I'm a 45 year old mother of 3, overcrowded crooked...

I'm a 45 year old mother of 3, overcrowded crooked teeth for as long as I can remember. Couldn't afford braces as a child, consult at age 15, dentist said insurance wouldn't cover them because it was cosmetic so that was the end of that. Decided to start this journey now because of a few things. My 2 girls wear braces which made me start paying more attention to my own mouth. Also, I started having gum issues...turns out that crooked "cosmetic" tooth is experiencing some bone loss due to its positioning. I decided to do a review because reading these reviews have helped me so much so far. and I haven't seen or read much about Invisalign with patients who have some gum recession. I'm starting out with the dreaded "black triangles" due to gum surgery to reduce the pockets that I had. I think it will be interesting and helpful to share my journey for those that might have this issue as well. I'm hoping my end result will be worth it.

Started tray 3 on 3/19/14...

My Invisalign treatment consists of 31 trays, upper and lower. I was instructed to change them every 12 days. My treatment is a little different from what I have been reading here. I had IPR done before I had the imaging done for my trays. I also had 13 attachments put on at my initial fitting- 7 upper, 6 lower. I wanted to cry when I saw myself with the buttons on my already prominent front teeth... And with the trays... Ugh. I called them Inspitalines for the first two weeks or so because I was a mess! The first three days were the worst but it slowly got easier. I am very compliant, only taking them out to eat, then brush, floss, and use my waterpik water flosser. Oh and clean my aligners. I average 22+ hours a day. I cheated once due to a wedding, but it was my last day of aligner1 so I didn't feel so guilty! Tray 2 was very difficult to get in initially, I'm not sure if it's because my aligners were out about 5 hours before I put it in. These first photos are right before I started tray 1, and then immediately before tray 3. No difference as of yet that I can see.

Oh, and...

I find the waterpik to be invaluable. Even after brushing with my electric toothbrush and flossing, there is still somehow debris left behind. Gross. I don't even want to imagine what would happen if I put my trays in without getting that crap out! I also use mouthwash in the water well. I am experiencing some staining on my teeth... Not sure if it's because of the trays... My oral surgeon said the dentist could remove it at my next cleaning in a few weeks. I'm only eating twice per day on average. It's just not worth the trouble of the whole rushing to eat then clean regiment... On the bright side I may be able to finally rid myself of that last 5 pesky pounds I want to lose! I'm starting to feel more comfortable with the trays in rather then not...
Welcome to Invisalign! :D Your attachments don't look so bad and they are truly helpful if you want your teeth to look and stay their best after treatment. I was thinking of getting an oral irrigator but they seem complex to use (I may be overcomplicating it), and I'm trying to minimize the chance that I won't be able to use it properly/it doesn't fit my faucet. I'll look into it more.
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Thanks for being so kind! Lol! I look like a hot mess! But it's going to be well worth it in the end I'm sure! Going to use this year to try and get into my best shape yet while the treatment does its magic! I'm posting a pic of the machine. You just plug it in and fill the reservoir. No hook up to sink. Comes with different attachments.
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Waterpik Water Flosser

I always miss people when people comment too quickly!  So happy to have found you, and excited to follow your progress.  I'm the Community Manager for dental, so if you have any technical questions or see any spam or anything like that, please let me know :).
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Lol, are you calling me a hot mess?! I have front teeth attachments too! I really don't think they're so bad...no one has noticed yet and it's certainly less visible than traditional braces...Ohhh, I always skipped over the Waterpik when I was shopping for an oral irrigator, because of a few bad reviews on it. The others have to hook up to the faucet, but if the Waterpik doesn't, then I think I'd rather get it than the others.
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Lol! No! I'm sure you look great! Haha! I also read some bad reviews on the waterpik, mostly dealing with them not working after awhile. I've had mine for about 6 months. I purchased that and the Braun oral b electric toothbrush after my gum surgeries to help me with my hygiene. Seems I am a too over zealous brusher. The toothbrush beeps when you apply too much pressure and has a sensitive setting. Everything was back to normal at my last checkup. I'm sure these products helped. I'm using Sensodyne toothpaste to help with sensitivity. Not looking forward to my next cleaning as I have this staining appearing since Invisalign that has to be buffed off. Ouch! Less tartar more staining?! Geez.
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Staining and stannous fluoride?

I'm starting to think the brownish staining that is developing on my teeth is due to the stannous flouride products I've been using. It's not permanent, but annoying as can be. I will talk to my dentist and Ortho and see if they concur. Problem is, I have tooth sensitivity that I believe is helped with the fluoride. So I have to figure it all out.
Did you see PreOrtho's regimen to help with tooth sensitivity?  It's in her latest update--you may want to take a look at that.  I'm certain her method isn't staining.
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Thanks! I will check her out! She does have some great information!
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I hear you!  So exciting to see the eventual outcome!!!
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Starting Tray 4 Tonight!

Tonight, (after Walking Dead), I will start on Tray 4. Tray 3 was the first tray where my teeth felt real pain. I think it was working on my two front teeth because they were very tender and it was hard to bite with them for the first few days. I actually thought I saw a little bit of shifting with them until I took some pics this evening :( Not so much... I think what's happening is that my top is being broadened out now. It feels like my front teeth have pushed in some. I'm actually liking the shape my smile is taking on. The last four days of so I've been experiencing intermittent pains, mostly on my upper right side. Almost a throbbing pain that goes away as soon as I decide I need to take something for it. Not sure why. Hopefully this resolves itself with the next tray.

