I am 25 and work with people, so getting braces was definitely not an option. My teeth were not too bad, some minor crowding and quite pronounced top canines. I wanted to get Invisalign for the longest time and when finally I had my finances all lined up, I did! After I saw my clincheck, I must admit I was quite disappointed... Mainly because I expected Invisalign to straighten ALL of the teeth in my mouth. My dentist told me that it would take too long to move the teeth in the back and if my bite isn’t bothering me (it used to be perfect, but over the years my teeth moved a little, but my bite was definitely not bothering me) we shouldn’t touch it and work on straightening the front teeth only. The good news was that it would be only 14 sets of retainers, and the treatment would take about 7-8 months. I would also need 12 buttons on my teeth (6 on upper teeth and 6 on lower teeth! Yes… all on front teeth!) Today I am on my last set of trays (14/14). It seems like I might need 2-3 trays of refinements (one tooth is quite stubborn and does not want to come out! But it is almooooost there!) And even with that, I love how my teeth turned out. My bottom teeth came out just perfect and I am sure that after refinements the top teeth will too! I did lots of research before getting Invisalign and I was definitely prepared for the worst. With that said, I want to share my actual experience vs what I was prepared for.
1. The scary Buttons that cut your lips and look like calculus growths on your teeth. I was prepared for my lips to be cut, so I went and bought some ortho wax. I was also prepared for my friends and family to ask me about “those things” on my teeth… Well, the ortho wax is sitting in my drawer unopened and my family and friends said they can’t see anything on my teeth even after I pointed the buttons out. I think it’s important to ask your dentist to file the buttons down a little if they do feel sharp, because they definitely shouldn’t cut your lips! I talk to people and smile all the time and not once I noticed anyone glancing at my teeth. I really don’t understand all this dissatisfaction with the buttons, because I take it as a part of the treatment that has to be done in order to have straight teeth.
2. I will always have Bad Breath. I honestly have not had bad breath… I constantly sip water thus the bacteria/saliva/whatever doesn’t sit inside my retainers. Also I noticed that rinsing the retainers immediately after removing it, definitely keeps the bacteria away and doesn’t let saliva to dry on it... thus causing it to smell!
3. My Invisalign won’t be so invisible and will become discolored/yellow/cloudy after wearing it for a while. That never happened to me either… When I turned in my old set before getting a new one, both the new and old sets looked identical in terms of clearness and color. I use Retainer Brite every morning (it’s does make it nice and shiny but definitely not sparkly clean) and usually just brush the retainers with electric toothbrush and water… No toothpaste, no mouthwash, no soap. I guess the only way I see it would get discolored is if one drank tea, coffee or sodas while wearing it (per instructions no one should do that).
4. People will think I have something on my teeth and it looks weird. People who think that Invisalign is totally invisible are set for a disappointment. It is definitely not “in your face” like braces, but it is there. It’s noticeable up close and while smiling. I’d rather have people think “What’s that on her teeth? She must be fixing it” than “Have you seen her teeth? Why isn’t she fixing it?” I was definitely more self conscious of my smile before the Invisalign than with Invisalign.
5. Invisalign won’t straighten my teeth. It has straightened my teeth! If you are a good candidate and strict about wearing it at least 20 hours a day, it will. As I said, my teeth weren’t that bad to begin with, but I think that if someone needs a major straightening done on their teeth, braces are probably a better option. Unlike braces, which once put in your mouth aren’t going anywhere until the treatment is done, the success of Invisalign treatment lays solely in your hands. It definitely requires commitment and sometimes it can get frustrating to keep removing and putting them back in, brushing and flossing after every meal... But for me, it was just a small price to pay for a beautiful smile!