It has now been eight months since I started using Invisalign braces (Belmont Orthodontics), more than halfway finished… For those of you that have considered this or have a friend considering it, thought it might be helpful to share my experience thus far……..
- Getting the impressions – this is when they make a mold of your teeth with a sticky soft silly putty substance….I was told it was the worst part, it causes some people to gag, yet it did not bother me at all. Easy as pie.
- How many hours per day do you wear them? – ‘Optimal wear is 22hours/day’. Only to be removed for eating, drinking, brushing teeth….Are ya kidding??? Truth be told, in the beginning I would eat my meals watching the clock so I would not go over the two hour a day time limit….realistically, I wear them on average 21hours/day…..holidays, parties, weekends, probably 20.
- Are they really invisible? – Yes and no. Depends on the lighting and how closely someone is looking at you, also depends on how many ‘attachments’ you need (you can see my attachment bumps in above pic)….all my blog photos since June have been with them, so not so bad.
- The Invisalign ‘Diet’ – Since you can’t eat with them in, the expectation for many is that you are going to lose weight….Ha! Don’t count on it. Not for me. (Actually gained a few…) In the early stages when I took them out for meals, I ate as much as I could at one sitting knowing that casual snacking was not an option…..now that I am so accustomed to popping them in and out I will remove them for any bag of kettle corn that comes my way…..
- Do they hurt? – For the most part, the braces themselves do not hurt, but your teeth are definitely sore/tender at times, especially when you have put in fresh braces….in these instances, soft foods that aren’t too hot or cold are easiest to tolerate. More than pain/discomfort, they make your mouth dry and can be just plain old annoying. If something else in my day is driving me crazy the feeling of the braces is exacerbated and sometimes I just need a five minute break with them OUT.
- Are they hard to take out? – Initially, yes, now, not at all. You learn to remove them with one hand, discreetly and quickly, turning your head in public places so nobody sees….once I did this on a crowded train to have a cup of coffee and turns out I wasn’t as subtle as I thought – a fellow passenger sitting across from me said, “I just finished my Invisalign braces!” Ah! An Invisalign brother!
- Seeing results? – Absolutely. Already I (and my family) can notice dramatic changes in both my top and bottom teeth….sometimes I will see an old photo of myself and will be surprised at how crooked my teeth had gotten, how with age our teeth shift and show wear…
Everything considered, to me, the benefit of having straight teeth outweighs the negatives and nuisances of this process….I know what you’re thinking!!! No need to be obsessed with appearance, not everyone cares so much…….Ok. Admittedly, I am a visual person who cares a lot about appearance, but I am not alone. People notice your teeth. Whether in social situations or in a professional setting, they notice. So, if your teeth have gone in different directions with age, I say consider Invisalign….The cost is not exorbitant and may even be covered in part by your insurance…..:-)