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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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Can you please give me the name of your dentist who treated you? Thanks! I live nearby DC.
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Thanks for posting your progress! I've got my first consult for invisalign next week so I really appreciate being able read about people's experiences!
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Your teeth look great! I was wondering, did you opt for fixed retainers or was that part of your original treatment plan? I've been through one round of Invisalign over the last year (24 trays) and now I'm on 1 of 26 refinement trays, one more year. I've been told by my Dentist that I'll need to wear retainers every night forever if I want my teeth to remain in place when my treatments over. tc
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Great question. I always had the fixed retainers as part of my original plan. I actually had braces as a child, and was told I no longer needed to wear my retainers (the big old fashioned plastic and metal ones) when I turned 22. Of course, this turned out to be untrue (orthodontists now know that your teeth have muscle memory and will move forever, so you MUST have some form of retention or they will go back, as mine did). When I noticed my teeth moving, I tried to wear my retainers, but I happen to be one of those extremely weird people who physically removes my retainers while I'm sleeping--I have no knowledge that I'm doing it until I wake up and realize they're under my pillow, on the floor, etc. Therefore, my main concern was that I did NOT want the removable retainers because I can (and will) take them out in my sleep, and I know I won't wear them during the day because I am a teacher and talk all day long and don't want them impeding my speech. I made sure to tell my ortho this up front and only agreed to do the treatment if he promised to put the permanent retainers in. Although, as I said, I still wear a plastic retainer once a week, which is manageable. They are so like invisalign trays that I don't take them out (they're just a bit thicker because they need to last longer). I hope this helps, let me know if you have any further questions.
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Both the orthodontists I saw before commencing treatment included fixed retainers as part of the treatment plan - it seems to be almost the norm now. I think a plastic one for night time will also be required. ams111 - when I started my aligners I bought a little rechargeable water jet flosser which I find great. I am really hopeless at flossing and having to do it several times a day was rather daunting! I have a problem with very fast calculus buildup (something to do with excess minerals in the saliva apparently) and I find it helps a lot. I thought this might be a good option for those areas you're having trouble with around your retainers?
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Your teeth look great. I'm really jealous that time "flew" for you, as it's standing still for me. I've just come to the end of my first two weeks. Your teeth are very similar to mind, but with my lower crowding they removed a front tooth--not happy, but they insisted. My top tooth does the same yours is and I have the same allotment of buttons. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one having distressing moments trying to get the trays out. I also have 23 trays to go through. Did you have to have your buttons the whole treatment?--Renee
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Hey Renee, thanks for your post, and thanks for the compliment on my teeth :) The time didn't start flying for me until about two months in, so be patient and before you know it life will take over and you'll have little time to think about the invisalign. Right now it's just something new so it's at the forefront of your mind, but it'll become common place after awhile. I did not get my buttons until a few months in, I forget exactly when, but it should be listed somewhere in my review. I had them from that time until the very end, though. Hope this helps! Good luck with your treatment!
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Thank you, and you're right. I've noticed the time has started moving again and I will be changing to my 3rd aligner this Sunday (I had to wear the first one for a month because I was taking anti-inflammatories for my knee and it prevented my teeth from moving...) I know what you mean about those threaders, but like you said, small price. Your teeth look great! Enjoy!
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Hi, I live in DC also and looking for a good Orthodentist around the area. If you recommend yours, can you please give me his info. Thank you!:)
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Hello Sam, I don't actually live in DC. I live about 45 minutes to an hour outside of it in NOVA. Where are you located? My guy might be too far for you.
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I have been using the trays for 2 days now. I find them really annoying to wear. My teeth are sore and I am very uncomfortable all day. Will it get better ?