My next Ortho appt is on April 22nd. I was given 5 trays to start with. When I go, it will be about my last day of tray 5. I know I have more IPR in my future so maybe then(?). I took my daughter the other day for a brace appt and asked one of the gals if they used chewies and she said yes and got a few packages for me. She said they give them to patients that have trouble seating their aligners. I had been using a pen at home but the aligners are much more fun! I have been experimenting with different toothpastes and mouthwashes and have concluded that Sensodyne is doing nothing for my gum sensitivity. The only thing that seems to work is the Crest ProHealth toothpaste and mouthwash so I will be using that from now on, even if it means I have to deal with some temporary tooth staining. I have to get cleanings 4x yearly anyway so I will try to stay on top of it that way. I started using baking soda and warm water to rinse my mouth after eating, as per PreOrtho's regiment. It really soothes my teeth and makes it easier to get back into the aligners with as little discomfort as possible as soon as possible. I still haven't made my cleaning appt but should have it done before April 22 so I will update with any info I get in regards that might be helpful.

Did want to say that two people at my gym have commented on my recent weight loss ( in a good way)! Seems this Invisalign diet is working! On the not so great side I'm still having trouble talking for extended periods of time. I start out ok but then it's like that episode of Spongebob when he tells Sandy he can breathe air and goes into her habitat and slowly dries out, gasping for air. Well that's me when I talk too long. I mostly just smile and nod my head a lot now. This better be worth it!
Just started my first tray and I'm in 5 days now. I still seem to have a lisp. I answer phones at my job a lot and I am extremely self conscious of my "p's", "s's", and "c's". Please tell me this will go away? lol. I have to wear these for at least 6months. I enjoy the other comments on here. Glad to know I'm not the only one with questions of comments on Invisalign.
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Yes! The lisp does go away! And I think we all notice it a bit more than most other people. My aligners are glaringly obvious but some people don't even notice-- not sure if they are legally blind or what! Lol! Some people have suggested taking aloud to yourself, or reading aloud or even singing to get used to them and lose the lisp. You may want to try!
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Lol, I never bite on my front teeth. They don't move or feel loose (well, slightly), but they feel very tender at the beginning of trays, so I'd rather not take my chances...Glad you're doing well with the mouth rinse and the weight loss! I got the throbbing pain more at the beginning, but it's a good sign that your teeth are feeling the pressure, at least.
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I noticed I was wearing the wrong aligners..

Tonight after dinner I picked up my aligners and noticed some lipstick or something on them. Upon closer inspection, I see they are tray 3. I'm on tray 4 now. Not sure when I mixed them up. I do know that last night I was completely miserable, kept waking up in pain and then had to end up sleeping sitting up. Lower right pain. I'm back into tray 4 trays and don't have the pain again (please don't let that come back). So since I'm completely confused I'm starting over and making this day 1 of tray 4 again. Moral : don't keep the old aligners around. I was drying them off before storing and somehow mixed them up.
Good you're being safe.  But it's not that unusual, unfortunately to go for the wrong tray at some point during treatment.  I know I skipped a tray once.  And even since being in retainers, I somehow accidentally went back to one of my aligners and only noticed because of the attachment bubbles!  I have no idea how long I was using it--well, it couldn't have been more than two days, but still!  

I need to get rid of those aligners *LOL*!  But you don't want to get rid of them while you're still in treatment.
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Lol! Yes, they all look so similar, it's easy to grab the wrong ones! Since I've been wearing the correct ones I haven't had that extreme jaw pain. It just shows how much each tray can really move your teeth. I only wore the new tray for a day or so and that was enough to make the former one agony for me! So even though I'm not seeing much progress yet, I know things are happening! Just have to be patient!
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Indeed! :D
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Tray 5--no real change seen yet...

I won't post pics this time as the teeth look the same, only the tiniest change. This is a little discouraging, but I'm sure I will see something soon. I wanted to clarify that my teeth were very overcrowded. My before pic shows spaces in between a lot of them. Every space seen is due to IPR performed by my Ortho. I never had the slightest space, my problem was the opposite--- teeth so close that flossing was extremely difficult. So I've been measuring my progress by those man-made gaps, and they are all still there. My top arch has widened out for sure but the problem area ( that front left tooth and the one to its left) is still a glaring blazing pain in my arse...I think that when those two teeth are actually straightened out I might actually cry tears of joy! Those are the teeth that have bothered me since the age of 15, the ones my mother couldn't afford to fix for me. So it's been 30 years...of taking pics from the other angle... So I will definitely be celebrating when that happens, and I am looking forward to that. My bottom crowding happened gradually over the years. It only became obvious to me when one started migrating upward a few years ago... Which became completely unacceptable really quick. I found myself not wanting to talk much because I felt like it was so unattractive.

