Sunday, June 9, 2013


'The most beautiful thing a girl can wear is her smile'

This is what I keep referring to in my mind as the 'brave post'.... it's been a long time coming.
I have to admit that Stacy Curran from Mary Jane's Makeup {and South Shore Blogspot} gave me courage. Stacy recently posted a video of herself without makeup {here} showing her daily skincare and cosmetics application routine - that deserves applause. Thanks for the nudge Stacy.

So here is my brave post about my current experience with Invisalign braces.
Invisalign is the invisible braces system that corrects your teeth alignment, bite, palate and smile. 
I thought long about the fact that I walked around smiling and chatting to people with crooked teeth for my entire life so far. So showing what my smile was like and the newly evolving smile should be no problem, but it's hard when it points directly at the flaw. And let's be totally honest - I pick the good pictures to post {like everyone does}.

Happy to be in Paris with Richard. The smile......... not happy about it at all.

As a kid the dentist told my parents that I should be outfitted for the single bar brace. Remember those? it looked like you had a wire hoop hanging on to your teeth. My Mother said 'No, we are not doing that'. As any dentist will tell you other things are happening behind the crooked teeth. My bite was 'off' {I'm sure there is a more technical term} and I kept biting on one side causing stress to several teeth and I was uncomfortable.

I was always happy if a picture of me turned out with a nice smile. But as I aged my teeth moved even more and rather rapidly over the past few years {apparently normal}. I began to try and compensate for an 'ugly smile' which made my smile really look odd.
When we were in Paris I was so excited about going to the Eiffel Tower with Richard and having our picture taken. I felt disappointed that the image with my crooked smile ruined the picture of us. 

close up of the before

I was still going to the dentist in my old neighbourhood and Richard recommended that I go to his dentist which is closer to our home.  I noticed the dentist had Invisalign at his practice and I asked him about it - I really didn't think the little plastic brace would help me. He told me that I was a great candidate and how easy the system is.

I was excited about the thought of having what I've always referred to as 'Chicklet teeth' ....... little rows of straight chicklets all even.

Last January we started the process of correcting my bite and smile. The first brace went on in February 2012 and I have another 8 months left. I think if you are younger and don't have as much shifting to be done as I want, the process is shorter. I have had a cap removed and the Invisalign process is closing the gap between two back teeth, that has required more time than the average system.

Let me just stop and say that I am THRILLED with the results so far. At only six weeks into the program I saw results that made me wish I had ventured down this road before.
So what is it like ?  Here are some of the questions I've been asked about wearing Invisalign:

Does it hurt?
          The first weekend wearing the braces is memorable. It felt like my teeth had been knocked, but a bit of Tylenol and I was OK. I've had a few other times like that since, but nothing unbearable and the results are so worth it.

Do you wear them all the time?
         Yes. The only time you don't wear the braces is to eat. I take them out, eat, brush my teeth, brush the braces clean with toothpaste and pop them back in. Richard teased me in the beginning of the process and would ask 'how many times have you brushed your teeth today' {LOTS}. You do wear them when you sleep and that is so much easier than I thought it would be. 


 How do you clean the braces?
           You clean the braces with toothpaste. The material is clear so it makes it easy to see if you need scrub with the toothbrush a bit more.

Is it easy to get them out?
          The first week I would literally sweat trying to get the braces out. I would give myself five minutes to remove them before a meal. I remember being afraid I'd cut my gum or hurt myself. A good tip is to use a very fine crochet hook to pull the top of the brace away and release it from your gum line. So much easier, more gentle on my nails and no effort.

Is Invisalign expensive?
           I was surprised at the price of Invisalign. The entire cost {molds, braces every two weeks, adjustments if needed - and I've needed several, visits to the dentist to check the aligners every six weeks, bonding and whitening at the completion} for mine is $5,500. It will vary with the amount of work and let's just say with my age I need a bit more work. My daughters traditional braces 12 years ago was 2K more than my Invisalign. Can I say again - I'm thrilled. 

Do you experience shredding on the inside of your mouth like traditional braces?
           I have had a few times that the plastic on the Invisalign rubbed the inside of my mouth or tongue and caused ripping. But a soft nail buffer can soften the edge of the plastic if it's too sharp.

