That Smile, Those Braces

Channeling Tom Wesselmann’s Mouth #15 at the High in Atlanta.
Tom Wesselmann, Mouth #15, 1968, at High Museum of Art//

Looking for perfectly straight teeth again.

Not sure what happened, because my teeth were straight all through high school and college

But a few years ago, I noticed my teeth were getting more crowded. Not crazy, they just weren’t as straight as they used to be. My dentist said it’s something that just happens sometimes. So before it gets out of hand, I asked for an Invisalign consultation.

Here you can see they are getting a little crowded right in front:

For whatever reason, it was really getting in my head. No matter how perceptible it really was (and thanks to sweet friends who said “braces? why??”) it was something I was still thinking about a lot. A lot a lot. 
Turns out, I was a good candidate for Invisalign, so my doctor and I talked about my goals — I’m simply thinking goals? nice straight teeth again. Then I asked her — she’s a dentist so she has what I think of as ‘magazine mouth’…perfect teeth/smile — what she’d do if it were her. See the corners of my mouth, how there’s a little bit of shadow on each side? If you have a nice, wide smile, there isn’t so much of that shadow in each corner. If you’re going for a more cosmetic look other than just ‘please fix my teeth’ — that’s something to think about too…making your smile wider. Okay, that sounds good.

Also: I remember growing up hearing how expensive my friends’ regular metal braces were and how long they had to wear them — Av was in orthodontia for years — that I was mentally preparing myself for thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars and…I don’t know…at least 18 months in braces.

We sent our wishlist to Invisalign, and they come back with little movies of how everything is going to get moved around:


Another consultation was done right after these movies came in and we went back to Invisalign asking for a little more adjustment for a wider smile (I didn’t record the movies of those).

I’ll be in my braces for 10 months total, getting new trays every two weeks, so a total of 20 sets of trays.

Today I went in and got my first set of trays. I have several tooth-colored bumpers now placed on my teeth that help get everything into position, so if you look super-close you can see those, but otherwise, they aren’t too bad.

A tiny bit worried about pain, but otherwise looking forward to it — and with any luck, I’ll be out of them by my birthday next year.  If I can get things together, I’ll make a series of pics with each new tray to show the transition at the end of the ten months. Hopefully this will be like when I had my LASIK surgery (thank you Schaeffer Eye Center and Dr. Woolfson!) — I went from wearing -6.25 contacts and not wanting to get out of bed without my glasses or contacts to having 20/15 vision and thinking why did I ever put this off!? Yay!

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