My name is Hannah and I’m a 23 year...
My name is Hannah and I’m a 23 year old Australian that has just commenced Invisalign treatment. I had metal braces as a teenager, but unfortunately my teeth moved around quite a bit when my wisdoms came through some years later.
The main issue I have with my teeth is overcrowding, especially on my lowers, and I’m hoping Invisalign can fix this.
I was hesitant to get Invisalign for three reasons:
1. My teeth still appear somewhat ‘attractive’ and not a lot of people even notice the overcrowding.
2. It’s expensive.
3. IT’S LIKE REALLY REALLY EXPENSIVE.
4. Points 2 and 3, as mentioned above.
However, after a lot of deliberation, these 3 points contributed to me commencing treatment:
1. My mother spent a fair bit of moleh (read: cold hard cash) on straightening my teeth as a teenager. If I don’t invest a bit of money on fixing my teeth, all her efforts would have been for nothing.
2. I smile a lot. Literally all the time. I walk down the street and people probably think I’m either on drugs or have a handicap (or both). If I put my teeth on display so goddamned much, they may as well be straight.
3. I’m paying a decent sum of money for private health care and think I should tap into those benefits!
So it begins.
I am to have 15 sets of aligners, and potentially some “refinement” aligners towards the end of my treatment. I will need 4 attachments – one on each of my lateral incisors on my upper and lower jaw.
I am currently on tray 1, which my orthodontist made me wear for 3 weeks. He said this was just a precaution to make sure my teeth were exactly where they need to be before he puts the attachments on.
Pros so far:
1. I floss all the time. Literally. I never used to floss before, so this is fantastic news!
2. I found out that a bit of whitening toothpaste can do wonders when you wear Invisalign – I think it’s the trays that help keep the whitening paste on my teeth as I sleep. I’ve noticed a decent change in 3 weeks!
3. I’m drinking and snacking less (hello bikini body).
Cons so far:
1. I’m a straight 23 year old female. Currently single. I really doubt any fellas will wanna get near me during this process. Goodbye romance. Goodbye hot men with abs. Hello loneliness.
Alas. I will keep thee updated with my journey. Fingers crossed all goes well!
Until next time.
Retainer no. 1 Photos
Thought I would attach some photos showing my teeth in retainer numero uno. Hopefully I can use this as a benchmark to track my progress!
On a side note - how annoying is brushing after coffee and tea. I absolutely LOVE coffee and tea. It's part of my morning ritual at work - come in, grab a latte from the coffee machine, drink the latte while I scroll through the news, eat breakfast an hour or so later.
Now, because of these pesky yet brilliant retainers, I need to brush in between my morning coffee and breakfast. I've thought about how to tackle this:
1. Skip my morning coffee. It does taste marginally like poo, so this shouldn't be a problem. But Han Han so sleepy in da morningggg. Me want coffee. Coffee coffee coffee.
2. Drink coffee / eat breakfast in the one sitting. Oh there's an idea! But I have muesli. And that involves milk. Latte milk + breakfast milk = TOO MUCH MILK.
I know I know. I'm being difficult. Any suggestions on how I can resolve the 'double brushing dilemma' would be great.
Until next time.
Invisalign attachments + my unique ability to swallow my fists
So – an exciting day today. I had an appointment with my orthodontist where I got my second set of trays and some nasty little attachments (also known as buttons). Now I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about these attachments… the general consensus being:
1. The buttons are sharp and uncomfortable. Apparently this is so bad in some cases that people try and avoid removing their trays throughout the day!
2. They’re superduper noticeable, making the whole Invisalign process fairly visible.
3. The buttons make it impossible to remove your retainer.
Well I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised with my buttons so far. After the nurse glued them on and buffed away some of the excess glue, she asked me to go to the mirror and gargle.
THIS WAS IT. THE MOMENT OF TRUTH! Was I going to look like someone with tic-tac’s strapped to my teeth for the next 6 months? Would people point and laugh at me? Throw rocks? The answer: no! I don’t deny it – if you look closely, the attachments are noticeable. But hardly! And yes, when my retainer is on you can notice the bends in the plastic a bit. But considering what my teeth could look like in braces, I’m rather impressed with how subtle Invisalign is.
My orthodontist came and buffed the attachments down a bit, so as to make sure they weren’t too uncomfortable when my retainer was out. I had a feel of the attachments and really don’t think they’re too harsh on the inner mouth, but maybe my experience will worsen over time. I’ll keep you updated!
