Invisalign at 47, Never Had Braces Before. So Far, So Good. - Park Ridge, IL

Hello everyone. I am a 47 year old married mom of...

Hello everyone. I am a 47 year old married mom of 4. I decided to get Invisalign because I have always wanted straighter teeth than what I have. We had extra money in our flexible spending account at the end of 2013 so instead of losing it, I put it to good use and committed to Invisalign. My teeth are ok but the bottom ones are really getting crowded as I am getting older. I did not have my wisdom teeth removed until I was in my early 30's and I think that added to the crowding.
I know that some dentists do this procedure but my own dentist does not so I went to the orthodontist that my teen girls went to for braces. And now that I have researched more into this process, I believe orthodontist may have an edge over regular dentists. This orthodontist is a perfectionist. He wants the absolute best result for his patients.
So going in for the first visit to do the molds to send to Invisalign, I had an idea what to expect because of this website. It is a bit tedious to have those molds done. I have tmj problems so it was uncomfortable. I wish I had taken a few ibuprofen before hand so that my jaw wasn't so sore afterward.
My first trays came in and I put them in on January 29. I noticed that the trays are marked and numbered on the back teeth. This is good to make them more visible in the white bathroom sink :). I will have a total of 18 trays. I am now on tray 3. I get attachments on March 12 for tray 4.
I have some slight discomfort but it is not too bad. I do find it harder to eat crunchy, thicker foods like tortilla chips and pretzels because my teeth are sore. I work full time but I am in a car most of the day, 12 hour shifts so getting to a bathroom to brush my teeth is a challenge. It has stopped me from indiscriminate snacking so that is a plus! I have sometimes been unable to brush after eating so I always have a big bottle of water with me. I swish out my mouth really good and sometimes use those disposable tooth brushes (Colgate Wisps). I have even found these at the the dollar stores so check around.
I grind my teeth at night so these trays have helped me from grinding my teeth down. I lost my night guard a while back so I am glad this is doing double duty.
I hear different things about cleaning the trays. I take them off and soak them in Listerine pre-brush rinse(it is clear so it won't stain the trays) and peroxide to disinfect them.
As for talking, I don't really lisp much except when my mouth gets dry or I have to talk a lot.
I already feel like my teeth have moved a bit. My teeth are less jammed together and flossing is easier. I love seeing the progress!

Pics at week 3.

Attachments!

This visit did not take very long. My appointment was at 12:50 and I was out of there by 1:30. Getting them applied was not painful but my teeth are sensitive so it was uncomfortable. I should have brushed with a sensitivity toothpaste beforehand and taken some ibuprofen. The assistant applied the attachments to 2 teeth on top (left central incisor and left lateral incisor) and 4 teeth on the bottom (both left and right lateral incisors and canines) My top central incisor, front left tooth, has 2 "buttons". So once the assistant applied a cured them, the ortho came in and maybe ground them down a bit. Not sure what he did but it sounded like drilling which I hate. Again, my teeth are sensitive so it was a bit bothersome to endure. The assistant had me put them in and take them out to see if I could do it. I did it but it was not easy.
When I took them off to eat the first time, I was surprised to find that the surface is rough. I imagined them to be smooth for some reason. So, predictably, they scratched the hell out of the inside of my mouth when I ate. I returned to RealSelf to read up more on other's experience and saw that some people sanded them down with a nail file so I did that. Still gritty textured but a bit better.
I am not thrilled with how they look but no one noticed them, even when I asked a few people.
There is a lot more soreness now. Not horrible but more than before these attachments were placed. So that means the teeth are moving, right? :)

Taking the trays off is slightly more challenging. Starting in the back always works. It feels like sometimes I will pull the attachments off. I was told to just call the office and they would put a new one on. No big deal. I still feel, that although this is harder than before the attachments were put on, that this is so much better than just leaving my teeth as they were or going with traditional braces. Nothing good comes easy!

Doing good, I can see results!

So I am 2 days into tray 8/18. I can see that my bottom teeth have really fallen into line. I still struggle with putting my trays back in after eating or drinking. LIke TwoPlusOne said, it is a slippery slope and getting lax can affect results.

I had a mishap on Easter. I was on the last few days of liner 6. I got up for work (I start at 6am so I was up around 4-ish… not thinking clearly due to the hour and also recovering from a 24 hour flu the day before. I took the liners out to drink an energy drink…I had taken a sip with them in and it is a colored drink so I put them in my glass of water…forgot to put them back in before I hit the treadmill and could not find them anywhere! I searched the garbage, the sink, the disposal, cabinets..nowhere! My next appointment was that Tuesday to get the next set of 3 so I just put in liner 5 for Sunday and Monday. The office was not open to even call to ask but when I went in on Tuesday I got a bit of an attitude. "why did you do that?" type of thing. Geez. What was I supposed to do ?
Anyway, the ortho filed in between a few teeth which did not really hurt too badly but my teeth are sensitive so it was not pleasant. Usually the staff and ortho are upbeat and friendly but I got a weird vibe that day so I just wanted to get out of there…didn't ask about the Acceledent because everyone was in a bad mood :( Not sure I am ready to pay for it at this point either.

Tray 8/18

8/18

Pics at tray 8.
Dr. DiFranco

Dr. DiFranco is a perfectionist so that is always a good thing. His staff is great. It is a very busy office but very organized and well run. Everyone there is very friendly. It is kind of hard to get appointments because the office is very busy so schedule as soon as possible to get the best appointment.

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
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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