Quest for a Better Bite and Straighter Teeth!

Burbank Orthodontist
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I have just started my Invisalign treatment! I...

I have just started my Invisalign treatment! I started using my first tray right before bed last night.

I have to be honest - the first day is a little tough. I am realizing how much of a snacker I am. I am hoping this indirectly helps me curb my appetite and lose weight! The idea of brushing after eating a piece of chocolate is not so cool. I'll skip the sweets!

I am also getting nervous already about getting buttons put in (before Tray 3) because there are SO many. I thought I had a very mild case, but I was quoted a year treatment plan by two orthodontists. I don't know why I need so many buttons, but I want to make sure I have the best results - especially with such an expensive treatment - so I am getting them! I feel weird with just the single tray and no buttons so I can't imagine how weird that is going to feel.

My tongue is getting scraped by the tray a little so that is annoying too.

This is gonna be an interesting journey!!! I think I will invest an additional 1K in AcceleDent to cut my treatment in half. Seems worth it. And I plan to resell the unit after to make some of that $ back.

I really hope I get the results I want. Mostly I want my bite pulled back (my teeth stick out a bit from a profile view) and widened (I have slight crowding and a narrow bite) and my teeth straightened as much as possible. I also want my front teeth aligned, but I was told since my roots are already straight, I may only be able to accomplish that by having a cosmetic dentist file them. That is TBD! First things first, let's get these teeth straight!

Day 3.... This isn't easy!!!

So overall this first week hasn't been too bad but there have been some rough moments. The biggest issue I'm having right now in the beginning is with the rough edges of the trays. They are cutting into the bottom of my tongue the sides of my cheeks - starting to feel pretty raw and painful and I just look forward to the two hours that I take the trays out!

I do feel like I can already sense movement especially with the way my bite aligns when the trays are in.

I read online that people recommend ortho wax to protect the tongue from tray edges so I just ordered some off Amazon. In the meantime I'm going to take a nail file to the edges because other people have suggested that! Hopefully, it gets better!

Starting Pics

I didn't post starting pics without my first Tray in so attached are the before pics of my teeth without the trays in so you can have a clearer idea of my case.

Tray 2: On the road....

So I started on my second tray last Wednesday before bed. Even though this tray is noticeably tighter, I definitely am getting used to wearing the aligners. One major problem I'm running into, is that when I eat at work I start working again and don't put the trays in right away. So I think I have this only wearing the trays for about 20 hours a day.

Sleep is the crucial time for me because I wear the aligners through sleep and until I have my first meal of the day which I have been delaying until the afternoon just to keep the trays in for as long as possible.

The irritation from the rim of the trays is not as bad as it was before but I do have a little bit of a scar forming on the inside of my cheek where it it's rubbing against the tray by my back upper tooth. I guess I'll just keep an eye on this and make sure it doesn't get worse.

On a Oct 16th I have an appointment to get the buttons put on my teeth for the third tray. I am very nervous about this because it looks like it will be buttons put on all of my teeth and I'm not looking forward to how that's gonna look.

I'm attaching before and after photos of my ClinCheck Before/After projections - I look at these every time I get frustrated with the aligners for some motivation!!

Tray 3: Buttons Added... Now the real challenge begins!

Yesterday I got several buttons added to my teeth, I believe at least 8 on the top (two on a couple teeth) and 6 on the bottom. I feel like a tween. On the positive side, I think it makes me look younger (lol)!

The process of attaching the buttons was a teeny bit more painful than I expected. The bonding process was all fine but when the dental assistant was removing the template tray, that was pretty painful. I was worried she was pulling out my tooth! I guess our teeth are stronger than we think. Now putting in and especially taking off the braces is wayyyy more painful - because the pull on the attachments on my already sensitive teeth. So I am working on making removing the trays a less painful process - I'm convinced there is some technique for this I can figure out - like pulling out on the trays and the same time I pull them off. We will see - I will keep you posted on this!

As for the looks, they are now WAY more obvious. I have 33 more trays to go and I made the huge investment on the Acceledent unit yesterday as well. I cannot imagine going through this for a year and a half so the chance this could reduce my treatment time in half seems worth it. They gave me through Tray 10 - one week each - so I will have my next check in with my dentist in two months. I am hoping I will see some real changes by then. I just look back at my ClinCheck for inspiration and I'm really hoping that final pic is how my teeth will really look!