I consider myself blessed to have a wonderful husband who works his butt off so that I can stay home and raise our children. We are also blessed to be able to afford ( although just barely, lol) to get both daughters' teeth straightened now, and one at age 15, so they never (hopefully) have to struggle with self- esteem issues about their teeth. And because, thanks to him, and all on his dime, I can see a future where I am all smiles again. I applaud the many on this site who take the time out of their busy lives to share their journeys ( the good, bad, and ugly) because it helps to remind us that we are all human....
I have a problem with tooth sensitivity also. I was using a stanous flouride product and it worked, but I also didn't like the disoloration. My hygenist/dentist switched me to PreviDent (gel, for put on, wait, then spit out--or 5000 which is a toothpaste). I used the gel nightly for about a week or two and now just use it twice a week after cleaning my teeth. Huge improvement. I found myself chewing a small ice cube the other day...never could have done that before. It's prescription only (my insurance doesn't cover it-of course). But my dentist sells it for $10 a tube which I get 1or2 times a year. I think Walmart was a little more money. And best part of it all--NO more teeth staining. Oh, I also switched to Listerine Total Care. It has flouride in it, just not the stannous flouride.
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Thank you, CraftyMama! I will try to get a prescription for Prevident when I go for my next cleaning! Just the thought of chewing ice makes me cringe! Lol! It would be great to do away with the staining while in treatment. That way I wouldn't feel so bad on the very few occasions I actually hit the town to socialize without my trays in. White teeth with attachments are not so bad! Thanks again for the helpful info! I'm like you, not looking for or expecting perfection...which I'm old enough to know is overrated anyway!! Lol!
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You have 31 aligners, so I wouldn't expect such a drastic change yet! Especially since your issue is crowding...it will probably take longer to see changes. But just keep with it. I'm sure you'll see clear changes by the 10th Aligner or so.
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Starting Tray 6 tonight!

I am exactly two months in treatment now. I just got back from an Ortho visit. Received my next 5 trays (6-10). Next appointment not for another 60 days. I won't be posting pics for this tray since movement not very visible. I was able to review my clinichek (yay!). Just what I needed to boost my morale! My Ortho is awesome, I was instructed in how to view my video online. And now I can't stop looking! So it appears that by tray 15 or so my upper tooth will begin to noticeably rotate, and by tray 20 or so the upper and lowers will be almost completely straight! By Christmas it will be looking like a new mouth.
Woot!  Is it possible to post the video?
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Idk! I have no idea how to do it! I did see that it can be emailed.... Can u help?
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Sure :).  It depends on where it is located.  It needs to be uploaded to a video-sharing site, like YouTube.  Are you currently viewing it on your doctor's website?
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An attachment popped off yesterday on my front tooth...

I called Ortho and they told me to come in today to reattach one. No pain involved and it took all of five minutes. I asked about whitening and they told me to wait until the end of treatment so it wouldn't whiten unevenly due to the attachments. Whitening not included in my treatment package.
I've read that it's possible to bleach even with the attachments on, but honestly, things discolor so quickly while you're in treatment, it just feels like a waste of money :).  But not everyone's teeth discolor very quickly during treatment.  Mine did for sure.  But you're gonna want to bleach at the end of treatment definitely, so cheaper to wait!  Mine wasn't included in the price either.  I had to pay over a hundred bucks.
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Whoa that's kinda steep. I have old trays from my dentist for whitening, but will now just use the Invisalign trays to whiten at the end of treatment. They sell the syringes for about $8 each so I just pick them up as needed.
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Clinicheck Tray 1 and 31

Wooooow.  What a great price!!!  And it only takes me one syringe to whiten my teeth.  That sounds wonderful.  *sigh*.  Of course, I did get 6 or 8 syringes with that, and I've used two of them over the last two years :D.  I keep them in the fridge.

And thanks for the ClinCheck pics!
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It looks like I will still have a few unfavorable spaces at the end...hopefully I can live with them! Lol! If not I wouldn't rule out a few refinements if it would help! Your teeth are dazzlingly white by the way! And they look great! I'm hoping for that kind of result! I think we use the same whitening? I think mine is Opalescence.
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Yeah, that's totally what I use!  It works a dream.  I wish I could get it for $8/syringe :D.  

I know for me, my husband wasn't pleased with the black triangles I had at the end, and I was a little upset about my midline having shifted off during treatment.  So that was why I did refinements.  They did more IPR on me and that got rid of the black triangles enough that I don't notice them at all anymore.  And they fixed my midline, though when I open my mouth, I don't open it symmetrically (TMJ Disorder) so the midline is off then.  That doesn't bother me at all. :)
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Cleaning done today

Pleasantly surprising, I didn't experience any sensitivity pain during my cleaning. I have been using a prescription product called Colgate Gel-Kam for two weeks that one of the hygienists said worked for a patient with extreme sensitivity. This product works!!!! But I believe it stained my teeth ( it has stannous fluoride). So I got a prescription for Colgate Prevident 5000 Sensitive instead. It took awhile to sandblast the brown stains off of my teeth. Hygienist ran out of time so there is still some left on back teeth. I may go back in 3 months as suggested. Tomorrow night I switch to tray 8. Still nothing exciting to report about my tooth movements. Will post pics at tray 10, as this will be 1/3 done then. The trays after 10 up to tray 17 show the most dramatic progress so I will post regular pics then.
Great progress so far! I haven't had a cleaning since I started ortho treatment 2 years ago! How crazy is that?? They say everything looks great and I guess since I'm done in a month they'll just do it all then. But I thought for sure they'd recommend cleaning since I've been with them.
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I had some gum issues so regular cleanings are a must for me. Besides the staining, the teeth were pretty clean. That part took less than five minutes. The pumice ( sandblasting) took much longer. You're so fortunate to be almost done!
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I'm confused @Charlene Jackson.  Did you go to your dentist and they refused to clean your teeth?  I always just kept scheduling my regular appointments with my dentist in between all the ortho visits.
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Starting Tray 10 tonight!

