Okay, I’m about two days shy of the three-week mark using Invisalign, but this will just have to do! I have been curious about Invisalign for the last year for a few reasons.
For starters, I’ve never had traditional braces and I cannot TELL you how many times my dentist has asked me if I’m interested in braces. No, no, and no… until I was.
My teeth aren’t that crooked. Instead, they are very crowded on the bottom and a little angled up top. It has never bothered me until recently. In fact, I often prided myself on the fact that I’d made it this far without orthodontic work.
But the truth is, I take a lot of care in the way I look. I’m not vain or superficial, but I do like to take care of myself, and I also like to experiment with new beauty trends (I just Derma-rolled for the second time ever last night), and I have a bucket of makeup and a tiny collection of face masks to prove it.
I wear makeup on most days – mostly to express myself and help boost my confidence. That’s all great, but I started to feel like my look was incomplete with my teeth. Sure, my nails look great, contour is on-point, lipliner looking fresh… but my teeth?
So, when I switched dentists because of insurance, I specifically looked for one that offered Invisalign. I asked about it immediately, slapped down the down-payment, and they got to work.
The first step was to have impressions taken of my teeth. These impressions were sent off to Invisalign and they made a computer simulation of the changes my teeth would go through from start to finish.
My dentist also took tons of pictures of my teeth, and of my face – she said I would see a slight change in my profile.
Once I approved of the way my teeth would look (according to the simulation), my dentist was able to tell me that my “treatment” would be six months, which is the minimum amount of time for Invisalign.
At my next appointment, my dentist applied some “buttons” onto my teeth – basically they are small raised pieces that help “lock” the Invisalign in place, and they help the teeth move a little faster.
She then had to shave down the sides of some of my teeth since they were so crowded – the shaving involved her flossing my teeth with sandpaper. Literally. It was an interesting and awkward experience.
Before she handed me my first set of trays, she told me I had to wear the trays at least 22 hours each day: sleep in them, only drink clear liquids with them in, and take them out to eat. I was instructed to brush my teeth before putting the trays back in.
She broke two pieces of bad news to me at that point: 1. The first two days of each tray are painful, and 2. My coffee intake would likely be reduced given that I couldn’t drink it with the Invisalign in.
Ohhhhh… I was visibly upset over this coffee news. You see, I usually sip on coffee from the time I wake up (6:30 or so) until around 10. But if I did that, I’d already be breaking the 22-hour rule with Invisalign.
“It’s only for six months,” she said. She didn’t GET IT.
But anyway, I snapped in my first trays and was on my way. And she was right, it HURT. That night, I had so much trouble getting the trays out, I skipped dinner.
Since then, though, it stopped hurting, and it’s very easy to get the trays in and out.
On my two-week mark, I put in a new set of trays, and it hurt some (I took one dose of pain killers), but not as bad as the first one, leading me to believe the “shaving” was actually the issue.
I have 14 trays total, so I’ll be getting new ones about every two weeks. I expect to be putting in tray no. 3 on Thanksgiving Eve… which will make for an interesting Turkey Day.
So far, it’s been okay. It is a little annoying to have to take the trays in and out so much – I feel like I’ve cut down on snacking because it just isn’t worth the time and effort (in case you wondered just how lazy I was).
On the upside, I can already see the progress my teeth are making – and it looks great, even this early in the game! I also started using a whitening toothpaste in hopes of getting a bit of a brighter smile along the way!
I’ll keep you posted…