Invisalign Newbie

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I have been wanting invisalign for over 5 years...

I have been wanting invisalign for over 5 years now. I had braces when I was a teenager but stopped wearing my retainer and my teeth def shifted back. It honestly took a drunk looking at my teeth, proclaiming that they are "at least white" that finally made me take the plunge.

First off, I am very lucky. My dentist, who is amazing, said I am eligible for the express Invisalign. This means I'm allowed up to 20 trays and it will cost me no more than $2500. We can do more if they're needed but that will cost more. The clincheck they did showed perfect results so we will see where we are at after the first ten trays.

I got my first tray in yesterday. The worst part of the whole experience was the trimming of the buttons they had to do (softening the edges and making sure they aren't sharp) This wasn't even that bad until they got to one of my back teeth and it was painful enough for me to jerk away. This was NOT the fault of invisalign or the dentist. Due to hard brushing and grinding my teeth, that part of my gum has receded and is just starting to show the root. After my dentist took a piece of cotton and placed it over the exposed part, it went much smoother. Still a little painful but no where near as severe. I will probably have to do some bonding to cover that up and she admitted that we might want to numb that when the buttons have to come off. Again, I do not consider this an issue with invisalign but my own fault for brushing my teeth too hard.

Putting the trays in and taking them out for the first time is interesting. I didn't struggle very much but when they say these trays are snug, believe me, they are snug. Best recommendation is to let your fingernails grow a little so you can slip them under the edges. Second day in and I am getting better but its still a learning experience. Bottom trays are harder for me to remove then my upper ones.

I did feel pressure when they first got in. I consider this a good thing since it tells me they're doing their job. I was actually able to go out and have steak and steamed broccoli for dinner that night because the soreness honestly was not that severe. However putting them back in wasn't exactly a fun filled time either.

Now I am on the second day and def experiencing the pain I remember with braces. I believe I have a pretty decent tolerance for pain but putting these back in after brushing my teeth, coffee and breakfast was a bit wince worthy. My dentist was very thorough in explaining how to get them to seat right. What I have to do is put them back on but then he recommended pushing firmly up on them to make sure they fit. This was the worst part and caused some slight pulsating but when I do this, it helps make them even less noticeable because there isn't so much of a "drop" as he calls it, at the bottom of my teeth.

I did time it though and it took about three mins for my teeth to not ache as much once the liners were back in. Far more tolerable. This pain will make me hesitate before snacking because it just won't be worth it :)

Regarding the pain though. It was expected. I had it with braces and knew it was coming with these. You're teeth are being moved. Of course it's going to hurt. I am still excited over Invisalign and, so far, no one has noticed. I purposely didn't tell more then three people I was getting this done and even one of the people I told didn't even notice. I am anxious to see if anyone else does.

Lastly, the speech impediment. Yes, it does affect it slightly, and I mean slightly. My sister (the one I told I was doing this) didn't even notice when we spoke on the phone for 20 minutes. I think its something I actually notice more because I have them in but I don't think others will. We shall see on that front :)

Day Three

Day three and I can admit I've had some moments where the pressure and achiness of my teeth have gotten to me a bit. Not enough for me to take them out but def a slight annoyance. It's all to be expected however and I'm still very very happy with them. I am ready for the soreness to be done. I think that's my own impatience because I recall that, with braces, my teeth were sore for about a week and here we are day three and I didn't have to take any aspirin.

On the other plus side, with braces, I was regulated to soft food but with Invisalign, I have been able to eat hard, crunchy foods from day one. The worst part is biting into a sandwich but once that food moves to my back teeth I am a happy chewer :)

I do have something to admit. I love tea. Have about three cups a day. Green tea, detox tea, fruit teas, you name it, I love it. It was extremely annoying to take out the liners, brush them, then my teeth every time I wanted a cup. So what I am doing instead is using a straw. I stick it to the back of my mouth and sip my tea making sure none of it hits my teeth. I'm going to talk to my dentist to see if this is absolutely horrible but as long as nothing is hitting my teeth, I don't see how it can be. I am flossing anytime I eat solid food, brushing and swishing my mouth out with Listerine. I feel like my mouth is sparkling let me tell you. It doesn't even bother me to do this except when it comes to my tea :)

Is anyone else using a straw?

Pics coming soon

I have pics of before and after coming soon. They're all on my phone :)

Cleaning Liners

I've been reading a lot on how people are keeping their liners cleaned and wanted to share what y dentist advised. He went over all of the liner cleaners that invisalign suggested and whatnot but said, when it comes down to it, a mild dish soap and a baby toothbrush works fine. So that's what I'm doing. I bough dish soap made specifically for baby bottles (Palmolive I think) so it's very gentle. So far so good.

Nearing 1 Week

Well tomorrow I will hit my one week and everything is improving on a daily basis. It still is tender to bite down into a sandwich but that is finally lessening. I am worried I will have to go through the same pain with every liner I put in but I have read tons of reviews that say its worse in the beginning so I am hopeful.

Popping these things in has become a breeze. I can no do it one handed :) Getting them out is still a bit of a struggle but I am learning that the buttons are not coming off and these little plastic liners are fairly sturdy.

I went out for the first time on Saturday. I am still trying to be incredibly cautious about these being out for so long. I think its best to allow yourself a certain amount of drinks. What I did was clean my liners before going out, had dinner and a beer. That way all I had to do was brush my teeth and slap those bad boys in. I have to admit that I did take a few sips of a martini at a Jazz club but simply rinsed out the liners and popped them back in. Gave them a good scrubbing (and my teeth!) when I got home.