This is about my 1/3 of the way mark. 31 trays in all. The next 5 to 7 trays should show the most dramatic movements so I will be posting pics for each tray regularly for awhile. My progress so far is not so dramatic or visible, but I can see many things happening. I can't wait to see the top tooth that's pushed back align. And the tooth on the bottom that's sticking up higher than the others... Can't wait to say good riddance to that! Still have some staining on some teeth. It's not bothering me much right now. I think I am developing an abscess over one of my top right back teeth. I have been using peroxide and salt water rinses, but I've never had a lump like this so not sure what it is exactly. It doesn't hurt, and seems to quiet down when I'm not eating or bothering it. Guess I should see the dentist(?)
I definitely see progress, are you kidding? Those central incisors are looking good. I wish you had posted pictures from the last 6 aligners so I could have seen when the changes occurred, but it's okay...as long as you post pictures at least every few aligners or so, from now on! :P ...As far as the lump, definitely see the dentist. Could be caused by many things.
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Welcome back!!!!

I'm seeing great progress, definitely, especially comparing the first pic to the newest.  

And yes, I would talk to the dentist for sure.  Dental health is so strongly intertwined with the health of the rest of your body. Who has the time to start getting sick because your body is trying to heal an abscess all the time.  Plus it might mean something is irritating something somewhere.  I don't know cause I only hang out here and we don't do regular dentistry, but I'd go to the dentist :D.

Please let us know what they say, also!
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Ok. Will do. I will call tomorrow and see what they say.
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Regarding bump on my gums...

I was able to show my Ortho the lump on my gums during my daughter's visit today. I'm sorry to say I can't remember what he said it was-- the clinical term-- but he said it wasn't an abscess that needed antibiotics. He said it should clear up by itself in the next week or so and that it is caused by stress and diet... I wish I could remember the name! I have an appointment next Tuesday so I will have him take a look then. Hopefully it will be gone.
Nice progress. We can definitively see the change particularly for the top teeth.
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Thanks! Sometimes I get so impatient, though!
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I really wish you remembered!  Maybe it'll come to you :).
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Starting Tray 11!

Just back from orthodontist. Aphthous ulcer--that's what it is, and it is slowly softening away or so it seems. Ortho said it looks ok just needs a little more time. I received trays 11-16. I will probably be getting IPR done with tray 17. My Ortho is wonderful. I called after I left because I noticed that on the package for tray 13 it included IPR, but I wasn't scheduled to come back for 2 months. So I thought I needed an earlier appt. I was able to speak with him directly and he advised me that Invisalign's estimate is not always correct, and that he had indeed checked my mouth for possible IPR soon but that it wouldn't be feasible until my teeth are rotated properly-- otherwise he'd be shaving the wrong surfaces of the teeth, and I would look sort of like an alien or something when he was done! Lol! Anyway, the journey continues.
Glad you know what it is now and it isn't major. :)
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To answer TwoPlusOne's question- I don't see any white or yellow substance in it. It is gum colored and a little squishy. I can inbox a pic if I can get one at that angle.
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Yes. I would hate to compromise my results. I was having nightmares about root canals and losing teeth.
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Starting Tray 12!

Just put tray 12s in... And they are TIGHT! I usually wait until evening but was eager to get started with the new trays as the old ones were quite loose. I make sure to wear each new tray for as many continuous hours possible the first couple of days into a new tray. I find that this slacks off the longer I am in the tray now. I still eat only two meals daily but now feel comfortable keeping trays off a little longer to enjoy coffee afterwards. Still averaging about 22 hours a day. And still losing weight! Lol! I'm actually concerned that I am eating too little on this Invisalign diet, and am overcompensating by overeating on my meals....leaving me feeling too full afterwards. It's definitely an evolving thing. Trying to figure out what's most comfortable for me. Trying to keep it as stress- free as possible. But I can't wait until it's all done! My Ortho was right about the ulcer, it's almost completely gone now. Slight swelling but barely. I started using Arm and Hammer Healthy Gums toothpaste with baking soda and peroxide. The ulcer cleared a day later. Not sure if it was a coincidence or what. I'm still hating the barnacles on my front teeth. It's hard to look or feel sexy with them! Glad I'm not single! Lol!
I just saw this answer, sorry.  But thank you :).  I'm glad to hear that the ulcer is almost gone!
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Starting Tray 13 today!

The only thing of note to mention is that the lump I thought was gone seems to have reappeared or is re- forming further up on my gums. I feel a small lump with what feels like fluid or something in it. Will show Ortho at my next visit if it doesn't go away on its own. No pain or anything around it. Seeing progress albeit slight. By the end of tray 17 it should look much better.

