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Never Too Late - Wantirna South, AU

My name is Cara and I'm from Melbourne, Australia....

My name is Cara and I'm from Melbourne, Australia. I've never written a review before so hopefully I won't be too boring!
So, I have hated my teeth my WHOLE life! Massive overbite, lots of overcrowding, just horrible! My parents were going to pay for my braces when I was 14 and stupid me refused to have "train tracks!"
Now, at nearly 26 years old I've had enough of hiding my smile and not wanting to talk to people closely face to face because I feel like all the other person is doing is staring at my horrible teeth!

I looked into Invisalign almost a year ago. I was discouraged by the cost of it at 1st. I went to my local Dentist who told me I would be looking at $10,000 AUS. I don't have private health insurance and medicare doesn't cover anything dental related. He wanted a deposit of $4,000 then for me to take out loans or finance to cover the rest of it!! I was already in enough debt and the idea of another $10k terrified me! I then decided to try and use my superannuation to pay for it as I was desperate for a pretty smile.
But then I did some more research and found Knox Orthodontist and made an online inquiry. I received a phone call within 4 hours and next thing I knew I was booked in for a free consultation.
The next week I went and met the team and was told I was a candidate for Invisalign but I would most likely need to do 6 months of braces at the end of treatment for a perfect smile as apparently Invisalign doesn't do much in the way of correcting overbites?
I was disappointed in this, but after seeing an Orthodontist over a Dentist, I feel 100% more confident in my treatment. It's also a few thousand dollars cheaper and they have amazing payment plans. All i had to pay was $700.00 upfront and now they just direct debit my account once per week of $75.00.
Much better than $4k upfront then finance!

So on Monday 3rd March I went to another Dentist that my Ortho referred me to. I had to get 3 teeth pulled!! My two top molers (4th tooth from the front on each side) and one from the bottom due to overcrowding! Ouch! The dentist was lovely tho, gave me as many numbing needles as he was allowed to give me! (I'm a chook when it comes to the dentist!) Played music in the background and was so polite! Asking me every step of the way if I was ok or if I needed a break! My mouth felt the size of a basketball when I left due to all the numbing needles! (Didn't physically look any different when I looked in a mirror tho!) Took some painkillers before the numbing wore off, because as I mentioned before, I'm a chook with pain! Now, 3 days later, I'm going to my Ortho this afternoon to get my 1st lot of aligners. Also disappointed as I have been told I need a LOT of attachments! 2 on each front tooth. Arghh, I'm guessing the "Invisible Braces" are not going to be quite so Invisible on me! Still, keep telling myself it's better than a mouth full of metal and at the end of treatment, I'll be able to smile without covering my mouth behind my hand!
I'm nervous but also excited and I'm wishing I had of done this years ago!
Will do another update later today after I have my aligners in and let you all know how much pain I'm in... Hahaha!!
Thanks for reading!
:)

Tray 1 of 38 - Ouchies!!

Ok, so it's now the beginning of day 4 wearing my first tray. But let me go back to Thursday, the day it all happened!
Thursday afternoon I went to my Ortho. Sat in the chair and received my 13+ attachments :-/
2 on each front tooth... I know what your thinking, must look pretty sexy, hey!!
Getting the attachments on was completely pain free, took around half an hour. He then put my trays in. I thought, easy as, I can barley feel them! Went out to the receptionist to get a look at my clincheck video and realized I could barely talk at 1st haha.
Seeing the video was encouraging. There was no pain for about 2 hours. Then the pressure started which grew into an annoying ache. Nothing unbearable tho, popped a few ibuprofen every fews hours.
My partner didn't notice at 1st but that's because I was nervous of his reaction so I didn't talk to him much when he 1st got home. Then I told him and he said they don't look that bad but he couldn't help but laugh at my new lisp..
Yep, 4 days on and I still have one. I have found the most painful thing is the trays aren't cut perfectly. Therefore my gums, tongue and lips have been suffering quite a lot. The pressure on the teeth is nothing compared to some of the mouth ulcers I have at the moment. I think that could be why I still have a lisp, the tray sits a bit high in the back of my mouth.
Hopefully the next tray is cut a bit neater!
So although I'm feeling a bit down, a bit hideous, I'm trying to look on the bright side. Originally my Ortho told me i would only do Invis for 12 months then traditional braces for 6+ months. After looking at my video, I really don't know if I'm going to want to bother with braces at the end! I'll be doing Invis for a total of 19 months, should be finished in September 2015. If my teeth look like they do in the after pic, I'll be more than happy to leave my treatment at that!
Gotta keep looking at the positives!
Also, gonna get skinny quick, been living off soup and small serves of pasta! Again, I feel as tho I could eat more solid foods now as my teeth aren't too sensitive when I take the Inivs off, but the attachments do cut my lips open a bit when I'm eating or drinking my coffee!! :-(
Oh, also noticed the trays get stinky which is gross!! I've never had a problem with oral hygiene or bad breathe.. the trays are getting a foul smell in them so now every time I take them out to eat i soak them in a denture cleaner, then scrub them with a hand soap and a soft bristle toothbrush. Sometimes the smell still lingures.. if anyone had any other cleaning tips, I'd love to hear them!!
Well that's all I can think of for now, have posted some pics, nervous about that as I have always avoided photos and smiling without covering my mouth!!

10 down, 22 to go!!

So, I haven't posted anything in quite some time but I wanted to wait until I saw a difference. I don't if you guys can notice but I'm slowly seeing changes!! 4 months and 10 aligners down! Pain is pretty much non existent now! Teeth are tender for like 2 days max but I'm not even taking any pain relief now when I put new aligners in! Any sharp edges get a quick file and that's it! Hope everyone's doing well! (Photo on the left is my 1st aligner and photo on the right is the end of aligner 10!)

