I've wanted to straighten my teeth since high...

I've wanted to straighten my teeth since high school but I didn't want to wear braces in college and then it always seemed too expensive. At 33 years old and married for a year, I finally decided that it's time to fix my teeth.
I started on March 27. 2014 and I am now on Tray 6 with Invisalign. I have a midline correction needed and overbite, so as of tray 3 I have an elastic on my right side. Each time I've started a new tray, I am very sore for a few days, but then I get used to it and it's fine. The time seems to be going quickly and I am already noticing slight differences in the crowding of my teeth. And not one person has noticed that I'm wearing them!

Correction

Correction- I started elastics on Tray 4 (not tray 3). I also have had TMJ since I was 8 years old and the invisalign has really helped decrease jaw pain and popping. Please feel free to comment or send me any questions you might have, thanks!

Progress photo

Here's a photo showing some progress...I especially see it in my bottom teeth. The number is the tray number.

Clincheck photos

Here's some of my clincheck photos, unfortunately I didn't receive the videos...I don't think my ortho let's us have a copy of it. Is that normal?

Tray 7

Changed to tray 7 on 6/21, the usual soreness for the first 2-3 days but it has subsided. I think I keep getting a pimple in the same place on my chin from brushing and flossing 6x a day (it's where my hand rests while flossing!) I plan to make a post about my Invisalign routine because I think I have it down to a science now!

Invisalign Tips

Now that I have been wearing my Invisalign since the end of March 2014, I wanted to share about some of the new habits that I've formed as well as some tips and tricks that make the entire process a little bit more bearable. Here's what I find helpful:
1. When I wake up, I go and turn the coffee maker on. While I'm waiting for the coffee maker to warm up, I soak my trays in warm (NOT hot) water and a Retainer Brite tablet. Once I finish my coffee and breakfast, my aligners are perfectly clean so I brush my teeth, floss, mouthwash, and then insert my trays, followed by my elastic. I want a fresh tray right before I leave the house rather than before bedtime so this works for me. Any other times I take my trays out, I either rinse them out with warm water and then let them soak while I'm eating (if I'm at home) or I put them into my carrying case. I tried letting them soak in dish soap but no matter how much I rinse them, they taste like soap (gross) so now I just use water for soaking unless it's the morning soak with Retainer Brite (bought on Amazon, I love this, my trays are never cloudy and they keep them fresh and clean). I lightly brush them with my wet toothbrush if I see any spit residue that didn't come out during the soak.
2. Unless I'm having water or club soda, trays are out for eating and/or drinking. NO MATTER WHAT! I know people that rinse and then put the trays back in. It's gross, so bad for your teeth, and I'm sure it makes the aligners filthy. I brush, floss, and mouthwash after eating (I skip floss if I'm just having a drink or coffee.) So much food gets stuck in my shifting teeth that I've never dealt with before because of my crowding...take the time to brush and floss, your teeth will thank you!
3. It's weird to brush your teeth in public. It just is. You get used to it. A month after starting Invisalign we went to Disney...you don't know public restrooms until you've had to brush your teeth in tons of them at Disney! It's not fun, but it's only for the next 18 months. Living in NYC, I have now brushed my teeth in some of the finest restaurants in town...it's embarrassing but I try to just get it done and get out of there. If you get people staring (happens sometimes) I just say "I have invisalign" and each time...I swear...I get a "Good for you, I had braces as a kid and I never took care of them, now my teeth have shifted, I want invisalign, how do you like them...?" People are not judging, they're curious. PUBLIC RESTROOM TIP: I learned this in Disney, especially in crowded restrooms and sinks; wait for the handicapped accessible stall with it's own sink. Yes, you may have to let people go ahead of you but to not have to stand there with people all around you while you brush and floss makes it much less of a headache. This has made it so much easier!
4. I have 3 Invisalign "Kits" (see photos). I keep one at home in my bathroom, one in my purse (the smaller one), and one in my desk. I never have to worry about not having what I need to clean my teeth. I love sensodyne because I have very sensitive teeth and with all of the brushing, it helps that immensely. In my kit is a travel sized toothpaste, mouthwash, and toothbrush, floss, my rubberbands, and some of the Orajel my ortho gave me when I first had my attachments put on (I've only needed to use it 1x.) Unfortunately, I can no longer use cute little wristlet purses but like everything else in this process, I'm now used to it.
5. I take pics after each new tray has been in about a week. I'm SO happy I've done this because I love to see the side by side comparisons...it keeps me motivated to deal with all of the inconvenience.
6. With all of the teeth shifting, now there are dark, unsightly crevasses that are being created near the gumline on my teeth where my toothbrush could never reach the teeth. Now that I'm seeing them, I hate them and it freaks me out to think how dirty our teeth are where we can't brush them. I know this is natural but it's kind of scary to see our teeth seem to "change color." When I'm done with my treatment, my ortho is throwing in a free teeth whitening so that helps me feel better!

