About a year ago I had just launched my YouTube channel and was having a really hard time watching myself speak on camera. All I could focus on were my “dog teeth,” which I labeled them after a family member’s dog…I won’t mention who. BUT, I told myself that if YouTube was going to happen for me, which I really wanted it to, then I would get my teeth fixed with Invisalign. In all honesty, taking pictures for the blog is easy–you can edit a zit, you can fix a pesky hair, you can do / change just about anything with some decent Photoshop skills. In video, however, it’s not that easy. In fact, to my knowledge, it’s not even a possibility.
Paul completely disagreed with me. He thought (& still does) my teeth are fine and that I was just being crazy. While maybe some of you didn’t even notice, I did, which is ultimately what matters. It was dragging down my confidence on camera and preventing me from properly editing a video because I was so distracted by my damn dog teeth! The sad part is I actually had braces as a kid but my parents didn’t enforce my retainer, which is crucial. My teeth shifted instantly and only got worse.
Lesson / Rule #1: Do not spend all the $$$ on your teeth if you do not have the discipline.
For the record, the exact same thing happened to Paul. He even got Invisalign after braces and gave up on it! His dog teeth are ON another level! Ha!
You’ll notice in many of my pictures I heavily depended on the Smize, because I just wasn’t obsessed with my teeth. I still catch myself doing it out of habit, but then I snap out of it and smile full-on. I love posting a smile with teeth, it’s so much more genuine & honestly, you guys seem to ‘Like’ my pictures more when I’m smiling with my teeth than a bullshit fake smirk. I love this…thank for you “liking” me happy :)
But now, let’s get into the logistics. I already had a dentist (R Dental Group) that I’m obsessed with. I know, super weird, but let me just say this: I feel like I’m going to a spa, not the dentist. Leedia is my girl there, she knows me. I need my lavender oil, Justin Bieber playing in the background, a lot of chapstick, and she puts up with my obnoxious IG stories the whole time. She’s super camera-shy but I film her anyway and she still puts up with me! Their entire crew is like family to me, all so sweet and accommodating. Anything from a cleaning to extracting wisdom teeth (more on that soon) is done with the utmost care.
I wouldn’t trust anyone to go near my teeth ever again after my experience with R Dental. Leedia is also a perfectionist and so I knew she would be the girl for the job. Clearly I wasn’t going down the braces route so Invisalign was the next best option. I had heard some horror stories but Leedia assured me my experience would be nothing like that. I couldn’t wait to get started. Here is how the process went:
-Impressions. Just like braces, we took impressions of my dog teeth. I had only planned on fixing my lower teeth, but the Invisalign process is for top & bottom. My top didn’t really bother me but Leedia told me they could use some slight improvement.
-The trays arrived. Invisalign estimated I would need to do 10 rounds of trays at 2 weeks each (20 weeks total). I was stoked! Easy peasy. We fit the first round to make sure they were comfortable and I was on my way.
-Attachments go on. After 2 weeks of wearing the trays day & night, we added clear little attachments to my teeth. These are the force behind the movement. The trays can only move your teeth so much without these. To give you some perspective, the tray is like a door, and the attachment is the doorknob. You need both to open the door.
-Monthly dentist visits. I would come by the dentist each month to make sure my teeth were tracking according to plan. It would take about 15 minutes & then she would give me my next 2 rounds of trays.
-Week 18 things went wrong. My lower teeth stopped tracking. Leedia did not like telling me this, but my wisdom teeth needed to come out. She had warned me about this prior to starting, but there was a chance they wouldn’t be in the way. I decided to take the risk and not have them removed first. I clearly made the wrong choice.
-Wisdom teeth removed. I was terrified for my life. R Dental does wisdom teeth extractions but not with anesthesia…yeah, terrified! When I came in they gave me a muscle relaxer and suddenly it was like I had just drank 3 glasses of wine….and everything was fine. The process was literally less than 15 minutes and I had zero pain.
-New impressions & trays. Well, unfortunately we had to pretty much start over on the bottom. With my wisdom teeth gone, though, it wasn’t going to take very long. 8 trays total, 16 more weeks. I continued wearing my top [last] tray while my bottom was doing it’s thing.
-Attachments came off. After all 8 trays were complete, we removed my attachments, which feels super weird without them now, and took one more round of impressions for the retainers.
-Retainers. I now have a permanent retainer on my lower teeth since they shift so quickly / easily. We decided not to do a top [permanent] retainer since my top is bit more cooperative. However, I have the traditional brace-face metal retainers that I wear at night (top & bottom), as well as the “after” Invisalign retainers. I alternate wearing them at night.
-Whitening. I was so excited to professionally whiten my teeth once this whole process was done. There are 3, 15-minute gel / laser rounds and the whitening develops over time. I felt nothing until 8 minutes into round 3. Suddenly the “zingers” kicked in and it was like baby lightening in my mouth. I couldn’t take it so they removed the laser and let the gel continue working. After I left the dentist, I took some Advil to take the edge off but the zingers continued off and on all day. The next morning I woke up and they were completely gone…hallelujah! Looking back, the whitening pain was the worst out of everything I did to my teeth. BUT, my teeth look SO bright and white that I think it’s tolerable discomfort.
I apologize in advance for the graphic images below, but this is the best way to show you my Before & After.
As you can see, there is huge improvement from the left & right images. I feel so much better about my teeth now, and while I did this for me, I actually get people asking me about my teeth now. Take that, Paul! I wanted to outline what I learned and some tips that might help if you’re considering getting Invisalign.
Tips & What I Learned:
-It’s an adjustment. The first time I had the trays in, I was lisping all over the place. Many of you DM’d me saying your lisp never went away so you gave up on your Invisalign but I stuck it out and eventually I could speak 90% normal. My tongue would get stuck on certain words but I was aware of it so I could restructure my sentence if necessary LOL.
-It doesn’t hurt. #1 question is does it hurt, and the answer is no. Each time I started a new tray I felt a little pressure on my teeth but I would always do it before bed so the pressure would subside after my 8-9 hour sleep. I took an Advil the first day since it was all new to me, but after that I never needed another Advil.
-Hygiene is everything. I am already neurotic about brushing my teeth 2-3 times per day and this made it even worse. You have to clean you teeth and tray after every meal so my teeth were a lot cleaner overall. It’s important to do this, otherwise you can lock food in there and get cavities.
-I got a little skinnier. In the beginning it was kind of a pain in my ass to brush my teeth each and every time I took out the tray for a snack so I would just skip it [the snack]. Eventually I became a pro and got right back into my ways.
-It’s a commitment. Since this isn’t a cheap process, I recommend being prepared for the commitment of money and time you’ll be putting in. Invisalign prices range between $4500-$7500 depending on the severity of the case. Do it once, and do it right.
-Love your dentist. There are lots of dentist visits and each one is crucial to your process. BUT, make sure you love your dentist so each time is enjoyable. I highly recommend R Dental group if you’re in Los Angeles.
I’m happy to answer any other questions in the comments below, but I hope this post was super helpful for anyone interested in fixing their own set of “dog teeth!”