37 y/o Aussie Female. Straightening crooked teeth again. Have root resorption from braces as a teen. Melbourne, AUS

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*Treatment results may vary

So I have finally taken the plunge to straighten...

So I have finally taken the plunge to straighten my teeth once and for all. I had braces when I was a young teenager. I went to an Orthodontist in a large country town. My first experience wasn’t great. He told me I had to have 4 (good) permanent teeth removed as my mouth was too small for all my teeth! After the braces eventually came off after 2 and a half years, he only gave me a plate to wear on the top because “generally you don’t need one for the lowers”. Boy was he wrong. Within a few months my lower front teeth had started to move back towards their home. Anyway, to cut a long story short, he gave me some contraption to wear over my 4 front teeth that looked like pink bubble gum and I gave up wearing that after a couple of months as I was embarrassed to wear it and high school was already a difficult place to be without adding extra stress to it. I also didn’t want to go back into braces, so never got that rectified. My wisdom teeth came through as an adult and filled the space that had been created from braces and my 4 missing teeth so now my lower teeth have moved back pretty much into their original position. So years later, here I am, taking the plunge to straighten my teeth once and for all!

My trip to the Orthodontist went really well. I was shocked to know that I could get Invisalign and even more SHOCKED when they told me I wouldn’t have to have any teeth out!! (I really should sue my old Ortho). Got my teeth scanned and after a 1 month trip away in South East Asia, I am back to commence my Invisalign journey.

On day one I went to the Ortho to pick up my first set of trays and get my attachments. I have 14 in total. Only one is really visible (well to me anyway) which is located on one of my upper canines. I have 28 trays in total! Phew, this is going to be a long journey. I also had my first teeth shaving done between the lower 2 front teeth. Sounded horrible but didn't hurt at all. I have more of that to come in the future.

The first few days it didn’t really hurt that much. Slightly tender but I could still eat regular food which surprised me. Taking them out the first time at home was harder than when I had practiced at the Ortho. Took me about 10 minutes and I managed to somehow get my bottom lip stuck under the sides of the aligner so had 2 cuts either side of my lip! I wasn’t going to make that mistake again! I have learnt which direction to take them off based on where the attachments are and have pretty much got the knack of it now. The only real issue I have now is that the lower tray does not sit as snug on my teeth as the top one does. You can see a very small gap above the front 4 teeth, yet its snug around the molars. Does anyone else have this issue? I called the Ortho on the second day worried that I wasn’t putting them in properly or maybe the attachments are slightly in the wrong place. They just said keep going with the chewie which I have been but it’s still not rectified it. I will be speaking to the Ortho when I see them in 5 weeks time. I also want to see how I go with the 2nd tray to see if it’s the same.

Wearing the aligners at work hasn’t really been an issue. My first day I was a bit lispy but that has nearly gone away as I guess my mouth is getting used to them. No one notices them unless I tell them I have Invisalign and the majority say “Invisa-who?”. Oh you with your perfect teeth! Why would you know what that is! Brushing my teeth in the bathroom is quite funny. I am having a lot of conversations with the ladies on the floor when they come to use the bathroom and I’m standing at the sink. They are starting to get used to seeing me in there every lunch brushing and flossing.

So wearing them for minimum 22 hours a day has been OK but I have been cutting things out of my daily routine. Only 1 coffee a day in the morning with breakfast and that is chugged down really quickly! No more snacks between meals. And no more sipping on wine all evening!

To do this I feel you have to be disciplined. I am trying to stick with the 22 hours a day rule so that I don’t make my journey any longer than it has to be. I’m also really glad I delayed my treatment until after I got back from my holiday in Asia, that would have been an utter nightmare! You can’t drink the water over there and in some places the bathrooms are less than hygienic. I also wouldn’t have had as good of a time being restricted to only being able to eat and drink 2 hours out of every day!

I’m looking forward to tray 2. I’m sure this one won’t be as easy or as nice to me as tray 1, but here’s hoping.

More pics of day 1 of treatment

More pics from day 1

Tray 2 week 1

Putting tray 2 in I could feel it was a much tighter fit than the first which was good. However not too much pain in the first few days. So happy days for me again on this tray.

Tray 2 has a funny indent on my top front tooth which I am not too happy about because I think its quite visible. I’m wondering if this is to try to pull down the tooth that is a little shorter than the other one. I’ve attached photos so you can see what it looks like. Has anyone else had this on their aligners?

I also seem to be having the whole gap thing on the lower with these 2nd trays. I have been biting down on the chewie so much since they told me to keep at it my jaw is starting to ache! If tray 3 is the same I will definitely bring this up at my next ortho visit.

I’ve been reading lots of other reviews and notice a LOT of people having issues with the trays and attachments hurting their gums and inside of their mouths. I have not had this issue at all. I haven’t had to file any of my trays so far. Is it because of the high price I am paying for my treatment with a Diamond provider ortho? I have no issues with the attachments. The ortho buffed them down after they were attached so this is obviously why. I think I am either very lucky or I have a very good ortho.

Not much else to add. Everything is going OK apart from the fact that I miss drinking coffee and red wine as much as I used to and having to so quickly brush after eating! It’s no fun.

