It does also have its uses, my household was known to be the go-to hotline for dental advice and no less than 4 of my friends have had emergency treatment in my stepdad's chair!
I always had my teeth checked as a child by my mum, I used disclosing tablets religiously to make sure I was brushing properly and am happy to have such strong, healthy teeth now!
From 14-16 I had braces, and they did the job, I had lovely teeth and they were perfectly straight.
Unfortunately, at 16, wearing my retainer wasn't cool... so I didn't wear it...
My teeth began to drift back.
Whilst they've not drifted too much, they have moved and overlap again, and I was noticeably avoiding all toothy smiles, so I made the decision to get braces again, for my own confidence really, and thought I'd share the journey with you in case you are in the same position (I know a few of you have asked me about them!)
(It's really not that long)
He said I had the option of fixed braces again, or clear In-Line braces. Fixed appliances would be quicker, but I remember how often they scratched my cheeks raw as a teenager, and it was not being able to eat an apple properly.
So I went for the clear splint option. It will take a little longer, but as I don't have a lot of movement, it should be completed in a matter of months.
Obviously if your teeth need more movement it will take longer, and it is definitely done on a case by case basis!
About 2 weeks later my trays arrived, so I went back (see first photo) and I had to have some small spaces created between my teeth, in order for them to move. To do this he used a diamond file, just to take a couple of mm's off my teeth.
So now I'm on my first set, I'm not sure how many more I have, but they're currently en route to the surgery!
I have to wear this set for 4-6 weeks (each aligner moves teeth by up to 0.6mm) and then will do the same with the rest!
The only giveaway that I'm wearing braces is the slight Sean Connery accent I have going on at the moment.
2. You can remove them to eat and must remove them to drink any liquids that aren't water or it can discolour the trays. This also applies if you smoke (I don't)
3. Brush your teeth before putting them back in - This means being that person at work who goes to brush their teeth at lunch!
3. Keep them clean by brushing them like you would your own teeth, but In-Line also provide you with some effervescent retainer brite cleaning tablets, so you can pop them in a glass of water with one of those for 15 mins and there you are, all clean and shiny!
4. Don't use hot water to clean them!
5. If you want to whiten your teeth too, you'll have to do this either before you start or after you finish treatment :)
However, the big difference is cost.
I'll let the In-Line information explain it better than I ever could.
Due to the advanced technology of In-Line® aligners, fewer aligners are required compared to other Clear Brace Systems. This results in shorter treatment times: most cases on average are completed in only 7 to 8 months, compared to 12 to 18 months with other systems. It also allows In-Line® to be much more affordable compared to other similar systems, as there is a lower laboratory cost and also less clinical time required for the dentist.
I went for In-Line braces because I wanted the flexibility to remove them if I had to, and because I'd had fixed ortho work as a teenager and didn't want it again. I felt self conscious enough smiling with my teeth having drifted and felt braces would have made it worse. I realise that's perhaps silly and vain for a 27 year old, but we all have those little things that knock our confidence and this is mine!
One thing to note is that it's recommended that you are over 18 to get In-Line braces.
How much do they cost?
With Invisalign, the splints are more rigid and don't allow for as much movement. As such, you will need them changing more frequently, which means more lab fees... This soon adds up, especially when you have to go to the dentist for each fitting as well.
However, with In-Line, the outer surface of the splint is hard, but the inner surface is softer, allowing for more movement, meaning fewer trays and visits to the dentist!
Which braces you go for obviously depends, and is based on, 100% personal preference, as well as what your dentist offers and what your budget allows. Everyone is different and no two cases are the same. Not everyone is suited to clear tray braces either, in some cases you may need to have fixed ortho.
Prices usually start from around £1500, but again it's priced on a case by case basis and depends on movement required.
For a price comparison example; I have a friend currently mid treatment using Invisalign braces and she has paid around £3500.
It was also easier than typing it out multiple times and I'm lazy! :)