Tag Archives: Invisalign

Smiling It Forward with Invisalign: Enter to win $500 for you and $500 for a friend! #InvisalignMAB

Smiling It Forward with Invisalign: Enter to win $500 for you and $500 for a friend! at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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When should you start seeing an orthodontist? #InvisalignMAB

orthodontistLast month, my nine-year-old daughter, Lucie had a check up with our orthodontist. She goes every six months so he can check to see how well her adult teeth are coming in. I’ve been taking her to the orthodontist for two or three years now, even though she’s years away from braces. For us, this was a matter of convenience since we already had her older brother, Nathan going to the orthodontist for check ups.

It made me wonder at what age or under what circumstances should you take your child for his or her first orthodontic evaluation. Should you wait until it’s really obvious that their teeth are coming in crookedly? Or is there a certain age? Not knowing for sure, I consulted two sources - mouthhealthy.org (a site run by the American Dental Association) and mylifemysmile.org (run by the American Association of Orthodontists).

Per mouthhealthy.org:

Since abnormal bites usually become noticeable between the ages of 6 and 12, orthodontic treatment often begins between ages 8 and 14. Treatment that begins while a child is growing helps produce optimal results.

Mylifemysmile.org states:

If you recognize any of these signs in your child, it might be time to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist.

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
  • Speech difficulty
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
  • Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of
    proportion to the rest of the face)
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Inability to comfortably close lips

Both websites have terrific information on braces and dental health, so check them out!

How to get started on orthodontic treatment

If you think your child may need braces, the first thing to do is check with your insurance to see what they cover so you can budget accordingly. You may need to find an orthodontist covered by your plan, too.

If you’re looking into getting Invisalign teeth straightening treatment,  go to invisalign.com and take the Invisalign Smile Assessment. Then use their Invisalign Doctor Locator to find an orthodontist near you. Make an appointment for an evaluation and ask if the visit is free (it usually is). Then after you meet with your doctor, you’ll know for sure if it’s time for braces or not.

Nathan had almost two years of checkups before starting treatment since we had to wait for more adult teeth to come in. Along the way he had five teeth pulled and his sister had four. Every child is different, so it’s best to get an evaluation to find out what you’ll be facing. The whole process of getting your child’s teeth straightened and getting braces sure seems like it takes forever, but having a beautiful smile and a healthy mouth is worth it!

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.

An Invisalign year in review and healthy dental resolutions for 2013 #InvisalignMAB


Looking back, 2012 was a busy year for us when it came to getting our teeth straightened! I continued my Invisalign teeth straightening treatment in Georgia with my new orthodontist. My son, Nathan had three more teeth pulled, a Herbst appliance installed to help with his overbite, and had the upper band of his conventional braces put in. Even my youngest, Lucie, got into the act by having four teeth pulled to help her adult teeth come in straighter.

It was a very busy holiday season, so I’m glad that we didn’t have to go into see the orthodontist either for my Invisalign or my son’s braces. I go to the orthodontist next in mid-January for my final series of aligners – yay! Both my kids go in at the end of January – Nathan to get his braces tightened and Lucie for a orthodontic check up to see how her teeth are progressing.

Make dental health part of your new year’s resolutions!

I’m sure you have a few healthy eating and exercise resolutions for 2013. But don’t forget to make some dental healthy resolutions, too! Before you forget, make an appointment to see your dentist for a cleaning. If you’re thinking about having Invisalign treatment, check out Invisalign.com, and make an appointment for a consultation. (You can find a Invisalign orthodontist by using the Invisalign Doctor Locator.)

You may also want to get the whole family in the act! Encourage them to take their dental health more seriously by supplying them with electric toothbrushes, anti-plaque mouthwash, floss, toothpaste, etc. (Santa brought my kids new electric toothbrushes, so I already have that handled!) Also, if you have young kids, look into downloading a tooth brushing app on your smart phone to encourage them to brush properly and for enough time. The Brush DJ app plays two minutes of music from your library while you brush your teeth. The Star Teeth app lets your son or daughter choose a tooth brushing buddy to brush along with for two minutes.

