Adventures in Invisalign: It’s Been One Week Since My Teeth Were Free.

I mentioned in this post that I was recently fitted for molds for Invisalign.  Despite the fact that I am a nearly 6’4 woman and have lived 27 years with fairly jacked up teeth, I surprisingly do not have low self esteem.  I have hated my teeth, but it’s never made me hate myself.  In fact, the only time it makes me feel awkward/insecure is when someone is all, “why don’t you ever smile showing your teeth?!”  or “You should smile showing your teeth.  It will look better!”  No, it will not look better.  It looks awful.  And the only time I ever see pictures of myself and cringe is when I see pictures with my teeth showing (ok, and certain awkward angles where I look pregnant and/or obese). 

I have wanted to get my teeth fixed for a long time, but for years I couldn’t afford to do anything about it, and then I couldn’t decide what to do.  I cringed at the idea of having braces for several years, but I also wasn’t fully on board with the idea of veneers.  I was pretty positive I wasn’t eligible for invisalign.  As it turned out, I was “eligible” for Invisalign, and the second I found out I was all, “Heck yes. sign me up!  Where to I pay the kajillion dollars!?”  I didn’t thoroughly do any research.  Here is what I thought about Invisalign, or at least what I thought being “eligible” for Invisalign meant: clear aligners, people can barely tell you’re wearing anything, you might have a lisp at first but otherwise it’ll all be fine, you can still eat anything you want, and it works!  I didn’t really ask questions other than “how long will it take?” and “will my snaggle tooth look better before the wedding?”

At some point a couple of weeks later, my dentist mentioned buttons.  Buttons?  What?!  “Don’t worry…” she said.  “They’ll be the same color as your teeth and barely noticeable.”  I had never heard of buttons, but tried to tell myself it would be ok.  I did a little research on them, and it does make sense that I would need them.   Then, last week my aligners finally came in and I went in to get my first set.   I was super excited to get going because my wedding is coming up, and I’d like as much progress as possible before that point so that I’ll feel more confident about really smiling for pictures.  

It turned out I had to have TWELVE buttons put on my teeth.  Including SEVEN across my front teeth.  And “barely noticeable” is a joke.  They are only barely noticeable if you are (1) blind, or (2) standing 50 feet away.   Basically, I look like I’m wearing clear braces, but without the metal brackets.   I almost passed out when I looked at myself in the mirror.  Technically, they are the same color as my teeth and they really are not horrendous, but  when I looked in the mirror I am pretty sure I saw some creepy cyborg creature looking back at me.  I was pretty depressed about it for a few days.  I did not want braces because I knew it would make me more self-conscious about my teeth.  People really stare your teeth down when you have crazy attachments all over them.  Also?  The main reason I wanted to get something going  now was to look better for the wedding.  I even explained that to my dentist.  If she had told me that I would need 12 buttons on my front teeth, I would have seriously reconsidered.  Who cares if my teeth look a little straighter if I have bumps all over my teeth?  That’s like getting a nose job right before your wedding and still having the bandage on in the photos.  Sure, your nose is technically better under the bandage, but you might as well have had your big honker in the photos rather than a bandaged nose.   Is that a weird analogy? 

I was feeling a little misled.  Sure, it was partially my fault for not doing thorough research, but my dentist seriously said NOTHING about the possibility of buttons at my consultation.  And I even told her that the sole reason I was interested now was the wedding.  And she even offered me free zoom whitening before the wedding as a wedding gift.  Ultimately, I don’t think they were trying to mislead me, and I think the staff at my dentist’s office are super nice, but I really think buttons should be in a mandatory disclaimer in consultations.   People think Invisalign means invisable (go figure!).  I have never seen buttons mentioned or shown in the commercials.   You hear that dentists and orthodontists and Invisalign corporate people?!  Tell your customers they might have to have buttons, because they likely have no idea!

Despite my initial freaking out, after about a week now, I don’t really mind the buttons.  I really wish my dentist had told me and/or I had found out on my own beforehand, because I may have given more consideration to traditional braces if I had known.  However, there is the perk that you can take the aligners out and eat/drink whatever you want.  So the small silver lining I guess is that I can still drink coffee and wine and chew gum to my heart’s content… for the whopping 2 hours total per day that I’m allowed to have these babies off 😉  Also, I don’t have to worry about getting anything stuck in braces.   In other words, I’ve basically convinced myself that this invisalign thing isn’t so bad.  Also, after a few days of mourning, I called the dentists’ office to ask if there was anything they could do because the thought of having the buttons on in the wedding was really upsetting, and they said they could take the buttons off for the wedding.  Such a relief!  Crisis averted, y’all. 

I really hope this Invisalign situation is my only Bridezilla moment 😉

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