Invisalign : a 23year Old's Smile Journey

For the last 23 years, I only vaguely remember...

For the last 23 years, I only vaguely remember having teeth I was happy with for few months or so.

That's about 1% of my life that I've felt confident with my teeth.

The other 99%, I've been hiding my teeth as much as I can. While taking photos, I almost always smile with my lips shut, or when I do smile with my teeth I try not to show the right side of my face where my sharp canine tooth is very prominent and my front tooth crosses over.

The funny part of it all is that I actually had braces as a teenager! This is where that 1% of teeth happiness comes in. I wore retainers 24 hours at age of 13-14 for my overbite, I absolutely hated wearing retainers. I then wore braces at 14 for about 9 months and although it wasn't painful and just a bit uncomfortable I was very glad to get it off. After my teeth was absolutely perfect, my orthodontist then gave me the bad news - you have to wear retainers 24/7 for another year... And after that every night for the rest.of.your.life

I was so upset, no way am I going back to retainers again. And so, being the stubborn, silly child that I was - it took only a few months for my teeth to start moving back again.

It wasn't as bad as before, but still my front 6 teeth were quite imperfect.. But safe to say, it was all my fault for not listening to my orthodontist.

Fast forward 9 years, I've been dying to get my teeth straightened out again.

My main problem is my front two teeth, right one which overlaps the left. My other problem is my canine teeth being prominent and needs moving back. I am also not sure about the shape of all my canines, everyone in my family have quite large, pointy canine teeth but my dentist has assured me that after it moves back it won't look so prominent anymore.

Any ways, here I am - a week before getting my Invisalign fitted. I am nervous and excited. More excited to get my teeth straighter. I've learnt from my silly mistakes of not listening to the professionals about not wearing retainers. Knowing how unhappy I have been with the appearance of my smile, wearing retainers every night for the rest of my life doesn't sound so bad at all.

Wish me luck!

**** Day 1 with 1st Tray!!! ****

I was nervous for my fitting all week leading up to the special day.

I enjoyed a night sloppy messy ice cream that I quickly bought from a van while walking back from work the day before, knowing fully that for the next 7 months or so I won't be so free and spontaneous with my ice cream intake.

My dentist first gave me the aligners without inserting any attachments (I have 12) for me to try on.
It fit snug and tight but it wasn't uncomfortable at all.
I was able to insert my bottom and remove them pretty easily, but the top aligner was quite hard.

"Oh, it's not that bad" - Me

"Haha, that's because I haven't added the attachments yet" - Dentist

Next came the most uncomfortable 30mins of my journey!

My dentist began to attach my attachments, first by putting into my mouth this massive lip pulling back beast, so he could have more control of my teeth and not have my lips in the way.
Mind you my lips and mouth is quite small so the stretch of pulling my lips back was bordering on unbearable.

He began by cleaning my teeth, then put my aligners in and bought this zapping machine that zapped the aligner on the raised attachment parts. Since I had aligner in my back teeth/molars the pull to get the zapper right at the back was really taking a toll on my lips!!

He then took them out my aligners and the attachments were on my teeth.

*phew glad that's over, now I can get this beast off of my lips*

"Okay so now I'm going to have to file in between your teeth to make space for the movement, this will feel and sound uncomfortable" - dentist

Great, not only was the lips pulling back monster still clinging on to my mouth but now I have to get my teeth filed??!!!

My dentist was brought out what looked exactly like a small nail file and filed in between my teeth, shrud shrud shrud it sounded more uncomfortable than it felt!

He then bought a small machine with a wheel at the end that was going to make more space in between my teeth, this sounded worse! It sounded like those machines that cut steel, and it lasted for a good 10-15 mins.

Now, I'm quite good at handling uncomfort and pain during medical procedures, but this sounded so awful and felt so uncomfortable, didn't hurt, but was extremely uncomfortable that I wished my dentist gave me earplugs instead of numbing cream!

But that was soon over and the lip pulling back monster was off.

I then tried my aligners back on and this time it felt a lot more snug and tight, it was also quite hard to put on and take off - again just my top aligners, bottom one was a breeze.

It's not been about 1.5 hours and I've had my first meal, my lisp isn't as bad as it thought. No where near as bad as my lisp when I had retainers as a child, those one had a section that sat at the ceiling of your mouth too, so no wonder I sounded and felt uncomfortable.

My jaw is mostly sore, I can't shut my teeth properly, as in the most I can bite down still leaves a bit of space so the back of my jaw are starting to feel sore.

