Monday, March 31, 2014

I'm finally getting Invisalign!



I have exciting news that I've been waiting to share: I'm going to be an Invisalign spokesperson! Full disclosure: I'll be receiving complimentary services, in exchange for sharing the ins and outs of my treatment. I'll be checking in once a month to give updates on my journey and progress, and want you to know that my opinions are always my own - I'll share my honest experience of it all. But before I start my treatment, I'd like to share why I decided to straighten my teeth.

With a handful of [post-braces] golden years as an exception, my teeth have always been one of my biggest insecurities. As a toddler, I ran into a wall and killed one of my front teeth, leaving it a dull shade of grey. It wasn't cute, and I couldn't wait for it to be replaced by a shiny new adult one. Much to my dismay, my permanent tooth decided it could no longer wait for the other one to leave, and grew in behind it. My bottom teeth soon decided the same plan of action, and thus began my life with crooked, overcrowded teeth. From freshman year of high school through most of college, I experienced those previously mentioned, darling golden years of a perfect smile. But slowly, in a process so gradual that I hardly knew what was happening, my teeth shifted back to their pre-braces state. Ever since, I've been eager to get that smile back. Friends (with perfect smiles - they probably wore their retainers) would say to me, "You don't need braces! Your teeth give you character," and I would normally be right there with them, cheering on imperfections. But this is not about how the world perceives my smile, it's about how it makes me feel. To be honest, my teeth are one feature I've never been teased about - not even as a child, when they were at their worst. But this one little thing is a pretty big deal to me - and I can feel and see my teeth shifting, becoming more and more crooked with each day. I often go through many portraits on Makeup Monday, choosing the ones where they aren't as obvious, and I've learned how to shift my head to get the best results - but in video, it's all I can focus on, and I can't help but let it get to me. I want to smile without any resignation, without diffidence.

After having braces for over three years, I didn't want to relive the traditional metal brackets and multi-colored rubber bands, which I used to change to match each season. I feared that, like Miranda Hobbes, I would never be able to re-commit to a mouth full of metal. I paid my dues; I have the scars from my frequently too-long wires to prove it. I just didn't wear my retainers long enough, because I thought there was an expiration date on those things. Several of my friends in similar positions ended up going with Invisalign, and had amazing results. They encouraged me to look into it. That's when I started asking around about Invisalign and researching it for myself. For those of you who are not familiar with Invisalign, it’s a series of nearly invisible, removable aligners that are used to gradually straighten teeth without brackets or wires (and colorful rubber bands to match the holidays - you win some, you lose some). I love the fact that it's not only discreet, but also removable! My friends told me they saw a noticeable change in their smiles within just a few months, so I'm beyond excited to get the process started and see for myself.

Though I waxed poetic about my desire to get it, in my typical form of procrastination I kept placing it in my "Future Wants and Needs" folder. That's when Invisalign stepped in and asked me if I wanted to be a spokesperson, and receive complimentary treatment in exchange for sharing my experience. My "Future Wants and Needs" filing promptly went to "It's Happening!! Everything Is Happening!"

It's pretty great to think that last year, I had two big things on my wish list: straighten my teeth, and go to Paris. And just like that, I'm ready to mark both of them off - done and done. Here's to the journey ahead; I'm so excited to share my experience with you all!

p.s. If you are interested in Invisalign treatment, you can request more info, here.

68 comments:

  1. I'm really curious to see more. I also used to have braces, but some of my teeth are crooked again. I have problems with my wisdom teeth that I'll hopefully get fixed soon, so that's my main concern for now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I have a feeling I'll have to have some wisdom teeth extracted if I want to keep them straight. I'm waiting for my consultation (April 12th!) to find out the best plan of action!

      Delete
  2. You are so beautiful and you it does not spoil. Of course it's your choice

    ReplyDelete
  3. This sounds so great, something I might consider in the future, too. I had braces and even after wearing my retainer for the recommended time, little gaps are slowly forming in between my front six teeth. I totally agree that certain features about people give them character, and it seems a bit scary to change your face. But yeah, it is always about making yourself feel happier and more liberated - so go you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think my main issue is that I feel like my smile has changed so much, that it doesn't feel like mine. I got used to having straight teeth, and even once they went a little crooked, it wasn't so bad. But in the past two years they have gotten significantly worse. I can also *feel* them shifting...it's uncomfortable:( I wouldn't mind it so much, as long as they were shifting in the right direction. haha!