I still am fighting some self consciousness. Even tho I have not been asked once about them I feel like there's a neon sign pointing at my glossy plastic covered teeth :) I think this is more an internal battle then anything else.


Finally got the photos off my phone :) Here's my teeth before and after invasalign. Sorry the pics aren't the greatest. My camera kinda sucks :)

Also posted one of my normal smile (which I hate) Will continue to post more!

Don't cut your nails

Seriously - don't cut them. I trimmed mine down because I prefer them short. Taking the liners out, especially the bottom ones, was not fun. The plastic cut into the skin under my nail and it was def more difficult to get the liner out because of it. So yeah, don't trim your nails.

Confession Time

My invisalign got noticed last week by (of course) the most obnoxious person I work with. She couldn't see them at all but I looked down at a card she was showing me and, bam, she proclaimed "Are you wearing braces?!?!?!" She is actually very sweet but has absolutely no edit button so needless to say, the secret is out :) She did say that the only way she knew was because she saw an "edge" on my teeth when I looked down.

Honestly, I think people see something is different with my teeth especially when I get close to them. I get some weird looks but nobody (except) my coworker asks. These are still infinitely more preferable to braces. If I hadn't had those in highschool, I think this experience would be a bit more difficult to adjust too.

Confesstion #2
I was out of town last weekend. We went out to the bars to hang out for some time and I kept the liners out the entire duration so I could drink whenever I want and not have to brush them or my teeth in a nasty bathroom. Total time was 6 hours. I don't feel too bad about this since these liners have been in for the required 22 hours every day except Saturday when they were only in for 18. Plus I did it at the end of my two week time frame. Putting them back in didn't hurt a bit. They popped back in with no problem and there has been no pain so I think i'm ok. Probably won't be doing it again for quite some time but 6 hours is a bit cringeworthy.

I get my second liner tonight and feel a little strange that i'm excited about it :) My favorite thing about these liners is that I can see the progress I will make in each liner. By my third, my teeth are def 1/2 there to getting straight :) Worried the pain will be as extreme as it was with my first liner but we will see.

What a relief! - 2nd Liners

They don't hurt!! They're tight and things are slightly tender but no where near as bad as the first liners. I popped them in last night like so many people suggest here so I could sleep through the pain. On a scale from one to ten, we are looking at a 1 maybe 2 here. Big relief on that one!

Kid tested

I believe if anyone is going to be able to notice these and point them out, it would be kids. I was with a whole pack of 8 year old boys and not one looked at me funny or asked what the hell was on my teeth. So, that went a long way with my confidence.

I don't know if this is just me but my lips are constantly chapped with these things in. I have no idea if that's Invisalign or what but i'm constantly applying chapstick. So far I haven't had any of the canker sores or rough spots on my tongue, lips or cheeks but I do get some loose skin on the inner part of my lips that needs to be peeled off. Sorry - sounds gross and it kinda is but its more of an annoyance then anything.

Another update is on talking. I work in customer service so I am constantly talking. On the phone, in person, you get the picture. I find that the more I talk, the drier my mouth gets and the easier it is for me to lisp. When I'm able to be quiet, I don't have an issue with dry mouth. I don't know if there's anything to suggest other then drinking a ton of water and speak a little slower.

Finally, anyone else notice their bite is off when the trays are out? I have TMJ and wonder if that's what's causing it or if it's the liners changing my bite . . .

Liner 2 - Pics

Finally got these up. These were taken the first night I popped in the liners. I have fully adjusted to having the liners in my mouth. I wasn't as quick as some people but, at night especially, I actually forget they're on then go through a mini freak out moment that my dog got them or something :)

Daily Routine w/ Invisalign

I read on some other reviews what a person goes through with Invisalign and thought, hey that's a good idea, why not share mine :)

First off, to all the men, I tip my proverbial hat to you. I do not know how you do it without a purse :) I have on me, at all times, my teeth kit (as I call it) that includes a toothbrush, full bottle of toothpaste (you will go through this like crazy) floss and my container for the liners. At work and at home I keep bottles of Listerine as well but there's no way I'm lugging that around. What I have is enough! I keep my teeth kit in a 31 cosmetic bag so its at least cute. I think if I were a guy I'd have a teeth kit stashed in my car, at work, at home and maybe at my best friends house (in a much more manly ziplock bag of course. lol) So, basically what I'm saying is, think about the stuff you will need easy access to throughout the day and where you want to keep it. In this, I think women have it easier but could be wrong :)

I am not a morning person. At all. I value sleep and any person who wakes up perky needs to share the drugs. Anyways, I tend to sleep in as late as possible then pop out of my bed like a ninja and dash to work within 15 mins (I do everything, shower, hair etc the night before) it's a bad habit, I know, but despite many efforts I can't break it.

Because of this, I always head straight for the coffee machine at work. Not human until I have that shot of caffeine so, admission time, I don't do the morning brush until after I've had my coffee at work (hello teeth kit)

I've read a lot about people soaking their liners, keeping them wet, yada yada. I honestly don't. Maybe I should but when I first take them off in the morning (which is the worst time in my opinion) I run them under water and stick them in my case while I enjoy my cup of joe. Then I brush teeth as well as my liners and then gargle with Listerine.

Throughout the day, I follow a few very simply rules.
1. Do not drink anything but water with the liners in.
* I do drink tea with a straw but have gotten to the point where that still bugs me so to my teeth kit I go nearly every time.
2. If all I do is drink coffee or tea, I merely brush my teeth and swish with Listerine
3. When I eat actually food, I brush teeth and liners, floss (I have become an expert at flossing) and swish with Listerine.
*The Listerine part doesn't happen unless I'm at work or home where I have access to it.