Just over 6 months in!

Nothing new to report except wow! Slowly noticing differences and keeping a photo collage really makes u notice the small changes! Hardly ever get mouth ulcers, never take pain killers anymore, loving my invisalign!! Cannot wait to see the final result in 1 year!! ???????????? it won't let me upload my photos ????

Picture!

6 months in!
Dr Bruce Baker

The whole team at Knox Ortho have been so polite and lovely to me! Whilst being honest and upfront telling me it's not going to happen overnight, it'll be sooo worth it in the end!

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Comments (16)

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Could you try again with the photos and let me know exactly what kind of errors you are getting?  Also, please let me know what device you're using.  Oh, and it has to be either a computer or an iPhone--none of the other smartphones are supported.
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Thanks for the update!  I do feel like I see it's less crowded in there!  It gives so much motivation, doesn't it? :D
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Defiantly!! Goes to show that if your patient and stick it out, good things will happen!! Xx
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Hi!  How have things been going?  It's been about a month since your last update and you were in pain then!
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Been meaning to do an update!! Haha the first week or two was hell! I'm onto aligner number four in less than a week! Happy to say that I don't get any pain now! Only struggling if I talk constantly for long periods of time then the aligners rub against my gums or tongue! All is going well! Yet to see any changes yet but not expecting to for a few months!
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Have you tried the orthodontic wax?  That really helped me with the rubbing when I was desperate :).
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Not yet I haven't! Thanks for the tip tho! Maybe I should go grab some instead of being lazy and putting up with the rubbing!! :-)
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LOL!  Your choice, of course :).  Your mouth will toughen up on its own eventually.
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Congratulations on starting your treatment! I know it seems like a long time right now, but the time will go by rather quickly in the end and you'll be done before you know it! RE the odor... I think making sure you have rinsed them very well after removing them to make sure there is no lingering saliva and then soaking them in water should do the trick (seems keeping them from drying out really helps.) I know it isn't possible to put them in water if you are out eating, but hopefully at home and at work it shouldn't be too much of an issue (at work I have a mini container with a lid to keep them in.) I clean my aligners with retainer bright generally once a day (morning when getting ready for work)... sometimes I will do it a second time if I eat out and can't get the trays in water and they dry out. I brush them only once a day...usually in the morning. I know it is a MAJOR hassle, but make sure you floss and brush your teeth before you put the trays back in keeps everything sparkling clean. Invisalign does wonders for correcting any poor hygiene habits! I was not a big flosser prior to treatment- now floss 3-5 times a day depending on snacking habits lol. :) Try not to drink any liquid with color because these babies stain big time! lol The lisp... well for the first few months, every time I changed to a new set I would get the lisp all over again. The straighter my teeth got the less of a lisp I would get. Every now and again right after I put them in (would lisp only for a few minutes) but generally it is gone now. I look forward to checking in on you to see how your treatment is going!! You are on your way!
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Hi! Thanks for your comments! I think I was being slightly paranoid with the odor! I kept breathing on my partner and was like, tell me, do I have bad breath! lol, my obsessive cleaning seems to be doing the trick!! It's now day 6 and I still have a lisp but everyone keeps telling me it's getting better & better everyday! Hopefully it shall disappear!!
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Your tray cleaning regimen is very good.  That should be working.

A few tips:  
*Filing the rough edges of the trays can do a lot of good in the beginning.
*Orthodontic wax can also help in certain key spots--use per instructions.
*Attachments will wear down a little over time and be less painful.
*Foul smell: Flossing very thoroughly before you put on the trays should help.  If you have trouble flossing because of crowding (which should improve quickly during invisalign) you can try a water flosser like WaterPik.
You may also consider taking pics of your teeth from a few different angles, even if you don't post them.  Sometimes some areas of the mouth make progress faster than others and it's nice to have comparison pics.  Take a look at fightingthefear24's review for an example of what I mean. :)
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My mouth seems to have toughened up!! Still have a lisp tho which I am so over!! Oh well, almost one week down, 75 to go haha. I keep looking in the mirror to spot any changes, I know it's too soon to see anything but I love the fact I can feel them moving! Can't wait for the day I see the 1st change! :-)
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Yeah, you may have to wait quite a few trays, but picture collages are definitely the easiest way to see it (as opposed to just looking at two different pictures, or comparing trays).  

It's great that your mouth has toughened up!  I never did get over the lisp completely, but it got so little people didn't notice it.
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I just hope that each new tray doesn't cut my mouth open like the 1st one! Haha even after I filed it down, it still hurt. Fingers crossed that I just have a super tough mouth noe & nothing will bother it! I think I shall do a picture collage! Great idea, thanks! xx
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Hi and welcome to RealSelf!  I know you're not the only person who has been recommended braces after Invisalign (or before, for some people).  One person is called donewaiting.  The link is to their profile, as they haven't started a review yet.  I know they are looking for others who have been recommended mixed treatment.

As for invisibility--you're right.  From close up, it's not going to be invisible, though from afar it likely will be.  But it'll be better than metal and you'll have the advantage of being easily able to clean your teeth. :D

I look forward to following your story, and I hope you enjoy looking around and getting acquainted with some of the other Invisaligners in our community!  We actually have several from Australia right now-- they're a few trays ahead of you.  brosegr's review is here, and Nadinelliana's review is here
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Hi! Thanks for your comment! I'm so glad I found this site, there have been so many helpful reviews! Looking forward to talking to some people in the same boat as me!!
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