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Fingers Crossed! - Fort Thomas, KY

I've been wanting to do Invisalign for probably 8...

I've been wanting to do Invisalign for probably 8 or so years now and finally decided to take the plunge (at age 27). My parents thought my teeth weren't bad enough to warrant braces, but I've always wished they were straighter (we're our own worst critic, right?). I've done plenty of research in the past 8 years, so I'm pretty confident I know what I'm getting myself into. This website in particular has proved to be a really helpful resource for me and so I've decided to add my experience to the bunch in hopes to aid others in their Invisalign decision.

Back in January, I went to the orthodontist to have the scans and photos taken and today I went to have the attachments placed (11 total, 8 top, 3 bottom) and to receive my first 10 weeks of aligners. I have 30 on the top and 39 on the bottom (whew, that seems like a lot!) with 3 aligners tacked on at the end in case of any needed refinements. So far, I've just had the attachments on (without the aligners) and they really aren't bad at all; they are hardly noticeable and don't hurt or scratch my lips. I'm waiting until bed time tonight to start wearing my first aligner, as advised, and will update later this week with how my first days went.

Here are some specifics about my case: The cost is $4640 and my insurance will cover $1500. The total treatment time will be 78 - 84 weeks, so approx. 1 year 8 months. I'm seeing an Elite Invisalign provider, an orthodontist (not a dentist), who comes highly recommended. As of right now, my treatment plan doesn't show any IPR. As I update my review, I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you might have about the process.

I'm pretty exciting to begin this journey and am anxious for the final results. I hope it goes as smooth as possible!! So far, so good : )

I've had my first trays in for two days now and am...

I've had my first trays in for two days now and am experiencing some pretty tender teeth. The pain isn't terrible, just a lot of pressure and soreness. I've been able to get the aligners in and out alright, but it definitely hurts a bit while taking them out. Brushing and flossing 4-5 times a day is going to take a while to get used to, but I assume it will eventually become routine and won't be too big of a deal. This will definitely be the cleanest my teeth have ever been!! As far as the aligner itself; it hasn't scrapped the inside of my mouth or caused any sores. I produce more saliva than normal and have a tiny bit of a lisp. I was actually expecting the lisp to be a lot worse, but luckily it's not bad at all. I will post a picture of what my teeth look like with the aligners in when I get a chance. I think the attachments are more noticeable with the aligners in, than without, but still MUCH less conspicous than metal braces.

I'm about at the end of my first set of trays. I...

I'm about at the end of my first set of trays. I change to my 2nd trays on Wednesday. The trays were pretty tight for the first 10 days or so, then they began to loosen up a bit in the back. They are still tight where I have attachments, but no pain and no sensitivity when eating. The hardest thing with Invisalign thus far has been the inability to snack before dinner and in between meals and constantly feeling like I have to rush. I've been super strict with myself and have kept the aligners in for exactly 22 hours each day, which can be quite difficult, but I don't want my treatment to be any longer than it needs to be! Overall, it hasn't been too tough getting into a routine and I like my teeth feeling super clean all the time. I've managed to keep my aligners clean by using an Efferdent tablet once a day (while the trays are out for a meal), followed by light brushing and then brushing the trays with water all other times. I always floss then brush after each meal. I will post progress of my teeth after I've completed a few more trays, not many visible changes after just one tray!

My second set of trays has been much easier than...

My second set of trays has been much easier than the first in terms of pain and sensitivity. I'm slowly starting to forget I even have aligners in my mouth, which is great! I'm also to a point where it feels better to have them in, than out, which is also a testament to how much I've gotten used to them. The only real problem thus far is that in the past day I've developed a sore in the corner of my mouth (lips) and I'm not sure if this is because of the Invisalign making my lips so dry, the production of excess saliva, or the fact that I'm opening my mouth up wide to put the trays in and out and to floss? Or it may not be related to the invisalign at all, but seeing that I've never had this problem before, I thinking it's because of the invisalign. Has anyone else experienced this?

Just started tray 8 - Progress Pics Posted

I just started tray 8 and everything has gone very smooth so far, no major problems to mention! I've been extremely happy with the ease of use, comfort, and ability to take the trays out whenever I need to eat. My teeth are significantly whiter and both my teeth and gums seem healthier in general. I have not been as uptight with sticking exactly to the 2 hour rule, but am always very close to it. Out of the 14.5 weeks of wearing trays thus far, I've only added 4 days onto my treatment time because of bigger events where I needed to have the trays out longer than 2 hours. Oh one big thing to mention - I'm almost 13 weeks pregnant. Yep, pretty much got pregnant a few weeks after starting my treatment. So, I'm anxious to see how well invisalign and pregnancy go together! I'm thinking I won't gain as much weight because of the no snacking in between meals. This may be tough... I've also heard that it could move the treartment along because my gums will get softer because of the increased blood; not sure if that is true or not. Anyways, will keep everyone posted! I've added a few photos to show my progress after finishing tray 7; there are a few minor improvements, but nothing major as of yet.

