What I See vs. What You See: Getting Invisalign

Over the past few weeks, what others think/how others see me versus what I know to be my truth/how I see myself, has become a recurring theme. It began quite superficially when I decided to get Invisalign (I'll share it's next manifestation later this week).

 Hottest accessories for fall. (Oh, did I not mention I have them on the top AND bottom. I'm a lucky girl.)

Hottest accessories for fall. (Oh, did I not mention I have them on the top AND bottom. I'm a lucky girl.)

Yes, I had braces (and a palate expander, lip bumper, and retainers), but over the years, my teeth have slightly shifted and one in particular really bothers me. I'm the first to admit that yes, my teeth were (are) basically perfect. I didn't need this done and I've never heard anything but compliments on my teeth and smile. Nevertheless, it bothered ME, and that's what I cared about. I found myself focusing on my teeth in pictures, my eyes always honing in on the one major offender. I toyed with the idea for a few years, bringing it up at my bi-annual dentist appointments, taking home brochures each time, and then promptly placing them in the recycling bin, telling myself I would do it before my wedding. (If you're new here, you should know that there is no wedding in the works and I'm currently single. This was totally a future/one-day statement.)

At the end of the summer, I asked myself what I was waiting for. Why delay something that bothers me now? Waiting until I get married made no sense, plus I'm not someone who believes in changing yourself for your wedding and will not be #SweatingForTheWedding, though I understand that for many people this is a huge motivator and can jumpstart a healthy lifestyle which is awesome. So... I asked my doctor what it would really entail. How long? How does it all work? What do I really need to know? How would it affect daily living, everything from eating to dating- actually my doctor brought the dating up but I was planning to ask, this is why I love her. 

 Not gonna lie, I kind of feel like this all day. PC:  Medium.com

Not gonna lie, I kind of feel like this all day. PC: Medium.com

I'm now just about to start week 4 out of a total of 10 and I have mixed feelings. Sometimes it's not so bad and I forget about it (like when I'm asleep, watching TV, or really ensconced in work), but the rest of the time I definitely notice that it's there. My biggest peeves are the not-so-cute lisp I have and eating. Most people claim they don't notice my new speech impediment but my closest friends and family, who I have begged to be honest, do. It's not awful but it's irritating and has really opened my eyes to how we judge those with speech difficulties. Bottom line: It needs to end. With eating, where to begin... I never realized how licking a spoon is such a part of cooking, how often I reach for a piece of gum, what I drink during the day and how often (anything other than water needs a straw). As a result, I find myself often eating big meals so that I don't have to deal with snacking and taking my trays out, brushing my teeth yet again (I average about 6 times a day now), etc. I don't love this, but it's been the easiest and makes me the least self-conscious. 

Is it working? Do I regret it? My answer to both is simply, I don't know. I think it's working, but that could easily be the placebo effect. When I switch to the next week's trays there is a bit of dull soreness/tightness and lovely headache that sticks around for about 24 hrs so clearly things are moving. Then again, I didn't have much to move so it's not like there are going to be huge changes. If, after the full 10 weeks things don't look as I was promised, then I'll be frustrated, but I won't regret my decision. If I hadn't done it, I would have kept wondering and planning to do it, this way at least I'll know I did everything I could short of getting braces and that is not happening again. Ever. :)

Would you ever get Invisalign? Know someone who has?