Unfortunately, the last point I mentioned is true. It is quite hard to remove your retainer with these buttons. And by hard I mean impossible. It took me about 5 solid minutes of me standing in the clinic with my hands down my throat before I could manage to wiggle these bad boys out. I never realised how large my hands were and how small my mouth was until I attempted to remove my aligner. It really is impressive how much of my hands I can fit down my mouth. Kinda like how a baby head can fit through a vagina during childbirth. Oh the wonders of the human body.
Until next time.
Retainer no. 2 Photos
Just thought I’d upload some photos of my teeth with my new retainers and attachments. This will hopefully show people that the attachments aren’t too noticeable, so please relax if you’re about to get them!
I did happen to have a work colleague ask “what’s on your teeth?” when I came in this morning. However, he is aware of my Invisalign journey (as is majority of the people I work with) so I think he’s looking at my teeth more closely.
I know a lot of people don’t tell anyone about their Invisalign treatment, but I feel more comfortable with people knowing. I’m obviously not going to run up to random people on the street and pull my gums apart and grit my teeth like a crazy woman. But I am telling my friends, family members and close colleagues. I feel like with them knowing, they accept it and get over it quickly. If they didn’t know, I’d be worried about being “caught out” the whole time and would feel guilty for not telling them.
On another note, my teeth are particularly tender this morning. I had no trouble sleeping last night, with the help of some nifty little pain killers, but I feel today will be a bit of a struggle. Removing and replacing the retainer is probably the worst as I feel a fair bit of pain on the teeth with the attachments. At least I know the retainers are doing their thang!
Until next time.
How to marry your retainer / survive Christmas
So… a lot has happened since my previous post. We’ve been quite busy with Christmas and NYE etc, so apologies for not writing sooner. We just didn’t have the time.
And by ‘we’ I mean myself and my retainer.
Seeing as I can’t seem to do anything without this hunky piece of plastic, I thought I may was well marry it. Turn into one of those couples that speak in unison. Oh no, we don’t like tofu and we only go to the beach on Tuesdays etc etc etc.
I’m even thinking of giving my retainer a name. Something indie perhaps? (I’m thinking either Apple, Cinnamon or Frou Frou… OR I just name it all three and it can be some fancy drink that Starbucks hasn’t thought of yet).
Christmas was… interesting. I don’t know what Christmas is like for everyone else out there, but for my family it’s kinda the opposite of the Biggest Loser. Meaning we eat. A lot. And then we sit / lay in our little food comas until we recover. Upon which time we eat again.
Having this experience with Invisalign was different. Difficult? Not really. But different. Very different. There were a lot of times when I had to excuse myself from the table (read: exit a conversation without being rude) so I could put my retainers back in. I had to decline a lot of finger food in between meal time. I drank soda water and tonic water instead of wine and beer. And I guzzled my Dad’s extremely potent eggnog just so I could put these bad boys back in.
Did I meet the 22 hour quota? Doubtful. Very doubtful. But I do believe I made up for it in the following days.
So far it does seem like there are a lot of negatives – can’t snack, lots of brushing, limited social drinking etc. But I have noticed one fairly major plus: my bod! Over the past few weeks I’ve had a lot of comments on how lean and toned my body is looking. Now I’m not saying this is all because of my retainer – I’m a regular gym goer and eat healthy (not to mention I have the metabolism of a goat). BUT, I really think my inability to snack and the inconvenience of social drinking is helping me cut out all my vices. So while I must say goodbye to bingeing on Twisties with a hangover, I can say hello to looking like a Victoria’s Secret model in dim lighting. (make that very dim… practically black as night lighting).
Until next time.
Being an Invisalign Bad*ss
19 Jan 2015
2 months post
Firstly, excuse the language. I’m not even sure what the language limitations are on here? But when you’re referring to being an Invisalign Bad*ss, there really isn’t any substitute word. Invisalign Gansta? No. Invisalign Rebel? Maybe. INVISALIGN BAD*SS?! HELL YEAH.
So let me explain myself. In the past few weeks I’ve been a bit…bad. I’ve relaxed a little bit, and haven’t necessarily met my 22 hour quota. I seem to squish most of this bad behaviour into one day… slash one DATE. BOO-YAH! I went on a date. Yes I did. I did indeed. Ya huh. With a guy. Yep, he’s human / normal. And yes he’s tall and handsome also (not a requirement but definitely a bonus).
