So here goes! I'm just back from the first...
So here goes! I'm just back from the first official stage of my Invisalign journey! I've had my teeth and face photographed from every angle (excruciating for someone who never shows her teeth!) and had impressions taken. Now the wait for the Clincheck so we can approve my treatment plan.
As it says in the title, I'm a 45 year old living in the UK and I'm both shocked at the financial outlay of paying this all at once, and excited at the thought of finally having a smile I can be pleased with. I'm getting married next March and that's what gave me the final nudge - I really wish I'd done it before now but better late than never. And my treatment plan will be designed so that my teeth are as good as they can be for my wedding day, with any attachments removed just before the big day so that my wedding photos aren't too horrendous.
My dentist reckons I'll need a minimum of 26 trays - probably way more. That's ok, whatever's needed. I just can't wait to start now that I've committed to it all. He's on holiday in a couple of weeks so we're really hoping the Clincheck comes through before he goes away, so that we can approve and then maybe the trays will be here soon after he gets back.
Anyway, like the rest of you on here, I thought keeping an online journal of my treatment and progress will help to keep me motivated to do everything By The Book, so thanks to anyone who's reading and I'll keep you posted!
Oh, and here are some photos I took just now - eek horrendous! I have to say that I'd be happy to end up like many of the 'before' photos I've seen on here! Still, I guess at least I have lots of room for improvement :-D (any tips on how to take good photos? I can't help looking like I'm grimacing in them all!).
Clincheck and empty bank account!
I had a hunch today that my clincheck was going to arrive - I had my impressions done a week ago. So I decided to head back and work from home this afternoon 'just in case'. I was about 2/3 of the cycle home, when the dentist called to say my clincheck was in and could I pop in this afternoon to have a look! Spooky :-)
My dentist's surgery is literally across the road from my house (handy for the frequent visits I'll no doubt have to make!) so I popped in on my way back. He's going on holiday on Tuesday so we were both keen to get a treatment plan approved before he goes, so that the aligners will be here when he gets back. He's also very aware of the fact that I'm getting married in 9.5 months time and really want my smile to be as good as it can be by then - so the sooner I start, the better it will be by my Big Day!
I'll upload some screen grabs of my clincheck. I'm really happy with the treatment plan - I was psyched up for 40+ trays but this initial treatment is 20 trays for the top and 24 for the bottom. Amazing! So I'll probably be one tray away from completing by my wedding day! Hmmm...I'll have to talk to him about the possibility of sneakily doing a few '13 day switchovers' in the hope that I can do all 20 by 18th March. Anyway, the end result won't be technically perfect - I will still have an overbite - but it will be much less than at present, and a 'straight' one, rather than bucked one! I have a feeling that if I was in the States, under an Orthodontist, they would probably go for the 100% fix. But here in the UK we're famously not as perfect about our teeth, and my dentist knew I wanted to balance out perfection with looking As Good As Possible for my wedding day. He's already talking about further refinements, so I'm sure my journey will be longer than the 24 trays, but I'm in this for the long haul! If I wanted my overbite completely fixed, he said I'd be looking at over 2 years worth of initial treatment.
One thing I'm really pleased about is that I won't have any attachments on my front teeth! I'm gobsmacked about that, but really happy. Instead though, I will have a power ridge on my top right tooth. I've read about a few people on here having them and I know they bring their own drawbacks (lip getting caught when smiling etc!) but I'm hoping at least it won't look as noticeable as an attachment??
So he clicked the 'approve' button and I could see my order had moved into pre-production - exciting! He's on holiday now until 16th June, so assuming they've arrived by then he said he'll get me in that day for a quick fitting. My first tray is a passive one to get me used to it, and then we'll book an appointment for two weeks later to get attachments on - 8 on bottom and 6 on top. This timing is really good as I'm delivering a presentation at an international conference in London on the 14th (eek trying not to think about it *stagefright*) and wouldn't want to be lisping my way through it haha! And I go to Spain on the 23rd, so should have got used to them by then?? And then 3 days after I get back from Spain, I get my attachments and tray 2. Sorted!
