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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Jaw Pain Exercises

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.

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!

Tray 9 Photos

As promised :)

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

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.

Tray 16 - New Video and Photos

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!

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!
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