Comparison pic

Before treatment vs. right before Tray 13. I can see many improvements when comparing the photos.
wow, coming along fine
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Thanks! :)
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Great progress! :D
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Another comparison before vs. tray 12

LOL!  Just the difference in confidence is huge, not even to mention the improvement in your alignment.  You're smiling with teeth now!  So beautiful to see.  Keep up the good work!!!

By the way, what are you using to do your photo collages?
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Thank you! So much more teeth showing! Lol! I think it's my bite or something else changing that's contributing to some of the toothiness now. My chin and smile look different now. My Ortho said these trays would push my mouth out some to accommodate the tooth that's trying to align on top. After that everything would shrink or fall back into the position it should end up... If that makes any sense. And yes, getting more confident now as I'm finally seeing something. I use Pic Stitch, a free app for IPhone. Easy to use.
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Makes perfect sense.  And thanks for the app :)
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Starting Tray 14!

No major change seen from 13 to 14. 14 through 16 are supposed to push the wayward tooth on top into alignment, and align the bottoms as well.
My teeth were crowded when I started, so I felt a big difference in ease of flossing.  Have you noticed a difference in the opposite direction?
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No I haven't, not since the beginning of the treatment, after the IPR. It's very easy to floss still. Also, I still have quite a bit of black triangles. So flossing is not enough there for me. Stuff will get stuck so the waterpik is my savior. I noticed though that even with all that attention to my teeth I still developed a little tartar at the gum line on the lower front teeth, which I scraped off with an instrument. Not sure if this tartar is being exposed now because of the tooth rotations there or if it's newly developing.
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I have black triangles too and was wondering how to deal with that.  I guess I may have to splurge on a waterpik too :-/.  My dentist told me tartar builds up from a reaction of saliva and…erm, something.  Heh.  I'm even more forgetful than you.  Anyway, she says right behind the front bottom teeth is the place it happens first.  So I always have some there when I go to the dentist, even when it's nowhere else.
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Bad News this morning.

So that "aptheous ulcer" is actually an abscess. It kept almost going away then coming back so I decided to let the dentist take a look. She took an xray and said that it appears I have a possible crack on tooth #3. I have an appointment with endodontist on Monday to evaluate. I just filled a prescription for clindamycin 300mg. I have to take it 4x daily for 7 days. I am so frustrated. My lesson: listen to your body/ heart. Something didn't feel right and I waited much longer than I should have to get a second opinion. So this infection has probably been festering for at least two months. I took x-rays in May and there was nothing showing then. But the lump started shortly after that exam and cleaning. The thing that bums me out most is that the dentist said if it is a fracture they can either do a root canal and crown, or if it's too damaged and can't be saved it will have to be extracted. After all of this extensive and expensive dental stuff ( including gum work that I'm still paying for because the dental office made a mistake and told me my charges were $2500 less than what I was quoted). So that's around $3000 for gums and then the Invisalign fee. And I may still be left with a hole in my mouth or an expensive fix.
Oh no! :(  I'm sorry this happened, but so glad your dentist found the crack.  I also hope that it will be an easy fix and that it doesn't cost too much.  Will your insurance cover it?
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I hope it will! I know they have a limit up to which they will pay yearly. I don't know if they cover crowns but I suppose they should if it's necessary(?) I'm wondering if I should wait for the crown until my Invisalign treatment is done. I see most people do that. I also want to ask about a " foundational filling" in the meantime. I already have a large filling on the tooth and not sure if that's what's on it now.
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My crown was covered at just over 50%, so like any necessary dental work (as opposed to cosmetic work, which isn't covered).

I don't know what a foundational filling is--definitely sounds like something you should ask about.  I got my crown during the retainer phase, and the retainer only fit after they shaved the crown down a lot and it still ended up moving the tooth.  But everything looks fine--the tooth is just a bit smaller than it should be, so it left a bigger black triangle.  I had given them the retainer and everything so they could mold it right.
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Just had root canal done.

I went to endodontist. He repeated the X-ray taken by dentist. Said I have a crack on one surface. Told me only two options: root canal or extraction. Also told me it wasn't wise to wait; the antibiotics I'm taking would probably clear up the Infection but it would surely come back. I called my Ortho and he said to get it done but to hold off on the crown for now. I would have to go back to my dentist for that. The endo put in a temporary filling. He said my dentist should do a build up or post filling then crown. My out-of-pocket expense for the procedure was $383 after insurance. Good thing I can't eat hard food now because I'm seeing a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for us in the immediate future. It didn't hurt at all and I'm still very numb. Have a feeling I will be in pain later so I will take some naproxen soon. Got prescription for Tylenol #3 (with codeine) . Not filling that right now.
That was a much better price than I feared!  Congratulations on at least starting to get that taken care of.  I hope it doesn't start hurting.  I've never had one, but my husband said the pain was in the doing, not the after, since they kill the nerve or something.
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Starting Tray 15!

I was going to wait a few days to change aligners because I was afraid that the root canaled tooth would hurt. But it doesn't. Thank goodness. It's been a crazy week and I'm just happy that so far this little hiccup is not affecting my Invisalign treatment. My next Ortho appt is Aug. 5.