I do have a weekend in London two days after my first tray goes in - as it's a passive tray, do you think it should be a fairly easy/no pain one? Due to the wedding thing I don't really want to wait until I'm back before I put it in. I think I'll grin and bear it anyway - I have a very high pain threshold, and I'm sure lots of vodka (drunk quickly so tray isn't out too long!) will help numb the pain haha!
God look how much I've written! Sorry - I work in communications, I talk for a living!! Just one more thing - eek it really hurt having to pay all of that money in one go after today's appointment! The receptionist laughed as she'd never seen anyone pay a bill that big before! (she's quite new). Ah well, let's hope it's worth it - and I'm looking at it from the point of view that I'll get a lifetime's worth of value from having nicer teeth :-)
Step away from the computer!!
I'm obsessed with checking my Clincheck!! Is that normal?! I think I need my fiancé to block the link so I can't keep looking haha!!
While I'm here, I've seen so many different views about best cleaning products and toothpastes etc. What are the current best practice tips? I'm planning to stock up this week while I'm waiting for tray 1 to arrive :-) I've read the various posts on the forum here, just curious to hear from those of you who are a few weeks into your Invisalign adventure :-)
Tray 1 has begun :-)
It's officially started - I'm on day 1 of Tray 1 whoop! I knew my dentist got back from holiday today, and was hoping he'd call...and he did :-) Not sure when the trays arrived but it's all been very quick, even with having had to wait for him to get back - only 3 weeks since I had my moulds taken. I was prepared for it to take longer, so I'm so happy I've started the journey already.
So far so good - I haven't had any attachments yet so the worst is yet to come I guess! I can feel pressure on my teeth but the trays don't feel nearly as obvious as I feared they would.
I'm having REAL problems getting used to taking them out though! I did it a couple of times while at the dentist, to try to get the hang of it, and have only tried once since I've been home. Anyone got any great tips?? My nails are already getting wrecked! I have an outie tool but couldn't really find a way for it to be any use.
I haven't had to speak much yet as I'm working from home, but my fiancé is due home soon and I'm going to see if he notices anything without me pointing them out :-D
It's going okay (so far!)
So I'm on Day 5 and so far so good. I got my aligners on Thursday, which was an interesting time to start this as I knew I was going to London for the weekend - for two days of shopping, eating and drinking. Not to mention lots of train travel from Bristol and back! But I handled it all well - and just popped out my trays when I wanted to eat, and then popped them back in again asap after (once I'd cleaned of course!) That was a lot of popping! But I still kept within the 20 hour minimum - hopefully quite a bit more.
My trays are getting much easier to take out - I'm not sure if it's because I'm getting the knack of it, or because they're getting looser? Maybe a bit of both! I haven't had any pain, just some very minor achy-ness. And two of my teeth have already moved! I had a sizeable gap between two of my lower teeth - I could get my tongue in there a bit and food was always getting trapped there. But now it's almost closed - can that happen so quickly?!? I say it's almost closed, it's probably not really, but I can't get my tongue down there anymore so something's changed!
I'm off to Spain on Thursday but feel pretty comfortable about it all. I've got my little kit that I take around with me, with brushes and paste - and disposable pre-pasted brushes for emergencies! And I'm very comfortable with people seeing me brushing and flossing in the ladies. We go to Spain a lot, so I have to make it work out there or it'll be a problem, but I don't expect any issues.
And, most surprisingly of all, I'm pretty much already at the stage where I don't notice them anymore. After only 5 days! My brain is completely at ease with having these lumps of plastic in my mouth - so much so that I took a gulp of coffee at the weekend with them in, because I completely forgot about them!! No damage done though, phew!
Let's see how well I'm doing next week once I have my attachments on - uh oh!
Fake tan inconvenience!
