Trying Invisalign at Age 44 to Fix Upper and Lower Crowding. - Cornwall, NY

Since I have found these reviews incredibly...

Since I have found these reviews incredibly helpful to me in making the decision whether to try Invisalign, I thought I would add my own experience. I got my first tray put on yesterday. Will post pictures of what my teeth look like at the start so we can see how well this is working and how long it takes to see the first real signs of straightening. My dentist did 2 IPRs before the first tray went on to allow some space for the teeth to move. Beats any extractions/gaping holes! My plan includes 24 trays - changing every 2 weeks. Pros: they are not permanent so if anything goes wrong during this treatment - out they go, lol. They are really hard to see when people are talking to you face to face unless they are staring closely at your mouth. Cons: The trays have rough edges at the bottom, which after just 24 hours have caused cuts on the side of my tongue and inside of my lips/cheeks. This is the single most uncomfortable part of wearing these trays for me. It hurts to talk so I am avoiding doing so. I have a bit of a lisp and feel like I constantly have to suck the saliva out of the trays. This morning when I took off the trays to brush and eat breakfast I had pain in a few teeth (does this mean it's working already??). Normally a coffee sipper, I had to gulp down my coffee in order to get the trays back on asap. I am shooting for having them on 22+ hours each day. At lunch today, I was unable to bite down on a deli sandwich because of tooth pain so I had to tear it into tiny pieces and chew in the back of my mouth only. It took me nearly an hour to get one small sandwich down! I have to plan carefully what and when I am going to eat (all soft food for now). No more snacking. Definitely paying close attention to how long I take at a meal and rushing to get through the cleaning regimen and get the trays back on asap. May have to go back to my dentist to see if anything can be done about the rough edges of the trays.

Day 2

Not finding it too difficult keeping the trays in for 21+ hours, though I love the brief breaks. I know what others meant when they described feeling like their teeth were suffocating. The small cuts on my tongue and inside of lips from the edges of the trays are a real nuisance. By the end of the day they hurt so much I try not to talk at all. Still feeling pain in several teeth that making eating tough. Have adopted an all soft food diet for the time being. 2 days down, 363 to go :)

Clincheck video shots

Beautiful ClinChecks--definitely inspiring!  Congratulations on getting to do this for yourself!  We have lots of other Invisaligners who are starting this a little later (ie. once they can afford it themselves ;)!) I'll give you some other reviews to look up at your leisure if you ever feel a need to reach out.

For the trays--if those edges are sharp, your doctor can file them for you so that they're not cutting you.  If you call them, some of them allow you to file it yourself, so you can ask about that if you don't want to go in.  Another great tool is orthodontic wax.  You won't need much--one small tray should suffice for your entire treatment--but it is a lifesaver in the beginning, before your mouth toughens up!

So here are some reviews:  AreYouKiddingMe, shepherdqueen (actually doing it concurrently with her son :)), adam1995, Nicky.j, humbleoracle,Gwenifer, HelloInvisalign, knitsew, CazziebooBoyz5, and aloevera.
@ TwoPlusOne - This orthodontic wax IS a lifesaver. Thanks so much for the advice. I stopped on the way home from work and picked some up. Put it on 4 different places and, wow - no more pain - except the soreness of the cuts I already have ;) Thank you, thank you, thank you! Will tell me dentist to start giving a tray of this stuff out to all new Invisalign patients.
Yay!  So glad to hear it helped!  Sounds like a great idea--I'm pretty sure some of them do it for braces :D.

Day 3

Ok, things are looking up. Thanks to the great advice I received on here I bought some ortho wax and covered up 4 jagged edges on the trays. SUCH a relief! Now just have to give my tongue and inside of lips time to heal. After only a few days the trays are easier to pop in and out and I feel less pain when eating today, though I am still sticking with soft foods. I sooooo look forward to the breaks at meal times, and have to force myself to set a timer and stick to it. Should easily hit 22 hours in today. Feeling more hopeful that I can do this.

What in the world is AcceleDent?

And WHY didn't my dentist offer it???? I've been reading here that others shaved off several months from their treatment using it and I'm all for that! Will have to ask at my next visit.
Here's a forum here on RealSelf about AcceleDent.  It has a bit of info about what it is.  Some people buy it used on eBay.  One of our Invisaligners recently sold her used unit on eBay.  A lot of people use it in Australia, and one of our other Invisaligners bought his unit on eBay from Australia (HenryZ).  We're not allowed to buy and sell here on RealSelf, but what happens off RealSelf is not our concern :).  

The units, when new, are in the $900-$1500 range.  Used, they're usually around $500-$800.  They're highly sought after, so the resale is high.

There is another type of accelerated orthodontia called Propel, which uses microperforations to speed the treatment.  One of our other users, Maiganb09, used Propel and had fantastic results.  You only do it once, whereas with AcceleDent, you have to use the unit every day.  Propel is cheaper as well, if it's local to you.  

You can also look at this short post in our doctors' Q&A Forum:  Is There A Faster Way To Treat My Teeth?

