On trays 14 out of 18, almost done! (NEW PICS)

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For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted...

For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted straighter teeth. My lateral incisors have always been crooked, which made me very self-conscious. Until I was about 19, I never smiled in photos with my teeth. Gradually, I felt more comfortable to smile with my teeth - but only from the front. Admittedly, from the front, my smile definitely was unique and had character, which my friends and family seem to love. I could forgive my teeth and their crowding if it wasn't for the fact that from the side, they certainly aren't so "cute". To me, it looks like I have fangs. My wedding is in August of next summer, and after years of wishing for braces (my parents could never afford them), I decided that it was time for me to get them myself. I refuse to spend my wedding day being self-conscious about my smile.

I heard of Invisalign a couple years ago, and after doing a lot of research, I decided that I would choose this option over metal braces. Having gotten a lot of my information from testimonials found on this website, I decided that I'd write a review of my own experience.

I had my initial consultation at the beginning of June with Dr. Dagasso (I found him through the Invisalign website). I found him to be a very trusting orthodontist within minutes of meeting him; the reason being because I could tell right away that he was a no-nonsense professional. He was very honest with me about what could and could not be fixed with my teeth. In addition to mild crowding, I have a cross bite. When my jaw matured and finished growing, it did so with my top teeth being more to the left and my bottom teeth more to the right (which finally answered my question as to why my lips always seemed off-centred over the years whenever I relaxed my jaw and didn't smile). Whereas a lot of other dentists or orthodontists would have told me that Invisalign could fix my jaw misalignment, Dr. Dagasso told me upfront that I would need surgery and metal braces to correct this problem, but Invisalign could not. Personally, I've never had a problem with my cross bite; since it's never caused me discomfort and it's subtle in most ways, I was fine with the fact that this cannot be fixed. I made it clear that the two most important things for me are that: (1) My problem area (my crooked teeth up top) are straightened, and more importantly, that (2) my overall bite is unaffected and I can still close my mouth comfortably. Dr. Dagasso promised that Invisalign can easily do this for me. I left the consultation feeling very confident.

I returned several days later to get my impressions taken. I read in a lot of reviews here that this process was incredibly distressing and uncomfortable, so I went into it with a bit of fear. Personally, I didn't find the process that terrible. To be honest, the only part of the molds that was uncomfortable was that while you're waiting for them to harden (around the 3 or so minutes), you're discouraged from moving, lest you mess up the impressions and they aren't perfectly accurate; however, since you can't really move, it's incredibly difficult - if not impossible - to swallow the saliva that builds up. Both times she took the impressions out, I immediately spat a bucket of saliva into a paper towel. (Gross.) The only other part that was a bit of a nuisance was when she actually pulled them out, they did feel like they were tugging on my teeth a little bit. It didn't hurt, it was just a tiny bit uncomfortable. My teeth felt strange for a couple minutes afterwards, kind of stiff. But I suppose I should get used to that feeling, right? Lol.

I just got back today (August 8) from my Clin-Check appointment. The first time watching it, I have to admit that I was slightly disappointed, because there were a couple things I was hoping would look different but didn't entirely. However, the more I watched it, and the more they compared it to my original shot, I realized how much of a difference there would be. I was hoping that when my lateral incisors straightened out, they would be lined up nice and snuggly against my top teeth. However, because my incisors are a different shape than my top teeth, and size, there will still be small spaces between my incisors and my tooth teeth and canines. But Dr. Dagasso told me that I can easily go to my dentist and ask them to put filling on either side of my incisors, to fill in the small gaps. Considering that I plan to get my teeth whitened right before my wedding, it's no trouble for me to get this done during the same appointment. Basically, Invisalign will straighten my incisors, and then my dentist will fill in the gaps left over.