This will make you laugh - I've just been for a spray tan prior to my holiday and only realised afterwards that I now can't eat or drink anything other than water for the rest of the night! I can't get my hands wet so can't brush my teeth or clean my aligners! Just as well I gave them all a good clean after my early dinner. I'd have eaten more if I'd realised!
Advice needed re alternative case!
Hello all :-) I'm currently stuck on a plane on the runway at Bristol airport, due to french air control strike action! A potential 3 hour delay, boooo!
Anyway, to my horror, I've realised I've left my Invisalign case in my other bag at home! I'm current enjoying a complimentary Easyjet coffee and have popped my aligners in a cup (see pic!) but does anyone have any suggestions for something I can buy in Spain to use? It's not vital - I'll just have to be careful where I put them while eating! But I thought it worth asking :-)
Keep your fingers crossed that we get an earlier departure slot! :-)
Hello from Spain!
So this has been a busy time socially for me to be getting used to my first trays! Last weekend I had a girls weekend in London and now I'm over in our house in Spain with my fiancé. We visit here a LOT so it's important I can make it work out here with my Invisalign :-) Anyway, all is good! I've been diligent about cleaning as much as possible and on the couple of occasions that I couldn't due to being on the beach or whatever, I've swilled with water and chewed gum before putting my aligners back in.
If you remember, I realised that I left my aligner case at home! It's all going ok though - I bought a cute little coin purse that is quite substantial (protective) and has a plastic lining (hygienic!).
I'm usually a red wine drinker but due to the higher than usual holiday alcohol consumption (!) I've switched to white so I can drink with my aligners in (popping off to the restroom to clean them and my teeth regularly!). This seems to be working ok and I'm sure is better than keeping them out for long periods.
Home on Tuesday and then trays 2 (and attachments!) on Friday!
Midway through tray 2
Everything is still going great - I did find it hard to remove these trays now that I have attachments but a week in and they're much easier to take out. I was taken to a v posh lunch on Wednesday and had them out of my mouth for the longest yet - 1.5 hours or so. I still had them in a total of at least 20 hours that day, but when I popped them back in after lunch my lisp had returned! Is that because they were out for so long?? I found it funny but odd!
Still no pain! Just a bit of tightness at first really - although I have dug into the old dental wax a couple of times to protect my poor tongue!
All going ok!
I thought I'd do a quick update, even though there's not much to report really! I change to my 4th trays in two days time and I'm just plodding along doing what I can to ensure I wear them as much as possible. I've had quite a few holidays and social engagements since I started Invisalign, but I'm still averaging at least 21 hours a day. Usually closer to 22 I reckon.
The weirdest thing is not seeing any difference yet! I know its normal but it feels odd doing all of this and just hoping that at some point things will start moving into place. At the moment I really can't imagine that these simple little clear trays will actually transform my teeth - can any of you who are much further ahead send some encouraging words?? I assume you felt this dubiousness too in the early stages??
But it's all good - I have faith in the process and will just keep going and put the 'transformation' to the back of my mind for now :-)
I hope you're all getting on ok too!
Teeth moving out, rather than in??
One quick question for you! It feels like my front teeth are moving 'out', rather than 'in' which is what the desired result is!! I'm only on tray 4 and I wonder if they almost have to move out before they get aligned and then all move back in together?? I'm not overly concerned, just a bit surprised as I don't remember spotting this when watching my clincheck!
Onto tray 5 - so far so good!
I had my six week check-up today and my dentist is very happy with how everything is going. Although I really can't see any visual difference yet, he said he could see that a few key movements were definitely going to plan, so that's good! He also said my hygiene and gum health were excellent - so that's a relief. 8 weeks in, if I was doing something really wrong hopefully it would have shown by now! So for those of you who, like me, are deciding to have the occasional glass of white wine (or 4!) with your trays in, it doesn't seem to be doing me any harm!
