Two days in wearing my first set of Invisalign trays I checked my email and my dentist said STOP! Let me explain. At the fitting when practising removing the lower tray I had been a bit too eager to get it off and managed to damage it in the process. At the time it didn’t seem like a big deal, it still fitted ok and the dentist said she’d order another tray but carry on wearing these ones in the meantime. But as her email explained, she’d had a change of heart and decided it was best for me to take them all out and wait for the new ones.
So – two days and then gotta take them out. That is a bit annoying, not because it’s going to delay the treatment course by a week or two, but because those two days were the worst days of getting used to having bits of plastic in my mouth. I think I was just about getting used to them, and forgetting that they were in there. Oh well, it isn’t going to kill me to go through that again.
So what was it like? Well putting them in is a doddle. They just push in, clip, and you’re done. Then wearing them is odd – imagine going around with a piece of plastic stuck in your mouth *all* the time. When you are wearing them, you can’t eat anything or drink anything except water. The drinking bit is ok for me as I just drink water anyway. Not so good for my wife though, she tends to snack and drink tea/coffee all the time. I reckon of all the diets she’s been on in the past, this Invisalign treatment is going to be the most effective 🙂
Taking the things out isn’t so easy. Remember I mentioned previously about the white composite blobs that were fixed to my teeth to guide them into the correct position? Well the first sets of trays have little dimples in them to accommodate the blobs – which means they don’t slide off that easily. In fact you have to get your fingernails under the trays and really pull to get them off. Then – when it’s off – your teeth begin to realise they’ve been pushed and begin to relax and that aches. To the extent that I was quite happy to put the trays back in again after I’d eaten.
So to recap – the trays are worn 24/7 except for eating and drinking (water is ok). After two weeks you change onto the next set of trays – which are ever so slightly different and continue to push your teeth into the direction they are supposed to go.
When I’ve got some time I’m going to post the video showing how the teeth are supposed to move over time. It’s a great demonstration of what the difference is between your nasty crooked teeth and the lovely new ones after the treatment. And when your dentist tells you it works almost 100% of the time, it’s a pretty good sales pitch.
May 29th, 2010 – 11:45
Hi Ed, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. I have crowded teeth just like yours… may be worse. I’m at the end of tray 3 now (35U/35L) so I have a long way to go. A few things that work for me: 1) The edge of my lower trays stick out against my tongue too. The hygienist at my ortho’s office showed me how to file down the edge with a nail filer… basically to smooth it out. I’ve done this with every lower tray before I wear it & no more soreness. 2) I just had 14 attachments put on a few days ago (7 in the uppers and 7 in the lowers, mostly in front). Needless to say, it was tough removing the aligners afterwards. The hygienist told me to find areas where there are no attachments to start removal. This means lifting the aligners from way at the back. 3) My ortho told me I could eat and drink anything with the aligners in, provided I clean my teeth & aligners soon afterwards. This makes my life a little easier since I like to sip coffee in the morning & tea in the afternoon. Good luck to your treatment!
May 29th, 2010 – 11:57
Hi Robbin, thanks for the tips. I’d heard of people filing down the trays but I was worried that it would weaken them and my dentist hadn’t mentioned it – but I think I’ll give it a go now. I’m still on my second set of trays and I’m finding that at about day 10 they are beginning to crack at the front – possibly because of the force sometimes required to get them off! 14 attachments wow that’s a lot. Thanks for dropping by and good luck with your treatment too!