I honestly can’t even remember how old I was when I first entered the world of Orthodontics. At some point in my early adolescence, I began the journey toward straighter teeth. With the help of braces and brackets and palette expanders and rubber bands and even the dreaded headgear, I spent years (and my parents countless dollars) in this endeavor. And then, one day, the Orthodontist told me I was done and I didn’t even need to wear my retainers anymore! Hooray! But, alas, 16 years down the road and I would need braces again. Or maybe Invisalign?
When I first started looking into Invisalign, it was crazy expensive. I mean, it’s still crazy expensive. But back then, it was double crazy expensive. For some reason, (even aside from the money thing), I just couldn’t bring myself to take the leap. Especially since my top teeth were fine, it was just my lower teeth that got a bit crowded and caused some problems. However, about a year ago, my brother started Invisalign. Somehow, we both had the same tooth move in the same way. Weird. But after seeing his results, and how amazing the process was, I was finally ready to try Invisalign for myself.
If pictures of teeth and people’s mouths gross you out, either stop reading here or scroll past this next picture really fast…
My teeth upon my Invisalign consultation:
Despite the fact that I had been contemplating Invisalign for years, I still went into my fitting appointment rather clueless. Even with my brother giving me advice, there were many things I wasn’t expecting to happen. Here are the 10 things I wish I knew before I got Invisalign….
1. Don’t wear lipstick – Lip Gloss is your friend.
Lipstick can somehow get in-between your Invisalign trays and your teeth! It’s like an even worse version of having something stuck in your teeth because you can’t just get it out really quick. You have to take out your entire tray and get the lipstick out. Lipgloss is much more Invisalign friendly. However, if you are a lipstick addict, try to stick with a “stay all day” kind like my beloved Sephora Cream Lip Stain.
2. You will probably get hangry.
Eating with Invisalign trays is a TOTAL PAIN. You have to take them out, eat, brush your teeth and the trays, and put them back in. I’m not going to lie. This caused me to skip a lot of meals – and consequently get super hangry.
3. You might make new friends.
On the flip side of the above point, brushing your teeth all the time means you might make some new friends in the bathroom. I actually met and talked to so many more people in the office because I was always in the bathroom brushing my teeth.
4. Your lisp never fully goes away.
Ok, this one really surprised me. I thought for sure after the first couple of weeks my lisp would go away, but it never did. Even with my final retainers now, I still have a slight lisp. Granted it’s not nearly as bad as it was the first week or two, but still.
5. It won’t bother people as much as you think it will.
None of it. The lisp doesn’t bother people, the trays don’t bother people. Even taking the trays out before you eat doesn’t bother people. This one really kind of surprised me. I don’t know why. I guess because there’s really no graceful way to do it.
6. Your teeth feel strange when you take them out.
It must have something to do with the pressure of the trays or something. Whenever I would take the trays out my teeth would feel so thin and strange. It’s amazing how quickly you get used to the trays. Plus I always kind of felt like a James Bond villain Jaws when my trays were in. So having them out made my teeth felt so small and dainty.
7. Your treatment plan isn’t set in stone.
I was never given an estimate as to the number of weeks my Invisalign treatment would take. But on the little packages they all said like “1 of 10” and “2 of 10” so I knew something would have to happen at week 10. However, imagine my surprise when at week 10 the dentist said something along the lines of “well we’ll look and see if your treatment plan for the last 5 weeks will work or if we need to adjust”. Wait, what? I had no idea that halfway through your plan things could change if your teeth weren’t adjusting correctly. Part of which is super cool. Especially if you’re one of those people that needs to make adjustments. It just surprised me.
8. It doesn’t really hurt, but change your trays at night just in case.
This was the biggest piece of advice my brother gave me and it helped so much. By switching your trays at night, you’re able to sleep through some of the initial soreness. Better than being at work with sore teeth for sure! After I switched to my week 2 tray, my teeth were a little sore. Other than that, I didn’t have any issues or pain for the rest of the 15 weeks.
9. You end up with a pile of Invisalign trays that you have no idea what to do with.
I still don’t really know what to do about this. What am I supposed to do with 30 little trays of my teeth in various stages of movement? It’s not like you can re-use them, or put them back on if your teeth move again or something. But it seems weird to throw them away. For now, they’re in a bag under my bathroom sink. **shrug**
10. Your final results can be amazing!
Ok, I’m erring on the side of caution on this one. What I really want to say is “Your final results WILL BE AMAZING!” However, I’m not a dentist, or doctor, or medical professional of any sort, so I don’t want to put words in anyones mouths or lead you astray. But I am so happy with my results and my decision to pursue Invisalign. I can’t believe that the 15 weeks went by so quickly and everything went so smoothly. Invisalign was truly a good decision.