Pics

These are not the clearest but best I can do for now.
So glad to hear that there's no pain!  I'm wondering if you have profile shots from the ClinCheck?  I went back and looked at your other entries and I only saw frontal shots….
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Come to think of it I don't remember ever seeing a profile shot. I will have to ask to see on Tuesday.
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Ortho Appt was today.

I spoke with Ortho about the crown and he advised me to go ahead and get it done ASAP as the tooth will be brittle and will need the protection. I will call tomorrow to schedule my crown procedure. He said that when I get the crown put on I will then go back to him and get molds done and this would begin my refinement period. So I may have to wear tray 19 for a little longer while I wait for the new trays to come in. No problema. I was supposed to have IPR done today as well but I had to leave because of an MRI appt I had to run to. He said he would do the IPR at my next visit instead. Next visit Sept. 20. I will try to plan my crown timing to coincide with this date. I was hoping things would proceed the way they did today. I am very happy with my progress so far. Abscess is gone. No pain anywhere. He said I have a lot of IPR in my future to close the triangles. Also said it was ok to use the opalescence whitener in my trays. I bought some on Amazon because I have a few functions soon and the teeth need a boost.
Darn I forgot to ask to see side profile ClinCheck! Next time!
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Typo

Ortho office uses the imaging not molds for Invisalign. My orthodontist is an Elite Invisalign provider.
I LOVE your "Can't wait..." title! I am only beginning my journey (one week into a 22-tray treatment...it's going to be a long year). I was so much regretting my decision to do this the first couple of days. I felt sort of claustrophobic, for the lack of a better word. Thank God I'm better now! Anyhoo, just wanted to tell you how spot on your title is! And, that I lived in Tampa - Temple Terrace to be exact, liked shopping in Brandon - until 2005. I have close friends there and go back often for visits. Your teeth are gorgeous, btw!
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I was regretting it the first few days as well, almost to tears, but it does get better quickly, and having the trays in will become almost comforting. Thanks for appreciating my humor. If only my kids would! 22 trays is easy!! It goes so fast when you start seeing changes. Yes, I love Brandon!! Spend a lot of time at that mall with my girls. Thanks for the compliment. I find it so surprising. I never heard anyone say that before!
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Starting Tray 16 today!

This is my half- way point!Yay! My teeth are tracking just like the CliniChek progression. However, I am uncertain about a few things. Since I didn't get the IPR the other day, my two lower central incisors are clanking against each other trying to align which is getting annoying. There just isn't any space for them now. I have a dental appt this Thursday to hopefully get my core and post if needed, and a temporary crown. I'm not sure how things will progress in the next few weeks. I have to get my crown. Then go back for refinement trays. I'm also scheduled for surgery around the same time and will not be able to do a whole lot for awhile. I'm going to just have to take it a day at a time for awhile until all is resolved. I'm not concerned about wearing my trays longer at this point because I'm realizing life gets in the way of our plans sometimes and it's ok. I am happy with my progress and optimistic nevertheless.
Your teeth are progressing nicely! Sorry about the root canal. I've had three root canals and they hurt a lot more before than after. I'm praying that I don't have any other teeth problems during my Invisalign treatment.
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Yes it sucks! And dental insurance is a joke, at least for me. I am praying as well. Eating softer foods only, no nuts or chewy or sticky stuff.
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Oh, those incisors are tight!  But I agree that your progress is great.  In the grand scheme, an extra few weeks or month isn't that much, and it's to be expected for sure, just like you said.  Stuff happens.  I ended up spending over a month in one set of aligners a couple of times.  It felt terrible the first time it happened, but by the second time I was over it.  And now it's just like, I don't even remember it unless someone else mentions it.

Good luck with the possibly Core & Post!
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Got temporary crown today.

It was such an ordeal. Took around 3 hours. Temporary kept getting stuck on my tooth then breaking when they tried to remove it. 4 times. They finally did some more shaving then got it right. My trays are just fitting over the temporary. But it feels weird. They put a stronger adhesive on it to keep it intact with the trays and also because of my upcoming surgery. My crown should be ready in about 3 weeks. My out- of- pocket expense for the crown was $416. I only paid half today because I lost a lot of confidence in the dentist with all of the drama with the temporary. I will pay the remainder when the job is done.
Ugh!  When I got my crown, they had trouble cementing it in as well, though in my case, they just stuck it in there so hard it was permanent.  They had to drill it totally to pieces to get it out when time came to put the perm in.  I hope getting the perm is a walk in the park compared to today!
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Starting Tray 17.

