44 Year Old Going for Invisalign for 12 Months..... United Kingdom, GB

I am starting the process tomorrow and having my...

I am starting the process tomorrow and having my first aligners fit. I do hope that I can share the journey positively and relatively pain free! I have a front crown (the one that is lower than the other) which has a post into my jaw due to an infection as a child. The plan is to pull my other teeth forward to align with the front teeth. I have a narrow jaw so the smile should be wider...

Day 1 fitted today

Tray one in today (1 of 23). I have to change to tray 2 in 2 weeks, I go back to othodontist in 4 weeks time.
They feel ok, like pressure on my teeth, I took them out to eat lunch and already feeling a little tender after only a few hours....but all normal apparently. I have painkillers ready just in case.....

Day 1 fitted today

Just to add that I have not had any of the fixtures out on yet, we will do that at my next appointment. Added photo of aligners on,

Day 4 - Tray 1

Well...initial feedback from is that my teeth are tender but still happy with choice. I am managing 22-22.5 hours a day which is great, can't really see them (but no attachments until June), I can talk ok with them in, etc

I am still positive about doing this but a few little worries are creeping in.....

The main issue i had was last night...I kept on waking up as I was grinding my teeth/aligners in my sleep...I seemed to be gritting my teeth too!!?! I think I must do this anyway when I am stressed (have a stressful life...not by choice) but last night it was not good....I was waking up as obviously with my tender teeth the pain was enough to wake me up. Does anyone have any solutions to not grinding teeth?

My concerns on reading posts on here are 1) that at the end of treatment some people are being told that they need more trays (not just refinements but upto 20 more trays!).....and 2) I am worried that my bite will be different and cause issues.....

Anyway, stay focused on positive :-) think of those straight teeth...the ultimate goal!

1 week done...only 45 weeks to go......

I am hoping that it is a little like pregnancy....you count the days and weeks at the beginning...but then you just go with it and can't believe it went that quickly :-)
I am excited about this time next week when I will be getting ready for tray number 2....interested to see if there is any difference!
I am managing 22+ hours a day, apart from yesterday when I went to a meeting where I knew I would be self-conscious and took them out for 1hour and 20 mins (my longest) and wow did they hurt when I put them back in....well not so much 'hurt' but I knew that I had out them out if that makes sense! I made up for it though and actually managed to eat in that time period and so am planning at 23 hour day today!
So the good points after one week: I still think it's the right thing to do; not as obvious as I thought to others (although I get my attachments on in 3 weeks time so that might make a difference?); I am getting into a routine and 22 hours is not too much of an issue.
The not so good points after one week: Tender teeth....I guess steaks are off the menu for a while!; I was told just to rinse my trays with water...but no way! I brush them with toothpaste and a soft brush twice a day; still have slight lisp but nothing too bad; I have an earache and headache but not sure if it is related to the invisalign trays?!

Looking forward to getting through this week to start tray 2....

Day 10 tray 1

Well I thought I'd be losing weight as I can't snack.....but starting to binge eat when I take them out.....hhmmmm....need more self discipline I think :-)

Whe i do click them back in I feel pressure....but after a short period of time I can't feel any pressure ....so hope they are still working. Also I switched back to my electric toothbrush today...it was too sore a few days ago. But that said, I move to tray 2 in 4 days so I will be back of my soft toothbrush again I expect!

My main issue is cleaning the trays....I don't want them to be cloudy so not using denture cleaner....but I think they need more than a gentle brush which is all I am doing with some non abrasive toothpaste....I also worry that I am bending the trays when I clean them?

I will update when I start tray 2..


Well actually it's not that bad....but I decided to put them in (tray 2) after dinner so that when I take them out by my night time clean and then have them in overnight they have had several hours in place! But wow they were tight when I first put them in but now it's 2 hours later and they feel fine...I am sure that my teeth will be tender over breakfast and I will pop some painkillers before bed just in case....

I took pictures but no point in uploading as they is obviously no difference after 2 weeks...well not visibly anyway, so perhaps will upload new pics after 2 months to see where I am up to.

