Don’t let a crooked smile give you wedding day blues


How many of us reflect on old wedding pictures and are struck by an anomaly? Charlotte Southey was married at 25, and at 40 she is still happily married to her husband, and has two children aged 11 and 13. And yet, when Charlotte looks back at her wedding pictures, the striking thing about them is the distinct lack of smile on Charlotte’s face.

She says: ‘I didn’t smile in my wedding pictures because I was always so conscious of my teeth. My front teeth were big and crooked and I hated how they made me look. I had worn traditional train-tracks (wire and bracket braces) when I was 13, but as so many kids do, once the braces were removed I didn’t wear my retainers, and my teeth had moved back into their original position. I hated having my picture taken, and even my own wedding day wouldn’t change that.’

Charlotte made several enquiries about having her teeth re-corrected at her local dentist late in her 20s and early 30s and believed at the time that her only option to correct the alignment of her teeth was to once again wear traditional braces — something that she was very unwilling to do, as the braces would be so visible.

Then Charlotte’s dentist referred her to an Invisalign dentist for a consolation to see if she would be suitable for treatment.

He opened her eyes to a different way of straightening my teeth; one that would correct the positioning of my teeth discreetly.  She says: ‘It was what I had been waiting for.’

Invisalign treatment consists of a series of clear ‘aligners’ (which look like a flexible, slim and sophisticated version of a transparent gum shield), which are worn over the teeth for 22 hours a day.  These straighten teeth like traditional wire and bracket braces, but are as clear on teeth as contact lenses are on eyes.

For Charlotte, they were an ideal solution, as discretion was an important pre-requisite for her.  The aligners are changed every two weeks to ones of slightly different dimensions, incrementally moving the teeth towards their final desired position little by little without the need for metal stuck to the teeth. They are easily removable, and can be taken out for eating, drinking and brushing”

Charlotte is also happy with some indirect and unexpected advantages of her Invisalign tooth straightening treatment:

‘I didn’t tell many people I was having a treatment, although people progressively started to notice the difference in my smile, and my confidence!  Invisalign treatment positively impacted my life in so many ways. It helped focus my mind on improving my oral hygiene — I now instinctively clean my teeth after every meal (as I did throughout my treatment as recommended) as I am so keen to make sure that the beautiful smile that my Invisalign treatment has helped to create stays healthy.  As a result, I have better dental check-ups!’

Weight loss

She added: ‘My Invisalign treatment also had an unforeseen advantage of motivating me to lose weight — as I saw the smile I had always wanted emerging with every aligner change and I was keen to have a body to match. I’ve lost three stone since I started my treatment, my confidence has improved, and so many people compliment me on how amazing my teeth are now.

‘When I look back at my old wedding pictures it does make me a little sad to see myself not smiling, but I am so glad that I have had Invisalign treatment. Before I felt that my smile had let me down, but now I’m proud of my teeth and my smile, and am happy to share it!’

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