It has been 14 weeks and 13 separate trays since I started my Invisalign course on the 11th of January. After my first article about beginning the process, I thought I’d update anyone whose interested in undergoing treatment themselves (or just curious) on my thoughts and experiences.
So far I am pretty happy with how the treatment is going. Teeth moved: check; Invisible: check; Easy to use: CHECK!
Perks include how my fingernails are FINALLY potected from incessant nibbling and currently at a respectable length, stronger than I’ve ever experienced. Although, with my treatment drawing to an end lets hope the habit is fully broken!
A drawback I’ve noticed in this current month is slight discolouration on the teeth where buttons have been attached. Despite consistent brushing, they have started to turn yellowish around the edges. I am told by my provider this is normal and my housemates say its not noticeable… but I think they’re just being nice. Luckily, I get teeth whitening at the end so I’m not too fussed, however if your aligners take longer than 16 weeks, it may be worth asking your provider how to prevent this.
At week 10 of my treatment I also had a check-up and underwent additional teeth shaving, which I’d been told to expect. However, the smaller removal of 0.1mm somehow felt much more invasive than removal of 0.5mm previously. The provider explained they were using a handheld file, which gives a smoother finish (although harsher sensation) than the machine used before. This was quick and did not hurt, but as I was convinced half my tooth was being sawed away – I thought I’d save you being caught by surprise too!
Now I’ve had a few months to get to grips with the trays, some general alligner advice follows….
Handling: During the first few days the alligners were tight and diffcult to remove. The advice is to start from the back molars and work toward the front teeth. Replacing them is the opposite process, fitting them over your front teeth and proceeding backwards – do not bite them in.
Maintenance: Over time, I have become more relaxed with my alligners. From cleaning them with toothpaste after each meal, I now only brush them (thoroughly) with water before replacing on freshly cleaned teeth. A BIG no-no which surprised me when researching is that alligner trays shouldn’t go in mouthwash… as although safe for teeth, it can damage the plastic.
Tips & Tricks: Although this is a very satisfying and clever process, the restrictiveness can be difficult. So here are some cheats I’ve developed to ease the rigidity without jeopardising the aligners or required wear time. The best substitute for those craving a hot beverage is a lukewarm white hot-chocolate, as the light colour doesn’t stain the aligners and the low temperature offers comfort, yet has not damaged my trays. Meanwhile… white wine, gin and diluted squash are yet to cause my aligners to stain!
With the end date in early May, look out for my final article on the realities of this treatment, and I hope this outlining of some of the ins and outs of the process may have helped you to make a decision yourselves!