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Satisfied with Invisalign - Washington DC

I had braces when I was younger, and was told I...

I had braces when I was younger, and was told I needn't wear my retainers after the age of 22. Unfortunately this is not the case--my teeth have shifted since then. My front tooth is coming forward like it was before braces, and my bottom teeth have some crowded. I decided to get invisalign because I only have a few minor adjustments; my case isn't very complex so my orthodontist says I'm a good candidate. I have 23 trays for my uppers and lowers, which should take approximately a year. I will have several "buttons" on my upper and lower teeth, and also have some of my teeth shaved down.

I've had invisalign for two days. I have to...

I've had invisalign for two days. I have to say, I was totally surprised at how snug they are on my teeth. I pictured them being loose like whitening trays, but they are actually hard to get off. You can't tell I'm wearing them unless you look REALLY closely at my teeth, and I have no problems talking in them (after years of big plastic retainers). Probably if you've never had braces or retainers, it will take some getting used to. Brushing your teeth five times a day is also kind of a pain. I have put toothbrushes and toothpaste in all my bags, and some of those disposable ones with toothpaste already on them in the car, just in case. As far as pain goes...they were a little sore last night and this morning, but nothing too crazy. If you've had metal braces digging into your cheeks and lips, you will appreciate these. They are fitted perfectly so that the plastic doesn't rub against your gums or cheeks. I was extremely worried that I would not be able to keep the aligners in my mouth at night--I would take my retainers out in my sleep every night I tried to wear them before, so I was concerned invisalign wouldn't work for me because I'd keep taking them out. Last night I didn't; I woke up and they were still in my mouth. I'm not sure if it's because they are too tight to get out or maybe they just aren't as intrusive as retainers so they didn't bother me as much. Anyway, that's all for now, I'll update in a week or so to let you know how it's going.

So, I'm on aligner number three...that is five...

So, I'm on aligner number three...that is five weeks with invisalign! I am happy to report that I have NEVER taken the aligners out in my sleep. They are so light and unobtrusive that I often forget I even have them in my mouth. Only the first day or so do I have soreness, and even that is very benign. So far I think my teeth are simply spacing out, as the gap in my front teeth is getting slightly bigger. My next appointment is in about a month, when I will get my buttons placed on my teeth. So far nobody has ever noticed I am wearing the invisalign, but I worry that will change when I get the buttons put on (I'll be sure to let you know). One big thing--you HAVE to floss. I neglected the floss for a few days and my gums were bleeding worse than I have ever seen when I did floss. Also, the aligners get gross really easily. Even though I brush, rinse with mouthwash every time I eat, there always seems to be some funky white stuff on the back teeth. It's annoying to get off because you can't always tell if it's inside or outside of the aligner, and it can really get into the nooks and crannies. Other than that, I am completely happy with my experience so far. It also cuts down on me snacking throughout the day, an added health benefit :)

I got to my fourth aligner, and realized that I...

I got to my fourth aligner, and realized that I needed to go in earlier than they had scheduled for my "buttons," so last week I went and got that part of the treatment done (for the first time). I also had several of my teeth filed. The experience with the buttons was not painful; they take your aligner, put the glue in where it needs to go and set it on your teeth for a few minutes. Then they remove the aligner and the buttons are there, stuck to your teeth. I have TEN buttons (six on bottom, four on top) which surprised me because I didn't think my teeth were really THAT bad. The buttons make taking your aligner out and putting it in MUCH more difficult. It hurt very badly the first few days, and it ripped my nails from my nailbeds in my fingers because it was so tough to get them out. I hated them. It made me feel like I was back in braces again when I took them out, because you can feel the buttons rubbing against your cheeks (exactly like brackets). I'm getting a little more used to them, but they still suck and make me feel like I might as well've gotten braces. The only blessing about them is that they are tooth colored so you really can't see them well at all. The tooth filing was not painful, but it was a horrible experience. They take this little sheet of metal and literally grind your teeth. They also use this little powertool that does the same thing. The sound and sensation is so awful, but again, it doesn't hurt. Just very uncomfortable. I will post pictures on my next aligner so you can all see the buttons. It's important to note I will have to go through this process several more times, so keep that in mind if you are considering invisalign.

