Last Tuesday I got the call that my Invisalign aligners were in! I’m a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board, and am receiving complimentary treatment. I’d had my scans just a week before, and was thrilled that my aligners were ready so fast (one of the advantages of finding an office with a scanner instead of physical moulds – everything gets emailed to the manufacturing facility, which is much quicker). My orthodontist, Dr. Hung, was able to fit me in that afternoon.
The first step when I got there was to get my attachments. The way Invisalign works is that the aligners – the clear plastic trays – put gentle pressure on my teeth to move and straighten them. But sometimes teeth need to be moved or turned in a way that the plastic can’t grab, so they get some help from attachments: little tooth-colored bumps attached to certain teeth to help grab the aligners.
I needed nine attachments. None of them are on my front twelve teeth so they’re hardly noticeable. Getting them glued on was completely painless, but my mouth was held open in a way that looked quite hilarious. It’s like the mouth version of that scene in Clockwork Orange:
Next I was given my first set of trays, and taught how to get them in and out (getting them out is harder than putting them in). This made me feel really stupid at first, but the assistant helping me was great. He didn’t rush me at all, and I was finally able to figure it out. I put them in and took them out several times, and when I was completely comfortable with the process, that was it! I was given my first five sets of aligners (ten weeks) and I was on my own.
I’d been warned that the first week was the hardest with Invisalign. Not as bad as braces – where you get about six weeks-worth of pressure each time you go in to get them tightened – but still really hard to get used to. In fact, Dr. Hung told me that if I could survive the first four days, I’d be fine. Lots of people get headaches in the beginning because of the pressure. I was prepared for the worst.
My tongue couldn’t stop playing with the aligners the whole way home on the subway! I felt like my lips were pushed way out, like a monkey. But of course, I looked completely normal (I checked with my cell phone camera, several times). The closest thing I can compare it to is when you have one of those whitening strips on your teeth and you’re very aware that there’s something between your lips and your teeth.
When I got home and wanted to eat, I was really nervous about taking the aligners out. Taking them out too fast or the wrong way can pop off an attachment or break the aligner. I was really glad I’d stayed in the office so long and practiced, though – I got them out no problem.
I’m very happy to report that I had no pain at all – no headaches, nothing! There was a lot of tightness for the first few days on my front top teeth, but not enough to make me uncomfortable. And now, on day six, there’s no tightness. Each set of aligners starts out not fitting your teeth quite right, but then as the teeth slowly move into place to fit the aligners, the tightness goes away.
The funny thing is, I didn’t tell anybody in my household that the aligners were in, and it took until Sunday for someone to notice. Fiona and I were out running an errand, waiting in line, and all of a sudden she said “There’s something on your teeth!” I told her there wasn’t but she wouldn’t let it go, and made me smile so that she could see. She asked me what it was, so I told her. She is so super excited to be in on this with me, but she really sucks at keeping secrets, so I’m guessing the cat’s going to be out of the bag pretty soon (either that, or my husband is going to read this post!).
Last night we went out to dinner to celebrate Fiona’s birthday, and Fiona kept winking at me and pointing to her teeth. Subtle. :-) Also, me having to get up and go to the bathroom twice might have aroused a little suspicion.
Frankly, I’m hoping my husband does figure it out soon. I’m tired of hiding in the bathroom to take them out before eating. He must think I have some weird stomach ailment that causes me to go to the bathroom every time I get hungry.
On the other hand, though, I’m curious how long I can keep this up!
Me with my aligners in the first day – can’t see them!
I am a member of the Invisalign Moms Advisory Board. I am receiving complimentary Invisalign treatment as part of this program. All opinions are my own and based on my own treatment experience. Full disclosure can be found here: http://shout.lt/ggGP
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 1. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.