March 20th 2019
Why straightening your teeth is the perfect lockdown project
January 29th 2021 / 0 comment
Everyone from actresses Michelle Keegan and Jacqueline Jossa to Love Island’s Molly Mae Hague and Maura Higgins have had Invisalign clear braces fitted since lockdown began, with dentists reporting a surge of interest in the aligners, but why now? We investigate
Have you taken on any projects since being in lockdown? Maybe you’ve become a knitting nut, or been obsessed with baking banana bread? One such project many people have opted to work on during the pandemic is their smile, with dentists reporting a substantial increase in people taking the plunge and starting their Invisalign journey, having the clear braces fitted within the last few months.
“I’ve had my busiest January ever,” says aesthetic dentist Dr Luk Athwal of Smile Design in Essex, who fitted 33-year-old actress Michelle Keegan’s Invisalign last year. “There’s definitely been a massive uptake in all dental work, especially in Invisalign. Factors such as people having more disposable income thanks to not going away or out, along with Zoom calls where you see yourself talking all the time are all contributing factors to the increased interest in Invisalign.”
View this post on Instagram
Another cosmetic dentist who has seen an uptake in Invisalign appointments is Dr Teki Sowdani of the Teeth by Teki Clinic in Islington, who has worked on the smiles of fitness influencer Lucy Mecklenburgh, 29, and TV star Kate Ferdinand, 29. “Now is a great time to invest in Invisalign because we have slowed down in life and there are no social events happening,” he says. Invisalign requires you to remove your brace every time you eat, which can be annoying in restaurants or at work, so being at home negates the need to discreetly slip them out.
As well as a plethora of reality stars (Molly Mae Hague, 21, Georgia Steele, 22, and Maura Higgins, 30, from Love Island), UK actresses including Michelle Keegan and Jacqueline Jossa, 28, have had Invisalign as well as Hollywood a-listers over the years such as Justin Bieber, 26, Katherine Heigl, 42, and Kendall Jenner, 25.
View this post on Instagram
Makeup artist and GTG Awards judge Keshia East, 28, opted to have Invisalign fitted since lockdown. “I’ve always wanted to Invisalign but being In lockdown definitely gave me an extra push,” Keshia tells us. “It was the perfect time to get them done as I’m at home all the time. I will be coming out of lockdown with a glow up!
“I had been considering it for a few years and having life stop unexpectedly does change your mindset; it made me realise that life can just change in an instant so I realised there was no time like the present.”
View this post on Instagram
So what is Invisalign and how does it work?
Invisalign is a custom-made clear removable brace that gently moves teeth to straighten them, close gaps and correct over or underbites. “You have a series of different aligners over the duration of your treatment which you wear all day and night,” explains Dr Teki. “You remove them when you eat and clean your teeth.”
Around every two weeks during the process you switch to a new aligner to keep the teeth moving towards the final position you’re aiming for. Patients are reviewed in person every ten-12 weeks to make sure the treatment is progressing well and teeth are moving on track.
Which dental problems can Invisalign fix?
Invisalign can solve most orthodontic problems including crowding, crossbite, underbite, openbite, deepbite and spacing. Dr Uchenna Okoye, who offers Invisalign at her dental clinic London Smiling, points out that Invisalign isn't just aesthetic but beneficial to oral health too. "When your teeth are straight you are able to clean them better, so suffer less with plaque and in turn, less gum disease," she explains.
Who can have Invisalign?
Train track braces have a reputation for being for teens, but Invisalign has no such stigma, with people of all ages investing in their teeth. “Personally, I have treated patients from age 11 years old to 75 years old successfully with Invisalign," says dentist Chaw-Su of www.westlondonorthodontist.co.uk. "With any type of orthodontic treatment, one of the most important patient factors is having healthy teeth and healthy gums. As long as the foundations are strong and healthy, we can treat orthodontically irrespective of age."
Dr Uchenna says Invisalign is perfect for people who are menopausal and perimenopausal. "As we get older our bottom teeth can become more crowded. This is because our gums are held together by collagen and when this becomes lax our teeth are not held in place so well." She explains that the lower third of our face betrays ageing the most and as it begins to drop more of our bottom teeth are visible, in turn making us look older. Invisalign gets teeth back in line for a more youthful appearance.
How long does Invisalign take?
It depends on the complexity of your teeth issues; it can be as short as six months, but is on average 12 to 15 months, according to Chaw-Su, while Dr Teki says his average treatment time is six to eight months.
Does Invisalign last forever?
While you may only need to wear your Invisalign brace for six months, Dr Uchenna is quick to point over you will have to wear retainers for the rest of your life to keep your teeth where they are, either wire-bonded retainers fixed to your teeth or removable retainers that you wear at night.
How much is Invisalign?
The price varies depending on how long the treatment takes. At Teeth by Teki Invisalign costs between £1,350-£3,300. At Smile Design Invisalign costs from £2,750.