I have always been happy with the state of my teeth, I’ve never had braces and as a child I ALWAYS wanted to wear a retainer simply for the novelty of it! Crazy, right? I still don’t know what I was thinking…
It wasn’t until about two years ago that I looked at a photo of myself on Facebook and noticed that my teeth looked like they needed some serious whitening, but when I looked in the mirror they didn’t look THAT bad. I soon realised that my teeth had started to shift and because they were now becoming slightly uneven, they were creating shadows when I smiled in photos, so not only were my teeth starting to look dark in certain areas, they were also looking a lot more crooked than they actually were.
I didn’t even consider going down the teeth straightening route, I mean my teeth weren’t THAT bad. There was no chance I would ever wear braces and no way could I justify spending tens of thousands of dollars to straighten my nearly-straight-teeth with clear aligners. Plus, with two kids, a job and a crammed university study schedule to fit in, there was no way I had the time for all those dental appointments.
As fate would have it, a few months after I discovered my patchy teeth situation, my boss informed me that we would be working with a cosmetic orthodontic company called EZ SMILE. Promising to deliver teeth straightening treatments direct to the client’s door, EZ SMILE would be the first company in Australia to offer cosmetic straightening, via clear aligners, for a fraction of the price that was currently on offer in Oz… PLUS everything could be done remotely – no visits to the dentist required!
The whole process had been designed for people like me that required minor to moderate corrections and because it was so much more affordable than all the other options on the market, I was happy to finally rectify the niggling issues I had with my teeth.
Days after signing up I received my impression kit. I have never been much of an instruction reader, and in a flurry of excitement I dived straight in, put the putty in the tray, bit down and produced my impressions in a flash. After sending the pics to the lovely Cherie at EZ SMILE, she regretfully told me that they wouldn’t cut it and asked if I’d read the instructions… Luckily, they provide you with heaps of putty, so I read the instructions (genius idea really!) and took the impressions with a liiiiittle more care, packaged them up and sent them on their merry way back to EZ SMILE HQ, where an orthodontist would review my impressions, put together my plan and create my aligners.
A little over a week later I received the first batch of my aligners. After reading each and every instruction, I popped in my first set and felt pretty self-conscious for the next couple of days, I was also trying really hard to resist the urge to chomp down on the plastic. My jaw felt quite sore for the following 48 hours, but I later realised that this was from all the biting and tensing I was doing as I was getting used to having something foreign in my mouth. A week later I was used to the sensation and while there is some pressure on my teeth, especially when I pop in a new tray, it reminds me of the sore feeling you get following a work out, a little unpleasant, but you know it is doing good things!
Five weeks in, I am no longer self-conscious – in fact no one even knows I’m wearing a retainer unless I tell them. I’m finding it so easy to keep them in for at least 20 hours a day (it’s actually making me want to snack less!) and with everything going according to plan – I am well on my way to having straight teeth by Christmas!