Despite the picture above (which was harder than you can imagine to post), I’ve always considered my smile one of my best attributes. My dad, before he died, said it was his favorite thing about me…that I always had a smile for anyone.
And that was true, until a couple years ago, when one of my daughter’s friends asked me what was wrong with my teeth.
I was stunned.
And before you go thinking the child was rude, know that I appreciated her honesty.
Children say what’s on their mind and she was just being curious.
My gut told me it was probably something adults wanted to ask, but didn’t. At least they didn’t ask me. My insecurity made me believe it was something they probably talked about among themselves, though.
I’ve always known my teeth weren’t perfect. When I was just seven, my dentist told my parents that I would need braces by the time I was 12. They didn’t bring me back. We just didn’t have the money for such luxuries, and I had older siblings who probably needed them more.
I learned to live with it, and eventually forgot that they weren’t perfectly straight.
It never really bothered me until this child asked me what was wrong with them.
At the time, my husband and I were already making payments on braces for our middle two children, 13 and 14 at the time. There wasn’t any extra money in the budget to fix mine.
But I hit a point earlier this year when I realized maybe it was my turn to take care of my teeth.
I looked into braces, getting quotes from a couple of orthodontists, and was sold when I discovered the Invisalign option. They’re essentially removable braces—a clear mold that sits over your teeth and helps shift them to where they should be for proper alignment. In my area, Dr. Jeff Kincaid is one of the best when it comes to Invisalign, so I booked an appointment and made my first payment. Molds were made to fit my mouth and within weeks I was officially wearing braces.
The way the molds work, you switch them out every two weeks, with each mold getting you closer to where you need to be. With as bad as my teeth were, it was going to take a long time to get them straight…16 months (at a minimum).
Well, after waiting this long to have them fixed, that still seemed like an eternity, so I was equally thrilled to hear about Acceledent, a device that is promoted to cut the time you have to wear Invisalign braces in half. It cost an additional $1000, on top of the fee for braces (in the $5000 ballpark), but with my complicated case, I was excited to make the investment.
Now, I’m so glad I did.
I just put the mouthpiece in for 20 minutes a day and the vibrations help ‘move’ the teeth along. I still wear the mold all the time, other than when I eat. And I have to say I think the Acceledent takes some of the pain away from the tight fitting molds. Each time I put in a new mold, I can feel the tightness in what ends up as jaw pain or a head ache. With the Acceledent vibrations, those pains lessen–in time and intensity.
I switch my molds out every week, instead of every other week. And I already see a difference. Keep in mind, it’s late June and I started wearing these Invisalign braces in April. I’m about three months in and if I had to stop today, I’d be thrilled with the results.
Three months ago, I was mortified about how my teeth looked, to the point that I no longer wanted to ‘offer a smile to anyone’, the thing my dad felt made me “me”.
Now, my smile isn’t perfect. But I’m proud of it again, because of Dr. Kincaid, Invisalign and Acceledent.
I was not compensated in any way to share my story. I wasn’t sure I’d ever be willing to talk about my teeth–they were that embarrassing. But I feel like this is something other people should know is possible. I promise to post an ‘after’ picture when I finalize treatment.