Invisalign vs Braces - What's the Best Choice?

19.8.22

For centuries metal braces have been the only option for patients wanting to straighten their teeth. Now, innovations in orthodontics have produced many more options for patients to choose from. There are benefits and drawbacks for all treatments and it is important for patients to clearly understand these. In this post I will break down the most important factors involved with braces and Invisalign, to allow you to weigh up the pros and cons and make a well informed decision. 


Appearance

The main advantage of Invisalign is that the retainers are almost invisible. The treatment uses clear, plastic aligners. The patient goes through a number of different customised aligners to achieve the perfect smile. Braces are more visible, traditionally made out of metal brackets and wires that are permanently attached to the outside of your teeth. There are however other options now including lingual braces which are attached behind the teeth and ceramic braces.

Eating and Drinking

Another benefit to Invisalign is being able to take them out. When eating or drinking, patients should remove their aligners, which, unlike braces, means you can still eat or drink what you like. With braces, there are certain foods you need to avoid or take extra care with. This includes crunchy foods, sticky foods, hard foods and also food that requires biting into such as apples.

Brushing and Flossing Teeth

With Invisalign, you take your aligners out to brush and floss your teeth, meaning the process remains exactly the same. With braces, it can be more difficult to brush your teeth and floss with the brackets and wire in the way, meaning that food particles can easily become trapped. You also need to brush more frequently with braces, as if the teeth got darker while braces were fitted, you could be left with light marks on the teeth where the brackets were attached. Orthodontics advise brushing straight after you eat or drink a non-clear drink.

Discomfort

Both Invisalign and braces can cause pain and discomfort when the teeth are moving. However, braces can cause more mouth and gum problems like cuts and ulcers due to the metal brackets rubbing against the inside of the cheek and tongue. Of course this isn't a permanent issue, but definitely something to consider when making your choice.


Cost

With Invisalign and traditional braces, the price can vary a lot and differs from patient to patient. Braces in the UK on average can cost you anywhere between £1,075 to £5,000, depending on the type of brace you choose and severity of the issue. Invisalign treatment can cost from £1,595 to £7,000 depending on the complexity of the issue. Speak to an Invisalign doctor to find out exactly how much the treatment would cost for you.

Orthodontic Appointments

Another bonus to Invisalign is that you don’t have to go in for many appointments. After visiting an Invisalign doctor, a 3D scan of your teeth is used to make all the customised retainers in a laboratory. You are given several different sets of retainers at once and advised when to change them. With braces, you have to go in every month or two to get the braces tightened, so can end up taking quite a bit of time off work or school.

Effectiveness

Invisalign is effective at treating overcrowding, spacing, crossbites, overbites and underbites. Braces are effective at treating all these issues, but can also be used to treat more severe issues.

Treatment Time

Generally treatment time for Invisalign is faster than traditional braces. You have to wear your aligners for 22 to 24 hours a day and it takes around 6 to 18 months. Braces usually last from 16 to 18 months, however can be longer if the patient has more complex issues. Of course you cannot predict how long the braces need to remain with either treatment, and both can take up to 2/3 years for the finished results.

Invisalign and braces both have their pros and cons and it will be down to your orthodontist to advise you on what treatment may suit you best. You can visit an Invisalign doctor to get their expert opinion, or make an appointment with your dentist to get the discussion started.

This is a collaborative post.

6 Easy and Simple Tips to Save Time on Chores

Chores are a necessary part of life, and if you are anything like me then you will want to get them done as quick as possible, so you can get back to the things you enjoy doing! Here are some top tips to get your jobs done fast, but also to a high standard - so you can kick back and relax.


Divide Tasks and Share with Family Members

Create a list of chores that need to be done in the house, this could be anything from hoovering to doing the washing up, and assign these to each family member. This way everyone contributes equally and you aren’t left doing all the jobs yourself. It can also give younger family members a bit of responsibility, which is a great skill to develop. 
 

Organise your House to Make the Chores Easier

Aim to organise the house based on a 'traffic line' of daily life. For example, put the laundry basket near where you take off your clothes, and make sure this is in an area close to the washing machine, so you don’t need to carry laundry across the house. This can help to keep tasks as efficient as possible, as time spent wandering around the house searching for things isn’t productive (or fun)!

Get Reliable Equipment

Don’t waste your time cleaning up the floor with a broom and dustpan – grab your hoover, which can get the job done a lot quicker and won’t miss any pieces of dirt! Similarly, make sure to purchase good quality kitchen tools such as induction pan sets, in order to prevent food sticking to the pan, as this can take forever to scrub off. Using the right equipment at the right time can save you so much time and energy.