Secondly, I noticed that there was still a small gap between my two top teeth (there's always been one, and it's gradually become smaller over the years). Dr. Dagasso pointed out that the treatment would successfully bring together my teeth and close the gap, except for a small triangle at the top (since my teeth aren't perfectly straight on the insides). He admitted that this triangle would most likely appear a darker colour and be noticeable, so at my request, he is contacting Invisalign and updating them on the changes I would like made, and then I will be emailed my UPDATED Clin-Check, with the appropriate changes. In terms of my top teeth, the new plan is that Dr. Dagasso will shave them down on the insides so that they are perfectly straight, and with a couple extra trays in the treatment, the top teeth will join together with no gaps or triangles. Hurray :)

In terms of how long my treatment is, I was incredibly pleased! Before they knew for sure, I was quoted anywhere from a year to a year and a half. When I went in today, I was told I'll have 20 trays, which equals out to 40 weeks - LESS THAN A YEAR! :D With the additional trays, I may be looking at several extra weeks, but luckily it still puts me under a year. If I love the results by the end of the treatment and don't need any revision trays, I can remove the buttons, get my teeth whitened, and fill in the gaps around my incisors before my wedding day. That is my hope! However, if I have to have revision trays, it's still okay. :) Luckily, I only have 6 buttons to start out with (3 on each side; two on the bottom of each side, and one on the top of each side). Later on in my treatment, I'll have one more button on my right lateral incisor (no surprise there, as it's my worst tooth). So in the worst case scenario, that will be the only visible one on my wedding day, and my photographer said she'll just photoshop it out. :)

My next appointment is Monday, September 17th. I'll have my 6 buttons put on, and receive my first couple of trays. I'm nervous and excited for this. Mostly, I'm nervous to have them put on for the first time, because I've heard so many people talk about how much this hurts. However, my ortho's right-hand (wo)man, Dawn, has heard me talk about all this, and she assures me that the discomfort will be at a minimum. I'm also worried about trying to remove them for the first time, although I'd like to think I've read up on enough tips to do this decently. The nice thing about starting on a Monday is that I know I'll always start a new tray at the beginning of the week, which makes it easy to set up a meal routine (soft foods every other Monday and Tuesday now).

Anyways, this has been pretty lengthy, haha. I'll update when I get my new Clin-Check video with the changes made in my treatment plan. :)

Sooooo the big day is exactly one week from today...

Sooooo the big day is exactly one week from today and I'm getting nervous. I made the mistake of watching more videos of people removing their trays, and I never realized the loud cracking sound it makes whenever it snaps on and off the teeth. it sounds so painful! I'm really nervous as well for when they'll be putting the Attachments on next week, because some of the teeth they're putting the buttons on has a tiny bit of exposed roots at the top of the tooth and I'm afraid they'll hit or scrape them or whatever while putting the Attachments on. I'm sure if I express my fears to them that they'll be extra careful not to touch them, but I'm still nervous. I also had to call my dentist to have a small panic attack because I was suddenly very nervous about said exposed roots; I was wondering, "Will the trays scrape against them the entire treatment and cause me severe pain? I can't deal with that for 10 months! Will it cause the gum recession to worsen?" And then of course I jumped to all of the worse conclusions. My dentist assured me that it won't negatively affect my exposed roots or cause me any pain; of course, I'll still be nervous until I actually get the trays and know for sure that it doesn't cause me pain in that respect.

However, I got my updated Clin-Check today and so despite my nerves, I am also INCREDIBLY excited! They fixed up a couple things and I can't believe how straight my teeth will be when the treatment is done. I still plan on getting bonding done on my lateral incisors after treatment so that they're more snug against my front teeth and canines. But other than that, I couldn't be happier with what they'll look like by this time next year!

I'll add the new Clin-Check video, but it goes so fast that I also took screen shots of the first frame of the video (the BEFORE shot) and a screen shot of the last frame (what they'll look like AFTER treatment), so you guys can see the difference. :D I'll update next week once I get home from my appointment. Wish me luck!

So, yesterday was the big day! I spent the entire...

