Straight Teeth - Happy 50th Birthday to ME! - Ellicott City, MD

Today's the big day--after work I get my...

Today's the big day--after work I get my Invisalign. Very excited to review the plan with my dentist, looking at the progression week by week. I had braces in the 6th and 7th grade in the 70s, but soon after high school I stopped wearing my retainer. My bottom teeth quickly shifted out of line. I figured no big deal, I still had an overbite so no one would see my bottom teeth when I smiled. Then, about 3 or 4 years ago, I noticed my top teeth shifting and a gap starting between the two front teeth. No idea why this was happening, I figured I was grinding them in my sleep and something was moving a bit. I really started disliking my smile. Everyone else said it was fine, but that's all I could pick out from a picture. The teeth mattered...to me at least.

Why did I decide to do it? Well, first of all, I switched to a new dentist who suggested I consider it. Oh no! SHE sees it! After I stopped my private freakout that my crooked teeth were NOT my imagination, I started thinking, ok, I need to do this. Then, my mom passed away and left me enough to be able to afford the plunge. It was time. Well, tonight it's time.

So--my treatment plan. You'll see from the photos that my bottom teeth will take longer than my top. The total plan is for 23 trays (46 weeks). The top teeth will take about 11-12 trays to get things straight and gap-free. You can see it's the bottom teeth that will need the full amount of time to get the canines moved out and the teeth in front in line. When it's done the crowding and the crookedness should be in the past. The actual number of treatment trays is 20, with the last 3 to overcorrect the jet just a bit and hold.

Worries? A few. I teach and I'm worried about lisping and doing other unpleasant and embarrassing things in front of my elementary school classes. I think I'll just come out and tell them and try to make it some sort of sharing moment. They all either have sibs with braces or have them themselves. Eating--I'm actually looking forward to it restricting my snacking. That can't be a bad thing. However, it seems to be a pain to have to carry the cleaning gear on me all the time but I think that's just something to get used to. The pain--yes I remember the pain from my younger years and there was no Advil back then. Please let Advil be enough, ok?

One thing that wasn't fun but I understand why it had to be that way--the impressions. They take the standard putty goop in the tray ones, but then they fill THAT mold with a liquid latex, and your teeth must be completely dry. You hold THAT in place for another five minutes and it creates a much more detailed impression for the molds to be built. I can see why they want the tiny details of your teeth for everything to fit closely but wow, that was not a ton of fun. And then when the five minutes are up, they've got to get in there and pry the latex mold off your teeth. Yowza! But I and my five decades of dental work survived.

So I'm excited, nervous, worried, the whole thing. The next few days will be kind of messy I fear. But I'm confident that next spring I will be a lot more confident overall :-)).

13 Comments

I also work with children and not a single child has mentioned my teeth. And as you know, children are not afraid to ask an adult anything. (How old are you? Do you have children? How much money do you have?) I always think everyone is staring at my teeth, but my family assures me that they are not. Nor has anyone mentioned a lisp. I do believe we wearers hear it, but our audience does not. All the best with your treatment.
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Thank you! And wouldn't you know it, one week in and no one has noticed anything (or at least commented) at all. When I tell someone immediately they want to see of course, but as far as speech goes, not one little darling has said a word about it (and yes, they will ask why you wear the same clothes when you repeated an outfit in a months time lol!).
Sharing with your class is a great thing! I teach as well, except for college kids, and I was worried about a lisp. Because I teach very technical science, there can be a huge difference between words that sound similar but are a letter off! I actually recorded myself prior to giving lectures to see if there was a difference. There wasn't, but I still wasn't confident. So I'd just take them out for that 2 hours...probably not the best thing to do but I haven't had any problems. Not that I think people should do that! It has finally been within the last 6 months of treatment (I've been going over a year now) that I've been more confident at teaching small lectures with them in.
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Week one...rolling along!

Today I'm at the near-end of my first week of treatment, and it HAS been a week of adjustment and some discomfort, but mostly just adjustment. The biggest change has been in routine. No more grabbing a bite here and there...and that's a good thing. But eating DOES have to be planned. You want a private spot to yank your trays out and some water to rinse them with, and of course, something to store them in. Hopefully the case! And then, after eating, you want to clean your teeth before putting them back in. Easier said than done. I teach at two schools so I keep a plastic container with toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, and small cups in a workroom near the sink. Luckily I have workrooms only I and my immediate coworkers can access.

Hygiene--ok, I recall not being NEARLY as grossed out by things caught in my braces when I was a kid...as an adult it will drive me over the edge so in a pinch, in a public place, I can get by with a mouth rinse of water but it's got to be SEVERAL GOOD rinses and even then I'm paranoid something's there, and obsessing on all that invisible plaque rotting my tray-covered teeth. Funny how you don't dwell on that when you're 11. Much more comfortable socially knowing I brushed and flossed good before popping these babies back in. I guess it's just part of being more socially conscious as an adult ;-))...

I survived my second day of Invisalign chaperoning my daughter and her friends on their 8th grade class trip to Philadelphia. Had to smile when before lunch we chose an out of the way restroom to wash up and she kicked all her friends out and left so I could have some private time wrangling the trays!

