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