Thursday, September 24
My Invisalign Journey
**Photo by Allison Marshall (aka: Wonderlass)
As I mentioned some months back, I spent the end of last year and most of this year with Invisalign. Having my teeth corrected has always been something I've wanted, but we were never really in a position to drop fat cash on something that wasn't a NEED. Fast forward a few years to a time of more self care and less guilt (why do we feel so guilty taking care of, or doing things for ourselves? I could rant all day about how important it is to do things for YOU), and it was time for me to finally take that plunge. For me, Invisalign was a GREAT experience. Sure your teeth get sore because they're being moved around, but the more months I had my trays in, the easier switching became. Many of you have emailed or commented asking about my experience, so I figured I'd answer the most commonly asked questions here on the blog.
1. How long did you have Invisalign? I had Invisalign from November 2014-May 2015. My top teeth were pretty straight except for a few on the sides, but my bottom teeth needed quite a bit of shifting. I was a by-the-book kind of patient and did everything I was supposed to religiously. That way, I could be done the shortest amount of time possible.
2. How does Invisalign work? After you go in for your initial scan and your trays come in, the dentist applies little enamel colored bumps or "buttons" to some of your teeth so the plastic retainers will stay in place. When I first got my buttons, they felt huge, they cut my mouth, and I was pretty embarrassed to talk. I adjusted to them after a couple of weeks and it got way better. They also wear down over time, so even though my buttons felt crazy-huge at first, popping your trays in and out kind of takes care of that.
Approximately every two weeks you just pull a new set of plastic trays out of the package and replace the ones you were wearing. I had 15 sets in all, but everyone is different.
3. Are they hard to keep track of? Firstly, I am a VERY forgetful person. I write everything down in notebooks and constantly lose said notebooks. I was pretty certain I'd be calling the dentist at least once a month to apologize, but it was actually very easy to keep track of them. You get a special storage case to hold them when they're out, and honestly, while your teeth are moving, you are completely aware of whether you have them in or out. I only had one major scare, and it was when we were trying to leave town for the weekend and I couldn't find my brand new trays that I had put in the night before. Always save the previous ones just in case this happens!
4. Can you eat or drink with them in? Well... no. You can drink water, but that's it. I thought popping them out in public and brushing my teeth every single time I was done having coffee or eating or whatever would be a hassle, but I got used to it super fast. Plus, you always have fresh breath, so there's that. ;)
5. Would you recommend Invisalign based off of your experience? 100% YES. I had a really great experience with Invisalign and found myself excited every time my next dentist appointment rolled around. Since my bottom teeth actually align with my top teeth now, I find myself grinding less, actually chewing on my right side (my molars didn't line up well on that side), and smiling with my teeth way more. I still wear my retainers at night (EVERY NIGHT. I probably won't ever stop) and it's basically second nature at this point.
The only things I had a bit of a time with (and these were very minor things) were giving up gum-- because I was a chronic gum chewer, and not being able to whistle-- which was my annoying nervous tick. I mean all-in-all, those were things I probably needed to part with anyway. I did talk kinda funny for the first month or so, but you get it back. Honestly, the only real hurdle I ever had was investing the money, and I don't think I'll ever regret it.
If you have any questions about Invisalign, you can leave them in the comments here and I promise to answer each one. I wanted to post some before and after photos here, but as it turns out, I never really smiled in pictures without my teeth properly covered before this. When I get my before/after pics from the dentist, I'll show you how they shifted (even thought it's kinda gross and probably a little embarrassing). xo.