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My Invisalign Experience - 28 year old female

I'm a 28 year old female. I was considering...

I'm a 28 year old female. I was considering Invisalign for about 6 months before I decided to go ahead and do it. I've always had crowded teeth, and never had braces when I was younger. Luckily, I had qualified for Invisalign when I went to the orthodontist. I went in for my impressions about 2 months ago, and that's about how long they quoted me that it would take for my trays to get in. They had quite a few payment options, and I went with CareCredit (no interest for 2 years if paid off within promotional period), as I was quoted at $4,950, which made my monthly payments just over $200/month.

I went in to get my first set of trays and got a full cleaning and flouride treatment before we got to the Invisalign. Invisalign time came, and I find out I have 35 trays (I was really hoping it would have been 24 or less, but oh well), and I will have quite a few attachments, but none on my front teeth (thank goodness). My ClinCheck (which I called and asked to be emailed to me, they did not show me it in my appointment) looked promising.

So, I started my first trays on March 25, 2013. I am now on day 5 of tray 1, and I think the worst of the first tray is over. When I first put them in I was thinking "oh this isn't bad at all!", then a couple days go by and my teeth and gums were getting really sore and sensitive and I could barely eat on one side, but I think that part has passed on my first tray. I imagine the first tray would be one of the hardest since it is introducing your teeth to movement. I haven't taken any pain medication yet. The first day of wearing them was rough because I didn't have a routine down when it came to cleaning them and it took much longer than I wanted to, but I think I already have a system down. I just brush them with toothpaste and a toothbrush. The first day was harder to clean because they put my trays in right after my fluoride treatment and the fluoride had gotten real gunky and sticky inside of the trays.

I have been looking on the internet for all sorts of tips, tricks and reviews of Invisalign for quite some time now, and have armed myself for any possible situation with my trays, including size b crochet hooks for when I can't get my trays off (luckily I haven't had to use those yet), but I've read on here about Acceledent and emailed my orthodontist about it and am waiting to hear what she says (she currently has Invisalign also, and loves it). I'm finding 35 trays to be a little daunting, so any possibility of speeding it up (in a healthy way) is welcome in my book.

I'll have tray 1 for 2 weeks, then go back in to the office to get my 2nd tray, then 2 weeks after that get my attachments and 3rd-6th trays.

I will post some pictures along with my ClinCheck when I get an opportunity to as soon as I can.

Its good you have figured out a routine for cleaning your trays, and that you are all prepared with the crochet hooks just in case! Keep us posted with how the 2nd set goes. Did your ortho advise you to change your trays right before bedtime? You've probably read other reviewers mentioning that they opt to go that route.

Looking forward to seeing your pictures and Clincheck!

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I'm adding my ClinCheck and a few before photos...

I'm adding my ClinCheck and a few before photos.

I really hope this Invisalign Diet we're all on now pays off. It's Easter, and I haven't been able to partake in the grazing. I was offered, and had to refuse, at least 5 times to eat food when it wasn't the actual meal time. Even if I did eat anything not at meal time, I couldn't even enjoy it because I'd be thinking about the 20 minutes I'd need to spend cleaning my teeth and trays all for the 1 minute of enjoyment. Not worth it, but someday it might be, given the right occasion. I just want a Cadbury Egg, damnit.

Thank you so much for posting your pictures and your Clincheck. Can't wait to start watching your teeth straighten! I really hope you got your Cadbury Egg, those are too good to pass up for an entire year! ;)

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I got my egg! And a few more, too :)
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Nice!! I bought one before Easter, then went back to Target to get a few more after Easter but alas, I was too late...I'll have to wait another year for more. Oh well, my waist line thanks the other shoppers who got there before me. ;)

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I'm also documenting this experience on YouTube...

I'm also documenting this experience on YouTube (youtube.com/ItsMyStrategy), and will be adding these videos to RealSelf, because in all my research before choosing to get Invisalign I found that BOTH showing and telling of someone's experience is much more informative than just one or the other. Please feel free to follow! I go in Monday to get tray 2, and will keep you guys updated!