What about dis-colouration of your teeth?
          Use Sensodyne toothpaste for sensitivity. Whitening toothpaste daily to keep your smile bright and the braces clean. I gently use a soft electronic toothbrush once a day. 

Six weeks and already starting to move.

Well on the way - Invisalign is giving me a lot of reasons to smile.

 Can you design your new smile?
          Yes. I love that along the way you can ask your dentist to adjust the way your teeth are moving into place. If you like the straight across level edge to your teeth - you've got it. If you want a bit more natural and rounded look to the edge - you've got it. The dentist gave me a mini movie slide-show in the beginning to show how my teeth will move into position. 

Finally I can smile with confidence.
What are the benefits of Invisalign versus tradition braces?
          For me it is correcting my bite, helping keep my natural teeth healthy, straightening my teeth - YEAH, beautiful new smile, and bringing my philtrum {space between your upper lip and nose} back in line. I had lost volume in this area and the Invisalign is helping to correct it and enhance my upper lip area {oh, what a lovely bonus}.

A Happy Smile.

I love that Invisalign is helping me correct my bite, improve my smile and help keep my natural teeth healthy. I finally love to smile. 
My Daughter {who is gorgeous - I know I've told you dear readers that before} has the prettiest smile, and she keeps telling me how beautiful my smile is. I can't think of a bigger compliment than these words coming from her. 

Whew - OK, brave post complete ............ and way more pictures of myself than I ever thought I'd post. I'll show you the shining results when it is all finished.

You are never too old to smile with confidence or correct your dental problems.

My dentist is  Doctor James Vassallo. He has the most incredible chair-side manner and can be found at 295 Eglinton East - Mississauga, 905.568.1988. If you are in the west end of Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Milton - he is worth the visit. 


  1. Thanks for inspiring others to take care of their teeth. You look beautiful no matter what but good for you! I agree, the best accessory one can wear is their smile!

  2. Thanks Sharon - coming from a lady with a million watt smile that is a nice compliment.

  3. Thanks for this inspiration. I've been toying with idea of Invisalign for my teeth for several years. My bite is off and I've got very uneven wear patterns which are starting to chip my teeth. Several years ago I had some crowns replaced on the top, but haven't dealt with the alignment. My dentist does do Invisalign so I think I'll inquire at my next appointment. Your smile looks beautiful now...looking forward to seeing the finished product.

    1. Jennifer,
      I can't say enough about how great the system is. One of the nicest parts is that it works with your natural teeth rather than caps or crowns.
      Not the greatest pictures, but I think you can see the improvement.

  4. oh Katherine!! Your smile is beautiful!! I am amazed at how quickly it works. And how in such a short time they have straightened and moved too. Amazing. I am so happy for you! You look beautiful.
    I had braces (the metal kind) when I was in junior high and I have always been so grateful for having had them. I have always been so impressed to see women who have the metal braces, and now with this system it is even easier. This system reminds me of my whitening system (you'll love that part!) which is really easy to use, once you get used to it. A smile is so important, and yours is beautiful. I'm thinking a trip to Paris should be the prize when you are all finished, then you can take a picture of you and Richard that will make you very happy! Bravo for this brave post!

    1. Ha, ha - you know Joan I couldn't agree more. Another picture at the Eiffel Tower is a great idea.
      Thank you for your kind words - this was a tough post to put up {I'm not comfortable with the pictures of me}. But it's a great system and many people who had traditional braces are turning to this later in life as their teeth start to shift back.

  5. You are never too old to smile with confidence or correct your dental problems. – This is true! There’s no age required for having a beautiful smile. I’m glad that you finally tried it and I can say, it’s showing off the difference.
    = Lindsay @ (Oakville, ON)

  6. Oh, I love your smile! It’s beautiful and full of confidence! Having Invisalign braces installed on your teeth is not easy, what with the maintenance and pain you have to deal with. But I guess it’s well-paid off since you got a satisfying result. I’m so happy that you enjoyed having it and that you can now smile confidently.

    Divian Patel