How straight are your teeth? Are you thinking about getting Invisalign? I’m currently on week 8 of a 20-week treatment plan. In this post, I’ll share everything you need to know, along with some Invisalign tips I’ve learned along the way!
*Thanks for using my affiliate links and supporting Ounce of Salt when you buy through my site, at no cost to you!
My Invisalign Journey
I wanted to do this for many years but could never make the decision. Although it’s an annoying process, I’m glad I finally started it because I see my teeth are becoming straight!
My top front teeth have always bugged me. They weren’t bucked teeth, but they jutted out a little from the tooth on each side. In my adult years, I noticed they were being pushed out even further.
I learned it is common for adult teeth to crowd as we age. Awful!
ps. I finally found a whitening toothpaste that works –buy through this link!
Can you see how my top two front teeth come out a bit on the sides?
Once it’s determined you’re a candidate, this is the Invisalign process you will go through:
- Your dentist takes molds of your teeth to send off to the lab. The molds are made by putting what feels like silly putty on your top and bottom teeth. It’s not the most comfortable process, but it’s not painful.
- Take x-rays.
- Send the molds off to the Invisalign lab to get your trays created.
Upon receiving the molds, Invisalign decides how many trays you will need for your treatment. It takes about six weeks to get the plastic, BPA free Invisalign alignment trays back from the lab.
The treatment plan is to wear each set of trays for two weeks. They gave me 20 trays, so I was theoretically supposed to wear these for 40 weeks.
After the Invisalign treatment is completed, you get a retainer to wear at night.
Cost: $6200 ouch! Not cheap at all. I heard the price can be about $4000 if you shop around? It’s important to go with a place you won’t mind frequently visiting though -don’t go for price alone. You spend a lot of time at your dentist during the Invisalign process so you need to like them. Find free dental quotes here.
Once your trays arrive, the orthodontist or dentist will give you one tray to wear for a 2-week start.
My first 2 weeks with Invisalign
- I had a hard time talking without lisping on day 1 and 2. By Day 3 I was used to it and spoke 95% normally.
- My Invisalign tray felt very awkward in my mouth. If you are wondering how it might feel, you may want to try night guard trays with Sparkling White Smiles. Invisalign is much thinner but you’ll get the picture. If you grind your teeth, get them regardless while you are thinking about Invisalign. Grinding ruins our teeth!
- If I knew how awkward it would feel, I probably would have lived with my crooked teeth. But now that I have the trays, I am glad I got them.
- While people won’t notice them if you are talking briefly, when you’re having a conversation, they will see the trays.
- They want you to wear the trays for 20-22 hours a day, but that is baloney. You need to take them out while you eat. Factor in snacking, drinking and socializing… there is no practical way to wear these trays for 20-22 hours/day.
- I wore mine about 18 hours a day on average, and it’s been working fine.
- It’s tough to brush after each time you eat or drink. I tried to be diligent about it for the first two weeks, bringing my toothbrush with me everywhere. But it’s impractical to brush in public bathrooms. If I couldn’t brush right away, I put the trays back on and then brushed both the trays and my teeth once I returned home.
Orthodontist at the End of Week 2
At this visit after the first tray term was complete, they put little dental composite filler (feels like cement) balls on my teeth per Invisalign’s instruction. These were bonded onto my teeth to hold the alignment trays in place to help shift my teeth.
I have the aligners on over the dental bond balls. Can you see them? If you look closely, you can see the composite balls under the trays. And see how shiny my teeth look? Those are the plastic aligners. I don’t like the composite balls.
A few things I learned from one of the employees at my orthodontist’s office
The alignment can work by wearing the trays for one week instead of two!
Or, wear them for 2-3 weeks, but after the first few days, you can get away with only wearing them at night!
You have to make sure the trays are fitting right, and you are not forcing the trays onto your teeth. If they go on easily with no gaps at the top of each tooth, you are fine to move on to new trays! I was so excited to hear this.
Since my first set of trays, I’ve been wearing my trays for seven days and then switching to the next set. I have to go to the dentist again soon to have them confirm my teeth are “tracking” right (moving in line with the trays). But I am pretty sure they are. When I went in week 4, they were fine.
Note: they do not usually tell their patients about the expedited process, and it was an opinion only but I ran with it for my treatment plan and it is working.
I have 13 weeks left in my treatment plan if I put in new trays every seven days. Again, this is not recommended by Invisalign. They want you to wear the trays for two weeks before advancing to the next tray. But why do that if one-week stints are working?
Want to see my final Invisalign results? You’ll want to read Invisalign Results: Are Your Teeth Crooked After Invisalign?
The Most Annoying Things About the Invisalign Process
- Lisping the first few days after starting each new tray
- The trays make my lips and mouth area jut out slightly (only I noticed this)
- The bonded composite fillings are very uncomfortable when you don’t have on the trays. They rub against the inside of your cheeks and make you feel like you have little pebbles stuck inside your mouth.
- When you eat, it feels like food gets stuck in your teeth easily. I find myself constantly rubbing my tongue across my teeth when I don’t have on my trays.
- You have to be careful when you chew, that the dental bonds don’t scrape/cut your inner cheeks.
- Having to take the trays out each time I want to consume anything other than water. Unfortunately, they don’t make me eat less.
- Keeping track of where the trays are when they aren’t in. I’m constantly misplacing them, and I lost a set of trays when I put them in a napkin that got thrown away by accident.
What I Like About the Invisalign Process
- I like that I can take them off for social events.
- It is easy to use teeth whitener now since I already have the trays on. I just put the whitener in the trays for 20-30 minutes.
- The trays keep me from grinding my teeth at night (which is a problem).
- It’s great that my teeth will be straight in 20 weeks (though that didn’t work out exactly as planned, read more at Invisalign Results: Are Your Teeth Crooked After Invisalign?.
What do you think about Invisalign after reading this post? Isn’t it more expensive than you thought? I almost fell over when I found out the cost. But it’s nice to have straight teeth. Don’t you wish you were Invisalign? They are raking it in with those plastic trays!
I hope you found this post useful. I didn’t post unattractive close-ups of my teeth for nothing!
Don’t forget to order my favorite whitening toothpaste!
If you enjoyed this post, you’ll like my update post after 5 months of treatment – What They Don’t Tell You. You may also like my post on how I finally found a whitening toothpaste that works.