Saturday, November 30, 2019

A Smile She Can Live With #BracesJourney Part II

As promised, I'm checking in periodically to let you know how I'm doing on my braces journey that began in early August of this year. 

What I like - I love that can feel my teeth changing and getting straighter. Not only are my lower teeth gradually changing, but my top two front teeth are straightening out. They were slightly overlapping. Eventually my top teeth will shift more outward because they were actually leaning in significantly! Below are some screenshots of me while talking before getting treatment. You can see that the lower teeth are quite crooked!

I chose to wear Invisalign clear retainer trays because they are removable, and that is important for me. I don't wear them to social functions where eating is involved, I don't wear them to photo shoots. I do wear them to bed, when I'm exercising or when I'm lounging in my p.j.'s. It's surprising how much I don't wear them, though. Although I always wear them at night, I sometimes go for hours on end during the day not wearing them. A couple of times I have forgotten to wear them to work and so I can't wear them for at least 5 - 6  hours. But they seem to be moving my teeth anyway. My last check-up was 2 weeks ago and Dr. Cook seemed satisfied with my progress. And I'm still on my 10-day tray switch-out schedule.

What I Notice - I notice that there are plenty of DIY clear aligner companies, where all you need to do is go to an initial appointment and get a scan and then the company will send it in and get a series of trays to get the teeth realigned according to a computer simulation. There are no appointments with an orthodontist or even a dentist to make sure the teeth are aligning properly. I don't think I'd like that at all. There are too many variables as to how teeth, mouth, and even jaws will actually react according to a very impersonal computer simulation.I love to be able to check in with Dr. Cook and have him analyze how my teeth are doing. He is always able to make adjustments and do it well. He is Invisalign certified!

What I Need Help With - I need help with not losing or mixing up current trays with my previous trays. These retainers or "trays" are very clear, to the point that when you put them on, people often don't even realize you are wearing them. So when you take them off and leave them, sometimes you can forget where you put them and spend lots of time trying to find them. 

Once I made the stupid mistake of putting my old trays near my new trays. I left for awhile and when I came back, I couldn't figure out which ones were which. I literally had to guess by which trays looked the most used. That was kind of hard because they are clear and they are only worn 10 days. I finally decided on an upper and lower set because one looked slightly more cloudy in appearance. I still don't know if I guessed correctly. 

Tips I've Learned - I've learned that wearing lipstick can be tricky with the trays. It tends to get all over the tray and look pretty tacky. I've quit wearing lipstick when I have them on.

I've also learned that cleaning the trays is really important. They tend to get food stuck on them and they tend to get rather whiffy if you don't take care of them. I can run a toothbrush over them when I'm in a hurry. But my favorite way to clean them is with White Teeth Global Alightener foam teeth whitener/tray cleaner. It is a foam with hydrogen peroxide that is sprayed into the tray and left for an hour or so. If you want to whiten your teeth while you clean your tray, just wear it. If not, leave the tray with the foam on it. It's really easy and gets rid of food build-up and any odor.  It has a pleasant minty smell. 

I'm looking forward to the changes I will see as I get further and further into my braces journey! I'll soon be on Tray 13 of 30. It's turning out to be one of the better decisions I've made recently! 

And if you live in the Salt Lake City Area, or know someone who needs braces from there, you can nominate them for free braces! Check out Dr. Cook's Facebook Page to check it out!

In the meantime, don't forget to keep smiling no matter what! It changes lives and attitudes, including your own!

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