Long story short, this isn’t the guy for me. He’s different. We’re different. We’re going different directions in life, etc. etc. etc. But he’s nice and funny, and I enjoyed the few dates we had together.
On the Invisalign side of the story, aka the REAL STORY, I feel I should explain exactly what went down:
Date number 1: we went fishing and then on a picnic. I didn’t wear my trays this entire time. Now this wasn’t because I was planning on kissing him or anything (we didn’t kiss) but its more because I feel my buttons are more noticeable with the trays on.
Actually – hello side story: My buttons make my trays more noticeable, and my trays make my buttons more noticeable. So each play their own part. (It’s like the whole “what came first” argument with the chicken vs. egg dilemma).
Total time with trays out = 4 hours.
Date number 2: we went to the beach for a swim and got coffee. Again I didn’t wear the trays. And I’m thankful because we kissed (and I would have totally freaked if he tried to kiss me with my trays in). He didn’t notice the attachments at all – so for all you guys with attachments on out there… CALM DOWN PEOPLE.
Total time with trays out = 4 hours
Date number 3: we went snorkelling and then had lunch, and then went to the shops for icecream. This was a pretty big date and it lasted from mid-morning until after lunch.
Total time with trays out = 6 hours.
I HAD MY TRAYS OUT FOR 6 HOURS PEOPLE. Wooooaaaah. Such a bad*ss. Huge bad*ss. Bad*ss bad*ss bad*ss.
Now, don’t freak out. These dates were spaced about a week apart (or more in some instances). What can I say? I’m a busy girl. I have a routine. I have work commitments. But I feel this ‘spacing’ actually helped me meet my weekly quota.
So here’s my theory. You need 22 hours a day yeah? There’s 7 days in a week, so that’s 22 x 7 =154 hours total a week that I need to wear my Invisalign trays for. So if I lacked 6 hours on one given day, I needed to wear them for an extra hour the rest of the week to meet the 154 hour total. Which I totally did!
So I figure I can totally keep being an Invisalign Bad*ss without getting into serious trouble with Dr Hamilton, just as long as I make up for it within that week.
If anyone has any thoughts/concerns about my theory, please don’t hesitate to comment them below!
Until next time.
Retainer no. 7 - Almost half way and loving my smile already!
25 Feb 2015
3 months post
Oh my goodness I’m excited. I’m nearly half way through this somewhat inconvenient journey and I couldn’t be happier! According to my good friend the Doc, I am to receive 15 aligners in total…and potentially some ‘refinement’ aligners depending on how effective my treatment is.
So given I don’t get refinements, I’m nearly half way baby! BOOYAH.
I feel like breaking down and doing a Beyonce-style booty shake. However, I will desist because:
a) I AM A WHITE GIRL AND DON’T GOT NO BOOTY
b) I’m an important business women AND I’m currently at work AND I wouldn’t dare booty shake in the workplace (read: I would totally do it if my boss was away).
Booty shakin’ aside, I can seriously say that I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Back in the pre-Invisalign day, I would almost always get insecure when I saw photos of myself smiling. I would (inwardly) criticize my teeth – that tooth is jutting out / my bottom teeth suck etc etc etc.
Now, for the first few aligners I saw no major changes. And to be honest, I didn’t expect any (it’s not like they’re moulding cheese here people!). However, my cousin’s wedding gave me an opportunity to flaunt my mid-treatment smile and I must say I was quite happy with the results! I’ve attached a photo to this post so you guys can see how quickly this treatment pays off.
On a side note – how does one tackle weddings whilst undergoing Invisalign? The answer: EASY! I didn’t bother wearing my trays throughout the ceremony and the reception. I know this is naughty, but it was only 6 hours and I wanted to enjoy myself and be footloose and fancy free! I made sure I was super strict on my treatment both before and after the wedding, so fingers crossed this makes up for my naughty behaviour.
My apologies for lacking in the photo/post department by the way. I lost my iPhone / USB cord, and it’s impossible to write these posts directly from my phone. If anyone wants to see more photos, please let me know. If you want ‘retainer by retainer’ updates, then I’d be happy to increase my posts.
Until next time.
Retainer no. 16... and tired of waiting!