So, yesterday was the big day! I spent the entire night beforehand freaking out, crying, and basically working myself into a panic. A word of advice: if any of you reading this are like me, and tend to work yourself up like this, don't. Really, take it from me: I am bad with pain, and I was terrified going in to the Orthodontist's yesterday to get my attachments put on and my first set of trays. It was NOTHING compared to the horror I imagined. Here is a break down of what happened:
(1) I first sat back down with my Orthodontist and ran some of my questions by him, which he answered for me. (2) His helper (I apologize, I don't know what to call her) talked me through my fears and comforted me (I started tearing up lol). Then she walked me through what she was going to do, and what the tools were. She also gave me a mirror to watch the entire process. (3) Next, she used the tools to clean the 6 teeth that were having the attachments put on them. There was a set of trays specifically used for putting the attachments on my teeth; she filled them up with the stuff, put the trays on my mouth, and then used a blue light to harden them to my teeth. (We had to redo one tooth because the attachment didn't stay on the first time). (4) My orthodontist then came back over and used a tool to smooth the edges of the attachment. This was my least favourite part because the tool has a high-pitched drill sound; the sound of it is literally the worst part. (5) He then used a tool (that also had a drill sound to it) to clean away the residue left over on the tooth. On the tooth on my upper left side that had an attachment, we had to stop when he tried cleaning around my gumline, and move on. I was way too sensitive and the blast of air was painful. He said he will work on removing it in chunks over the next few months. The attachments themselves feel weird, obviously. When the trays aren't in, it definitely feels like you have random stuff sticking around in your mouth. Because of the placement of my upper attachments, I pretend that I just have fangs (like, vampire fangs) and turning it into something fun like that makes it less annoying when the trays are off. The ONE thing that is the worst about the attachments when the trays are out is that I have to bring my teeth together VERY carefully, or else they hit off of each other, and that doesn't feel pretty. The nice thing is, my fiance was sitting pretty close to me, and I had to point out where they were on my teeth, because he couldn't see them on his own.


Dr. Dagasso took out my first set of trays, and put them on my teeth. I was really scared for that inevitable "snap" onto the teeth, but it actually didn't hurt at all. It is UNDOUBTEDLY tight though; that was the biggest sensation I felt once he put them on. Then he said, "Okay, now do you want to try and get them off?" He warned me that, on the first try, most people tend to panic because it takes a few minutes per tray to remove it. While he talked, I calmly started working on the bottom tray. I kept myself really calm because I'd read so many stories regarding this moment, and watched so many videos, that I just felt like I kind of had a hold on the situation. I guess I did, because to all of our surprise, I was able to pop out the bottom tray, on my first try, in less than 10 seconds. It was kind of gross though - I pulled it out of my mouth and a big line of spit came with it and fell onto my chin. But I didn't care, I was wide-eyed and staring from the tray to my Ortho with a big smile. My fiance laughed and said, "That's attractive," but Dr. Dagasso said, "No, THAT'S the face of someone who's proud of themselves!"

Then I had to remove the top tray. Admittedly, this one was slightly more difficult because it wasn't as easy for my to get a good grip on. I stabbed myself in the gums with my nail at one point (so yeah, don't do that lol), but I was also able to remove it on my first try, and probably within about 15 seconds. My Ortho and his assistant was very surprised and they seemed impressed, lol. I guess a lot of their patients weren't so lucky on their first attempt. I pretty much figured out a system of removing them that works for me, and it's been easy to remove them ever since. (It's true, work from the back to the front; some people remove both back ends first, I pop off one side in the back and then work my way around the teeth to the other back end.)

He told me to try putting them back on after I successfully removed them, which he admitted was "much easier than taking them off, so it shouldn't be a problem." I popped them back in and worked them back on, and WOW, the pressure! To make it EVEN better (sarcasm), they got me some Chewies, which I chewed on for a while, to make the trays EVEN more snug against my teeth. They gave me a bag of them, along with just this first set of trays. They said they want me to get used to having these in before giving me my nest few sets. So I'll be wearing them for 2 and a half weeks before I go back in, which will fall on a Friday. This makes me very happy, since it'll then mean that I'll always be switching over my trays on Thursday nights (making Friday my first technical day with a new set); I have Fridays off from school, so it gives me the weekend to adjust to the tenderness and any soreness, and if I want to just lie in bed and sleep it off, I can. :) They also told me that if my teeth react really well to the trays, and I stick to wearing them for the appropriate time (minimum 22 hours a day), they might try to shorten each set of trays to 10 days, instead of 14. Even if they choose not to do this, 14 days a tray is still okay with be because...

I don't know how it happened, but now I'll have 18 trays (top and bottom) instead of 20, which shortens my treatment to 36 weeks, ending at the end of May, instead of into early July! I'm stoked for this because this means that I can have the attachments removed by MY Ortho (instead of a random dentist in Ottawa, as I'll be across the country from June until August for my wedding), and I can also go to my dentist and get the bonding I want done, and then I can go back to my Ortho and they'll make me a new tray in office that I can use as my retainer.