One week complete!

Ok, I have the routine down. Averaging between 21-22 hours a day with the aligners on, which my dentists said is fine. I move up to tray 2 next week. Posting my first pic of my mouth week one. Totally embarrassed to show you guys the current state of my teeth, but want too show the progress I (hopefully) make over the months. I have 12 attachments in total and this photo shows one of the two IPRs my dentist did on my two front top teeth before my first trays went on.

At the end of my first week here are a few observations:
1) The orthodontic wax, while a MUST for my comfort, adds more time to the already cumbersome cleaning routine, so if the next tray has sharp edges I'm bringing them back for filing. Where's the QA at Invisalign, sending these ragged trays out to customers??
2) I have adopted a schedule of taking the aligners out 4-5 times a day for short periods versus 2-3 longer periods.
3) I really miss leisurely sipping coffee!!!!
4) Scrubbing the trays with a toothbrush and toothpaste scratches the plastic and makes them more noticeable when on. Not sure why Invisalign doesn't offer a soaking solution that disinfects without damaging the aligners. Have read not to clean/soak them in denture cleaner or mouthwash, so I have not done so.
5) Still self-conscious about lisping and my boyfriend says I keep pursing my lips and sucking my 'teeth'. I don't even realize I'm doing it, but I still seem to be over-salivating with these things in my mouth.
6) Um.....someone should have told me that smoking will stain the trays. My dentist, who knows I am a smoker, never brought this up. He offered to clean them for me if needed, but I only have to wear each tray for 2 weeks and after 8 days, the discoloration is only slight.
7) MY TEETH DON'T HURT ANYMORE! Ate solid food finally with no pain.
8) The trays are definitely easier to get on and off and I feel very little pressure when wearing them.
9) I am still very excited about the prospect of improving my smile. Going to treat myself to teeth whitening at the end of my treatment. Can't wait!
Invisalign does sell Cleaning Crystals to clean the trays.  You just mix them with water and soak the trays in them.  They're not cheap, but my doctor gave me some free samples, and also of Retainer Brite, which does the same thing.  Otherwise, I used hydrogen peroxide, Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap, or unscented dish soap.  

I know Crooky24 complained about smoking staining her trays, but I think she ended up quitting smoking. You can check out her review :).  In the comments, both SnowyT and KaySanaY talk about issues re smoking with the trays, as they both smoke, I think.

Tray 2!

I was prepared for a lot of discomfort when switching to my 2nd tray, but other than pressure on a few teeth and a VERY snug fit - all is ok. Taking advice from others here, I waited until bedtime to make the switch and by morning I was fine. Not even an aspirin needed. Hope all new trays go this smoothly. I couldn't deal with the wax anymore so I used a fine clean nail file to smooth out the rough edges of my 2nd tray before putting it in for the first time. Worked like a charm - no mouth cuts/sores to be found. Only sorry I didn't do this with the first tray. By the end of my second week, I barely noticed the aligners and they became so easy to get on/off towards the end. I am having no trouble keeping them in 21+ hours a day. Too soon to see any changes, but I'll post a picture anyway with each tray change. Need to post a full face picture as well - all these closeups of my teeth are just weird - lol. The only trouble I have is attending social gatherings or outdoor events - particularly when there is no private bathroom or running water. And I still can't bring myself to brush my teeth in a public restroom after eating dinner out. I just rinse very thoroughly, put the aligners back in and brush like crazy when I get home. All in all, I'm still optimistic about the process and glad to have one tray behind me :)
Thank you for the full-face photo.  You're beautiful, and soon your teeth will match!

Glad to hear that the filing worked for you.  Not every tray will be like that either.  And after a while, your mouth will be so tough, you wouldn't know if the tray needed filing.  At least, that's how it was for me.  There was a rough patch again when I got the attachments, but once my mouth healed from that, it was smooth sailing till the end!

Were you able to get any advice about the smoke staining?
Thanks for the compliment TwoPlusOne! Haven't tried anything to remove the light staining on the aligners from smoking yet. Wanted to wait until my next dentist appointment and see what they might have on hand for me to try. Not understanding why Invisalign wouldn't supply the Cleaning Crystals with the aligners...
They are expensive, and not necessary, so I'm guessing they can offer cheaper treatment without them, then sell them after market.  Retainer brite is also popular.  I used to get free samples from my doctor, so you could see if you could get a couple of free samples.  I've even read reviews here on RealSelf with people using diluted bleach--you may want to ask your doctor about that.  I've never tried it.  I always just use hydrogen peroxide straight out of the bottle to soak my trays in.  But I don't smoke, so I don't know if it'd work well on that type of staining.

Tray 3!

Moved to my 3rd tray (of 24) last night and OUCH! I couldn't believe how much it hurt to put them in for the first time. This is good right? Means my teeth are being pushed into the right spots? After nearly 24 hours, the pain is still bad when I take them off and put them back on. My top tray doesn't seem to fit as perfectly as the first two did. Not sure if I need to alert my dentist to this. There is a space at the bottom of my two front teeth where the aligner just won't go on any further.

