24 Years Old - Invisalign Changed My Life - Before and After Pictures!
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Growing up, I had straight teeth, apart from an upper teeth gap. I was not conscious about this gap and it even made me feel unique. In my teenage years, I was diagnosed with gingivitis. After taking the necessary steps to clear the disease, I faced a new battle, some of my front gums had eroded, causing my teeth to spread apart. To make matters worse, my top gap had grown even further apart. The changes to my front teeth were gradual.
During my college years, I was so busy with classes, internships, and working, that I had not noticed my immense tooth movement . The thoughts of having traditional metal braces with metal wires as a 20 year old did not seem attractive or ideal. Although I dreamed of having perfect teeth, I did not want to feel like a social outcast with a mouth full of metal during my "golden years."
College came and went and as I got into my young professional years I still struggled with "smile anxiety"(as I like to call it). Instead of going deeper into my despair (which I was low already) I decided to take the steps to get regular braces. A couple of days after my 24th birthday, I made an appointment with my periodontist and received clearance for braces. I was referred by my dentist to Del-Mar Orthodontics located in Marlton, NJ. I met with Dr. Gordon. My initial consult was nothing less than a 5-star treatment.
During my consult I learned about the invisalign treatment. Dr. Gordon explained the benefits of invisalign vs. traditional braces. While I did not know much about Invisalign, I knew I preferred them as opposed to wearing metal braces in my mid-20s.
There was a lot of information thrown at me during my 30 minute consult. Although it was tough to remember everything, the knowledge and friendliness of Dr. Gordon and her staff sold me on the clear plastic aligners. In addition to their compassion, they also threw in a discount to the invisalign cost which was a relief to my credit card as well as my crooked teeth. I must stress that getting your teeth straightened is a long-term process and it would do you good to find an Orthodontist and staff that you feel comfortable with.
I completed the first step, the consultation and signing the necessary paperwork. The next step was getting dental impressions. A horseshoe shaped plastic that contained what looked like clay was placed into my mouth. The dental impressions were used to produce a replica of my teeth and oral tissue. Once the impressions were completed, they were sent out to a lab to create my Invisalign trays.
Step three was the wait. During this time, I had a mix of emotions: excitement, nervousness, and panic. How would it feel? Would it be too painful? How would I talk? Would it really look invisible? I spent time on YouTube watching video after video and read posts about the experience . About two months after my impressions were taken, my trays were ready. I came back to the office and had tiny bubbles placed onto my teeth (this would anchor the trays to my teeth). Then Dr. Gordon placed the trays into my mouth. I was sent away with care instructions, case holders, and the latest Sonicare Toothbrush.
At first the trays did not hurt but I did end up taking ibuprofen because my teeth were a bit sore. With each new set of trays, the pain resolved after a couple of days. I was excited when I no longer had pain because it meant my teeth had finished shifting.
One downside to wearing the trays is that you have a lisp at first. Pronouncing S’s were my weakness, and as luck would have it my first name began with a S. After my tongue became use to the trays, the lisp went away on its own. However, I did experience a bunch of canker sores as well. Plus, I experienced the Invisalign diet, where you eat less because of not wanting to take out your trays. Also it was important to take part in regular brushing so no food got stuck inside the invisalign aligners.
The process of teeth correction takes time and there are moments where you will feel frustrated with the wait, frustrated with the lisp, frustrated with keeping the trays in 22 hours a day, and frustrated with “insert your future frustration here.” I decided to take pictures of my teeth every time I received new trays. Seeing where I started from and how far I had come made the process so much more manageable. I encourage you to also track your progress.
I am ten months into my Invisalign journey and I am once again confident when I speak with people and I never hesitant to flash that great smile for Instagram. I never knew how much of an impact my teeth could have on my self-esteem. Now living through the bad years of my teeth, and now the good, I can say that the good is so much better.