8 Things I’d Tell My Pre-Invisalign Self
Aunt Agony considers the advice she would have given her pre-Invisalign self, after receiving an SOS from an undecided reader.
Dear Aunt Agony,
Crooked teeth is something I’ve lived with all my adult life. I’ve been seriously considering getting my teeth straightened with Invisalign, but I can’t seem to decide whether I should take the (rather costly) plunge. What do you think?
Undecided About Invisalign
Dear Undecided About Invisalign.
I totally get you. When I finally fixed my crooked teeth with Invisalign, I was an adult and a mid-career professional too. Like you, I already knew that if I were to get my teeth straightened, I’d go with Invisalign (I truly couldn’t bear the idea of metal braces at my age), but still, it wasn’t an easy decision. It was a big investment, after all, so I took time to chew on the idea, do research, talk to people, even had several dental consultations. I was worried about many things, concerned about some, and largely unconvinced that I needed this in my life. Now, after completing the treatment, my only regret is not getting it done earlier!
I can’t speak for everyone, but, if I could go back in time, this is what I would tell my pre-Invisalign self.
1. “There’s nothing wrong or selfish about loving yourself.”
You’re smart, strong, and beautiful even with crooked teeth, but the self-confidence boost that comes with a perfectly straight smile is almost indescribable. And in that process, you’ll rediscover what self-love means. You’ll learn to cherish yourself more as an individual, and not just as someone’s partner, daughter, or mother.
2. “Cost is cost; value is value.”
One of the things holding you back is the cost, but there’s also value to consider. It’s hard, at this point, to ask you to compare the two since cost is tangible but value is not, and, unlike me, you haven’t experienced how empowering it is to have straight teeth.
Think of it this way: you can afford it, especially with financing plans available. You tell yourself that the money could be “better used” elsewhere. Well, yes and no. Yes, that sum could help with the down payment of the house, but no, that doesn’t necessary make it a “better” investment. You are your only investor, and your greatest investment. As for money? You’ll make more.
3. “It really does work, and fast too!”
The estimate that your dentist gives you is a cautious one. He’ll say that the treatment takes 12 to 18 months; you’ll see some changes in your teeth alignment in just two to three months. And you’ll love it so much that you’ll opt for AcceleDent to speed up the process even more. The clever device uses gentle pulses to encourage faster tooth movement. It’ll be totally worth it!
4. “Getting used to the aligners is easier than you think.”
The process will be a breeze! It takes some getting used to, but it’s far from what your overactive imagination suggests. After putting on new aligners, you’ll feel some pressure, but not pain. It won’t take you long to develop your own little tricks — like changing to a new aligner at night, rather than in the morning, so you sleep through the initial discomfort. (Awesome job on coming up with that, by the way.)
5. “It won’t affect your professional and personal life at all.”
No one will know until you tell them, because the aligners are really almost invisible and it won’t change your lifestyle (except in a good way; I’ll come to that soon). Plus, travelling with Invisalign is going to be fine! You’ll be issued aligners in batches, so you just have to pack a new aligner if you need to change it while abroad. With the Dental Monitoring app, you’ll also be reporting to your dentist remotely by simply sending photos of your teeth. The app’s algorithm analyses your progress and your dentist will be able to give advice on your aligner wear and optimise your treatment time.
The best part? You’ll only have to go back to the clinic once every three to four months!
6. “It’s a surprisingly good way to kick bad habits.”
You know how you hate the fact that you drink too much coffee, and snack between meals? Invisalign will change that. Because you’ll be wearing the aligners for a good 20 to 22 hours a day, and have to brush your teeth after eating, snacking will become too much of a hassle. You’ll give it up, and even trade your mid-day coffee for water so you don’t stain your aligners.
7. “Your teeth will not only get straighter, they’ll be cleaner.”
Let’s face it, there have been nights when you fell asleep without brushing your teeth. With Invisalign, you’ll become an oral hygiene role model. After removing your aligners to eat, you’ll brush and floss religiously — because the idea of having food lodged between your teeth while being encapsulated by your aligners will be too gross to fathom. And while this isn’t a direct benefit of Invisalign, I’ll also tell you now that you’ll be so delighted with your straight teeth that you’ll get dental whitening done too, for perfection on top of perfection.
8. “Retainers are forever, but that’s ok.”
After living with your aligners every day for 20 to 22 hours, wearing retainers at night is easy peasy. After a while, you won’t even be conscious of them. In fact, you’ll be so in love with your straight teeth that you’d be motivated to take good care of them. You’ll soon realise that Invisalign is a worthwhile investment in your appearance and your self-esteem, and letting that go to waste over retainers that really don’t cost that much, doesn’t make sense at all.
Undecided About Invisalign, I hope my experience gave you some food for thought. Getting my teeth straightened was probably one of the most liberating things I’ve done for myself as an adult. I hope you get to experience that too. Whenever you’re ready, I know the smile doctors at i.Dental, the Singapore Invisalign Flagship Clinic appointed by Invisalign maker Align Technology, would be delighted to help.