I'm attaching the videos I have up so far to this post.
Best of luck with your treatment! I'm nearing the end of mine and I think it has been worth it. Don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions. One tip I do have for cleaning the aligners, is Milton Fluid. I'm not sure if you have that in the US but it's the sterilising liquid used for cleaning baby bottles! My dentist recommended it. It works a treat. Every few days, I would pop my aligners in a glass of cold water with a capful of Milton and soak them while I'm having my dinner. Good luck!
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Thank you so much for your reply, and I will look into getting the Milton Fluid.
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I am on aligner #6 as of yesterday. I am supposed to do 47 aligners on the lowers, and only 8 on the uppers. I have 4 attachments on the lowers, and only one on the uppers, because I have a bridge on top so they can't correct everything. I hope I can hang in there that long with the lowers. I'm no spring chicken, I'm 69 years old, but didn't like how I looked when I saw pictures of myself. Taking them off the lowers has been my biggest challenge, and I take them off often to eat meals and snacks. Eating away from home is the worst part. Taking them off in a ladies room and going back after I eat to brush my teeth and the aligners is stressfull for me. It was good to hear from you and your experience. Charlotte Saugus, MA
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Tray 2 - Went in this morning to get my 2nd trays...

Tray 2 -
Went in this morning to get my 2nd trays. They took my first ones and kept them at the office, which I thought was weird, but that's fine if they want to keep them. As far as the second trays go, I have two words: POWER RIDGES. And man do they hurt. I have them on my two front teeth and when I took them off for lunch I felt like the trays were still on my teeth. These are pretty tight, but that's good because it means they're working. I haven't taken any pain pills yet. I really don't want to take these trays off unless I absolutely have to because I want this pain to go away quicker. I can't wait until I have multiple trays so I can put the new ones in the night before and sleep through the hard part. In addition to the headache, today has just been plain awful (issue at work while I was at the orthodontist, then my puppy got really sick and is now on a ton of meds), I'm just not having a good day. The people at the orthodontist messed up my next appointment and set it out for 3 weeks instead of two, so I called them and they can't get me in until that Thursday instead of Monday (I'm really uptight about maintaining the two week timeframes so this doesn't jive with me at all). I asked my ortho about Acceledent, and she said since their office doesn't have one yet, they would have to purchase it for $1200-$1400, and then my price would be $2500-2800. Not worth it. Next set of trays will come with attachments and more power ridges. The real pain will begin then.
It was interesting watching your latest youtube. I think I'll see if I can remove my bottom trays from the inside as you did. I can't believe I'm finishing up my 10th week today. My orthodontist never told me about filing the rough edges. I'll have to check with her on that. She told me not to use any instruments to help remove them. She seems stricter then most doctors that I hear about on here, which doesn't make it any easier for me that's for sure.
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The bottom trays are hard to remove from the inside, but if I can't, I still start at the back molars from the outside. I haven't had to use the crochet hooks, and I hope not to, but I can't see it being any worse than using your fingernail if you use it gently. In addition to making a tray cleaning video, I also want to do a edge filing video and how I do that (my orthodontist said it's okay for me to do it as long as I don't go crazy on it).
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eeeoeleven......You second video truly helped me. I too am on my 2 tray/3rd day. I did have my buttons put on this last visit. Plz run your fingers over the ridges of your trays. Try to file off any burs that you might feel. That will save you must discomfort moving forward. The inside of my mouth was cut up so bad. Taking your trays off from the inside is brilliant! Ive had a very hard time taking them off for the first three days..I just watched your video and SNAP they came right out..WooHoo....Thank you and your doctor for this great in site. Once your buttons are on eat very slow....Enjoy and cant wait to hear how your doing!
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Tray 3 (with attachments) - I just got my 3rd...

Tray 3 (with attachments) -
I just got my 3rd trays along with my attachments. I also added a new video to illustrate this entry. The process for getting the attachments was easy, they prepare the teeth for bonding by cleaning and drying them and then applying a bonding agent, and then put a tray filled with the attachment material on your teeth. They then apply the blue light they use for brackets for braces to bond the attachment to the tooth. They take the trays off and then clean up the excess material that gets on your teeth. This was the worst part for me. The feeling of them cleaning up the excess felt like they were ice-picking my teeth! The sound and feeling was way worse than what was actually happening, but I looked at my teeth in the mirror when I got home and there is some markings on my teeth now - I'm not sure if its excess material just sitting on my teeth or if it was from the scraping. I'm extra cautious about removing and putting on the trays, but removing them from the inside still seems to get them off easily. I still have power ridges on the top two teeth, and this tray is tight. This is going to be a painful one! I have trays 3 and 4 now, and will go in for trays 5 and 6 in a month. It's exciting to look at the future trays in person. Well, here's to Advil and an early bedtime.

