My Invisalign Smile Progress
A few weeks ago I took a step that I have been wanting to take for years and I got my Invisalign braces and started my Invisalign Journey.
Initial thoughts and my Invisalign progress? File it under: I wish I’d done that sooner!”
Why I decided to get braces as an adult
Getting braces in my 30s was something I absolutely knew I would do. It was more a case of when. I never had braces as a teenager because I didn’t need them. But, come those pesky wisdom teeth and also pregnancy and my teeth seemed to have moved so much I didn’t recognise my smile in photos.
In reality, I’d been unhappy with my teeth for years. Not only did I not like the way they were moving, but the movement caused headaches, jaw ache and affected my speech.
The First Day with Invisalign
Fixing my overcrowding, crossbite and overall bite
I knew I hated the way my bottom teeth had overcrowded and had pushed one of my teeth back into a snaggletooth, which really bothered me when I spoke. When I went for an Invisalign orthodontic consultation, I realised that whatever I hated as an overall look was actually a combination of three main issues:
- Overcrowding, particularly on my bottom row. With ‘that’ tooth.
- Crossbite, where my some of my bottom teeth were starting to overlap my top
- Misalignment and narrowing of jaw arch affecting the way I ate, spoke and also how my smile looked.
These issues combined were uncomfortable and were causing me to grind and wear away my teeth, which was a real worry and, on an aesthetic level, the way they looked made me really unhappy.
All of my dental issues were uncomfortable and were causing me to grind and wear away my teeth, which was a real concern. On a cosmetic level, the way they looked made me really unhappy.
I am not at all embarrassed anymore to say it affected my confidence, because I have spoken to so many adults who feel the same, but have been feeling it quietly.
My Invisalign Smile
What are Invisalign?
Invisalign is a brand name for clear plastic, Bisphenol-A (BPA) free aligners (or braces), custom-made for you. You change them up to every two weeks and they move your teeth incrementally over each set during the course of your treatment.
To find out if you’re a candidate for Invisalign, you’ll need to go for a consultation with a registered Invisalign dentist/orthodontist. After your consultation and detailed teeth scan, you’ll be sent a ClinCheck® 3d video which will show you your projected treatment and movement for every new set of aligners. You can see mine in our YouTube video. It’s very cool!
Pros vs. Cons of Invisalign?
Invisalign have some specific advantages over fixed braces, like the fact they’re removable and more discreet than traditional metal braces. Which is great for adults and especially, those like me, who work in a professional management environment and really wouldn’t be comfortable with fixed braces.
There are definitely a few pros and cons of traditional braces vs. Invisalign, and I discuss them all and show you my very own ClinCheck® and let you know all about my Invisalign experience and progress in our YouTube video, which is also below.
The first 2 weeks with Invisalign
My first set of Invisalign aligners understandably felt a bit odd to start. Plus, I felt like the edges were scratchy in places. My first meals were (almost) ruined because my tongue felt sore and salt and certain flavours were just a no go.
However, my dentist advised me to just use a nail file to smooth the edges out a bit. Seriously, a few gentle swipes with a regular nail file did the trick. Such a revelation! I wish I’d done it sooner!
I never had the same problem again. But, it’s a great tip.
Bubbles and the Invisalign Lisp
You’ll notice in the very first photo in my Invisalign progress pics below that up close you can see some bubbles. I was a bit concerned about these, as you can imagine! But, fear not, another thing that I no longer have and if you make sure your aligners are properly snapped on, this shouldn’t happen. You can use chewies orthodontic aligners or something similar to gently chew on to help with them fitting.
That lisp, though
The lisp is something that I think is almost unavoidable at the start. Let’s face it, you’ve got a foreign object in your mouth (!) and even though they’re thin, you just need time to adapt. Another thing that is lessened by making sure you’ve got your Invisalign on as snugly as possible. You’ll hear in the video (where I’m wearing my Invisalign throughout) that the lisp is gone.
The first few times I took my Invisalign aligners off were fine, but when I came to do it on day two to have a drink, it was not pleasant. Then the same again putting them back in! Seriously, I felt like my teeth were loose. They weren’t, but obviously, they weren’t used to being shackled in plastic. And told me so! The attachments (see below) seemed to make it worse.
So, I held off mealtimes for increasingly longer times because I’d really worked myself up over it. I had to mentally brace myself (groan!) to take them off and on.
But, by day 3, it really wasn’t that bad! Thankfully, as I was almost ready to give up.
Eating & drinking
Eating and drinking with Invisalign? First observations, I’m naturally a grazer. I generally eat little and often. I’ve had to rethink this! To get the most out of your Invisalign, the optimal wear time is 22 hours a day.
Of course, you can take them off as often as you like to eat and drink, but the fact you have to clean your teeth and aligners every time means you’re less likely to.
So, I make every meal count and make sure I’m getting everything I need at that point.
It seems absolutely unfathomable in the first days. It really does. But you definitely adapt and get used to and it. Quicker than I expected, actually!
My Invisalign Progress
So, here are some photos of my Invisalign progress from the first day and over the first few weeks. I have to say, I felt I could see changes by week 3 for definite. Probably imperceptible to anyone else. But, I could see them and that was just amazing.
Invisalign aligners move your teeth slightly with each set. So, each time you change your aligners, you’re getting measurably closer to your final result. And, as you get them in 7-8 week batches, you can compare them yourself to see what’s coming up.
In the close-up shots (in 4k. Eek!), you’ll see my attachments. These are ‘buttons’ that are bonded to my teeth that support the Invisalign to help my teeth move more effectively.
I’d be a big fat liar if I said I wasn’t initially disappointed about them. But, from a distance, they aren’t visible and it really didn’t take me long to accept them. Not everyone has them, but they have definitely been a big part of my Invisalign progress.
Invisalign costs vary depending on your needs and also where you’re having it done. Costs are comparable to fixed braces, which a lot of people don’t realise. But, it can start from £1500. Typically, you’re looking at between £2500- £5000. Mine is Invisalign Full over 40 sets of Invisalign aligners. This is for both arches and includes teeth whitening, retainers and aftercare.
I chose to pay interest-free installments over 12 months.
My Invisalign dentist is Natwar Tibrewal and I’d highly recommend him. In fact, I met someone randomly a couple of weeks ago who was also having Invisalign treatment with him and we are equally as happy with our choice!
Overall thoughts on Invisalign?
So, my overall thoughts over the first weeks? Week one, I thought I’d made the biggest mistake of my life. I couldn’t see how I was going to deal with 40 trays of treatment. The weeks after? It’s surprising how easy it is to adapt. It all just becomes normal. I even feel guilty about when I’m not wearing them. Thinking about the cost will do that!
But, I think the cost and investment in your dental health and happiness is absolutely worth it. I can’t wait to see the end result!