Just finished Tray 15 - Progress Pics Posted

Haven't updated in a while because there isn't really much to report. I just finished tray 15 and everything has gone as well as I could have expected. No setbacks of any kind and the orthodontist says my teeth are right on track, so YAY, I'm really happy. I've been in treatment for 7 months and have just about a year to go. Looking back at beginning photos I can already tell big improvements, which is really exciting!! I'm quite anxious for the final results. I posted a comparison pic of Tray 1/Tray 15 so you can see the difference.

It's been a little tough having Invisalign while pregnant because of the need to eat several small meals a day instead of my normal 3 meals, this means my trays are out more like 2 - 3 hours a day instead of just 2. Oh well, as long as my teeth stay on track like they have, I guess it's not too big of a deal.

All in all, I'm really happy with Invisalign thus far and am already impressed with the improvements I see! One more year to go!! I'll update again after I've completed another several trays. Please let me know if you have any questions.

1 year anniversary of starting Invisalign!!!

Hi All! Just thought I'd update with a photo to show everyone my progress during the past year! First though, I must let everyone know that I welcomed my beautiful daughter, Juliet, on December 6th!!!!! As you can tell from the photo, my teeth have come a looooong way. I'm very happy with my progress thus far. I'm currently on tray 23 out of 29 for my bottom and 39 for my top, so my bottom teeth are almost done! Yay! My top teeth still have a while to go; I estimate I'll be completely finished within the year (hopefully sooner). Overall, the Invisalign process has been relatively easy (even during 9 months of pregnancy) and I would recommend the treatment to anyone wanting to straighten their teeth. Please let me know if you have any questions!
Dr. Terry Gruelle

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Yes, congratulations!!!!!  And your progress is beautiful!  Thank you so much for posting an update! :D
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Congratulations on the new addition to your family!! You're progress is awesome....looking good!
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Congratulations on baby girl Juliet! Happy to hear from you.....Your teeth look like they are on track and aligning beautifully..
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Welcome back and I hope you are having a uneventful pregnancy. Your teeth look beautiful. This is my 14th tray and now my bottom teeth are shifting. Getting so close..just clear sailing till the end. Good luck to you and of course stay in touch!
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Thank you!! My pregnancy is going very well! Isn't it awesome when you start to see improvements?! Sounds like your treatment is much shorter than mine. Good luck with finishing!! I have another year, but seeing as I am already happy with the difference, I can't wait to see how they look next summer!
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Your smile looks great. I can't believe you have another year, unless I read something wrong.
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CraftyMama, you read correctly. My total treatment time was estimated at 18 months, so 11 more months to go. However, my bottom teeth will be done about 4.5 months sooner than my top teeth. I'm on tray 16/29 for my bottom and 16/39 for my top. Please let it continue to go by quickly!!!
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Your teeth look beautiful! And congratulations on your baby!
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Thank you!! I appreciate it!
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Congrats on your family! My lips get sores and chapped too. It's really annoying. The good thing I guess is that my treatment is pulling my teeth back so that they don't hit my lips and my trays don't rub my lips as much any more. Your progress looks great so far!
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My mouth have been good since the second tray - I think it was just getting used to all the flossing/brushing/etc. No sores since then! Yay! My lips however have always been chapped, even before Invisalign. So that's not going away anytime soon : (
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I noticed you mentioned adding 4 days to your treatment plan to make up for days in which you had the aligners out for more than 2 hours. Did your orthodontist recommend that? I've had mine out for more than 2 hours several times, but I stayed on schedule and didn't notice the aligners not fitting well as I moved to new sets. I'm on set 6. I have a 5-hour reunion coming up and asked my dentist about it, but he said it was no problem to have an occasional special event like that. I had not considered changing the plan like that. Hmmm... something for me to consider, I guess.
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Hi ScienceGal, yes my orthodontist recommended that. He said if they are out 2.5 or maybe 3 hours, I don't need to add on a day, but if there are a few days in a row of having them out for more than 2 hours or if they are out for longer periods of time, then I need to add a day on to the two-week time period. He said there is never a problem with having them on too long, but there could end up being a problem with not wearing them enough. I guess the next tray could always fit alright, but down the road there could be some problems. I guess my orthodontist is being more conservative with the treatment plan (better safe than sorry, I guess!).
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Hi Urbanplan85, I know exactly what you mean about the dry lips, I had the same issue and was able to correct it by using Carmex Moisture plus... you can buy it at any drug store it comes in a silver tube like lipstick (not the finger apply kind). I thought it was due to the excess brushing and also the lip stretching when taking the aligners in and out at first when I was trying to figure out my best method! The Carmex is super soothing and healed my corner up within 2 days and I have never had that problem again because I keep this Carmex stocked and you can wear it over lipstick as well, it looks like a nice gloss actually!
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Hi Bitter1! Thanks so much for the tip! I'm definitely gonna have to try that brand. The sore on the corner has cleared up (with the use of Neosporin), but the Carmex sounds like it will be great to use as a preventative measure.
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Thank you urbanplan85. I will be starting my treatment in about 2weeks. I truly can't wait. I love your blog and looking forward to following your success's and tips. Please keep us posted!