Usually I'm done eating at 5PM and go through the whole #3 routine. At night, I will brush my teeth one more time (because it's just icky to me not to do this before bed) as well as brush the liners with my mild dish soap. Sometimes I swish, sometimes I don't. Depends on my mood.

The one thing to accept is the amount of brushing and flossing you will do with Invisalign. It really makes you think about when you eat, are you really hungry or just reaching for a snack just because your body is programmed to. I call myself a Hobbit because I eat a little something almost every other hour in the morning instead of one huge breakfast. Invasalign has def changed this.

So, is all of this annoying. It actually isn't. It's just different. You will actually adapt to this routine fairly quickly and it will feel weird and somewhat gross NOT to brush your teeth after you eat. The big benefit to all of this, for me, is that it forces me to floss which I have not been the best at. With flossing at least three times a day if not more, I am curious to see what my dentist will say. I better get rave reviews!

With that said, I can also admit there are times when it's annoying and this usually involves company. When I go out with friends for drinks, it's annoying because you kinda have to plan the night on how many drinks you're going to allow yourself. I had a friend over last weekend and we had ourselves a pinterest night where we made a bunch of recipes from Pinterest. It drove me nuts not to be able to pick at the food all day and the liners got taken out a lot, brushed and put back in a lot that day.

So there it is, the good and the bad with Invisalign. I hesitate even saying bad because all of this promotes a very healthy oral regiment and for that I am actually thankful for and hopefully it will stick when the I am done with this. I will take pics of my liners when I move on to my third tray and show you what they look like compared to the new one.

Comparison Update

I took a pic of my teeth today without the liners in and did a comparison to what they looked before invisalign. Maybe its just me but I see change already which is really exciting to see!!

Beginning issues
My teeth, on the clincheck, showed as if they were slightly concaved. I have almost a V shaped mouth so the Invisalign showed this being expanded to give me more room. I can already tell that there has been some movement with this issue.

Vampire canines and crowding on my upper left. This seems improved as well. They seem not as severe and the other teeth (sorry don't know the names) don't seem as pushed back as when I first started.

Anyways, this was pretty helpful to see since I do not have a copy of my clincheck and it's encouraging to see improvement. Again, I am on the Invisalign Express so that could be a very good reason why I see some improvement already. Then again, maybe its all in my head :)

Oh, and because I am a colossal dork, I also snapped a pic of my teeth kit.

3rd Liners

These are a little more painful then the 2nd liners but we're still at a 2 on a scale from 1 to 10. They're tight and you can tell my teeth need to be moved into the position of the liners but the pain is minimal and only felt when I push up on them to get them to seat right. To date, nothing has come close to the pain I had with the first liners.

Got some new pics updated. I took them at night so my teeth look dingy and do not ask me why the top of the liners are blue on my teeth. I think my cameraflash did that.

I also took a pic of what my first three liners look like, the third being fresh out of the package. The first set, I drank tea with a straw and think those look the worse. The second I brushed practically every time I drank or ate anything. You're also going to see how my mouth is basically shaped like a V :)

I keep going back and forth on whether I'm seeing change or not. The last comparison I did, I thought there was some movement, but now not so sure. It could be my mood. I'm anxious for my dentist apt which is coming up in may to see what he says about my progress.

3rd Liners Update

So half way through my first day with these and I'm bumping the pain level up to a 3 or 4. My bottom teeth def feeling this liner and chewing on some pistachio's caused a little bit of achiness. So, still not as painful as the first liner (yet) but not as easy as the second one. We will see what tomorrow brings.

3rd Liners - 2nd Day Update

Pain is dissipating but still present. However, it is only noticeable on the teeth being moved. I have a bottom tooth that pokes out a bit and that one is sore so I know its getting pushed back into place :) My top left canine is also a little sore so hopefully that's getting moved as well. I see this all as a good sign that these liners are doing their job

End of 3rd Liners

This is me Saturday night without the liners in. Close enough to the end for me to say it's the end of my 3rd trays. I think there is some slight difference on the right side but the left is still crowded and vampirey :) I am beginning to learn that these things take some major patience and I am falling a bit short. I want to see results NOW! lol

End of 3rd Liners - Update

So I posted the wrong pic yesterday and you can't really see my teeth :) Here's a close up of what they look like at the end of the 3rd liners. I also went ahead and did another comparison of my teeth now and my teeth before Invisalign. Cringing over how yellow they look but that's what bar lighting does to you :)

4th Liners + Dentist Visit

Just got back from my dentist and my first followup since getting the Invisalign. Even though I'm not seeing a difference he was pleased with where everything was at so I guess we're doing good :) It was a quick visit. He stuck his little mirror in there, checked my bite all the way around and popped the 4th liners in and made sure everything was good. Next appointment, I'm going to have to get 1 spacer (I think) on the left side of my mouth where the crowding is the worst. He had forwarned me in the beginning so I was expecting it tho I am a bit surprised it's happening more towards the end (on my 7th liner) and not the beginning.

Regarding the 4th liners - nothing new to report here. They're tight and make my teeth a little sore as usual but not bad. Remember - pain means they're working. Pretty cool to see where I'll be at with the 6th liner AND to know that I'm almost 1/2 way to the end. I miss being able to eat whenever I want :)

Spacers - Explanation

My dentist is a perfectionist and very open about what is all involved with this Invisalign process. Not once has there been anything that has surprised me or wasn't explained in full detail. He told me, from the get go, that most of his Invisaligners do require a spacer or more to get the teeth to shift into the right position. Now, invisalign did not say I would need one in my clincheck but he knows what I want as an end result and says one will be needed on the left side where it's mostly crowded.

