Like most middle school girls, I had braces and dreaded it for months beforehand. I even begged my parents not to force me into it, even though I needed them badly! The second they came off, I wanted nothing to do with that ever again! Because I was 14 and dumb... I never wore my retainers. It only took a few months until they couldn't fit into my mouth anymore. I pretty quickly regretted that decision as I watched my teeth start to slowly crowd together again. I have debated Invisalign for five or six years now but the price always just seemed so crazy to me. Last winter, I discovered SmileCycle, a new Invisalign service developed by the team at Dentologie that cuts the time and cost of Invisalign in half!
In February, I visited the Dentologie office for the first time. It is bright, modern, beautiful, and definitely not what comes to mind when you think of a dentist's office. Once I met Dr. Mohiuddin (Dr. M), who is now my dentist, I knew I wanted this to be my go-to office! All of the dentists are young, funny, kind, and relatable. I never thought I would laugh so much in a dentist chair!!
Fourteen weeks ago, I started the SmileCycle process with Dr. M at Dentologie. My two biggest concerns were how it would look and how it would affect my speech. Dr. M assured me that it will barely be noticeable, and if it were to change my speech, it would only take a week or two to get used to it and then my speech would be normal again. After my initial appointment, where they took a digital scan of my teeth, it was time for appointment number two, which is when my Invisalign trays were delivered. I was pleasantly surprised when I put the trays in my mouth for the first time. I really didn't notice them and I only had a slight lisp for about two days. Dr. M warned me that the first two weeks I was going to hate the Invisalign and after that, I wouldn't even notice it at all! He was pretty much right, but I only hated it for about a week! Your mouth clearly isn't used to having plastic trays on your teeth and at first it creates little cuts on your lips and gums that don't feel great, but it only took a week or so to completely heal. Like anything, you adjust. And as Dr. M said, after the first two weeks I did not notice my Invisalign trays at all! I was AMAZED by how quickly I felt my teeth shifting and now, 14 weeks into the process, how noticeable the change really is.
I have received a lot of questions about SmileCycle over these last few months so I wanted to address them all! If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out and I will add them to this post!
*Special Offer* Before you read through the common questions, I also wanted to share a special offer with you! If you book a 3D scan for SmileCycle or dentist appointment with Dentologie (at either their South Loop or Streeterville locations), you’ll receive a free teeth whitening (valued at $400!). All you have to do is call or visit their website to book. When you book your appointment, make sure you tell them you were referred by “Ali Stone” (via phone or in the booking notes section) to receive the complimentary teeth whitening. This offer is valued for up to 10 of my readers, so act fast!
Here are the questions I get most frequently about asked about SmileCycle:
Does it hurt like braces?
In my personal experience, it does not hurt at all! It bothered me for about the first three hours on day one. I took two Ibuprofen that day and since then, they have not hurt once.
How often to you change the trays?
You change the trays once a week!
Do you have to wear the trays all the time?
The goal is to wear them 22 hours a day, every day. It’s actually not that hard to do. You just take the trays out to eat or drink things other than water. It actually has really helped me kick bad snacking habits because you can't keep the trays out all day to keep snacking! The only time I have had trouble keeping them in 22 hours a day is when I have work dinners or events, as it is not the most glamorous thing to take the trays out (I still drool every time). I don't mind taking them out in front of friends, but I avoid doing that in front of clients and potential clients. When I have work events where I will be eating and drinking, I take out the trays right before I go in and put them back in as soon as it is over.
Can you drink other clear drinks when the trays are in?
I wouldn’t recommend it. Not because it is going to stain the trays, but because whatever you drink can sit inside the trays and cause cavities. I take my trays out when I eat or drink anything besides water. If I am somewhere other than my home, I make sure to rinse my mouth with water before putting the trays back in.
What happens when you finish SmileCycle?
After you are done with the SmileCycle process, they give you retainers to wear at night. Now that I am not dumb and 14, I am actually going to wear mine!!
Overall, it has been a seamless experience. Last week, I went in for my third appointment with Dr. M. The average SmileCycle case only needs a total of four appointments. Dr M is thinking I'll need one more short cycle (7-10 weeks) and I'll be done! I am so excited to share my before-and-after photos with you in a few short weeks! If you have any questions about the SmileCycle process or my experience, as always, feel free to reach out. If you are interested in Invisalign, I cannot recommend SmileCycle and the Dentologie team enough, they have been AMAZING!
