Braces Then... Invisalign Now

When I tell people I'm getting Invisalign, they usually look at me and say, “But you have a great smile... why do you need braces?”

I like to think I have a great smile. I also have a pretty mean frown and a scary ass stink eye and you can practically hear me roll my eyes. I’m a very demonstrative person, what can I say? 

But great smile or not, behind the front teeth that I show in pictures, the work on my bite issues is long overdue. Thankfully, this is not the 80's and I don't have to go around looking like this:

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How I Parent

Reading this in email and can't see the image? Click over to the post!

I know... it's a funny card. But the truth is, I think life might be easier on my kids if they leave my house without an inordinate amount of dysfunction. Two already escaped, sadly, not unscathed. But at least I learned a few things and hopefully *knocking wood* the next two leave a little less scarred.

The best way I've found to not screw kids up too much (besides having a couple to test theories on) is to lean heavily on the advice of experts. So if you don't want your kids to spend endless hours on a therapist's couch complaining about you, you might want to join this free tele seminar tomorrow, compliments of Invisalign.

Positive Parenting Solutions

Parenting expert Amy McCready will teach you easy-to-implement strategies to correct misbehavior and reclaim the calm voice you had before kids. Discover proven tools for your most frustrating discipline dilemmas and the secret for consequences that work!

FOR: Parents of school age kids to teens DATE: Thursday, April 19 TIME: 2 PM Eastern or 9 PM Eastern

There are two sessions to choose from, but webinar seating will be limited RSVP now!

http://www.positiveparentingsolutions.com/invisalign

About Amy McCready

Parenting expert Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time (Tarcher/Penguin, 2011). She is a frequent guest on The TODAY Show and has also appeared on Rachael Ray, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, and elsewhere. In her most important role, she plays mom to two teenage boys.

PS: I'm a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board. My daughter will be receiving free treatment from Invisalign. Her dysfunctional humor is also free, compliments of me.

Best Smiles at the Golden Globes

The Golden Globes signal the start of the awards season. Fans flock to their television sets to see what the beautiful people are wearing. They oooh and aaaahhh over all the glamorous dresses and wonder how much the bobbles and bangles add up to. No matter how gorgeous the design, as Little Orphan Annie once said, "You're never fully dressed without a smile!"

Here are my picks for the best SMILES on the Red Carpet for the 2012 Golden Globes:

Jessica Alba always has that fresh faced smile on her face. She seems so happy and approachable, a nice break from all the severe glares that some stars favor on the runway.

Natalie Portman's smile always makes me smile. Here she is in her taylor made gown, wearing her happy smile. She looks like she's not only enjoying her time on the red carpet, but in life, as well.

I loved Claire Danes as a sulking teenager in her Golden Globe winning role on "My So Called Life." Her Cheshire Cat grin turned to a broad, stunning smile when she won her second Golden Globe for her role as CIA Agent, Carrie Mathis on "Homeland."

And although I hated her dress and hair, Reese Witherspoon always has the Girl-Next-Door smile that makes you forgive her for dressing up like Dolly Parton's little sister.

There were so many gorgeous smiles at the Golden Globes this year, but there always has to be a winner.

My pick for Best Red Carpet Smile at the 2012 Golden Globes goes to:

Viola Davis!!!

Ms. Davis looked absolutely STUNNING on the red carpet! Not only did her dress flow on her so beautifully, making her look like a big screen goddess come to life, but her smile absolutely lights up her face creating the illusion that her eyes are really precious gems.

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As we get older, our teeth shift forward, causing our youthful, broad smiles to become crowded and narrow. Besides the cosmetic affects, misaligned teeth can cause long term issues with teeth, gums, and jaw. If you want a stunning smile that lights up the red carpet... or maybe just the beige carpet at home... check out Invisalign aligners. They are the "barely there" braces that don't detract from your natural smile while the straightening happens.

I'm a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board and have been compensated for my treatment.

7 Things to Make You Smile

Some days, it’s not so easy to smile. Work is wearing you down, a kid or two might be sick, the engine light on the car comes on, the neighbor’s dog pooped on your lawn, and just as thinks start to get chilly, the heater in the house breaks. The holidays can be filled with wonderful moments, but sometimes, they can put additional stress to an already stressful situation.

. Here’s a short list of things that might help you get your smile back when those not-so-happy-moments hit:

7 Things to Make You Smile

Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Go window shopping with a good friend like Holly Golightly did in the old classic. She never bought anything, but seeing beautiful things while sipping a coffee and noshing on a pastry always brought a smile to her face. But if you must buy yourself something... I won't tell.

Phone a Friend: Call a long time friend that you haven’t talked to in a while. Catch up on the good old days. Or chat up a friend that always has a way of making you laugh. After a few minutes on the phone, you might forget why you were bummed to begin with.