Not much to report. This tray should have my teeth as straight as they are going to get for awhile. I don't see much happening with the next 5 or so at least. I'm unsure of what will happen with my progress because of my upcoming surgery on Wednesday (septoplasty). I'm hoping I won't be so sore that trays will be a problem. I will be a few days into tray 17 so they should be loosened somewhat by then. I'm prepared to wear tray 17 for longer if needed. Also, I'm waiting for my crown to come in. I will have to have that fitted soon.
Will you get pain meds for the septoplasty?  Cause I'd guess that'd take care of any soreness from trays.  But maybe you don't get meds....
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I think so, but don't know what kind. I have a pre- op appt in the morning where I will get all that info. I almost want to ask if I can just keep the aligners on for the surgery, but I'm pretty sure they won't let me. I'm going to buy one of those denture cleaner boxes where you can actually soak the aligners, take them off right before surgery and drop them in, then hopefully get them back in after the surgery. Procedure takes an hour. So that's going to be around 2 hours maybe without aligners, if I can get them in after recovery.
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You'll be fine--don't stress over having them out for this special occasion.  Worst case you wear this aligner set a bit longer--just ask your Ortho if you end up having them out too long.  You are far enough along in your treatment that it won't be disastrous (not like it ever would be).  Just focus on one thing at a time.
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Comparison pic

Tray 12 vs. tray 16. Some progress with bottoms but IPR needed.
Oh yeah, definitely!  Looks like there's no more room in there!  But it will also help with the black triangles. Hopefully they'll give you just enough space so everything can snap into place!
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I know, right? It seems like a little IPR then a few trays then done! Lol! But I know it's not nearly that easy! I'm settling into this new tray. Thinking I should wear it until my crown appt on Sept 4th at least. That's about when I'm supposed to switch trays.
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Had septoplasty procedure today.

I had my liners out for about 3 hours while in surgery and recovery. Managed to get them back in with no trouble. When I got home and got ready to eat, I forgot they were in and had a yogurt. Then I said what the hell that wasn't so bad, and ate some crackers and raspberries! At this point they were feeling disgusting so I sucked up all of my fears of hurting my nose and got them out and cleaned them. I'm not supposed to bend over so brushing my teeth was tricky. Had to use a cup to help. I skipped the flossing. Also when I used my waterpik the water squirted everywhere since I had to remain upright and my clothes ended up wet. But the teeth are clean and back in their security blankets so I'm happy.
Congratulations!  Great job on keeping your cool and just doing what you needed to do.  Your results will be fine :D.  Happy healing!
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Rescheduling crown appt.

I have appt for Sept. 4 for crown fitting. I know that I won't be up for this. Still trying to heal from surgery, and my upper palate is achy and numb. So I'm not trying to aggravate my poor teeth any more right now. I'm going to wear tray 17 until my nose situation stabilizes and I'm not having pain in mouth. It's hard enough trying to get the trays in now. Thank goodness these are somewhat loose, or I wouldn't have been able to do it.
Seriously, that sounds like a really smart idea.  The crowning procedure isn't that benign, cause you have to keep your mouth open for a long time.  No hurry :).
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Ouch, all of this seems like so much work no one would have anticipated. You're holding up well though, good job.
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I'm trying! Yes I've been having more than my share of challenges right now. The hard thing right now is keeping my teeth as clean as usual. I'm not brushing as thoroughly, or flossing, because I can't open my mouth properly ( numb upper palate). I'm going in for a cleaning when nose heals for sure.
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Tray17

I'm going a little longer in tray 17, but pretty sure it's not moving the teeth any more. Will probably start tray 18 later in the week.
This was a great post, I am excited to see the final outcome! I loved how you maintained such positivity even though things didn't all go according to plan. I am supposed to start next month and I hope to have your positivity!
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Thank you! And good luck on your journey! Any discomfort in the beginning is short- lived and well worth it!
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Hi! :)  Is the first picture of your latest update your natural resting bite?
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Road Trip with Invisalign.

I am almost 3 hours into a road trip from Florida to New York ( about 1150 miles). And I'm starving. Car full of snacks I don't want to take my trays out to eat. Trying to wait one more hour when we stop for a meal, then I will eat that and the snacks I've been looking at. This is one time when Invisalign is no fun. At all.
Oh goodness, I feel you there. Granted I had a shorter trip, 12 hours coming back to AZ from CA, but yeah, my sisters pulled out the red vines and salt and vinegar chips and I was very sad when I couldn't eat them! It did make me realize how much mindless snacking I do on car trips though :)
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LOL!  OMG, you need to not bring any snacks with you!  Or hide them!  I hope you hid them--looking at snacks you can't eat is like water-boarding, woman!

I'm not endorsing eating unhealthy snacks, by the way, but it is not gonna give you a cavity to eat something and not floss directly afterward.  I read that in the Doctor Q&A, by the way.  See here (the link in the title goes to the full page):

Traveling with Invisalign

February 23rd, 2013
+2
The more you clean your teeth the better it is for their overall health, but as long as you keep regular habits and brush at least in the morning and in the evening nothing can happen in 3 weeks period. Obviously if you can manage to do it more often it can only help your teeth.
Tanya Vaysman, DMD
Tanya Vaysman, DMD
New York Orthodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
www.ueso.org
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Starting Tray 19 and IPR at last!!!

