Diary of an Invisalign User - Gold Coast, Australia

DAY ONE!!! I'll try to keep this regularly...


I'll try to keep this regularly updated.

Background on me: 45 year old male with teeth that look straight out of a Dickens screenplay (see copies of scans attached). No fillings as Ive always brushed & flossed, just overcrowded to the point where Im biting my upper lip inadvertantly when I eat. Did my research, chose Invisaline because they will hopefully have minimum impact on my worklife. I'm in corporate software sales and do a lot of presentations so need to look and sound professional. No time for unflattering braces or lisping.

I was told I'll need 29 trays top and bottom over about 16 months. After that Ill need a permanent wire across the back of both sets of teeth, plus a night retainer to stop it all moving back and returning me to my sharkboy profile.

So, got my first three sets of trays today. Got an accelledent as well, plus a load of extras (electric toothbrush, water bottle, cases, nail file, removal tool). Was given about a half-hour introduction from a dental assistant to insertion and removal, plus care & cleaning tips.

As this is the first tray they have not put the buttons on my teeth yet - that comes in a fortnight. Impressions so far:

Not too bad. I notice them allright, but there's certainly no pain as others have described. Ive got to be aware not to "feel" the sharp edge of the tray with my tongue. It already rubs when I swallow - and with these in your funhole you swallow a lot. I've had to modify the way I swallow to avoid a sore tongue. My lower lip is also rubbing on an edge, Ill have to see how that turns out. I spent the day sipping from a glass of water and that really helped.

Aside from the edges, the are quite smooth and slippy and actually feel quite nice with some nice give in them when you bite down. My lower teeth always felt quite sharp on my tongue - especially the underside - and could actually cut it depending what I was up to (enough said about that) but the trays provide a nice smooth cover.

My wife was very happy with the fact you cant see them at all but made a few frank observations when I took them out at the table before dinner, stating in no uncertain terms that I wasn't to do that at restaurants or when we had company as It looks like I'm removing dentures. Ill have to plan ahead for work lunches. I actually got anxious about losing my first eight hours of gains taking them out to eat and hurried to brush my teeth and replace the trays.

The accelledent was surprisingly gentle - it was fully charged, but didn't buzz as much as I was expecting. Turns out from some googling that this is how its meant to be.

First Week

OK A few notes on how I fared in the first week:

1. The first couple of days are the worst. Tooth soreness & annoyance factor are the main things but after day three Id gotten over that. You get used to it pretty quick.

2. They need cleaning. They build up plaque the same as your teeth, and you can see it in the trays. It also smells & tastes funky so keep the brushed clean. I thought it was the plastic discoloring due to stress at first but it turned out to be plaque. This was despite never eating or drinking anything other than water with them in, brushing immediatley after eating or drinking anything else, and rinsing them after removal and before re-inserting.

3. My water bottle has become my best friend. Regularly sipping from it keeps my mouth comfortable and breath fresh. I also carry toothpaste & a brush everywhere - a smal tube 3/4 empty folds up neatly into my jeans pocket if I dont have a bag to carry. My teeth look whiter already with the extra brushing

4. There's a sweet spot on the acceledent that vibrates your teeth the most effectively. If you bite too firmly it doesnt work well at all- you only need light pressure.

5. They are totally invisible when worn. No one at all has seen them without me removing them first. I'll be interested to see how this changes once the aligning dots and rubber bands go on in a few weeks.

Dots On! Week 4

End of Week Four was yesterday and I got my dots on 24 hours ago.

Not real happy right now.

Uncomfortable process, especially when my teeth were polished & they kept hitting sensitive spots. I'm normally pretty zen about dental treatment but this took a lot of deep breathing and retreating to my "happy place". An hour later It was all over. This in itself was par for the course and I was expecting it, but the aftermath is a different kettle of teeth.

The first thing I noticed immediately after was the dots won't let me close my bite. I thought they had left some of the dot compound in the grooves of my teeth by accident and I tried unsuccessfully to pick it out with my fingernails. Right away I mentioned the fact I can't close my bite and so cannot chew, but was advised that this is a necessary part of the treatment to correct my bite and allow my lower back teeth to adjust.

I've tried to eat three meals since, and find it very difficult. As I can no longer chew properly, I have to try and mash the food against my teeth with my tongue. I get half chewed food stuck up between my cheeks and my back teeth and have to wait until after eating to hurry to the bathroom to brush it out. This is going to be very awkward as I entertain a lot with my job and business meals are a daily occurrence. I'm going to have to stick with soup & pasta.

The dots and guards are noticeable. Previously no-one could see them, but the very first person I saw after getting them asked me what I had on my teeth. My better half is not happy with the look. I'm also lisping a lot, as air gets in the back of the guard and bubbles up around the front.

I can only hope this settles down quickly and my ability to chew returns. I dont know If Ill be up for this if it it takes 18 months. Ill post an update in a week to report on how it's progressing.