I wanted to thank you for taking the time to blog and post videos. I have mine on order and very excited. Nice to know ahead of time a real persons experience. I will have mine for 18 months with attachments and two rubberbands. Did you have a hard time drinking just water with them in? I like flavored water with MILO and stuff but ortho said too acidic.

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You're welcome! Rubberbands - ouch. That's one thing I'm lucky enough to avoid. I haven't had any problem with drinking water. In fact, cold water feels so good on the sore gums. I also have cups of ice cubes that I keep in my mouth throughout the day, it really makes everything feel so much better. It's so hard to not drink anything but water, but sometimes its worth cleaning the trays and brushing your teeth (aka, morning coffee at work). Good luck!
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What an excellent review, I love your videos, you had me laughing at the suck & spit lol. I am waiting for my aligners to start my treatment so your review so far has been very helpful :)
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Tray 4 - Started these bad boys Sunday night...

Tray 4 -
Started these bad boys Sunday night before going to bed. Surprisingly, they didn't feel too tight and I slept soundly. Either I'm getting used to this or this tray just isn't as aggressive as the others have been. I am having a more intense headache with this tray. There could be a lot of other contributing factors (I haven't been drinking much water lately). It hurts to move bones, though. I am able to take the trays out pretty easily with my attachments (and I have some wonky attachments, guys). The key, for me, is to make sure when I'm removing my trays to loosen both sides in the very back by popping those up, and them grabbing the more loose side and to continue pulling directly AWAY from your teeth - not up or down or diagonal, but directly out in front of your teeth. If you hit a snag, just gently wiggle the tray a bit and it should pop loose. I keep reading about these people saying it takes them 10 minutes to remove their trays, and that is blowing my mind. I'll make a video on how I remove my trays. I still have to make videos for cleaning the trays and for filing the edges down in new trays (which I luckily haven't had to do on this set so far). I'll also upload some pictures of my attachments.
Loving your review and videos!! I get my first tray may 30 and I'm SO excited/nervous to start!
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Thank you! Good luck on your journey! It is very exciting :) Keep us updated!
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Tray 5 - OUCH.

Tray 5 -
OUCH. This tray, I swear. Anyone else having nausea or anything like it when you take your trays out? I'm wondering if this is just a more aggressive tray and is causing more pain/side effects than usual. Other than that, things are on track and I got trays 5, 6 and 7. It's fun to look ahead and see where I will be in a month. I see movement, and its so encouraging. This is going by faster than I thought it would. I haven't had to file my last 3 trays at all, so I'm hoping I won't have to do that again. This is one of those "eat ice cubes all day long" days.
Sometimes I have pain when I take mine out. It's usually my back molars where a lot of attachments are. I'm on tray 6 now and it's not too bad now. It is amazing how fast it starts to go by! I started beginning of March and took photos every 2 weeks to help watch progress (hard to want to keep up with all the invisalign stuff if you don't think it's working!) and here I am 3 months later and it seems like nothing! I also change my trays at night and go to bed without taking meds. They're tight but no pain and the initial movements start over night and I don't notice it in the morning. There is slight pain when i take my trays off for the first time that first morning - mostly my back molars - but it subsides in a minute and is not really painful...just uncomfortable pang at first.
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I know what you mean, that really tender and sore pain when you take the trays out the first day or two. Makes you just want to forfeit eating :) Sounds like we're on the same tray, too! It does start going by really fast. I have 35 trays, and I just realized instead of having 30 left I have 29 left, so I'm in the 20's! Pictures are a very good idea, it will keep you excited and on track.
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Thank you so much for these videos! I just got my first tray on today, and I was so nervous about everything, but your videos really helped me to relax. I find that my upper and lower attachments are interfering, so that I can't really bite down properly. Do you have the same problem?
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Tray 6 - Jaw Pain