This is my understanding of what a spacer will do. Putting a spacer in will basically give my teeth a little bit more room to get into their proper place in the overly crowded area (left side). Perhaps I wouldn't need one if I wasn't doing Express (a question to ask with next visit) and more trays would eventually fix the problem. If a spacer means I am done with this process with 10 trays then by all means, put that sucker in. It looks like a small rubber band they are going to put between the teeth that need some room to move. I am assuming it will blend in like everything else with Invisalign but forgot to ask this during yesterday's visit.

If you want to see what they look like, you can google it and look at some photos. Honestly, even if it was that glaringly obvious blue, I'll be ok with it since it'll be for three more trays and that's it. I will def take pics once I get it in so you can see what it looks like. Hope this all made sense! I have the next three trays to go through before I get one in.

End of 4th Liners

So - new rule of thumb. No more taking pics of teeth in yellow light. They look dingy!

Anyways . . . . end of 4th liner today! Here's the comparison from before I had invisalign. I think the changes that are happening are with my molars and def with my front bottom tooth getting pushed back in. I don't know if you can tell but my teeth all had this concaved look to them in the back and it def seems wider. I am most anxious to see some change on the left side for sure but that's probably going to take the longest.

That said I am excited that I am officially 1/2 way through this process. My dentist did say I might need some refinement liners depending on how my bite is but we won't know until the 10th tray is up. 5 more to go!

Cookouts, Socializing and Random Venting :)

Three months in - a measly 3 months in - and I am having to dig deep for my extra vat of patience. It ran thin this weekend when we had a pool party at my sisters and the previous weekend during a cookout. Honestly, it just sucks to not be able to pick at the food or drink a beer whenever you want. Instead it all has to be timed and it all has to be done around the same time. You can't lounge around in the pool with a margarita an hour after eating and brushing your teeth. Well you CAN but you have to go through the whole regime if you do and honestly, its not worth it. I worry I am brushing my teeth too much which could do damage on your enamel (I think) so yeah, eating and drinking is all timed and done at the same time.

Trying to stay positive especially since I am almost done. I am constantly telling myself that the majority of people have to have these in waaaaaay longer then I do but honestly . . . . . these just suck sometimes. And it doesn't help that the changes I want to see the most are taking forever!

Ok - my two year old temper tantrum is now over :) Just had to get that out to people who understand. I'll be back to positive Polly tomorrow . . . maybe :)

End of 5th Liners & some thanks

I cannot express how great this website is. The support here is just fantastic. I would encourage anyone reading to go ahead and start your own story so when you do have a week or two where you struggle as I have, you can get it all out here and no one will judge. You will get the understanding and encouragement you need to keep going :)
I am at the end of my fifth liners and have the comparison photos. I also dug up a photo of my natural smile a couple months before Invisalign which is clearer than the one I had originally posted of my smile before Invisalign. Think it's pretty obvious where the most crowded area is and that is where I am chomping at the bit to see improvement. This is the area my dentist said I will need the spacer which I should be getting in 2 weeks. Been awhile since I’ve posted what my teeth look like in the liner so here’s another pic to look at ?
It’s so helpful to do these comparisons especially when the frustration level is high. Even though its difficult to see the changes, they’re there and I would encourage anyone starting out on this process to take a bunch of before photos. I did not take enough nor did I even think to get my smile at different angles but live and learn and all that ?

End of 6th Liners & "spacer" clarification

End of the 6th liners. Have 4 more to go. The dentist said I will have an additional 10 refinement liners if these next four don't do what I want them to do. It's all included in the $2500 I initially paid and I only need to use as many as needed until I am happy. I discovered this after asking him about the upper left teeth which is where I would really like to see some movement. I know it's there but I want more :)

He is very happy with where I am at. He mentioned that some don't follow the clincheck as closely but mine is pretty much spot on. So, if he's happy, I am happy.

Now onto the part I'm not so sure on. Spacers. To be clear I was dead wrong when I explained what they were. I thought they were something similar to what I had when I had braces. Incorrect. what he apparently meant with the term spacers is filing between my teeth for some room. Have to say, this is the first time I was surprised by anything in this process and the term spacers is a bit misleading. when it comes to filing my teeth I am admittedly nervous. I mean, its my teeth for pete's sake and that stuff doesn't grow back. I guess the lesson in all of this is to ask questions. Even if it's annoying, ask them anyways. I did let him do what he needed to do because he only did it to three teeth and it was very little. Makes for some easier flossing I will say that :)

I did compare my 10th liner to my first liner and wow - the difference is something :) May just be me, but it helps to see the progress that has made all this work and hassle worth it. I am so freaking glad I'm on my last lineup of liners and am throwing up all kinds of hail Mary's that I'll be happy with how things are on that 10th liner. I know I've got more to do if they're needed but I am ready to be done :)

Normal Smile Update

Here's an updated pic of my normal smile that was taken this past Saturday. The major difference that I see (and am loving) is that you can see more of my molars since they've been straightened out which makes my smile wider. I am not hating my smile as much as I used to which is awesome. I think what everyone has been saying is starting to happen. Tray 7 and the results are becoming more and more noticeable :)

End of 7th Liners

Last day on my 7th liners :) Nothing new to report really. Here's some comparison pics.

