Invisalign, the beginning
Ever looked in the mirror and wished you’d got your teeth sorted as a youngster? Or criticised a photo, scorning yourself for not wearing your retainer once you finally got those train tracks off? It’s been estimated that nearly half of the U.K. are unhappy with their teeth, with problems ranging from a crooked smile to yellow gnashers.
But getting help to straighten your smile as an adult isn’t as hard as you may think. In fact there are a whole range of treatments on offer; from hidden wires to ceramic braces.
By far one of the most effective treatments is the invisible brace system Invisalign - a set of two thin plastic trays which slowly pull your teeth into the right direction over the course of treatment.
Dr. Giacomo Favero, of London’s Favero Dental Clinic (faverowimpoleclinic.com) gave us the lowdown on the revolutionary brace system, as I attempt to transform my crooked mess of a smile into a picture perfect Hollywood one.
“Almost anyone can have Invisalign,” he smiled to Cover Media, although he did warn there are certain problems, such as how the jaw is positioned in the skull, which can potentially make the treatment unsuitable.
“It’s called Invisalign because it’s almost invisible as it’s a transparent acrylic that has been moulded and customised for your mouth. Standard braces are made by metal or ceramic, but the metal wire is still visible even though they do white wire now.”
For those who are familiar with at home teeth whitening, the braces look just like whitening trays, but aren’t as bulky.
“It’s more comfortable to wear in a way, because you can take them out to clean them so the food doesn’t get stuck there. With normal braces they are permanently stuck to your teeth,” Dr Favero added.
There are some disadvantages though, namely that the success of the treatment is down to the patient and how often they wear their braces. The optimum wear time is 22 hours a day, and Dr. Favero warns that if you don’t do your ‘homework’ than your teeth won’t get fixed.
“It’s a big commitment,” he shrugged. “It’s also much more expensive than other options, because the company knows they have the best product.”
To begin the treatment, the first tray acts as a practice run to get the teeth used to the feeling of wearing a retainer-like brace so the muscles can adjust. Straight away you can feel the tightness on your mouth, with your teeth feeling like they are trapped in a little plastic prison, and for the first two days it’s common to feel like you want to give up. Stick with it though as it doesn’t take long for your teeth to adjust.
After the initial wearing in period, I get much more used to the trays and generally there’s no discomfort. The only downsides are that my mouth feels slightly bulky, I feel like I’m pouting all the time and I’m talking with a slight lisp. All of these factors are perfectly manageable though, and part and parcel of the journey to a perfect smile. The next stage will to begin my 17 tray treatment (17 sets of braces), when things literally start to move.