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Early Allergic Reaction, Better Now - New York, NY

My first set of aligners caused a severe allergic...

My first set of aligners caused a severe allergic reaction. I had extraordinarily painful mouth sores and significant puffiness and swelling of my lips and cheeks. After consulting with my doctor and the Align company, I was notified that they would send me a new set of aligners that were essentially hypoallergenic. The new aligners have been MUCH better. Today is my last full day on the second set of aligners (2/16), and I've not experienced the bad reaction. Seems like I'm probably in the clear since it's been nearly one month without any issues.

The biggest recommendation I can make to new Invisalign wearers is to get yourself some chewies. Google this to find them online for purchase. I've noticed that the chewies get my trays to sit much more tightly on my teeth and minimize any speech issues they cause. When I don't use the chewies, I have much more of a lisp. It becomes a lot more subtle once I've used my chewies. Also, the tighter fit to the teeth makes the aligners visibly less obvious to other people. The most important time to use the chewies is with a new set of trays. I find that the better fit reduces the discomfort during the early days of a new set.

I'm nearly done with my third set of aligners. My...

I'm nearly done with my third set of aligners. My girlfriend keeps telling me that she can really notice a difference already. She's very impressed with the progress so far. Nearly six weeks into treatment with my hypoallergenic aligners...I couldn't be happier.

Okay, so I had to start set 4 one day early...

Okay, so I had to start set 4 one day early because I got a crack in my lower aligner of set 3. Not a big deal. Overall, the tightness was the same as it always is for a new pair of aligners. One thing I've noticed is that I have a lot of trouble sleeping the first couple of nights with a new pair. The headache isn't terrible, but it's just annoying enough that it keeps me feeling a bit off. Then, of course, the sleep deprivation just makes it worse. Usually by day 3 or 4 I'm feeling fine again and sleeping well. But, I'm definitely trying not to schedule anything too important for the first day or so after starting a new pair of trays.

Some learnings: 1. I use one half of a Retainer...

Some learnings:
1. I use one half of a Retainer Brite tablet twice a day to clean my trays, and they are staying very clean. I've read everywhere NOT to use toothpaste since it causes microscopic damage to the trays that facilitates bacterial attachment and growth. When using retainer brite, just be sure to use cool water. Hot water will warp your trays.
2. Be careful when you floss. I have eleven attachments, and one of them came off when I was flossing my teeth...popped right off. Another fell off before that, but I don't know when or how. Just be sure to go in to get a replacement attachment ASAP. Your button attachments are there for a reason, and you don't want to get off track.
3. Always set an alarm when you take your aligners out to eat. I give myself 18 minutes for breakfast, 18 minutes for lunch, and 30 minutes for dinner. After the alarm goes off, I immediately start flossing and brushing my teeth. If I'm at a party, I'll give myself up to 60 minutes with the aligners out, but that's only once in awhile. The vast majority of days, I have them in over 22.5 hours.

I'm just over halfway through aligners 6/16, and...

I'm just over halfway through aligners 6/16, and I've seen a huge difference in my teeth. I've switched to an electric toothbrush, and that does a MUCH better job of removing little bits of food stuck to my molars. It gives me a lot more confidence that I'm not trapping food particles against my teeth for many hours at a time. That's a recipe for cavities. I'm sure I was flirting with cavities when I was just using a regular toothbrush. Hopefully, I made the switch in time to prevent too many from forming. Any orthodontic treatment is associated with cavities, but the hope is that the long term hygienic benefits of straighter teeth will more than trump the short term superficial harm.

Note: I'm still having several days of headaches and poor sleep quality right after switching to new aligners. This is part of the process, but it isn't a picnic for me since I already have issues with sleep. The second week of the trays is much easier...I feel like myself again. Overall, I'm still rating this as "worth it," but there is a price to be paid for the benefits achieved.

I started aligners 7 (of 16) two days ago. So far,...

I started aligners 7 (of 16) two days ago. So far, this aligner doesn't seem as bad. The last couple were very tight and bothersome for days before they settled down. As pretty much everyone else here has suggested, it's vital to begin each new aligner at night so that you can have continuous wear for 10-12 hours. If you try starting in the morning, you'll be taking the trays in and out multiple times during that very important period when the teeth are first adjusting. I like to have dinner around 6:30 p.m. so that the trays will be in from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. without interruption. That's made a big difference with my new set.
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Comments (13)

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Your teeth are almost identical to mine and I'm trying to find out how much mine would cost before my consultation. Did you go to several different orthodontists for a quote? I don't have severely crooked teeth I just have a few that need re-positioning.
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Glad you bought the electric toothbrush. They can do a great job of getting things all cleaned up. Which brand did you go with?

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Interesting note on the headaches. I spoke with my ortho because I was also getting them for the first few days of a new set. He thought that perhaps the new trays had a new "feel" in my mouth and that when I was sleeping I might be clenching my teeth more than normal. This can cause headaches. And as I adjusted to the new set, then my jaw would relax more while I slept. I think he was onto something, because I also found myself throughout the first couple days biting on the trays/my teeth to make sure they were "tight." Something to think about. Unfortunately, I haven't found a way to reduce the nighttime clenching. Sorry :-(
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Where did u get this done? Who was your doctor? Considering invisalign my bro has it and I do see the difference. My teeth are not really bad but I am starting to get some spacing on top right.
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Those are some great learnings that you posted yesterday! I'm sure that info will be helpful to many people starting their Invisalign treatment!

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Wow, sounds like you had some drama there in the beginning. My Orthodontist actually gave me those chewies that you are talking about with each set of tray. Definitely help to get them on good & tight.
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Since the poor sleep lasts a couple days (not just the first night), I'm not sure it will help to switch in the morning. That will just increase the number of times I have to remove a new set of trays during those first 10-12 critical hours when my teeth are adjusting to them to the largest extent. I think it's just going to be part of the process for me. We're moving teeth, so it shouldn't be surprising that it causes headaches and impacts sleep for the first 2-3 days...
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It sounds like you are definitely taking it in stride. Glad you are able to see it as just a part of treatment and still move forward with it. :)

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Awe, sorry to hear they are giving you a bit of trouble sleeping. :-/ I sometimes struggle with sleep for no good reason, so I can definitely sympathize with that! It seems most people recommend switching trays right before bed so you sleep through most of the discomfort of the new tray, but have you considered switching in the morning if it is interrupting your sleep? Might be worth a try?

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Thanks for updating us and letting us know all is going well for you. I'm so glad the trays you have are not giving you any issues!

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They said the only difference was that the new trays were cut and washed by hand. Sounds like either they don't want to share information on the material OR their cutting and washing process produces some sort of residue that is the cause of the allergic reaction.
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That is interesting, appreciate you sharing what you know about it. :)

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Good tip on the chewies, thanks for sharing that worked well for you.

I'm glad to hear they were able to get you some trays that you didn't have a reaction to. Did they happen to mention what the difference in material was?

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