All the Moms are Straightening!

All the Moms are Straightening! Julie achieved straight teeth as a young teenager and now turns to Invisalign to regain the smile of her youth.
Teeth straightening–round 1!

If I had any advice for my awkward 14-year-old self on the day my braces were finally removed, it would be, “Wear your retainers, woman!” (Also, side note: yes, my mother made that sign for me. As a surprise. Yes, I was mortified. If you think this poster’s loud, you should see the poster she held up for me when I ran the Mercedes Half Marathon! Kidding! Love you, Mom and all your fun, artsy antics)! 😉

Down the Drain

It’s true. My parents spent boatloads of their hard-earned money on those braces. And I went through years of discomfort, rubber bands, bleeding gums, and general adolescent-braces-awkwardness all to let it go to waste. By the time you go to college, who wants to bring along their gross little retainer and case? Certainly not me. I thought my teeth were untouchable by the shifting sands of time, until . . .

Selfies Don’t Lie

A few months back, I took a selfie of my daughter and me and noticed, “Hmmm, my front tooth looks like it’s receding behind my other front tooth. How funny — must be the light.” I immediately went to the mirror and saw that, sure enough, my front two teeth were receding behind my lateral incisors. Gasp. Not cool.

I brought up my concerns at my next dentist appointment, and I was then referred to an orthodontist in my area. I went for a consultation and talked over the options with my husband. Yes, my teeth were shifting. Yes, over time they would only get worse. I had three options: I could get braces (please, no!), I could get a retainer to wear every night to prevent any further shifting, or I could get Invisalign. Braces cost the most, and retainers — eh — I don’t like long-term retainers, which got me in this predicament in the first place . . . so Invisalign won!

All the Moms are Doin’ It

Come to find out, insurance covered one-third of the cost, leaving the overall price tag of Invisalign quite affordable. The funny thing is, once I decided on Invisalign, I started running into so many other moms my age wearing them: at the park, at birthday parties, etc. It reminded me of middle school when literally every kid had silver brackets glued to their teeth. Invisible teeth-straightening retainers is the new right-of-passage for 30-somethings!

Maybe it’s because we’ve been so busy with careers, birthing babies, and caring for kids, that we haven’t taken the time in years to stop, look in the mirror, and check out our shifting teeth! Or maybe it’s the sudden realization that our kids are getting older and will need braces themselves soon — if we don’t correct our crooked smiles now, we never will. I don’t know everyone’s reasoning, I just know it’s become rampant among women my age!

After the initial consultation with my orthodontist, I came back in for an hour-long appointment to take digital scans of my teeth. Welcome to the 21st century — no cement impressions are needed for Invisalign tray fittings. Anyone remember those from middle school braces?! The scans were then sent off to make 14 different Invisalign trays that I’ll switch out each week until my teeth are straight again. I am seriously in awe of orthodontic technology! The best part is the Propel VPro5 mouth attachment you can buy for an additional $300 or so dollars. By using it for five minutes a day, the vibrating action speeds the straightening time, and I’ll be out of retainer trays twice as fast. For example, normally I would need to wear Invisalign for 28 weeks, but with VPro5, my teeth should be straight as an arrow in 14 weeks!

Who’s the Old Lady??

I’m so excited about the prospect of a new smile, that I’m just going to let it slide that I was BY FAR the oldest patient at the tween-oriented office (think: The Incredibles playing on the ceiling-mounted t.v., the bulletin board of 10-year-olds getting special recognition for their new hardware), and that I am consistently referred to as “Miss Julie” and “ma’am” throughout my appointments {{Face-palm moments for sure!}}

While I’m still adjusting to having what feels like a mouth FULL of plastic and suddenly having flashbacks to my self-conscious 14-year-old self, my husband assures me they are barely noticeable. So, I’ll choose to trust him and keep smiling (and try to ignore my temporary lisp)! I’ll also focus on the good: I have to run brush my teeth after eating ANYthing, and suddenly my preschoolers want to join in the teeth-brushing “fun” every single time (it’s a win-win)!

Any other moms out there currently straightening? How’s it going so far?