      Delete
  4. Oh, good luck with it, and well done for deciding to change something that makes you unhappy. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on the process, much more than seeing the differences, because I think it's more about what you feel than how I think you look (which is just gorgeous in every photo). I'm another one with teeth problems, as well as a soft lisp after my dentist decided to shift all my teeth backwards to straighten them out, so I'm right there with you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's funny that you mentioned that, because in the last six months to a year, I've noticed a change in my speech. The combination of my subtle lisp and my crooked teeth has turned me off of video, which has hindered some opportunities for me. Most people don't notice it, but it bothers me.

      Delete
  5. I totally relate to your decision. The results of my years of braces actually 'held' and I'm so happy about that. However, antibiotics in my young years stained my teeth. Over the counter things haven't worked. I'm so self conscious. Does anyone have experience / good results from any options out there? Thank you, Keiko, for being so open sharing as well as so fashionably creative!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you looked into dentist-level whitening? They tend to be stronger than over the counter options. My teeth got stained from fluoride when I was younger, and my dentist actually covered the surface with a composite (similar to a cavity, but only on the front of my top two front teeth). Since it's false enamel, it won't react to bleaching agents (so I can't whiten my teeth willy nilly because it won't match), but it was definitely a good solution for my stains, and might be something worth investigating.

      Delete
    2. Hi Karen,
      I second Esther's suggestion with going to a dentist. My stepdad had the same issue, also from antibiotics, and until he went to a dentist there were no at home whitening solutions that worked. His cleared right up. It's an investment, but worth checking out!

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Keiko and Esther - I'll definitely talk to my dentist. You've given me hope that I'll be able to smile unselfconsciously!

      Delete
  6. I love reading honest posts cuz there are not so many of them and I am so happy for you and your decision. Looking forward to hear how you get on and of course to see the very final result ;)

    Sandra from www.chicplaisir.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm a little nervous to share before and during the transformation, but the final result will make it all worth it!

      Delete
  7. This is something I recently did and people frequently told me my teeth weren't bad enough to warrant that kind of money - but they were one of my biggest insecurities and fixing them was the absolute right thing for me to do. It takes over your life for a while because you end up brushing your teeth about 5 times a day, but they're so easy and you really can't notice them. It's also faster than conventional metal braces.

    For any of your readers that are also thinking about it, just one piece of advice for you! Don't do what I did and look for a provider offering a deal. Invisalign or similar treatment is expensive and there's no cutting corners on it. I wrote a lengthy post on my blog about my experience - my treatment actually stopped halfway because the practice went bankrupt from the offers they'd been running. I'm so much more happy with them even so, but this wasn't how it was supposed to end!

    CiCi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My whole family knows how much I wanted to get invisalign, so my sister sent me one of those groupon deals to check out. I feel the same way, though! It makes me nervous when you're doing something so big, to try and cut corners. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I want to make sure I'm getting the best results possible. So I checked out all of the available dentists and read reviews to make sure I picked the right one.

      Delete
  8. I had Invisalign for about 2 years a few years ago and I was definitely pleased with the results! I had never had braces before so the Invisalign was a nice solution. The only weird part about it was getting the "buttons" put on my teeth (it's what the retainers snap to in order to fit your teeth) I barely noticed them while I had my retainers in but when you take them out to eat, sometimes the buttons take come getting use to. All the best with the treatment and I hope you get the results that you want :]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I didn't know about the buttons until I started researching! I never noticed them on my friends and they never told me about them, so it was a surprise. I'm so excited about everyone's positive experiences...I wish I would've done it sooner!

      Delete
  9. Like Kristina above, I too had great results with my Invisalign... probably going on close to 10 years ago. I had particularly difficult teeth (never had braces before) so my process was close to 2 years and I also had buttons... although they didn't bother me. The first day or two with a new tray is when you feel it the most, but in a good way... you literally feel your teeth moving. I wear my "retainers" every night - religiously, and after 8 years, my teeth still look good. It's an amazing process - you're gonna love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This makes me even more excited! One question: were the buttons noticeable?

      Delete
    2. In my experience, they're only noticeable if someone looks really closely. They're the same color as your teeth, and the only times people noticed them (or Invisalign at all) was when they saw me removing the retainers or if I told them.

      Delete
  10. I've also been thinking about invisalign, though I will have to wait until next year because I've already used up all my dental coverage on getting my 4 wisdom teeth out this year (ouch).

    I'm totally with you though, we have matching crooked teeth and while I don't mind so much in real life, when it translates to photos or film I am SO insecure about it! If I'm not careful it looks like I'm missing a tooth, so of course I never smile with my teeth in blog photos. I hate that this insecurity is a part of me and alters the way I present myself.