Discomfort-- I never thought my teeth could have an attack of claustrophobia but on the second day they did. Yes on the field trip. Of course there was no place to take them out on the bus so I couldn't wait to get home to get the trays out. They didn't hurt...they just couldn't stand being confined anymore! It's only happened that time. It was a strange feeling. Uppity teeth felt trapped. Like they're not used to being trapped in my mouth all the time?

And finally, do they hurt? Gums and tongue were sore from adjusting to edges and rubbing of trays but that was only a nuisance for a day or two. But I haven't had the active trays in yet...we'll see in another week when tray two goes in...

5 Comments

I have experienced that same claustrophobia a few times, both during treatment and during retainment.  You are definitely not alone.  I hope it doesn't happen often :D.
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Hi @Bunjee55!  Have you started a review yet?  Your teeth don't look like Invisalign wouldn't work. Did the doctor give you their reasoning?  I hope you made a review because I'd like to hear more detail on how your retainer stopped fitting!  
Hi Two plus One! No, I haven't made a review yet but plan too if I decide to go further with getting invisalign. When I went a couple weeks ago for my 1st consultation the doctor informed me how great my oral hygiene was and not having any cavities. He took some notes down and then met with me in another room. When he came in he immediately began talking about enamel colored bracket braces and after he finished I asked about invisalign. He stated that they wouldn't work for my case and due to my age 34 my jaw had quit growing and that if I decided to get traditional braces I had a very high chance of having to get extractions to allow my teeth to move. That's why I asked on here by posting some pictures if I really could be a candidate. I had my 2nd opinion today and was informed that most definitely I was a candidate and would need some IPR "filing" on so e teeth to make space. I'm going to discuss this with my husband which I know will support whatever decision I make and go further. I probably would not be having issues with my teeth moving if I would have been provided with retainers as required. Unfortunately my orthodontist 16 years ago after getting my braces off became sick and later passed away. I was never able to get my records or the retainer (2nd one) that he had made for me. Sadly he was paid in full and the services that were promised were not fulfilled. My parents never took action or took me to another orthodontist, I guess because they never had to wear braces so didn't know the importance of wearing retainers after braces came off. So here I am 16 years later with this that will have to be fixed. I'm excited to have the opportunity to get invisalign to get my teeth straight. It's always best to get extra opinions!

Uh-oh...something's snapped off...

Of course, it's the start of a 3 day holiday weekend...and a big attachment on one of my upper canines snapped off. Is this an emergency? Can I wait for the office to reopen Tuesday to get it rebonded? It can't wait four weeks to my next regular check, can it?

5 Comments

What Bunjee55 said.  How important it is depends on the tooth and how many attachments were on it to begin with.  Definitely call Tuesday, but don't worry about it otherwise.  They will advise you Tuesday :).  Do not wait until your next appointment before mentioning it. :)  You can look at this thread here: What Should I do if my Invisalign Attachment Falls Off? The first few you'll see say call right away!  Do not wait more than 24 hours!  But others say they place too many so losing one isn't a big deal.  The general idea is that you should get them replaced but it's not an emergency.  The thing about the attachments is that they make moving difficult teeth possible, so the longer they're off, the less those difficult teeth may be moving, and they may not fit into the next aligner.  So you'll get them replaced as soon as possible, and in the worst case, you may have to wear this current aligner a little longer :).

Good luck!
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Thank you TwoPlusOne! I'm hoping that right because I'm at the end of a tray it won't matter too much...I hope! Thank you for pointing me to the Q&A boards, I see many things there that will be helpful!
I'm sure it will be fine until Tuesday just call your doctor and they can get you in to fix it. Continue wearing your trays. I have a friend that wore them years ago and stuff like that happens but isn't it funny when it happens it's when everything is closed. So annoying. Good luck....I'm going in next week for my molds of teeth and start the process.
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SO worth it!!!

Hi everyone, six trays into my treatment and I've noticed the changes and so has everyone around me. This has been totally worth the expense and inconvenience...and to be honest there hasn't been too much inconvenience. I got used to wearing the trays, and a routine down to handle them in when I take them out to eat and clean them. That really seems to be the biggest thing--working out what you're going to do when you're out and about and want to eat. I do like to be able to clean them well as well as my teeth before putting them back in. However, in a real pinch, I do make sure I have at least a sandwich size ziploc bag to slip them into to slide into a safe inside purse pocket. I'm not real wild about the containers that come with them, they're not watertight so if you rinse off your trays any leftover water can leak out.

But other than that....and that's minor...I've been really really happy with this process....take a look at my tray six photos (and 17 trays to go!) and compare them to my originals---I feel like I'm off to a great start!

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Hey!  I was wondering how things are going, nearly two months later--you should be at least 3 more aligners in by now?
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I also see the difference? That's crazy. You are obviously on the right track!! I now bought a couple of little watertight containers to keep in my purse because, as you say, the 'retainer' case leaks and gets everything wet. Even if you are just rinsing and not soaking them.
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Yes, I think what we're seeing is that the "easy" teeth are now in place...the tough part of the lower canines is still to come :-\ And yes, I can't stand a wet purse either!!
Dr. Jennifer Enlow

So far, so good. She's been very clear in explaining what will be done. Looking forward to continued good experience with actual treatment. Will use star rating later in treatment when I have a better idea how it's going.

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