I can’t really pinpoint when exactly I became self-conscious about my teeth. But I did and I was only in elementary school. As a result the way I smiled changed. The way I laughed changed. Rather than focusing on enjoying what remained of my youth I was obsessed with my appearance and laden with my low sense of self-esteem. When I became a mother so many of those insecurities came rushing back to the forefront of my mind. How could I teach my child to love and value herself, to see the beauty in her imperfections – the various facets that came together perfectly to create the person that I adored so much? And how could I teach her when I was struggling to fully accept my own self?
Over the years I’ve still struggled with this but being a mother has fueled my desire to be more kind and compassionate not just toward others but to myself. Since becoming a mother I’ve smiled more than I ever have. And the older I get the less I think twice about how to smile. I let what’s in my heart manifest in the corners of my mouth. I let my face tell a story – one that speaks to the joy I feel as a mother, even if it’s sprinkled in the midst of the exhaustion that stems from juggling the various responsibilities life has presented me with.
My oldest daughter is around the same age I was when I began to struggle with being self-conscious. When I allowed my insecurities to govern the way I played, socialized and even participated in class. There is a freedom that I so admire about little ones and as she grows and changes I hope that she carries this with her.
For the past couple years we have been meeting with an orthodontist to monitor her teeth. The reality is that she may very well need braces. At almost 10 the idea of this excites her but a part of her also feels a sense of uncertainty – the unknown. What it would feel and look like. What people might say or think. What lifestyle changes she may have to make.
I started planting seeds long ago in hopes to raise a confident kid. For some of us we have to work at it. But the reality is no matter how perfect she is in the eyes of her parents what matters most is how she sees herself. She’s no longer a toddler who could care less whether or not she was dressed in a dress two sizes too big (because Nana believed in growing into your clothes to make them last) – she’s a tween who has begun to take an interest in her appearance. She has her own sense of fashion, likes and dislikes and she’s vocal about them too.
At her age I like to give her choices that I am reasonably comfortable with because, let’s be real, change can be uncomfortable for us parents. Part of raising a confident child is helping them learn to trust their decision making skills, to strengthen them and become more acquainted with their inner voice.
While there will be things that are not optional there will be a lot of things that are. As well as a lot of things that we can decide on together like braces. If the dentist says she needs braces then my hope is for us to sit down and decide together what’s best – weighing our options. And as it turns out she actually will have options – beyond braces or no braces. Something I wasn’t aware of until now. Invisalign for preteens and teens.
Invisalign is an alternative to braces used specifically for the straightening of teeth. It’s known for being used among adults but it is also available to both teens and pre-teens.
The Invisalign Teen clear aligners are removable making comfort and function possible. Youth can still go through the process of straightening their teeth without the discomfort and sacrifice often associated with traditional braces.
I especially like the removable aspect of it, particularly for a tween who is continuing to learn various responsibilities associated with growing up (did you know that you get up to six free replacement aligners with Invisalign Teen?).
From what friends and family have shared with me with regards to their own experience, braces require a level of discipline that some preteens and teens don’t yet have. Not properly taking care of braces can often lead to additional dental problems including discoloration and food getting trapped in the small
Surprisingly, with regards to orthodontic issues, Invisalign Teen has the potential to work just as well as traditional “wire and bracket braces” and can correct various types of teeth straightening issues ranging from minor to severe cases. And, the cost is comparable to traditional braces since many dental insurance plans offer the same amount of coverage as they do for braces which is typically up to 50% of the cost.
In the meantime we are staying on top of regular dental visits including ortho visits and I’m secretly mourning each lost baby tooth because my girl is growing up at an alarmingly fast pace. Time waits for no mom.
But I am grateful that time affords me the opportunity to do my research, to learn what is out there so that I can make an educated decision when and if the time comes. And in going through the process I’m helping my daughter learn to do the same. At each visit I encourage her to ask her dentist and/or orthodontist questions and I do the same.
There is nothing I love more than seeing my children smile. There’s no device that can create joy that comes from the inside. But it seems Invisalign Teen might help those who aren’t allowing their face to accurately reflect what lies within because they are a little self-conscious.
Be sure to take a look at this helpful infographic on the Smart Path to Straight Teeth. It’s helpful to be aware that not all orthodontists specialize in Invisalign Teen so be sure to visit www.invisalign.com and select “find a doctor” to locate experienced Invisalign and Invisalign Teen doctors in your area. But first go enter the Straight Talk Sweepstakes below for a chance to win free Invisalign treatment. You can also enter on Facebook or if you’re on your mobile device use this mobile friendly link.
Have you or someone you’ve known used Invisalign or Invisalign Teen? What was their experience like?
This is a sponsored post, however; I was honestly psyched to learn about Invisalign Teen. All thoughts and opinions are my own.