You’ve probably heard this story 100 times. Kid gets braces, kid forgets to wear retainer, and just like that kid (well, no longer a kid) is back to where they started. That was me (and so many others out there) after forgoing my orthodontist’s advice on wearing my retainer. In fact, I remember the exact moment it was thrown out in a restaurant after being wrapped inside a napkin.
This isn’t a PSA on wearing your retainer (even though, yes, you definitely should). It’s about the ways I (at the age of 33) decided it was time to revisit my crowded smile thanks to Invisalign (which is an orthodontist-observed dental plan that involves switching trays every two weeks) and get really serious about maintaining the consistency to see the treatment through – and how I implemented practices in my own space to do this. I believe so much of my success so far has been because I thought about the treatment as extension of my rituals and space.
When I first decided to start the treatment I was admittedly terrified. Less so because of the pain element, and more so for the fear of not being able to wear the trays for 22 hours a day (it’s a huge time commitment) and with my schedule I do find myself at a lot of press dinners and long lunch meetings. I saw Dr. Bella Shen Garnett at Bella Smile in San Francisco and my tensions started to ease. She reassured me that I could do it and that the pain would feel equivalent to working out — a good kind of sore after a while.
With that, I launched into the treatment and have been in touch with Dr. Shen Garnett if I ever have a question or last-minute panic about tracking (thanks to a wine-filled night in Napa). I’m about four months in now and while I still have a few months to go, I thought it would be helpful to share how I made my space a self-care (and Invisalign friendly) hub. It really helped me stay on top of my game — and in case you or anyone you know is thinking about the treatment or even if you just want to know how to turn your bathroom into self-care bliss, you can find it ahead.
Create A Station That’s Functional
I’ve created a little station on my bathroom vanity that makes me feel excited about the treatment. I have this really functional concrete tray by Ume Studio which I use to house my container, toothbrush, and floss. I love that it holds everything in an organized way when I am not carrying it around with me.
Every morning, I clean my Invisalign with these little tablets I ordered from Amazon (per Dr. Shen Garnett's rec) and use one of my favorite ceramic glasses by Chris Earl, fill it up with water, and pop the tablets and trays in there and clean them here. I don’t know what it is about this ritual but having a dedicated space really makes the process fun.
If there’s one thing you can guarantee with Invisalign— it’s that you are always checking your teeth. I’m always peeking in my mouth to make sure there are no air bubbles, that the trays are aligned correctly, or to just peek at my straightening smile. I invested a really fun mirror (and also placed on my vanity) by Urban Outfitters that allows me to check in at home.
Make It A Pretty Party
I’m a product junkie. I love all my bath, hair, and skin products (shout out to True Botanicals) so much and I especially love having them on display. I’ve been really into the challenge of integrating oral care into this mix, too. It's not surprisingly tough to find pretty oral care products that actually work well. I’ve been displaying my Lebon Making Waves Mouthwash (I have it on my countertop right now) and David’s Natural Toothpaste — along with Cocofloss.