Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Invisalign results - was it all worth it?

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!

CiCi Marie Invisalign treatment - final results

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...

CiCi Marie Invisalign treatment - halfway results

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!

CiCi Marie Invisalign treatment - final results

CiCi Marie Invisalign treatment - final results

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:
  1. 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)
  2. 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!
  3. 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...)
  4. 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
  5. 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)
  6. 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...
But, all this being said...

CiCi Marie Invisalign treatment - final results

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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26 comments:

  1. I'm so pleased that you're pleased!! The results look great and I can see more confidence straight away. I too am a lips-closed smiler as I have a gap in my top row from a too-short tooth, and I drink too much tea for them to be white. But I realised looking at some wedding pics (where I was so happy I couldn't have kept my lips closed if I'd tried!) that they really don't look as bad as I think. I hate dental work so I am going to take a leaf out of your book and try a few more wide smiles. And how cute is that hat? Xxx

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    1. I certainly felt different trying to capture a proper smile on camera compared to when I did it mid-way through, so it's great if it's showing! I think teeth never do look as bad as we think they do - in fact, I've been meaning to tell you for ages that I didn't even notice anything unusual about yours when I met you! I'd love to see a few more big smiles from you :D xx

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  2. Your teeth look great! It's such a great feeling to finally be done with it: I remember most people I know thought I was absolutely crazy (read: horrifically vain) to spend so much money on my teeth, but it was seriously the best money I've ever spent, because I was so self-conscious about them before. So yay for Invisalign!

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    1. Ha yes I think people thought the exact same thing about me and like you, I don't regret it for an instant! I can already tell I'm smiling more because it still feels like such a novelty when I do - whereas in the past I'd close my mouth quickly again, now I consciously don't :D

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  3. What a lovely smile! I'm glad that you are pleased with the results. You will get used to smiling with teeth again, it took me a while after having my brace as a teenager!

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    1. Thank you, lovely lady! I feel like I'm comfortable smiling now in real life, but on camera I still default to closed lips!

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  4. Congratulations! You have a great smile, I'm considering getting something done myself but I need to get mine healthy first (I'm terrified of the dentist but I have booked an appointment). I had braces when I was a teenager but my dentist took them out and refused to give me a retainer ( he was' very nice) and they went back. 3 Years for nothing!

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    1. I understand the dentist fear but fortunately as I've never had any major work - apart from these braces - I've been ok about going to them throughout my life and I've never had any problems. I can't believe your dentist didn't give you a retainer! Why on earth put someone through orthodontic work and then don't finish it properly. It's not a nice add-on, it's an essential part of the treatment!

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  5. Congratulations! I'm glad that it worked out so well for you. I think your smile looks lovely, and I'm glad that you were able to get to "natural perfection," even if you didn't quite make it to "perfect perfection." It does kind of suck about having to wear the retainer, although I guess you probably get used to it after a while, right? And like you said, it's better than having things shift back and feeling like you wasted the money.

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    1. Thanks :D I'm quite used to it by this point to be honest, as I've been wearing the aligners themselves and they're exactly the same as the retainer is (slightly different thickness, but that's it). This was all such a financial drain on me that there's no way I'll ruin the work by not doing the aftercare!

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  6. I'm so elated for you and the positive ends results you were able to achieve. Your smile is picture perfect gorgeous, my sweet friend.

    ♥ Jessica

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  7. Your smile is absolutely gorgeous, congratulations!!!

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  8. Your smile is so beautiful! So glad that you are happy!! x

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    1. Thank you!! One of the best things I've ever done for my self-confidence :) x

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  9. Your smile is perfect now so I would say it was worth it! I actually am wearing braces for almost three years now (you may notice I never smile in photos) and I must admit that I'm terrified of the moment when I would have to remove it. The reason is- I'm afraid everything would go back, my teeth would look exactly the same after some time and other irrational fears. But I'm hoping to at least have a decent smile for a change!

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    1. Thank you :) Yep I felt - and still do feel really - exactly the same. But they won't go back as long as you use your retainers, or so I'm told, anyway...

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  10. Well, you look totally gorgeous and congrats!! That's horrifying that your first dentist went out of business. I'm glad it's over and thanks for such a great list of thoughts from the experience. Cheers to a beautiful smile on an already beautiful girl! XO
    Lauren-Blair
    www.prefertobedemure.com

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    1. Thank you :D Yeah, it wasn't the best time of my life, put it that way... You live and learn though, for sure x

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  11. I had my braces taken off about a month ago after two and a half years and I love my new teeth! I'm so much more confident now, they weren't that bad before but it ha made so much difference. Your teeth look fabulous! x

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    1. Exactly how I feel! I know my teeth looked worse to me than anyone else, but it's about how you feel not how anyone else perceives you. Yay for yours coming off too! x

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  12. I think your smile is awesome; you look so gorgeous however you smile, so it's lovely to see that you are feeling more comfortable about showing your teeth. ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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  13. Your bottom teeth are super crooked though.

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    1. I think you're looking at the 'before' pictures.

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  14. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. invisalign paris tx

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