The Experience of Wearing Invisible Braces

Dear Rissa
I know I need braces to correct my crooked teeth. But I’m a working girl already and I can’t imagine wearing metal braces again. I saw on your Instagram that tried invisible braces? Hope you can share your experience so I know what to expect.- Pam

I used to wear the traditional metal braces when I was in high school. It wasn’t a terrible experience but maybe it’s because I was diligent with my maintenance and check-ups and so I finished on time. Nevertheless, I still can’t imagine wearing metal braces again.

The alignment of my teeth relapsed when I got older and went back to having an overbite. My lower teeth became slightly crooked again, too. So when the opportunity to try Invisalign – or invisible braces – came, I immediately grabbed it.

Invisalign is the clear choice in straightening teeth faster and gives you a better smile without metal braces. How do they look? They are clear trays molded to the shape of your teeth but you change to a new tray every few weeks so your teeth are straightened and aligned incrementally but effectively. It is recommended to wear them 22 hours a day and only remove them while eating. But because of the nature of my job, I really appreciated that I could take them out when I had photo shoots or talks to give.

I had mine done with CAD Clinic (Center for Advanced Dentistry, ground floor, Infinity Building, BGC Fort, 478-9275. After an initial check-up with the dentist, I was required to get several X-rays and they also made a mold of my teeth. Everything was sent abroad where X-rays were analyzed so the invisible trays could be made then shipped to Manila.

How long will you have to wear invisible braces? The duration of your Invisalign program will depend on how badly your teeth need to be corrected. I had over 20 trays each for my upper and lower teeth. Some people will have fewer trays and finish faster. What I wasn’t informed about was that depending on your case you may need “brackets.” The brackets are similar to the traditional metal ones — they are attached to the surface of your teeth and allow the invisible tray to “click” on your teeth to help move them effectively. But instead of silver, they are the same color as your teeth so they are not as noticeable.

But because I wasn’t informed about this, I felt upset when I found out I needed brackets. I found out only when I was seated on the dentist’s chair already. I think the clinic could’ve have been more proactive in explaining the product. Although there were no metal wires, I initially felt very conscious about these bracket-like attachments on my teeth. I would talk in a funny manner with my lips covering my teeth. But my husband kept assuring me they weren’t noticeable at all and the funny way I covered my lips just brought more attention to it. I eventually got used to these bracket attachments and have done countless shoots, TV interviews and talks without anyone noticing them – unless I point them out.

I’m done with my Invisalign program. So was it worth it? It was never painful. It just needed a little getting used to at the start but after a while, they were virtually invisible and never got in the way of anything. The freedom it gave me to remove the clear trays when I didn’t need them for shoots or talks was a big plus for me. Admittedly, I was not able to stick to the 22 hours a day so my program ended much later than it should have. But I would definitely choose Invisalign over traditional metal braces anytime. My smile is much better since my overbite was corrected and even my jawline and profile are more defined and flattering. -Rissa

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