Invisalign – the first few months

I last updated you on my Invisalign journey back in April when I was just about to set out into the world with my first set of aligners.  Now here I am 8 months on (so about a third of the way into the process for me) and I literally could not be happier.

It’s not all been smooth sailing, take right now for instance, I am on a 3-week “break” whilst things get adjusted to compensate for a stubborn lower canine that refuses to budge.  But in the main, well, it’s been way better than I could ever have imagined!

When I left with that first aligner back in April I was a little shell-shocked.  With 11 attachments on my upper and lower front teeth and bite-restrictors on my back teeth, when the aligners first went in, I thought I looked shocking.  It was way more noticeable than I had hoped it would be and it took a heck of a lot of adjusting to in terms of speaking initially.  But only for a very short while.

My other half was really impressed and said it was barely noticeable, which made me feel heaps better.  Some people who knew I was having it done commented and asked about it, telling me they could hardly tell I was wearing an aligner, and others simply didn’t notice.  You will, at times, run the gauntlet of dry mouth / wet mouth, dry lips, lips sticking to aligner when speaking and smiling, but people didn’t seem to notice it so as self-conscious as I was, I soon learned to get past it.

What was kind of stressful was the first time I had to pop the aligners in and out – I’d researched the product extensively and read blogs and reviews before committing – many of which told me it was a painful, awkward and difficult process.  Awkward maybe, and a tad uncomfortable at first but that was it.  I’d bought tools to help, chewies to help me get them back in…. all completely redundant.  After 3-4 days I was popping them in and out like a good ‘un and kicking myself for buying into the hype that it was going to be tough – it really isn’t.

So as my progress was good, and I was over-wearing my aligners by quite a bit (around 23 hours a day wear rather than the recommended 22 hours), he said I could move on to the new aligners every 12 days rather than every 14 – FANTASTIC!  I foolishly thought this was going to be my shortcut to getting out of the aligners a few weeks earlier, though it’s not quite panned out that way.  But in doing that, a useful side-effect of the product is that I found I lost about 2 stone (around 13kgs!) YES YES YES.

The downside…?   A couple of days discomfort when you first switch to a new aligner (then nothing).  The inside of your mouth can become cut and very sore if the attachments on your teeth are sharp (this does eventually go, but Bonjela or similar will help though be careful it contains sugar which isn’t a natural friend of your teeth when you have aligners in.  Also the embarrassment factor… I am learning to love discreetly popping my aligners in and out in public places and brushing in public rest-rooms, but I can’t lie, it does attract some funny looks sometimes.

Also if you love grazing and can’t bear drinking nothing but water for most hours of the day, this product possibly isn’t for you.  But I have never looked back since starting – the amount of water paired with the weight I’ve lost makes me feel amazing, my progressively straighter smile is making me look and feel fantastic and I am completely used to the routine and restrictions that wearing aligners presents, and I am completely comfortable, nay relishing in that.

I’ve been getting the aligners in 6-weekly batches which does mean intermittent visits to the dentist, but that’s good, they are making sure all is as it should be which is really re-assuring.  However on my last couple of visits, I’ve been having that stubborn canine filed (quite uncomfortable, but not painful) to encourage movement as it wasn’t making the same progress as the rest of my teeth.  However with Invisalign a great thing is that you get a mid-treatment review if that happens.  So basically I’ve now had all my attachments temporarily and my mouth re-scanned with the Clin-Check tool so that my remaining aligners can be re-made in line with the new requirements.

It’s giving me a 3-week aligner break (almost) whilst I wear my “last” aligner without attachments just to retain the present position till I get the new ones through.  Conveniently, it’s fallen over the Christmas holidays which means I get to lippy up and show-off my nearly-done peggies and eat and drink with a little more ease than I normally could, though I do of course need to keep popping in the aligner for retention which I am more than happy doing.

So the plan is that in January I’ll be back in to collect the next, newly revised set and from there, hopefully I’ll be back on track for a May finish, but in the meantime, just LOOK at my interim results!  If that doesn’t convince anyone still deciding if Invisalign is right for them, I don’t know what ever will.

Merry Christmas, look out for the next update in Spring!

RHB x
December 2015

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