    I just have to keep reminding myself, Audrey Hepburn had a crooked tooth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have the same issue! Although it looks like I have only one tooth (in bad lighting for photos), because one sits forward.

      Delete
  11. I just finished my Invisalign treatment 6 weeks ago! It was hard to get "braces" as a 30+ year-old woman, but it was really painless and easy, and I am really glad I did it. Good for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be thirty this year, so I'll be joining the 30 year old invisalign club:)

      Delete
  12. Congrats Keiko! I too have long had insecurities when I was a teen about my smile even though friends and family often reassured me that my teeth were "fine" and "cute". I have since come to accept them and they don't bother me much at all anymore but I do sometimes wonder what my smile would be like with perfectly straight teeth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I had to go through the rest of my life with these teeth, I think I'd be okay - they're still a lot better than when I was a kid. But having the chance to straighten them is something I'm definitely looking forward to. It was such a tease to have perfect teeth and have them go crooked, again!

      Delete
  13. very curious to hear how this goes! I've always been intrigued by Invisalign. looking forward to your updates!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so happy to hear that! I am excited to share the experience with everyone.

      Delete
  14. Aw, I'm so happy for you! Doesn't it feel incredible to have longtime dreams become reality? I just can't wait to hear how much you love Paris. It really is a special place. I've been twice and it isn't enough. You get addicted to Paris. I've had braces for a little over a year now. I never had them when I was younger and even though I wasn't really all that happy with my teeth, I felt guilty over making the investment. But then my dentist said I had to at least see an orthodontist so I could understand my situation. Turns out I was grinding my teeth so badly at night that I was wearing down the enamel. Now I only have a few more months to go and I feel incredible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm actually going to Paris this weekend, with Bobby! So I'll be going twice in just over a month...it feels like a dream. An opportunity came around that I couldn't pass up. I'm so excited!

      I'm also excited for you to get your braces off...I remember the feeling was so amazing. I kept saying "My teeth feel so slippery!"

      Delete
  15. I'm happy for you that you're getting what you've wanted for awhile...but I think your smile is beautiful! Little imperfections give us character! Seriously, your smile is great the way it is! :)

    xoxo,
    Andrea

    www.andreaeveryday.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you:) But my teeth are rapidly shifting to a place of discomfort. I need to get them in check!

      Delete
  16. Great!!! I'm a dental surgeon and i totally recomend but be aware of your third molar it may be the cause of your relapse, or you just wore braces too early, when the jaws growth wasn't complete. some other times it might be caused by your angle class in CR (to do with your TMJ) which may not correspond to your biting position and if so a relapse may occur again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the information! I was pretty young when I got my braces, and I only recently got my wisdom teeth...so it could very well be both of those things! I also have TMJ, so basically I am just a big mess.

      Delete
  17. The very best of luck! I finally took the plunge to have my teeth straightened at the age of 40 and it did so much for my confidence. People used to think I was dour and unhappy when in reality I was just afraid to smile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The more my teeth have shifted, the less I smile in photos. I find myself sifting through tons of photos, just to find one that I feel comfortable with. I miss when I preferred my smiling pictures...I feel like I look moody too often!

      Delete
  18. I'm inclined to agree with your friends. I think your smile is lovely as is. Having said that, I always felt that way about my mom's smile too, but she was really self-conscious about the coffee stains she started noticing in pictures, so much so that she stopped sharing her big gorgeous toothy smile and doing her best to be tight-lipped in photos. She's not normally one to be overly self-conscious about her looks but it wasn't until she finally got a great new dentist who was able to remove the stains that she started looking like her comfortable, happy self in photos again. Hopefully invisalign will do the same for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the well wishes! And that makes me so happy for your mom.

      Delete
  19. It was really nice of you to share your personal story with us. I hope you didn't feel obligated to explain. Looking forward to seeing the transformation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to be an oversharer, haha! I just wanted to give the backstory, before I start my treatment.

      Delete
  20. I had an invisalign treatment 3 years ago, the results were amazing. Since than I have a retainer behind my lower teeth to keep the teeth straight. So glad for you!!

    Btw. What lipstick are you wearing on the foto? It looks beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure it's Make Up For Ever #6, but I might have layered it over MAC Unlimited. They're my go-to neutral-ish lipsticks.

      Delete
  21. I have Invisalign and OHMYGOODNESS I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, I am so glad that so many people have had positive experiences! I'm getting even more excited to start!

