So a week ago today I had Invisalign braces fitted on my teeth and the last 7 days has definitely been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I have already spoken on the blog about my decision behind wanting Invisalign so if you want to hear that part of the journey then you can read that here.
My Teeth Before
My main teeth concern and the reason why looking in the mirror is so painful at the moment is the height difference between my front teeth at the top. I can't believe I am actually showing this picture of my teeth for everyone to see. Here goes...It has bothered me for probably about the last 4 years but I have managed to live with it because I have had other financial goals and responsibilities during that time. Fast forward into 2015 and my hatred towards my teeth sky rocketed, partly due to blogging, YouTube and more time spent putting myself out there on social media. I'm not comfortable taking selfies or watching myself back in YouTube videos because for me, my teeth is all I notice, even if no one else does. My bottom teeth also need work, as they have twisted so are no longer in line with one another, and the same for some of my molars at the back.
My brace fitting appointment
I was told at my initial consultation that I could have gone with Invisalign Lite, which was a little cheaper, uses less aligners (the braces) and is only designed to move your front 6 (i think) teeth top and bottom. I thought for the little saving, I may as well do the full works so I am truly happy with my teeth at the end of it.
Going into my appointment to have the braces fitted, I was feeling a lot of emotions: excitement, anxious, scared, but most of all, I was a nervous wreck! That's one thing for sure! The appointment lasted about 40 mins and during that time I had several attachments (grips to help those stubborn teeth move) glued onto my teeth. None of this hurt but the excess glue had to be filed away and whilst this didn't cause me any pain, it was extremely uncomfortable. The noise is louder whilst filing the top teeth as apparently they are more closely connected to your ears. Who knew!
My dentist advised me to wear the aligners for 22 hours a day, only taking them out for food. You can drink water with them on, but if you want a hot drink it is recommended to take them off as the aligners can be damaged. You can also eat light food with the aligners on, as long as they are foods you don't need to chew.
I was given a bag of goodies with all the tools I will need throughout my brace wearing days, including aligners 2-5 (the dentist holds the rest back and gives you another batch during each of your future 6 week check ups). I did however have to purchase a brace cleaner separately, Retainer Brite for £5.
My first week wearing braces
After just the first few hours of wearing the aligners, my teeth were already starting to ache and I was getting frustrated that taking them off to eat my dinner took over 10 mins! Finding the right technique for removing your aligners is key, takes practice and is different for everyone depending on if and where your attachments are placed. I would say perfecting my technique has taken me about 5 days. To remove my bottom aligner, I hook my fingernail under it on the inside of my mouth at the back and push it up. From here it pulls off. This now takes me only a few seconds, down from 5 mins! My top aligner is trickier to get off due to the placement of the attachments. I have to loosen the aligner over the attachments on the right side of my mouth and then loosen it over the aligner on my dodgy front tooth. From here it slides off and again this is a technique I have been perfecting over the last week to get my time down to seconds rather than minutes.
WARNING: You will chip your nail polish and break a few nails during the removal process. These aligners are literally stuck to your teeth, especially if you have a lot of attachments fitted like I do.
You will definitely be in a lot of discomfort, rather than pain, during your first week wearing your aligners. First off your teeth will ache, all at different times, then your aligners will rub against the inside of your mouth. I even felt slightly tender along my jawline. This level of discomfort lasted for the first 5 days whilst my mouth adjusted to having the aligners. Now the aligners are part of my daily routine and with each day I am becoming more and more comfortable wearing them.
Let me know if you have any questions that I haven't already covered in this post and I will try to answer them for you, if you are thinking of getting Invisalign. I will check back in again soon.