Invisalign Straightened My Teeth! Review & Before and Afters!
I am 32 years old and in medical sales from the great city of Sydney, Australia. About a year and a half ago I decided that enough was enough. My teeth were very crooked and it was hard for me to be a top salesman when I was always self conscious about my teeth. I would notice doctors looking at my mouth when I spoke instead of looking me in the eyes. So this led me to look into some sort of braces to straighten my teeth.
At first I figured that I would just visit my orthodontist and get traditional braces. It would be frustrating to go a year with metal in my mouth but I figured if I sacrificed one year of my life, I would be happy for many more years in the future. So I went in for a consultation for my orthodontic treatment, making sure to ask as many questions as I could. He did mention a treatment called Invisalign, which I had heard of before but I was pretty certain that this was something that would not help a person like me, since my teeth were way out of sorts. My assumption was that the Invisalign treatment was for individuals who had had braces in the past, and just wanted to straighten their teeth out a bit.
Being that I am in sales, the orthodontist suggested going with the Invisalign clear aligners option. He convinced me when he said nobody wants to see a sales guy in their office with a full mouth of metal braces. However, he recommended that I go home and read some Invisalign reviews and look over some YouTube videos of peoples experience with the product.
After about 2 weeks of pondering at home I decided that I was just going to roll the dice and give the treatment a shot. I called my orthodontist and scheduled an appointment to get my teeth molded and sent off to get my Invisalign aligners. After they took the molds of my teeth, the office assistant gave me some more important information that I should know. She said that on average each new set of aligners will move my teeth 1/3 of a mm. Usually the shifting is done in the first few days of wearing the aligner, and then you wear it for around another 10 days so it holds its place. Then you are on to the next aligner.
Treatment time is all dependent on how messed up your teeth are. When I got my aligners my plan was set to be for around a year, changing to a new set every 2 weeks (26 sets). I wasn't very worried about my lower teeth, however the standard procedure has you wearing aligners on both your upper and lower teeth. I guess this could also be so your final bite is perfect. I even inquired about just doing my upper teeth for less money, but my ortho insured me that I should do both, since I shouldn't go through the whole treatment to find both my upper and lower teeth being straight, but having an uneven bite.
Invisalign cost for me ended up being around $6,000. Supposedly it usually ranged from $3-$8,000, and I landed pretty much right in the middle of that. This is a bit pricey in my opinion, but this was a life change that I needed and thought that the benefit of what it could bring to my life far outweighed the cost.
So let me start with my invisalign journey. The first set of trays when I put them in my mouth I was in a world of pain. This makes sense since my teeth were now encased by these tight clear braces. My initial week it was actually really hard for me to even bite into any type of food. Eventually I started just eating soup, or trying small things like toast and chewing with my wisdom teeth. The front part of my mouth was so sore I even had to take some pain medication sparingly.
One thing that I want to point out is that it is very important to just leave the trays in your mouth and not keep taking them in and out. This is not how the treatment is supposed to work, and you will not see great results if you are always taking them out. Its important to leave them in 22 hours a day - I would only remove them to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I would unfortunately have to carry a tooth brush around with me so I could clean my teeth and the clear plastic after having a meal.
An added benefit of Invisalign is what I like to call the Clear Braces Diet (i.e. You will lose weight). Since you will always have to keep your plastic trays in your mouth, you won't be able to do much, if any, snacking. During my 1 year of using Invisalign I actually dropped 14 lbs.
Since I had such bad crooked teeth, it was recommended to put an attachment on multiple teeth so the clear aligners can grip better, thus moving your teeth. What Invisalign had discovered is sometimes the aligners would not grab and grip your teeth properly and the plastic would start to change shape instead of your teeth. With the attachments on 4 of my teeth (2 on top and 2 on bottom), each new tray could properly grip my teeth and move it to its proper ending position after 2 weeks. If you looked very closely you could see the attachments, but they were pretty small and the trays were completely invisible.
So like I said above, every time I put a new set of aligners in my teeth were always sore for a couple of days until my teeth got accustomed to the newest mold. However, after you experience the first couple of trays you are used to the soreness and I was able to eat more solid foods throughout my entire process. They are always sensitive in the first couple days of a new tray but it is just something that you get used to and doesn't bother you.
As I progressed through the treatment, there were many times that I had gotten so used to Invisalign being in my mouth that I would forget it was there. I do have a few recommendations/tips for people who will use Invisalign:
Make sure that you always brush your teeth after eating
If you are going to drink dark liquids like beer, Iced Coffee, or Soda you just clean the aligners when you are done. If you can I would stick with as much water as possible because dark liquids stain the aligners and they will no longer be invisible.
No hot liquids - they will affect the shape of the aligners
Be careful when putting the tray in your mouth, they have rough edges and I did cut my gums a couple times
Wear your retainers at the end of the treatment. Not wearing them for even a couple nights could shift your teeth.
Overall I would say I had a great experience with Invisalign. The align technology is truly remarkable. And just a note, they do give you the ability to track what your progress is supposed to be throughout the whole process. So I found myself looking 2-3 weeks ahead at a time and getting excited what my teeth were going to look like. A year seems like a long time but it did go relatively fast after I got my first month out of the way.
If you are an adult and you want straight teeth, then this is the way to go. You won't have to suffer for a year with traditional metal braces, but rather still be able to live your everyday life without anyone knowing you are in the process of straightening your teeth. I hope this review helped!