One thing I did notice....despite me brushing Tray 1 each time I took them out they do seem a little more cloudy and stained than my new very clean and clear Tray 2. I know it's only two weeks but if anyone has tips on keeping them looking as good as new...let me know!!

I go back to orthodontist in around 10 days time to have attachments on....not looking forward to that.....what is the major difference with them on? Better results? more pressure on teeth? or just sticky out blobs on teeth :-) ?

p.s. still binge eating too.....think I should exercise before bed!!

I get attachments next week...

I am half way tray 2 and seems to be ok.....I have my appointment this coming Thursday for a heck up and attachments. Really not looking forward to attachments but will go with what works.

I am sticking to 22 hours.,,,sometimes longer than that...but have the occasional day (one day in 2 weeks) where it is more like 20-21 hours.....so I can sit and snack and have a glass of wine or two.....but I feel guilty and rush to get them back in....I notice that the pressure on the teeth is strong when I replace the trays but then after 15-20 mins all feels fine again. But I miss coffee during the day the most as I restrict myself to one cup a day now....and drink healthy water instead...I keep saying that I am protecting my investment.

I Am going on holiday in august for a week and doubt that the 22 hours will be kept to....I will obviously try but going for a leisurely breakfast each day and the restaurant for dinner....that is not in my control on timing.....it's going to be tough. Am going to suggest to orthodontist that I keep that tray in for a week longer to make up any time missed Afterwards but we'll see. :-)

Looking forward to getting my next trays though....bit little worried as my orthodontist is pregnant so not sure who will watch over my journey when she leaves.....a question on my list of things to ask!

One question I have is about what each tray will do....is that possible? I'm not sure that she knows this as I did ask whAt my teeth would like half way through but she said that she can't stop or pause the video film that as shown to me...so it's hard to tell!! But am going to ask the plan for each tray and hoping that the answers are not too difficult.

Update after attachments and tray 3....ooohhh worried about big blobs on my teeth.......

Freaking out about my attachments tomorrow morning.......

I keep reading reviews from people that thought invisalign was ok until they got their attachments...and the stories of permanent staining, difficulty in removing trays when they are in, how the 'braces' look so much more obvious with attachments in......and worst the PAIN for those with sensitive teeth both during the procedure and beyond......and I have sensitive teeth!! aarrrgggghhhh!

I have my list of questions for my orthodontist...but one of those is..."do I really really need the attachments?" The plan is to add quite a few on my top teeth... 10+ ....did anyone refuse them? I know I sound like a wimp after I keep saying "I will protect my investment and do whatever they say to have nicer teeth"....remember I want 'better teeth' not 'perfect teeth'....

Thoughts anyone?

Urgent urgent help needed

I can't believe this but I have just taken trays out to compare set one and two....and I have forgotten which ones are which!,,,,

Do you know if they are numbered properly....if my tray says U 01n and U 02 n then can I assume they are trays upper one and 2 as per their number? Gosh I am so stupid! Anyone know what on earth I do?....

Oh want to cry

Attachments are in!

What a big fuss pot I am! Firstly, my mad confusion over which tray was silly....of course I had it right but I think the worry of today and the attachments had me stressed :-)

Then my worry about attachments...and now they are on...not on the two front teeth but quite alot on the sides (top and bottom)....it wasn't too bad but I have noticed 3 things: 1) trays are much tighter...but better results I suppose, 2) one attachment has already come off! So I have to go back tomorrow to get it re-done...and 3) one tooth that has an attachment is covered in the glue/cement stuff...and I am wondering to ask the orthodontist to polish it off (not the attachment but the glue stuff all over the entire tooth?

Here are the questions and answers from today's appointment with my orthodonist.....
Q: the gum above my crown seems to be sore, can I file the tray over that tooth so that it does not tooth my gum.
A: it does look sore but the trays need to go over the top of the tooth to get good results, see how it goes in the next week or so....also tray 3 seems to fit a little lower on that tooth so hopefully it was just a one off with tray 2.

