My Journey to my Dream Smile! Dayton, OH

Welcome to my story! My name is Claire. I have...

Welcome to my story! My name is Claire. I have decided to share my Invisalign journey with you all as when I was in the research phase, other peoples reviews really helped me! Growing up in Ireland, braces were not the norm. I was never too concerned with how my teeth looked, as long as they were clean! My teeth were never considered to be really ugly. (by Irish standards!) Well, that all changed when I moved to the USA! Everything is bigger, better, brighter here! AND a lot shinier! All of a sudden i realized that my misshapen tusks were not going to fit in! All around me were a sea of beautiful, white, bright shiny smiles. I started to feel paranoid about my smile. I used Crest Whitestrips, which made me feel a little better as they helped to brighten up my teeth. However, when i would get my picture taken I found myself not smiling so wide and I tended to keep my mouth closed. I also started to notice that my teeth were shifting as i got older. They are so crossed and crowded. A few months ago, I saw a picture of myself with a co-worker- it was the final straw! My teeth looked horrendous. Really wonky and my canines looked downright scary. So i went for an Invisalign consultation. To my delight i was informed that i was a good candidate. My total price was quoted as $4700. During my next appointment I was fitted for the Aligners. The dentist took impressions of my teeth and some photos. It was not painful in any way. I was so excited! Much to my disappointment it was two more months before my trays came back! I just wanted to get started. I was so inpatient. A couple of days ago I went to the dentist to get my Invisalign. I was shocked at what happened next..... The dentist told me that he would be shaving my teeth to make space. (I did not know this!) So he proceeded to shave in between some of my teeth. It was not really painful at all. Just kind of uncomfortable. He then placed little metal 'keys' in between the teeth to ensure he had shaved them appropriately. He had a plan from Invisalign and reviewed it often. I was nervous to see what he had done. The result was that I had some very noticeable gaps in between my teeth. I was informed I would have 28 trays. I was not shown a Clincheck video. (I am not sure if that is always part of the Invisalign process) I was not given any information regarding expected results or anything like that. I will ask at my next appointment. The dentist put the aligners in my mouth. It felt very, very strange. I was dribbling all over the place! What really struck me the most was that when I tried to speak, the top and bottom back would literally bang together! I thought to myself, 'ohmygossssssssh, how am I going to stand this'?! He instructed me to remove them and then put then insert them again. Woww..it was difficult. The aligners are extremely tight on your teeth. I felt extremely awkward and spoke with a noticeable lisp. The next day I woke up and was in a lot of pain. My teeth ached and my jaw hurt. I also had a little bit of a headache. This carried on for a couple of days to varying degrees. I am now on day 5. I am still quite lispy. I am not in pain, rather, my teeth feel quite sensitive and achey. When i speak to anyone, I feel like i need to inform them I am wearing Invisalign as I feel quite paranoid. Things I have noticed- spit gets caught in the trays, lipstick gets caught in the top tray, I keep on sucking on the trays, they do not hurt my gums at all and finally, they dont feel so clunky in my mouth. Oh and they have loosened up a bit so they are easier to remove and insert. All in all, I am glad that I have embarked on this journey and am so excited to see the results. I go back to the dentist in two weeks and I will be getting buttons placed on my teeth. I believe these help to move teeth. I will share that with you all! Also, i hope my teeth pictures dont make you sick, looking at them makes me feel so embarrassed and re-affirms my decision to go forward with Invisalign! Smooches x

4 Comments

Yay! Congratulations on finally getting to do this for yourself! Just remember, since everyone in the USA has amazing teeth, it also means they've all had braces ;). Of course I'm exaggerating, but it's not far from true. So you don't have to be paranoid. If people notice, they will very likely guess what's going on.

The ClinCheck is normal. All doctors receive a ClinCheck for you, but not all share them. They can usually be pestered into sharing them if they don't do so automatically. Some give it to their patients automatically on disc, or have them on a website, so sometimes those people share them with us :). I never got mine, but I got to see it in the office.

I see you have a crossbite. Those are rough. They catch your teeth so your bite gets even more off. It will be super exciting to watch that disappear. I had one of those but, unfortunately, I didn't know about RS back then, so I didn't get to watch it disappear. But it's certainly gone now. You'll be so pleased!!!

I look forward to watching your progress!
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Thank you very much for your very sweet response! I am very excited about this whole thing and it feels great to share my story with like minded people! :)
I left a reply to you under my review...I probably should have put it here (I'm new to the posting process here). Anyway, the attachments make things a bit different and, well, to what degree I suppose depends on how many you have to get. Don't let it discourage you the way it did me. I was so miserable and regretful at first but now everything is fine. I do so hope that your experience getting accustomed to the "buttons" will not be unpleasant. ;-)

Invisalign- 12 day update- the good, the bad and the ugly!

