My Invisalign - United Kingdom, GB

So I've had my Invisalign trays in for 9 days now,...

So I've had my Invisalign trays in for 9 days now, and I've gotta say that so far I am loving them!
My journey started in April when I went for a free consultation to find out more about Invisalign. I didn't particularly like the dentist I saw at first but I went away armed with information on the process and decided to go ahead. So booked in for my photo-taking appointment.
Worst Pain So Far - having the evil 'lip-stretchers' put in for the photos! Oh My God, that hurt! But I felt a better rapport with the dentist by now - I think maybe a lot of people go for the FREE consultation and never have the intention to follow through which must make dentists feel like their time is being wasted.
There was a bit of concern over my bleeding gums at this point - the dentist said he wasn't happy going ahead with treatment as it looked like I may have the beginnings of gum disease (EEK!) To be honest I had never flossed up to this point and never understood how badly I was treating my teeth/gums! I paid extra to see a hygienist who gave me excellent advice and some amaaaazing floss harps, and my gums haven't bled since I started taking proper care of my teeth! A massive pro that has already come from starting the Invisalign process.
Anyway, my photos/expectations were sent off to my dentist's contact at Invisalign and I got a call saying I could definitely benefit from the treatment. So I went to have moulds taken.
Didn't find that too bad as have had it done loads of times before (I have had 3 sets of braces in the past).
My invisalign trays were ready by 15th October! So from the starting point of researching Invisalign, it took a while to actually get them - good job I'm patient :)

I spent about 8 years of my life in different types of braces/retainers and so I kinda like the familiar 'pressure' that comes with the trays. For the 5-7 days my tongue felt ripped to shreds from a sharp edge on the bottom tray but either my tongue has learnt to avoid it or has toughened up! I have also got used to talking with the trays in and can say most things without a problem - in fact it's actually harder to talk now when I take the trays out!
I think the main thing I've noticed is that my teeth already feel and look straighter to me as the trays have 'evened' out the length of my teeth if that makes sense. I also think my teeth look much whiter when the trays are in!
Another happy 'side effect' from the trays is that I no longer snack - I am too lazy to keep brushing my teeth so it's much easier to stick to just meals! I also can't bite my nails which is a bonus.
There are two things I am currently struggling with - one is not being able to drink coffee whenever I like (I used to always have a coffee on the go)...the other thing is cracked lips, but I'm hoping that will get better over time.

So far so good....HOWEVER, I am having some attachments put on on the 12th November so I might decide I hate Invisalign then :P The trays at the moment are definitely invisible - none of my colleagues knew I'd got my braces, but I have read terrible things about attachments. I can't remember exactly, but I do think I need them on most of my front teeth.
It will be worth it if I get straight teeth eventually though!

Had these trays for 24 days now!

...and the plastic is definitely not coping with the extended time frame! They aren't very clean any more even though I have followed all my dentists' recommendations, plus it would seem I am grinding/biting with them in as I have worn off the part of the tray where the top and bottom back molars meet!
So I am REALLY looking forward to Tuesday and getting my next set of trays, even if that does mean the dreaded attachments :(

One weird thing I have noticed is a strange sporadic 'crampy' feeling in the muscle that runs underneath my jawline and down my neck - probably due to unusual/different grinding.

I've got to say I am already bored of flossing/brushing so often, but it's good for me really so I'll keep it up. Even thought I might lose a little weight from not snacking all day but I just binge eat when I take the trays out instead lol :)
Think the bit I miss most is sitting around after a meal with the taste of yummy food still in your mouth, maybe having a leisurely chat and coffee etc, but no, straight to mint flavour cleanliness for me!

Will update on Tuesday when I have my new trays/attachments! Eek!

Got the attachments!

I must say that when they were first done I was horrified - I honestly think that if they were on my front teeth I would've cried. I couldn't care less about the bottom ones (I think there's 8 on the bottom), but the ones on my eye teeth are pretty noticeable. They make my eye teeth look a really weird shape and I'm so aware of them when I smile. HOWEVER, even after only 2 days I'm not too bothered any more - it's a means to an end and everyone I've spoken to says that yes, they are a bit visible, but they look very obviously like temporary dental treatment as opposed to just completely bizarre natural teeth!

Having the attachments put on was fairly brutal - the second one stuck a bit too well but stuck the tray onto it as well so the dentist had to struggle quite a bit to get it off - that was painful enough to produce a bloody gum and a few tears!
There were times where I had water (at least I guess that's what it was) running down my face/back of my neck due to the dental nurse being a bit useless (she is a temp and seems to be new to the whole 'saliva needs to be sucked away' thing). And at one point I swallowed something that tasted very bitter, not sure what that was.
All in all, I'm glad I've got them all done and sorted now and don't have to have more put on.

