Braces at 22 - My Invisalign Journey ! Dartmouth, NS

I had been wanting Invisalign for a long time now...

I had been wanting Invisalign for a long time now to correct the spacing in my upper teeth and the slight crowding in my lower teeth. In May 2013, I went for a free consultation and the orthodontist really wanted me to get the Damon Clearbraces - which I really didn't want, since they have brackets and wiring. He said Invisalign was an option, however the cost would be significantly more expensive - approximately $7000. I opted not to go for it due to the high expense.
I left the thought alone for nearly a year, but every time I looked in the mirror or took a picture, I hated the way my smile would look. So in April of this year (2014) I did some research on orthodontists in my area and found DocBraces (I decided on them since they were the only Elite provider of Invisalign in my area). I went in for a free consultation and I explained my issues and what I wanted corrected. She explained my options and said I would be an excellent candidate for Invisalign! She went over costs and payment plans/options with me and said to call the office back if/when I make a decision. I talked it over with my parents and they decided to help me out as gift for graduating from university in May (entering the professional world with a great smile was the perfect idea of a gift to me)! The cost was MUCH lower at DocBraces: $5400 Canadian ($5000 USD) which includes all the trays, appointments/check-ups, refinements and retainers! I'm glad I shopped around and I would definitely recommend looking around to different orthodontists and asking around so you can get a deal and as well as an orthodontist who cares about and knows what they're doing!
On May 12, I went in to get impressions. Unfortunately, they did not have the scanner yet so I had to get my impressions done the old fashioned way. They put trays of a gummy/clay-like substance in my mouth and pressed down very firmly and left them there for about two minutes. The taste wasn't bad (it tasted like berry-flavoured gum) and it didn't hurt but it was a little uncomfortable. They had to take the impressions a few times as they were very meticulous about getting perfect impressions (which I was okay with). After that they told me they would call me when the trays were ready, which they said would take about 4-6 weeks.
On June 5th, they called saying my trays had come in (only took about 3 weeks!) and they booked an appointment for me to come in on Monday, June 9th! I'm very excited to get my trays and begin my journey! I'll be back Monday night to update, but until then any tips/advice would be greatly appreciated! :) Pics will come later!

First Set of Trays!

So I went in for appointment today to get my aligners and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I would only be getting 23 tray and that treatment would take approximately 10-15 months!! (I though it was going to take up to 24 months!). The dental assistant showed me the clincheck and it was very neat to see how my my teeth would move!
I was given my first three sets of trays and I was originally going to be wearing them each for two weeks, returning in early/mid July to have my attachments placed and get my next set of trays. However the they are closed for two weeks in July (for vacation time, I guess) and I'll have to wear my first three liners for two and half weeks each and get my attachments put on August 5th! I was given the aligner chewies which I've been munching on for most of the day and so far eating hasn't been a hassle - I can only see it being a problem when I go out to eat or maybe during my break at work when I have lunch or a snack. Pain hasn't been a problem so far - if anything my top, front teeth are feeling a little sensitive but the back teeth and my bottom teeth are fine (haven't had to take any pain killers) and NO LISP! Yay!
Two things I'm curious about are acceledent and if there's any drug store products I can use to clean the trays with - the dental assistant recommended Polydent (a denture cleaner) as she said it was very gentle (I don't think we have Retainer Brite in Canada [or in NS as least] as she didn't offer/mention it! If anyone has any tips/advice about either of these I would greatly appreciate it!
Pics to come ASAP!

Tray 4 + Attachments

I didn't really see a point in updating with every tray, since it would be very repetitive. However on Tuesday I received trays four, five and six and also got my attachments put on. I was very lucky that they are not on my very front teeth but off to the side. The procedure was a little uncomfortable, but not painful. It feels like I have fangs now haha! I am currently on my fourth tray (out of 23) and can go back to the normal 2 weeks per tray (YAY!). Wearing the trays with attachments is a little uncomfortable; I find it painful to remove the trays now (especially from my top teeth) as they are very tight but I know that my teeth are moving! Cleaning the trays hasn't been much of a hassle; I use Polident Retainer Cleaner and it works very well for me. So far, so good with Invisalign - my orthodontist says I'm on the right track!

Clincheck

I haven't posted any before/after pics yet so I thought my Clincheck might be a good way to show what my teeth looked like before and what they (hopefully) will look like after! :)
Dr Alison Stefanuto

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Comments (7)

Beautiful ClinCheck!  And good job uploading it, LOL!  
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Thank-you! And yes haha I was so glad it worked the first time (made good use of my rarely used YouTube account LOL)!
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Good luck with invisiagn. I'm debating if I'm going to get them or not. Had braces when I was younger but they are shifting now.
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Thank-You! I'd say to go for it! It's been fine so far. Only thing is minor toothaches and taking them out to eat but it's not that big a deal! You probably won't even need them for long considering you've had braces before! Let me know if you decide to get them :)
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Hello and welcome to our Invisalign community!!!!  My first bit of advice is to make sure you get good angles on your before pics (even if you don't upload them all now)--lately we've had several people lamenting that they didn't get enough before pics.  We tend to get rather impatient to see results, and multiple views can really help.

Otherwise, try not to worry too much.  It's not that big a deal, especially the first day.  If you get your attachments right away it's a bigger deal.  You may want to get some orthodontic wax, though, just in case there are some spots that start rubbing you the wrong way (one pack should do it).  And make sure that if there are any sharp/rough edges on your trays, that you point them out to the doctor and make sure it's not something that should be filed down.  

Also, make sure there are chewies in your starter kit and ask for them if they're not.  Your doctor may not have them, but it's worth a shot.  

Also make check that there are two carrying cases in there--at least one.  Check to make sure the number of the aligner they put in to start is number 1 of however many.  We've had at least one community member get number 3 put in by mistake.  You can do that when you get home.  

Finally, you can ask if they have any free samples of retainer brite or the Invisalign cleaning crystals.

That's all I can think off off the top of my head :).

Here are some of our other newest users for you to meet!  Klinden95, Crooky24, Sairisan, sarahmartin,Alignwithme, SugarKinesis, Mmapp1, FijiGNR89, Dante555,fi414, KaySanaY, Joliesmile, rlt0723ejamis, and JLD_Sail
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Thanks so much for all the advice, greatly appreciate it! I was wondering if there are any tips/advice on the maintenance? And I'll be sure to get as many angles as possible when taking pics!
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I personally used hydrogen peroxide solution to soak my trays (I still do it with my retainers, too).  Occasionally it'd use the Invisalign crystals or retainer brite because of the free samples.  I've read others on here use a vinegar/water solution (I know Crooky24 does this--you can check her out to see the recipe she uses.)  Others use the Polident (some don't because Invisalign recommends not doing this) and have not had problems with cloudiness.  I used plain, mild, unscented or peppermint scented hand-soap or mild, unscented dish liquid to brush my trays with a toothbrush after they'd soaked in the peroxide.  I rarely do this anymore because my retainers soak for hours so they never get yucky anymore.  I had bad experiences with toothpaste and toothbrush on the trays because I use Tom's of Maine and it's gritty and made microabrasions in my trays that collected plaque and were a real bear to clean out.
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