Finally, when you’re making an effort to eat healthier, look for foods that will help with dental health. According to WebMD:

The best food choices for the health of your mouth include cheeses, chicken or other meats, nuts, and milk. These foods are thought to protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth (a natural process by which minerals are redeposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids).

Other food choices include firm/crunchy fruits (for example, apples and pears) and vegetables. These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and stimulate the flow of saliva (which helps protect against decay by washing away food particles and buffering acid).

The best beverage choices include water (especially fluoridated water), milk, and unsweetened tea.

Here’s to a healthier smile in 2013!

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.

Two million Invisalign smiles and an update #InvisalignMAB

2 million Invisalign smiles

Imagine walking into your orthodontist office for Invisalign braces and being told you were the two millionth patient worldwide! That’s what happened to 18-year-old Tessa Dyer when she went in to see Drs. Rachel Polgrean and Patricia Timmeny at Apple Tree Orthodontics in Londonderry, New Hampshire to get Invisalign braces. To celebrate, Tessa’s Invisalign Teen treatment will be completely covered by Align Technology, makers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen.

“I’ve wanted to correct my teeth for a long time and the time was right. Really right,” said Tessa. “I can’t believe I’m the two millionth patient and that my treatment will be free. Of all the braces options that Drs. Polgrean and Dr. Timmeny presented to me, Invisalign Teen best fit my lifestyle and, best of all, hardly anyone will be able to tell I’m straightening my teeth. I was excited about Invisalign Teen before, but now I can’t wait to get started with my treatment.”

When Invisalign was introduced by Align Technology in 1999, it was viewed as one of the most significant innovations in orthodontics. Ten years later, Invisalign celebrated the treatment of its one millionth patient. Since then, the treatment’s popularity amongst adults and teens has accelerated! Only three years later, one million more patients have chosen Invisalign and Invisalign Teen. Approximately 260,000 tweens and teens have been treated with Invisalign since Invisalign Teen was introduced in 2008.

A family update - Nathan

Nathan got his upper row of traditional braces put on a couple of weeks ago. He had a full week and a half of soreness. I made a lot of soups and smoothies and Nathan managed to eat some of the softer, mushier things at Thanksgiving like mashed butternut squash and stuffing. He couldn’t have any pecan pie – no eating nuts with traditional braces – poor kid!

Nathan's new braces

Also, Nathan plays trumpet, so he had to adjust his playing style to the new braces, too! His trumpet teacher said it was a good thing as he’d have to concentrate more on his breath than on his mouth. All this made me wish he was eligible for Invisalign braces, since he could pop them out when eating or playing music. Oh well.

My update

I’m about a third of a way through my refinement process. My aligners kept tearing on the bottom right side because of the way I had to remove them around a retention bump. It wasn’t happening until the last couple of days of wearing them, so I didn’t pay much attention. However, I was in Dallas at a blogger conference and my bottom aligner tore all the way through!

I called Dr. Waugh’s office when I got back home. Dr. Waugh decided the retention bump wasn’t necessary and had the hygienist remove it. Now that my aligner doesn’t get stuck on that bump when I remove it, I don’t have anymore problems with tears.

Also, since my week three aligner was toast, I was put on week four early so I wouldn’t have buy a new week three aligner. (I was told it was $68 to replace the aligner.) I’ll have to wear it for three instead of two weeks so I can be back on track for my Invisalign braces treatment. No biggie and I’m glad everything worked out!


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.

An exciting way to end National Orthodontic Health month! #InvisalignMAB

bratsI bet you didn’t know it’s National Orthodontic Health Month. It’s a great time to remind your kids with traditional bracket and wire braces to avoid Halloween treats that are sticky, chewy, hard or crunchy. However, there are other times that other foods can mess up your braces – as we found out last week.

The other night we were eating brats in big (but soft) rolls. My son, Nathan, has a tendency to shove way too much food in his mouth. It’s something we yell at him about all the time. Well, he took a HUGE bite out of his brat and ended up unhinging his Herbst appliance. I don’t know how he managed it, frankly. Plus, he put a big gauge in his cheek in the process – ouch!

