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Your Invisalign treatment consists of a series of nearly invisible, removable aligners that you change every two weeks for the next set of aligners. Each aligner is individually manufactures for your teeth, and your teeth only. As you replace each aligner, your teeth will move – little by little, week by week -until they have straightened to the final position prescribed by your dental practitioner.
What’s more, a virtual 3D treatment plan (ClinCheck) shows the series of movements your teeth will go through over the course of the treatment. This allows you to see upfront what your teeth are expected to look like at the end of the treatment. From the results of the CLinCheck, your custom-made, clear aligners are produced especially for you.
If you’re ready for a smile that transforms your appearance, Invisalign is your answer. Although there are many choices out there, no other treatment works as comfortably as Invisalign. Invisalign is the best way to transform your smile without interfering with your day-to-day life.
I used to have pretty good teeth. I had braces at 14 like many of my friends; a pain but an investment and worth it to match the bands with my nail varnish.
It wasn’t till my late twenties when I noticed my front teeth, top and bottom were looking suspiciously cramped. One tooth was unconventionally growing, what felt like, sideways and frontwards to escape its friends. Had my jaw shrunk?! I’m making this sound much more dramatic than it was but it’s like anything to do with physical appearance, a tiny flaw that nobody else noticed was what I could see in the mirror.
Kate has been my dentist and friend since I was born. She said it wasn’t unusual for people’s teeth to move a bit and that I should consider Invisalign.
Whilst the idea of a perfect smile for life was certainly attractive, I weighed up that huge ‘pro’ with ‘cons’ like am I really vain to spend so much on a relatively small tooth correction? Is it going to hurt? Will it make me self-conscious at work? I trust Kate implicitly so I thought, let’s give it a go. I really fancied an advert worthy smile and that fang was getting worse.
I can safely say doing Invisalign was the right decision for me and I could not be more delighted with the result. 8 months into the treatment, my teeth have finished moving and I’d be pretty confident giving the girls in the brochure a run for their money. I have a retainer now which is less noticeable than the basically unnoticeable aligners so although I need to wear this all the time for another 6 months, I didn’t have to wait long for teeth I love.
Below I tackle some of the ups and downs of my Invisalign journey to date. I’m such a wimp that whenever I’ve needed dental treatment I’ve always hoped Kate was generous with the anaesthetic! This is my experience so is meant as a heads up rather than an accurate account that will apply to all.
To start with, yes! The first couple of aligners (we’re talking 2 weeks of a process that lasts over a year) felt like someone was tightening scaffolding around my teeth. A couple of paracetamol and it was fine although I did have particularly low couple of days at the beginning of my treatment when my jaw was sore, I was working very long days, I had a head cold and we were urgently house hunting in the rain. Not ideal, however the upside was that I noticed a difference really quickly. Instant gratification, tick!
Since week two I’ve had no pain at all. I’ve been amazed at how much my teeth can change without me feeling it. It’s a strange experience waking up and seeing how your teeth have improved, literally, overnight. I’d look forward to the days I changed aligners to feel the tightness pulling them that bit closer to the teeth I’d hoped for.
Yes but for no more than 3 days with the first and second aligners. Turns out when you have Invisalign, lisping’s bed fellow is spitting. I definitely had to work hard to keep my saliva in check for a couple of days, or just apologise to those I spat on. Fortunately that stopped being an issue before I noticed it too much. The aligners soon became second nature.
Lots of people said they dropped a couple of pounds when they had Invisalign because needing to brush your teeth stops you from snacking. Personally, I didn’t. I think I’m more of a meal person anyway. What I missed most was a mid-afternoon Diet Coke which wasn’t a show stopper and probably did my body some good.
I found that if people were interested in getting Invisalign themselves they would notice immediately and ask a flurry of questions. These people, like me, had become highly skilled teeth analysts in the run up to their treatment. I also found that during my treatment my eyes would seek out other Invisalign-ing teeth like a heat seeking missile. I’d say “oh, how’s it going?!” enthusiastically to others.
Everyone else, didn’t notice at all. Or if they did, they didn’t say anything.
Actually, that’s not true. When I got home the day I had my Invisalign fitted my boyfriend said “something’s different” but it wasn’t until I walked up close to his face teeth bared that he realised. You would have thought that having the benefit of me talking A LOT about the treatment before I had the braces fitted would have given him a helping hand when trying to work out why my “face looked different” but not so.
I was most self-conscious about my Invisalign in the first few days of treatment when I was a bit lispy, and spitty and trying to work out what to do with my lips whilst also trying to be taken seriously in the workplace. I made a couple of apologies in meetings for not being clear but I soon adjusted and it began to feel strange with them off rather than with them on.
I think it might be that anything on your gums and teeth feels super-sized when it’s actually barely noticeable.
Well my teeth have never been whiter! An obvious plus. To start with I felt like it had to learn what would cause me problems and how to deal with them. I’d have lunch and if I couldn’t immediately brush my teeth I’d put the aligners back in but wait an hour or so before I had time to get to the bathroom. Your teeth can’t get damaged that quickly, right? Not true. Lesson learned after a filling at my first check up appointment with Kate.
I also learnt that if I left the aligners out for a couple of hours they would be noticeably more difficult to get back on. It’s amazing how quickly teeth move. I thought I’d be able to go for work drinks or dinner without the aligners in but quickly learnt that it was better to just get used to them being on all the time apart from when I was eating. I ended up noticing them less and it eliminated the worry that came if I’d left them off for a bit too long. It’s just not worth it.
I also thought that I could drink G&Ts and white wine to me heart’s content with the aligners in but after one glass I became conscious of the sugar sitting in the aligners and would scurry to the bathroom to brush them clean. Overall, when going out for dinner I find it easiest to have one glass of a clear drink before I eat with the braces in, take them out for the whole of dinner then then brush my teeth and put them back on, switching to water for the end of the night. Again, probably good for me.
At the beginning, yes it does feel like there’s a long road ahead but the months tick by quickly and I’ve noticed a huge difference now I’ve finished the aligners and have switched to retainers. Others can’t notice them at all and I barely feel them. Although I have six months left of wearing retainers all the time, it feels like the ‘treatment’ part is over. Looking back it has gone surprisingly quickly. I’ve also been able to whiten my teeth now to make them extra sparkly and new!
The improvement is so noticeable and I’m so so grateful to Kate and the New Ash Green Dental Centre team for making my experience so easy and making such a big difference to my teeth and the way I feel when I look in the mirror. I love the fact I can be confident I’ll have lovely teeth forever if I look after them.