Blog Archives

Invisalign: Past the halfway mark!

That’s right, I’m more than halfway done with my journey to straight teeth! Right now, I’m 50% done with my 8th tray (I have 14 trays total), so I’ve been at it for approximately 17 weeks. And I can tell a big difference in the way my teeth look – plus, it’s getting easier and easier to floss since my teeth are no longer as crowded.

Upon getting my Invisalign, I was worried about 2 things: the initial pain that comes with each new set of trays (I get a new set about every two weeks), and the fact that I would be drinking less coffee since you can’t drink coffee with Invisalign in.

I’m happy to report that the pain with new trays is tolerable – I often don’t take any pain medicine, and it usually goes away in one day. Remember, the teeth are only moving about 1 millimeter for each tray.

And yes, I have been drinking less coffee. On some days, I drink more, and that just means I’ll need to make up the time and wear my Invisalign longer.

The holidays were tough – having to navigate how to take the trays in and out at parties (I often took them out in the bathroom of course, and then would wait to put them back in when I returned home), and because of the “buttons” on my teeth (these were applied by my orthodontist to ensure the teeth would move correctly and quickly), I’m often worried about things sticking to my teeth.

At the beginning of this journey, talking made me uncomfortable (it does give me a little bit of a lisp), and I stopped showing my teeth when I smile. It just looked too weird with the buttons and the trays – even though it’s clear, you can tell there’s something happening. But, I’m getting used to it – honestly, my teeth are looking very straight and I’m pleasantly surprised each time I look at them (often while flossing).

Outside of cosmetic reasons, I wanted to make it easier on myself in my efforts to keep my teeth clean and stain-free. My bottom teeth were so crowded, they stained easily (again with the coffee). Also, I was hoping Invisalign would improve my overbite – it’s not terrible, but it was starting to negatively affect my gum health.

The good news is, Invisalign’s technology predicted that it would improve my overbite by reducing it by 2 millimeters. As of my last checkup, my overbite has been reduced by 4 millimeters!

Once I’m done with my trays, I’ll be wearing a bottom retainer 24/7 for 6 months and then I’ll switch to just wearing it at night. I’ll also have some shaving/filing done to my two front teeth to make them even with my other teeth.

The only thing I don’t like about Invisalign is how often I have to brush my teeth – mainly because it means a lot of teeth-brushing in public restrooms, which ultimately grosses me out. I could also go without the monthly payments, but both of these things are temporary and very worth it. I’m really excited to see how my second-half of the journey goes!

Advertisements

Invisalign: Two weeks in!

My first 2 weeks using Invisalign!

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…