Invisalign Smile!

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 7.48.37 PM

Last night, I was scrolling through Instagram and was suddenly taken back by a photo on-screen.

It was a photo of my daughter.


A typical teenaged selfie like I’ve seen before…except for one thing that made it completely stand out…and warm my heart.

You see, around the time that Bones was 7 or 8, her lateral incisors (the teeth on either side of her two front teeth) fell out like every other kid her age. The tooth fairy came as expected, and we waited for her teeth to grow in.

Except that…they didn’t!

A visit to the dentist and x-ray confirmed that her lateral incisors didn’t exist. There was nothing to grow in. Ever. Nada. Zilch.

Eventually, Bones’ canines started moving forward and the gap from the missing teeth began to close in a little…but it was never quite right and we’ve always known that someday, as soon as she stopped growing, she’d need implants to add the two teeth that were never there in the first place.

This past summer, the process began. While Bones has to wait until she’s 18 to actually get the implants (you have to wait until your jaw and bones have stopped growing), it was time to get braces to open up the space that had begun to close in, to settle all of her teeth back where they belong and make room for the new/fake ones!

I did a bit of asking around to get recommendations for an Orthodontist and we began looking into various options for braces. Essentially, there were standard braces (the metal type with wires) or Invisalign (clear, “invisible” ones.) While some would suggest the procedure is too complicated for Invisalign, there are a couple of Orthodontists in town who could take on the challenge and a few months ago, we went ahead and spent the little extra money for “invisible braces.”


Quite Simple.

In our case…Bones had gone without these teeth for a long time and for a young girl…it can kind of be tough to deal with. She didn’t really like the way she looked in pictures and it was rare to see an open smile. She disliked the gap in her teeth and it was beginning to affect her confidence and now, with braces, we were about to make an even bigger gap to make room for teeth that would be implanted in a few years time.

The thought of bigger spaces than she already had and making things worse before they got better…didn’t appeal to her in any way!

However, Invisalign provided an option she could live with. While the gaps were opening, when it got to a certain point, the Invisalign aligners would create a space for you to add a piece of tooth-coloured “wax”…emulating the look of a tooth…that from a distance (and even up close), you wouldn’t be able to tell there were missing teeth at all!

Over the last few months, I’ve watched Bones’ face structure change as teeth move to where they belong. Every ten days, she switches to a new aligner and things are moving along as expected. Last week, after 19 of about 50+ aligner changes that will happen over almost two years, the gap was finally big enough to add the “tooth shaped” wax…and for the first time since her baby teeth fell out in grade 2…I could see what she looked like with ALL of her teeth.

And this is where Instagram comes in.

I was used to seeing THIS picture.


The one with her freckles and pretty smile.


The one with her fresh washed hair and the perfect light.

I was used to seeing the photos that showed her personality and her closed-mouth grin.

I’d seen it many times.

But what I hadn’t seen was THIS ONE!


Until last night.

When, for the very first time…

She smiled.


Along with the inventors of Invisalign…a huge thanks to the awesome folks at the The Brace Space…most especially to doctors Dan Stuart and Sarah Davidson, for making this possible! That’s one helluva smile!

Update: May 18th, 2017.

The invisalign journey is over! Megan is now wearing a retainer with two “fake teeth” that look identical to real ones. At eighteen, she’ll get more permanent implants but for now…for the first time in her life, she can’t stop smiling!

10 Replies to “Invisalign Smile!”

  1. Our daughter needed braces this past fall and we were going to get her regular wire braces, but because of your post we looked into Invisalign at the brace space. She is so happy that you can barely see them and everyone with regular braces she’s knows, wishes they had hers! It’s so great to see that as a girl in grade 7, when keeping your self esteem up at times can be tough, that this is one less thing to worry about. I thoroughly enjoy your posts! And thank you!

    • OH WOW!!! I’m so glad you found The Brace Space and that your daughter is happy with her braces. We’re super thrilled and honestly, it completely warmed my heart when I saw her smile on line the other night.

      Glad you’re enjoying the posts.

  2. We all knew you were beautiful without the smile. But now with this smile, what can I say – you’re beautiful without AND with a smile. Hoping to see lots of smiles in the future. 🙂

  3. You should also thank the manufacturers of Invisalign Col. They are ultimately responsible for that invention and the beautiful smiles. There is a rep for this region. He or she would LOVE to read this well written heart felt blog!!


    • I agree Debbie…the rep, Craig MacIntryre, knows exactly how I feel! The technology is amazing! At some point, I’m hoping to show my readers the animated video of Bones’ progress. It’s absolutely fascinating.

  4. Hi Colleen,
    Your daughter looks great! It reminded me of my son’s story that started at age 7, he had just gotten his permanent front teeth and ran into a soccer net and the netting got caught in his teeth and ripped out one of the teeth. He was taken to the hospital but no one realized he lost the tooth since there was a lot of blood. By the time I went back to the soccer field I couldn’t find the tooth. He went through some stages, my favourite was the “Nanny McPhee” stage when his baby lateral incisors fell out and he just had the 1 big front tooth. As the other permanent teeth grew in the 1 tooth was pushed to the middle and looked interesting. He is still teased about his teeth at school every year but continues to smile widely. Braces came at age 12 and after 4 years they are finally scheduled to come off next month. They weren’t the Invisalign braces and I will always wonder if that would have made things easier on him. Today he was measured for his temporary bridge and the space is too big and the teeth have to be shifted again. When things are ready the braces will come off, the bridge will be put in and I will see my boy with a full set of teeth for the first time in 10 years. The bridge we are putting in is temporary but will last until his jaw finishes growing at age 21 (for boys). By that time Graham will be in charge of getting a total permanent implant by himself.

    • Isn’t it a big ol’ mess these teeth! I’ve seen Graham’s big smile in pictures and often wondered if he had something similar to Megan. What trauma he went through to have them pulled out in a accident! I’m sure the Nanny McPhee stage must have been something else…and hopefully he didn’t deal with too much teasing through the years. Kids can be tough! Good luck with the temporary bridge, it’s going to make a big difference for sure (sucks that you have to shift the teeth around to fit properly…ugh!) And yes…the Implants cost a fortune! I’m not looking forward to that one.

  5. Colleen – this is beautifully written. You have perfectly captured, with your words and images, the essence of what we as orthodontists do. No matter how many times I see a story like this, it doesn’t get old. Seeing patients, of all ages, undergo this type of transformation is a true joy. Thank you for sharing your experience and inspiring others to smile!

    • You’re very welcome Sarah. Thank YOU for always making Megan feel like a million bucks whenever she’s in your chair.

  6. Owen has invislines. They are great. He got his last year but will eventually need other braces too. So glad that Meg was able to get these. How wonderful that they can put the wax teeth there. Her smile is beautiful, xoxo