A New Smile for John

I just found out about Invisalign Teen‘s “Tell Us What a New Smile Means to You” Contest.  They are one of the sponsors at Blogalicious 2010 this weekend and they are giving away a free treatment to one lucky blogger who writes a compelling post and gets a lot of juicy comments. (PLEASE comment!)  Aaron just finished up his braces and is still in a retainer, and John needs his started ASAP, so I was very interested to see what Invisalign had to offer.

Invisalign can be used to correct crowded and/or improperly spaced teeth as well as “bite” issues.  This was news to me – for some reason I had thought bite issues needed traditional braces.  These clear appliances can be taken out for eating, brushing, and flossing, which I think is a fantastic idea.  I worried the whole time Aaron was in braces that he was going to develop cavities because he couldn’t floss.  Of course I know lots of people who have lost retainers and other appliances by taking them out to eat, but Invisalign has that covered, too.  As part of the package price they will replace up to six appliances for free during the course of the treatment.  Treatment takes about a year, so I think that’s quite generous.  This method of realignment is evidently less painful, too, which is a big plus when you have a dramatic child like my youngest who tends to moan and groan before the dentist even touches him.  There were days when Aaron had his braces adjusted and I could look at his face and tell he was in quite a bit of pain, even though he would never have complained.

Now here are more reasons Invisalign tempts me.  They are clear, so there is no metal to attract attention and comment.  John’s in middle school, and the last thing I want is for him to attract any more negative attention than is absolutely necessary.  Middle school can be hell when you’re being picked on.  The Invisalign appliances would interfere less with his music.  He plays the saxophone, and really enjoys it.  I don’t want that to be spoiled for him because of pain or difficulty playing properly.  He also loves being in chorus and on the drama team.  They have a play in production, and concerts they are in rehearsal for.  He’ll be more confident without braces flashing in the footlights.  And here’s a totally superficial reason: his pictures will look better.  I adore Aaron’s Senior pictures.  They were shot in several locations with a fabulous photographer, and I treasure every shot.  But he still had his braces on when it was time for the pictures to be taken.  He’d had them for a while, and I’m sure there was already a beautiful smile underneath, but even with the clear brackets his smile is marred by metal in every picture.

What do you guys think?  What have been your experiences with traditional braces or with Invisalign?

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10 thoughts on “A New Smile for John”

  1. My daughter had traditional braces and was out of them in just a little over a year. Still has a retainer. Yes there was some pain, but nothing that would keep me from going that route again. As far as invisalign is concerned, what does john’s orthodontist say? My undrrstanding is that they’re not for everyone and it typically takes longer (that’s what the ortho told us). I’ve had adult friends that used invisalign and it made them talk with a lisp and they had more saliva to deal with. From a teen point of view, I’m not sure talking funny and drooling all the time would be better than metal braces…lol. but, if u can get a free set, u can spend that 5K on something really cool that would make the other kids forget all about slobber 🙂 good luck!

  2. Can I tell you how awesome your new site looks??

    Regarding braces — I can’t offer any advice — mine have been as straight as a stick,so I have no experience. I’ve often thought that Invisalign would be the way to go.

  3. What Aaron had seemed to work. He didn’t feel out of sorts with the clear or whatever they called them. Great post, great new site! Awesome.

  4. Both kids had braces, the metallic kind. With daughter, all went well; brushing, fine; checkups, all fine; retainer lost or broken just once; ortho’s idea of tooth-pulling was mentioned only once. With my son: sigh. You dredge up memories I thought had been buried forever. Let’s just say that gums heal up really well despite what a teenage boy, braces and neglect can do to them. An electric toothbrush saved us, plus possible early removal of the braces. Despite all that, his childish tooth gap is long gone and I think he’s very handsome today. Good luck whatever route you choose. If you want horror tales, I’ll comment more offline.

  5. I can totally sympathize with the ‘cavities’ worries of braces. My daughter has been in metal for over a year. Brushing is not easy and flossing spotty. I’ve never heard of invisalign, but I trust you, Angie, to check it out thoroughly.

    Like the new site.

  6. I had normal ‘traintracks’ braces for 2 years when I was a teenager and they didn’t bother me that much. They hurt of course but I got used to it and it worked in the end!

    1. Thanks for commenting! I think part of my problem is that I’ve never had braces, so it’s hard for me to select a particular option for my children without having experienced it. Of course I have boys and so that brings up the whole circumcision issue and well, I made that decision for them didn’t I? What’s a little dental work compared to that?

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