Q: Have you heard of Accelledent? and can I use it?
A: Many orthodontists in the UK prefer not to use Accelledent when there is a lot of movement (ie: more than 6 months planned movement of teeth) because of the roots of the tooth - we need to respect them and it is important not to rush things, so we prefer not to recommend this for your particular treatment plan.

Q: I have noticed that many people have lots of refinement trays - I worry that I may end up with a lot...remember I want straighter teeth...not perfect teeth!
A: Firstly, lots of people work with invisalign - including regular dentists that follow a plan devised by the computer system without understanding the detail that a professional orthodontist would. For your treatment plan I talked to invisalign in advance based on your x-rays and desires, checked their plan and tweaked it a little before the final appointment with you. I am not saying that there will not be refinements...but I would not expect more than 4-5 trays. 85% of my patients using invisalign have not needed refinements.

Q: can I have whitening treatment during invisalign, I only want 2-3 shades whiter..nothing drastic or false looking!
A: Yes, there are a number of options on whitening, I would recommend we get to the end of the 23 trays first, we could use tray 23 (last tray) as a tray for whitening...but let's get to the end, polish the attachments off and then decide on the whitening plan.

Q: will the attachments stain?
A: towards the end of the plan (23 trays) I would expect that they look a little yellow yes, but we can polish these off, I have not had anyone with permanent staining. The main thing is to polish around the attachment to not leave residue on the tooth other than the 'button' (Note: I have 2 teeth that are covered in addition to the button so I will mention this too!)

So there we have it, I now have tray 3 in and have been given trays 4,5,6,7 too....but my next appointment is in 9 weeks time......apart from having the attachment checked that I think has come off already!

I have compared Tray 7 to tray 1 and my upper teeth will move quite a bit! Instead of a V shaped jaw it will be more of an U....if that makes sense?

Feeling sore but happier!

Thanks for listening....and hope this helps someone out there!


attachment update...

Well I have had attachments for one week now and whilst I don't like them, they are prominent, are rough when eating......actually they are not as bad as I thought! I have two that are quite noticeable and a couple of people (friends) have asked what they are..but they are a small price to pay. I had to have one replaced that came off on the same day I had them...but that was okay, especially as I knew what to expect this time.

This week I went to my daughters school for an event and they offered snacks and refreshments for the parents...that was hard as I had to keep on politely refusing (no-where to really take my braces out or clean teeth)...so little things like that bother me but in the scheme of things - fairly small issues!

I can see some small movements that have already happened and that is exciting...I have worked out my dates for 25% and 50% of the way through the trays and that is when I plan to upload the latest pics.....although I am quite obsessed at taking pictures of my teeth :-) , as we are trying to widen my smile, my back teeth are moving the most at the moment.

25% of the way through is July 25th and I will be on tray 6
50% of the way though is October 17th and hopefully will be tray 11
75% is January 2nd (hope I can keep them in 22 hours a day over christmas!!!)
100%/Completion is set for the end of March/early April 2015....and possibly some refinements....and possibly a replacement crown on the front tooth....

I know I should not be wishing days away but be good to see the comparison on all of these dates :-)

Bye for now....

Tray 4 starts today

I just thought - wow Tray 4 is that all? But then I think...well actually it has been 6 weeks and about to enter week 7/8 with Tray 4...I suppose I was born impatient!

Here is what I have learned so far:

1) attachments are not as bad as I thought, I suppose you can get used to anything!
2) I miss coffee (still drink it but not as much)
3) I grind my teeth in the night and often wake up due to trays
4) snacking is out....binge eating is in..
5) I worry about the gum above my 2 front teeth (one has a crown) and it seems to be irritated
6) you forget you're wearing them - and hardly anyone notices them
7) don't worry about the lisp...it gets better...and again you notice it more than anyone else...just don't say words like "specifically" and "sea shells" haha!
8) teeth hurt for 1-3 days after a new tray...but then 'normalise' again.
9) it's okay to study your teeth more...it is not OCD just a healthy interest in your investment :-)
10) any dentist/orthodontist that says you only need to rinse your trays with water....has never had invisalign personally. They need to be cleaned!

latest pics attached...no major changes

Tray 6 starting

Well things going ok...my crown is still lower but I'm not too concerned as I plan to replace this at the end. More soon.....

