Invisible braces: Inman Aligner review

Invisible braces: Inman Aligner review


Day One – The Inman Aligner Fitting

Katy Perry and I have lots in common now
Katy Perry and I have lots in common now
Today I was introduced to my retainer - or Inman Aligner.

And now fully understand why I didn’t see an image of someone wearing one before deciding to go ahead with the process.

The retainer has a clear plastic bar across your front teeth which although invisible in most photos, I’d imagined was going to be a subtle piece of ‘mouth jewelry’ to quote Carrie Bradshaw - like a tooth bangle...

But when my dentist Dr Tim Bradstock-Smith fitted the Inman Aligner on my teeth I really wasn’t prepared for how it would feel, let alone look like.

Because my teeth stick out already the plastic bar sticks out even further, resting on my jutting teeth, but I'm told as my teeth align, the bar will protude much less.

It was like going back to my girlhood 5-a-side hockey sticks and gumshield days. The Aligner completely covers your back teeth and has an adjustable section in the arch that can be widened with a key to create more space.

As well as a bar across the front of your teeth, there is also a plastic section that pushes into the back of your front teeth, so they are supported either side by plastic - each side pushing in opposite directions, hence creating the movement.

As the dentist checked the fit I kept waiting for the part when the ‘other half’ clear front bar would be removed - surely he wasn’t going to let me go out and about like that!
It felt enormous - my top lip struggling to reach over the mound of plastic between it and my lower lip. Surely it didn’t need to be that big. Was this some kind of sick dentist joke?!

I kept waiting but it turned out that the ‘enormous’ stretch of plastic - which felt like a good inch away from my front teeth, was there to stay.
Oh. Good. God.

How it feels to wear the Inman Aligner for the first time

© Inman Aligner
© Inman Aligner
As soon as the Inman Aligner was in, as the dentist intended, I instantly felt embarrassed, ridiculous and very much like daffy duck.

My mouth started to salivate at a frightening rate and when I tried to use my tongue for that familiar act of speech, I sounded like stroke victim.

On checking out my new look in the hand mirror I thought of fillers gone wrong as my top lip stuck out so much.

Being a beauty addict (industry code for vain cow) my reactions may not be in line with everyone else’s. After all, everyone is different.

But I couldn’t help but think that my dentist had a look about him that said: “Ha - you want to have beautiful teeth - take this!”

Of course he said nothing of the sort, that was just my newly found brace-related paranoia speaking.

Then I was taught how to put the damn thing on and take it off (be warned it pinches at first), and was then whisked away to the lovely hygienist (and she really was lovely too).

My teeth were polished and buffed to perfection, but all the while my nashers were screaming under the hygienist’s buffers and evil-looking tartar removing scrapers.

No doubt screaming in protest to being put behind bars - even if the Inman Aligner will make them look prettier in the long run.

No pain no gain right?

I was given my Inman Aligner in a bright yellow (perfect for handbag searching) retainer case and left the clinic with some free toothpaste! Bonus, but my pride was still hurting.

Once out of the Smile Clinic I ranted on the phone to a friend (without my brace on) that this was ridiculous - no one could possibly go to work with this plastic lump impeding their speech.

I was not going to be wearing it during the hours of work. Point blank refusal.

Yes, I was having a tantrum: “With my mouth shut I look a cross between daffy duck, and like I’ve had a bad case of lip filler over-load. No one is going to take me seriously,” I moaned.

“And when I smile, I look like Katy Perry in her Friday Night video... I can't go out in public like this!”

A few hours later...

Following the shock of the fitting, I got home, grumpily popped in my Inman Aligner started to think rationally.

It went something like this:

I’m a lucky to be able to try out this treatment in the first place.

I want straight teeth.

The more I wear them the quicker it will be over.

The more I speak with my Inman Aligner, the easier it will become.

The reality of the Inman Aligner was sinking in - they’re not too bad. You can’t see them that much and certainly not in photos.

But the sticking point is the way that they impede your speech.

Everyone near and dear to me has had a good giggle on first seeing my braces, and then has had a full on barrel laugh after hearing me speak.

“It sounds like you’re deaf,” my flatmate reassures me. Brilliant.

But tomorrow is another day, maybe my mouth will be used to them after a good night’s sleep (with the brace in of course).

The Inman Aligner literature that accompanied my brace tells me that the first two weeks are a period of adjustment - two weeks to get used to this feeling?!

Is this going to be the longest two weeks of my life?

Want to know how it feels half way through the treatment? Read on! 


Reader ranking:4.5/5 
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