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Thank you to NVO for sponsoring this post!

northern virginia orthodontics smileexpress

So excited to finally share why I’m LOVE-ing my smile and my Invisalign journey here on Pardon Muah.

First and foremost, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! I figured finally sharing my SMILE|express journey was appropriate today since I now LOVE my smile so much. I’m excited to chat with you about my experience and why I highly recommend Northern Virginia Orthodontics.

DISCLAIMER.

This post contains some rather up close and personal pictures of my teeth. Just a heads up there will be some very detailed shots of my mouth, in addition to my progress mug shots (haha!). Additionally, my treatment was sponsored by Northern Virginia but all opinions of my experience are my own.

northern virginia orthodontics dr casagrande

Why I Chose NVO

Let’s start with their credentials!

Northern Virginia Orthodontics has treated the most Invisalign patients in the state AND IS THE #1 INVISALIGN PROVIDER IN THE COUNTRY! They’ve perfected over 20,000 smiles and have an incredible team led by Dr. Casagrande (pictured above)!! It’s funny when I posted this photo on IG everyone kept asking me about Dr. Casagrande’s shoes haha.

NVO originally reached out to me to see if I would be interested in perfecting my smile. I was living in SW Virginia at the time so going up for the original consultation was a great excuse to see my parents who were in the DC area at the time. It was great timing because I had become quite insecure with the unevenness of my front two teeth and the slant of the bottom. I started to notice these things after watching myself on IG stories. I didn’t have any drastic overlapping but it was a fix I knew would help my self-confidence. It’s amazing what a small change in your teeth can do!

orange vici dress
orange vici dress

Why SMILE|express Was Right For Me

NVO is the only orthodontics practice in the country that offers SMILE|express. A version of Invisalign that projects the correction of your teeth over a certain period of time and all liners are created upfront and shipped straight to your door. Which means you may have as little as two appointments! SMILE|express is perfect for the Invisalign patient who wants refinement but doesn’t need drastic orthodontic work. There aren’t any bands or attachments placed onto the teeth.

For example, I didn’t have a lot of overlapping or crowding but I needed a better vertical alignment and also an adjustment to the width of my smile.

I Trusted NVO 100%

There are various companies out there offering speedy from home Invisalign type treatments but just because it’s easy or more affordable doesn’t make it the right fit. I learned that it’s EXTREMELY important to put your orthodontic care into the hands of an orthodontist. That seems obvious but that’s not always the case and there’s definitely a danger to your tooth health if you aren’t careful and educated. Several reasons to think about SMILE|express at NVO:

  • PROVEN RESULTS
  • SAFER – you will receive diagnostic records and Xrays done first!
  • REAL ORTHODONTICS
  • CONVENIENT
  • QUALITY ALIGNERS – SmileExpress is an Invisalign product
  • CONCIERGE – Caroline is the best and available via text!
northern virginia orthodontics smile express

The Office

northern virginia orthodontics reston office

NVO actually has coffee in the office! They have several locations, one of which has an actual Starbucks – and y’all know I love my Starbucks!

northern virginia orthodontics reston office northern virginia orthodontics reston office
northern virginia orthodontics reston office

The office is the nicest dental/orthodontic office I’ve ever seen. Everything is clean, beautiful, and top of the line! It made the overall experience that much better and very relaxing. I’ve always had pretty bad dental anxiety so the atmosphere was a pleasant surprise. They even have a concierge menu when you sit down to have your teeth scanned!


My Results!

THE FRONT

Again, disclaimer… I don’t know about you but I find teeth a little weird, and I’ve have a lot of dental work and anxiety around it most of my life. So I actually feel a bit vulnerable posting these, but I want you all to really see the difference and what even a small orthodontic impact can make!

So when I originally went to put this post together I was worried you wouldn’t be able to really see the difference my SMILE|express treatment made because so much of my work was really a reshaping. But now that I’m putting everything together for this post you really can tell!

teeth before smileexpress invisalign treatment

THE BEGINNING | my teeth were not aligned in the front causing one of my teeth to sit lower. My bottom teeth sat at more of a slant and needed to be pulled up for an even appearance.

smile after smileexpress invisalign treatment

THE END | My front teeth are perfectly level now! It makes me so much happier. My bottom teeth are straight and aligned to meet the top teeth so when I talk there is no longer a slant.


THE TOP

teeth before smileexpress invisalign treatment

THE BEGINNING | The major difference here is the width of my teeth. In the beginning, my teeth were a little crowded and also too narrow.

smile after smileexpress invisalign treatment

THE END | I LOVE the shape of my smile now! I can tell a huge difference now when I watch back my stories. It’s wider and you can tell there is a lot less crowding.


THE BOTTOM

teeth before smileexpress invisalign treatment

THE BEGINNING | It might look minor but I can definitely tell my lower teeth weren’t aligned properly, especially in the front where they weren’t symmetrical.

smile after smileexpress invisalign treatment

THE END | Now my teeth have a symmetrical shape and are also wider like the top. They were able to move my teeth apart to shift them and then back together at the end to close any gapping.


