Invisalign: Bumpy Start but Getting Better - Springfield, IL

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When I was a teenager I had traditional braces and...

When I was a teenager I had traditional braces and the dreaded headgear, which nearly extinguished my budding social life. Since then, my teeth have gradually moved back to their original positions. The return of my overbite and the crowding of my bottom teeth have bothered me for a while, so I decided to try Invisalign.

My first day was terrible. The lower tray cut into my gums and my mouth was throbbing. My tongue also really hurt and it felt like the pain was radiating down my neck. I had trouble speaking clearly, which I think was a result of my over-compensating due to the pain. The first day the pain was about a 7-8 out of 10. I could not concentrate on anything and it got worse as the day wore on. When I awoke the next morning, my lower face was swollen and I had a hideous-looking "trout pout" even though I hadn't had anything injected to my lips.

In somewhat of a panic, I called my dentist. At first we thought I had had an allergic reaction to the plastic, and he told me to take out the aligners. I did and felt 50% better the next day and 90% better the following day. My dentist ordered new aligners and requested that they be handmade instead of machine made. The new ones were shorter and less sharp at the edges.

I'm almost two weeks into my new tray and it's much better. I had some discomfort the first three days with the first day being the worst. Now they feel fine and I can speak normally although I still struggle sometimes with certain "S" and "Th" sounds.

One thing I didn't expect is how hindered I would feel with something in my mouth all the time. I have to take them out to eat anything at all, so in a sense I feel trapped beneath these plastic gadgets. There is no more grazing a few potato chips or a piece of candy out of a candy dish. No more random mochas or glasses of red wine (they stain). Every morsel of food is now a decision point. I think: is it worth having to rip these suckers out of my mouth, then brush, floss, clean them and put them back again? Usually, it's not. I guess the upside is I've already lost a few pounds because I don't snack at all.

The aligners have made me hyper-aware of my teeth, because it's hard to ignore that something is in my mouth all the time. When I take them out (which is challenging, especially when they're new), I feel free. I can feel air on my teeth again. Sounds silly, but it makes a difference. However, I also hear a clock ticking, because I'm supposed to wear the trays 22 hours per day. The aligners also trap saliva, so my mouth if often dry. I drink water all day.

If I had to do it again, I would've researched them before purchasing. There is a lot of information on this website that could have prepared me for the experience. I'm still glad I got them, but it's been a bigger undertaking than I realized. I will be wearing them close to a year. Hopefully a few months from now, I won't even think about them... and I'll stop dreaming of my teeth falling out.

I'm on my second tray now and it's going much...

I'm on my second tray now and it's going much better! My teeth and gums are not nearly as sore with the second tray as with the first. I'd rate the level of discomfort at about a 2 vs. the first tray about a 6 or a 7.

I would post photos but you can't really tell a difference yet. My dentist said by the third or fourth tray I might be able to see some changes.

One thing I have learned is not to drink anything but water when the trays are in. I cheated a little with the first tray (coffee, red wine) and they stained pretty rapidly. I noticed it when I compared my old tray to my new one, which was totally clear and pristine looking. My old one had a beige tinge.

It's all about routine for me. I had to form a new one. Now when I get up in the morning, I take the trays out and have one cup of coffee. Then I brush, floss, clean the trays and put them back in until lunch. The only downside is sometimes I want to go out for a nice (longer) dinner. I realize I'm probably not hitting 22 hours on those days when I add up morning, afternon and dinner breaks. But I'm pretty close to it.

Two down, 16 trays to go.

Tray 3: Gone to the Dogs

Is it fair to blame it on my puppy? I know it's really my fault, because five days into tray 3 I left the blasted things on the end table in the living room. I didn't realize the puppy (cockapoo) could jump that high, but she's turned into quite a leaper. She got a hold of one of the trays when I wasn't paying attention. I spent an hour looking for it and finally gave up and went to bed wearing my previous tray.

The next morning I combed the entire house, looked under the couch, between cushions, under tables, etc. I felt almost panicked. I was running late for work so I abandoned my search and went to get ready. About two minutes later, I heard an unnatural crunching sound coming from the living room. My second dog (yorkipoo) was standing in the middle of the room furiously chewing and sputtering. I cornered her until she spit out my bottom aligner, now totally mangled. So really I can chalk this up to a joint effort between Sadie (cockapoo) and Piper (yorkipoo).

I called the dentist and he ordered a new tray for me. However, it took almost two weeks to arrive. During this period, I wore my previous #2 aligner on bottom and my #3 on top. Last week I went in to get my replacement and trays 4-6. My dentist said I had to catch up for lost time, so I had to wear both tray 3s for two more weeks. The top one was just holding the teeth in place while the bottom one moved the teeth. Ugh! My carelessness ended up costing me about a month of time.

Lesson learned: do not leave trays anywhere accessible to dogs. Also, sign up Sadie for agility training. She could be a champion. : )
Name not provided

My sister recently got them. Prior to that, I had seen ads in magazines.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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