I was extremely self-conscious about my teeth all my life and never had the money to do anything about it. I dreaded pictures and any event that included them, i.e. weddings, birthdays, etc. I would leave a room if people talked about teeth for fear someone might say ask me to smile. I was tired of having to smile a certain way to distract people from my mouth. I hated that while every one was saving up for cars, houses, computers, I was secretly saving money for braces.
At the age of 26, I finally did something about it after I realized that refusing to go to the dentist because I hated my teeth was causing some damage. I went to see an orthodontist, although I was pretty sure I was not an Invisalign candidate - thankfully I was. After some consultation about the different treatment options, I decided to go ahead with it full steam. I had severe crowding on the top, a very narrow arch with 2 teeth overlapping. The bottoms were severely crowded. I needed 1 tooth pulled on top, 24 trays on the top and 16 on the bottom. I am done with the bottom and the improvement from tray 1 is great. They are a little uneven height-wise, not a huge issue, my ortho said once the tops are done we can re-evaluate and use more trays if needed. I am on tray 18 of the tops and can see major improvement.
My arch has widened significantly and my bite has improved. I feel like I look healthier. In terms of pain and lifestyle change, here goes. The first tray was very painful, but after the first few I literally forgot I had them in sometimes. Every once in a while I could feel a tray working a specific tooth. My lisp was pretty bad and took about 2 weeks to go away. I had 3 attachments on the top and 5 on the bottom. They aren't completely invisible but I have not had a single person in 8 months say a word to me about them. Granted I don't make it obvious but still. Your mouth will get used to them after the first few trays. Drink plenty of water, the trays dry your mouth out. I keep mine in 20-22 hours a day, I drink with them in depending on the color of the liquid and how soon after I can brush my teeth if I can. The shaving of the teeth is no fun but takes literally 15 seconds. Bottom line - I brush more, I smile more (I can't wait to smile more after they are off in a few months), I'm happier. If it takes some more trays, whatever, a few more weeks to spend the rest of my life smiling, it's worth it. In the beginning you just have to fight through the first tray. You'll be glad you did. I am.