Now, the PROS and CONS:

PROS: Unless you're right up in my face, you legitimately can't notice that I'm wearing the trays. Also, as I just mentioned, I'm so happy to only have an 8 month treatment. Trust me, when you're wearing these and feeling sorry for yourself, just watch Youtube videos of people with metal braces, and read all of their comments. It definitely makes me appreciate Invisalign a lot more, haha. I also love being able to remove them to eat; it's just a nice feeling knowing I'm not "trapped" in the braces. That might have made me feel claustrophobic in a way. The teeth I was worried about - the ones with the exposed roots - so far are experiencing no pain due to the exposed roots.

CONS: I do have a tiny bit of a lisp, though I heard that goes away. My Ortho said it wasn't bad in comparison to other patients he's had, but to me it's pretty noticeable. Also, the first night (I can only speak for Night #1 since I haven't had Night #2 yet), there is a high chance you will wake up frequently and experience a fair share of discomfort. I didn't sleep very well last night, but I DID sleep at times, which is better than nothing. Also, I wouldn't recommend eating anything tough the first couple days; it'll just feel better on your teeth to eat softer foods while they're in pain. I also have the habit of clenching my teeth together, and it's VERY painful doing that at ALL with the trays in. I actually find I couldn't close my teeth properly yesterday. it was too painful and uncomfortable. Today, I can sit them gently on top of each other, but I still have to be careful chewing food, or bringing them together. The BIGGEST con is this: they are VERY sore for me today. Maybe this won't be the case for everyone, but I woke up this morning and they were incredibly tender. Namely my lateral incisors (the most crooked ones), my canines, and the teeth right next to them. I was told that the majority of the movement happens within the first 48 hours of wearing each tray, so that means that my teeth are in the midst of being moved at the moment. That means the pain is good news, because it's working. The bad news is obviously that the pain sucks. But my fiance is taking me for ice cream tonight, so hopefully that will soothe them a bit.

A big piece of advice is, live off of Ibuprofen for the first few days! I took two regular strength Ibuprofen before getting my trays, and have been taking them every 5 hours since. They do help; both the tooth pain AND headaches, which I have been getting. Overall though, I have changed my rating to "Worth it" because it wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting, and even though it hurts, and I have a tiny bit of a lisp, I know what is waiting at the end of the road, and I'm SO excited for it. In comparison with metal braces, 8 months of my life isn't that bad, and then (minus the retainer), I never have to have braces for the rest of my life (hopefully haha).

OH YEAH, prepare yourself, hygienically. I might have overdone it, but I went out and bought 4 tooth brushes (1 for me at home/1 to clean the trays at home, and 1 for me when I go out/1 to clean my tray when I go out), 2 things of floss (1 for home and 1 for going out), a new bottle of alcohol-free mouth wash, toothbrush trays to put my toothbrushes in for when I go out, and 2 new tubes of Sensodyne Pro-Namel toothpaste. As I said, it may be a bit much, but I like knowing I'm prepared.

Anyways, that's all I can think of for now. I posted a couple new photos, and I'll probably update again in a week or so, hopefully with good news (that the pain does go away after the first few days).

So it's been a few weeks since I last updated, so...

So it's been a few weeks since I last updated, so here it is. Next week will mark one month since I got Invisalign; one month practically down, only 7 months to go. If the rest go by as quickly as this one went, I'll be a happy camper. So I last left off on my second day of Invisalign, so I have some updates, and luckily it's all good news!

First of all, and pretty much any review will tell you this, but the initial pain only lasts a couple of days. My second night's sleep was a lot better than the first. My teeth were tender and sore for about two or three days after, so I stuck with soft foods for those days. (I tried chewing on some Skittles on my third day and that was semi-painful lol.) By the fourth day for sure, all tightness was gone and the trays already felt loose. Although I was one of the lucky ones who never found difficulty removing the trays at all, by the fourth day, those things were popping in and out with no struggle at all. I know some people have stated that they grow to prefer when the trays are tighter because the looseness annoys them. Having started my second set of trays last week, I can comment that personally, I like the tightness because it reminds me that work is being done to my teeth; however, the tightness isn't exactly comfortable and I prefer when they become looser, because not only do I know that there has been more movement, but they no longer hurt and they're much easier to take out and put back in.

Also, my lisp lasted on and off for the first week that I started with Invisalign, but it's completely gone now.