8th Liners

One word. Ow :)

These so far are hurting the worst since the first and third liners. May actually be taking some aspirin for this liner. However, the pain if focused on my front upper teeth which I am ok with because that means those teeth are moving.

Being on the 8th liner and so close to my last one makes me feel like we're in defcon 5 or something. My liners are the drill sergeants saying MOVE! I am really wanting to be done by the 10th liner but we will see. Fingers are crossed.

End of 8th Liners

Today is my last day on these! I've uploaded my usual comparison pics and one of my "normal" smile which try as I might, never looks like it does when i'm relaxed. Still - close enough.

I feel like my bottom teeth are fixed. I'm sure there's going to be soreness so there's more movement but to me they look pretty damn good. There's just that one spot on my upper left canine that is still being corrected. I have a feeling I'll be using some of those refinement liners to get that as straight as possible but we will see.

I can't believe how fast this has been going. Seems like just yesterday I put on that first liner and here I am nearing the end (fingers crossed!)

9th Liners

So put these bad boys in and they're snug as usual. What I am little confused about is the pain is completely on my lower teeth and back molars which I kinda feel are done but hey, moving them more is fine. However, I have no pain on my upper teeth specifically the portion that still needs moved. It's just weird because you'd think it'd be the opposite.

I've already resigned myself to refinement liners. I just don't see enough movement happening on my left canine to get it where I want it in the next four weeks especially since these liners don't hurt at all in that spot.

Liner is split on back molar!

So - I just noticed this morning that my liner from my upper teeth is slightly split on one of my molars. I have a feeling I did this when trying to clean it this morning but am not sure. I am due to go to my next set Tuesday night but am thinking of switching them tonight because of this little issue.

Has anyone done this? Switched a day early? I honestly don't see the harm in doing this but then again, maybe have a small split on my back molar isn't that big of a deal?

End of 9th Liners

Today marks the end of the 9th liners and here's my comparison pics. Still need some movement in that one spot so nothing new to report there. I am def going to proceed with the next ten liners because, not only do I still want that one spot fixed, but my overbite is more pronounced to me. My teeth used to rest against my bottom teeth like they should. However, now that everything is straightening, there is a def gap between my top and my bottom. I was aware this was a distinct possibility because my dentist showed me this on the clincheck and said it is something we will want to fix.

Tried taking pics of the overbite I am talking about but they aren't the best. Also switched up my normal smile pic for one that wasn't so dark :)

10th Liner

Progress for liner 10. Honestly, I don't see any in the area that is still a bit off. I am chomping at the bit for that to be fixed! I see my dentist tomorrow and am anxious to speak with him about what the next set of liners will be able to do. Again, I get up to 10 refinement liners so I am hopeful that will do the job.

I am also hopeful we are done with my bottom teeth. I am very happy with how those turned out so don't see anything else that needs to be done. We will need to see if my dentist agrees and I can go to the retainers (and get these buttons off!) or if he wants to continue some more movement. Will update once I know more!

The next 10 Liners

Just got out of my dentist appt. First off, the overjet isn't as extreme as it showed in the clincheck. My doctor believes this could be due to the spacing issue I'm having with my back molars. Still needs to be some movement on my upper left canine as I've mentioned above. So we are def proceeding with the next ten liners. His assistant believes it will probably take all ten but said everything should be fixed by then as well :)

So, we did the impressions all over again to get the next 10 molded. I'm not sure if others have had to do this or not. This doesn't bother me at all really. The doctor did mention I may need some more buttons put on to help with movement but he won't know that until I get my second clincheck in.

New liners are coming in about 2 weeks. Kinda sucks considering that's two weeks of time wasted but what can ya do :) I will be wearing my tenth liners as a retainer of sorts until then. I am sure I am forgetting some info but have people waiting so gotta go :)

Normal Smile_Liners In

Updated comparison with my first liners and my tenth. There are no words to how much I'm loving the difference!

Why to soak your liners

A couple months ago, I had written a review about how I took care of my liners. Wanted to update that since, about two liners ago, I "discovered" the wonders of soaking the liners. I say discovered with tongue in cheek because others have said to do this but I dug my heels in.

I now soak my liners in a simple solution of luke warm water (too hot will warp the liners so error on the side of cold) with dish detergent. That's it. I let them soak for the amount of time it takes me to drink my coffee and eat breakfast.

Trust me when I say that by doing this makes cleaning them infinitely more easier. The morning is always the worst with the liners and eventually there is plaque build up in all the crevices (buttons anyone) that is nearly impossible to get out with a toothbrush. I actually split a liner trying to clean this crap out.

The dish detergent literally does the scrubbing for you. I take my tooth brush to it and everything goes away with a couple of swipes. Easy peasy.

I am sure there are other concoctions that are better than the dish detergent and, admittedly, I have tasted a small (very small!) bit of the soap putting them back in. Honestly tho, this girl needs simple. I lose patience with mixing and measuring and adding a bit of this and a bit of that. One stop shop always works for me :)

Anyways - my two cents on soaking the liners. Do it to make your life easier in the morning. I found what works for me but I am sure there are probably better options out there.

11th Liners and visit to Dentist

Four weeks with the 10th liners was tough :) And, as much as I tried, those things were yellow by the end! Glad the wait is finally over.

On to my next and final set of 10 liners. We are going through the full 10 to get everything to turn right. Had to add 4 more buttons to my canines and, surprisingly, my lower teeth as well. I am horrible at knowing which teeth are which so, if you can't tell from my pics, the teeth on the bottom that got the buttons added are parallel to my canines. My doc said this was to help with bite placement cause mine is def off.