Well, I made it to Tray 6. Put them in Sunday night, Monday was sore as usual, then Tuesday morning I woke up and I COUDN'T OPEN OR CLOSE MY MOUTH ALL THE WAY due to a sharp pain in the joint of the left side of my jaw. I called my orthodontist and she had me come in to look at it. Of course, at this point, I'm fearing the worst and thinking they'll have to get me new trays, that I've veered off course, or even worse, that my jaw was damaged. However, she said it isn't uncommon for Invisalign patients (or regular braces patients) to experience this kind of jaw pain while in treatment. The length of the pain varies, obviously, so I just have to wait it out. She did feel around my jaw joints and noticed I have a few knots (like stress knots) in my jaw joints. She gave me some exercises to do and I have to massage the jaw joints a few times per day. She also prescribed me muscle relaxers. I'm a major clencher and grinder. I'll wake up in the morning and my mouth is clenched shut (I've heard a lot of Invisalign patients wake up like this). All this pressure is obviously not good for your teeth and jaw, especially when they are in movement. I feel better today and just took another muscle relaxer and will hopefully not wake up clenched or in pain. I'll probably try to get a video of the exercises and massage techniques so people can refer to it if they ever go through that.
I cant wait for you to show the exercises/massage techniques. I am also a big grinder and clencher. It makes it worse for me since i have rubberbands. Your about a week ahead of me. I change out tomorrow night for tray 6, a total of 29 tray's and of course more since i will be doing the refinements. Good luck!
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I (finally) made the video! It really makes a difference just doing those even once a day. I am still feeling a ton of tension in my jaw joints, but its not hindering my jaw movement anymore. Good luck!
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Great review, I'll be following this in the coming months and will be starting with my own Invisalign trays in 2 - 3 weeks. Looking forward to get started and get it over with. Have you consider using an ultrasoning bath for cleaning the trays? A friend of mine has almost finished all his sets and has consistently cleaned them in ultrasonic bath almost every night. Hang in there and looking forward to your next post.
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Jaw Pain Exercises

I had jaw pain and clicking on one side for several days after starting a particular tray, but it went away and has thankfully not returned. Some trays make my teeth very sore for days after starting them, while others are barely noticed. I'm on aligner set 7 out of 15, and I got stuck with 14 attachments as well (grrr...). I can see the difference, although a couple of teeth look a little odd in this in-between position.
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15 trays - I envy you! The bigger jaw pain did go away after a day or so, so I'm glad it's just part of the movement and not something to be too concerned about. My teeth get sore on every tray around the 4th day or so. Always good to keep some soft foods/soups on hand for those days.
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Tray 7 - Hanging tough.

Well, I put Tray 7 in Sunday night and woke up Monday morning and couldn't turn my head and the back of my neck and head were pounding, and I was nauseous. But my jaw was fine! It was bad enough for me to call in to work Monday (I was really hoping I'd never have to do that). I'm wondering if the multi-symptom pain like this is because my teeth are very seriously moving, and in a couple cases, seriously rotating. My ClinCheck suggests the first 15 trays will have tooth rotation, and then it will be expansion and movement/positioning from there on out. Rotation is tough, and although it hurts now, I'll be very happy when that part is done. I only ate one meal yesterday, and when I took my trays out to eat I got very nauseous. My orthodontist warned me that the movement I will have throughout this experience will definitely cause some pain/issues. Despite it all, I can see my teeth moving, and its a nice reminder that this is worth it.

I'm off to enjoy a nice cup of ice, now. Hang in there, Invisaligners.
Good luck! I love the updates. It's comforting to know others going thru the same ordeal and how much it can suck at times.
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Thank you! Good luck to you, too.
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Tray 9 - Feeling Fine.

It's been a while - sorry! I've been really sidetracked and busy, because I GOT ENGAGED! Very excited and happy! So, Tray 8 went off without a hitch and I'm wrapping up my last few days or so of Tray 9, which has also been a pretty good tray to me. Teeth are moving, and it's getting very, very exciting as my one severly rotated tooth is now more facing forward than sideways. Of course now I'm thinking in terms of the wedding and the fact that I'll have my trays out and I'm worried about all the attachments showing. I talked to the photographer about it and she said she can photoshop anything, so I'm happy about that! I'll be on Tray 13 come wedding day, and most of the rotation will be done by then! I'll have to take updated photos to show you all how much my teeth are moving (at least, I feel like they are!) Hang in there!