Photos by: Sam Grant
Last weekend I put my festival face on… picked out all my outfits and went wild with some fun festival hair styles! It was Lollapalooza in Chicago and I was ready to dance the weekend away! My outfits are something I always think about… but, most of the time I do my hair the same way. Honestly, it gets kind of boring! Lolla was the absolute perfect excuse for something totally fun and different! I used Bed Head products to keep my hair looking full, fun and flirty all well looking polished and sleek for Lollapalooza weekend.
For Lolla, most days I went with voluminous curls. I used Bed Heads Maxxed Out Hairspray to keep my curls intact, After Party Smoothing Cream to avoid frizzies and the Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo to keep my hair looking and feeling fresh and clean (plus it adds great texture)! I was pleasantly shocked by how well my hair styles lasted through long days of sweating, dancing, wind and dust!
Having fun festival hair gave my looks that extra festival POP that I was hoping for! On Friday, my best friend and I had our hair done by Bed Heads master stylists at their pop-up, the Bed Head Style Bar at Ulta Michigan Ave. She created the exact look that I wanted and could’ve never done myself! I stuck with the voluminous curls and added some fun braids to keep my hair out of my face. She created the coolest knot detail (see photo below) to keep my hair super interesting from both the front and back! It was by far my favorite day of festival hair! My best friend Madison has gorgeous, super long hair and they created the most fabulous, thick braid filled with gold glitter stars for her! I'm so upset that I didn't take a photo of the back of her head... beacuse it was RIDICULOUS!
After a weekend of out of the ordinary hair styles, I’m so excited to continue to be adventurous with my hair and use all the Bed Head products to mine (and my hairs) advantage! Have you used Bed Heads style products!? Which is your favorite!? Use code: TIGI25 for 25% off your purchase of Bed Head products from Ulta Beauty. The code is valid until 8/15 (ONLINE ONLY).
A big thanks to Bed Head for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Last year, at almost exactly this time my hair started to quite literally break. I remember being in Hood River, Oregon and getting out of the river after paddle boarding. It was a super windy day and my hair had gotten pretty tangled. After showering and brushing through it I noticed for the first time ever my hair had started breaking. I thought I took pretty good care of my hair... I didn't really do anything special but, I have never chemically treated my hair and I do my best not to use a lot of heat... although I do use my flat iron almost every day. Everything I've read and every hairstylist I've seen says washing your hair should not be an everyday occurrence. I wash my hair generally 3 times a week in hopes of it improving its health. But... since I have pretty thin hair, it gets oily really fast. I have heavily relied on dry shampoo and texturizing products to keep my hair looking clean and full until I found Pantene's new Charcoal Collection shampoo and conditioner. I've learned that unlike our skin, hair doesn't have a built-in purification system. So that means that those of us going a couple days without washing have our dry shampoos and other products just building up on our hair making it gain unnecessary weight. You guys know I've used Pantene for quite a while but this new Charcoal Collection is a game changer.
Pantene identified this constant build-up in our hair as an issue and developed a shampoo and conditioner containing a Pro-V nutrient blend which improves hair's health from the inside out.. Their new charcoal line addresses this problem head on by using activated charcoal, something you find quite often in health and beauty products. The activated charcoal works to detox your hair by attracting impurities like a magnet and sucking that junk outta there!!! While it does this, it's also releasing antioxidants to help your hair look and feel refreshed and clean with some major body and shine! You know what that means? It means MORE good hair days with less work!
Using this shampoo has helped my hair tremendously. The shampoo is free of silicone, parabens and dyes- aka the nasty stuff. For someone like me who has oily hair... this shampoo helped to reset the balance of my hair leaving it clean and refreshed and able to use dry shampoos much less often. I am finally starting to notice big improvements of the health and body of my hair! You can bet that I'm not going anywhere without this shampoo and conditioner now. Believe it or not, the Pantene Charcoal Collection Conditioner is Pantene's FIRST EVER silicone-free conditioner. HOLLA! It rinses out quickly and isn't too heavy (great for gals like me with super fine hair). Just like the shampoo, the conditioner is free of parabens and dyes and contains pro-vitamin B5, white charcoal and antioxidants, the perfect combo! The new Pantene Charcoal Collection will be available for purchase at Target in mid-July. That’s right around the corner!
Have you guys tried this shampoo and conditioner yet? What other tips and tricks do you have to keep your hair healthy and looking fabulous!?