Invisalign with Elastics for Crowding, Midline Correction, and Overbite - New York, NY

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I've wanted to straighten my teeth since high...

I've wanted to straighten my teeth since high school but I didn't want to wear braces in college and then it always seemed too expensive. At 33 years old and married for a year, I finally decided that it's time to fix my teeth.
I started on March 27. 2014 and I am now on Tray 6 with Invisalign. I have a midline correction needed and overbite, so as of tray 3 I have an elastic on my right side. Each time I've started a new tray, I am very sore for a few days, but then I get used to it and it's fine. The time seems to be going quickly and I am already noticing slight differences in the crowding of my teeth. And not one person has noticed that I'm wearing them!


Correction- I started elastics on Tray 4 (not tray 3). I also have had TMJ since I was 8 years old and the invisalign has really helped decrease jaw pain and popping. Please feel free to comment or send me any questions you might have, thanks!

Progress photo

Here's a photo showing some progress...I especially see it in my bottom teeth. The number is the tray number.

Clincheck photos

Here's some of my clincheck photos, unfortunately I didn't receive the videos...I don't think my ortho let's us have a copy of it. Is that normal?

Tray 7

Changed to tray 7 on 6/21, the usual soreness for the first 2-3 days but it has subsided. I think I keep getting a pimple in the same place on my chin from brushing and flossing 6x a day (it's where my hand rests while flossing!) I plan to make a post about my Invisalign routine because I think I have it down to a science now!

Invisalign Tips

Now that I have been wearing my Invisalign since the end of March 2014, I wanted to share about some of the new habits that I've formed as well as some tips and tricks that make the entire process a little bit more bearable. Here's what I find helpful:
1. When I wake up, I go and turn the coffee maker on. While I'm waiting for the coffee maker to warm up, I soak my trays in warm (NOT hot) water and a Retainer Brite tablet. Once I finish my coffee and breakfast, my aligners are perfectly clean so I brush my teeth, floss, mouthwash, and then insert my trays, followed by my elastic. I want a fresh tray right before I leave the house rather than before bedtime so this works for me. Any other times I take my trays out, I either rinse them out with warm water and then let them soak while I'm eating (if I'm at home) or I put them into my carrying case. I tried letting them soak in dish soap but no matter how much I rinse them, they taste like soap (gross) so now I just use water for soaking unless it's the morning soak with Retainer Brite (bought on Amazon, I love this, my trays are never cloudy and they keep them fresh and clean). I lightly brush them with my wet toothbrush if I see any spit residue that didn't come out during the soak.
2. Unless I'm having water or club soda, trays are out for eating and/or drinking. NO MATTER WHAT! I know people that rinse and then put the trays back in. It's gross, so bad for your teeth, and I'm sure it makes the aligners filthy. I brush, floss, and mouthwash after eating (I skip floss if I'm just having a drink or coffee.) So much food gets stuck in my shifting teeth that I've never dealt with before because of my crowding...take the time to brush and floss, your teeth will thank you!
3. It's weird to brush your teeth in public. It just is. You get used to it. A month after starting Invisalign we went to don't know public restrooms until you've had to brush your teeth in tons of them at Disney! It's not fun, but it's only for the next 18 months. Living in NYC, I have now brushed my teeth in some of the finest restaurants in's embarrassing but I try to just get it done and get out of there. If you get people staring (happens sometimes) I just say "I have invisalign" and each time...I swear...I get a "Good for you, I had braces as a kid and I never took care of them, now my teeth have shifted, I want invisalign, how do you like them...?" People are not judging, they're curious. PUBLIC RESTROOM TIP: I learned this in Disney, especially in crowded restrooms and sinks; wait for the handicapped accessible stall with it's own sink. Yes, you may have to let people go ahead of you but to not have to stand there with people all around you while you brush and floss makes it much less of a headache. This has made it so much easier!
4. I have 3 Invisalign "Kits" (see photos). I keep one at home in my bathroom, one in my purse (the smaller one), and one in my desk. I never have to worry about not having what I need to clean my teeth. I love sensodyne because I have very sensitive teeth and with all of the brushing, it helps that immensely. In my kit is a travel sized toothpaste, mouthwash, and toothbrush, floss, my rubberbands, and some of the Orajel my ortho gave me when I first had my attachments put on (I've only needed to use it 1x.) Unfortunately, I can no longer use cute little wristlet purses but like everything else in this process, I'm now used to it.
5. I take pics after each new tray has been in about a week. I'm SO happy I've done this because I love to see the side by side keeps me motivated to deal with all of the inconvenience.
6. With all of the teeth shifting, now there are dark, unsightly crevasses that are being created near the gumline on my teeth where my toothbrush could never reach the teeth. Now that I'm seeing them, I hate them and it freaks me out to think how dirty our teeth are where we can't brush them. I know this is natural but it's kind of scary to see our teeth seem to "change color." When I'm done with my treatment, my ortho is throwing in a free teeth whitening so that helps me feel better!

That's all I can think of for now, let me know if you have any questions, thanks!

Tray 8 and progress photo

I switched to tray 8 on 7/1 and I'm still feeling a little sore from it and I've had a slight headache over the past couple of days. I'll put up my aligner pics in about a week because I like to give my teeth a chance to shift before updating the photo. I made a new collage of my teeth progress photos from trays 1-7 (I think I missed tray 5 but there was such minimal change anyway!) Some days I feel like it's a big difference and some days I think they look exactly the same as when I started (especially when I see photos of myself!) And sorry for the weird numbering on the photos, the iphone app wasn't too user friendly!

Tray 9 of 36

Not much movement...plugging away!

