26 Year Old Professional, FINALLY Fixing my Teeth

I have hated my teeth FOREVER. I remember asking...

I have hated my teeth FOREVER. I remember asking my parents for braces at age 13 (who asks for braces?) and they told me they couldn't afford it. My teeth weren't as bad then as they are now. Unfortunately nail biting, time and wisdom teeth set them even more off course and now I'm an adult who is extremely self conscious about her own smile. I was told a few years back that metal braces were my only option. I'm a young woman in a career dominated by older men, so I didn't think that would work.

Fast forward to a few years later when I saw an ad for smile direct club. I wasn't sure I'd get approved, considering the nature of my crowding but I did! I took my impressions early October, got my treatment plan mid October and paid for treatment November 1st, 2016. I used my FSA card and a $150 coupon, so paid $1350 in total and should save about $400 in taxes. My total treatment plan is 10 months and includes 20 aligners at two weeks each. I've read about issues with customer service, and they must have recently pulled a 180 because I've had NO issues and they've been amazing.

I got my first aligner today! November 25th. I want to share my thoughts so far:

1. They are very plasticy. I knew they were made of plastic but I guess I was picturing something slightly different. They look cheap, it was strange to think I put them on my teeth,

2. They hurt a bit, and feel strange. I got a panicky feeling that there was no way I could wear these for 10 months but I'm calming down now.

3. The lisp. I'm practicing my S's. Mine is BAD. I sound like the kid off Stranger Things. Its getting a little better but its not that subtle lisp I've heard other posts described. If it doesn't get better I'd have to take these off before talking to clients.

4. They're near invisible. I'm wearing them in the photos.

5. THEY HURT. I'm lucky I have leftover painkillers from a back injury a while back because DAMN. I pray this gets better. My head is throbbing.

My only concern is my bite at the end of the process. Does it look over-bitey or normal? I'm not sure. But I'm super excited to finish this and hopefully document the process for anyone interested.

Tray 2: Pain is gone, but progress is slow

Update: I'm on my second tray and while the pain has subsided, I'm realizing how slow progress is going to be. I won't add photos until my teeth actually look different. For now they look worse than before because my teeth are being pushed out to extend my bite and make room for other teeth to move.

I do have some tips for wear:

1. The lisp never fully went away but it has gotten a bit better. Initially nobody could understand what I'm saying. No tips for this other than maybe to practice S's. Really I think it has a lot to do with my mouth getting used to them in, and creating less spit means my speech is getting better.

2. Denture cleaning tabs have been a godsend. They've kept my aligners clean and clear. I guess you shouldn't soak them for too long.

3. Buy lots of floss, toothpase and toothbrushes and pack them everywhere. Purse, bathroom, kitchen, suitcase. You will never regret having them on hand.

4. Your gums and mouth will be VERY sore to start. Colgate sells a mouth healing mouthwash that will do wonders. BUY IT. It's so worth it. I spent about $70 on oral hygiene products to start and it was well worth it.

5. Have a plan when you go out drinking. I know you're not supposed to but I keep them in usually and then brush my teeth at the end of the night. I don't go out that much but since I've been back home its been more than usual and I'm realizing the difficulties. I personally have kept them in, because leaving them out could mean HOURS. Because of my cleaner it hasn't seemed to affect the tray color.

I wish I had more to update. I'm honestly ready for the process to be over. It's not horrible, but I work in sales and even a slight speech impediment is annoying, and having to take them on and off constantly. I still think its better than veneers, but wish the process was quicker and didn't affect my life so much.

Tray 3

Tray 1 then tray 3 in photos

My teeth still look the same at Tray 4

Ok I was hoping these photos would make me feel better about progress but I look the same lol. When my aligners are off my teeth are very white because of how often I'm brushing.

As for updates: my aligners keep getting sent early which is nice (I'd rather them be early than late)
My teeth are really easy to floss and I can tell they're moving especially by feeling the back of my teeth. According to my treatment plan the significant difference will be around tray 9 and get better from there.

Basically everything is fine, except for me being very impatient. This is why I wanted veneers!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 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
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 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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