After much trying, my husband was able to force Nathan’s jaw open wide enough to get the hinge back in place. It wasn’t pleasant for Nathan, though I think my husband thought he deserved any discomfort he got for being a pig-boy and taking such a huge bite of food. And, yes, we had to try to fix it ourselves since it happened on the day the orthodontist’s office is closed and everyone was out of town at conference. Figures, right?

This just points out the advantage of Invisalign over traditional braces. If your Invisalign aligner broke, you’d just go on to the next set – after checking in with your orthodontist, of course. Maybe it’s comparing oranges to apples since Nathan is not eligible to get Invisalign. Yet for teens and adults who could get either, there’s no need to worry about broken brackets or wires with Invisalign!

A quick update on my treatment

I’m finally undergoing Invisalign refining treatment for the next nine weeks! I’ve been wearing a retainer at night since the end of May and was amazed how easy it was to start wearing the aligners again. Actually, I like wearing aligners for several reasons:

  • I’m brushing my teeth more. Always a good thing.
  • I’m not snacking between meals or at my desk.
  • I’m drinking more water.
  • I’m not biting my nails as much.

Honestly, it’s like I was never out of the aligners as there’s been no discomfort at all.

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.

An update from the orthodontist’s office #InvisalignMAB


I thought I’d update you on what’s going on with my Invisalign treatment as well as Nathan’s traditional braces. We’ve had a big learning curve this month and I hope some of our experiences help you prepare for when you or your children get braces.

Location, location, location

I’m really glad our orthodontist’s office is only five minutes from home and 15 minutes from the kids’ schools, because we spent a lot of time at Dr. Waugh’s office in the last six weeks. I’ve always told people that the location of your orthodontist’s office is important, since you’ll be spending a lot of time there having x-rays and impressions made.

With Invisalign, your follow up appointments are spaced out farther than with traditional braces. Even so, your orthodontist’s office should be near work for you and school for the kids, depending on how you schedule things – either early morning appointments or end of the day appointments so you won’t miss out on too much school or work. You should also consider how close the office is to home in case you have to make an emergency visit during the holidays or weekends.

Nathan’s appointments

Nathan had a grand total of four appointments with Dr. Waugh since starting his treatment. He had impressions taken (see the picture above – they let him take them home after they were done with it). Then spacers – rubber bands around the back molars – were put in. Being fitted for the Herbst appliance took two visits, since Dr. Waugh wasn’t happy with part of it and had to have it remade. We go back to the orthodontist in mid-November for a check up.

Nathan’s been a trooper during all of this since the Herbst appliance cuts up the inside of his cheeks and makes his mouth and jaw sore. (You can see a picture of Herbst appliances here. I find them rather medieval, don’t you?) I’ve been giving Nathan ibuprofen for the pain and encouraging him to apply an ice pack to his face since his cheeks seem puffy and a bit swollen. I’ve also been making a lot of smoothies, soups and mushy foods, too. He’s been using orthodontic wax, too.

The only plus side to all our visits is that Nathan gets points for every visit as part of their kids’ club. So far, he has enough to get a $10 gift card, but I think he’s shooting for the $50 one.

My appointment

In comparison, I only had one appointment to have impressions taken of my teeth. Dr. Waugh’s office uses a different technique than Dr. Goings’ office used. They take a “glue gun” and apply this purple stuff to your teeth. Then they slide on the impression trays. It’s a two step process that’s kind of yucky, especially when they had to do my lower jaw twice. Still, no biggie.

I’m not sure when I go in next as they’re probably waiting to get new aligner trays from Invisalign. Can’t wait, as I’m looking forward to getting my refinements done and wrapping up my Invisalign treatment!

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.

Want to know how to “Get Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling?” #invisalignMAB


Yes, you can get kids to listen without nagging, reminding or yelling! To learn how, join me on Thursday, August 16 at 9 PM EST when I’ll be co-hosting a FREE PARENTING WEBINAR with Amy McCready of Positive Parenting Solutions. Just RSVP here! (You can also sign up for a 2 PM EST webinar if you can’t make the evening one. However, I won’t be co-hosting that one.)

