I've wanted to fix my 'fangs' since I was a kid...
30 Sep 2016
3 months post
I've wanted to fix my 'fangs' since I was a kid but the dentist always told me "You have a beautiful smile!" I vehemently disagreed, but my parents—who didn't want to pay for braces—were firmly with the dentist. I'm now 42 and done hiding my smile. I reasoned I'll never have an extra 5 grand laying around, so I just decided to do it and damn the debt (my ortho had a great CareCredit promotion, so that helped)! I'm now on tray 8 of 34 and thrilled with the results so far.
The first few days were absolute torture even without the attachments, but with time, ibuprofen, and a small nail file I was able to get used to them. I now file the edges of the trays and take some ibuprofen before popping them in at bedtime. I had a couple more days of torture six weeks in when I got my attachments. As with the first trays, time and ibuprofen helped and now I only experience mild discomfort with every new tray.
I don't need any special tools to pop them out for cleaning; I just dig a fingernail into the back of each tray and peel it out. I try not to have them out for more than 2 hours a day, but when dining out it's usually longer than that. I don't think it's affected movement overall, but the trays feel much tighter when I pop them back in.
For cleaning, I started out using Retainer Brite in a glass of warm water then brushing vigorously to get out the gunk. I was still seeing some yellowing so I switched to a small ultrasonic cleaner (around $24 on Amazon) which made the Retainer Brite much more effective & completely eliminated the need for scrubbing! I run the cleaner for around 15 minutes during dinner every night and they look almost as good as new at the end of 2 weeks.
My one and only complaint about the product is occasional peeling. I don't know if it's my bite or a defect, but I've had 3 trays on which a thin layer of plastic coating began to peel off after a week. It didn't affect quality but was intensely annoying, like having a huge chunk of food stuck in my front teeth. I'm more careful now to avoid clenching or grinding, but after 24 hours of continuous wear the trays get annoying and I tend to 'chew' on them, chomping down like I have gum in my mouth.
Almost halfway there! Tray 15/34
19 Jan 2017
7 months post
I'm on tray 15 at 34 weeks (due to a couple of delays between appointments), so almost on track with where I should be. When I overlay my current pic on the tray 15 ClinCheck everything seems to line up pretty well. I'm seeing a lot of movement which is also apparent when I chew; I occasionally scrape or grind an upper tooth against a lower one or bite the inside of my lip or cheek. A small price to pay, though—I'm very happy with the results so far. My incisors are much less obvious (the left a bit more than the right) and my lower bite has opened up noticeably.
I experience very little discomfort anymore and have gotten used to the inconvenience. I see my ortho for new trays every 6 weeks and switch them every two weeks before I go to bed. I use a crystal file to soften the edges before popping them in, then take a few ibuprofen the night of and the morning after. I've not had as many issues with the trays peeling lately and am hoping that was an anomaly.
I'm not always prompt about brushing after eating out, but it's a struggle to stop the conversation, get up and go brush, then come back and try to pick up where we left off. I'm also starting to experience some cold sensitivity which may be due to using whitening toothpaste several times a day. I'll be interested to see what the dentist has to say at my next cleaning.