I see the dentist at the end of this tray, (so, in 2 weeks), when he'll do a few more IPRs and give me trays 4, 5 and 6. Can't wait to be in the double digits. The IPRs make me nervous. Once removed, I can never get that enamel back and, while I understand it needs to be done to allow my teeth room to move, I'm worried I'll have issues later with cavities or sensitivity.

Haven't noticed any difference in the position of my teeth yet, but I assume it's still too early. Posting a picture anyway.
Wow, you and I are at the same stage in treatment! I changed into my 3rd set this past Tuesday (26th) night, yesterday being my first full day in them. It's funny, too...this set has hurt more than the first two AND I had so much difficulty getting the bottom one on that I had to stop and double check everything (as TwoPlusOne suggested, perhaps I had the wrong tray). I finally got them in and whoa - paaaain! By bedtime last night the pain was radiating up into my cheek - Aleve is my best friend right now ;-) ....this morning it's much better. I hope you are much better by now as well. Again, as TwoPlusOne said - I call my doctor, don't care if I'm a pain! If you have concerns, call yours honey. That's all part of the process, it's their job to assist and assure you. As for the Acceledent - funny again - you got as excited as I did when you read about it! I was: Whaaat, there's a way to shorten this Invisalign prison I've checked myself into; oh yay, sign me up!! I called my doc, she squashed my excitement (I cried, I'm so silly). She doesn't like the idea of rushing up the movement. I'm afraid that I gave her the impression that I'm sensitive about my age. Could be because in the first few days while I was having a meltdown, among other things I said to her, I said "I'm too old for this s----"! (I was in a bad state, embarrassing). She may be concerned about me using the Acceledent because of my age and just did not want to say that. Who knows, but either way I won't be using it...sigh. If age is a factor, that wouldn't be the case with you; I am 53, significantly older than you. Once again, talk to your doc about using it. Finally, the staining caused by smoking. (Have you tried an electronic cigarette? That's how I quit smoking almost 5 years ago. Girl, it will save your life, I swear)! My first two trays got dingy sometime in the mid-second week. I soaked them in a mixture of peroxide and water OR a little bleach in water when they're really bad; they came out like new. Getting the gunky stuff out of the crevices for the attachments has been my biggest challenge and's so gross, hate it. Best of luck to you! I'm excited to watch your progress.
We're at the EXACT same stage - how cool. Please stay in touch and let me know how you're doing. We'll go through this together! I totally agree about cleaning the attachment areas of the aligners. I was scrubbing them down with warm water, toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. By the end of the 2 weeks, they were all scuffed up. I just read online that you should not use toothpaste on them, so will stop that. I'll try the peroxide and water soak. One thing that I forgot to mention is that I have 'broken' both of the first two trays in the same spot. My top trays have a tear in them that must have come from my pulling them off to forcefully. I'm being much more careful with this tray. Still having discomfort with this set, but not enough to take a pain reliever even. I'm going to check out your posts now. Stay in touch!
Yay, I have an Invisalign buddy!! I'm serious, no one close to me gets this. I have worried about tearing my trays but so far, it hasn't happened. Do you use one of those outie tools? I, too, am still having issues with this set! They're just uncomfortable. Yes, yes let's stay in touch....we've got a year to get to know each other! Hang in there!

Trays 4, 5 and 6

Wow - I'm overdue for an update. I am putting in tray # 6 of 24 tonight. I always get apprehensive the night of a tray change as the last two were really painful. For the first 3 days or so of both trays 4 and 5 the top trays wouldn't go on all the way. As they loosened up they fit better. I see the dentist in a week to get my hands on 7, 8 and 9 and to have a few more IPRs. I THINK I see some improvement in my left top side - the tooth next to the front tooth, but I could be delusional, wanting so badly to see a change.

My trays are in about 21 hours a day - sometimes more like 20 ;) - but this isn't the only rule I have broken....I have been drinking 1-2 cups of coffee a day through a straw with the aligners in. Now stop judging me! I've always been one to learn my lessons the hard way. And no, I am not trying to throw my money away, but I have few vices in life and one of them is hot beverages. So it has been very hard for me to give them up. I do wait until the coffee cools down before drinking it, and I rinse as soon as possible when done. I have a regular cleaning appt coming soon, so let's see if I am causing any real harm and then I'll accept every last "I told you so' - lol!

Still have to file down the trays before I put them in for the first time, but it's worth the smooth fit and no more mouth sores.
Welcome back!  Drinking coffee, as long as it's no warmer than your mouth, is not going to ruin your results.  It's purely a hygiene issue.  And Invisilign recommends 20-22 hours per day.  You try your best, you know?  And if the aligners don't fit that great when you put them in, maybe try to increase your weartime a little and see if it helps.  It may not and then you know it may just be the severity of your case or some other factor like your roots or whatever.  I expect to be able to start seeing progress at tray 8.  You're almost there!!!
Dr. Stein

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 2 others found this helpful