If you’re like me you NEED THIS WEBINAR. I can’t tell you how many times I tell the kids to do something and they just don’t listen. It drives me crazy! I’m tired of being tuned out and I’m sure you are, too.

Who Should Attend: Frustrated parents of kids ages 3 to 16 (Please encourage your spouse or other caregivers to attend. Parenting is a lot easier when everyone is on the same page!)

What You’ll Learn: Amy McCready, Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and a TODAY show contributor, will present a strategy-packed, interactive, LIVE online webinar designed to teach you:

  • why kids really misbehave – it’s probably not what you think!
  • how your personality may actually fuel misbehavior
  • the 5 R’s of Fair and Effective Consequences so kids listen the first time you ask
  • training resources to reduce your parenting stress and stop nagging, reminding and yelling

Get ready to end the cycle of remind-nag-yell-repeat as you try to get them to listen! To learn more, RSVP at positiveparentingsolutions.com/invisalign-teen.

I can’t wait to attend this seminar and use some of Amy’s techniques and strategies. Hope you can join me!

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. Invisalign is sponsor of the Get Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling webinar.

The family trip to the orthodontist #invisalignMAB


Since I took Nathan to the orthodontist over a  year ago he’s been dying to get braces. Needless to say, he’s been looking forward to our appointment with our new orthodontist, Dr. Waugh, since I made it. I found Dr. Waugh through the Invisalign website and will be continuing my treatment with him. I just have a few refinements that have to be made and I’ll be done with my Invisalign journey. However, my kids’ orthodontic treatment is another story.

Getting a Herbst appliance

After getting x-rays and photos done, we found out that Nathan isn’t a candidate for Invisalign. In fact, he needs extensive work and three teeth pulled since his adult teeth are coming in so crooked that they aren’t pushing out the baby teeth.

Nathan will also be getting a Herbst appliance, which will move his jaw and teeth forward. He took the news very well, but I was rather horrified by the huge piece of metal that will be placed in his mouth to correct his overbite and weak chin. (You can see a picture of Herbst appliances here.)

A Herbst appliance is made up of four stainless steel crowns covering the back molar teeth, one on each corner of the mouth. Attached to the upper crowns are two metal sleeves. Attached to the lower crowns are two metal bars running parallel to the lower back teeth, and two metal rods or arms that slide into the sleeves hanging down from the upper crowns. The appliance may also have an expansion screw located in the middle of the palate, which is used to expand the palate. (I’ve had several friend’s whose children had these just for that reason.)

The appliance works by using the metal sleeves and rods to hold your lower jaw forward to correct an overbite. The lower jaw will grow into this new correct position, and your overbite will be fixed. Nathan will have his Herbst appliance in for 8 to 10 months.

After he gets his jaw in better shape, he’ll have conventional braces. Total treatment should be about two years.

Lucie’s turn

lucie-orthoNot to be outdone by her brother, Lucie is our oddity. She’s missing several adult teeth – why we don’t know, but the x-rays clearly show it. So Dr. Waugh will be working to save as many of those baby teeth as he can by making sure there’s plenty of room for the adult teeth she does have to come in properly. Lucie will be getting four teeth removed since, like Nathan, her adult teeth aren’t pushing her baby teeth out of the way since they’re coming in so crookedly. With all this in mind, Lucie will be getting braces in a few years and maybe some dental implants when she’s an adult.

Nathan and Lucie have a long trip ahead of them. Thanks goodness Dr. Waugh’s office is so close to the house!

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.

Why can’t these kids get along? Join me for a FREE webinar about ending sibling squabbles #invisalignMAB


You know why I send my kids to summer camp? Sure, it’s for them to have fun with kids their own age and to keep them busy during summer vacation. However, it’s really to give me a break from the constant fighting that Lucie and Nathan engage in from the time they wake up until they fall asleep.

