Invisalign Journey - New Jersey, NJ

I decided to get invisalign to fix my crowded...

I decided to get invisalign to fix my crowded lower teeth. Ive had retainers, braces, then retainers again and my teeth always manage to shift. My whole treatment is going to be 3-4 months unless refinements are needed. 13 trays for the lower, 9 for the upper and 8 attachments. I got my first trays yesterday. The process was quick and easy. They bonded the attachments on filed them down and gave me 6 sets of aligners and sent me on my way.
My thoughts so far:
-they are not invisible unless you are looking at me from far far away
-I do have a slight lisp which is getting better
-They are irritating to the insides of my lips... I did try to buff them but it didn't help -They are slightly painful, its more of a pressure feeling, but taking the bottom trays out is extremely painful
-I am definitely going to lose weight because I can't snack or really drink anything but water and I don't even want to take the trays out to eat because it is so painful
-My teeth feel loose like they are going to fall out when the trays are out which my provider said is normal, but makes me afraid to eat
-I was told the best way to get them out is to grab them with your nails and move from the back all the way around... I don't have any nails so I am finding it nearly impossible to get them out.
I didn't get much instruction from my provider, only that I can't eat with them in, I have to brush and floss after eating before putting them back in, and using Act mouthwash twice a day is mandatory. When I asked if I should brush the trays they said ehh, rinsing them in water is usually good enough but they will get kind of gross looking but its okay because you throw them out after 10 days anyway. So I have only had them one day and its frustrating not being able to eat or drink as usual, I am just hoping the pain gets better and it gets easier to get the trays out as my teeth start to shift so I can eat more than once a day!

Tray 2

I have been anxiously awaiting this day... Its day 10 of treatment and time for the second trays. My excitement was quickly brought to a halt when they didn't fit properly. The bottom trays fit... they don't feel tight as I thought they would... they feel the same as the first set. The top on the other hand...... they fit around my front teeth but don't fit on my back teeth... they just kind of hang there flopping around. I could feel them bang against my bottom teeth and they only go into place when I bite down, then they bounce back off my teeth to their flopping around state. I had to take the top tray out because it felt like I was going to swallow it. I now have in tray 1 on the top and tray 2 on the bottom and am waiting two hours for my dentists assistants to get in to call me. I am assuming I will have to go in for them to take a look and they will have to order new trays, which better not entail taking more impressions. I am not a happy camper to say the least!

Tray 2/3

Well I saw my dental assistant... the upper of tray 2 was indeed defective. I was pretty annoyed when they told me over the phone to stop in so they can "show me how to properly put them in"... anyway... they tossed upper tray 2 in the garbage and moved me to tray 3 on the top which I will keep in for 20 days instead of 10. I'm still not too happy because now my mouth is super uncomfortable and the upper trays are ripping my mouth apart left and right which I guess I will have to deal with until my teeth move enough for the tray to actually fit. The back of it doesn't lay flat against my teeth which is irritating my tongue and there are some rough spots irritating my gums. They are also a whole lot more visible right now... collecting saliva in the big spaces where my teeth are supposed to eventually shift to. I was self conscious before now its even worse that I have gobs of saliva sitting in the trays in my mouth. Maybe I will take up sign language as a new means of communicating. UGH!

photo update

Tray 4

I am officially one month into treatment and am on Tray 4/9 for the upper and 4/13 for the lower. As I mentioned in a previous post, my second upper tray did not fit, so I went on to tray 3. Well, surprise surprise... Tray 4 for the upper does not fit too great either! Im having the same problem in that it just kind of flops around on my back teeth except the left side is the main problem. They fit when I clench my teeth together but as soon as I open my mouth it comes down off my teeth. I'm trying my hardest to keep it in and deal with it. I just ordered the chewies in hopes that they will help even just a little. Even if the chewies help, I believe I am going to have to call my dentist yet again, because I figured I would try upper tray 5 to see if it would fit and its even worse than tray 4. The tray doesnt fit my back teeth on either side... the same problem I had with tray 2 and to the point where it is not wearable. I am getting extremely frustrated and annoyed with invisalign at this point. I see absolutely no changes in my teeth what-so-ever, and my upper trays are all defective of some sort! It is a hassle and inconvenient to have to keep going to my dentist. I call first thing in the morning, the assistants don't get in until later in the day then they can't take me until 2-3pm which is when I start work so I can't go in! I thought invisalign was supposed to be convenient... at this point, it is anything but!