Just back from Ortho appt. I had been wearing tray 18 for three weeks because I didn't want to change into a new tray without having IPR done first. My teeth felt like they were moved as much as they could be without causing problems. And I had A LOT of IPR done today!!! I came home and immediately took an Advil right away because I'm pretty sure I will be sore soon. My teeth are no longer touching in many areas, so I am eager to see these spaces close. He also filed down some teeth so they are more uniform-looking overall. I now have trays 19-22. My next appt is in 2 months. I will need even more IPR then. He said I was the "Queen of Triangles"...apparently his worst case thus far! Lol! But he's very confident about being able to close most of them completely and therefore, I am too. Tomorrow I go in to the dentist for a cleaning and possibly to finally get my crown. Dentist said something about having a gum doc take a look before she puts in the crown so it's wait and see.
Wow yeah, that's a lot of IPR all at once!  Very excited to see the results as the gaps close.  Let us know if you feel soreness.  I didn't feel any after my IPR--at least not that I can recall.
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It didn't hurt while he was doing it. But putting in a new tray and biting down with the chewy to seat it does feel achy. But not unbearable. The first time I had IPR done, my mouth was very sore after a few hours, so I was afraid this would be the case today. Glad it wasn't!
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Yeah, pain after IPR would have freaked me out.  Cause I was always afraid they'd take off too much.  Glad it was better for you this time!
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WHAT THE????

Went to dentist yesterday for exam and cleaning. This is the new dentist, the one who diagnosed my abscess/ crack in tooth which led to the root canal. Well, by the time she was finished talking, I was being diagnosed with about 5 or 6 teeth that need crowns, because of cracks which she tried to point out to me but I couldn't see, plus I was looking at an immediate out- of- pocket expense of $226 for a cleaning because apparently 2 spots in gums were at 5mm which indicated a need for scaling and planing and an antibiotic that would cost me $140. $30 for the water they use to clean the teeth during the procedure. I couldn't get out of there fast enough! Needless to say, I am going for a second opinion for everything. I called my insurance co. to get the go- ahead and referall for periodontist. Will then consult with an endo if needed. Can someone please tell me how I could develop all of these dire " cracks" in 4 months?

Progress pic

Before treatment vs. end of tray 18
Man oh man, you should become a dentist after all this- look how much you have learned about teeth!! I second the notion to get a second opinion with someone who doesn't make you feel pressured to spend a lot of money, there is no worse feeling than when a professional makes you feel like they are more concerned about your pocketbook than you as a client! Keep us updated, I love following your journey!
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Definitely get another opinion! Always get multiple opinions when it comes to major dental procedures. I can see some real progress in your teeth. That bottom tooth has improved a lot. Everything is straightening out fine, and when all of the spaces they created close, your teeth will be fab. ;)
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Thanks. I'm starting to believe that some dentists are unscrupulous. To charge someone for irrigation of teeth while cleaning is ridiculous. I almost said how about I just bring some bottled water and rinse my mouth out myself. My Ortho once told me that dentists don't make their money on extractions so they try to talk you into a lot of other stuff to spend your money. I'm glad I'm going to get a second opinion soon because I'm now worried about my molars.
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Just back from periodontist.

A wonderful doctor, took the time to really consult with me on these gums of mine. Saiid my hygiene was great, and my gums were in decent shape. He said he could tell the other gum doc did a good job by looking at my gums now. There were two spots on bottom molars that were at 4 not 5 like stated by the dentist. So I will go ahead and let him do a scaling and planing/ cleaning tomorrow since it's been a few years since I had it done. They are only charging $63-- that's $130 less out-of-pocket than my sheister dentist. He said the antibiotics were unnecessary. My gum recession is mostly due to abrasions from brushing, but there's enough gum tissue left to survive indefinitely if I continue with good dental routine. I'm relieved about this. I now have 0 confidence in my dentist and will start looking elsewhere. My only problem now is that I paid in full for my crown and I don't want the dentist to seat it. I'm wondering if I can just take it since I paid for it and have another dentist put it in.
Glad you went to a periodontist! It really does help sometimes to get someone specially trained in the area you're having issues with. I'm unsure about taking the crown but I think it probably depends on the dentist.
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Yay!  Fabulous that you found a good periodontist.  You may want to ask them for an informal referral--a dentist they respect.  And ask the new dentist whether they think you can take the unseated crown.  It'd be a wonderful surprise if you could!
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Thanks! It's a rocky road, but I'm determined to press on until it's done! Glad I got another opinion.
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Periodontist is the bomb.

I had a cleaning yesterday that was fabulous. My best yet. They managed to remove all of the brownish staining that has been accumulating since Invisalign. Also, they use warm water for irrigation ( and they don't charge for it! Ha!). This is a God- send for those like me who have sensitivity to the cold water most dentists use. They really paid attention to detail and did a very thorough cleaning. I will def be going back to perio for cleanings every 6 months. I may do a regular dentist for the other cleanings I need, as it's recommended that I get cleanings every 3 months. Can't really say enough good things about this perio office.
I've been reading your review and am interested to see what your final outcome is with the black triangles. I too am worried about those and will talk to my Ortho next week when I go to my appointment. Sorry that you had and abscess and had to get a crown during all of this.
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Thank you, aloevera! Hopefully that's the only crown I will need. My Ortho mentioned to me that they are seeing more and more clients with the triangle issues. I took a look at your recent update and your gums are no way near problematic from what I can see. I'm sure if you just stress to your Ortho that you don't want to see any at the end that he or she will keep that in mind. It's the Ortho that fine- tunes the Invisalign results. Your teeth seem to be a good size so just a wee bit of IPR would probably be all you would need---
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Lol at charging for the water for irrigation. I still can't believe it. I'm glad you found a professional you like.
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