When I took the trays out for the first time there were more tears (and I'm not a crier, honest!), and I had a brief moment where I really thought I wasn't going to be able to remove the top tray at all! I've now learnt that to take the trays out I have to pretty much put my whole hand inside my mouth to loosen the trays from the inside edge, while my other hand pulls the tray over the attachments at the front. Not the prettiest look in the world! Also quite painful when it finally pings off. I have tried the retainer remover thing that the dentist gave me but it's useless, just slides over the plastic.

Eating with the attachments on isn't great either - food gets left around them so at the moment I am avoiding eating in front of anyone and rushing off to brush my teeth as soon as I've finished my meal.

Staying positive though, I have got a nice gentle pressure from the trays themselves, I can tell they are doing their job and feel which teeth are being moved which is good. I've got the next 2 sets (3&4) so am all set up for the next 6 weeks,

I also got my clincheck emailed to me which is motivating - I have uploaded a screenshot of the before/after clincheck, although from the front-on view there isn't that much difference as most of my issues is how my teeth are from a side-on view.

Oh, and I also had a bit of 'filing' between the teeth done (can't remember the proper name!)...anyway that was something I was a bit worried about but that was so easy, quick and painless!

3 Months in...

And still going strong! Had a bit of a difficult time around Christmas - lots of eating out, going out where there were snacks etc...so probably wore the trays less than the recommended 22hrs a day, but have got back on track now.
The teeth that bother me most are my front four teeth at the top and I'm now starting to notice movement in that area. I think the previous trays have been more focussed on my bottom teeth.
Went to the dentist about 3 weeks ago and he says it's all tracking nicely so I'll take his word for it! He did have to do more 'filing' between my bottom teeth though.

Only problem I am having at the moment is one really sensitive tooth along the bottom - not pain due to movement but proper sensitivity to cold and even brushing it is a bit ouchie. It's where I needed the most filing but dentist assured me that filing doesn't take off so much enamel as to cause sensitivity! I'm not convinced though as it has started since my last appointment. I even have to wear a scarf covering my mouth if there's a cold wind as breathing in cold air is so painful! Hopefully it will pass as my teeth go where they are supposed to...I will be a bit disappointed if I get left with 24/7 sensitivity at the end of my treatment :(

I must say that I don't even notice the attachments any more - I think they have been slightly stained by coffee and match my teeth better now!

Had to update!!!

A colleague (who knows I'm wearing the braces) said to me today 'I never really saw a problem with your teeth but I have definitely noticed a change in them recently - your front teeth don't look so sticky-outy as they were'....yay! Means it's working lol :D
Also I had a check up 27th Jan and got my next set of trays - have already taken a sneaky peak at tray 11 (I am on 7 now) and they look great!
Had to have some more IPR at my appointment and think I will probably have to go back for more in a couple of weeks - my bottom teeth are quite crowded.

Mentioned the sensitivity to my dentist and he was slightly concerned at the length it's been going on but said it's probably due to the fact that the IPR spaces them apart and then they are touching again as they move so it's an unusual situation for teeth to be in. He recommended leaving sensitive toothpaste on the affected teeth for longer than usual but other than that he thinks it's temporary and I need to wait it out. I can deal with that, and tbh they are already feeling slightly better since the new lot of IPR.

Hit the halfway point!

Well I'm halfway there, not got much time to do an in depth review tonight but just wanted to post a pic of the beginning next to tray 10 of 20.
Gotta mention before I forget though, tray 8 did not feel right at all - it wasn't at all painful when I first changed but gradually got worse over the fortnight of wearing it. Hurt all my bottom teeth and I've got this weird feeling that it's actually moved some of the teeth that were actually straight already (!) Definitely gonna mention it to dentist when I go on 24/3, but didn't feel it was enough to make an extra appointment for as pain receded when I moved on to tray 9.
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Definitely seeing positive progress here!  I think it's a good idea to talk to your doctor about tray 8, but I don't think it was necessarily something wrong.  But make them explain it to you in a way that you understand, then come back and let us know the verdict!  :D
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I always like to to ahead and my trays to see the progress! Helps with the motivation! I don't know if it is available there in the UK, but I use a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste called Colgate Prevident 5000. It really helps with the sensitivity. Hopefully I didn't miss it somewhere (maybe in comments?) but how many trays do you have total for your first round? Are you are wearing each tray for 3 weeks at a time? I look forward to seeing your progress!! :)
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I always like to look* ahead at* my trays to see the progress. Oops typos!
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I'm not sure about that particular brand but there are definitely prescription toothpastes available that would be similar, so I will ask about that if any more problems occur! I have 20 trays in total but wear them for 2 weeks at a time so 40 weeks treatment! Should be done mid-July if I don't need anything extra doing :D
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Ooh, I only wear each tray for two weeks, plus I have to admit sometimes I don't wear it for a night or two if I'm out etc.....that's bad I know but what can I do lol.. I have27trays in total and apparently there's gonna be more teeth stripping later on. :-)
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We will finish right around the same time so long as neither of us need further refining! :)
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Let's hope that takes care of it in the short term, and that it goes away for the long term!  If it's still painful in two weeks, will he still do additional IPR on them?  Or does he only do IPR on a set of teeth once?
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I got the impression that he will just keep doing more if they move again - he has already done IPR on the same teeth twice now. Although I'm not sure I'm happy with him just merrily filing away at my enamel :S The sensitivity seems to have gone away now anyway, yay!
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Oh thank goodness!  What a relief!  I don't know if I'd be so happy about the same teeth getting filed over and over as well either, especially if it caused sensitivity every time.  But at least he's been made aware now.  Do you think you'll remind him if he seems set to do IPR again?
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While I would remind him, it does seem quite an important part of how the trays work so I get the feeling that if I refused any more IPR then I may not get the expected results on my bottom teeth. I guess that would be the point where I'd have to decide whether it was worth sensitivity for cosmetic reasons...eek!
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:(.  We hope it doesn't get to that point.  And of course, the sensitivity did go away this time…so maybe it will next time, too…. Can you post a picture of trays 7 and 11 side-by-side, maybe?  Does it show up in pictures, the difference?
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LOL about the attachments matching your teeth now!  

