I grew up being a bit self conscious about many things. One of them are my front teeth, they are a bit crooked and I barely showed them in pictures when I was younger. The older that I got the more comfortable that I started feeling with myself and I started showing my crooked smile a bit more. But for some reason I still felt like I looked very goofy.
After many years of battling with this topic, I finally decided to get braces. I spend a lot of time on front of cameras and wanted something unnoticeable to the public. I did some research and visited my dental office, Excel Dentistry in Glen Rock, NJ and began what I call to call “My Invisible Journey”
List of items to bring on your journey:
-Your aligners (of course)
-Aligners Boxes (There’s 2)
-Portable brushing kit
-Lots of mouthwash
-Denture cleanser tablets
What to expect on the first day:
When you think of braces, you think of metal wires and lots of pain and soreness. With Invisalign the process is very different. I had gone in a month earlier to get X-rays and waited while my doctor designed my aligners and sent them down to the lab. On the day of, they attached some retainers on some of my teeth (of the same color) so they blend right in. These retainers that look like tiny hooks, are what is used to hold up your Invisalign trays in your mouth. I received about 3 months worth of aligners, which I have to change every 2 weeks, and two cases; one to store the current when I take them off and one for the last pair.
Initially it was hard because the trays feel smaller than your teeth, however, I was a champ and was able to put them on all by myself. My mouth felt really tight and I kept gagging a lot because the plastic felt very foreign. I did a lot of spitting and had to take an advil because I felt much pressure.
The first week:
The first week was very uncomfortable. The entire time, my mouth was trying to figure out what was this piece of plastic that was now living there. I must have gagged for the first three or four days. I was too aware of the plastic inside my mouth at all times. I started feeling very conscious about the edges around the trays to the point where they would bother me and I had to run back my dentist freaking out. They gave me some dental wax to put around the rough edges. I also filed them a bit to smoothen them out. After a while, my inner lips adjusted to the braces and I no longer had to do this.
The first month:
I got a small kids tooth brush to wash up the trays. I brushed them every morning after brushing my own teeth. The problem is that no matter how much you wash them, or how much you brush your own teeth; after the first week of wearing them they still get dirty. So I went to the .99 cent store and bought denture cleanser tablets. Now when I wake up in the morning I drop my trays in a cup of water with a dissolving tablet and let it cleanse while I shower and brush my teeth. After I soak them, I brush them and put them back on feeling minty fresh.
Like I mentioned earlier, I change my trays every 2 weeks. After a while they start stretching and your mouth doesn’t feel so tight anymore. But be prepared to feel some pressure once you change them and they feel too small for your teeth again.
The first six months:
At first, I thought that my constant water desire was temporary. But no, be prepared to drink plenty of it during your Invisalign treatment, which is not a bad thing. My mouth is constantly dried due to the braces, especially at night.
Other changes that I noticed during the first couple of months was the bone structure of my face. My face started to look a bit slimmer due the shifting of my teeth, which is also not a bad thing at all.
When I went for my 6 month visit, I told my dentist that I was feeling concerned because I had noticed changes on my face but no too much on my teeth. She showed me some photos of when I first started the treatment and now, and the change is impressing.
It’s a tedious process. Having to take off your braces and having to brush your teeth for everything can get irritating. But once you have the process in order, you’re in good shape.