Their fighting makes me sad as well as frustrated, which is why I’ll be joining TODAY Show parenting expert, Amy McCready and Invisalign Teen as a co-host for a FREE webinar, “Why Can't These Kids Get Along? Solutions to End Sibling Squabbles” this Thursday, June 21 at 9 PM ET. (You can also attend at 2 PM ET).

If you’re interested in joining us, please RSVP  here. 

In this interactive webinar, parents of children ages 5-17 will learn:

• why siblings make the best rivals

• how well-meaning parents make sibling rivalry worse

• three top strategies to minimize sibling rivalry in your home

I’m looking forward to co-hosting as well as learning some tips. Hope to see you there!

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.

Having a nice smile makes a good first impression #InvisalignMAB

Invisalign Smile Study Infographic

I’m excited to announce that I’m done with my initial Invisalign treatment – all 19 aligner trays – just in time for our move to Georgia! I’m wearing a retainer at night, which is comfortable and easy to manage. However, I’m bummed that I will have to continue treatment after my move as two of my bottom teeth are still crooked. Ironically, these were always the teeth that I hated most. (You can see a picture of them here. They’re the crooked teeth on the right side of the picture about midway down the post.)

It’s not because Invisalign didn’t work, because it did. My other teeth are gorgeous, straighter and better aligned than after I got my  braces off when I was in high school. It’s just that there refinements need to made, as Dr. Goings told me could happen. This is where the art comes in after the science.

On a positive note, it does give me an opportunity to check out a new Invisalign orthodontist in Georgia before both my kids need to go through treatment. Otherwise, I’m a bit disappointed because I had wanted my smile to be perfect as possible since first impressions are everything and I’ll be meeting many new people soon.

First impressions are everything

A recent perception study conducted by Kelton for Invisalign, proves that your smile is a catalyst for assumptions regarding success, popularity, intelligence, and general health.

“Whether we like it or not, we are often judged by our appearance,” said Dr. Michelle Callahan, renowned TV host, relationship expert, coach, and development psychologist. “The results of this Smile Survey prove what I've always believed, which is the importance of an attractive, healthy smile, whether you're socializing and networking face-to-face or virtually.  Your smile has more of an effect on what others perceive about you than you think.”

I know I often notice how nice people’s teeth are and make snap judgments based on how they look. For example, I have a friend (let’s call her Kay) who has awful teeth but a lovely home, fancy car, designer purses and takes her family on expensive vacations. I often wonder why Kay doesn’t put “her money where her mouth is” and get her teeth straightened.

I also have several friends who have gone through conventional braces later in life because they’re ashamed of how crooked their teeth were. They put up with the dorky look of silver bars and wires just to have nice teeth. Too bad they didn’t know about Invisalign and how most people don’t even notice you’re wearing aligners!

The positive affect of a beautiful smile

The perception study found that nearly one-third (29%) of Americans say the first aspect of someone's face they typically notice is his or her teeth, and 24% say this is also the facial aspect that they remember the most after meeting someone. That’s why getting your teeth straightened is an investment in your future or your child’s future. You see, Americans perceive those with straight teeth to be 45% more likely than those with crooked teeth to get a job when competing with someone who has a similar skill set and experience.  They are also seen as 58% more likely to be successful, as well as 58% more likely to be wealthy.

Also, when it comes to attracting a possible mate on a dating site, those with straight teeth are seen as 57% more likely than those with crooked teeth to get a date based on their picture alone.  Sure it’s superficial, but first impressions lead to first dates. In fact, nearly two in five (38%) Americans would consider not going on a second date with someone who has misaligned teeth!

There’s the trust factor, too. Nearly three in four (73%) Americans would be more likely to trust someone with a nice smile than someone with a good job, outfit, or car.

People also connect more positive descriptions with men and women who have straight teeth than those who have crooked teeth. Those with straight teeth are 21% more likely to be seen as happy, 47% more likely to be viewed as being healthy and 38% more likely to be perceived as smart.

All I want is a nice smile

Finally, the study showed that having an attractive smile is something important to many Americans as nearly three in five (57%) Americans would rather have a nice smile than clear skin. If you’re one of them, check out my how to pick an orthodontist post to find out how Invisalign might be right for you or your child.

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.