Thursday, September 24

My Invisalign Journey

KC Girls' Weekend
**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.   


  1. I'm currently going through Invisalign and it's so interesting to hear someone else's views on it! I'm so jealous of your 15 trays haha! I have 54 and I'm currently on 24! It honestly feels like it's never going to end, but I'm sure I'll get through it eventually. It definitely does feel great though being more confident at smiling as I was like you before and never smiled with teeth showing! I can't wait till it's all over and I'll have nice straight teeth! :)
    xo April | April Everyday

  2. I really really want to try Invisalign braces. I had braces as a teenager, but I didn't wear the little plastic retainers after I had them taken off, so my once-perfect teeth shifted, and now I have a couple of gaps that really bug me. I swear one of the gaps is getting bigger, too! It's a big investment, but if you stick to the rules and if it makes you more confident, then it seems worth it! x

  3. I have been reading up on these as I'm really interested in getting them, Thanks for sharing your experience so glad to hear its so positive after reading so many great reviews I'm really wanting to take the plunge!


  4. Thank you for sharing this! I've been thinking about fixing my teeth for YEARS and have just never gotten around to actually talking to an orthodontist about it. I would love to try Invisalign!

  5. I've needed braces for over ten years, and while I really want invisalign since I'm super embarrassed about my teeth, but I think my teeth might need too much straightening for them to work. It is frustrating feeling guilty or being guilted - I hate it when people criticize me for wanting braces. Yes, I need them. But even if it wasn't a medical issue, if I WANT them and it will make me feel more comfortable about myself, why shouldn't I spend my money on that?

    I'm so glad you had a good experience, and I hope that in a few years I'll be able to take the plunge as well!

  6. Thanks for this! I know that I can't afford this right now, as it is an investment but, it's something that I've been thinking about for my future. It sounds like it's worth it too, which is really encouraging :-)

  7. I had the same thing--we could never afford braces growing up. When I turned 30 I took the plunge and used my work medical flex spending to cover it--in less than a year, my troublesome bottom teeth were fixed! I was also shocked how much straighter my top teeth were--I had never really noticed the misalignment there. I never would have done it with traditional braces at that age, so invisiline was really appealing. I also wear the retainers every night still, going on 4 years later.

  8. I have a question! Do you wear them all day and all night or just at night? I would really like to have great teeth, but money is kind of an issue. These sound totally worth it though.

    1. For as long as you have your trays, it is recommended that you wear them 22 hours a day. Once you get your retainers (which is what I have now), you just wear them at night!

  9. While it might take some getting used to brushing my teeth after every meal before putting the Invisalign trays back in, I can see how it might be a good thing. "You always have fresh breath." Also, I bet keeping your teeth so clean is really good for them. Maybe I should get these instead of the classic braces.

  10. Please please, send the aforementioned before/after photos 😊 I'm starting Invisalign this month and I'm super excited and scared at once 😀

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.