As for the tooth sensitivity, I assume you're using a fluoride toothpaste.  Have you tried a sensitive toothpaste as well?  Just to help with the sensitivity at this stage.  I hope that the sensitivity improves.  I recently got a crown and had temporary sensitivity, but since I don't know what caused it, I don't know whether you'll have a similar experience.  I have hope, though.  Please keep us posted.  Three weeks is already longer than it took for my sensitivity to disappear (I think mine was gone in 1 1/2 weeks.)

The enamel layer of teeth is more than a millimeter thick, and IPR tends to be much less than that, so there shouldn't be any danger in that respect, but perhaps it's just that you're not used to the reduced amount of it.  The fluoride in your toothpaste should help make sure the enamel is as strong as possible and perhaps you'll acclimate to the thinner enamel and the sensitivity will, at least, lessen.
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Oh my God :-( thank you for your review, its very helpful.. I have only just started with my invisaligns-had them for a couple of days. They look pretty invisible but I cant still talk normal at all and after almost having my tongue slashed on the sharp ridges of the trays I had to look on the internet for some advice- and after finding it I had to just slightly file the edge of the tray-not it doesn't cut my tongue and Im already able to talk much better.. My biggest worry is the attachments- I had no idea about them either, but dentist informed me about having them done when I had my first tray in. I am seriously worried, as I have got some dead front teeth and Im worried sick that with having to use a serious force to remove the trays out in the future (for meals time) I might possibly damage those dead teeth:-(( as it is kind of hard to do as it is, let alone with them attachments like I read about on here... So about 15months to go....good luck to me hey 8-(
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Hi, I only just saw your comment! How are you getting on with your Invisaligns - have you had your attachments put on yet? :)
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Yeah, the IPR (Interproximal Reduction) is almost the easiest part with Invisalign.  It never hurts, it's just a little thing, takes no time.  I'm sorry getting the buttons on was so heinous for you, though.  Ugh!  Putting the trays in and getting them out the first couple of times now will never be easy.  My ortho always said once you put them in, leave them in for at least 6 hours without taking them out so you have time to adjust a little.  I think it helped, but taking them out the first time was always rough.

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6 hours without coffee :-o!! Lol I think I will swap to new trays just before bed next time then, thanks for the tip :)
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Yeah, new trays before bed is a good idea.  The only possible challenge is that they might be too uncomfortable for you to get good sleep, but you won't know until you try it! :)

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It's so funny hearing your experiences now, and how it brings back memories!  I definitely had that muscle thing.  I still feel it sometimes, even though I'm only in retainers.  It's not as bad, but it's annoying and feels wrong.  I'm considering asking the orthodontist if I can get an old-fashioned retainer instead, so that my jaw isn't stuck on partially open all night.  And the binge eating--that's what I've been telling people.  They lose weight in the beginning because they're not used to the Invisalign and how the teeth hurt and all the brushing, but you get used to it and you figure out other ways to get all those extra calories in that you may or may not need ;).  Thanks for the update!  Looking forward to hearing your experience with the dreaded attachments!

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Look forward to hearing more!
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Great to see your review and picture up.  I look forward to following your progress!  And yeah, the attachments will make it worse, pain-wise, and more difficult to speak, eat, and take out and put in the aligners.  However, you get used to everything.  And it's so nice when you finally get them removed!! :D  Good luck!

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