On top of the additional 4 buttons, we also had 6 (gulp) IPRs to do. This is where they basically file between your teeth for more room. This took some trust because, if you can't tell, there is now some definite gapage between my two front teeth. My dentist assured me this was needed for room for my canine to move into place. He also filed between my canines as well. Basically the front 5 teeth on the top needed more room so that's where he filed.

This was not fun I'll be honest. I have that receding gum line issue from brushing too hard and this makes the root incredibly sensitive to the cold air that comes with this entire process. They were very gentle and, what helps, is they covered the sensitive area with gauze which took the pain from a head jerking 10 to a tolerable 1.

11th Liners fit snug and def hurting this morning. Had to take some aspirin with these to help with the pain because putting them back in was reminiscent of the first liners regarding pain level. Not as severe but def some pulsating. Good news on this though is that the pain is in the right areas where I want the teeth to move :)

I'm attaching four pics. The first shows the comparison between my teeth at the end of my 10th liners and after I got all the IPRs done. I think you can see the gap I'm talking about. I also have a chip on my front tooth I got when I was a kid. The bonding has moved from the crookedness of my teeth and will be fixed after all of this is done. Normal smile with liners out and then some pics with the liners in. My dentist has yet to lead me wrong so I trust that all that filing will do what it needs to do and everything goes into place.

I almost forgot!

Almost forgot my favorite thing about these new set of liners.

Hard to explain but the first set of liners had this weird ridge on my two front teeth that was a haven for any and all plaque. They also didn't go to the very top of my gum line so they didn't cover the entire tooth. I tried finding a pic to show this but it's hard to see. However, I circled the ridge I was talking about because it is hard to see with my pics.

I know this seems small and almost stupid to be happy about but these 11th liners are smooth and cover my entire front tooth. Without that ridge there, they are also far more easier to clean. Needless to say I was thrilled to see that stupid indentation gone :)

End of 11th Liners

Normal comparison pics for your review :) Also uploaded one of my natural smile (no posing!) that, to me, shows the clearest difference. I'm positively toothy in all the right ways!

Smile is broader, mouth seems wider, and this girl just can't stop grinning now. Its this feeling right here that makes all the brushing. flossing. soaking etc worth it. Of course, I could just be in a good mood today. lol

12th liners are getting put in tonight. Makes it 8 more to go before I hit the finish line.

One More Photo . . .

Forgot this one

End of 12th Liners/Beginning of 13th

Put my 13th Liners in last night so the liner pics I've uploaded have those but you get the idea of what the 12th liners entailed. There was literally no pain with these 12th liners but we do have some very slight soreness going on with the 13th. Honestly, they're more tight than anything. When I say sore, I mean a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10. Barely noticeable really.

I did some comparisons of the overjet I noticed in July on my 9th set of liners. It could be the angle I took the photos at, but I think I see some progress there. I've noticed the gap in my teeth that was made with all the filing is also getting narrower so, even tho I don't see the movement in the area I want to see it most, I know it's happening.

End of 13th Liners / Beginning of 14th

Put in the 14th liners last night. These were def sore this morning. I was feeling decidedly wimpy when I took some aspirin but just wasn't in the mood for it today :) The soreness is def concentrated at the front. I def see this as a good sign.

As far as changes go, not seeing much but I know they're there. The biggest difference is in the overjet. That has def improved. I know my pics (especially on the right side aren't the greatest) I will have a dentist apt at the end of these and am curious to see what he will say on my bite. Half of me doesn't see that really improving until I am done with the liners entirely.

14th Liners_End

Visited my doc yesterday for a very quick check up and my next three sets of liners. Basically everything is moving as they should. Doc said that my bite has slightly improved but I honestly can't tell. I do see some movement on the crowding of my left canine but the only reason I'm seeing it is because the gap they filed has gotten narrower.

No news to report on the 15th liners I'm wearing now. They are not that sore but def snug. My dentist did say that I will be officially done with these in January. That'll make my invisalign journey a full 10 months and, even tho I am tired of all the flossing, it was been 100% worth it.

15th Liners

Updates for the 15th liners. I think my overjet is pretty much fixed and where it needs to be. I am probably dead wrong but I'm happy with where it's at. My bite is still off and that left canine still needs moved. Honestly not sure if this is going to be done in the next 5 liners but we shall see.

16th liners feel normal. Slight pain as the teeth adjust but nothing too bad. Pics aren't the greatest this time around but here ya go :)

16th Liners

Little behind on posting. Holidays got the best of me :) Popped the new liners in last week and there was zero pain which always concerns me. Pain means progress to me with teeth and not feeling any makes it seem like the next two weeks serve no purpose. But I trust the process so I'm going with it.

Very excited for next week. I will get my last set of liners! The light is at the end of the tunnel and I am ready for it. I've caught myself staring despondently at people who are able to drink coffee whenever they want or grab a "quick" snack while shopping. It's only been 9 months but I miss those days.

17 - 20 Liners

Got my last three sets of liners today! Seriously I am pumped. I know it sounds stupid but the light, oh that wonderful bright light, is FINALLY shining at the end of the tunnel. January 22nd is when I will be getting my buttons removed and my mouth fitted for a retainer.

My dentist stated that this apt will take up 80 minutes because he will be polishing my teeth, doing some small corrections to my bite and fitting me for retainers. He did say that my bite will settle once we are done with the liners and become more natural. On that note, I can say I've noticed a difference while chewing. It's still not completely closed but i'm not rolling food awkwardly in my mouth trying to chew so good news on that front.