That's all I can think of for now, let me know if you have any questions, thanks!

Tray 8 and progress photo

I switched to tray 8 on 7/1 and I'm still feeling a little sore from it and I've had a slight headache over the past couple of days. I'll put up my aligner pics in about a week because I like to give my teeth a chance to shift before updating the photo. I made a new collage of my teeth progress photos from trays 1-7 (I think I missed tray 5 but there was such minimal change anyway!) Some days I feel like it's a big difference and some days I think they look exactly the same as when I started (especially when I see photos of myself!) And sorry for the weird numbering on the photos, the iphone app wasn't too user friendly!

Tray 9 of 36

Not much movement...plugging away!
New York Orthodontist

I trust her to be the best as she is ranked among the highest Invisalign specialists in the world. She's super friendly and positive and always answers all of my questions for me.

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
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 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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Comments (12)

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Which app did you use?  That's pretty cool, even with the numbers the way they are!

And from my experience seeing people here on RealSelf, crowding cases generally take at least 8 aligners before you see anything. :)
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Great advice, especially the coping in public stuff.  I never thought about it, but I've seen a lot of people in the community having trouble with dealing with Invisalign in public.  Thank you :).
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Hello, your post is very helpful... I am having my x-rays done next months to then get my trays hopefully soon! But something that is worrying me is that I have quite a stinking out front tooth and will most probably have to have one of the buttons on my front teeth to get it back. Are they really noticeable? This is really the only thing I'm worried about as seen someone else write that they are hideous and noticeable Thanks :)!
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Hello and thank you for your comment...before you worry about where the attachments will be placed, wait and see what the doctor says. You may be surprised once you see your clincheck that they don't put attachments where you think they might. I think that my attachments are super obvious but no one has ever noticed them...they really do blend into teeth. Also, keep in mind that when we see pics on here of close up teeth with noticeable attachments, it's because we are only focused on them...in real life, we have the rest of our face to look at! And finally, talk to your doctor, if you absolutely hate an attachment, see if there is something he/she can do. Once you get this process started you want your teeth to move so bad that you don't mind if you have to have an attachment or rubber band speeding up or helping the process. Good luck!
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Hi! I've just started Invisalign (currently on Tray 2) and I will be starting elastics soon for midline correction. Glad to find your post and see that it's going well for you!
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Hi there! Thanks for your comment and keep me posted on how your progress is going! I think I'm starting to notice a slight improvement in my midline so it's good to know the elastics are working. Let me know if you have any questions! Good luck!
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I see progress top and bottom, but the bottom progress is indeed impressive.  As far as ClinChecks go, doctors' habits vary greatly.  Some of them will give you everything off the bat; some of them will only give you what you ask for specifically; others never even mention a ClinCheck to their patients.
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Hi, and thanks for sharing your story with us!  I know you've been around already, so I won't give you a list of people to connect with unless you'd like :).  But I'm so glad to see you finally, and wow, that was a lot of work uploading all those pics!  It must have taken forever!!  So thank you for doing that :).

Did your doctor happen to mention a pattern when they said what kind of elastic wear you'd be doing?  Like triangle or…um…yeah, I never wore elastics.  But I watched a video and there were soooo many different ways to wear elastics.  Just wondering what kind of guidance you were given.  This was the video I watched:
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Thank you, twoplusone! You are always so helpful on this site. My elastic instructions included, "here's 3 bags of rubber bands, connect one to the silver button on your back right tooth and then to the hook on the front of your tray..." That was it! The elastic is really not too bad and I can definitely feel the difference when it's not in. My ortho said it was for the midline and overbite but I really only feel like it's helping the midline issue...but we shall see. It's annoying that it adds another step in the routine of brushing, flossing, mouthwash, trays, and then rubber band, but like everything else in this process, it soon becomes habit.
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...And I would love more referrals for other Invisalign users who have midline issues and/or elastics...thanks!
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Could you recommend a good photo app on iPad or iPhone for putting progress pics side by side and including text? Thanks!
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Unfortunately, I never did find a good app.  I've used photor on the web and it's not easy or intuitive for me, but it was enough for me to do a couple of side-by-sides for my community members.  

I only know two other people off the top of my head who are working on midline issues specifically, and h.lks you've already seen.  The other is StephDakel.  

As for elastics, we've got: 
Nadinelliana
HenryZ
Katherine87
monosyllabicgirl
martino416
Sairisan
Sunluvva
Klinden95, and 
KaySanaY

There may be more, but those are the ones I can recall :D.
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