Began in June 2012 - Oregon

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*Treatment results may vary

I have moderate upper crowding problems and minor...

I have moderate upper crowding problems and minor crowding on my lower arch. I'm a 27 year old male who's never had braces before (I had a spacer on my lower arch when I was a young teenager). I was told when I was young that I didn't qualify for Invisalign, though I'm pretty certain the orthodontist at the time didn't offer it and was hesitant to start using it for anyone. I remember him saying that your teeth had to be practically perfect in order to get them. From what I gather from my current orthodontist, your bite should be pretty much in line to be a good candidate, but your teeth do not have to be 'practically perfect' as he claimed 10 or more years ago.

I went in for a consultation in early April, went back for impressions at the end of April, and my aligners arrived near the middle of June. The waiting process felt very long at the time. I went in during June, got 10 attachments and 5 sets of aligners to start. I will have 22 sets in total on both the upper and lower arches, but only 12 will be actively moving my teeth on the lower arch (I hadn't heard of them making extra aligners for teeth like that while the other arch is finishing up, but it sounds like a good idea to me).

As far as the actual use and care of the aligners and the pain that goes along with them...the first set was a lot more painful than I expected and it lasted for about 4 days in total. They started out very tough to get in and out, but I haven't spent nearly as long struggling to get them off of the attachments as I've read other people have (maybe 10 seconds to get them on and off the first few days). They were irritating my lips and tongue for a while, but that went away pretty quickly.

I've also read people here (and on the booklet included with the aligners) not to clean them with mouthwash or denture tablets, but my orthodontist said to ignore that and to use denture tablets and mouthwash with a softer toothbrush all I want. I have done so for these first two sets and it's caused no discoloration when I compare the used sets to the new ones. You can avoid them to be extra safe, but they come out of the denture cleaner very clear and I've noticed no smell at all on my aligners since I've started.

When I compare the first set to the 5th set, I'm really surprised at the huge difference in the trays themselves (they look much straighter in comparison). I expected it to be even more gradual than that. Even though I'm on my second set, my teeth are sitting differently and I may be nuts, but they do appear to look a hair different.

No one can tell I'm wearing them or see any of the attachments and no one can hear any difference in my speech (it was bad the first few days, but even then, no one could hear it).

Getting used to brushing/flossing/brushing and rinsing aligners after every meal isn't so bad, but I imagine for people who want to constantly snack, it would drive them pretty crazy.

My 5th set will be finished on August 27th when I go back in for more aligners.

So, I'm finished with my final trays now. I get...

So, I'm finished with my final trays now. I get my attachments removed and impressions for retainers made tomorrow. There is one tooth that could me moved a hair more, but my ortho said he should be able to correct it with the retainers he makes at the office, since it's so minor.

It feels very nice to finally have straighter teeth and it makes me much less anxious when meeting new people, seeing photos of myself, etc.

I'll post new pictures when I have the attachments off and get the final little touch-ups done. But, I haven't had any problems with the treatment at all. I actually feel kind of weird about not wearing them anymore (I almost feel naked without them in).
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