My teeth are actually feeling fine, no uncomfortable rubbing on my gums or tongue - feels very smooth on my tongue and I'm surprised at how thin the aligners are! Only tooth that is slightly aching now is my second incisor on my right side, this one is very far back and needs to be pushed forward so I'm not surprised they're sore.

I'm definitely nervous about waking up tomorrow with an extra sore jaw and teeth. Unsure if I should take meds or ride it out.

In terms of visibility, it looks shiny more than anything as in its reflective. If I smile you can't definitely see my attachments. I haven't made contact with anyone yet so not sure if it is noticeable. Quite nervous if my colleagues at work will notice.

Overall so far, not too bad.

1st Tray pics

Pictures with my first day in my 1st tray.

When I'm smiling you can definitely notice the attachments, especially on my canines.

Hoping in person, without a focussed zoomed in picture, it won't be too obvious on the eye.

Let me know what you think :)

Invisalign - Colleague asked if I got braces!!! :( :( :(

The entire reason I chose Invisalign was for the aesthetics - that I'm a 20 something petite girl in a very corporate work environment and don't want to look younger with braces.
Plus, I had already had braces as a teenager and didn't want to go through it again.

So I was mortified while sitting in a meeting room, that my colleague sitting on the left stopped and looked at my teeth while I laughed at a joke, and asked "oh did you get braces?"

This has absolutely shattered my confidence.

I have 12 attachments in total, 3 on each side of my upper and lower jaw starting from my main canine teeth which are super prominent.

The actual aligners are completely clear, but the little attachments make the Invisalign quite visible. I don't want to jump to pessimistic thoughts and say I wish I got incognito braces since I've only had Invisalign for 1 week, but I really wish I knew that invisilign isn't actually invisible!

I am more self conscious about my teeth now than I was before starting my treatment. I try to cover my mouth when laughing and try to sit far away from others in meetings so they do not notice my attachments.

Did anyone else with attachments also feel this way? Did the feeling eventually go away? Am I alone in feeling self conscious about my attachments?

Tray 2

I've now finished my 1st tray!

The second week definitely got easier, most of my 1st week was uncomfortable and I kept struggling to take out and put in my aligner.

Still not used to having them in my phone, and still feel conscious and uncomfortable laughing with it on.

I've realised I cannot stick to 22 hours on, it is simply unrealistic for me. On average I do 19-21 hours. I'm going to make more effort to 22 hours but I think it's quite unrealistic for someone who eats 4 meals a day and also enjoys coffee.

I'm also speaking to ex invisaligners who are also coffee lovers like me and they mentioned they started drinking coffee with aligners in after few trays, simply because it would waste time taking it out.

I think to get my hours up from 19 to 20, I might try drinking warm but not hot coffee with them in, and rinsing immediately after. Because when I take mine out for morning coffee while at my desk working, I totally forget to put them in and realise an hour or two has already past!

I've also had 2 instances of going out with friends for drinks where I took them out for 5 hours ????

I need to work on having them in longer and feeling more confident, I didn't realise it would have such a knock on effect on my confidence.

Overall, my teeth have very slightly moved. My front overlapping tooth is definitely sore and I can see it has moved.

Starting to get a lot of black triangles appear but I'm not too bothered by them.

Overall, I'm unsure if my lifestyle of drinking and loving coffee and eating frequently is suited for Invisalign, I'm going to go through with it because it's too late to go back, but I definitely wish I considered other options such as lingual braces.

Nonetheless, eagerly looking forward to my teeth straightening soon!

Tray 4 pictures

Still can't wear them for 22 hours, I'm averaging 20-21 hours. So I've now decided to wear them for an extra day longer to make up for the lost 1-2 hours each day.

I also started drinking coffee with them in in the morning, I wait for it to cool down. As for staining, I haven't noticed anything.

Worth pointing out that I am also getting my teeth whitened at the end.

Do they look any different to pic 1? They look quite similar still. Not too much movement - slightly on my bottom teeth but my top ones are my main concern

Tray 5 pictures

Definitely felt a lot of movements on my lower jaw. The shape of my jaw has definitely changed now, I feel most of my teeth coming forward on my bottom jaw. Not sure if this is supposed to happen since when I was 13/14 I had jaw correction to push my lower jaw back and now I feel it coming forward. Slightly worried.
Dr Adil Khalil

Will update throughout and after treatment

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