Monday, January 26, 2015

Brace Yourself for Braces

So it's been a while since I last posted, and quite a lot has happened since then.
braces purple smile
"Braces smile purple" by Jason Regan - mouthyUploaded by SchuminWeb. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Braces_smile_purple.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Braces_smile_purple.jpg

Lately the big news is that, at the ripe old age of 55, I got braces! Actually, I got Invisalign aligners. That was one of the first things I learned. They aren't actually referred to as braces. If you've ever wondered about them, you've come to the right place. I'm here to tell you everything I've learned about them in the month that I've been wearing them.
Invisalign aligner
By ClearCorrect (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • They really are invisible. Well, almost. People who are looking for them can see them, but most people aren't looking for them.
  • Well, actually people start looking for them because they make you talk funny. Your tongue just isn't used to them being there. 
  • Unlike metal braces, aligners don't interfere with your food choices. I can eat popcorn or sticky candy. I just have to take them out before I eat. 
  • This sounds great, but I also can't drink hot coffee with them in. This is a problem since I can only have them out a total of two hours a day. I drink more hot coffee than that, y'all! These aligners are cramping my coffee-drinking style!!
 
"Coffe time" by Takkk - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coffe_time.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Coffe_time.jpg

  • Another issue I have is eating out. I have to find a delicate way to pop out my aligners before eating and replace them afterwards. I'm supposed to brush before I replace them, too! I don't know about you, but I don't find the public restroom private enough for this type of activity. I'm still working on solving this little problem.
  • I've sort of solved my coffee-drinking dilemma by switching to cold tea. At least I'm getting my caffeine. There's still a problem though since I'm not supposed to drink any colored drink that might stain the aligners. I've solved this problem by ignoring this rule.
  • I figure I can get away with ignoring this rule because I change to a new set of aligners every two weeks. How badly stained can they get in two weeks? How could it possibly go wrong?
  

  • The purpose of switching to a new set of aligners is the same as the purpose of adjusting metal braces. That's how the movement of the teeth is accomplished. 
  • Unlike braces, Invaslign aligners don't hurt; at least I haven't had any pain. I am aware of them being in my mouth most of the time, however, especially when I'm speaking. Especially if I have to raise my voice to be heard over a room full of teenagers.
All in all, I'm glad I chose to go with Invisalign. Now my mean little sisters who called me four-eyes when we were growing up can't call me metal-mouth. 

How about you? Did you have braces growing up or as an adult? Have you considered getting them as an adult? What else do you wonder about the whole process?





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