So anyways, I went last week to get more IPR work done and get my second, third, and fourth sets of trays. Because some of my teeth that required IPR work already had gaps, my Ortho was able to get the rest of my IPR done in about ten minutes, so I won't need anymore, unless I choose to get Refinements (which I would still like not to have). The IPR didn't hurt, the sound of the tools is the only scary part. I waited until that night to put in my second set of trays - and as others recommend, I also strongly suggest that that you wait until before bed to change your trays and take Advil or Ibuprofen beforehand - and I actually had a better turnaround time than I did with the first set of trays. I slept relatively well the night I put them in, and my teeth were only mildly sore the next day (Thursday). But by Friday, the trays were already loose and popping in and out with ease. So I'm happy about that.

A couple things I've noticed since having Invisalign:
1. I've lost 4 pounds in the last month. I don't say this in a bad way, but it's truth that lots of patients seem to have happen to them. The reason being because you become more picky about how much food you eat. I LOVE food, and I'd love to snack more often, but it's just NOT WORTH IT with these trays. A delicious snack that would take 30 seconds to eat requires 5-10 minutes of dental upkeep afterwards (for me anyways). Every time I finish eating, I have to clean the trays, floss, and then brush my teeth. For the little snacks, it's just not worth it.
2. It's improved my health - both dentally and otherwise. Of course, now I'm flossing and brushing my teeth 3-6 times a day, and rinsing with mouthwash twice a day. Additionally, since I don't drink anything but water while wearing my trays, I went from drinking hardly any water at all (NOT good for you) to a liter+ a day. Also, as I just mentioned, it's forced me to cut down on my snacking habits.
3. Even after my trays loosen up completely, some of my teeth are still tender when I eat tougher or crunchier things, as well as when I floss. I'm not concerned by this, however, as I know it's just a result of what the braces are currently doing to them.
4. I clean my trays and my mouth religiously now, there is a disgusting taste whenever I remove my top trays each morning. Again, not surprised by this, because this only occurs after I wake up from a night's sleep, when the majority of the bacteria builds up over the night. It's just not a pleasant taste, lol.
5. They are about 95% invisible. Even my buttons, which aren't on my front teeth but are still on noticeable teeth, can only be seen if you look at them from the side. But I have to bare my teeth up close for people to see that I'm wearing them.
6. My teeth are slowly getting whiter, thanks to the increase in dental upkeep, but they actually appear whiter when I wear the trays. In that respect, I enjoy wearing them.
7. You get so used to the thickness of the trays that when they are out, your teeth feel so thin and jagged; it's weird for sure. Lol.
8. My lips were initially INCREDIBLY chapped, to the point where I had to rely on lip chap every ten minutes or so. Now, I don't need it, although I do lick my lips more than I used to. Also, I notice that if I'm whispering, or reading quietly out loud to myself, I have to wipe the corners of my lips a lot, or suck back my saliva, because a lot of that gets in the way at times.

I have been so far doing very well as keeping the trays in my mouth for at least 22 hours a day, every day. There's only been one or two times where they've been out for maybe 3 hours or so, but I think I made up for that on other days, so it should be fine. My motivation for this is that, the closer I stick to the rules, the greater my chances are that my teeth will look at the end of treatment the way they appear in my revised Clin-Check. If they look like that, I will have no need for Refinements, because they will be exactly what I want.

Anyways, that's all I can think of for now. I'll update again in a couple weeks, when my third set is in. Right now, any movement that's happened is not noticeable, so it'd be pointless to upload photos. But I've mentioned to my friends and family many times that I'm amazed at how worked up I made myself and how scared I was before I got my braces. So far, this experience has been incredibly easy, and despite the little annoyances, if my whole treatment is like this, it would easily be the best experience I could hope for.

P.S. I've never personally had metal braces before; for other Invisalign patients who ALSO never had metal braces, whenever you're feeling down in the dumps about Invisalign - if treatment is ever rough on you - watch videos of people getting metal braces put on, or taken off, or having palate expanders put in. Even further, read the comments left under the video by people who's had braces. I know they made me appreciate Invisalign all the more and reminded me that Invisalign is tame compared to the experience of having train track braces.

I forgot to mention, something I find kind of...