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Hi Sandy! So exciting that you will be starting your treatment soon! I know I was super excited to start mine, since it was something I've wanted to do for sooo long! I'm glad you are liking my blog and I look forward to reading about your experience. Thanks!
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Hi urbanplan85, Well I started on 3/26 and so much easier then all the posts spoke of. Just goes to show you everyone is so very different. Minor discomfort but that was it for the first few days. I talk all day while at work so that took getting use to. No lisp so thats a pleasant surprise. Dry lips I will get use to for now. Attachments will go on April 9th with my 2nd trays so we will see what that journey will bring. I figure every 2 weeks its a fresh start. How are you doing? Hope to hear back from you with your journey!
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The attachments will definitely make it more fun, haha! I've had attachments from the beginning, so I don't know what it's like without them. I just started my 4th tray and things are going really well. No major issues to speak of, which is great! Time is starting to go by quicker, thank god! Hope your experience continues to go smoothly! I will likely post a picture after my 5th set, which is when I go back to the doctor to get my second "batch" of trays. I'm anxious to hear how he thinks my teeth are doing.
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Hello, well second set last week and the first three days were terrible. Bad sores in my mouth...Things I've learned: File down new trays before you put them in...Car Max for my lips and Dental wax is a must...After I discovered the three wonders, day four was spectacular. Sores gone and smooth edges on my trays! Waahoo! Other then that really no pain to talk about with new trays. I actually love the way the new trays feel. Progress! Had a hard time taking my trays out with my attachments. I received them on my second tray. Discovered that if I remove them from the inside of my mouth (taking my hand to the opposite inside of my mouth) the trays just come off very easy. Looking forward to hear how your doing.
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Hi Fingers Crossed! I am excited for you and I am glad to see someone else online is being treated by Dr Gruelle, he is so awesome and I love his enthusiasm and knowledge of Invisalign. Being a Top 1% provider he has experienced many different cases and his confidence sold me from the very beginning. Anyway, I wanted to shoot you a message of Congrats for choosing Invisalign and wish you the best. I am on tray 19 of 26 and have truly settled into a routine (as you will too over time... ) I am glad to hear you have conquered the best method of In/Out of the aligners that works best for you! That is half the battle! Your teeth look great, keep us posted on your progress!
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Hi! Thanks for your message! My husband was a patient of Dr. Gruelle's as a kid and his teeth look amazing. But I came across Gruelle when doing research on Invisalign's website and told my husband I was going to check him out for Invisalign because of his top 1% status. It was only then that I found out that he did my husband's teeth! Kinda funny! I really like him so far and I have a lot of confidence in his ability. Now, I just have to be patient, 39 aligners seems like forever! I'm currently deciding on the best method to keep my aligners clean. Seems like everyone has their own method they think works best. Good luck with the rest of your treatment; you're almost done!!
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Like you said, everyone has their own cleaning methods. Just in case you want to try it...I use about 2/3 water to 1/3 peroxide (just enough to cover the trays) and soak the trays when I'm at home. Then I lightly brush them, using a bit of mouthwash to make them "smell" better. Been doing it for 8 months with no problems, and they stay bright as ever. I also have been wearing my final bottom tray for over 2 months now and they look just as nice/clean as my new top ones. Thought I would share...just in case you want to try it. BTW, I get the peroxide at Dollar Tree. Cheap price.
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Oh wow it's a small world huh? It's cool that your husband was treated by the Dr as a kid and his teeth still look amazing.... it really shows the level of skill the Dr has! I just give my aligners a quick scrub with my toothbrush each night before I go to bed as part of my night time routine and that works pretty good with keeping them clean. You'll find a routine that works best for you through trial and error and before you know it you'll do it without even thinking! I am still amazed at how many people don't even notice that I am wearing Invisalign... Have you found that to be true with you as well? Unless I tell someone they have no idea, that's why I love it so much! Also, the aligners kinda camouflage the issues so I never wanted to take them off :)
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Most people don't seem to notice, unless of course I point it out. I think the attachments would be what people would notice because I have them towards the front of my mouth, but even then, only if they're right up next to me. Overall, I'm pretty happy with how invisable they really are! So much better than metal braces! I bought Efferdent and have been dropping my aligners in that every other day and then taking a baby toothbrush and brushing the little bit of plaque that builds up. Other than that, I've just been rinsing and brushing them with water. Seems to work pretty well so far. Thanks CraftyMama and Bitter1 for your cleaning advice. I've heard a lot of people use peroxide.
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