You got engaged?!! Oh my gosh, so very happy for you!! Ok, your dentist or orthodontist will probably want to shoot me for even mentioning this as something to ask about, but you could always ask if you could get the attachments taken off right before your wedding, then put back on after. They might say no...but they might say yes! ;)

Enjoy every second of planning and having your wedding - soak it up, and don't let yourself get stressed - just have fun and enjoy each moment! Please don't forget to update us on how you are doing, because we'll be wondering...and hoping to get to see a picture of the dress. :)

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I'm asking my ortho to take the one visible attachment i have off for my wedding! He put them on one tray late so I could get used to the trays so I think he will be open to it. Congratulations eeeoeleven! Very exciting planning a wedding, sounds like you don't have much time! I agree with Megan, we would all love to see photos! :D
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Thank you! Trust me, I thought about asking to get my attachments removed, but I really don't want to go through the process of getting them again and paying my ortho out of pocket for doing so. Thank goodness for photoshop :) I had a dress fitting about a week ago, have another one coming up soon.
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Tray 9 Photos

As promised :)
I'm getting married too and I was worried about my attachments showing. I've got quite a few and they are in view at the front. I think I may have to speak to our photographer too and see if any photoshop work can be done.
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Congrats! I'm sure the photographer will work with you on it. It's your special day, and you're paying them to do a job! If for some reason it's impossible, practice your best closed mouth smile (I know I have!)
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I my case, my first tray was 14 days and all the other 19 trays will be just 12 days instead of 14.
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Tray 12

Tray 12 is going fine. I'm excited to be closer to being done with rotation trays! Here are some more pics. Hang in there!

Tray 12 - Edit

I took those pictures with my computer, so its reversed from the other photos Sorry!

Tray 12 Photos

First thing I want to say is thank you for sharing. You are going to have an amazing smile. I just got my first tray yesterday it was so easy taking them in and out at the dentist office but once I got home it was a completely different experience. I probably won't be eating much today. Again thanks for sharing your experience it has eased my mind quite a bit.
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Thank you! I remember the first tray was real rough. The inside of my mouth felt so tore up. By tray 3, I got used to it. Also, the first few days on a new tray I usually can only eat softer foods, and my teeth were so sore - taking the trays out can sometimes be an excruciating feeling. Do you have attachments yet?
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yes I got my attachments right away. 4 top 6 bottom. The attachments really make it difficult to chew.
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Tray 14 - I'm so bad.

I'm approaching the end of Tray 14, and ever since Tray 13 I have been so LAZY about putting my trays back in. Not kidding - I would go 8 hours without having them in. I'd put them back in and they would hurt like crazy but it apparently wasn't enough to teach me a lesson. I get to the orthodontist to get Trays 14-16, fearing the worst that I won't get to move on or it would be obvious I wasn't wearing Tray 13 as much as I should have, but she said things looked good and I could move on to Tray 14. What a relief. I wish this lazy bug would stop biting me, I've paid too much money to be that lazy. I've been really good today about keeping my trays in, to the point that my whole head is hurting so much. I'm getting over being really sick, too. I think I'm just eager to get this all over with, but I'm not even halfway there :\ Oh well. At this point, I just gotta keep going.
I'm over 50, and trying to make the final decision between Invisalign or clear metal braces. The doc said it's about he same time-wise, for me between 20-24 months and if I'm really good it could be as few as 15 months. After reading everything posted here and other places it sounds like Invisalign will be less claustrophobic, easier to keep my mouth and trays clean, less irritating & noticeable. I so much appreciate your videos and now feel like I'm better prepared for what's to come. I've had the records done (didn't much like the putty-like gunk used for the molds) but suspect that the feeling when she pulled out the impressions is similar to what lies ahead. Thanks again, keep up the awesome videos & good luck and much happiness in your marriage!
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Thank you! I'm glad I could help you feel more comfortable making a decision. Taking the trays out is NOWHERE near as horrible as taking those molds out! I felt like my teeth were all getting pulled out when they took those molds, with the trays, it's more like a snap. For me, my decision was made on a couple of things: I wanted to be able to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted; and I also wanted to be able to floss and not always worry if I have food stuck in my braces. I think you made a good decision, for people who need braces for a long time (I'm quoted at 35 trays, and I'm looking at maybe 10 refinement trays according to my orthodontist), Invisalign gives you much more freedom so you don't dread the process as much. Don't let the first few trays get you in a panic, they will hurt and they will beat up your mouth and tongue - but your mouth gets used to it afterwards and you don't even realize they're in. When do you officially start? Good luck!
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I totally get the lazy bug. i have the same issue. I am now on Tray 14 and sometimes i would go without a whole day. I think you're a tray ahead of me. Also i wish i was halfway done but still got a lot more to do. Good luck!
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Tray 16 - New Video and Photos