I forgot to mention, something I find kind of humorous, is how many reviews I read where people discuss how uncomfortable they feel cleaning their teeth in public. I laugh every time and joke to my fiance that it's a good thing I have no shame! I have no problem removing the trays in busy public places (although I'll usually shield my mouth with my hand for the sake of anyone watching), and when I go to the washroom to put them back in, I pretty much set up camp and take over half of the counter space. LOL. People sometimes look at me like I'm gross, and I even had one girl ask me if I was homeless. I almost died laughing. I motioned to my trays and all of my dental stuff and said, "WHAT homeless person has braces and over $50 worth of dental tools?" I swear, common sense seems a rarity these days... Lmfao.

Switched to Tray 3 last night, and it's definitely...

Switched to Tray 3 last night, and it's definitely more aggressive than trays 1 or 2. Unlike the two previous sets of trays, I was unable to fit the new trays onto my teeth without help from my chewies. In the past, if I used the chewies, the trays were already fit over my teeth, and the chewies was just to fit the trays just a tad bit more snuggly (but didn't need much help). Last night, biting on the chewies was literally snapping the trays into place, that's how tight they were (I was unable to fit them onto my teeth myself). I had a previous headache so I took some Ibuprofen and then wound up falling asleep around 730pm. Unfortunately, I woke up around 1am pretty awake, and then slept poorly for the rest of the night, so I was aware of the tenderness of my teeth and the pain some of the teeth felt. BUT I think that's just because I went to bed so early and had difficulty falling back asleep, and had nothing to do with the trays themselves. They're been a tad difficult to remove today, but I'm still able to get them out on the first try - they just require a bit more tugging. I'm glad for the pain, because it means the trays are doing their job. I just look forward to them loosening up and the pain subsiding.

That's about it for now!

It's 2:07am on Saturday, November 3, and so I've...

It's 2:07am on Saturday, November 3, and so I've just gone over the 2-day mark for Tray#4. This tray was much easier than Tray #3, and much more like Tray #2. It was tight to put on but I was able to fit it to my teeth with little difficulty (whereas if you remember, Tray #3 could not fit on without having to bite the living crap out of the chewies). I did have trouble sleeping the first night though, as there was pain and discomfort that even Ibuprofen couldn't exactly help, but by the end of the first day, it felt fine. By the next morning, I was able to remove them with little resistance and my teeth aren't that tender anymore.

When I first got Trays 2-4, I looked at Tray #4 in comparison to #1, and at the time, I thought I saw a noticeable difference between the trays. Looking back on it, I'm not sure how much of that was true and how much of that was in my head because now that I'm actually ON Tray #4, I don't feel like my teeth have moved at all, haha. I know that they have because I feel how tight the trays are each time I switch to a new one, and I feel how they loosen up, which is supposed to mean that they've moved into their proper spots. But at the same time, I don't see or feel any changes. Well, in the last few days, I've thought, "It looks like there might have been a TINY bit of movement," but again, I feel like I might be just kidding myself because I so badly want to see changes. I am trying to remind myself that it's still very early on in my treatment - I still have 14 trays to go - but I've heard of cases where people's teeth just refuse to budge, no matter how faithfully they wear the trays. To be clear, I am continuing to wear them for at least 22 hours a day, sometimes more. I only remove them to eat, and once I finish eating, I run back into the washroom, clean them (and my teeth), and put them back in. I think my impatient side is just coming through and my worries that my teeth will refuse to move are taking over. It's hard though; the idea of going through 8 months of treatment to get NO results is terrifying. BUT again, I think I'm just being worried for nothing. I'm sure I will eventually start noticing bigger changes (fingers crossed). Worst case scenario, my next appointment is in two weeks and I can ask the Orthodontist, just so he can alleviate my fears. Lol.

On the down side, I have a dental checkup this upcoming Wednesday and I've been curious as to how they'll clean my teeth with these buttons on my mouth. The last time I went in, they had to be careful around my teeth with the exposed roots, and I know that wearing these will cause more root exposure over time, and I don't want the uncomfortable feeling to get worse (although in general, it's pretty much gone away with all the fluoride coverage it gets from all the brushing). I'm also 99% sure I have a big cavity in my back right molar (from before Invisalign) and I know I'll need that filled in. My dentist assures me that any cavity work wouldn't interfere with my trays, but I can't help but wonder if it will (by screwing up with the mold of the original tooth somehow, and then it won't fit properly over that tooth). Ugh.

