My smile has been one of my favorite features. I love that a simple exchange of a smile can not only express happiness to someone else, but even just the act of smiling, by yourself, can invoke feelings of joy.
As a little girl I fell & landed on my two front baby teeth, which shoved my adult teeth and eventually caused them to come in overlapping. I wore braces & headgear for 3 years in my youth & when they came off I absolutely loved my smile. In college, my wisdom teeth grew in & my retainer to maintain my straight teeth no longer fit. At the time I could hardly afford a tank of gas, so taking care of my teeth was not a top priority for me.
Over the past 10 years my teeth have gradually shifted causing crowding & a misaligned bite. I was no longer able to bite my front teeth together (which really drove me nuts when I had a hang nail & no accessible nail clipper!). I was also experiencing frequent headaches, & while I wasn’t sure of exactly why this was; I had a feeling it was somehow related. My dentist suggested that I seek orthodontic care. However, I denied it for a long time especially because my only archetype of orthodontics was a mouth full of braces & a really uncomfortable headgear contraption. I was not excited about jumping back into all of that as a 30-something-year old who dealt with it for a very long time as a child.
This past fall I learned about Orthodontic Associates, a local orthodontic practice in Oklahoma City, & their orthodontic options. When I had braces, full wire set-ups were legitimately the only option. But the Orthodontic Associates team told me about Invisalign & I was intrigued. Over the past 10 years I had become more & more dissatisfied with my smile, something I once loved most about myself. I noticed that in photos of myself with my children my mouth was often closed. This struck a chord with me & I decided it was time to invest in myself, so I made an appointment for a consultation.
Leading up to the consultation I was hesitant. I didn’t really know how much my smile could be fixed. I guess I had forgotten how straight & nice my teeth could actually be. I was used to my current smile & genuinely believed that was the best I could get. In addition, I was concerned about how to manage the treatment while also being a busy mother (spoiler alert—it was 10 times easier than I was expecting).
At the consultation I was blown away by the new technology—I kid you not—BLOWN.AWAY. Instead of yucky gooey mouth molds they were able to take a digital scan of my teeth. Photos & x-rays were also a breeze. In that very same appointment the team was able to show me a video of the transformation my smile would make during my Invisalign treatment. When I saw that video my mouth (pun intended) dropped. I had completely forgotten just how beautiful my teeth could be. By watching a 5 second clip of my teeth shifting back to my straight smile, I was absolutely giddy. I went home and watched that video a couple dozen more times that night. And again, & again & again as I waited for my trays to be created.
During my consultation I felt so confident in the staff at Orthodontic Associates. By now you probably know that I care a lot about teeth. I come from a family of dentists & hygienists on BOTH sides of my family tree. In fact, my great grandfather was a dentist to many Hollywood celebrities back in the day. Teeth are a big deal to me & I am VERY picky when it comes to who handles them. At my appointment I learned that every doctor at Orthodontic Associates would review my case & together they would ensure that my treatment is absolutely perfect. Aside from the attention to detail, the staff was also accommodating & kind. They answered my questions, dealt with my massive double stroller & busy toddlers & put me at ease about my treatment plan.
I am now half way through my Invisalign treatment with Orthodontic Associates & I have seen significant progress- I already love my smile again. I can bite with my two front teeth again too. And best yet, I have noticed a drastic reduction in the occurrence of headaches—as it turns out, there was a connection between the tension caused by my misaligned bite & the frequent headaches I was experiencing.
The Invisalign treatment is unnoticeable & comfortable- it’s a radically different experience than my mouth full of metal when I was younger. I still look & feel like myself but my smile is becoming straighter by the day.
I am excited to share another update once the treatment is done but for now here are some of the nuts & bolts of the process:
WHO: I’m trusting Orthodontic Associates with my smile & I am very confident in their abilities to make it absolutely perfect. They have the most family friendly environment & they have empowered me to take the lead on my treatment. They provided me with all of my Invisalign trays & aside from my consultation I have had a midway check-up & then I will get them off—that’s it. They are making it so easy for me to prioritize my smile & as a busy, work-at-home mom of a 1-year-old and 2-year-old, that is exactly what I need.
WHAT: Orthodontic Associates offers a range of orthodontic care. I have chosen Invisalign as my treatment plan. The trays are clear & grip onto my teeth with tiny little brackets that are not visible to others unless they know they are there. Because of my misaligned jaw I am also wearing rubber bands.
WHEN: My treatment plan is currently a series of 10 trays. Depending on how frequently I wear them (the goal is 22 hours a day-- you only take them off to eat) I will wear one tray anywhere between 10-14 days. I try to wear my trays as much as possible, but on the weekends I’m a little more casual with them.
WHERE: I can straighten my teeth at home, on the go, or from anywhere. I wear them all the time & they came with a little case that I can put them in if I’m out at Target & want to enjoy a coffee. As soon as I am done with my drink I throw them right back in. I love that they are hardly noticeable & that I can wear them without even realizing that I am straightening my teeth.
WHY: I want to love my smile again! I want a beautiful smile & a proper bite. I wanted a way to do this within my busy, chaotic schedule as a mother to two very young children.
HOW: Each Invisalign tray is shifting my smile closer & closer to the end destination. After about 10-14 days, when my teeth are ready to move onto the next tray, I transition to the next tray at night. This seems to be a great time to transition as there is some slight tightness I have experienced temporarily when I put on a new tray. By starting a new tray before bed I am able to sleep through the tightness.
I am so glad that I am prioritizing this now, so that I can enjoy my smile again. I am also grateful that I have been able to work with Orthodontic Associates: they have made the process smooth, easy & effective. I will share my final thoughts on the entire process once my treatment is complete, I cannot wait to share the results!
This blog is in partnership with Orthodontic Associates, all thoughts & opinions are my own.