Tray 7

Hey everyone, its been a while since I have given an update on my progress. The last time I updated, tray 5 didn't fit on the upper so I moved on to tray 6 which I wore for almost a month. I went for my checkup today and they put in tray 7 and what do you know, it didn't fit on the upper. The dentist looked at my teeth and since my top teeth were never really a problem to begin with, he said they were looking good and there was no point in making new impressions when I only have 3 trays left for the top. He ended up cutting off the back 2 teeth for the remaining upper trays. So far tray 7 fits beautifully after he cut off the two back teeth, hopefully the others will fit too. I am seeing some progress with my bottom crowding but I don't like how they look right now. As my teeth are shifting, one front tooth is being pushed forward to make room for the other to fit into place. Hopefully it is just like a bad cold where it kind of gets worse before it gets better. February 10th is my next appointment when they remove the attachments from the top and I believe they will put my permanent retainer in place. Yay! Can't wait to be done!

Top teeth complete!

So yesterday I went to my dentist as I had completed tray 9/9 for my top teeth. I was so excited to get my permanent fixed retainer so I could smile with confidence again. Whelp. Disappointed again. I sat in the chair and she handed me a tray and said ok heres your top permanent retainer. Huh? I was told from the beginning that I would be getting the fixed retainer that goes on the back of your teeth. Now they were telling me they can't do it now and I have to wear this retainer for another 4 months. I was so disappointed and unhappy. Of course as I tried on the retainer, it didn't fit. Why would it fit... the top trays haven't fit from day 1. I told them i'm not wearing something that doesn't fit... so they cut off the back two teeth from each side. It fits but still isn't too comfortable. After an argument and me repeatedly telling the dentist I wasn't happy he told me to just wear it at night. That seems like its asking for my teeth to move. I left unhappy yet again and I guess I will have to suck it up and wear this thing until they will put the actual fixed retainer in. I honestly don't see any changes in my top teeth. The things that bother me about my top teeth are the shape of some of my teeth and my gum line for my two front teeth... One front tooth looks much longer than the other, which isn't something Invisalign can fix. Anyway, my bottom teeth have 4 more trays to go and there is still a lot of movement that needs to be done so I think I will be needing refinements. We will see how it goes!

Tray 13/13

Here is a picture of my teeth prior to invisalign and now. I have about a week left... I think I may need some revisions or maybe just some filing down to fix the shape of some of my teeth. This whole process has been a huge pain in the butt for me but I am so happy with how my teeth look. I never realized exactly how terrible they looked until I compared the pictures from before invisalign to now.
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Your teeth are looking pretty amazing!! Maybe you could go to a cosmetic dentist and have gum contouring done on your front teeth to make them look even? I've read about other people doing that with great results. I think your teeth look beautiful as is though so...
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They weren't terrible before.  But they look fantastic now, so it's a big change in comparison, right?  I know I never noticed how crooked my teeth were before I got them fixed.  In fact, I was only concerned about one single tooth when I got Invisalign.  Which of your teeth are you unhappy with at this point?  In the picture it only looks like your upper medial incisors are different lengths, and I think that's because of the gums.
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Okay, wow.  I definitely understand your disappointment.  Did they explain why they can't give you the bonded retainer yet?  I mean, I wouldn't be at all surprised if that's totally legit, it's just it would have been nice with good communication about that from the start, so you hadn't gotten your hopes up.  My experience with my own Orthodontist has also not been stellar in the communication department from the beginning.

If I were you, I'd wear that retainer full-time for the next 4 months, so that your teeth can be solid by the time you get the bonded retainer.  After 4 months, it'll feel like nothing anyway.  And you don't have to be quite as strict (I mean, you don't have to wear it a full 20-22 hours/day.  You can slack a little.)  

As for the gum thing, I realize that you're probably super-tired of interventions now, but you'd probably have to go to a cosmetic dentist to talk about cosmetic fixes.  A gum lift might be an option for you for just that one incisor.
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They definitely won't leave you with one tooth sticking out in the front :).  And those types of movements (pushing a tooth backward) are the easiest for Invisalign anyway, so no worries!  Are you getting a regular bonded retainer or the V-Loop (wavy kind that you can floss without using a threader)?  I'm extremely curious about the bonded retainers.
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The same thing happened with my second set of trays! The bottom fit perfect. The top tray wouldn't grasp onto my last molar on the right. I went to my orthodontist and he cut the molar portion off the top tray! I guess all of my trays are going to have to be cut by him now, which is really annoying. I wonder if this is a problem with Invisalign. Have you talked to your dentist about this yet?
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I definitely think the dentist should redo your molds and send in for new trays... the trays should fit snuggly on ALL of your teeth!! I would be incredibly annoyed if my trays flopped around every time I opened my mouth! Sucks that you are having such a rough time with the invisalign right now... I really hope the dentist decides to get the new trays for you. Hang in there.
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If Invisalign messes up, they make new trays for you and you don't pay any extra.  If they're fitting so poorly, I don't really understand why your dentist isn't redoing the molds and getting the trays redone?  It may be time to insist on new aligners.  You're paying $5,000 for this.  I think it took about six aligners for me to start being able to see a difference, though, so that may not be the best gauge yet.

