Feel too old (or self-conscious) for train tracks? Zest puts barely there braces, Invisalign, to the test
I’ve always been insecure about my smile. Ever since I fell over at the age of 12 and subsequently, had to get it put right with a veneer, I feel like I’ve been in and out of the dentist’s chair.
I’ve had 4 teeth extracted to make room for more, worn a removable brace on my top teeth, worn train tracks on my bottom teeth ... the list goes on. And, though my teeth have gone through possibly every treatment known to the dentist industry, things still bugged me. My ‘vampire’ teeth stuck out and my front teeth were a little crooked despite having braces (well, the removable type) in my early twenties.
However, it was something I could live with. That is, until I got engaged. Then, the reality of having to have my photo taken, (probably a few hundred times or more), sunk in – and around about the same time, an email about Invisalign, popped into my inbox. And I was making my way back to the dentist’s chair. Eek.
Invisalign, for those that don’t know, are almost-invisible braces (they’re made from transparent plastic) that you simply pop in – no train tracks or wires required. They’re brilliant simply because of just that; they can straighten a wonky smile without anyone even noticing them and, as a grown-up who works in an office environment (and a beauty-led one) they’re ideal when train tracks just aren’t an option.
‘They’re a much more aesthetically pleasing option to correct your teeth,’ says the lovely Dr Thang Nghiem, the Clinical Director of the very swanky UltraSmile Dentistry whom I met on my first visit.
‘And they’re less invasive, discreet and healthy,’ he adds. ‘Though you have to leave them in for a minimum of 22 hours a day (this is essential), you can remove the aligners to eat, brush or floss your teeth – so your dental hygiene doesn’t slip.’
Dr Nghiem explained that because mine wasn’t a huge job, the aligners could fix the sticky-out incisors and narrow smile I was self-conscious about in six months – just in time for my wedding. I booked in for my first appointment that day.
After going back for photos and impressions, I was sent my 3D treatment plan which showed how my teeth were expected to move with each aligner (you change them every two weeks) and how they would look at the end of the six-month treatment.
Dr Thang fitted teeny fixed brackets onto the back of my teeth to help hold the aligners in place. And that was that.
I won’t go through the whole six months of my treatment but it’s safe to say, it was pretty easy; I switched the aligners to the next set every two weeks and went back to Dr Thang every few weeks or so, just so he could check on their progress. They did feel uncomfortable after each new aligner went in but not unbearably so and the tightness disappeared after a day or so of wear and, I’ll admit it, it was tempting to not put them back in after eating. And, though they’re not really invisible, people truly don’t notice them – even my husband couldn’t tell when I had them in, which is really saying something.
After six months and the week before my wedding day, I could definitely see a difference; my incisors were more aligned to the rest of my teeth and my smile looked straighter. And on the day itself, I definitely felt more confident – even just knowing I had made the concerted effort to have the treatment was self-assuring in itself.
I still have to wear a retainer for another six months or so and in bed every night (sorry new husband) ... but it’s a teeny price to pay for a better smile and of course, a more self-confident me.
Prices start at £2,000. Visit ultrasmile.co.uk for more details.
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