Video, Pictures and a Review of My Experience With Invisalign Aligners
My name is Mariana Rivera, I'm 32 years old, and I live in Calgary, Alberta. I had traditional braces when I was in high school for about a year and half because of an overbite and my bottom teeth that were no aligned. It was a painful process that involved getting cuts/sores on my lips, difficulty eating certain foods like steak or chewy candy. I would often get headaches, especially after getting my wires tightened. It was an uncomfortable process to say the least. After I got them taken off, I wasn't consistent with wearing retainers so my teeth went back to their original form. Now, I'm in my 30's and wanted my teeth straight again but didn't want to go the traditional metal route. I felt embarrassed being a grown adult and potentially have metal in my mouth again so I explored the option of Invisalign. I made an appointment with my dentist, Dr. Rivera who practices in Didsbury, Alberta and he discussed all my options for how to straighten my teeth. I decided to go with Invisalign. He said the duration of my treatment was about 6 months and I would be changing my trays out every 10 days and would cost $6,000.00 CAD ($4,800 USD).
During the first appointment, I went in and he took impressions of my teeth using this play dough type consistency. He sent those out to the lab so that the trays fit my teeth perfectly. During my follow up visit, Dr. Rivera placed the attachments on certain teeth. They're little nodules that allow the tray to hold on to your teeth and cause the shifting. Then he put in my first set of trays and sent me home with 3 additional trays that had the days marked on the package of when I would change them out. He also gave me two cases, one blue and one red to put my trays in for when I'm not wearing them. I stored one in a safe place at home and I use one as my primary case. I was to wear the tray 22 hours in a day and to take them out only when I'm eating, drinking (anything other than water), or brushing my teeth. During my first week wearing the trays, my teeth felt tight and I was getting cuts/sores in the areas where the attachments were. Dr. Rivera had given me wax to put in those areas in case there was any discomfort, so I used it. It worked like a charm! After the first week, I no longer felt discomfort.
There were a few lifestyle changes after starting Invisalign. First, I was brushing my teeth more between meals. The last thing you want is to eat a sandwich, have lettuce that's stuck in between your teeth, then put your tray on, yuck. You will be brushing your teeth more frequently which means less plaque and cavities. I always have a small toothbrush and mini toothpaste in my purse wherever I went & I recommend this to anyone doing Invislign. Also, you'll be snacking less throughout the day because it's a pain to have to take off the trays every time you eat so you might lose some weight. Also, you can't really see them unless someone is right next to you staring at your teeth. I just returned from a trip in Europe a week ago and I love how I could look back on pictures without seeing metal in my mouth. It really is invisible!
My initial concern before starting Invisalign was whether it actually works. I spoke to my doctor about my hesitation and he showed me a computer diagram of how my teeth were going to shift over time. It was amazing to see how my teeth were going to change every month during the treatment and what my teeth were going to look like after 6 months. I discussed all my concerns with my doctor and he openly answered all of them before I decided to move forward with the treatment. I strongly encourage you to do that before you decide to move forward.
Currently, I've completed 2 months of my treatment and already see a major shift in my teeth, especially the bottom teeth. What I love about Invisalign is how my teeth are shifting gradually so there's little to no discomfort with the treatment. When I had traditional braces, I remember my orthodontist would tighten my teeth so much during each appointment that I would be in pain for days and couldn't eat properly. It also caused some recession because my teeth were shifting so quickly. I'm looking forward to the end result.
I couldn't be happier with my decision! I feel more confident with my smile and I find myself smiling a lot more. It's an investment to have straight teeth but I will surely be wearing my retainers consistently this time around to maintain my beautiful smile.