While I'm here - just to update on my 'on the go care' when I'm out and about. I thought it might be useful for any newbies. If I'm at home or work I still brush my teeth with my usual/travel toothbrush and paste. But although I initially invested in several mini travel brushes and pastes etc, I've now invested in a box of 100 disposable toothbrushes from Amazon.co.uk! They were only about £8 (which I thought was ok) and I make sure I have some with me wherever I go. That way, if I need to clean 'on the go' it's literally just a quick brush and then bin the brush and go. It's especially great when I'm on an evening out as they don't take up too much room in my small going-out bag! The other thing I've bought are some individually wrapped antibacterial wipes - again from amazon. I'm very aware that my aligner case could get a bit 'germy' quite quickly as I often pop them out when I'm out and about and having a coffee/snack etc, and of course keep them in my case for safe keeping. So these wipes are a great way of making sure I sanitise the case (and anything else) every day or two.
Hope you're all doing well - I got trays 5-7 from my dentist today, so I'll be popping a new set in tonight just before bed :-)
All going well :-) I've passed the half way mark for my top arch (20 trays) and making good progress with the bottom (24 trays). I've just taken some pics - The light is bad though so forgive the poor quality shots (and typically bad British dentistry - look at those fillings!!).
This is the first time I've taken a shot looking up inside my top arch for comparison reasons and I think I can see a difference?? My front teeth still aren't aligned but my dentist told me from the start that the first 13 or so trays are all about widening and shifting further back. So hopefully my front snaggle tooth will start moving soon!
I hadn't realised my bottom teeth had shifted so well!
My dentist said that after my next visit (5 weeks) I can possibly switch to 10 day changeovers yay! That will mean my top arch will be finished by the wedding! Although I'll definitely be doing refinements so my journey won't have finished!
So far I'm delighted with Invisalign :-)
So I'm on tray 17 and my dentist told me last month that I could start swapping them weekly :-) However... because I have 7 trays to go, and 8 weeks until the wedding (!) I've decided to wear them for 9 days each. I'm going in two days before the wedding day to have my attachments removed and I'll then continue to wear tray 23 as a retainer while on honeymoon etc. I'll have tray 24 to use if I lose tray 23, or it becomes too yucky to wear any longer!!
My plan is to ask my dentist to re-scan me when he takes off the attachments, so he can be processing my first refinement treatment when I'm on honeymoon. He's on paternity leave for most of April and so if we don't do it before that, I'd have to wait until May. But he's said he will be in for odd afternoons during April so hopefully he'd be happy to see me to hand over my first few refinement trays :-)
Anyway I've uploaded a pic I took this morning (it's so tricky to get good pics!!). Can you spot a difference??? It's only now that I can really see how much has changed - my front tooth is almost aligned now and the side teeth aren't nearly as sloped inwards. It's been so effortless too - for anyone wondering whether to do this or not... DO IT!! It's a walk in the park :-)
Onto my final trays! (For now)
So the wedding is a week tomorrow, and I popped my final trays in a couple of nights ago :-) I'm off to the dentist on Thursday to have my attachments filed off and get moulds taken for refinements. I'm thrilled with the improvement so far and will be smiling broadly in all my wedding photos I'm sure :-)
Smiley wedding photos!!
So I'm now Mrs H!! And the wedding was absolutely perfect :-) I felt so much more confident smiling broadly for the photos - thank you Invisalign!!!!!!!! My teeth aren't perfect but they're so much better than they were.
I had my attachments filed off on Thursday - and it was much faster than I expected. I was expecting much more drilling!!! I had a good chat with my dentist and we've agreed that I'm going to have a think before deciding on refinements. He reckons they're fine and now he's filed down a couple of edges on my front teeth I'm more in agreement. He's on paternity leave for all of April so I have an appt in early May to tell him my verdict! I will have to be very good with my aligners for the next six weeks as they're now acting as retainers!!
So now we're at Heathrow waiting to fly to Vegas on honeymoon :-) It will be nice to know I can be a bit more relaxed with my hours of wear, but I'll still be pretty stringent about it all. I hope you're all having as positive an experience with Invisalign as I've had!