Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation: The Invisalign journey of medal-winning cyclists
At the conclusion of the track cycling competition of the Commonwealth Games, elite cyclists, Laura Trott and Jason Kenny, both medalled - Laura won Gold in the 25km Points Race on the last day of the contest, whilst Jason took Silver in the Men’s Sprint. Laura’s triumph was particularly remarkable as she had to overcome a kidney infection and high temperature to secure a place at the top of the podium, an effort of sheer guts and determination a day after barely being able to get on a bike.
During the races, the camera panned in on both riders gritting their teeth with exertion and afterwards they were both pictured kissing their medals – a point not lost on their orthodontist, Dr Bilal Bhatti. It is unlikely that this will be the last time either will be shown in close up, biting or kissing their medals at major competitions, however, next time he hopes that their teeth will look somewhat straighter.
Just before the start of the Commonwealth Games, Laura and Jason had opted for Invisalign to straighten their teeth because it is discreet and non-invasive, allowing them to train and compete without the treatment affecting their performance. They also wanted a non-visible treatment as they are filmed and photographed at sporting events, and scrutinized in social media.
With the conclusion of the Games, the couple had time to embark on the next stage in their treatment – not that anyone could notice it taking place. Over the next few months, observant viewers were able to see an incremental change in the appearance of their teeth, so that by the World Track Championships in February 2015, there was a discernible difference. By the Olympics in August 2016, they will be smiling more confidently still.
On embarking on her Invisalign treatment, Laura had commented that: “I had fixed metal braces as a kid, but didn’t wear my retainer.” As a result her teeth moved back to their original position. “You can see my teeth in all the photos taken of me, especially the close ups where I am biting my medals! So I am having Invisalign treatment because I am in the public eye and want to be able to smile with more confidence. I wanted something I could wear which did not affect my mouth when training and competing. Metal braces can rub the inside of the mouth and can be very uncomfortable. I remember when I was wearing them I had to find gels to put on the sore patches”.
Jason is very sure of his motivation: “I am having treatment to straighten my teeth to improve my confidence. I had become very aware from pictures that my teeth were getting worse and I want to be able to smile on the podium at the next Olympics.”
Laura was born on 24 April 1992. She is an elite-level English track and road cyclist who specialises in the team pursuit and omnium disciplines.
She is the inaugural Olympic champion in both events. Trott is the reigning Olympic and European champion in both events, as well as the reigning four-time World Champion in the team pursuit, and a former World Champion in the omnium.
She is the most successful rider, male or female, in the history of the elite European Track Championships, with five titles.
Jason was born 23 March 1988 and is an English track cyclist, specialising in the individual and team sprints. After winning multiple World and European Junior titles in 2006 and achieving medals in the under 23 European championships in 2007, Kenny was selected to compete for Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Along with Chris Hoy and Jamie Staff, he won a gold medal in the team sprint, breaking the world record in the qualifying round. He finished behind team-mate Chris Hoy in the final of the individual sprint, gaining a silver medal. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, he won gold medals in both the team and individual sprints.