Tray 3 Week 1 and picture of X Ray showing root resorption

Tray 3 has been pretty much uneventful so far. Again, it was tight the first few days but not painful at all. I could eat normally again, no worries. Only change I notice is the gaps between my front lower teeth are getting bigger.
I wanted to share with you my x-ray (I forgot to mention all of this in my first post), because I discovered when I went for my initial consult that 4 teeth had shortened roots. They call this root resorption. The internet says that around 3% of people who have orthodontic treatment have obvious root shortening. Because of this, my ortho suggested that Invisalign would be a safer option than braces as they can move the teeth more slowly and gently. Now this makes me wonder is this the reason I am not feeling much pain? Are they really going slow with my treatment? I am pretty worried that my roots will shorten even more and sometimes question whether I am doing the right thing. Has anyone gone through this or currently going through this and is everything going OK?

Tray 4

Tray 4 went in without any issues and again, really no pain, just a bit of tightness. I can see a little change with a gap between my lower lateral and central incisor (I had to google that!). And it looks like my lower central incisor, which is my most crooked tooth, is a bit worse off but I know that’s because they are making room to move my crooked teeth into position and I know it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

I had my ortho check up at the end of tray 3. Everything is tracking really well and I picked up trays 4 to 9. I asked my ortho if she has treated patients who also have had root resorption and she said she had a few and everything was fine with Invisalign and which is why she recommended Invisalign for me. That makes me feel a lot better! I am now allowed to change trays every 10 days which means I will be on tray 5 tomorrow night! This will shave off 3 months of my treatment which puts me at June next year when tray 28 goes in.

Time is going quite quickly which is great. I am really getting used to wearing Invisalign. I still hate only having my 1 morning coffee but I now make it a double and drink it out of a pint glass! LOL. I also miss drinking red wine but lucky it’s nearly summer so white wine is ok. I drink white wine, vodka/soda and beer with my trays in, I just drink sips of water as well and make sure I clean my teeth afterwards.

Tray 5

Treatment is still going well in terms of really no pain, however my teeth are more crooked than ever before! The bottom teeth are moving outwards and even my hubby said to me “I’ve never seen your teeth so crooked before”! The gap between my lower lateral and central incisor continues to get bigger to make room for the tooth next to it to come into alignment. Oh well, hopefully they will improve soon.

Thought I would share my cleaning regime with you.
In the morning I just either take them out for breakfast and give them a quick rinse under the tap or I put them in a glass with 50:50 white vinegar and water. After breakfast I clean, floss and clean my aligners using a baby toothbrush and running water or sometimes I use antibacterial hand soap.
For lunch again, I take them out in the bathroom and give them a quick rinse under the tap with cold water before placing in my case. After eating, again, I brush, floss and clean my aligners using a baby toothbrush and running water.
In the evening, the only difference here to my morning clean is while I’m cleaning my teeth I have my aligners in a glass and drop a Steradent Express denture cleansing tablet in the glass with cold water. After brushing and flossing which generally takes around 3 minutes I then take the aligners out of the glass and give them a good brush with my baby toothbrush to remove the steradent. I know that Invisalign say not to use denture cleaner, but I wanted to see if I could find a cheap way of keeping my aligners clean. So what I did was test Steradent on one of my older trays and I couldn’t believe how clean they came out, even though they had been sitting in their bag for weeks! I have now been using Steradent evey day on tray 5 and the trays are cleaner than ever and nothing has happened to the aligner other than staying remarkably clean. The instructions say to use warm water but I only use cold and it still works. Maybe this is why Invisalign say not to use denture cleaners, because of the use of warm water. Anyway, for $8.45 for a pack of 48 tablets from Woolworths I think this is a bargain and will continue to use them. I’ve posted a pic of the box for you.

Tray 6 - 11

It's been a while since I updated my progress! Christmas and New Years has been and gone and survived that no worries. Progress has been steady. No issues and I think everything is tracking to plan. Ortho appointment saw me pick up trays 6 to 16. Had more IPR done and apparently more to come at my next appointment. Sigh. Still changing trays every 10 days. Tray 12 come off tomorrow and onto number 13. Yay!

Tray 12 - 21!

Again I've been really slack in updating on here but I have been taking photos of my progress. Everything has been going great guns and Invisalign has become the new norm. Although I am itching for the process to be over and I am getting close to the end of round one, I know there is another round to go before I will have perfectly straight teeth.

I'm finishing the end of tray 21 and it seems like when I first started I would never get there but here I am with only 4 more trays to go! That's right, my Ortho said they were going to ditch the last 3 which mean toward the end of next month I get my attachments off and we consult on next steps. I'm certain there will be refinements in my future but I don't think it will be that much, fingers crossed!

Every appointment I have had to have IPR or as the last girl called it 'sand papering'. I was like "thank you for calling it what it is! Let's just be honest about it!". Oh how we laughed. Not really. I just giggled.

I'm super happy with my progress and how quickly it has all gone. I'm just looking forward to getting through the last 4 trays and seeing what refinements hold.

I hope everyone else is having as good a journey as I have.
Dr Sarah Lawrence

Very friendly. Staff are fantastic and explain every procedure they are doing.

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