Anyone else dealing with Tray pain from the buttons/attachments?

I will report back on Acceledent. Going to use it for the first time soon!!!!

Pics coming soon!!!!

Tray 3: Buttons Attachments Photos and Acceledent

Tray 7 UPDATE!!!!

Things are going well and I wanted to post an update. I am attaching some pics of my teeth without the trays - I notice straighter lines below my two front teeth which I was hoping would happen. There is a long way to go but the trays are much more comfortable. My sensitivity has decreased as far as pulling the trays on and off. I have gotten myself on a two times a day eating schedule (which I don't think is ideal but makes it so much easier with the trays). As far as the Acceledent unit, I think I will be able to start changing my trays every 6 days because I feel like the fit is getting better sooner into the tray change. I am going to ask the dentist. I would love to move this along in any way possible.

I think the key is really about keeping the tray in as long as possible so I try to do long stretches post-dinner through lunch the next day.

That's it for now!

Tray 10 Update!!

I am getting much more used to wearing the trays, though I still need to be better about getting them back on after eating. My ortho told me to aim for 22hours now. I had an appointment to ask if I could switch trays every 6 days since they seem to be fitting okay and she said 7 days is the shortest I could possibly switch. I was a little disappointed because I read on this site that some people using Acceledent switch trays every 5 days (which would shave two months off my treatment time) - but I don't want to move my teeth too fast and I want to get the best results possible.... so 7 days it is!

I already notice straighter front teeth. Here are some updated pics without my trays on. Before Tray 19, I have to go in for the teeth adjusting (I forgot what that shaving teeth process is called). I will post an update then!

Very happy with Acceledent. I can change trays every week and its easy to use and painless. So far, I think it was worth it...especially if I can sell it afterwards!

Chip on Attachment?

I noticed a little chip on my front left tooth (see picture). I am going to check in with the dentist. I am thinking its a chip in the bonding material with the attachment. Anyone have anything like this happen? My only concern is that my teeth may discolor differently in that area. I think it's already pretty noticeable and I am only 10 trays in. So I think in 6 months this spot may be a totally different color than what under the bonding on the rest of the tooth!

Tray 13 Update and Pics

So far so good - besides the chipping of the bonding material (at least I hope that's what it is) I can see good movement and I am 1/3 the way in. I just wanted to add some pics to update. I'll update again after Tray 18 when my Ortho is going to do that process where she shaves between some teeth before continuing my trays . Forgot what that's called!

Tray 17 Update!! HALFWAY THROUGH!

I wanted to post some pics to show my halfway point. I definitely see movement so far. The trays still hurt - I think one week is probably aggressive moment for the teeth so I'm sure that is why. I am hoping that some of the small gaps close up with the rest of the treatment - and really hoping those dark marks on my front teeth go away when the attachments are removed! Next week I have my first IPR appointment before Tray 19.

First IPR, Tray 19!

Last week, I got my first (and hopefully only IPR done). It was a little weird feeling, but not painful at all. I did not like the idea of having my teeth "reshaped" though. Especially since I feel like my bottom teeth are already kind of small, I think the IPR made them look even tinier. That being said my ortho gave me through Tray 24 with the instructions to stay on 19 on the top and change weekly on the bottom. The goal with that is to move out my bottom teeth to correct the over jet and hopefully avoid having to do IPR on the top. If this is the case, then we will have to order refinement trays at my next appointment in 6 weeks (when I will be still on 19 at the top and 24 at the bottom).

I also hope that in addition to avoiding any more IPR, that when we order refinements, we can remove a majority of the buttons I have. Since my treatment is taking longer than projected, I am ready to get these buttons off! My canines, especially my left, still need rotating and my right lateral incisor needs to move down a little, so I definitely will need more trays on the top regardless of the bottom movement. I am excited to see how this goes. I'll check back in in 6 weeks!

Acceledent update: still using it daily with great results. I have been changing trays weekly (with this particular exception of keeping the top tray the same). I hope the top tray 19 doesn't get too gross after 6 weeks of wear! We will see!

Posterior Open Bit developing... wondering how much longer my treatment will be to get the results I want!