My dentist also offered to me free bleaching trays that they can shape off the molds they make for my retainers. If I want them, which I do, all I will have to pay for is the bleaching solution. Don't know if this is typically offered but all I could think was BONUS!

So - that's the update with my dentist appointment. So so ready for that visit and I know it will be here before I know it. I will post pictures of me in the 17th liners soon!

17th Liners

Here are the pics with the 17th liners. There is def some soreness going on with these and in all the right spots so happy with that.

Some old pics before Invisalign

So - I had an awful camera on my old phone and the pics I took and posted of my teeth before all of this weren't the greatest. However, I dug through all of my stuff and found these two which show what state my teeth were at in the beginning. I see these pics and can't believe what nine months on Invisalign has done :)

Feeling Thankful for Invisalign

I had to post the huge sigh of relief I am feeling that I got Invisalign when I did. Why? Because my work is getting ready to film a commercial that will be aired and streamed on our website and my boss wants me in it. It is moments like these that really point out how much your teeth have an effect on your self esteem because I know, without a doubt, that if I still had my crooked teeth, I'd be fighting tooth and nail to NOT be in this thing. And we all know how good it looks when you say no to the boss :)

Now, I simply shrug with a no problem and simply need to practice my smile. My teeth are 98% straight which makes me 10 times more comfortable in front of any kind of camera. This, if nothing else, has made this entire investment worth it. I am breathing a huge sigh of relief :)

The Holidays and Tray 18

The holidays . . . . well they kinda sucked with the trays in. I'm not gonna lie. Even tho I knew I would have to work around them, as my first round with Christmas and new years with these suckers in get two enthusiastic thumbs down. You just can't eat like you would like. I know I know this is a good thing (and my one sister has made comments that she wants them just to help curb her eating) but man when you are surrounded by good food and drinks, it is tough. Christmas I did ok with keeping them in the allotted amount but they were out for six plus hours on New Year's Eve cause this girl wanted to drink!

With all my complaining aside I am excited to say that I will be putting my last set of liners in next week!! Its so crazy to me how sometimes time flies and other times it's at a crawl. Now that I am at the end I look back and think, that wasn't too bad :)

I don't yet have my usual pics and probably won't until the beginning of tray 19 BUT here's a pic of my normal smile taken on New Years Eve. It's not the clearest but my girlfriend made some comments on how even my smile was compared to her. I told her it was all Invisalign. Seeing these pictures now make this worth every penny, every flossing, and any frustration I've dealt with.

I hope everyone had a great holiday! Despite my grumblings, it was a great Christmas and New Year!

19th Liners

Way late on these since I'm half way through my final trays but here's my normal updates. Tray 20 was tight and snug and a little sore like usual. Maybe I'm weird when I say I want it to be that way so it was good to feel. Very very anxious for this next week to go by fast. It's going to be surreal to get the buttons off after having them on for almost a year.

On a different note, I have a cleaning scheduled tomorrow at noon and am curious as to what my results will be. With all of this flossing and brushing I've been doing I am expecting a five star review and no polite shaming as dentists are wont to do. We shall see on that front

Normal Smile - 19th Liners

Forgot my normal smile.

Dentist Cleaning since Invisalign

I got a metaphorical gold star at the dentist yesterday. It's been a year since my last apt (had to cancel my second cleaning due to flu) so I was anxious to see what they found. Hardly anything except a little staining on the back of a tooth. I am prone to plaque (thanks Mom for that little genetic issue) so all the Doc said in regards to flossing was that I will need to keep at it once Invisalign is done. I don't think that will be a problem :) He did mention flossing along with water picking but seriously Doc, you get ONE. I don't know if anyone has used a water pick but it's messy and takes way longer than flossing which is why I gave mine to my sister.

Anyways, I'm a dork for talking about my dentist cleaning BUT it's the best one I've ever had and it's all due to Invisalign and the gajillion times I floss a day :)

Ding Dong the Buttons are GONE!!

I don’t think anything could have ruined my mood yesterday ? I was practically bouncing off the walls because yesterday was the day the buttons were coming off. Since I am an uber mature adult at the age of 32 (ha!) I was trying to keep my cool but in all reality I am sure I looked like a five year old on a sugar high.

Removing the buttons was a similar experience as to when they were put on. They had to scrape them off with my most hated tool that blows cold air as it works (KILLS my one sensitive area and makes life difficult). This removes the bulk of the button. They then follow it up with the buzzing tool that vibrates against your tooth to remove the last vestiges of the button. This doesn’t hurt at all but I can’t seem to help tensing up as I fear that thing vibrating all the way down to my root and killing me slowly with pain. Never happens but that’s the fear while your brain is being vibrated along with your tooth. Anyways, after this, she polished each tooth and voila! Buttons be gone baby! The whole thing took about 20 to 30 minutes if that long. No clock in dentists office (why I don’t know) so I could exactly time it but that’s what it felt like.

I remember when I got my braces off in high school and how incredibly slippery my teeth felt then. I spent far too much time running my tongue over them and rubbing my lips together so I could feel the smooth service that was bracket free. Felt the same way with the buttons but it wasn’t as extreme because I didn’t have one over every tooth. It’s such a nice feeling to have these suckers off! I didn’t hate them like I did the braces but now, with them gone, I keep staring at my teeth. People are starting to give me weird looks because I can’t seem to restrain myself in public.

