My two months with Invisalign #invisalignmom

invisalign

I just passed my two month mark with my Invisalign treatment and wanted to share my experience with you. Overall, I’ve been incredibly happy with wearing the Invisalign aligners and the progress I’ve seen so far. (Yes, I already see changes after two months!)

Getting over the hump - the first week

I went to Dr. Going’s office almost six weeks to the day of my initial Invisalign consultation. The dental assistant gave me my first three aligner sets, which would cover the initial six weeks. She explained how to take care of them. I also practiced taking them on and off. It was a challenge at first as I’m a nail biter and didn’t have any nails to pull my aligners off with.

(Ironically, since I can’t bite my nails with my Invisalign aligners in, I actually have long fingernails for the first time in years. It’s been one of the fun side benefits of getting Invisalign, though keeping up a nice manicure can be a bit of a chore.)

Confident I could take the aligners on and off easily after practicing, I left the office. That’s when the first – and biggest – Invisalign challenge began. You see, I had a headache and my teeth hurt for the first four days. Ibuprofen helped as did a glass of wine in the evenings.

For awhile I wondered if I had made the right choice getting Invisalign treatment. However, I know I’m one of those people who get a headache from a new eyeglass prescription, wearing iPod earbuds, or if my hat is too tight. Face it, I’m a bit delicate. (OK, maybe wimpy is a better word.)

So I learned to take breaks from the discomfort by taking the aligners out long enough to enjoy a drink or a snack. I also took them out when I was cooking dinner, since I like to taste the food I’m cooking. (You’re not supposed to eat or drink anything but water when wearing your Invisalign aligners.)

Yet, I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to sleep with my Invisalign aligners in. In fact, those first few days I felt best when I was sleeping and looked forward to turning in each night.

Week two through six

After the first week, the discomfort and “weirdness” wore off and wearing my Invisalign aligners was a breeze. Then it was just a matter of getting into a good routine to make sure that I wore them as much as possible – 20 to 22 hours a day is optimal.

There were a few things I learned along the way:

  • You’re given two cases for your Invisalign aligners. Keep one in your purse or backpack and the other in the kitchen. (By the sink is best). You may also want to get a little dish or bowl to put next to your toothbrush, too.
  • If you’re leaving home for an extended amount of time (to school, work, etc.) make sure to bring a toothbrush and toothpaste with you. It’s best to brush your teeth after every meal so your Invisalign aligners don’t get yucky from food particles and plaque. (If you can’t brush right away, at least try to rinse with some cool water.)
  • Your close friends and family won’t mind you popping out your Invisalign aligners (or snapping them back in) at the dinner table or even when you’re out to eat. However, if you’re with people who are more acquaintances than friends, take your aligners off in the bathroom or at least try to be a discreet as possible.
  • Keep a sports bottle filled with cool water with you at all times. Sometimes I have dry mouth from the aligners. I especially get this at night, so having a water bottle on my night stand is essential.
  • Read the little booklet that comes with your Invisalign beginner kit. It’ll give you tips on how to care for and clean your aligners. I use a little bit of toothpaste and my toothbrush. I also received some cleaning crystal samples from my dental assistant. The cleaning crystals can be ordered at the Invisalign store, but it’s pretty pricey. Instead, ask your orthodontist if she or he has any samples or if they have any cleaning tips for you.

Week seven and beyond

AMN Oct 2011

I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Goings during week seven. That’s when the dental assistant applied little “bumps” to several of my teeth. These fit into little “holes” in the aligners to position and straighten my teeth more accurately. Getting the bumps applied wasn’t a big deal. It took 40 minutes and the process was a bit yucky tasting at worst.

The bumps feel a bit weird since I now have rough little pebble like things on my teeth. Still, it’s amazing that almost no one can tell that they’re there. In fact, above is a picture of me a couple of weeks ago at a blogger event. You can kind of see the little bumps if you look closely. (I had taken my Invisalign aligners out since I was eating.) But you probably wouldn’t have noticed them without me mentioning it.

Questions?

Feel free to ask me any questions about my experiences with Invisalign in the comments section below. That’s what I’m here for!

You can also learn more about Invisalign at Invisalign.com. Or ask Invisalign your questions on Twitter or their Facebook page.

