I bet if we took an informal survey of (cool) progeny readers, many of you would cringe at an awkward memory of middle school braces. The uncomfortable tightening. Not listening to the orthodontist and testing that stick of gum, only to be picking it out every crevice in your mouth for days. And if you were really lucky (because middle school isn’t already tough enough), getting your braces may just have coincided with getting glasses. Double whammy.

Was it worth it? Yes. I will say that having straight teeth definitely boosted confidence. And according to this chart, a lot of first impressions are tied to our smile.

Chances are many of you have seen commercials for Invisalign, a teeth straightening technology that forgoes the brackets and wires for clear-fitting molds. First developed for adults, the product was re-envisioned for teens in 2009. So your tween may have another teeth straightening option.

Curious about how it works? I have to say, it’s pretty (cool). Invisalign and Invisalign Teen uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten teeth, without metal or wires. After detailed impressions are taken of the patient’s teeth, Align utilizes proprietary 3D computer imaging technology to map the complete treatment from start to finish. Patients wear each aligner for about two weeks. During this time, the aligners gradually move their teeth until they achieve the prescribed final position. Rest assured, no BPA is used nor was it ever used in the making of this product.

I had a chance to hear Dr. Larry Wang from Baltimore Orthodontic Group share how Invisalign technology works at an event last week. While I’m not in the market for braces right now (my kiddo is too young and thankfully, enduring them for 18 months as a teenager seemed to do the trick for my own smile), I was impressed with the product… and surprised by some of the benefits.

We all know that Invisalign is esthetically more pleasing than a mouth full of metal. But there are also hygiene benefits that I hadn’t thought about. For example, you take the clear fitting mold out to eat, brush and floss. So no worries about food getting caught.

Cost? Relatively the same as regular braces (but it will depend on your provider and your insurance). Duration of treatment? Roughly the same as regular braces, and in some cases — shorter.

The folks at Invisalign were kind enough to share a $500 treatment coupon to (cool) progeny readers. So if you’re thinking about treatment, reaching out to one of the providers listed on the coupon might help your wallet.  Second opinions are always a good idea.

Sweepstakes Offer
Want to win $1500 toward Invisalign Treatment for you or your child? Invisalign is teaming up with Mom It Forward to help moms understand the importance of a good smile and is hosting a sweepstakes to give one lucky mom $1500 to spend on improving their smile or their child’s smile and two runner ups will be selected to win $150 American Express Gift Cards. To enter, simply follow the steps outlined below. Winners will be randomly selected on or before July 31st, 2012. MORE INFO

A Note About This Post
This article is sponsored content, paid for by Invisalign. All opinions are expressly my own. I co-hosted a blogger event for Invisalign last week and learned about the product at that event. As I mentioned in the article, I was impressed with the technology. Hope you find the information as helpful as I did!