No More Old Lady Teeth - Lansing, MI

After paying for my two, now adult, children's...

After paying for my two, now adult, children's braces the last thing I wanted to do was jump back on THAT monthly payment plan but as I watched my bottom front teeth shift at ever odder angles each year, I decided that I could not face my 60's with a mouth that looked 90. I am a teeth grinder so I have worn a bite splint (while sleeping) for over ten years. That fact alone made my introduction to Invisalign much easier as I was used to having an appliance in my mouth. However, I did struggle, that first week, with a sore tongue as I adjusted to the "edges" of the appliance. I was confident my mouth would adjust, and it did. Other challenges include the appliance cleaning ritual (I purchased a sonic cleaner and it is SO helpful) and the constant (I eat a lot) teeth brushing. I purchased a toothbrush made for people with "sensitive" mouths because I brush so much even a "soft" toothbrush made my gums sore. I am lucky in that I only have a few "buttons" on my top and bottom teeth, so getting the appliance out is just a mild struggle. It can be a little embarrassing too because once in a while I have forgotten to take my appliance out before being seated at a restaurant or family event. A restroom is not always conveniently located so there I am trying to remove it without grossing everyone out (Carry hand wipes!)
I am on set four of twenty-eight, so I am sure I will have a lot more adventures to share.
Dierdre, I decided to try this when I saw some very unflattering pictures of myself -- the flash glinting off my tilted teeth. I have always had a nice smile, and somehow things have started shifting. Then I noticed that my 82 year old mother, who was always so proud of her smile, had a mouthful of crooked teeth! When did THAT happen? I didn't want to go down that path myself, and my daughter is gettng married next year, so I made the decision to do something about it. I am turning 60 this year. Mother Nature shouldn't play such tricks on us...
I turn 59 in September and I'm the "baby" of the family so I get fair warning about what's coming and it ain't always good! Mother Nature IS a tricky gal. I eat right and exercise but stuff is still on the move...usually South! :-D

Awe, yeah, taking the trays out in a restaurant could definitely be a challenge. I bet you will laugh and be able to relate to Barbara R's comment on this forum:

What is the worst or funniest thing that has happened to you with your Invisalign?


Oh so subtle

In a few days I graduate to set eight of twenty eight and the change is very subtle, so much so that I am a little concerned about my progress. My husband reports that he can begin to tell the difference, but as I stand at my mirror holding my week four photo next to my face, my reaction is a heartfelt "meh". My orthodontist gave me set eight and nine to take home, so I do not see him again "officially" until November, but he encourages patients to stop by any time with their concerns...just may do that. Now I realize that this is half science and half art and thus I can't expect clockwork type changes, but I would like some confirmation of my efforts. I am diligent about cleaning and wearing the little tusk traps.

Old Lady Teeth In The Flesh...I Mean Pixels

I decided to swallow my shame and go ahead and post my reference photo. I took this photo after my first set of aligners when I realized I need to document my progress. Yes, that is a lot...sigh...a lot of metal you see in there. I had no dental care whatsoever as a child, and my family does not have naturally strong teeth, so my first paychecks, at 18, were spent on fillings. I have had excellent dental care the 40 years since, but there has been the need for a few root canals, crowns, and once even an extraction! I do not want nor need a Hollywood smile, but if I can get these work horses a little straighter and a little whiter, I will feel like I'm from Hollywood :-D
hi, I am also a bit "older". I think this is the best thing we can do for ourselves to maintain a healthy mouth as we age! I know the feeling, I have 3 kids and they are finally grown and now it is my turn! I am delighted with invisalign and cannot believe how quickly the treatment time went! I didn't see much improvement until at least halfway through and it wasn't until the last trays that I saw dramatic improvement. I think it moves the back teeth first to make room for the front teeth to line up! Hang in there! I also put up a picture of my "before" that I probably wouldn't show to anyone outside of the invisalign community! Best wishes for a quick and easy treatment!
Thank you for your words of encouragement! It is good to know that I just need to be patient and improvement will come.
I to am older, but want to grow older with dignity! Figured this was a great birthday present to myself....64 with invisalign, how cool as that!

A Bad Habit

This has been a stressful month and as a result I have developed the bad habit of clenching my jaw, and worse, sucking in. The sucking draws out what little moisture I have in my mouth resulting in aligners that grip my teeth even tighter. I wonder if the extra snugness will work to my benefit as it sure tells my teeth who is in charge, but it makes my mouth sore and so now I really have to force myself to relax my mouth. Drinking water helps, but I have also noticed that as the days have gotten cooler I am less conscious of the need to sip, sip, and sip some more.
Hey there! Greetings from Okemos! I highly suggest 2 week progress pictures. You wont see much change but after about 4 trays or so you'll see something tiny. And it's that tiny movement that makes you see that something is working. Then all of a sudden every tray will have your teeth looking like a masterpiece no matter how out of whack they are - after all any progress is better than none. I just posted a tray by tray update. I'm on 13 now. You can see where it would be hard to notice the first few movements but then suddenly it's like a miracle happens ;-)
Hey Charlene, or should I say Home Girl :-D Yeah, the changes seem so very subtle one has to squint to see them, but that probably is a good thing, health wise, as attempting to force a dramatic shift would not be safe. Yesterday I pulled out tray #1 and did a side by side comparison with my current (#9) tray. The progress is much easier to see, and though I am being overly vain and focus on those teeth that are visible to the general public (ha ha) I can see the progress in the realignment of some of my wonky back teeth. It's all good and I need to take a chill pill. I will, however, do as you suggest and take more pictures so that when that miracle happens, I will be able to revel in the transformation. Thanks and go Chieftains!

Treading Water

Today was supposed to be my last day of set nine but, honestly, my trays feel a little tighter than my earlier "week three" trays have felt, so my dentist recommended that I stay in set nine for another week (sigh). He tried set ten on me before I left his office and they did "fit" but I respect his caution and the only rush, the only timetable, is the one in my head. My dentist did mention, as we discussed how others on this forum change trays every two weeks yet I change every three weeks, that my "bite" is pretty jacked up (my terminology not his :-) and thus I will not move along as fast as others. Just for fun, I took some play-doh and filled in my very first set of trays. When I hold them together I can see that I have misaligned front teeth (The reason I started this journey) AND my back lower teeth dip down like in a valley. I am not sure what Invisaglign is trying to do back there, but it is a tribute to the program that they are not simply ignoring my bite in favor of a quick cosmetic fix.

A Lazy Daisy

I am now on set 14 of 28 so I am halfway through! Mixed with the happiness is my sense of guilt that I have lost some of the fervor of those first weeks. I get a little "tired of it" and catch myself being a little less conscientious about popping the aligners back in after eating and trying too often to "get by" during the day with a quick scrub of the aligners. I know I will cringe if my dentist and orthodontist, who to date are thrilled with my hygiene and progress, criticize me and my lazy Daisy ways. So, hear ye hear ye I publicly vow to follow all the best practices until the not so bitter end! Progress? Well I pulled out my very first set of aligners and compared them to my current set 14. I am SO glad I did that because just looking at the photos (I will post an updated photo tomorrow) it is difficult to tell a difference, the change is that subtle. But, the close examination of the aligners shows a very definite straightening of the bottom teeth and a small improvement of the upper "wonky" tooth. The aligners fit, so my teeth are moving...slowly. My orthodontist echoed warnings heard here that I might not notice a huge improvement until towards the end, so I am holding on to that.
Dr. Ward

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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