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Disclosure: I’m a member of the Invisalign Teen Mom Advisory Board. I’m receiving complimentary treatment from Invisalign, but all opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

12 thoughts on “My two months with Invisalign #invisalignmom

  1. monique

    Very interesting. I’ll be 40 in a few short months, and I’ve already had braces (twice), but I’m still interested in getting my teeth a little more straight. I’m thinking that invisalign’s are too expensive for me though.

    Reply
  2. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

    Invisalign is the about the same cost as traditional braces. The best way to find out what it will cost you is to find an Invisalign Preferred Provider in your area from the search box at Invisalign.com (upper right hand corner of the home page). Make an appointment, but make sure to first ask they do free consultations and estimates. Discuss their payment plan, too. Then if you have dental insurance find out if they pay for orthodontics. (Some plans pay up to 50%.) You’ll be surprised how reasonable the cost of Invisalign is.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Burns

      Invisalign is not the same cost as traditional braces. Invisalign cost more, for me $500 more. Currently me and my 2 children are still in treatment. I am waiting for my refinement trays then I’m done. My two kids have a ways to go. I love my smile and I love the fact that Invisalign is a luxourious way to correct your bite. Life is good!

      Reply
      1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

        Lisa, Invisalign is *around* the same cost as traditional braces especially when you factor in visits, mileage, etc. For example, you need to see an orthodontist about once a month for traditional braces. For Invisalign, you go every 6 to 8 weeks. Also, because kids often break their wires, you go in more for emergency visits with traditional braces. And think about all the things you can’t do with traditional braces like eating certain foods, playing sports or an instrument. That’s worth a lot more than the $500 difference to me in time, mileage and hassle.

        So glad to hear you’re enjoying your Invisalign treatment!

        Reply
      2. Michael

        My invisalign was about $1500 more! I wouldn’t have it any other way though! Absolutely love them. They are so comfortable and I have seen quick and steady results!

        Reply
  3. Brett O.

    I got my Invisalign Jan 2010 & my dental insurance adjusted the $4500 quoted to $3760 of which I owed $1880. I had already put in over $2000 into my medical savings/flex spending account therefore it was essentially a 25% discount due to using pre-tax dollars which came to $1410 that was taken out of my paycheck over the course of a year equaling $27.11/week net.

    I was quoted 24 uppers & 12 lowers initially and a revision of another 20 uppers and 12 lowers totaling 88 weeks. Yes, that’s 1.5 years. Nobody even knew I had them unless I told them. Best decision I’ve made for myself.

    I am the bottom picture. Here’s a link to my dentist’s site: link to smilenebraska.com

    Reply
    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      Wow Brett, the changes to your smile are amazing!

      Thanks for mentioning discounts from insurance as well as flex spending. These are great ways to help pay for your Invisalign treatment. Also, people considering traditional braces or Invisalign should talk with their orthodontist about discounts for paying in full upfront or doing quarterly or monthly payments via credit card or direct deposit.

      Reply
  4. Laura

    Hi im only 11 (almost 12) and i am having a HARD time deciding if I should get Invisalign or regular braces… Please help i go for my conciliation on Tuesday!!! SOOO SCARED ! Which should i get ?
    I don’t want pain and i feel that i would swallow Invisalign in my sleep!! Lol … :/ please help me decide . (Before the 16th) thanks

    Reply
    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      Laura, when you go for your consultation, talk with your orthodontist about whether Invisalign or traditional braces are right for you. Make sure you ask the doctor about your fears and concerns. And btw, you cannot swallow the Invisalign in your sleep. They fit pretty tightly on your teeth and won’t fall off. Plus they’re as big as your entire jawline, so pretty big, too. Good luck and let me know how it went!

      Reply
  5. AYA

    Hello, I’m 15 and have been weighing out the pros and cons of Invisalign compared to normal braces, I wanted to ask if you’ve had any trouble with cavities or anything of the sort?
    Thank you :)

    Reply
    1. Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks!

      Aya, I had no problems with cavities. Actually, I brushed my teeth a lot when I had Invisalign. I didn’t like if the trays felt “fuzzy” with any plaque build up or in the morning when I woke up with “yuck mouth.” I always brushed after meals, too, because I wanted to have a clean mouth when I put my Invisalign trays back in after eating. Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Reply

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