I looked into invisalign a few years ago but didn't have any real factors pushing me into it other than vanity - that and the provider I went to was really sh*t and did NOT make me feel comfortable with it at all.
However, here I am, with chunks of plastic in my mouth. There were two motivating factors for getting invisalign - I was getting TMJ (pain in my jaw) and my bite was the main cause of it, and I'm getting married in Jan 2017 (10/11 months away). I also went to a platinum/elite provider and he made me feel so safe and comfortable about it, his initial consultation and analysis of my teeth moulds etc was incredible.
There were a few requirements:
- I wanted my teeth to look pretty straight for my wedding
- I'm moving halfway through my treatment
My treatment is 31 trays and currently 3 refinements (he built this in immediately following a concern about a gap). I have a crapload of attachments.
My orthodontist made sure that my teeth would look nice and straight before my wedding (tray 20) and sent back my clincheck multiple times. He will remove my attachments before the day so my teeth are free-range! I also paid in full but he is happy to refer me to another orthodontist (moving NZ to London) or me send him photo updates and just run with it.
Because of the pressure to get my teeth quite straight before my wedding, I had to have a lot of attachments from day 1. All of my front top teeth have them and they are NOT invisible. I felt a bit awkward teaching at first because my teenage students also have braces, but soon got over myself.
Summary: A lisp, a swollen tongue, a lot of gum irritation. Don't talk too much in the first few days. Pain comes from the side effects. You need 3 sets of "dental gear". Buy some lipbalm. Teeth don't feel stable or strong.
I got a lisp for the first tray and it was a nightmare, but also very funny. I teach maths and stats, and on the second day had a lesson that involved saying sampling method, self-selected, stratified, systematic,sample size, survey method.... hence some of the students figured out that I had something in my mouth cos I sounded ridiculous. Had to just laugh it off, and they commiserated.
Because of all the talking (as a teacher) and struggling to speak properly I ended up with a very sore and swollen tongue, which then rubbed against the plastic edges and was not fun. TRY NOT TO TALK LOTS.
However, I had done a crap load of research and anticipated the pain, scratchiness and requirement to file your trays EVERY TIME. To be honest, it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. Don't get me wrong, it was bad, but I expected it to be bad. You have a foreign object in your mouth and are trying to move your bones, it's gonna hurt. That's not going to stop me complaining about it though.
I have half a supermarket of dental stuff at work - A tray case, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, bonjela, panadol, ibuprofen, listerine strips (fresh breath tabs). I have now found I like to carry a toothbrush and toothpaste around in my handbag as well...
Although not recommended, I also drank alcohol (white wine occasionally, bacardi and soda extensively for one night). I made sure that after I'd still brush my teeth soon after just to not leave sugars sitting in the trays, but it really wasn't a big deal. I had a cup of tea (with milk) one morning but brushed within the hour.
To really push the boundaries, I tried to eat a gummy lollie by sucking it with my trays in. This was mostly out of interest, rather than actually wanting to do eat lollies. It wasn't particularly successful, and occasionally I tried to chew which was hilarious. I brushed straight after.
My trays were still clean and unstained after 2 weeks and I didn't experience bad breath/smelly trays at all, despite pushing boundaries and breaking the rules. I don't plan on continuing in this way, and prefer to brush 3 times a day (even though my ortho said 2 was plenty).
At the end, my teeth fit comfortably and it was easy to pop my trays in and out, it was only the first 3 days that were bad.
Summary: back to sore mouth! STOP TALKING!
I was excited about changing trays, as it meant progress. One of my front teeth is super sore and my mouth is adjusting again to the slightly different shape of the tray edges. Most of my pain comes from having the plastic rubbing against my tongue/gums, not the actual tooth movements.
I find taking the trays in and out easy now, I just flick the edges off on both ends (one side just a tiny bit) and pull down and outwards away from my attachments on the top teeth.
Super excited for trays 10-15 as that's when my front teeth start straightening noticeably!!