My teeth (though not as severe) are very similar to yours! So it's great to see your review and the progress you've made. Keep updating!
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Went to ortho yesterday in regards to the jaw popping that started with tray 6. At tray 10- he told me to quit wearing my rubberband at night. Now at tray 12- it is better, but not enough. He had me take out the upper tray altogether for about 5 days. It has improved a lot in just 36hrs. It feels mighty strange without them and I know they will be tight when I start wearing again- but Dr. said my jaw muscle was in spasm and need to give it a break. I have a total of 28 trays and will start #13 soon. I have been very happy with the way things are going. Congrats on your marriage!
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I'm glad you're feeling better, but I don't envy the pain you'll have when you start trays up again! I'm wondering if muscle relaxers would have helped? That's what my orthodontist got for me when I was having the Tray 6 curse of jaw pain. I'm glad you're happy with your progress! Thanks for the congrats :)
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Tray 18 - Things Just Got More Interesting...

Hey everyone - checking in for an update, and things got back to interesting! Unfortunately, not in a good way. It was smooth sailing until I went to the orthodontist a couple weeks back. The one tooth I have on top that is being rotated quite a bit is turning just fine, but has revealed quite a cavity on the face of the tooth that is now able to be seen. Same thing for the front center tooth next to it. So, I have 2 cavities that I've had for who knows how long because they weren't able to be seen due to those teeth being rotated so much. I'm worried because these are on the front of my teeth, and I hope they can be filled without leaving any obvious marks.

In other news, I get 2 attachments removed in a couple weeks (according to my ClincCheck, at least)! They are the two on the top row on each of my second teeth (including the badly rotated one!) So, if this happens, I will report back on how attachment removal goes and will definitely post pictures of the removal of attachments, cavity fillings, etc.

Its a relief to be HALFWAY DONE!!! However, I have way more to go I think - ortho seems to think I'll need at least 10 trays of refinement after my initial 35. Ugh.

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! Holidays + Invisalign = not a good combo!
Ooh I hope you do actually get to have those attachments removed. I almost just let it go when one of mine popped off (but I know they are all there for a reason, so I got on it). I'll be interested to hear how the experience is if they do remove them. :)
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Tray 20

Sorry it took a while to update - SO much happened in my mouth 2 weeks ago! I got the two attachments on both my lateral incisors removed, had a cavity filled on one of my central incisors, and I'm in the 20's now with trays!

Attachment removal - Super easy. They just sand it down and they did a really good job of making it seem like it was never there. I had no staining or anything. Much better than getting the attachments on!

Cavity - Because a couple of my teeth were so rotated, one they started to rotate it was revealed that my front tooth had a cavity and I have a large deposit on my lateral incisor. Getting cavities filled is not a fun process, as we all know. Again, they did a good job and you can't even tell there's a filling in the front of my tooth.

In the 20's! I'm on Tray 20 and moving to Tray 21 tonight. Since the attachments were removed, I now have power ridges on both lateral incisors in my trays.

I can't wait until my teeth are finally fully rotated - it's so close!
I just found your review and am wondering how things are going?
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What a great review!! Congrats on your wedding. I have just started my invisalign and am considering acceledent as I am set to have 33 sets of trays and have a feeling I could end up married/engaged within this time. If you don't mind me asking how did your wedding pics turn out? Your progress is so inspiring!! Well done!!
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