If you had your teeth straightened with braces when you were young, you may remember the discomfort from broken wires or cheek tissue rubbing against the metal brackets. Luckily, technological advancements in dentistry have meant that teeth can now be straightened more comfortably* with the Invisalign system.
Ask anyone with a new, straight and milky white smile how they changed their teeth and chances are it was with Invisalign clear aligners. The system's most well-known advantage is that your Invisalign trained doctor can straighten teeth with clear aligners (that are virtually invisible), but according to TV personality and renowned author Candice Brathwaite who is eight weeks into her treatment, there's plenty more to applaud. Here, she tells HELLO! her story...
Candice Brathwaite beams as she sees what her teeth could look like before starting Invisalign treatment
"Between the ages of four and ten, I'd cover my mouth in every photo. It became a thing I'd instinctively do, so when the pandemic happened, I was like; it's now or never. My excuse before was having no time and being unable to fit the appointments and process into my work schedule, but I decided to bite the bullet and make time before everything reopened.
“Having it done is definitely a vanity thing for me. I didn't have an overbite or underbite so big that it was uncomfortable or difficult for me to talk but now that I'm on TV so much, I watch back and I really do not like my teeth, so I told myself: if you can get into a position where you love your smile, what are you waiting for?"
MORE: Everything you need to know before getting your teeth straightened
Candice adds that her late father also motivated her to go ahead with Invisalign treatment. "I remember he never smiled. When he died it was hard to find a photo to put on the front of the service sheet. Not only did he have a gap, he got into an accident at a funfair and when they bonded it back then, it didn't match so he was always conscious [of his smile] - as was my mum. I feel really happy to be getting to a place where I'm smiling without feeling like I need to cover my mouth."
And just eight weeks after Candice first visited her dentist, she's already noticing a huge difference.
"The speed of the Invisalign system has floored me. Having had friends with braces when I was a teenager, I'm used to it being a three-year process but when I sat down for this consultation, they said I should be back within 14 weeks. I was like, 'I don’t believe you; I don’t get that.'
“I went back for my mid-journey consultation recently and my dentist assured me we were on track, and I can see it. I'm almost shocked at how quickly my teeth have changed. I can't get over it."
Candice decided to go through the process with a private dentist of her choice. She says she initially wanted the high level of support from her dentist after a traumatic experience with her teeth in the past, but adds that she's already come away with more than just her dream smile.
"Just after my daughter was born, I had to have my wisdom tooth extracted, and I did it while awake," she explained.
"There was a lot of blood and screaming, then I got dry socket. It's when a blood clot doesn’t form so my nerve endings were open for two weeks. I've had two C-sections and I always say I'd have a third over dry socket – it was the most pain I've ever felt in my life. So, I went into the Invisalign process really apprehensive but my dentist totally got me.
"I know there are other systems where you don’t need to see a dentist but I prefer to, and he's also really opened my eyes to the benefits to oral health with straighter teeth. Take flossing for example, – I will admit I was terrible, and was never deeply into oral hygiene. If there's one thing having Invisalign treatment will change for you, it's oral hygiene. I now floss up to six times a day, because every time you eat or drink you must floss and clean your trays. My general oral hygiene has never been better."
So, with just six weeks to go until Candice's smile is nearly complete, what is she most looking forward to?
"I want to have a proper profile photoshoot and redo all of my work images, to show off my new teeth. In a weird way, I can't wait to continue with good oral hygiene either, because now I know what it really means and entails. A great friend of mine's dad just came out of hospital after a tooth infection, which just goes to show how oral health can lead to other things. I never knew before starting this just how much of our overall health was connected to our oral health. I'm excited to stay on top of it.
"To anyone considering Invisalign, know that it's life-changing. I'm obsessed. It's only not going to work if you don't stick to the time schedule and wear your trays."
Find an Invisalign trained doctor in you area and get started on your very own smile transformation journey.
*Compared to Invisalign aligners previously made from single-layer (EX30) material.