As the old saying goes “You’re never fully dressed without a smile”. I never hated my smile. Compared to some people my teeth weren’t bad at all. However, I didn’t have much confidence in it either because compared to some people my teeth weren’t at all straight. *Side note: Stop comparing yourself to other people*
Either way, I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it. I didn’t NEED braces. If I was going to get them it was purely for cosmetic reasons. Some may see this as vanity or the Kardashians getting into my head but it was my Auntie Denise that struck a chord with me. She knew I was thinking about it for a while and she asked me to think about when I am older. Would I look back on all the photos and regret not getting them? If it was something that bothered me on a daily basis and I had the means to fix it then why not?
So why not exactly? I made an appointment at the Orthodontist and talk through the options I had.
There are a few options when it comes to braces. There are traditional metal ones, ‘clear’ version of the metal ones, traditional metal ones that are attached to the inside of your teeth rather than the outside and Invisalign.
Traditional Metal Braces
Pros: Cheapest and fastest option
Cons: Mouth full of metal
My Thoughts: For my day job I present in front of people a lot. I also had loads of fun events within the next year, my graduation, a few weddings of friends and family and a mouth full of metal just weren’t for me. Had I known that I had no events on for the next year I would have definitely considered this more and it was a good bit cheaper.
‘Clear’ version of the traditional braces
Pros: Not as obvious as the traditional braces and slightly cheaper than the Invisalign braces
Cons: Although not as obvious they are still pretty obvious
My Thoughts: If I am going to go ‘clear’ I may as well go with Invisalign. There wasn’t a huge difference in price either.
Traditional Metal Braces (on the inside)
Pros: No one would see and faster than Invisalign
Cons: Most expensive option
My Thoughts: These were a lot more expensive than the Invisalign.
Pros: Most people wouldn’t notice them and I could take them out if I really wanted too (although I do not suggest doing this)
Cons: A bit of a pain
My Thoughts: Invisalign were the best option for me as they weren’t hugely noticeable;e and they were a medium price point.
I did a big clear out and threw out the piece of paper I had with all the exact costs but from what memory services here is a rough idea:
- Traditional braces – €3,500
- ‘Clear’ traditional braces – €4,000
- Invisalign – €5,000
- Traditional brace (on the inside) – €7,000
Don’t quote me on that. My memory isn’t the best.
Other questions I had with price:
- Does it make much of a difference if I only get my top or bottom teeth done? Not really no. I asked this because I was okay with my bottom teeth. There was bout €500 in the difference and I thought well if I am spending that much already what is €500 to have a nice smile. I am SO GLAD I got them on my bottom teeth too. I didn’t think my bottom teeth were crooked but when I was the before and after pictures I was amazed
- Is teeth whitening included? Yes. Or so I thought it was but when it came to is the dental surgeon I went too said they didn’t do it but that’s a story for another day. In the end, I didn’t get it done but I know most places offer this as part of the deal. My advice is get EVERYTHING in writing
- Do you have to pay all at once? No, I paid a deposit when they took the scans, a bigger installment when they gave the first round of retainers and then I paid the rest in monthly installments. You can also claim 20% of the cost back in tax. Just ask your dentist for more information on this. Mine were great. They let me know about it and gave me all the forms and information I needed
How Invisalign Works
Invisalign braces are basically retainers. The orthodontist/dentist takes a scan of your mouth and sends away for your retainers to be made (this takes a few weeks). When you are ready to get your retainers, the orthodontist will make ‘attachments’ on your teeth. These are like little mounds that the braces will clip onto. They are hardly noticeable. Then you will be given 6 pairs of retainers. You wear each one for two weeks and then move onto the next. You repeat this process over and over until you are happy with your smile.
To have maximum effect, you have to wear the braces for 22hrs a day. You can take them off to eat but aside from that you have to wear them day and night. This can be a pain but it many ways it also stopped me from snacking in between meals as it just wasn’t worth the effort taking them out, cleaning my teeth after and putting them back in.
Tips for Invisalign Braces
- When you move onto the next set of retainers, don’t throw away the previous one. You’ll never know when you need it
- ALWAYS put the retainers in the box. Every time I put mine in some tissue they got thrown in the bin
- Carry a toothbrush and toothpaste with you. If you get a bad taste into retainers it’s horrible
- Don’t ever take them off my pulling from the front. Always go to the back of the brace and pull them from there
- Get used to wearing retainers – They don’t go away once you get them ‘off’. You still have to wear them every night
Foods that will discolour your Invisalign braces
Note: You should always take your Invisalign braces out while eating. Make sure to place them in your retainer box to ensure they stay clean and aren’t accidentally thrown out or damaged. You can leave the braces in while drinking. That being said, sometimes I got lazy and would have the odd snack with my braces still in – do not do this.
- Green Tea – Turns them a light shade of, you guessed it, green
- Rowntrees Pic N Mix – These are quite chewy so I found they can be damaging and turned them a horrible shade of yellow.
- Red Wine – Honestly, I didn’t drink any red wine when I had the braces because I was told not too so I’m not sure how or if this definitely does affect them but I was told it does
- White Wine – Majority of white wines were fine but the odd one would leave the braces with a slight yellow or green tinge on them
- Lemsip – If you are living in Ireland and suffer from colds the way I do this one will break your heart. My beloved cold remedy, lemsip, turned my braces bright (and I mean bright) yellow. Like, highlighter yellow. It was not a good look
How to clean your braces when they get discoloured – There are ways to clean them such as baking soda but I never felt the need. In my experience, the majority of the colour is around the molars so I would just give the front of them a really good brush and it would look fine. If they were really bad, sometimes I would put the next packet in a few days early. But only if it felt comfortable and I felt my teeth were ready for it.
Bonus – I was told that tea and coffee would discolour my braces but thankfully, they didn’t. And I drink my coffee black so that’s good news.
If you are looking at getting braces I would recommend going to an Orthodontist over a Dentist. They are different professions for a reason. It was explained to me as going to a dentist for braces would be like going to a GP for a broken leg. Yes, they probably know what to do but they haven’t specialised in that area where as an orthopaedist doctor has. If you are going to spend money on braces you may as well get it from someone that specialises in it.
Before and After
Here are some ‘before’ pictures…
and here are some ‘after’ pictures. MY hair and camera resolution had a big change too.
So there you have it, all you need to know about Invisalign.
If you have any more questions feel free to drop me a message on my Instagram.