MY OVERALL APPEARANCE

I almost didn’t post my mug shots here because well, maybe not my best photos, BUT it was shocking to me what a difference I see in my smile from the beginning to the end. I even see a difference in my jawline!

smile before smileexpress invisalign treatment smile after smileexpress invisalign treatment

THE SLANT – EXAMPLE

I was trying to find a photo from the past where you could easily see the misalignment of my front teeth. I know it might be nitpicky but you can clearly see in the photo below how one of my front teeth is longer than the other… they almost look slanted.

smile before smileexpress invisalign treatment

After my SmileExpress treatment, you can tell in the photo below that my top teeth are now level AND my smile is so much fuller – which was a result I didn’t expect but absolutely love! Minor adjustments with a large impact.

smile after smileexpress invisalign treatment

q&a

I asked on Instagram what you’d like to know about my Invisalign experience. The questions and answers are below!

Did you have braces when you were younger? I actually didn’t! I was always so proud that I didn’t have braces but over time due to grinding and an uneven bite, my teeth shifted. My front two top teeth were uneven lengths and paired with slanting bottom teeth, it really started to bother me. When I would watch myself on stories my teeth looked so uneven, even when I smiled.

Did they hurt? Were they bothersome throughout? This answer differs depending on the amount of shifting needed. I had a decent amount of discomfort for the first two days. I was really worried at first but after the first couple of days, the discomfort subsided. Fortunately, I had several followers tell me to put in my new liners at night so that I would sleep through any discomfort and that really helped! Each time you start a new set of liners, you can tell they are tighter or moving the teeth in a different way so it can feel funny at first.

Overall, I had very little discomfort with the exception of the last couple of weeks. I still had some spacing at the end of my treatment so I was given overcorrection liners to push the teeth back together where needed, and OMG… it was rough. Totally 100% worth it, but there were a couple of nights I couldn’t sleep or stand to pull them out of my mouth. Granted, I was told to expect this and knew it was normal so I didn’t panic. And they made a world of difference!

How often do you have to wear them? You’re supposed to wear them ALL of the time unless you are eating. Ideally, 20-21 hours a day. The hardest part for me was taking photos because I didn’t feel my smile looked natural with them in so I would remove them for photoshoots. Also, travel can be a bit of a challenge because you have to brush and floss every time you take them out to eat so that your teeth are clean and free of debris before replacing them. I’d say I was brushing and flossing around four times a day.

Did they make you lisp? Yes! haha. But don’t worry, it goes away. I lisped for about a week and a half before it subsided which was really funny. I was a little concerned it would stay with me through weeks of try-on sessions and stories but luckily it went away. Sometimes it would come back when I would say “s’s” but otherwise, it was normal. They are so well fitted to your teeth so you forget about them.

How long did it take? This can vary greatly depending on the amount of shifting you need, but mine took from October 2018 – November 2019. I actually did two sets of SMILE|express because after the first set I felt like I still needed some shifting. I was able to tell a huge difference with the second round. They actually ended up filing a space between my front two teeth so that they could get closer together (when your teeth shift the spacing and shape can also change).

Will it fix jaw alignment? Yes! I was really unhappy with the diagonal direction of my bottom teeth and was originally told by a dentist it was my jaw alignment. I had no idea Invisalign could fix this, in addition to pulling teeth up and down… not just side to side. The biggest difference I see now is the alignment and width of my smile.

How did you keep your lipstick off of them? This question made me LOL. Since the liners are so well fitted I didn’t feel like it was terribly hard to keep lipstick off my teeth. Although you definitely have to be conscious of it. I actually think lipgloss was worse because it slides around. I would say matte lipstick was preferable!

How often did you have to go into the ortho office? The great thing about SMILE|express at Northern Virginia Orthodontics was that I could do my treatment from afar. Originally, I was four hours away, and in the end, I was ten hours away in Kentucky. Total, I made three visits to the office! My original for my scan, Xrays, paperwork, etc., a second midway for a new scan, updated photos, and whitening, and finally for my final photos, new Xrays, and final scan for my permanent retainer.

What do they cost? The SmileExpress treatment is $3,880. This amount can vary depending on your insurance so I suggest giving Northern Virginia Orthodontics a call. Their staff is incredible!

Overall, are you satisfied with the correction? YES!! I’m actually even more satisfied than I originally thought I would be. I had no idea the treatment would improve my overall smile. I thought it would simply move the obvious unaligned teeth, but in reality, they helped me to create a fuller more aesthetically pleasing smile!

Did you do in-office whitening after? I went in midway through and did Glo Whitening which I highly recommend. I was extremely anxious about it because I have very sensitive teeth and I’d heard horror stories about whitening procedures. But even with sensitive teeth (I can’t even do strip whitening), I was able to get through it with minimal sensitivity. There were moments I felt little “zings” but nothing like I anticipated. And my teeth even ended up on the whitest scale on the chart. I believe they changed four shades!

glo whitening before and after

Did you get permanent retainers? Yes. I will wear a permanent retainer at night now forever. It’s very comfortable and easy to wear, and I’m so used to wearing liners now it doesn’t even phase me. The retainer is made of a slightly thicker material to withstand time. And can be replaced if needed.

orange vici dress

I really hope this post was helpful for those of you thinking about starting the Invisalign journey. I seriously could not speak more highly of Northern Virginia Orthodontics – they are a top-notch team that will not disappoint!

If you haven’t followed my SmileExpress journey on IG, I have a tooth highlight that goes from the very beginning (with the lisp) to the very end!


Also, if you missed my trip to NYC this past week or are looking for some of my new favorites, make sure to check out my travel shop here!

XO Amanda