Hello everybody,
Well, it has been 12 days since I got Invisalign. Here are a couple of the main things I have found over this period:
• I am brushing/flossing/mouth washing on average 5 times per day.
• Wearing Invisalign make my lips extremely dry.
• Lipstick is my enemy now as it gets caught in the top aligner (not a good look at all!)
• I have been drinking a lot more water and snack way less (Score!)
• I have a habit of playing with the edges of the aligners with my tongue, resulting in blisters.
• I am super paranoid about having bad breath.
• Very few people have noticed I am wearing the aligners, although I have felt the need to preface every conversation with ‘excuse me, I just got braces’!
• I am still talking a little strangely. I have a slight lisp and find that when I speak the upper and lower aligner clatter off each other. Specifically, my back teeth. This is soooooo annoying.
• Spit collects in the trays, but it is not dreadful- I find myself sucking on them (while they are on my teeth)- I know its kind of gross.
• I really like to drink and socialize (C’mon, I’m Irish!) So its very irritating that I have to rush my libations!
• I have experienced quite a bit of pain. In my gums, my teeth, jaw and head. (But hey, that means something is happening right?!)
I feel VERY proud of myself that I am doing this! I feel empowered and am committed to staying on track!
I will get attachments and a new set of aligners on Friday- I will update you all and post some pics!
Smooches!

7 Comments

Good luck with your attachments. I had 27 added yesterday!! It's really not too bad and the whole process is over in about 20 mins. The attachments feel weird on your teeth so I am happier keeping the braces on. I have found with the new aligner and attachments that it hard to remove. At work today I made sure I had a big breakfast with eggs and bananas so that I did not have to mess around removing the aligner for lunch. Hopefully will loosen up soon. Best of luck
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Thank you so much Kazzalou. I had 13 applied on Friday. It was not too bad, except for the drilling in some places. Your are right- they do feel pretty weird. And eating for the first time was definitely an experience, I felt like everything I ate was stuck in and around every single tooth! Having all the attachements makes me look a little goofier and the aligners are a lot more noticeable but, hey, who cares! I agree with you on the tightness- Golly, I have really been sticking to my Invisalign Diet this week! I will post some pictures and a new review tomorrow. Thank you for your comment!
Hi! Just a little tip about lipstick. Every time I would wear lipstick it would stain my aligners and would be hard to wash off so instead of wearing lipstick I now use lipstain. It is fast drying and will not stain your aligners. I wear a little clear lipgloss or chap stick on top and it works great. I use cover girl outlast lipstain. I hope this helps :)
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Attachments all over the place!

Well i am now on my second tray. I got a bunch of attachments last week (13 to be exact). Lord have mercy- the pain of it! The process did not sound too dreadful. The reality of having my teeth drilled was something quite different. Truly, i am not being dramatic. The pain and sensitivity was so intense that I broke into a full blown sweat! I have heard other people say it was painless so perhaps i just have extremely sensitive teeth. Anyways, I have 8 attachments on top and 5 on the bottom. On top, one tooth has two attachments, the rest have one. I think my dentist did a very good job of matching the color of the composite to my tooth color. The attachments themselves are not very noticeable. Its a weird comparison, but as they stick out, they make me look like i have shark teeth! It also kind of looks like i have plaque stuck to my teeth. It (Sorry i know that sounds disgusting! They have made my aligners a bit more noticeable due to the fact that the aligner sticks out in parts to accommodate the attachments. It is rather awkward looking. And of course I have a large one right in the middle of one of my front teeth! I will not complain though- it is a small price to pay for straight teeth. The attachments themselves have caused me no pain in terms of rubbing against the inside of my mouth. They have, however, made eating a little messier. When i eat, it feels like every scrap of food is stuck to them and in between my teeth. Of course, this is not the case. However due to the spaces (IPR) the dentist shaved in between my teeth, food does get stuck in there. No biggie really. I try to keep my mouth closed while eating in company and then excuse myself after and floss/brush etc. One major thing i did discover is that my first tray got extremely discolored. I kind of thought it may have been in my head- until i compared it with a new fresh tray. I was shocked! It looked disgusting. I could not figure out what had made it so unsightly. I have been flossing/brushing/using mouthwash after every meal. I soaked it every morning in an Efferdent tablet. I only drank water. Then it dawned on me.....LIPSTICK!! Uuurgh. I love to wear lipstick, and that really bums me out. Thanks to the suggestion of another reviewer, i have started to use lip stain and am yet to notice any staining.

