All I want for Christmas is…some straightened teeth! #invisalign

woman smiling santa hat 1 It’s been nearly four months since I’ve started my Invisalign treatment and wanted to give you an update. So far everything is going very well. I’ve had no problems with the aligner trays and there hasn’t been any discomfort. But I’ve noticed a few things as well that I wanted to share:

  • Since my bite is changing with my Invisalign treatment, I’ve found that I’m frequently biting the inside of my lower lip when I eat. I try to be very careful when I chew, but still – ouch!
  • It’s a bit tricky to keep the Invisalign aligner trays clean. I brush them with a little toothpaste in the morning and at night. However, this means specks of toothpaste goes flying everywhere. You may want to keep some glass and sink cleaner under the sink along with some paper towels for a quick wipe down of your mirror and sink area.
  • I’m obsessed with toothpaste – really. It has to be Arm & Hammer Advance White. I received a sample of this at a blogging conference last year, and I love how fresh it makes my mouth feel. That fresh feeling is so important when you brush your teeth as often as I do!
  • It’s so nice to have to see my orthodontist only every six to eight weeks. Since moms and teens are so busy with work, school and sports this is such a time saver.
  • The changes in my teeth so far are pretty dramatic and things are straightening out nicely.

I’m looking forward to watching my smile change and completing my Invisalign treatment in 2012.

All I want for Christmas – great gifts for Invisalign and braces patients

Are you looking for some inexpensive gifts for teens and adults who are getting their teeth straightened with Invisalign or traditional braces? Many of these would make cute stocking stuffers and most are relatively inexpensive.

  • A cool pencil case or small makeup bag for their dental hygiene gear. Teenagers may want to have several – one for their locker, one for their backpack or purse, and maybe one for their gym bag if they do sports. Target and Walmart have cute makeup bags for girls. For boys, soft pencil cases work well or even small travel shaving kit bags. Check your dollar store, too!
  • Additional Invisalign cases. If you can’t get another set from your orthodontist, look into the cases athletes use for their mouth guards like these on Amazon.
  • Speaking of cases, your teen may want to personalize their case by gluing on rhinestones or pasting on stickers. If they’re crafty this could be a fun project to do over winter break.
  • Extra toothbrushes including a small travel sized one for a purse or backpack.
  • Small tubes of their favorite toothpaste. Travel sized toothpaste is fine to keep in a backpack or purse. But look for small regular sized tubes for lockers and gym bags where storage room isn’t as much of a concern. Those mini tubes are expensive for the amount of toothpaste you get!
  • Extra dental hygiene stuff like dental picks (for wearers of traditional braces) and floss for the Invisalign patients.
  • Lip balm. My mouth and lips get drier now that I’m wearing Invisalign at night. I keep some on my night stand, some in the car, and some in my purse.
  • Nail polish or a manicure gift certificate for former nail biters. I can’t bite my nails when I’m wearing my Invisalign aligners and actually have longish nails for the first time in years!
  • A gift certificate for a professional portrait once their braces are off or their Invisalign treatment is over. Show off that smile!

New Year’s resolutions

If you or your teen considering Invisalign or traditional braces, maybe that’s your present to them (or yourself) this year.

  • Make it your New Year’s resolution to book a consultation with an orthodontist. (See my post, How to pick an orthodontist, for tips in finding a good one in your area.)
  • If you have dental insurance, look into your benefits. Do they cover braces and how much will they pay? (Every plan is different!)
  • If you’re self-insured, talk with your insurance agent to find a dental plan that covers braces.
  • If you have a health savings plan at work, discuss with your HR person how it can help you cover the cost of braces.
  • And while you’re at it, make sure to make an appointment with your regular dentist for a cleaning!

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2012 and big, straight smiles!

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Disclosure: I’m a member of the Invisalign Teen Mom Advisory Board. I’m receiving complimentary treatment from Invisalign, but all opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

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