Say Cheese!

My smile has always been a source of insecurity for me and so it was something I needed to work on to enhance my self confidence.  The end of my senior year of high school, I scheduled myself an orthodontist appointment for an Invisalign consultation.  I am extremely pleased with the smile structure Invisalign left me with.  While it may still be a little crooked and imperfect, my teeth are finally situated in a line straighter than its ever been.  (*Disclaimer: for anyone who is planning on getting Invisalign and says they’ll “lose so much weight” when they get them, let me be the first to tell you, nice try.  Eventually you get used to taking them out and putting them back in and you go right back to your snacking habits with just a slight inconvenience.)  When I got my first set of trays, the plastic cut into my lips and it killed to place the trays and take them out.  After about the first two trays for two weeks each, I had become accustomed to the pain switching trays and my lips had become tougher and were no longer being cut by the plastic.  Having the trays for my freshman year of college was extremely difficult for me.  You’re supposed to keep the trays in for 22 out of 24 hours each day and brush your teeth before replacing the trays after eating.  I did not follow these rules as I should have, from running from the cafeteria to class and going out Friday nights drinking unclear liquids with my trays in rather than simply not wearing them all night.  But regardless, after one year of trays, my teeth were finally at a place I could feel comfortable with…and more yellow than ever.  Unfortunately, I have a natural yellow tint to my teeth and not following the rules of Invisalign to only drink clear liquids with the trays in certainly didn’t help.  Add my coffee addiction on top of that and you have a very yellow smile.

I bought whitening toothpaste, whitening mouthwash,whitening-supplies and an electronic toothpaste to get started on fixing the damage I had done.   My dentist then recommended LumiBrite, a gel whitening agent which you put in trays and leave on your teeth for up to half an hour.  I also got a toothpaste for sensitive teeth to use after the gel treatment because it can leave your teeth in quite a bit of pain.  Not featured is Crest 3D White Whitestrips, Classic Vivid which I use for last minute touchups or as I feel necessary in addition to the weekly LumiBrite treatment.  Thus far, I am super pleased with the results! My teeth are far from white and they may never be perfectly white, but they are better than they’ve ever been!

Some other little tips to brighten up the pearly whites include minding what you put in your mouth.  Drink lots of water throughout the day and only drink colored drinks with meals.  The food helps prevent the drink from resonating in your mouth and dying your teeth.  Also, drinks like soda and coffee should be avoided entirely.  Personally, this is not something I do, but I have no doubt it would be helpful and wish it was something I could stick to!  Also, whitening gum may help with stain prevention – while they themselves do not whiten teeth, they have been proven to help with preventing stains from setting into teeth by the inclusion of abrasives which help to loosen stains while chewing the gum [1].

My confidence has improved exponentially since taking care of my teeth and I’m more smiley than ever! 🙂

Learn more about Invisalign here, LumiBrite here, or Crest Whitestrip Products here.
*The photos above are unedited and taken in natural lighting*

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