1 Comments

I almost never wear lipstick, and my trays were always stained at the end.  Some people just have that kind of chemistry in their mouths. :)  You can improve it slightly by what you're doing, with the cleaning, but don't be disappointed if the trays are still a little discolored by the end.  It is, unfortunately, part of the deal.  

Congrats on your attachments!  I hope they continue to be trouble-free for you :D.
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Ouuuucccch!

Just wanted to do a quick update. I started on Tray 3 a couple of days ago.. Have spent the weekend with a little discomfort. Today i woke up in A LOT of pain. Sheeeeesh it is intense.. The pain is on one side of my mouth and into my jaw... It feels a cross of nerves being exposed and a deep, dull throbbing ache. I hope this passes soon. Today is not a good Invisalign day!! :(

3 Comments

I'm sorry you're in pain with this one :(.  Some are worse than others, but it's a shock every time.  Hopefully it will calm down again after a few days, but for those days, some people take some kind of OTC pain killers or something.  I hope it's already improved some since you wrote this.  Do you have chewies?  Sometimes it helps with those nasty trays.
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Thanks so much for that info and the well wishes! I feel very reassured. I was wondering what i was doing wrong!
:D.  You have enough to worry about without that.  Seriously, I hope the pain goes over soon!

Intense pain

It has been five days since I posted about feeling pain. My gosh it has been intense. As I type this my jaw is throbbing and I feel white hot pain in my back teeth on one side. I have been gobbling down Ibuprofen. I hate to complain and moan but this is pretty unbearable. I just don't know whether this level of pain is normal or not.

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I don't know if it's normal, but it is very unusual for our RealSelf Invisaligners to feel pain for that long.  I've seen it a couple of times, only (like 5 or 6).  I would contact your doctor to make sure everything is okay.  I would hate for something important to get missed just because pain is normal.  Sometimes the pain indicates something not normal, and I think maybe one or two of those experienced the abnormal pain had something else wrong that benefited from seeing their doctor.  adam1995, for example, ended up having terrible pain that was serious.  And fab45mom had an abscess that she needed antibiotics for.

Please let us know...
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Wow, I have to agree...please see your doc. Hopefully since it's been a few days, you are much better. I'd be sick for you if you had to go through the weekend with intense pain. Why is it that ailments are always worse during the weekends?!?!
Thank you all so much for your comments. I have had an awful time. I am in constant pain, of which i have never experienced. I have been gobbling Ibuprofen at a rate that is for sure unhealthy. My gosh the agony has been relentless. I havent gotten a full nights sleep in days. I finally got an appointment with my dentist for today. I will update you all when I get back. Fingers crossed it is nothing too bad as I dont want it to interrupt my Invisalign treatment! Thank you all for your support! X

Discontinued and disappointed

I have been through a rough couple of weeks. i have been in constant, relentless pain. Believe me when i tell you i have a high tolerance for pain, but the pain i have been experiencing has been on another level. Currently I have not slept a full 7 hours in at least a week and a half. Last night I was awake from about 1 AM onwards. I put a warm face cloth on my jaw which gave a little relief. I am running on fumes at this point. I went to the dentist last Friday. He said he thinks that i have 'very sensitive periodontal ligaments' and thinks i may grind my teeth in my sleep. He thinks this is the source of the pain. To add to it all, I have had a bunch of coldsores aw well!! I got a prescription for Cold Sore med and Ibuprofen 800mg. I have been popping 3/4 of the Ibuprofen and about 3 Extra Strength Tylenol daily. I can no longer eat or drink on the affected side. Today after speaking with my dentist I have decided to cease Invisalign treatment for a couple of weeks to allow my mouth to heal a bit. He said we could give it another try and see how it goes. I feel very disappointed with this whole thing but literally do not know what else to do. Nobody could function with this level of pain. I am praying for some decent sleep tonight. :((((((((((((

15 Comments

I feel your pain. I gave up after a week and resumed again to the advice of my dentist (is he wanting $ or actually to help me?) the pain was so intense I stopped but I already paid $2k so am trying again for a week and will see how the pain level is. I think your teeth are pretty great without braces so don't feel bad if you decide to keep them as they are ! Mine are much worse with a cross over. Would love to hear from you
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Oh nooo. I am sorry to read that. I can completely relate. I have been through absolute hell the past few weeks. The intensity of pain, i have never felt in my life. It has been relentless. I have had more sleepless nights than I can even count. Thank you for kind words. What kind of a pain are you feeling? For me, it has been extreme sensitivity, and white hot pain in my top and bottom teeth on the left side, that goes into my head and jaw. Having experienced the pain that goes along with a new tray i can tell you that this pain was on another level! How are you feeling today?
oh gosh sorry to hear about you having to discontinue! hope the pause helps relieve the pain for you and you can continue your treatment asap.
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Drugged and Invisalign-less!!!

