ANYONE WHO KNOWS ME knows that I laugh… a lot. Which meant there were always pictures of me laughing and I couldn’t help but feel self-conscious about my crooked teeth! I always figured that I was lucky when my childhood dentist told me that I didn’t need braces because my teeth were “good enough.” But that didn’t mean that my teeth weren’t crowded in areas or that I was pleased with my smile.
As an office, we went to a continuing education class on Invisalign in the fall of 2015. I was very impressed with the changes that Invisalign was able to make in people’s smiles. I was not only excited to be able to offer it to our patients but I couldn’t wait to try it out myself!
Starting the process was not hard at all! I had one of the assistants take impressions along with a few photos. After about 2 weeks I had a computer generated model sent back to show me what my teeth would look like after the treatment was completed. They said it would take about 5 months or 10 trays to complete. I have to say, this was, by far, my favorite part. Being able to see what my teeth would look like in the end was very exciting! After Dr. Reckling and I accepted the treatment, Invisalign sent the retainers within the next few weeks and I was able to start the first set.
Everyone is different with how long their treatment will take depending on the amount of movement that needs to occur. Attachments and Interproximal Reduction (IPR) are needed in some cases to move certain teeth. Interproximal reduction is where Dr. Reckling removes a very tiny amount of enamel to create just enough room to shift the teeth to where they should be. And the attachments are placed on certain teeth to move things in the right direction. They are little, clear buttons glued on the surface of the teeth that are removed after treatment is completed. I needed both IPR and attachments during my Invisalign treatment. The attachments definitely felt very weird right after being applied but, like most new things, I got used to them.
Each Invisalign experience is different, but I do have a few tips and tricks that I found helpful.The first night I got my aligners I felt the need to keep playing with my lower aligner and then my tongue got a little sore. To help that, I just put a little orthopedic wax along the edge of my retainer that night and that seemed to do the trick. It never bothered me again. I also noticed a little staining on the edge of my attachments after drinking a triple berry smoothie. The staining wasn’t very visible to most, but being a hygienist, I was very aware of it! Luckily, I work in a dental office and had one of our other awesome hygienists, Angela, remove this for me. Just be aware that any drinks dark in color can cause staining, but can usually be easily removed!
Overall, my experience with Invisalign was great. I now have a smile I’m no longer self-conscious about and only wish I would’ve done it sooner!