As a senior dissatisfied with my smile, I committed myself to straightening my teeth with Invisalign braces.
Yes, my teeth moved in maturity to reposition my “beavers” — the name my husband calls my two front teeth — away from the perfect alignment I achieved with metal braces at the age of 13. The bottoms were crooked my whole life, as I chose not to straighten them at that time.
I heard about the nearly invisible Invisaligns from mature ladies like myself. The benefit is their clarity, allowing the wearer to look less like an adolescent with a mouthful of metal than the older, ahem, more refined persons that we are.
Invisaligns are similar to clear hard-plastic whitening trays without the whitener. A straightening treatment consists of a set of trays, each of which is worn for about 2 weeks. My treatment of 35 sets for top and bottom will conclude after 70 weeks, or one year and 4 months. It seems a little long, but that’s how it goes.
Costs for Invisalign treatment average between $6,000 and $8,000. Dental insurance with orthodontic coverage may pick up some of that steep expense. Also know that a whole-mouth treatment plan costs the same as it does for treating uppers only or lowers only. There’s no discount for half of a mouth.
Use an orthodontist, not a cosmetic dentist. Why? An orthodontist does only one thing: orthodontia. As such, he has chosen to straighten teeth and do it well, rather than be a one-stop shop for making oral beauties out of his patients.
I asked about whether it was wise for a mature person like me to be seeking orthodontia at this point in life. My orthodontist admitted having several 75-year-old — and older – patients who wanted to look and feel their best. I reminded him that I had far fewer years than that under my belt but forgave him for choosing that mile marker to prove his point!
Invisaligns are worn all the time, all day and all night, while sleeping as well as awake, doing anything, everything, or nothing, but not when one eats. Trays must be removed before eating and drinking anything but water. Furthermore, optimal wearing requires the trays to be out no more than two hours a day. The following is what happens when you obey these rules.
Annoyance prevails on removing the trays before eating anything, and I mean anything. Never mind meals, there’s no snacking, no noshing, no tasting your stew, or licking the bowl with your chopper trays in. Brushing is a must after every eating session, big or small, which only adds to the bother. Lest you forget, it is impossible to chew with the trays in anyway.
Among the good news is that you’ll drop a few pounds without effort as a benefit of your annoyance. By brushing your teeth at least four times a day, your good oral hygiene will take a quantum leap. Accommodating annoyance will become routine. Your commitment will deepen. You will know that improvement will last the rest of your life and was worth the discipline you gave it now.
Many have remarked that my teeth don’t look bad. They have asked what am I doing this for. My answer is simply ‘for me.’ The achievement for Invisalign seniors is wanting to smile. Again.