I am currently still on 19 on the top and 25 on the bottom. My ortho instructed me to stay on 19 on top and keep the bottom trays on for ten days each - mym next appointment is after Tray 28 on the bottom. I am now pretty concerned with the posterior open bite developing. I am also concerned that my ortho said she thinks we are done on the top and I stil need a couple of teeth turned on the top. When I asked her about refinement trays, she said we may not need to bother and that we could do a regular brace on the tooth that still concerns me. I do NOT like the way this sounds. I plan to verbalize that the next appointment. The appointments always seem a bit rushed, and I don't have a good idea of what the next steps are for my treatment. Initally the projected treatment was only 6 months. Now I am 6 months in and I think there may be a lot more to go? Either that or I am left with results that I think are incomplete!
I'll have to think about all this within the next 40 days before my next appointment.

Tray 19 Top, Tray 25 Bottom

Posterior Open Bite

One More Pic

Tray 19/27 Pics

Tray 19/28 (Cut in half!)

Have been to my ortho every week for the last three weeks. Not too happy with where I am at since I expected to be done by now - but trying to be patient.

In order to try to reduce the posterior open bite I have developed, my ortho cut the backs off of the top and bottom trays - it's so bizarre looking! I have just the front bitty pieces as trays. They are so hard to take out! But it's Day 1 so maybe I will get used to it and not break my nails every time.

The plan now is that I will come back in two weeks (annoyingly, the first appt. I could get) and get around three metal braces just on the upper left canine to rotate that tooth before moving into the refinement trays. She suggested I work on that rotation prior to getting the refinement trays since she doesn't think the trays alone will work on that canine. Then I will wear these bitty trays and metal braces for a month or two (!!!!) and then get the refinement trays. So I think this whole thing may take 5-6 more months.

I am just hoping I am happy with the final result. I am not happy with the way my bite looks now. There are gaps and it is not aligned. I had high hopes based on the initial ClinCheck and we did not achieve that yet. There have also been additional costs, such as my a mid-treatment X-ray ($150) and the metal braces (not sure but at least $100).

Pics coming soon!

Journey continues...w metal braces added!!!

So, I now have three metal braces on my upper left teeth to help rotate that stubborn canine. My ortho cut my trays to fit around the braces (placed very high on my teeth). It's only been a few days but this is a hard adjustment since the metal braces stay on all the time. There is always a slight discomfort but at the same time, I can already see some rotation has happened. I will go back in 2 weeks to check out the results and tighten the braces. At that same appointment, we will also add braces on my back right side (top and bottom) to work on the alignment.

The plan is that after getting some more movement with the help of the metal braces, then I will get the refinement trays for finishing touches. I am hoping the refinement trays can happen with now attachments because I don't think I would have a problem wearing that since i am used to the trays now and really the attachments that make them cumbersome and noticeable.

The biggest issues with the addition of the braces is that they cut the inside of my mouth. I am using wax right on top of the braces and that does help a lot keeping them from scratching my mouth.

I'll attach pictures! The journey continues...

Before and Current side by side

Metal Brace Update

I have been wearing the metal braces on my three left upper teeth and on the top and bottom of my right side for a little over two months. There has been some rotation on that canine definitely, but I don't see any improvement on my bite. I am a little worried since in certain ways, my teeth looked better before the braces. Here are some pics. I will get these off next week and wear a retainer for 3 weeks and then get refinment trays. Im not happy with the results yet, but I also cannot wait for this to be over! The saga continues...

Temporary Freedom!

I had all of my braces out for the weeked while my temporary retainer is being made. Tomorrow I will pick it up and wear it for 3 weeks before having the mold done for my refinement trays (my ortho wanted "my teeth to settle first"). At my last appointment, in addition to removing all the trays and buttons, my ortho also did a little filing to make some of the edges smoother and help by bite. I admit, I am always nervous when it comes to the filing since that's permanent (and I feel like the first IPR I had done left me with an oddy shaped bottom tooth). But this time, it was fine and I think she didn't overdo it.

I am feeling a little like I'm losing time since I probably won't actually have my refinement trays for another two months. I still feel like my left upper canine needs rotating and my bite is still not aligned well. Also, my top and bottom teeth are not centered. It is slight, but noticeable to me, and since I have gone this far I really want it to be the best it can be. My ortho said she could do some IPR on the side to make room for the slight shift during the refinement process so I hope that happens!