I'm on my seventh tray, boy the time is flying by!...

I'm on my seventh tray, boy the time is flying by! This puts me at about the three month mark. I've had the "buttons" now for about a month and a half. I've gotten used to them. They don't bother me at all--with or without the aligners in. I've read reviews of people saying they rub your cheeks raw, but I don't experience that problem at all. You aren't supposed to have your aligners out anyway, but I've been to a wedding and some parties where I've left them out for a few hours or so and the buttons didn't do any damage. I think they make the invisalign more visible, but still people rarely notice that I have them in my mouth. Changing aligners the first few days with buttons still remains a little difficult, but nothing like the first time I had tried getting them in and out (that was so painful and distressing!). I'm happy to say I'm making slow but steady progress, and the invisalign isn't causing me any problems or taking away from my life in the way that braces did. My uppers aren't doing a whole lot, but I think my lowers are shifting quite a bit and i'm happy so far. For my next aligner, in a little over two weeks, I'll be going back for more filing and I think they are changing the buttons on the top. I will comment again after that experience and I promise, I'll add more pictures. Wishing you all the best of luck with your invisalign journey!

Here we are, halfway through my treatment! I have...

Here we are, halfway through my treatment! I have 11 trays to go. Woohoo!

11/29--Saw the orthodontist. I saw the head honcho...

11/29--Saw the orthodontist. I saw the head honcho this time since I am getting close to the end. He did a little filing--mainly got rid of the bumpy edges on my front teeth that never wore down as they were supposed to. He said that the next visit will be the end of my treatment if I am satisfied. I have three trays to go in addition to the one I am currently on, which is about halfway through. I will go back on February 1 2013, which if I'm happy at that time, he will install my permanent retainers on top and bottom and mold my teeth for my invisalign long-term retainers. If I'm not happy, they can keep tweaking things--you can order up to three sets of invisalign for what you pay. So far, I am EXTREMELY happy with the way things have turned out. I truly cannot believe how quickly and painlessly this whole ordeal has gone by. SO MUCH BETTER than going with traditional braces.

Today I went to the orthodontist to have my...

Today I went to the orthodontist to have my "bumps" removed, have my permanent retainers place on my teeth, and have my long term retainer made. To be honest, having the little glue bumps removed wasn't too comfortable. I wouldn't say it hurt, exactly...it's just very noisy, smelly, and there is dust flying everywhere. My teeth got a weird sensation--almost like if you have sensitive teeth and they are reacting to something very cold. That took about fifteen minutes to complete. Then they took a mold of my teeth (like they did at the beginning of the whole process). Next, they cleaned off the backsides of my two top teeth and five bottom teeth. It took about ten minutes start to finish to glue the thin wires behind my teeth. Completely painless. The one on the bottom I can barely feel. The one on top is a little intrusive; they had to be careful because of my bite, so it's up high by my gums. They were trying to say I didn't need it, but I was persistent because my one front tooth likes to move forward. I had to wait about fifteen minutes for the retainers to get made. Then I was off on my way. I don't need to go back until May. Here are some pictures of the final outcome/permanent retainers. I'm very pleased with the results, and how short the time took.

Hey everyone! It has been about a month since I...

Hey everyone! It has been about a month since I finished with invisalign and had my permanent retains placed in my mouth. I just wanted to share how things are going with all of you. It took about a week, but now I really don't notice my permanent retainers at all. They became just a regular part of my mouth and I don't think about them. I still have to wear the plastic retainer once a week at night; I do Sundays so I always remember since it's on the same day. When I wake up, my teeth are a little sore, which must indicate that although I have the permanent retainers, there is still a little movement going on. I guess that's normal, but it still worries me a bit (I don't want braces a third time!). My teeth look beautiful and feel great. The only downer is that flossing my front bottom teeth is a major pain in the butt. You can't floss with the wire on the back of the teeth, so you have to use these little threader things that are annoying and don't really get the plaque like regular floss does. Small price to pay, though. Other than that, the only other weird thing is that I feel like I should always be brushing my teeth since I had to brush about six times a day with invisalign. I think this is probably a good thing, though, since it means I'll have better oral hygiene! Hope you're all doing well on your journey.
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