End of 1st Tray with MTM Clear Aligners - Cornwall, ON

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Until I hit 40 (I'm 48 now), my upper teeth were...

Until I hit 40 (I'm 48 now), my upper teeth were fine except for an overbite. But since 40, I've started to have crowding in the front which has resulted in one of my front teeth overlapping the tooth next to it. I'm also getting one of those dark triangles at that place.

I got my first upper tray about 2 1/2 weeks ago. Here are some general points:

- I'd been concerned about getting them on and off and it's been very easy - zero issues
- I'm having a hard time getting in more than 16 hours a day. The lisp is not getting better and I have to talk a lot with work - public speaking + training.
- Sleeping with them is fine but my overbite is correcting rapidly and the aligner over my last molar seems to be too high. Since I grind teeth/clench in sleep, I'm starting to get headaches and waking with it. This is new over the past few days. If I weren't going to see dentist Tuesday, I'd call.
- The first several days, I felt flulike. That passed.
- Hadn't had pain the first 10-11 days but the past 4-5 it's been moderate pain when I take them off. I have chewy gummy vitamins first thing when I get up and even those are hard to chew. The longer they are off, the easier chewing becomes.
- I noticed something odd from the get go: I cannot have highly acidic things like normal. For example, tomato paste and oranges. I've done that 3x and each time, I got those little white ulcers even though I didn't have much. Each time, I needed to leave aligner off for several hours for the inflammation to go down. The aligner itself didn't seem to irritate but it's made my tongue much more sensitive.
- I'm finding cold things to be a bit of a nuisance and my teeth are slightly more sensitive than normal.

My process is supposed to be 6 months. When I get this tray replaced Tuesday, I'll also get bottom ones.

Within a few days, I saw minor shifting to on my non-front teeth. I've also had the more recent change in overbite. No other changes that I'm seeing so far.

I honestly can't see that I'd ever get to over 20 hours a day consistently unless my next tray fits quite differently.

Week 3 on MTM Clear Aligners

Today was 3 week date for aligners and had to see dentist. I've got appointments every 3 weeks.

I was expecting to be lectured because I've been bad about wearing them the recommended number of hours. He had said 22 hours minimum - closest I can get to 24 a day the better. The first 2 weeks, I had been lucky to get 16 hrs a day on. The last several days, I've done much better but yesterday was the first day I think I got over 20.

Anyway apparently with age, my teeth are moving faster so he said I am actually on target. I was surprised. Today wasn't a new tray but adjustments to the aligner. Yowie! I wish I'd had an Advil before going. I ended up taking a tylenol with codeine after and it knocked me out a few hours.

I'm really glad I'm using MTM aligners vs Invisalign. This is a much better process from user experience point of view. No buttons. Insertion/removal isn't an issue. The dentist is able to adjust right in his office so we were able to ensure proper fit.

Some other things...

About a week ago I started to get some pain on top and bottom on the same side. I noticed the aligner over 2nd molar was getting rough to touch. I knew I was a night grinder (used to have a mouth guard for a while then it improved) and the aligner seemed to have gotten it back. Anyway I should have called as soon as I felt it was a bit different.

I'm having to avoid acidic food. I've never had a problem with those white spots on tongue before but for some reason, the aligner is triggering it.

Coffee isn't a problem with this aligner. I was told today if I have coffee by my side to take aligner out every 90 min to 2 hours to rinse teeth because of the sugar in milk. (I don't have sugar in coffee.)

He had put up digital photo of the start and it's amazing to see the difference in just 3 weeks. One of my 2 overlaps on front teeth is almost gone and the other one is getting noticeably better. On the second one - I have a dark triangle so the tooth will need to get filed at one of my next 2 appointments.

I didn't get the bottom aligners on yet. We'll see in 3 weeks if we'll do it now or wait to do the top first. The forecast had been 6 months for the top and he said it may be 4 months more. So waiting for the bottom may be a good idea.

I am still having trouble talking with them in. Oddly when I wake up, I sound the most normal.

No regrets so far. I am anxious to have this entire thing over with and get to finished result!

Week 6 update

I had my last appointment 5 days ago at 6 week mark and wanted to update.

So first off, after my last appointment, it took about 4 days for the adjustments to aligner to not be so uncomfortable. It was a tough 4 days. A lot of pain when I'd take aligner off to eat. Hard to get it back in. But once I got past that, it was so much better.

I'll relate my situation on my tops to make it more understandable what I'm dealing with. Overall, my case is probably minor to moderate versus most people. I had many teeth slightly not straight. I had crowding in the front which resulted in overlap of my 2nd teeth and the front teeth. My front two teeth were not crooked and were even with one another.

About 5 days before I went back for my 6 week check-in, I started to get some anxiety because I felt some overlap in the back of the front 2 teeth and they were no longer even looking.

When I went in, the dentist said that everything is progressing well. What was happening is part of the shifting that has to happen to fix the issue. I had to get a mould taken for my next aligner. My upper left side is done. Everything nice and straight. 6 weeks so I'm pretty impressed. He said that it should be 6-9 weeks for the other side.

I opted NOT to start yet with the bottoms. He said based on how fast movement is happening on the top, the bottoms should take me 6-9 weeks. My bottom doesn't really have crowding but is more about many of my teeth not being straight in their places. It doesn't seem like I'll have issues with dark triangles. (I will on the top when the right overlap is gone which will mean that one tooth needs t get shaved)

What was interesting was seeing how the initial mould versus the new one was so different. It made it clear how much progress there has been.

I went back Wednesday afternoon the the new mould. Yowie. So much pressure on the 2 troublesome teeth. Dentist said within 1-3 hrs the pain would let up. Unfortunately, even as long as 3 hours when I'm awake, it hasn't been bearable. So I've been wearing my old tray during the day. I wore the new one to sleep last night and woke up feeling the pressure every 2 hours or so. I'll wear the new aligner to sleep again today but will take an Advil before and hopefully that will help.

The dentist did warn me the next 6 weeks were going to be tough due to the amount of movement that has to happen.

Tops are complete

So my tops are now complete. I am wearing the same tray on top for 3 more weeks. I started the bottom later, so the next time I go back I need to get a new tray made. I also need to deal with some filing on top teeth to make them even and white fillings to deal with a dark triangle issue.

I've only had 2 trays for the top and one for the bottom. I was kind of surprised given I expected more.

In spite of the initial fast progress on the top, I expected they would look better at the end than they do. They are straight as far as positioning but my 2nd teeth on either side seem a little further back than I expected. I'll need to see how the filing + handing triangle impacts things for a final decision.
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