Apr 11, 2012

Dorothy Mantooth is a Saint: My Invisalign Story

My teeth had never been straight, and I never wanted them to be straight. There was nothing about my crooked and crowded teeth that hindered me. By the time I was a teenager, I developed a huge middle finger that I wagged at the social norm by way of thrift store old man pants and baggy boys cargo shorts.

And to think, I didn't understand why there was a rumor that I was a lesbian.

Suffice it to say, I just wasn't interested in making my teeth look like everyone else's teeth. I was never self conscious about them and I still don't even think that they were that bad. I had to be convinced to straighten them and "aesthetically pleasing" wasn't the selling point.

A couple years ago, after Jamie and I finally had dental insurance, I went in for a cleaning. It had been a long time since I'd had any real dental treatment, so I was ready for about a thousand fillings. Surprisingly, I had no cavities. Spectacular! Then I was told I had periodontitis and needed regular root planing and scaling. Yikes.

I began going in for my deep cleanings every 3 months. After a few appointments, my hygienist asked me if I had considered orthodontics as my teeth would be much easier to clean and keep clean if they weren't crowded. I was given a quote for Invisalign, took it home to share with Jamie, and we sat on it for a few months. The following April, which was last year, we decided to go for it. I went in to get molds taken of my teeth to be sent in to Invisalign. I was able to start my treatment the following June.

Wearing those trays were a pain in the ass, and initially, the teeth. I'd wear each set for two weeks, and in the beginning, each set hurt like hell! Toward the end, my teeth were used to the movement, so the soreness wasn't nearly as bad, but could still be bad enough to give me a headache.

It was so gross and annoying to have to take them out for each meal, that I thought I'd lose weight by not snacking! This was true in the beginning since after every meal I'd brush and floss, so it wasn't worth the work to snack. Eventually, I was less strict on the post food brush and floss, and I was back to eating normally, and just flossing after most meals.

The flossing became, obviously, a good habit and has helped in my periodontal treatment. The taking out of trays in social situations, however, was a terrible habit. I want to apologize to anyone who may have repeatedly witnessed this gross habit. I also want to tell them that it's all over! And I'll have to find another gross habit to show them. Jokes!


The almost-before and the after!


So, I'm done! The top picture is from after I already started and the teeth had begun to move, but only minimally. The bottom is from yesterday, the day I finished Invisalign and had my permanent retainer put in behind my bottom teeth.

As you can see, they're not super-perfect-straight, and I'm happy with that. There are many people who use Invisalign and will keep wearing refinement trays until every tooth is perfectly in line, but I'm not interested in dealing with these trays any longer than I have to. I never wanted Chic-let teeth, and these teeth are straight enough to be effective in my dental health, be aesthetically pleasing, and still feel like mine.

3 comments:

  1. Don't worry about grossing people out. Remember all of those nights that you had to listen to me breathe through my nasty retainer?!

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  2. It's quite normal for someone who
    had Invisalign to feel the way you did. Though it was tough, I think it was
    certainly worth it. But I hope you will still go to your dentist regularly for
    checkups. There is a possibility that
    the beautiful, straight teeth that you now possess,will not be there forever.
    Hope you’ll be patient. =) Keep us
    posted.

    ->Cody
    Zieba

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  3. Hello Sam! I agree with Cody. There is a possibility that your teeth might move again if you do not wear your Invisalign retainers until you are told by your dentist to do away with it for good. But I'm glad that it taught you the habit of flossing regularly. This can help you ensure that your teeth will be healthy because flossing allows you to remove miniscule food debris that are stuck in your teeth. :) To learn more about dental tips, you may want to check out:http://dougsmithdds.com/blog/.

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