Preparation is the Key

Cooking is one of the most consuming tasks that we have to do every day, so make sure you do as much prep work in advance to save time. After your weekly shop, try to cut everything that you will need and store it away in batches in the fridge or freezer – this way when it comes to making the meal everything is ready to put straight into the oven or frying pan! Why not pre-prepare evening meals in the morning, so that all you have to do during the evening rush is re-heat the food and serve. 

Keep your Space Clean

Having an organised and tidy space will not only make you feel as though you are on top of everything and prepared, but it can also save you time. It is easy to misplace or lose items, therefore putting everything back into its original place once you have used it will make it easy to find and save you a lot of hassle!

Stop Limescale Creating more Work

Limescale build-up and dried-on water marks can add significant time to your chores. For those that live in a hard water area, this can be a constant battle on two fronts, both in the kitchen and in the bathroom. So how do you cut out the time-consuming scrubbing and scraping? Well, the best way is to stop limescale from getting into your home in the first place with a water softener. This will remove the minerals from hard water that causes limescale, freeing your shower screen, taps, surfaces, glasses, appliances, any shiny surface and more from unsightly residue and build-up. Saving you time cleaning and money on descaling products.

This is a collaborative post.

Preparing for the Birth of your Child

Childbirth is undoubtedly one of the most magical things a person can do. Sharing life is a powerful thing, and it stands to reason that the birth of your child should be planned as such. Birth plans enable you to make yourself as comfortable as possible during an incredibly important medical event – and give you the opportunity to tailor your first hours as a parent. But what should you think about when planning a birth?


The Location

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is choosing where you would like to give birth. There are a number of options when it comes to birthing location: in a hospital, a birthing centre, or at home. All have their own advantages and disadvantages, which you need to think about carefully before you make a choice.

Hospital births are the most common kind of birth in the UK, and see you transported to the hospital to give birth in a maternity unit. Hospital births give you much more immediate access to medical interventions in case complications occur, and can give you access to modern interventions like epidurals or assisted births.

A home birth can be a magical thing, though, and a much more comfortable overall experience than giving birth in a hospital. You’re giving birth in a familiar place, with creature comforts all around; you’re also not expected to move between home and hospital in the middle of labour, unless major medical intervention is necessary. The risks are higher, but home births may simply be logistically easier for you (especially if you already have children).

You could also opt to go to a birth centre instead. They are usually much less medical than a labour ward, but have quick access to these if necessary. If you are wanting a water birth, or a more calming birth experience, this is a great choice for you.

Pain Relief

While there are some lucky enough to experience minimal discomfort when giving birth, it is overwhelmingly likely that giving birth will be a painful experience for you. It's therefore a good idea to research the pain relief options available to you before you reach your due date. Epidurals are a common modern intervention, that introduces an anaesthetic directly to the nerve clusters in your spine that send pain information to the brain. There are those that might think epidurals too invasive, and would seek instead for a ‘natural’ birth – in which case, breath control and 'hypo-birthing' are commonly-used techniques to control pain and pain response.


Childbirth Risks

As with any medical event, childbirth comes with its own risks – from birthing complications to hospital negligence. Indeed, medical negligence claims relating to orthopaedic surgery make up two-thirds of the NHS’s overall negligence spending, where improper handling of the new-born can leave lasting physical and even mental damage.

You should make sure you understand the various things that could go wrong during childbirth and after, so you can spot any warning signs and advocate for the best possible care. Knowing the signs can also help you with your own medical negligence claims, should you need to seek compensation.

Your Birth Partner

Lastly, a simple but impactful decision. Who will you bring with you into your delivery, whether at home or at hospital? For many, the answer might be as simple as bringing your partner – but for others, the question can be a bit more complex. Figuring this out now can save you unnecessary heartache later on, and ensure you have the right person cheering you through one of the biggest events in your life. 

This is a collaborative post.


Our Summer Holiday Bucket List 2022

2.8.22

A lot of things may have changed for our family over the last few months, but if anything, that's made me want to make this summer as special as possible for my three. Of course I had to create a summer holidays bucket list for 2022 to go alongside this! I've created a summer holidays bucket list the last few years (2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 can be found here), as I think they're a great way of not only documenting what fun plans we have for the summer, but also making sure we do something a bit different and new as well.

As always I've made sure to only really add things that we've already got planned, or simple things that won't be too difficult to achieve. Just because you've made a list, it doesn't mean it needs to be full of fancy and expensive things! Do let me know if you're going to create your own summer holidays bucket list this year. I'm always on the hunt for more ideas for years (and other school holidays!) to come.