On the plus side, my teeth have undoubtedly gotten whiter in the last month and I strongly believe that I no longer have gingivitis, which is awesome. I get the feeling that I've developed some OCD tendencies that will last with me even once treatment is over. Every time I eat, I get physically agitated because all I want to do is finish up, get to the nearest bathroom, and clean my teeth and put my trays back in. Tonight, I was eating wings at Boston Pizza and all I could think was, "MAN, I can't wait to floss." Lmao.

Forgot to mention that I added photos, though the...

Forgot to mention that I added photos, though the lighting, mixed with the crappy quality lighting my phone provides, make my teeth look yellow, and be assured, they certainly are NOT in real life.

Just a quick update: I mentioned last week that I...

Just a quick update: I mentioned last week that I had my dentist appointment this week and had some worries. Well, that was this morning. I don't have a cavity in the tooth I thought I did, but I do have some deep grooves that can LEAD to a cavity, so I'm going back in two weeks to have it cleaned out and filled in. That will be the only tricky business, I think; my dentist obviously told me to bring my trays (duh lol) so we can make sure they still fit properly after he does the filling. But other than that, the cleaning went VERY well today - my teeth are now in excellent health, and there was minimal build-up, and my gums are in a very healthy state (no more gingivitis, yay!). So I'm very happy about that :) Also, my teeth with minor gum recession and exposed roots were far less sensitive during this cleaning - so much brushing and flouride coverage seems to be helping.

So yeah, just a nice reminder that there are always positives to every experience - my teeth and gums are completely healthy now and that's a good thing, no matter what :)

So I'm two days into Tray #5, and doing fine. My...

So I'm two days into Tray #5, and doing fine. My upper top right teeth have been sore and achy since yesterday, which is a good thing cause my right canine is still working on being brought outwards. I was a little discouraged going into my Orthodontist appointment on Wednesday (when I would be getting my next set of trays); I was finishing up tray #4 and as silly as it sounds (contradicting my last update), I was comparing tray #4 to tray #1 and didn't really see any difference, nor did I see any change in my actual teeth. When I went into my appointment, I mentioned my worries to his assistant, and she showed me on the computer imaging of my teeth what teeth have moved and by how much since the beginning of my treatment. Specifically, my right canine and the teeth around it have made more movement than I thought; I was really surprised and said, "It doesn't look like it's moved that much!" and she said that it's a combination of the changes on the screen being smaller in reality than on the bigger computer screen, but mostly that they're so gradual that it's normal not to notice. But that brought me some hope.

Then Dr. Dagasso came over checked out my teeth and asked me to put in Tray #5, which I did (boy it was tight) and then used some Chewies to snug it down. He checked out how my teeth fit with the new trays and he was pleased, saying that they're moving just as he wants to see them move, and they're fitting well with the new tray. He originally wanted to give me trays 5 through 7, but then my next appointment would have fallen around Christmas, so he gave me tray #8 as well, and my next appointment is the first week of January. A bit of exciting news, is that according to Dr. Dagasso, my right lateral incisor (I think it was my right) should be almost completely finished turning outwards by the end of tray #8, which means by the end of those trays, I should be able to at least see noticeable changes when compared to my teeth before treatment. Even though he'd completed all my IPR work during my last visit, he noticed that the spaces between my later incisors and my canines was really tight (there was never IPR work stated to be done there), and he worried that the tight spaces would make it difficult for those teeth to move properly, so he performed a bit of sporadic IPR on those teeth, which I have to admit was the only time it was unpleasant. It hurt a tiny bit and I had to rinse my mouth afterwards cause it made my gums bleed (although it pleases me to know that they were bleeding because they were knicked and NOT due to them being unhealthy anymore lol), but the spaces there are definitely bigger now, so hopefully it won't be a problem for them to move now.

Anyways, when I got home, I had my first sort of breakdown since the night before I started treatment, lol. After Dr. Dagasso told me that by the end of Tray #8, one of my incisors would be finished turning (pretty much), I had high expectations for what tray #8 would look like in comparison to #4 (which was still in my mouth, as I don't switch my trays until night time). For the first ten minutes, I couldn't see a difference. It was really disheartening and I started crying from frustration. But my fiance sat with me and said that he definitely saw a difference and tried to point out exactly where different teeth were making progress, but in my impatience, I couldn't see what he was talking about. I think I was also really overwhelmed with my school semester too, so I just needed a cry. After I calmed down, I looked at them again and I can see a difference - I think I also set my expectations way too high because it was like I was expecting to see my teeth look perfectly straight or something, when the reality is that by tray #8, I'm still a tray away from only being HALFWAY done treatment, so there's still a lot more to be done.