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Your dilemma makes me feel much better about just having gotten a crown. ;) I feel for you--it hurts badly enough when you're just switching trays--to switch ahead two...that's gotta be painful :(.  I hope you don't get too many headaches and stuff, and that if you do, that OTC painkillers work for you.  And also?  It'd be really nice if things just started flowing for you a bit.  It seems like it was just that one tray, though, since you were able to put in number 3...?

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The fact that you can pop them onto your back teeth might mean that you need to use the chewies.  Anxious to hear what your doctor's office tells you, though.  Hearing so many horror stories about trays not fitting here on RealSelf.  I don't remember that happening to me at all.  I mean, sometimes they wouldn't go on because they were so tight, but then I just chewed and chewed and eventually I got them on.  But what you're talking about doesn't sound the same.  Good luck!

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The first set of aligners are the worst, after that is much easier. Leave them in as much as possible for the first few days after every new set. Regarding the inside of your mouth being raw, I found that just keeping my mouth numb with orajel was a lifesaver. This will go away by the time you are ready for the next set. Hang in there, they get much easier and simply part of your daily routine. And to keep them clear, just drink water. And I soak them in the Crest whitening mouthwash while I am flossing and brushing, and then I use a very soft tooth brush to clean them. Works very well and I am 14 aligners down in my 26 aligner treatment. Good Luck
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Welcome, njn!  Thanks for starting a review.  I have a few thoughts based on my Invisalign experience.  Hopefully, they can be helpful to you.  The pressure, the lisp, the losing weight--all that stuff is normal.  There are tools to get your trays out, but growing a thumb-nail might be your best option ;).  Your teeth will get less loose-feeling as they get closer to the shape of each tray.  So after a few days in each tray.  But the next tray will feel the same again.  Try orthodontic wax to help protect the inside of your mouth from the trays.  My orthodontist said if you're out and can't brush and floss before putting in your trays, just do it when you get a chance.  I didn't have to use mouthwash at all.  But I did brush my trays with a mild soap.  Not toothpaste, because my toothpaste is abrasive and left microabrasions in the trays which made them cloudy and almost impossible to clean from plaque.  Finally, I kept all my trays instead of throwing them away.  You never know when you might lose a tray or need to go back to an old one for some reason.  I would not throw them away as you use them up.  Instead of washing with soap, you can soak them in hydrogen peroxide while you have them out, then brush them with water and a toothbrush before you put them back in.
I look forward to following your progress!
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Thank you for the tips! I am slowly getting used to the first trays. There is no more pressure, but I am feeling pain in my back molars due to me clenching me teeth so tight when I sleep... The back two teeth on both the upper and lower trays have turned white in the middle from the crevices of my teeth (kind of like when you bend hard plastic it turns white). I was able to use an emery board to smooth the rough spot on the top tray that was making my lip bleed... I don't want to file too much away because I do have an attachment on that tooth so I have been using Anbesol which numbs my mouth (I only use it at night because it numbs my mouth to the point that I drool lol). The lisp is now gone, but I have been told I am talking differently now. The trays are much easier to get out now, the top comes out extremely easily I can probably get it out just by playing with it with my tongue which i'm trying not to play with it! but the bottom is still a little difficult because I have more attachments on the bottom. My provider told me the mouthwash is necessary to prevent cavities... I don't mind the mouthwash too much its the brushing and flossing that is a pain, especially since flossing makes my gums bleed every time! (I have always had sensitive gums). I am also very hesitant to smile because you can see the invisalign due to the attachments. I am a nurse so I have to be up close and personal with my patients and a few of them have asked me why I am not smiling anymore... I am very self conscious about my smile now but I just keep thinking about how great my smile will be 3 months from now!
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Most people are fascinated by Invisalign and don't judge you negatively for having them, so try not to feel bad if they see them.  It's mostly just a conversation starter, and may even take your patients' minds off of their own problems for a while!

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Invest in a water pick. It is so helpful!
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