Mid Tray 7 of 23.....hhmmmm??

Having posted such a good pic last time I am not worried a little that actually my teeth look a little strange? My bite is not as good as it was...although I am trying to console myself that I am only tray 7 of 23 and that things may get worse before better.....

I have posted the following pictures for comment/opinion?
1) Top Tray 1 and 7 to show the plan
2) Smile May 8th (before invisalign) and Aug 3
3) Open mouth showing teeth (but hoping I won't pull this face too often!!)

You can see that my crown looks lower that the rest (but this was always the case and I can aways replace it at the end). But I think that my teeth look longer and that maybe my gums are receeding a little all over? I guess gums don't grow back :-(

Just started tray 9 a few days late....

Well I just got back for a week in Portugal and ended up wearing tray 8 for 4 days longer than usual....I did this as my normal 22 hours was reduced to around 19-20....but I was 10 days into tray 8 when I arrived on holiday but When I got to day 14 I did not want to put a new tray in and not give it time to settle in as I knew that I had less control over eating times etc. I also have tray 10 and 11 ready....and have my next appointment when I am 7 days into tray 11. As I have 23 trays then tray 11 will mean I am almost half way through....so will post next picture then :-)

Funny thing was when on holiday I was sat on edge of pool and chatted to another lady and I noticed she was wearing invisalign :-) I did say normally I would. To have noticed but I am obsessed with teeth...she was on tray 15/28 and her teeth looked amazing to me.....but I suppose we all notice or own faults don't we.

Anyway all is going well and I also had a great holiday :-)
Cleveland orthodontics UK

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Comments (37)

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Welcome back!  Could you tell us a little bit about how you managed while on vacation?  Like what compromises you had to make and how you dealt with eating out and the like?
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Hi Nickyj, your diary is really helpful. I'm a 43 yr old mum from the UK who started with invisalign just under a month ago. Have had no problems so far and totally used to them but dreading my appointment on Thursday when I get tray 3 and get 27 attachments!! I haven't seen anyone with that many on all of the blogs I have read. Your updates have made me worry a little less about them though , thank you. Good luck with your treatment.
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Thanks for your comments....I will go to see your review now and hope your attachments went okay?
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Thanks for your review, I am enjoying it :) I wish my dentist was as thorough with his answers to my questions, I am really beginning to wish I visited an ortho, but it's done now. Good luck on the rest of your journey :D
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Thanks for reading my review and I'm glad it's helpful!
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It is not unusual to have some recession with any orthodontic work--the orthodontist will check to make sure that your teeth and gums can handle it--otherwise they'll recommend you not do it, or that you do gum grafts, for example.  I do not, however, see any visible lengthening from the first to the second picture in the pairs you posted.  It's very possible it's happening, but it's very little, then.  Because you're right, gums do not grow back on their own on adult patients.