Change it up: Some people need change in their lives on a regular basis. You might be feeling trapped inside your own home or even at work. Why not rearrange things? Move the furniture around, buy new plants, change the pictures and frames on your desk, paint if you can.

Me Time: When was the last time you got a mani/pedi? Get yourself out of the house and go relax at your local spa or nail salon. Do yourself a favor... indulge in the sea salt scrub or an extra five-minute foot rub! And enjoy catching up on the latest People or Us magazines while you're there.

Comfort Food: Without going overboard on the servings, make yourself a little something in the kitchen that will remind you of happy times. Peanut Butter & Jelly, Mac & Cheese from scratch, or maybe a nice warm bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup. Sometimes, just making the food puts you in a happier state of mind. By the time you sit down for the first bite, you’ll already be smiling!

Get Dirty: If weather permits, go out into the yard or on your patio and do a little digging! Pull the weeds that are getting out of control. Plant some new flowers. Prune the bushes. Touching nature has a way of reenergizing you and relaxes away the stresses of your world.

Photo Walk: Look at your familiar neighborhood through a new set of eyes... or rather, a lens. Focus in on your simple surroundings. Observe the way the natural light hits a blooming rose. Take a new look at the patterns in the architecture that you drive past every day.

BONUS - Instant Smile

If you need something to make you smile RIGHT NOW... watch this:

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Over 1.5 million people are now smiling with confidence thanks to Invisalign. As a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board, I invite you to check out the clear alternative to metal braces. Take the Invisalign Self Assessment today!

Dental Work is Expensive!!

I like to serve as a warning sign for people. A big giant STOP sign in life. Or even "Achtung! Danger!" My silly mistakes and costly experiences can serve as guideposts for you all, so that you may go forth and conquer your worlds without my ridiculous regrets. Take, for instance, paying too much out of pocket for dental work.

As a member of the Mom Advisory Board for Invisalign, I received payment for treatment to cover my orthodontic treatment. After my initial assessment with my Invisalign preferred provider, I was off to the dentist to get a check up before starting treatment. I practically skipped over to the dentist's office, happy in the knowledge that I'd soon be wearing my new Invisalign aligners, and getting my teeth straightened.

Boy, was I wrong.

Rewind to a not-so-great dentist I had about ten years ago who do not-so-great work. I had several teeth filled and oddly shaped crowns attached. I wasn't happy with the level of care I received, but at the time, we didn't have insurance that would allow me to go to many dentists in the county, so I was sort of stuck with her. Over the years, many of the filling have not held up. One in particular, came out, causing a serious issue with a molar that ended up having to be removed.

Fast forward to Dr. Lawson, or as I like to call him, Dr. Awesome. He was very empathetic as he listened to my story of woe. I usually break down in tears when I talk about all that I've gone through with my teeth. He's been super kind and has delivered outstanding work.

But Dr. Awesome doesn't work for free.

Since I don't have dental insurance, that initial payment I received to cover the costs of my orthodontic work got a huge chunk deducted from it to cover the costs of dental work. I didn't think to go out and buy insurance before starting. I figured I would just bite the bullet and pay. With still have a few more fillings to have refilled, I really wish I would have stopped for a moment to consider buying dental insurance.

Most dental insurance allow a yearly max of $1,000. And since almost all dental insurance companies use what is called a Usual, Customary and Reasonable (UCR) fee guide (meaning that they set their own price that they will allow for every dental procedure that they cover, not what a dentist actually charges, but what the dental insurance company wishes to cover) I could burn through my insurance coverage in one appointment. Still, for the cost of actually buying the insurance, I save quite a few pennies that can be put back towards the cost of my orthodontic treatment, estimated at about $5,000.

Now... getting Orthodontic Insurance...

One thing people ask me all the time is "Will my insurance cover Invisalign?" I always ask them if their insurance covers braces. Usually, the answer is yes, but they seem to think that Invisalign falls under cosmetic, which is not covered by insurance.

Okay... let's get this straight people (pun intended)...

Invisalign is NOT cosmetic! It's actual orthodontic work!! So, yay! Your insurance likely covers this under that section. How much it covers is a different story. In my research, most companies will cover about $2,500 to $3,000 in orthodontic costs. As I mentioned above, my estimated cost of treatment is $5,000. Well, having half of it covered is way better than having NONE of it covered, am I right? And the way my orthodontist works, she takes that half up front to cover the costs of all the trays that are specially designed for me at the outset. So all I have to do is make minimally monthly payments to her as my treatment is carried out.

For the low cost of buying insurance, even though not everything is covered, it's still smart money to get that insurance on your own.

Now... go forth and conquer... with a beautiful smile!

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As a member of Invisalign's Mom Advisory Board, I received payment for orthodontic treatment. The dental costs to Dr. Awesome were all on me.

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