In regards to the retainers, I have to wait until next Wednesday to get them. We did impressions over my teeth yesterday and they will make the retainers based off of those impressions. This is something they are doing in house, not through Invisalign, so I can get them quicker. Until I do get them, I am still in my liners but they are working more as a retainer to keep my teeth in their current position. I asked if I could simply wear them at night (can ya tell I’m ready to be done with the constant flossing and brushing) but my dentist wants them in like normal simply because he said that my teeth are vulnerable to shifting since they are still soft so to speak. He explained much better then I could ever hope to do but that’s the basics to it.

There is still a problem with my bite. Doc said there is too much space in there still but, like so many have said on here that should grow closed given time. He may have to do some adjustments at a later date. I’m not sure exactly what this means and am going to ask him next Wednesday when I get the retainers but I trust him implicitely since he has yet to lead me wrong during this whole process. He also said he may do some refining on the retainers on my back molars so it allows them to close more quickly. Curious to see what this means. Today, I realize I should have asked for some clarifications in regards to all of this but yesterday I was too happy with the buttons being off (remember five year old comment)

I did get a gold star for being a good Invisalign patient. I admitted to having the liners out for about 6 hours at a time a few days throughout this process and felt incredibly guilty about it the following day. I was told this was actually exceptional and that some have had them out for days at a time (what!) I don’t think I will ever understand anyone plunking the money down for Invisalign and then disregarding what it asks you to do. What a waste of money and time!

Sorry this is so long and lengthy. We covered a lot of information in this last appointment. Next Wednesday we are going to discuss how often I need to wear these retainers. I am hopeful that I can go to wearing them simply at night but he forwarned me that I may need to wear them during the day for awhile (boo) Fingers cross on this one.

Pics for what my teeth look like now will be posted shortly.

20th Liners - END!

Here are the pics as of this morning. As you can tell, buttons are gone. I'm beyond happy with the results even though my bite is still open. I fully believe this will close on its own. Dentist said we could go further into Invisalign to potentially fix this but this would cost more and I'm tapped out on paying more for Invisalign. He also agreed and said everything should settle fine. What doesn't, he will fix as part of the Invisalign process. I have included shots to show the openness in my bite.

I'm also including a pic that I've circled two areas that still make my teeth slightly (very slightly) off, at least to me. I'm obviously getting into the nitpicking stage if you can't tell.

Anyways, this isn't something Invisalign can fix. My one tooth has the gum line receding which makes it appear higher than the left. I don't think there is anything I can do with that.

The other area is that chip on my front right tooth. We didn't have time to get to reshaping that but I will be scheduling an appointment to get that done next week. Once that is evened out, I believe that will fix the front entirely

So there you have it - final comparison pics :) I can't believe I am at the end of this whole journey.

Once I get the retainers, I'll post an update.

Ortho Retainers

So – these are weird ? Because I have such an open space on my back molars, due to Invisalign, my doc trimmed my retainers so they just cover the front teeth. I was concerned this would cause negative movement on the back (I’d lose some of the broadening of my smile) but he said that wouldn’t be an issue. He needs the molars to make contact so this should, hopefully, make that happen quicker. I have another appointment with him in a month.

Once we fix the bite issue, I will get my final set of retainers that cover all of my teeth. Anxious for that point to be here ?

In regards to how often I need to wear them, doc said he’d like them in as much as possible, however, there is no way I can talk with these things in. Unlike the trays it is NOT something my tongue and mouth will acclimate too. There is a distinct slur and lisping and I just can’t do it. So, I asked if I could keep them out while working and put them in whenever I can and he said that should be fine. The key point to this was the fact that I had the Invisalign trays out for 7 hours once and putting them back in was a breeze. Barely snug. For some, I guess this can be quite painful which isn’t good. His main instruction was to see how my mouth does with these. If I leave the retainers out while I’m at work – how snug are they when I put them back in. That type of thing.

Finally, I got my bleaching trays as well and the doc gave me bleaching solution too. Have to do this for a week to get my teeth whiter. He included it all in the cost of my orthodontics which I was not expecting ?

Lastly, I wondered if anyone else is having some slight issues not flossing and brushing your teeth when you are done eating? This has become such a habit to me that, when I was done with lunch, I lasted only 10 minutes before I went to the bathroom to floss and brush. I wanted that clean mouth feeling and was slightly dying with my pickle breath. Is it just me or did other Invisalign folks have this struggle to? I know it will ease off but feels weird to not have clean teeth after eating. I honestly wasn’t expecting this. I couldn’t wait to get away from the constant flossing and brushing!

Anything interesting happens within the next month and I will keep you all updated. Curious if anyone else had their retainers trimmed up like mine were . . . .

Retainers - Update

Small little update on these. I have gone all day without wearing them - as much as 12 hours this past Friday. Putting them in is a breeze. There is no pain, no discomfort, nothing. I'm starting to adjust more and more to having nothing in my mouth. Its crazy that I actually had to adjust to going back to normal but I did. I am down to flossing twice a day, morning and night, and fully plan on keeping it that way.

Retainers - 1 Month In

Hey everyone! Been a month since I’ve gotten the retainers in. I had a visit with my doc yesterday. So far so good but not great. There is some closing of the gap between my teeth but we’re not there yet. He said it will move tooth by tooth starting in the front and moving to my molars. I ripped my lip back to show the spacing between the molars – yes I look stupid but I am all about the photos ? Wish I had actually don’t this right when I was done with the 20th liner but live and learn right?

I’m still in my chopped up retainers. Have another month with them and then we will do another checkup. Still concerned there will be movement but doc said it should be fine. He wants contact between my teeth. Hope everyone else’s journey is going great!
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