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They will hurt for the first few days, but then the teeth will shift and they'll feel better the rest of the two week period (at least, that was my experience). I have gotten so used to wearing them that I honestly don't know if they're even in my mouth. I have to double check sometimes to make sure I remembered to put them back in! I hope it gets better for you, but just know, traditional braces were 100% worse. Those things cut up my mouth to pieces and I was always getting food and such stuck in them. Yuck!
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To ams111, do you find any breath related problems as I have read on other sites? How about the filing and previous dental work; does it impact that?
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Sorry for the late response! My breath pretty much ALWAYS smells god awful in the morning! I didn't experience anything much worse than my bad breath before I started. I don't know if maybe those people aren't cleaning their aligners thoroughly every time they brush--they can get pretty gross because they have lots of nooks and crannies--but if you have good oral hygiene, like me, it's not noticeable. Morning breath is always gonna be a part of life, lol.
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Also...none of my previous dental work has been an issue. If you develop cavities or other problems during the invisalign process, that can be a problem as your trays will not match your teeth if any fillings are added. They can work around it, but it can be tricky. Prior work isn't a factor, though, because your trays are made around your teeth as they are now. The filing is so minute, they take off so little, that it won't cause any damage or issues to any fillings or other dental reconstruction you've had (at least it wasn't an issue for me).
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I did the same thing! I had braces when I was younger however, truth be told, my siblings when they were younger managed to stow away into my bathroom and snatch my retainer. I had no idea where it was, nor did I think of telling my parents to get a new one. I just kind of assumed I would get another one. Anyhow, I was thinking of actually getting Invisalign but I have several questions, if you don't mind me asking. 1. Are they noticeable? Like.. Did people begin to immediately notice you had something on your teeth? Or did you have to bring it up? 2. Exactly how long is the treatment for you? And 3. After the treatment ends, will they make you wear a permanent retainer?
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Glad to answer your questions. First, nobody has ever noticed my Invisalign, even with the buttons. Even my husband asks if I'm wearing them, and he gets pretty close up :) they appear generally shocked when I remove them to eat. They are so lightweight sometimes even I forget if I'm wearing them. They are nothing like the big old metal retainers at all. Second question: treatment length for me is a year. Things are going great now, but I'm sure at the end he'll want to fiddle around as orthodontists tend to do. But my teeth have moved very quickly as you can see from my pictures. Last question-this was a big concern of mine. I don't want to get braces a third time around. He's going to insert permanent retainers in my top and bottom and then they give you a retainer like the Invisalign to wear like once a week forever. They give you two actually. It's included in your cost. I hope his helps, let me know of you have any other questions!
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Your teeth look exactly like mine. I wish I would've takem before pics. I wonder if the dentist gives you a copy of the before and after pics they take? I've always needed braces, but never got them. Should've listened to my parents when I was younger. lol. I look forward to keeping up with you on your journey. I started invisilign about 3 months as well. I just started my 6th tray. I think I am getting my teeth filed on my next visit...
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I realized that they were just going to keep getting worse. And all that money my parents DID invest was going to be wasted, anyway. It was the only solution I could think of.
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Thanks for letting us know the buttons haven't been an issue for you. You are right that a lot of people talk about that, so its nice to hear it isn't always the case.

Your uppers are so straight now! They look gorgeous!!

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Thank you for this post! I am so frustrated that I was told the same thing- that I could stop wearing my retainers in college! Now my teeth are on the move and I am about to start my visits to the ortho to figure out the best solution. At first glance my upper teeth are still straight...but I can feel one being pushed and I can tell my bite is starting to go out of alignment...which is pushing me to look into it. Please keep us updated! I will also be posting once I make my decision.
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This post was very helpful! I also had braces and just got a quote for invisalign for $4,000. I am torn about doing it because I feel like my parents already invested so much money when I was younger in braces, but I didn't know about the retainers either! My teeth have shifted enough to notice since I had braces but I wouldn't say my smile is bad. What made you decided to do it?
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Buttons on & interproximal reduction behind you!! That is awesome, now its just a matter of wearing those trays 22 hours a day and you will be good to go. :) Sounds like you are doing a great job of pushing through even when it sucks - good job, that is not easy!

Keep us posted how you are doing!

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Good to hear an update from you! Yeah, you are probably right that it will probably be more noticeable that you have something on your teeth once the buttons go on, but it seems you have to get relatively close to a person to be able to see them, so its not like every person on the street will notice. Glad you are continuing to take such good care of your teeth - it'll pay off!!

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Did it take a while for the aligners to come in? I heard it takes around a month.
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