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You’ve decided to take the plunge and go after your 2020 new year’s resolution. A confident new smile starts with a decision to change your life. But before you dive teeth-first into this new chapter, here’s a list of things you should consider before making this decision.
1. Do your research
It’s imperative you do your due diligence when it comes to research and exploring your available options. You want to fix your teeth, easy – you go to your dentist.
But, in 2020 the best way to make an informed choice (with also minimal cost and travel time) is a quick google search. You’ll find a plethora of teeth straightening options online – all with their own price ranges, durations and pros and cons – but how do you know which one is right for you?
A guide like this one can help narrow down your search. But in case you don’t have the time, here’s a quick summary of what you need to know. Know your options:
There are three main options you have when it comes to teeth straightening – Invisible Braces, metal braces and DIY solutions.
A quick note on DIY solutions
We included them as they are an option available online, but not one you should be considering. DIY braces very much look like a cheap alternative to Invisible Braces, but come without any of the doctor supervision, guarantees or duty of care. They can be extremely dangerous and lead to irreversible damage to your teeth and jaws.
When it comes to your smile, it makes sense to invest the time and money into a dentist recommended and supervised treatment.
Determine what you want to fix
To find out which solution is suitable for you, you need to first
a. Figure out what exactly you want to correct about your teeth, and
b. Consult a professional. Braces, like any other medical procedure should be a doctor-supervised treatment.
It’s important to determine what you want to fix about your smile so your dentist can assess your dental condition and recommend the right solution for you.
If you want to just straighten your front teeth, or make minor aesthetic corrections to them, or perhaps you used to wear braces as a teenager but weren’t regular with your retainers post treatment and now your teeth are starting to misalign again, there are some affordable Invisible Braces solutions on the market perfect for you.
However, if you require more complex dental work done to achieve your perfect smile, for example changes to be made to your bite or movement of your jaw, then metal braces or Invisalign might be ideal for you.
Create a budget
Figure out what you’re comfortable spending. Teeth straightening is an investment and you want to make sure you’re budgeting an adequate amount for it.
You’ll come across various price ranges and numbers, but always remember to find out your financing options – a whole bunch of brands have installment plans and pricing guides you should utilise. Most consultations online are also free so go ahead and do them.
Here’s a quick one to find out if you’re a suitable candidate for Invisible Braces.
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2. It’s a time commitment
Getting Invisible Braces is a time commitment. You need to put in the effort to see the results. It all comes down to your work ethic and self discipline. Are you wearing them regularly for 20 -22 hours a day? Have you been keeping track of what aligner set you’re on? Luckily a whole bunch of brands out there are trying to make this as easy a process for you via their apps and regular reminders.
But at the end of the day it all comes down to you and consistency. When building any new habit, consistency is key. This coupled with honesty. If you haven’t worn your aligners one day for 20 hours don’t beat yourself up about it, be honest with yourself and your dentist, instead focus on building regularity in your habits.
3. Be prepared for a lifestyle change
Invisible braces = Lifestyle change.
There’s no two ways about it. You’ll start realising this in the early few weeks of your clear aligner journey.
You’ll notice the little tweaks you have started making in your everyday routine, like:
- Carrying a mini toothbrush and toothpaste set with you wherever you go.
- Floss picks will be your new best friend. It’s handy to keep them with you at all times (though try switching to dental floss threads, as they are the more environmentally friendly alternative).
- Snacking less. Chronic snackers barely touch snacks after getting aligners because removing and putting them on, sometimes, seems like too much effort. Weight loss is just an added bonus to Invisible Braces!
- Drinking less coffee. Remember, no hot liquids with your aligners on.
The other interesting change, which may not seem like a big deal now, is you’ll find yourself excusing yourself to go to the bathroom a bit more than usual. Because taking those aligners out in a social setting is a tad more of an embarrassing and TMI situation than you need to be in.
4. There’ll be some pain involved
Real Talk: Invisible Braces hurt. But only a little.
It’s more of a little discomfort tbh.
That’s because you’re literally applying physical pressure to move your teeth. But thanks to technology and the trusty orthodontists who made it, it’s not a pain that’ll have you popping painkillers every 5 minutes. And like any major change, it requires an adjustment period.
Here are some things to keep in mind that’ll help you out.
- First, use your chewies. Every time you change your aligners, bite down on your chewies for around a minute to make sure your braces are sitting correctly on your teeth.
- When you change your aligners, do it at night. This way your adjustment period occurs at night while you’re asleep, and by morning you won’t even notice the discomfort.
- Put some water in your trays. It makes it easier to place and fit your aligners onto your teeth.
Just remember, it’s all about time – after the first two weeks you won’t even notice the discomfort!
5. Wear your retainers
It cannot be stressed enough how crucial it is to wear your retainers post treatment.
Especially in those first few crucial months. It’s the only way to ensure your teeth stay in place and don’t get misaligned again – rendering your entire smile transformation journey useless 😢
Retainers look just like aligners – but have a totally different purpose. Instead of applying pressure to move your teeth they focus on keeping them in place. After any type of dental treatment – be it Invisible braces or metal ones, retainers are absolutely pivotal in completing (and retaining) your smile transformation.
6. Confidence starts with YOU!
This is probably the single most important tip on this list, and also the most overlooked.
Confidence comes from within, and it starts with you. Recognising what you’re unhappy about and taking the first step to fix it is empowering. But no amount of cosmetic alteration can bring you happiness if you’re not confident in your own skin. We are our own biggest critics – constantly questioning ourselves, focusing on our flaws, criticising our work.
It’s exhausting and demoralising.
The way you speak to yourself is how the world speaks to you.
So, change the way you talk to yourself, block out the negative thoughts, take action and keep smiling!
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