Trying to Get a Smile I Can Smile About. - Brentwood, TN

Just got my starter kit yesterday on what the...

Just got my starter kit yesterday on what the dentists thinks will be about an 8 month journey. Over the course of the last nearly two years I have been trying to correct what a few years of neglect did. I had to have a lot of gum work done. Thankfully I think I caught it in time. Let that be a lesson to all. Go to your dentist regularly! Amazing how pain and major costs will motivate you. Now that I have all that fixed I wanted to work on my smile. It was not too bad but enough I did not like to smile broadly.
The new tray fits snug, but I understand the first one is mainly to get you used to it so I believe the next will be even snugger. Getting them out was the real issue the first few times. My hygienist warned me about that but said it would get easier. So here we go. My first full day. I will try to report in weekly to let you know how it goes.
Many thanks to all who post and posted here. It helped me know what I was getting myself into. :-)
Oh and I did want to say my insurance took care of half the total cost which I was very pleased with.

Not yet a wek

Hi thought I would give a brief update although it has not quite been a week. The first full day I wanted to claw these things off my teeth! :-D I so looked forward to meal times to get a break. I am now settling in and they are not quite as unnerving. Easier to take the top set off but still a bit of discomfort when doing so. No pain to speak of at all.
Trying to get used to the "routine". Also trying to make myself understand the next set there will be some pain and discomfort but it will ease.

Tray 1a started on July 16th

I started my 1a tray on 7/16. The first few days there was some discomfort but way less than i had thought. Much like the first starter tray it was more of the new sensation in my mouth. Although there was some slight pain, but very little. I am trying to keep telling myself the worse is yet to come so I don't get lulled into thinking this is going to be a snap. :-)
For those reading and thinking of getting these, the starter tray you wear for 3 weeks does nothing to straighten your teeth. Those trays are to stabilize your teeth to the one position. This 1a tray now starts some movement. It has been a week now and I have not seen anything noticeable but really did not expect to yet.
The dentist gave me the 1b trays also. I wear the 1a's for three weeks then move to the 1b's so on August 6th I make the transition.
After wearing those for another three weeks I go back to the dentist. At that time I believe they add "buttons" to the trays which advances the movement of the teeth. This is where I believe the real pain will begin.
The hardest part with these is any kind of outside social life. Planning to go out after work or during lunch with friends. Having to try to get them back in after eating within a mall amount of time to get your 22 hours a day in is not always easy.
I will update if there are any changes or when my next set goes in.


I've had my 1b trays in now since 8/5 so nearly a week. I put the night before i was scheduled to in order to get them in after my last meal and i could sleep in them overnight. Pretty much the same story. Kind of sore for the first few days but nothing that even required any kind of advil/aspirin.
Little tighter getting the top tray out the first few days and even now it still is not as easy to get out as the 1a tray after the same amount of time. Still no real visible changes. That is a bit disappointing :-| but I have a long way to go. :-)

Got the "buttons"

I got 5 engagers (SP) or buttons put on on 8/27. Probably the sorest my mouth has been yet from the first few days of wearing the new trays. Even now my front teeth hurt a bit. Was very difficult getting my bottom tray out. I had to find a new "method". I was pushing out from both sides. Now i start on one side and move around.
I asked my dentist if I should be seeing results yet but he said it would probably start after the next tray. His hygienist is also a wearer. She is a month or two ahead of me and she said she was just starting to see changes so that made me feel better.
HE showed me my 3D composite of how my teeth would change. He had not showed me that. Wow, that gave me motivation! If they look like that when this is done I will be sooo happy and pleased. So to all you just starting hang in. You won't see big or any results for a bit. Don't get discouraged. :-)


Hi everyone. I have been wearing my 1D trays for a week now. (started on the evening of 9/9. Not much to report. Same pressure when first putting them in. Slight discomfort for first few days but all in all very bearable. As far as visible results...none yet. :-(


Uhhg. Got a call from my dentist that my next trays had not arrived so I have to keep wearing the 1D's. I am out of town next week on business so this could delay me 2 weeks in the process. :-|

Moved to 2B!

Guess I forgot to update everyone that I moved to 2A after a one week delay. They were of course very tight. The usual first few days discomfort but not extraordinarily worse. I moved to 2B on 10/16. The shot I am attaching is between 2A and 2B and i am sooooo happy to report i see changes! Finally i feel like i am movinf forward and this will be worth it. 2B of course was tighter but still not as bad as I fear each time. I did not even take any Advil for pain. Check out the pic below. Notice the movement on the bottom teeth. They are closer together and the gap in my upper teeth on right (the reason i started allll of this) is less and that tooth is straighter. I am excited about this again. (I was beginning to worry all of this was going to be for nothing. but it seems to be working now!) So if you are only a few weeks in don't get discouraged. Just keep them in and work through your cycles!

Moved to 2C

I have moved to 2C. Nothing major to report. It was tight for the first few days. Made my teeth sore, but it soon settled in.
I see more movement happened in my bottom teeth. :-)
I have attached a pic.

Latest pic

I don't think my latest picture uploaded.

Changed my "worth it"

I have changed my "Worth it?" status to "yes" from "unsure".
While I am hoping for more results, with what I have so far it is has made it worth it.

After 2D

Just put in my 3A tray. Package reads step 9 of 12. Something I had never noticed before. :-D
All is going well. I look back at some of my early pictures and cringe. I am so happy with the way my teeth are looking now. If you are just a few sets into your trays hang in there. It may seem like nothing is happening but if you follow the directions changes will come.

After 3A

I just put in my 3B trays. Looking at this pic I feel like my bottom teeth may have moved a bit (for the worse) but maybe it is part of the process as things continue to shift. Lots of pressure on my front teeth with this set. Still really happy with the way things are progressing.
I do have some concerns I will address with my doctor on next visit about the way my teeth are coming together now. Want to make sure my bite is right when this is done. I keep telling myself they are moving around so this seems to be expected. (still concerned though. :-) )
Anyone else that has went though this having an issue with their bite?

After 3B

Started my 11th set out of the 12! (3C) So close to the finish line. Not a lot of visible changes of the front teeth, but one of my back teeth that was out of alignment is really coming "into the fold" now. :-)
I spoke to my hygienist about the fact that my bite was a bit off. She said we still had some time to go but when she finished hers (I wrote about her in my earlier reviews) she had to have some adjustments made to her bite. She is very pleased with her results. I am not as concerned now about the bite issue. I rarely bite down solidly these days anyway as I have learned to chew without completely biting down. Even if my bite is a little off from now on I am still very happy with the results. I feel so much more relaxed when i smile.
She told me once I was done with the 12th tray I would then get the retainer. She said I would wear them every night. The dentists said every few nights. Either way, I am OK with that. Too much time, effort and yes, money, spent to let them go back to the way they were.

After 3C

On Jan 11th I put in my final set of trays. I am sooo excited about not having to have these in all the time. Don't get me wrong. I am so happy I did this and very happy with the results, but ready to be able to have a cup of coffee or a snack when I want. :-D
No major difference with these same pressure maybe more so on my top teeth.
I go to my dentist on 1/25 to have the buttons removed, check my bite and get fitted for a retainer.
I will post my pics after all that and let everyone know how it all went.
I will try to post a summary of my total experience at some point.
Thanks to all who have posted. gave advice and cheered me on. It was so helpful going thrpugh this with others doing the same.
Dr. Seth Portis

Great team at the Maryland Farms Dentistry Office. Very caring. Patient with me and all my questions over the last couple of years. Also very good for a person that has a huge fear of going to the dentist. I am now very relaxed when I go.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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