So anyways, I switched to tray #5 that night, and it was really tight, but I have to admit that compared to trays 3 and 4, the initial pain for these trays was almost non-existent. Tray #3 was so aggressive that I felt the initial pain for days, where tray #4 wasn't as bad, but the initial pain kept me up for the first night. When I went to sleep the night I put in tray #5, I slept like a rock until I had to get up in the morning, and my teeth didn't even hurt until later on in the day. The only thing that hurt yesterday (aside from my upper top right teeth being achy and sore) was removing my top tray. It wasn't terrible, but it certainly did hurt when pulling them off the sore teeth. Today it hasn't been a problem though. And I have to say, yesterday and today, I have felt strangely calm and positive about the whole thing. Again, I don't want to jinx it, in case I'm just seeing things I want to see, but now when I look at my teeth, I do admit that overall there looks like SOMETHING has changed, even if I can't exactly pinpoint what it is.

I'm thinking I might not update again until after my next appointment in January, because my hope is that I will be able to update with new photos that will actually show some notable changes (keep your fingers crossed), and I'll have lots more to update on. So, having said that, I'll update again on January 7th :) Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year ;)

P.S. Does anyone know how to delete photos from our uploads? I want to remove the one that show my whole face but I don't know how lol

Wow, as if I haven't updated since, like, November...

Wow, as if I haven't updated since, like, November 16th. Sorry, guys! The longer I waited to update this thing, the less motivated I was to actually do it lol Well, I'm currently on tray 14 (top and bottom) out of 18. I had to wear trays 13 for about 5 days longer than usual, since my orthodontist's office was closed last week for spring break, but I went in this past Tuesday and got my last attachment put on (my right lateral incisor) and some extra IPR work done between the spaces on either side of my left lateral incisor (wasn't planned but we've been doing it the last few times I've been there, as the spaces have been tighter than planned, and we don't want it hindering the movement). Trays 14 were a bit tougher to put on initially than the others trays - the bottom one was surprisingly tricky, but the top one was harder with the new attachment. Taking them out the first time was also a pain in the ass lol But I still managed to do it in less than a minute.

I've been wearing them now for 3 days and about 90% of the tenderness is gone. For the first two days, several of my targeted teeth (with attachments) were SUPER sore when removing the trays, and I had to eat soft things. But when I had the trays in, there was barely any discomfort.

I only have 4 more trays left (15, 16, 17, and 18) and to be honest, I'm not 100% sure if my lateral incisors are going to be COMPLETELY straight by that point; my left one in particular still has a tiny bit of straightening out to do, and my right one now needs to be pulled down by the attachment. But my Ortho says that they're where they should be, so I suppose I can be surprised by these next 4 trays lol I know that regardless, when I'm done I'll need bonding anyways (after whitening them) to even out the shape of all my teeth, as the length of some of them doesn't match then length of others, so really, as long as they're BASICALLY straight, I think I'll be happy with them. I haven't yet decided if I'll go for refinement trays, if Dr. Dagasso even thinks I need them. Who knows. It wouldn't be the end of the world; I know for sure I wouldn't have much to do so I doubt I'd have to wear them for THAT long.

Dr. Dagasso is always very happy with my progress every time I go in. He always comments on how my teeth are exactly where they should be at that point (sometimes even a bit better than he'd expected), and the last time I went in, he joked about how I should write a pamphlet on how to wear your trays correctly, since clearly I'm doing something right since my results are - I guess - better than some of the other patients he's seen.

For the longest time, I didn't see any changes in my teeth and was convinced it wasn't working. I knew in then last couple of months that we teeth were much better than they had originally been, but it wasn't until I came back on here a couple of days ago and re-looked at the photos I put up here from before treatment began. YIKES! What a trainwreck compared to now - and THAT'S when I realized exactly how far my teeth have come in the last 7 months. I look forward to when they is all done and I can whiten my teeth and bond them; hopefully they'll look twice as nice as they do now. :)

Whoops, on the last two pics, it's meant to say...

Whoops, on the last two pics, it's meant to say "Tray 14/18" NOT "Tray 14/16"
Dr. Dan Dagasso

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 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
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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