Sorry I should have said start of week four, not end of week four.

Got the timing a little wrong.

After 1 week of dots.....

Still not happy but getting a little better.

I've got 8 dots on top and 9 on the bottom. I've had a few less than flattering comments from my co-workers who spotted my lumpy looking teeth, not that it bothers me, but be prepared if you are hoping to get through your treatment in full stealth.

The inability to chew really bugs me - can't eat fibrous vegetables like spinach or kale; can't manage chewy bread; had a disastrous attempt to tackle sushi with chopsticks at work; and I keep having to brush semi chewed food from between my tooth line and cheeks.

On the positive side the cutting sensation from the trays has reduced significantly.

I've attached a pic, apologies to the squeamish, a close up mouth with beard can be a bit on the scary side, especially with my dentition.

Start of week 9 - settling in a bit better

Im now on the 8th aligners. Ive been advised to move from 7 days to 9 days per set. The ortho has not put bands on as yet for which I'm eternally greatful. I hope it stays that way.

Gotten more used to the dots - still having trouble with the unchewed food, mainly bread or sushi rolls, so I'm avoiding both. Ive tackled a couple of steaks done the way I like them - medium rare - with not too many problems unless I get a big piece of fat so I avoid that. Steak's a once-in-a-blue-moon treat for me anyway so I'm not too bothered.

I'm brushing the aligners at least twice a day with vinegar, which keeps them clean and fresh. Have yet to miss a session with the accelledent.

Flossing is now so easy! I used to shred the dental floss because my teeth were so heavily bunched. The floss now just zips in and out with no problem whatsoever, so I'm definitely getting some movement. However, its still early days so no visible improvement - that is yet to come.

I'll update again, probably in about a month or so.

Week 9 photo

On the 8th set of aligners, had them in now 8 days and will change to the ninth set tomorrow evening.

Week 15

Im now on the 13th set of aligners, about to move to set 14 tomorrow.

I've started to visibly notice the movement in my teeth. There's still a good way to go but its nice to start to see results.

For the first time in my life Ive had gaps between my teeth, and with those the attendant problems of food getting stuck. Not a problem as I brush after eating anything, its just an observation.

Im now so used to the aligners I sometimes forget they're in and have to stop myself taking a drink or eating. I noticed some wear on the top edge of my lower teeth where the dentine is becoming visible - not due to the aligners, its just ive never looked that close before. This came about because of my overbiteThe ortho advised there's no treatment for this, however as Ill be wearing a set of aligners at night after the treatment finishes (for the rest of my life) Ill get some good protection.

At this point each new set of aligners just pops in with no pain or soreness, just a sensation of pressure which lasts a few hours on insertion for the first few days, then even that disappears. The only exception to this was when I didnt quite put my upper tray in correctly and it misaligned with an attachment, which caused me a good bit of discomfort until I pressed it back into place. TIP: always press around each attachments to make sure they have lined up with the tray correctly otherwise you get a sore tooth for a few days.

Theres been a few questions about how come Im swapping out the aligners every 7 or 9 days instead of every fortnight - Ive worked out its because im using the accelledent which speeds the treatment. If I keep going at this rate Ill be finished in 240 days (8 months) which is pretty impressive. Ill be done before christmas.

I get another attachment in a few weeks, not sure where but Im just hoping it doesn't further impede my chewing. Aside from that, all is good! :)
Dr Semaan

Very professional and on time which is a pleasant change from most medical professionals. Its a bit of a production line, but the staff are pleasant and friendly and take the time to know who's coming in that day so they greet you by name at reception. Ill wait until the end of treatment to put any stars in.

Was this review helpful? 6 others found this helpful

Comments (29)

Sort by

Oh my wow!  The progress is so dramatic.  That front tooth is in place already?!  I'm truly amazed.  Congratulations!  You're going to have a brilliant result :D