I'll be back when I begin my refinement - I hope it won't be that much longer and that all the little adjustments will be made (and that I don't develop another posterior open bite with the refinement trays!)!!!! Almost there!

Slip Cover Retainer

Does anyone have experience with a slip cover retainer? I got one made in house from my ortho and it does not look just like the Vivera retainer. It's cloudier and wider on the edges. It is cutting up my tongue when I talk and creating a rash and is pretty painful. I'm hoping that goes away soon. I am wondering if my ortho is using these retainers so save money and not purchase the Vivera ones from Invisalign. If anyone has experience with these retainers, please let me know what you recommend!

I only have this one for a month or so while my teeth settle and before I begin the refinement process.

On Tray 1 of 30: Refinement Begins!!

This super long process has taken way longer than I thought - I thought I would be finished by now! For the last three months, I have been wearing a thick and not-cute retainer. I just started my refinement, which has come with 30 trays and many attachments. The main issues I hope to correct: fixing the midline which was a little off (top and bottom middle teeth do not line up), rotating of left canine (this will be the most difficult to rotate), lowering some of the top teeth that need to come down a bit to line up, and fixing the bite to feel more comfortable (my ortho does not seem to think this is a big deal).

I will wear each tray for a week and go back to using Acceledent for 20 min a day. So ready to be done! I hope I get the results I am hoping for from this refinement!

Refinement: Tray 10/30!

I honestly do not notice much difference between now and the beginning of the refinement. I think my midline is still a bit off. I have an ortho appt. on Tuesday so I am hoping we can address that then. I have 20 more trays and hoping I can get these final few tweaks in those trays!

After Tray 10 - 5 more to go! (with possible refinement refinements!)

I went in after 10 refinement trays and my ortho had me bite down on tiny carbon paper to see where my bite was overlapping. I felt like my bite was overly tight near my left canine. My ortho said the tightness of the bite may keep my teeth from moving with the rest of the trays, so she did a little shaving/grinding (?)... she used the same rotating grinder she used to previously straighten the curved edges of my teeth. Even though I get nervous when she comes near my teeth with anything sharp or grindy (since those are changes you can't undo!), my bite does feel a lot better. And hopefully this will help my teeth move the last few millimeters over the next 5 trays.

After that, to get 16-20 to fit, I would need IPR and I think my ortho is trying to avoid that which I would like to as well since I was not happy with my first and only IPR so far (my bottom front teeth look like they are oddly shaped now). So I may be done with my trays in 5 weeks!!! Hopefully, the midline will be fixed and I'll be happy with that! I'll update in 5 weeks!

End of the Road....

So that's it! Retainer ordered and I am done.

My teeth are not perfect but they are way better than before and I am happy with the results. My midline is still off and my back teeth have a bit of an open bite still (especially on the left side) but I want to be finished with the treatment and to fit the rest of my refinement trays, I would have to have IPR again - and I definitely do not want to do that. I was not happy with the look of the IPR my ortho did on my front bottom teeth - they are sort of misshaped now and were not before.

Also, I had to pay $550 extra for Vivera retainers since only in-office retainers were included in my contract (which I didn't realize at the time since it just said "retainer included"). I just didn't have the energy to negotiate anymore and just want to be done so I just paid and hopefully will get my Vivera retainers in 2-3 weeks!

Waiting on my retainer!

I'm supposed to get my attachments off in a few days. I'll keep wearing the last tray I have until my Viveras come in. My ortho estimated 2-3 weeks but her timelines always seem to be based on nothing! So I have no idea how long it will take.

I'm hoping the retainer fits well and holds my teeth in place and arrives soon. In the meantime, I'm throwing out this giant bag of trays I have been keeping over the past year and a half. Not sad to see them go!!

I put my Acceledent on Craigslist LA in hopes I can make a little of the money back (and at least cover the extra retainer costs)!


I got my Vivera retainers today! I tried one on and the back doesn't seat that well but my ortho said not to worry about it too much and to let my teeth settle and come back in 6 weeks for a retainer check.

So I got all my attachments off and will only be wearing my retainers at night (8-12 hours).

I am SO happy to be done!!!

Finally Done!!!

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