Sunday, July 1, 2012

How to Straighten Out Your Teenager (& Maybe Even Your Husband)

If you hang around here enough you’ll find out way more than you want to know about me and my family. Today’s secret reveal is that in my past life I was a dental hygienist. Yes – the dreaded “cleaning lady” in your dentist’s office.
When we moved to Texas, nearly eight years ago now, I went on a bit of a sabbatical -- the dental hygiene took a back-seat to the child rearing and homeschooling. However, I still have some very strong opinions and I’m perfectly willing to share them.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend an Invisalign Straight Talk Luncheon. Dr. “Bud” Luecke is an orthodontist from San Antonio who Dr Luecke at Invisalign Straight Talkspoke about Invisalign to a room full of moms and bloggers. He uses Invisalign and Invisalign Teen in his practice, Braceland. Don’t you love that name? If you look closely, you can see Elvis in all of his white-pant-suited glory on Dr. Bud’s shirt. His practice sounds like a fun place to me. I caught this photo of him and a current patient, Nick,  with my camera/phone. He’s  demonstrating the “nose whistle”. I even “won” a nose whistle myself during the question and answer portion of the presentation. (Don’t tell anyone… I put it away for a Christmas stocking stuffer…)
Dr. Luecke gave us a great deal of information about Invisalign. Being out of the daily grind of dentistry for the last seven years, I appreciated the reminder of some of the real-life benefits of straight teeth.
Awhile back I heard  the opinion of a conservative father I know. He basically said that braces or orthodontic treatment weren’t necessary – God gave his kids their smiles and they’d do just fine thankyouverymuch.
Well…. okay… but orthodontic treatment isn’t about cosmetic or superficial reasons -- there are a lot of lousy side effects to a messed up bite or “smile”. Number one, in my book as a hygienist is the  increased incidence of poor oral hygiene. Which leads to gingivitis. Which leads to gum disease. Which leads to possible complications with low birth weight babies, heart disease, stroke, and a host of other problems. Research has shown that there is an association between periodontal (gum) diseases and other chronic inflammatory conditions, like  diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. So, treating inflammation in the mouth may not only help manage periodontal (gum) diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions. This often time starts by simply aligning the teeth so they can be kept clean.
Here’s one tidbit I found fascinating enough to make a topic of research when I was in college; 50-70% of women will have gum inflammation or disease while they are pregnant. Also, you are at greater risk for having  a baby prematurely with a low birth weight if you have gum disease while you are pregnant. Seven times greater! That same risk is 1.6 times higher if you smoke cigarettes while pregnant! You KNOW we give smokers a much harder time about smoking while pregnant than we do expectant mothers that aren’t brushing and flossing well enough… And what can make keeping your teeth in top shape easier??? Yup. Straight teeth.
It’s really NOT all about cosmetics and appearance, but appearance does play a part in how you are perceived. Click here for another interesting study about how others see you and your smile.
Invisalign orthodontics uses a series of precision molded, plastic trays to gradually straighten the teeth. The system used to only be used on adults, but recent changes and additions to the system make it a very plausible treatment plan for teens as well. Using Invisalign Teen they can now accommodate the rapidly changing mouth of a teen. AND you’ll only be visiting the ortho doc about once every 6 weeks!
Of course, the greatest appeal of the Invisalign system is the fact that it’s nearly invisible and you don’t have a mouth full of metal brackets and wires. I love the fact that you can actually remove your Invisalign trays to eat, play musical instruments and sports, and brush and floss! An added bonus: as a hygienist I don’t have all those appliances to work around during your six-month cleaning and check-up!
The folks at Invisalign are having a sweepstakes right now – they’re giving away $1,500 American Express gift card to put towards an Invisalign or Invisalign Teen treatment. Two runner-up prizes will also be awarded as $150 American Express Gift Cards.Click this link to enter: Invisalign New Smile Sweepstakes
And even if you don’t win the sweepstakes, there’s a nice Coupon for $500 off Invisalign treatment too.

I hope you’ll look into Invisalign as a possible treatment to “straighten out” your kids or even yourself (or your husband…) I need to tell you that this is a sponsored post, but all of the opinions are my own. This is definitely the route we plan to go with our kids orthodontic treatments.


  1. How I would love to straighten out my teeth!

  2. I had someone tell me once that I was silly for getting braces for my boys...if I had girls the appearance of their smile would be more important. Nice double standard, eh? I told them as a parent it is my obligation to make sure they had every advantage to a healthier life, if they got a more attractive smile in the bargain that was just a bonus.

  3. I wish this has been around when I had a mouth full of metal as a teen! Hoping my kids don't need them, but if they ever do, I'll definitely be looking into Invisalign.

  4. My younger sister used Invisalign and I was quite jealous.

  5. I hadn't heard of this. It sounds interesting.

  6. Always a wealth of information! I have 3 boys, so this is something to look into!

  7. This was some much needed information. I didn't put my middle child in braces because it would affect his instrument playing. My youngest is in need of braces but I have been putting it off because of his singing. This may be the answer. Thank you Sara!

  8. and why wasn't this an option when my five kids were teens? Looks like something we'd all agree on!

  9. Very interesting article Sara..thanks for sharing it! 2 of my children had braces and I've always stressed the importance of taking care of your teeth.

  10. Nice post, I know my kids have beautiful God given smiles..however when they don't wish to share it with everyone that's another reason to get them "straightened" out..which is what we are doing with our Teen today :)

  11. This sounds like a really great alternative to the braces I had as a teenager and then again as an adult. We're pretty sure we'll need to look into braces for our oldest in the next few years and it's great to know there are other options out there!
    Thanks for sharing this information, Sara!


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