      Delete
  22. I finished Invisalign treatment at the end of last year and I'm SO happy I did it! Best decision ever. Can't wait to see your finished product!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So happy to hear that! May I ask how long the process took?

      Delete
  23. sidebar distraction: that lip color????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure it's Make Up For Ever #6, but I might have layered it over MAC Unlimited.

      Delete
  24. I had invisalign. My dentist said I had the worst case he ever treated. I went from a disastrous mess to perfectly straight teeth. What I loved about invisalign is it's comfortable, easy to clean, and in photos its not the first thing everyone sees. Even in person it's not that noticeable. It made a world of difference for me. I hope it does for you too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! For some reason, when I first heard of invisalign, I thought it was only for people who had really minor imperfections. But then some of my friends got it, and I was amazed at the results. I hope I have the same experience...I can't wait to find out.

      Delete
  25. I can't wait to hear about your experience. I too wore braces and wonder if invisalign would be worth looking into.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope that by documenting the whole process, it will give better insight into the whole procedure. I found a lot of before and afters, but I want to know about the in-betweens!

      Delete
  26. ooh girl, I feel ya. you know I love your smile as is but I feel exactly the same way about myself..excited for you! I was that girl growing up who maybe said one too many times "no, I've never had braces" and now they are so out of whack. my wisdom teeth have been slowly pushing them all around for years. now that you've said lisp, I totally have one sometimes..got me thinking it's because of the teeth! I'll say something a little off and luke jokingly calls me on it. I'm like seriously, that sounded funny right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! I thought it was in my head, at first...or that I've always had a little bit of a lisp. But I realized that no, that's a pretty new thing...and I think it's because of the overlap in my front teeth. My teeth have been a little crooked for awhile, but the front ones have gotten significantly worse in the past year (probably because of the wisdom teeth, too) and all of a sudden, I have a slight lisp!

      Delete
  27. Lady, you are totally awesome with straight or un-straight teeth. I had a similar experience, falling over as a child and have had crooked and discoloured front teeth for about 20 years - recently spent a small fortune to get the worst tooth recoloured and while it isn't perfect, feel pretty happy. I hope you are happy too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm excited to get the process started.

      Delete
  28. You look is so natural and stylish!
    http://fashion-soup.com/

    ReplyDelete
  29. Congrats! I am over a year in and my (spookily similar to yours) overlapped front teeth are now totally straight! I still have a lot of work to do on my bottom set, but I can already see that I'm going to be smiling more - I just wish I had your confidence! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Your blog has always been one of my favorites, by the way!

      Delete
  30. When I discovered your blog, part of the reason I subscribed to it was because I have the same issue with my teeth and I am very conscious about it in a way that I refuse to smile with my teeth in pictures and even in general. But when I saw the way you were smiling so confident and looking so beautiful in every of your picture I realized that this little flaw became invisible. That gave me the confidence to smile likewise and I feel so much better now about my imperfect teeth. Yet, with all these been said I would straighten my teeth if I had the chance at anytime but never with traditional braces, I couldn't bear the process. It's the first time I hear about Invisalign and I am so happy to see there is another way of doing this! I will definitely look into this. Thank you and good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words. There's nothing that will keep me from smiling, but I do think having straighter teeth will make me smile even more!

      Delete
  31. Ok, so first off - lucky you! Invisalign is not cheap! Secondly, I just finished mine at the end of December and it was totally worth it. I think your teeth are cute, but I get you - mine were not bad either but they were only going to get worse and I didn't want a pack full of walnuts for teeth as an old lady. Good luck with it. Two things I wasn't prepared for: the gnarly little nubs they glue onto the teeth can be obvious if they are near the front. Plus, they don't just pop off. They grind them off with some heinous little instrument. But whatever you go through, they'll be way better than metal. More power to you - and take tylenol before bed with each tray switch. :-*

    ReplyDelete
  32. Good luck with the process, I'm sure it will turn out great! One suggestion: be extremely diligent about brushing and flossing regularly, as well as cleaning the retainers. I took great care of my teeth when I had Invisalign, and still got several cavities between my teeth.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I can't wait to follow along with this - I've always hated my teeth (like you, my adult teeth wanted to come through before any of my baby teeth left, so I have crazy teeth. Even when I was younger I refused to have braces (and still do), but I really don't like my teeth and hate smiling in photos. I've been looking up Invisalign for the past couple months so I can't wait to see how you get on! I'm just trying to save up to pay for it haha!

    ReplyDelete