What plans do you have for this summer?

4 Easy Ways to Get Fit and Healthy after Having a Baby

Those blissful first few months after having a baby should 100% be spent soaking up every moment - napping with your baby, eating all the food (especially if you're breastfeeding as you're burning extra calories), and just resting your body. But many mums find that once they're out of the fourth trimester, they want to start doing things for themselves again! Getting fit and healthy after having a baby can be a daunting task though, especially if it was your first baby. But it doesn't have to be. In this post I'm going to share 4 easy ways to get fit and healthy again after having a baby.


Get out Every Day for a Walk

It sounds incredibly simple, but walking is a fantastic - and free - way to kick-start your journey to getting fit and healthy. And best of all, is that you can take baby along with you! Map out a simple route for those first few walks, and then once you get your energy levels back up you can start going further afield. Plus, getting out for a walk every day is really good for your mental health as well. Fresh air, and moving your body will definitely improve your mood - and baby is likely to nap too. Win, win!

Wear an Activity Tracker

If you're wanting to keep an eye on how many steps you're doing, or how many calories you're burning, then wearing an activity tracker such as an Apple watch is a great idea. Most trackers let you set goals, so you can keep an eye on your progress throughout the day, and see what you need to do to achieve them. If you've already got an Apple watch, then why not give it an upgrade with a new watch strap? 

Meal Plan and Prep

A great change you can make at home to help improve your health, is to start meal planning and prepping. Decide what meals you want to eat over the week, and then you only have to buy the ingredients and items you need for those meals - a great money-saver too! Once your shop arrives you can then get prepping. Clean and chop-up vegetables so they're easy to grab for snacks, and get your fridge organised. You can even go a step further and cook all the meals / lunches for week so you won't be tempted to order a takeaway. This way you don't have to worry about being in the kitchen for hours when your baby needs you either.

Join a Mum and Baby Exercise Class

You may have signed up to plenty of classes for your baby to enjoy, but why not have a look around for classes you can enjoy for yourself too. Many areas offer mum and baby exercise classes, so you don't even need to wait late evening (when you're most likely too tired to head out), or find someone to have baby. There are lots of different options such as buggy fit classes, mum and baby yoga, gym sessions where babies can come along, and more. Swimming is also a great way to exercise, so why not look at joining a gym that offers creche sessions instead.

How did you get fit and healthy after having your baby?

This is a collaborative post.

Fab End of Year Gifts for Teachers

1.8.22

A lot of parents now mark the end of the school year by giving their children's teachers a present to say thank you for caring for, and supporting them, throughout the academic year. A thoughtful small gift can go a long way, and are a great way to demonstrate your appreciation for the work they do. A meaningful and thoughtful gift can go a long way in expressing your thanks, and it will also be something that they are able to cherish and remembers for years to come. The ideal gift doesn't have to be expensive or flashy though, in fact gifting luxury items can put pressure on other members of the school community. So here are 4 fab end of year gifts for teachers you could give.


Chocolate

Why not give your teacher a chocolate gift, such as a selection box filled with all of their favourites? Almost everyone loves chocolate, so this is a safe bet if you are unsure what to get! They can keep chocolate for any occasion, so they can indulge on the sofa watching a movie on a rainy day in summer, or save and snack on in the staff room between lessons. Just make sure you check for any dietary requirements for getting edible gifts, as some teachers may have allergies or intolerances.

Personalised Cards or Gift Cards

Getting a card with a handwritten letter inside thanking them for their time and efforts this academic year could be an easy, inexpensive way to say thank you to a teacher. It's nice to let your teachers know that you appreciate them going above and beyond for your child, and that they have learnt a lot during their lessons. For that extra-special gift, you could even sneak in a gift card for their store or restaurant!

Teacher Survival Kit

If you are feeling creative, why not make a hamper kit to gift with all the teaching essentials that they may need for the upcoming school year. This could be anything from new pens, highlighters, staples, a pencil case, and a large box of coffee! Not only are these really helpful presents that are definitely going to be used, but it will also save your teacher a bit of money when it comes to replacing classroom essentials the following year. 

Holiday Items

Now that school is over and your child’s teacher is prepared to take some much-needed time to rest and recover, why not buy them some summer necessities they can use all summer long? How about some sunglasses, a picnic blanket or even tote beach bag. It could be a good idea to find out where their favourite store is so you can buy the items from there for the extra personal touch.

What gifts do you give to your children's teachers?

This is a collaborative post.