I can hardly believe it, but my Invisalign treatment is finally over! Due to the fact I stopped and started (as my first dental practice went backrupt!), I've had braces for over 2.5 years - in fact, B had only known me for a few weeks when I first got them. So he's had to put up with nearly 3 years of me dragging them out of my mouth - slobber an' all - at every mealtime. Including our first dates. I would imagine, for that reason, that he might even be more delighted than me that it's finished now (...and he loves drool?).
So, ta da! Here are my brand new teeth!
When I started my treatment, I didn't have anything other than my iPhone camera (it was THAT long ago), and I had no idea how to work with lighting, so the only images I've got for a 'before' picture are so dreadful you can barely even see the teeth in them - which perhaps was the idea, now that I think of it. So you'll have to take my word for it that they've come a long way... and remind yourselves of what they looked like halfway through the treatment...
The top teeth were always, at best, 'characterful' (they're actually nearly straight in the above as they didn't take long to fix - before anyone says they weren't that bad!), while the bottom teeth, even midway through, were... not. Let's just go with 'not'. But gone are those days!
So, the big question: was over two years and a lot of money worth it? This time last year, almost to the day, I wrote a post about some of the more annoying things that Invisalign treatment brings that no one tells you about. I can now add a few more to that, having reached the end:
- I had to have 8 more sets of aligners than I was originally told I'd have (4 more months of treatment), because one tooth - one tooth - hadn't moved into line. It basically didn't move at all and I couldn't stand the thought of just leaving it there, while its straight brothers and sisters were all smugly in alignment, laughing at it (they were). So I signed up to finish what I started, although I had the option not to (I'm a perfectionist, this is about to become a theme)
- I got a bit lazy with the constant tooth-brushing and took to skipping it after cups of tea (I'm English and my nearest bathroom at work is up a flight of stairs, what can I say). After several months of this, I ended up with two noticeably stained teeth. They've now been corrected as my package included whitening, but let that be a word of warning - don't skip brushing!
- My 'attachments' have now all been filed off - but note that's filed off and not 'taken' off (they can't be taken off)... On some teeth I can still see the edges of where the plastic was, and that really irritates me! I am a massive perfectionist, mind you and no one else can even see it (but I know they're there...)
- I've not been wearing the braces daily for just over a week and my teeth are having a grand old time moving about - some days they've moved so much they've started aching and I've had to really force the braces back on and night. I'm told this will settle down and if I reduce the gap I have them out it won't be as bad and it will stop eventually... But that's kinda hard to do when you get up at 5:30am
- One of my teeth - unsurprisingly enough the one that didn't move - didn't grow through straight to start with, so even though it's now aligned correctly, it still looks wonky. This really upset me at first, but B made a very good point that what I have now is natural perfection and unless I want veneers (I really don't), this is what that looks like. And also, stop being such a massive perfectionist because it's ruining your life (he didn't exactly say that, but it was strongly implied)
- You wear retainers every night for life. Yes, FOR LIFE. And if you don't, don't be surprised if you can't get your retainers back on again one day and then bam! Lots and lots of money down the drain...
It was totally, utterly 100% worth it for me. All of the minor inconveniences and added time resulted in teeth I am finally not embarrassed about - it feels like nothing in comparison! Doesn't that smile say it all? That toothy, slightly crazed smile...
... So yes, I've got to get used to actually smiling properly on camera. When you've been constantly smiling with your lips firmly closed for nearly 30 years, it's quite hard to break the habit of a lifetime. I can't even bring myself to tell you how long taking the photos for this post took, but I will tell you that when I try to smile naturally, it generally looks like someone's just kicked me in the knee out of shot and I'm pretending I haven't noticed.
I'll get there. This is one of the best things I've ever done for myself and I'm so thankful I could. Also it's one of my 2014 new year resolutions ticked off. Yes, I'm still counting, even if no one else is. It means the fact I'm about to utterly fail 2015's sewing one feel slightly less bad...
If anyone has any questions about the treatment, I'm more than willing to answer them!
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