Thank you so much for updating us!  You will definitely be an inspiration for many coming in with severe crowding :).
  • Reply
Thanks! Still a little way to go on that front tooth, but yep happy I dont have too much longer to go - I"ve apssed the halfway point after 4 months! That accelledent is expensive but it certainly appears to have sped things along.
  • Reply
I hope they get cheaper!  Maybe they'll be standard issue sometime in the future and the price can come down with mass production! :)
  • Reply
Hi, I am having the same problem with my bumps and teeth hitting so I can't bite down or chew. Has yours improved at all? I miss fibrous veggies and I'm only 4 days in! I'm hoping as my teeth move and change that the bump and tooth no longer meet up.. I love smoothies but damn I want some salad!
  • Reply
Hi Shannon, 4 days is really early in the piece, sorry to tell you but you have a little way to go getting used to it yet. At my stage (about 3 months in) I've adapted my eating "style" and am comfortable with it now, hopefully it wont take you so long. I still can't close my bite but it's not so much of a big deal, I just have to brush and flush my mouth out with water after I've eaten because bits of food still get stuck up in my gumline & up in my cheeks. On the bright side you get really white teeth with all the brushing. Good luck! :)
  • Reply
Well done on not missing a session with accelledent.. i feel so bad ive missed 2 now, wonder how much of a difference it makes in the long run?
  • Reply
Dunno crooky, I'm just going to keep using it and trust the sales pitch. The price (over $1K!!!) borders on extortionate considering what it does - its a vibrator with a mouthpiece for crying out loud, not a pacemaker. The sooner I get my straight teeth the better. Once I've finished I'll be able to compare how long they originally forecast against the actual treatment time - I'm hoping months rather than weeks.
  • Reply
yeah me 2!! So far im happy with my results :) Hope all goes well for you.
  • Reply
My bite was off (one side seemed lower than the other and I couldn't make my molars meet at all) the first few weeks, it worried me a lot... I figured out it was because the trays were opening my bite. But I'm on tray 5 now and my bite problem has pretty much resolved. Question: why are you switching every 9 days? I only switch every 2 weeks.
  • Reply
Thanks J, but the bit problem with me is from the dots on my teeth preventing me closing fully. The Ortho is telling mhen I should change trays. I was on 7 days for the first 8, now Im on 9 days. I expect he'll slow it down the further along we go.
  • Reply
Good to hear how you're doing!  And congratulations on finally being able to floss easily :D. 
  • Reply
I love the red moustache with the blond beard!  Reminds me of my husband :).  

Glad to hear there is some improvement, though yeah, fibrous foods will be a problem until your bite is fixed, which may be after treatment :-/.  I had unchewed food fod years :(.  But it's all good now!!!
  • Reply
Hopefully the "learning curve" sorts itsself out soon! It is annoying to deal with all of these changes at first and then find that something isn't exactly like you thought it would be. But in the end it will be worth it! I have 15 attachements and the first week I was ready to rip them all off! But then things got easier. I got used to them and I haven't had an issue with them since. I don't notice them rubbing my lip any more (like first week) and my trays go on and off easily now.
  • Reply
Thanks Charlene. I'm getting there slowly, it's just the old mind-over-matter trick: if you don't mind, it doesn't matter. Lisping has stopped at least.
  • Reply
When I got my attachments put on, my bite did not close either. My top teeth were hitting my attachments on the bottom teeth. They still do this and probably will until the end of treatment. It was annoying at first (very annoying), but I don't even notice it now. I hope you have the same luck and the aggrivation goes away quickly!! Good luck!!
  • Reply
That's exactly what's happening with me- attachments obstructing my bite. Thanks for the supportive comments.
  • Reply
so where is the rest I want to read more
  • Reply
I'm sorry :(.  Getting through the teeth not meeting to chew phase was…less than fun.  I'm not going to overshare, but you kind of get used to not chewing and eat regular food after a while (I eat a lot of salad for example, with looots of chewing).  The poor body can't digest the food very well, though, when it's not chewed.  I just kept telling myself it was temporary, but your treatment is a lot longer than mine was.

I wish you strength and I promise that the worst of the symptoms will alleviate.  The bite thing will take a while though.
  • Reply
I feel your pain with them being more visible but the pain will go away and you will get used it as your mouth adjusts in a few days. Stay positive and good luck :)
  • Reply
Thanks, I'll try . The visibility is annoying buy TBH I was no oil painting before anyway - it's now just so uncomfortable. My jaw is aching on one side from biting onto the raised dot. . The other problem is the top tray now really sicks out - about 1mm- from my teeth, and is not only adding to the lisping but it's cutting my upper lip. There are little hooks for rubber bands on the top tray and they are really digging in. I put some braces wax on but this makes my top lip bulge out like a reef fish. I'm not seeing the ortho again for 5 weeks but if this doesn't settle down when I put my next tray in next Thursday I'm going to have to ask them to do something.
  • Reply
lol love your banter.. Hope it all settles down for ya :)
  • Reply
Yikes!! How many attachments do u have? Maybe ur ortho can shave them down some so u can eat properly. I can understand ur annoyance bc when I first got my attachments, I was appalled lol. Invisalign became not so invisible. But u gt use to then and they really do help align ur teeth. Good luck to u
  • Reply
Its at least 8 on top and another 6 on the bottom. From what they said when I mentioned my chewing problem, it's meant to be like that to open up my bite, so I don't think they'll be shaving them down. 18 months of smoothies and chicken soup, here I come :b
  • Reply
Thank you for the update!  Did you have to pay separately for the AcceleDent, by the way?
  • Reply
Hi Twoplusone, I was given the option of using the accelledent or not, and was told it would take another 4-6 months to complete the treatment if I didnt use it. Cost an extra $1800. Hi AreYouKiddingMe , thanks for the comment. Hope you enjoyed your visit here :) The tray removal is now even more of an issue since I got the dots on - very difficult to remove the bottom tray so best done in private.
  • Reply