I’ve finally finished my course of Invisalign! After 58 weeks of changing aligners, brushing my teeth up to 6 times a day, tears, complaining and sulking, it’s over. It’s taken me just over a year to finish and I’m waiting for my retainers to arrive. So, I thought I’d do a little run down of some things that have happened, basically my Invisalign story. If anyone has any specific questions then I’d love to be able to help, so either leave me a comment or tweet me!
I’d not had braces as a kid and I always been unhappy with my smile. My teeth were all slightly too big for my mouth so I had a lot of ‘IPR’ which is basically filing down each side of the teeth to make room for them as they move. I also had elastics on my right side to move some of my teeth as I had ‘full-case’ Invisalign which means it’s not just the front teeth which is known as the ‘smile-line’, it’s all the teeth! This also means that I can’t have a fixed retainer so I’ve opted for the removable ones. My case wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and I had 29 sets of aligners which I changed every two weeks. My dentist told me that he’d seen cases with people having up to 90 sets!
How Did I Afford It?
So, Invisalign is pretty expensive but, it’s also non-invasive and therefore less brutal! I’ve heard a lot of fixed braces horror stories so, I was glad I went with something a little more gentle. I had a great offer of £500 off and a free initial consultation which is usually about £90 I think, this was a Black Friday offer at my dentist, so keep an eye out for this kind of thing because it really makes a difference. Most dentists will do credit schemes for these types of treatments but unfortunately, because of my student loan, I wasn’t eligible. I got myself a 21 month 0% interest credit card from Tesco and paid off half of the total amount from my savings and put the other half on the credit card. I’m still paying it off, about £100 a month but, it’s perfectly manageable.
Does It Hurt?
I’m not going to lie, at some points, I thought my teeth were going to fall out because it was super painful. But, the pain usually lasted 3-4 days before the aligners settle down and then it was fine. Not every set of aligners hurt like some did, but you can definitely feel which sections of your teeth are moving at which point. Sometimes, your teeth will just feel a bit ‘marshmallowy’ and eating things like chicken and bacon will become tricky but this doesn’t last long at all. I won’t lie and say that it doesn’t hurt because, it does. But, it’s managebale. I did get some headaches and jaw ache when I had a lot of movement which added to discomfort when eating but, when they’re hurting, it’s just an excuse to eat things like ice cream and jelly!
14 Things To Know Before You Get Invisalign
1. You’ll miss lipstick more than you’ll think.
Don’t think that the ‘lipstick will get on your aligners’ is a lie, like I did. It’s definitely not. I thought I’d risk it with the gorgeous Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay line and went to chat to someone at work. Then, he said “why are your teeth pink?”. Yep, everywhere!
2. You’ll become the girl with EVERYTHING.
Yep. When your friends need floss because they’ve got coriander in their teeth. You got it. When your workmates are hanging from the Christmas party and just threw up at work. Spare toothbrush and toothpaste. You’re there! Literally, you will become a walking talking Boots store, but, that’s totally OK.
3. RetainerBrite is your friend. Invest.
4. So is flavoured water. Invest.
You’re not allowed to drink coloured or hot liquids with Invisalign incase they warp or discolour so water can become pretty dull and you can’t drink G&Ts at work. So, fizzy fruity water became a bit of a saviour.
5. Ditto orthodontic wax. Invest.
6. Be prepared to explain it to everyone and answer a lot of questions.
No-one gets it, you’ll be a pro in explaining it by literally, week 2.
7. Be prepared to not be bothered to have a cup of tea.
Effort for just a drink? Nah.
8. Your teeth will feel super weird when you’re not wearing your aligners.
They’ll feel really fragile and thin when you’re not wearing your Invisalign. When your aligners are feeling OK, they’ll actually be really comforting!
9. You might get a little lisp and feel a bit pouty for the first few days
This is totally normal. There’s something in your mouth that you’re not used to having and it just feels a bit weird!
10. 2 hours is longer that you think
I.e the amount of time that you have to eat or be without your Invisalign in for a day. You have to wear them for 22 hours a day and at first, this sounds so much, like you’ll never have any time for food. But, really, it took me 15 minutes to eat my breakfast and have a cup of tea in the morning, if I had a snack at work that’d be another 15 minutes, lunch could be up to 25 minutes, dinner, the same and then there’s still 20 minutes for other snacks around the day. Don’t take it too seriously and rush your food because that’s not fun. If you’re 5 minutes late, it’s fine.
11. Dinners out are awkward
You don’t know whether to put your aligners back in between courses, because you’re worried about the lost time but, it’s kinda gross. It’s so difficult. But, a couple of hours here and there isn’t going to ruin your progress. I was told to just wear the same set of aligners for an extra day if I’d left them out for longer than I was comfortable with.
12. No-one will see them!
You’ll think that everyone’s looking at your mouth but they’re really not, they really are invisible!
12. You’re going to have to be that person in the work toilet brushing her teeth.
Everyone thinks you’re insane but, they’re the ones with cheese and onion sandwich breath. Oh yeah.
14. Say good-bye to chewing gum.
Antibacterial breath spray is your new best friend. Even if you feel like a 70s porn star using it.