As for the bite getting worse before it gets better, from what I've seen here on RealSelf, that happens to nearly everyone.  Some people's bite is so awful when they start that it'd be hard to say whether it got worse, but, for the rest of us who have anything more than very, very minor work, yeah.  And sometimes, it's not even better until after you're in retainers and they do your final equilibration.  That's a definite negative to orthodontics, but for most of us it is easily fixed at the end :).
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I had the exact thoughts as TwoPlusOne: your teeth are clearly improved already. Your smile will be full and grand by the end of it all. :)
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Thanks! If I look at the trays my teeth have moved most at the back, It may just be a good camera shot :-)
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I'm surprised at the amount of improvement I'm seeing already this early in the game.  It is unusual, in my experience with others in the community.  Congratulations!
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Wow thanks but maybe it's just the camera angle :-) i will Upload some more pics next week at my first quarter stage!
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Camera angles and lighting can make a big difference, it's true.  
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Hi, I can see some change in your teeth! Maybe you don't notice when you're looking at them everyday? Hope the soreness gets better soon. As for me, I'm still waiting for my trays to arrive!! How long did it take for yours to come from the US? The longer I wait the more doubts set in and I seem to have been waiting for ages.
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I can see the irritation above the crown!  Are you going to go to your dentist about that?
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The othodontist saw it last week but was not concerned.....do you think I should go to my dentist? Or back to orthodontist?
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Did he say it should go away at some point?  I mean, if something were bothering me a lot, and one doctor didn't give me info I could use, I'd probably see the other doctor :).  But if your ortho said it should get better in the next X days or something, then I'd wait those X days and if it didn't improve, talk to the ortho again.  You know what I mean?  None of us here are doctors, so I'm just always hoping that people get real diagnoses from doctors to make sure they're not ignoring potentially important things. :)
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Great to hear you're managing the attachments, and the social situations, so well!  I sometimes am not as sympathetic with the social situations as I should be, because I have such a strict diet and everyone who knows me already knows I won't be eating at their functions unless I bring my own food.  They're used to it.  But I should remember that in the beginning it was a huge deal, that people were always pressuring and teasing and stuff, and that every time I go into a new situation, I have to explain things all over again. People can get really offended when you don't partake!  And that's exactly the kind of thing Invisaligners have to go through, and most of them are not used to it.

Thanks for reminding me, and continued success!
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Absolutely fantastic information.  Thank you so much for taking the time and making those questions and answers for us.  Brilliant!!!!  I can't really thank you enough!
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Usually the older tray is more yellowish from it use in your mouth. I hope it jelps.
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I PM'd you but hopefully you already have everything sorted.

As for the attachments, it is unlikely to be anything you can't handle.  They are generally tooth-colored, and the pain isn't insurmountable.  I never had to take any medication for my pain, even at the worst times.  As for the staining, it's not really permanent.  I mean, you can easily get it off with whitening gel, and you'll already have paid for the trays.  Excess bonding agent can be sanded off with pumice--your doctor should be able to do that for you--mine did it for me.  Both the ortho and the dentist.  And my teeth are white and beautiful now--it just took a little gel in my retainers.  So…remember that we all use this place to vent…and that means that sometimes you just get to hear the worst of it.  Some people only come on to update when things are going wrong and they need advice, you know?  So, yeah--it takes some getting used to, but it's not as bad as all that, for most people :).

Come and let us know how you're doing tomorrow!  
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It may be difficult to say what exactly each tray is doing, but you can look at the individual trays.  I believe that, at least sometimes, the doctor gets all the trays at once.  One could theoretically look at the middle set to see how they look.

And re. your vacation, have a great one!  Lots of doctors here on RealSelf have recommended people wear trays an extra week if they are not meeting the wear obligation, so it's a great idea to discuss that with your doctor :D.
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Baking soda and white vinegar, for five mins, gentle scrub with a soft tooth brush so to not be too abrasive, works a treat and its cheap :) Hope that helps!
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Congratulations on making it to tray 2 (not that there was any doubt you would ;)!)

So, my version of answers to your questions, (there are lots of other versions!)

I've read some people on here saying denture cleaners do not make their trays cloudy.  And doctors run the gamut with their recommendations (see some here).  I personally soak my trays in hydrogen peroxide when I'm not wearing them, then brush with a toothbrush and no toothpaste (mine is abrasive).  I've also seen people swearing by vinegar and water solutions (NOT PURE VINEGAR).

As for attachments, they allow the aligners to apply greater torque forces to turn teeth better.  Definitely necessary.  They can also rip up the inside of your mouth in the beginning if you leave your trays out too long.  You get used to them after a while though.  Also, the bonding agent can discolor and make your teeth look yellower.  Some of the excess can be polished off with pumice (by the doctor) but some will, inevitably, remain.

Good luck!
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Yes denture cleaners have been helpful for me , I don't keep it too long only for 10 - 15 minutes. Rinse and brush it.
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Hi Your teeth really aren't that bad they look beautiful. Congrats on starting your treatment and I'm sure it will look more beautiful. Keep us posted.
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thanks but really they are not beautiful! Good luck with your treatment too!!
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