Tray 10 and 11

I've had some big changes since I last posted...I found out I was pregnant in July (yay!) and I was having some pretty bad morning sickness throughout my first trimester. I used tray 10 as a retainer from July 28th until last week. Now I'm back on track and on to tray was so nice having a break from Invisalign and really hard to get myself to start wearing the aligners during the day again!

Tray 12- 1/3 of the way done!

Time for some updated photos...I'm now on tray 12/36. I feel like this journey will never end and I just can't wait for it to be over, especially now being pregnant!

Progress photo

Here's a progress photo...

Tray 15

Plugging away...

Tray 17 of 36

Ugh, almost 1/2 way done! Due with my first child on March over Invisalign at this point but I'm hoping the end results will be worth it. I think the progress is minimal so far.

Tray 18/36 and IPR

I've been dreading IPR since finding this website and learning what IPR's when they shave down the enamel between your teeth...Today at Tray 18 check up it was IPR time. I have to admit that it was not painful, it was just about as uncomfortable as 20 people running their nails down a chalkboard. Luckily it was quick and over soon! I think my bottom teeth look weird afterwards but I can already feel a difference in how my aligner is bottom teeth were SO crowded! Halfway there!

Some progress photos

To stay motivated, I have to do progress photos because the week to week progress feels so minimal! Here's side by side comparisons.

Tray 20 and double elastics!

I'm past the halfway point and still learning new things about my Invisalign. I noticed on my Tray 20 last night that there was an additional hook towards the front, 1 tooth in front of the usual hook where I put my elastic. I thought this was strange so I called my Ortho this morning and as it turns out, I'm supposed to now wear 2 elastics on my right side starting with Tray 19. Unfortunately, my doctor forgot to tell me about this at my last appointment so I missed 2 weeks of potential midline movement, but I'm sure it'll be fine. I feel a little more pressure due to the extra elastic, but it's not too bad. I was more annoyed that I just had absolutely no idea that having 2 elastics on one side was even a thing! If it gets my midline moving though (bc I see no progress with my midline after 10 months of treatment!) I'll be happy to do it!

Tray 20 progress

I can really see a difference with my overbite in my smile photo...coming along!!! 16 trays to go!

Tray 26

Sorry for such a long delay in updating...had a baby! Still going with Invisalign, such a pain with a newborn! Can't wait until I'm finished...10 trays to go!

Progress photo tray 26

Tray 30/36

Plugging away! Tray 30/36...then I might need some refinements according to my feels like it'll never end!

Tray 30 progress photo

Tray 3 compared to tray 30

Tray 33/36

Getting there!!

Progress photo tray 33

Tray 2 vs Tray 33

Another progress photo

Tray 35/36 home stretch!

Attachments and rubber bands are off! It was AWFUL getting the attachments off, nails on chalkboard awful! I have 2 trays left but then I go back in in a month to see if I need refinements (more trays). They seemed pretty sure that I'd probably need some more, which SUCKS because I just want to be done already! But after 18 months, another few months will be fine if it means that my teeth look great! It's amazing to feel my teeth smooth again!

Tray 35 progress photo


Tray 36

I'm wearing tray 36 for an additional 6 weeks (gross!) until my refinements come in. It looks like I could have 6-12 refinements, followed by 6 months with the retainer full time until wearing the retainer at night time only. Has anyone else had this? It seems disgusting to think of wearing a retainer all day and night for 6 months! I'm so annoyed by how much longer this is taking but I just hope it's worth it in the end.

Finally in retainers!

I'm now in my retainers full time from January until June (6 months.) I had 6 refinement aligners and I'm still not 100% happy with how my teeth look. I think they look good, not great. After over 2 years and $5000, I think my teeth should look perfect. I have my follow up appointment in a few weeks and I'm hoping that there's something that can be done. I think my teeth are still crooked and my midline is still slightly off. I find it very hard to get my orthodontist to even look at my teeth at my visits and her dental assistants do everything. I'm hoping she spends some time with me at my next appointment.

Progress photo

2 years 3 months later, I'm done!

2 years, 41 trays, 1 million times tooth brushing...I'm finally done! Yesterday I FINALLY got to see the doctor and I told her how I wasn't completely happy with the outcome so she suggested contouring some teeth (less harsh than ipr but same principle). Wow, what a difference! Now I'm happy with the finished results! I was scanned again for my retainer and although $750 for a vivera retained is insane, I don't want to ruin all of this progress. I'm overall very happy with the outcome. My bite is so much better, I rarely have TMJ pain anymore, and my teeth do look so much better! My midlife didn't correct very much but I'm fine with it how it is.

Final progress photos


Final progress photo

I don't think this picture loaded last time


I walk in today thinking I'm picking up my retainers (mind you, this is 2 months later than they were promised so I've been wearing my last tray for 4 months as a retainer!)
The dr is not in today so one of her assistants hands me a sleeve with 4 more aligners and tells me I need to wear them full time for 10 days to 2 weeks each. I was livid. No one informed me that there would any further movement done in my teeth and I feel like they just make it up as they go along. I voiced my frustration at the lack of communication and was scolded by another one of the assistants for raising my voice. I have these options:
1) wear the trays 2 weeks full time, then wear the retainers. (This will take 8 more weeks).
2) wear the trays only at night time for 3 months each. This will take an entire year until I start wearing my retainer.

I'm so frustrated, I thought I was finished!

I trust her to be the best as she is ranked among the highest Invisalign specialists in the world. She's super friendly and positive and always answers all of my questions for me. Update January 2016- Although she is still very friendly, I find that she barely looks at my teeth at my follow up appointments and her dental assistants end up doing everything. When I'm talking about retainers and my plan, I want the doctor to be the one guiding me, not her assistants. Update June 2016- Overall, I'm happy with the results and she was the one who finished up with me. Although the retainers are very expensive, I'm very happy I chose this doctor.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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