Hi everyone.
Ohmygosh, i do not know where to begin. I ceased Invisalign treatment on the 24th of September. I was hoping for immediate relief, but alas, that was nowhere near the case. The pain did NOT subside at all. Even with Ibuprofen and Extra Strength Tylenol i was still waking up in the middle of the night in AGONY. The pain has been relentless. Nagging, aching, hot, angry pain. I went back to the dentist on the 29th. I text him and told him i was no where near improved and that i could not take the pain anymore. (This was following a full night of lying in the dark in pain and ZERO sleep.) So anyways.. My dentist is perplexed. He looked at my teeth, prodded, poked, did X-rays. Now he thinks it could be an abscess or TMJ. It is so frustrating, my pain is so intense, so I would have thought the problem to be really obvious. He gave me a prescription for a steriod and an anti-biotic. I have been taking both for a couple of days. Here is the good thing- I am noticing that the pain disappears for a few hours..also i have been able to sleep at night!!! Hallelujah!! I am taking about two Ibuprofen and a couple of Tylenol a day for the past few days. I CANNOT wait to get to a point where i will no longer need any pain meds. My poor liver and kidneys have been ambushed this past month!! I am hoping and praying this all gets better. I have a dentist appointment on October 17th. My wish is that the pain subsides, that I get my missing attachment put on my tooth and that i can start back on Invisalign. I am just terrified that if the pain goes, that Invisalign may stir it up again. I literally cannot and will not relive the past few weeks. Right now I am trying to be positive but to be honest I feel so tired, deflated and disappointed. I am wondering if I do resume, what tray I would even resume with.

6 Comments

Hi, i joined today. My second aligner broke after i was finally getting used to it. I was in intense pain and was taking iboprufen every morning and evening. Removing the aligners was no big deal but returning them was my worst nightmare. Could take almost half an hour trying to put them back after my meals. So i was dreading meal times. My aligner unfortunately was sent to the wrong country and have been waiting for six weeks now to have it rerouted. I have an overbite. How do you return the aligners when the teeth are hurting? Is there an easier way? Im back to aligner no. 1 for my upper jaw and in two for lower jaw. I feel terrible that im so far from achieving my perfect smile
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I am so sorry to hear about your pain. I remember having similar pain that lasted about two days. In my case, I think it was because I put the wrong tray in. But I'm not certain. I also have discovered a crack in a tooth ( and abscess) and remember that that particular quadrant was the one that was killing me then. So I'm wondering if maybe you have a crack somewhere? But you did say they did X-rays so that would show... In any case I hope you feel better soon and can continue your treatment. Listen to your body, though. Good luck.
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You know what, when I mentioned others with pain, I forgot about adam1995. She had terrible pain as well, and is finally back in her Invisalign treatment. In her review, you can see it starts at 29 May 2014.

And the pain goes on.

It is six days since my last update. I finished the steroids and am nearly finished the anti-biotics. The pain is less intense. But it is STILL here. I am waking up very early every morning and have to take a pain pill. I am averaging about two 800 mg Ibuprofen and two Extra Strength Tylenol every day. This just cannot be healthy. I have been gobbling pain pills for over a month at this point. I havent worn the aligners in weeks and weeks. My next appointment is Oct 17th. How can i put a tray in when I am still in this much pain? and how if my pain is this intense and relentless, can it not be obvious what the problem is. am so drained and tired of this. I have absolutely no clue where to go from here. I am at the point where i completely regret ever doing this to myself.

9 Comments

I am so sorry!! I could cry for you...the pain is bad enough but not knowing the cause is just awful. I still think you have a beautiful smile. I have to agree with what others have said - you need a second opinion...Invisalign is secondary to finding out and fixing what is causing you the pain.
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It is horrible to be powerless to help you :(.  Have you only seen one doctor at this point?  You mentioned your dentist but wrote that it was an ortho you were seeing for Invisalign.  I feel like referrals should be happening, and imaging.  It's definitely not healthy to take pain pills all the time.  
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Sorry to hear this. I am so much happier now I have decided to be Invisalign less as the pain was too much for me too. Sorry to hear your pain continues. Can you go to a different dentist to get a second opinion on the pain ? Wishing you well
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Ortho

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