned in my mouth, the camera/laser didn’t hurt at all, one by one the technician took teeny highly detailed photos of my teeth, creating a map on an overhead screen of my what my teeth looked like, every curve and surface could be seen.
These images were sent off to Invisalign HQ and within a few short weeks I was asked to come in and collect my first set of trays.
Popping the flexible plastic into my teeth – I couldn’t even tell they were in! I was in actual shock.
Coming home to see my boyfriend that night, I expected that he would notice, but he kept talking about his day without even the slightest raise of an eyebrow.
I wear my aligners 22 hours a day, and only take them out to eat, drink coloured beverages and brush my teeth.
When I swap my aligners every two weeks onto the next pair, I only feel a slight tightening that first night I wear them. By morning, you wouldn’t even know I had them in – all the while they are pushing my teeth into their correct position.
I now wear my aligners to beauty blogger events and to the news office where I work. Not once has anyone actually noticed or asked me about them – I have to point them out to people.
If I’m completely honest I prefer the way my teeth look with my aligners in because it looks like I have a hollywood smile!
This is the first blog of my Invisalign adventure, but I’ll be documenting how they feel and how my teeth change throughout the upcoming weeks before my treatment comes to an end.
I have 15 sets of trays to get through by the time my treatment is complete – so stay tuned.
If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask me below, or shoot me an email. My contact details are HERE