February 23, 2017
Today I am going to get Invisalign on my teeth. I know there are no wires or brackets like my first experience with braces back in my teens, but the orthodontist did say to allow 40 minutes for the appointment so I am expecting something more involved than just popping them on. How does it work? First, an impression is made of your mouth and you wait about 6-8 weeks for your trays to be made. Then you can meet with your orthodontist to get started.
Once I arrive at my appointment, I learn that adjusters will be glued on to a few of my teeth to help secure the tray. They are the same color as my teeth so no big deal there. The bulk of my appointment is having them attached and then smoothed over so that they are comfortable. Then the trays were inserted and bam! I’m done. The orthodontist lets me practice popping them off and on, which is not as easy as I expected, especially considering they need to be removed every time I eat or drink something other than cool water. For a frequent snacker like myself, this could be a challenge, especially since it is recommended that the braces stay on 22 hours per day for optimal results. Maybe I’ll drop a few pounds during this process! However, the trays are comfortable on – I don’t feel like my mouth is huge and as I speak to the ortho, I am pleased to notice that I don’t appear to have any type of lisp as I speak (I have met some people with Invisalign who do speak with a lisp). I left with four different trays – the first stays on for 3 weeks and the others are worn for 2 weeks apiece. The total number of trays I’ll need to wear for the duration of this treatment is 31. My next appointment is in May to check in and get some more trays. Let’s see how it goes!
March 16, 2017
Today I start to wear my second tray of Invisalign! How have the last few weeks been? For one, as I’ve worn the initial tray, it has become much easier to pop in and out of my mouth when I eat, so that has been encouraging. Other than that, they are really very low maintenance and, honestly, people that I interact with on a daily basis have no idea that I’m wearing anything at all, which is awesome! When you are over 40, you especially don’t want to draw attention to yourself in that way. For my 12 year old niece who is sporting the traditional type of braces, it’s fine, but not for me! My teeth are usually a little sore as soon as I wear a new tray but it is not anything intense.
Many of my friends, including my husband, don’t really “get” why I’m wearing them at all and think my teeth are fine now, but this is something I decided to do just to move some teeth that have shifted a bit over the years. It is a financial investment, but luckily our dental insurance will cover a portion of it. Overall, so far so good. I won’t lie; I have cheated on the “no eating or drinking hot beverages with them on” rule. I’ve drunk iced coffee using a straw, and have also enjoyed drinking seltzer with them in and have had no ill effects. I am pretty diligent to make sure I’m keeping them clean and brushing my teeth often though. And I don’t think I will attempt to drink hot beverages with them in, as I’ve read it could melt the material that the trays are made with and I don’t want to risk that!
I’ll keep you posted on this journey as there are many, many more trays to wear over the coming months, but, if you are thinking about it, I can tell you that so far it has been a positive, no fuss experience for me. Have you used Invisalign? Please leave a comment and share your experience! Thinking about it? Ask me any questions you have!