15 Sep 2015
10 months post
It has been 7 months since my last post… that’s right, SEVEN WHOLE MONTHS. I could have practically gotten pregnant AND given birth in that time (well not really but you get the gist). The last few months have flown by, and you’ll be glad to know that I no longer see Invisalign as being a large (and inconvenient) part of my life. Let’s rewind to the beginning….
Within the first few months of having Invisalign, I must admit that I was still very ‘aware’ of the whole process. I read these reviews almost every day, looking at people’s progress and dreaming about the time when I’ll be on my first double digit retainer! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little self-conscious about the trays and in particular the buttons. I would take my trays out when attending work meetings or coffee dates. I would never EVER wear my retainer out to dinner or drinks… which had a pretty damning effect on my social life (hello wine and cheese night at home alone, nom nom nom).
I can’t recall exactly when it happened… but there was a point during this process where I forgot to care. I would catch myself sitting at a dinner table with friends and realise I hadn’t removed my retainer. What was more surprising was how little other people noticed it when I left it in. My housemate and best friend literally said “Oh my god I keep forgetting you have that thing in!” when she saw me removing it one night. It’s hard to explain this transition… but I guess I feel like I went from the INVISALIGN GIRL, to just a girl who happens to wear a retainer… no biggy.
So, for anyone out there who is just commencing treatment, or has hit a bit of a wall in their treatment plan… I encourage you to hold on! Don’t think of Invisalign as a major part of your life, just be happy that you’re undergoing the treatment and that your teeth are on their way to being perfect!
Anyway… to update you on my progress, I’m on retainer number 16 which is technically my first ‘refinement’ retainer. My orthodontist said I’d only need 15 retainers, but I was actually provided with 18 – and additional 3 retainers to move my teeth closer together after the spacing the Invisalign causes. I had a mould taken about 6 weeks ago and still haven’t received anything back from Invisalign. I understand it’s a long process (send mould to US, make refinement retainers, send retainers to AUS)… but I’m really getting to the end of my tether here. It’s SEPTEMBER! I thought I would be finished in July… silly naïve me.
Well… I guess what I’m trying to say is: if anyone has any experience with Invisalign refinements, and can give me some insight (read: CALM MY TITS) regarding this last final stage in the treatment, that would be awesome.
Ps – if anyone has any questions regarding the Invisalign treatment, now is the time to ask!
Until next time.
Getting my refinements and having a little tantrum…
16 Sep 2015
10 months post
I have a theory: there is some sick ‘karmic god’ out there who doesn’t like me. I have two reasons to believe this:
1. Two days ago I was all “Aww where are my retainers? I want them now now now!” and then BAM the retainers arrived in the mail the following day (yesterday). The high and mighty powers of this universe must have wanted me to be happy.
2. Today, I had my appointment with my orthodontist and found out that I’ll need six refinement retainers. SIX F*CKING RETAINERS. YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME? Breathe Hannah, breathe.
So I was blessed by the God of luck, before it f*cking shat all over me and kicked me in the ribs.
Now I know some of you (probably all) will think I’m overreacting. But let me explain myself:
- I was told I would need 15 retainers when I first started treatment. Being the maths nerd that I am, I did some sums and predicted my treatment would take me 30-35 weeks (or roughly 8 months max)
I got my first retainer on the 17th… a whole 9 months ago to the day (ooh creepy). So in my head, technically I’m already behind schedule.
- Considering I only had 15 retainers prescribed for my teeth, I thought maybe I might be given 3 refinement retainers... 4 tops. BUT SIX?! That’s more than a third of my treatment. MORE THAN A THIRD GUYS COME ON.
So what did I do when I walked out of the orthodontist? I had a little imaginary tantrum. I imagined what I would say / do if I wasn’t an adult and didn’t have to look like a normal sane person. In other words, I WENT F*CKING APE SH*T. I screamed my imaginary little head off, stamped my imaginary little feet… all the while looking like a happy and pleasant woman on the exterior.
My logical side understands that additional treatment is good – I’m still paying the same sum of money so I may as well get them as straight as I possibly can! I’m just complaining because I’m tired of the Invisalign life.
But it’s ok… I’ve calmed down now. I’ve accepted that I’ll still have 12 weeks of living it up with retainers. This will brings me all the way through to the 9th December… so just before Christmas. Let’s hope that my treatment doesn’t get extended past then. (Or you may hear about a crazy woman killing her orthodontist on the news).
Until next time.