Sunday, 3 September 2017

What To Consider Before Getting Invisalign & Why I Decided To Get It

what to know before getting Invisalign

As alluded to back in my What's New In My Dental Routine blog post, I finally took the plunge and decided to get Invisalign. When I was fifteen I had train track braces and I had them for a little over 18 months, so essentially a year and a half. I put myself through a lot of pain, hassle and 18 months of smiling without showing my teeth in photographs and at the end of it I had perfectly straight teeth and my jaw was finally in alignment (bye bye overbite!) However, my wisdom teeth started to come in a few years later and as a result, my aligners no longer fit properly. But instead of doing the sensible thing and going to my orthodontist to tell them this, I just let them slowly drift back to their original position. It had always bothered me to an extent and I wasn't all that happy with my smile but to be honest it wasn't really that noticeable, or so I thought. But as the years and months went by and my teeth continued to move, my lower teeth got even more crowded and one or two moved outwith their gum protection. This meant that my gums were starting to recede and quite badly too. It was then that my dentist suggested that I take a trip to the orthodontist.

I knew for a fact that there was no way I was going to get train tracks again. All that kept replaying in my mind was that episode of Sex and the City where Miranda gets braces an adult and that was enough for me to completely disregard traditional train tracks altogether. Ceramic braces were another option but I was pretty set on going down the clear braces route. The only thing putting me off; the incredibly steep price tag. My eventual treatment plan came to just shy of £4000 which is easily the biggest investment I have ever made and this was an investment in myself. Breaking it down into monthly amounts certainly helped to make it less of a scary figure and I gave the whole process the go ahead just before I went to New York, especially as it would take several weeks for the trays to be made.

Every blog post I read and YouTube video that I watched, bar a select few, were horror story after horror story and when I put that first tray in I wondered if I hadn't just made the biggest mistake of my life but after some encouragement from many of you on Twitter, I persevered and now, on tray 3 of 15 on top and 19 on bottom, plus eventual refinement trays, I often forget I'm even wearing them. So here's what to consider before getting Invisalign;

You have to have self discipline

I have to admit, it is really strange essentially causing yourself intentional pain and that's basically what you're doing each and every time you put in a new tray, normally for the next day or so in my case but after that it's either slightly uncomfortable or unnoticeable. If you don't have self discipline it could be very easy to leave your aligners out when your teeth are screaming 'don't put me back in' or if it's particularly sore. The same can be said for having them out for more than your allotted two hours per day. I just keep reminding myself that no one forced me to get Invisalign and this was completely my choice, whenever I'm in any pain or discomfort. It will be worth it in the end too.

You might not want to snack as much

From what I'd read, I thought that having Invisalign would put a complete stop to any and all snacking but as long as I can be bothered with the little added bit of extra hassle of taking my trays out and brushing my teeth again before putting them back in, I'm more than happy to take them out to have an evening snack or a glass of orange juice, for example. I think I may be the only person who's had Invisalign to gain weight, solely because I eat larger meals to stop myself from snacking all day and then often have a snack in the evening too. Where is this Invisalign diet they spoke of? Hehe.

The thirst is real

Sure, you can eat and drink anything you like when you've taken out your trays but since they're in for 22 hours a day, if you're following Invisalign guidelines, that's 22 hours where all you can drink is water. I've definitely noticed that I've been drinking more solely because I feel thirsty, which can only be a good thing but sometimes I'll find myself dreaming of a hot chocolate or an ice cold can of Pepsi when I know I can only drink water. I thought I was being smart by buying flavoured water before getting them but sadly I can't drink it with my trays in as there is some kind of sweetener/sugar in it that would get trapped under my trays that could damage/decay my teeth. So if you see me lovingly looking at your glass of juice, that's why.

Invisalign Pros and Cons

It is an investment

The amount can be quite eye-watering, especially if you're not used to paying for orthodontic treatment. I know that some insurance plans in the US cover or part cover Invisalign treatment but here in the UK, you'll be paying out of pocket, especially if you're over the age of 18. Most practices offer payment plans and financing options, if you can't pay outright. I decided to pay my nearly £4000 outright. This means that I paid for my Clincheck and to have the trays made and then only have a few more lump sums to pay throughout my treatment. As I mentioned above, breaking it down by month makes it much more easier to stomach or even break it down by tray. This is an investment and unlike buying a car, a house or a designer handbag, this is an investment in yourself. If you've never been confident about your smile, just think how much of a difference this will make or if you need to get braces for reasons other than vanity, just think how much this will improve your situation.

They're not completely invisible

I'd heard many people remark that it was blatantly obvious that they had aligners in, again on online forums and blog posts (honestly, why did I read these to 'research' Invisalign?!) so I was expecting them to be quite noticeable. You can imagine my surprise when I had them put in and all that looked different was that my teeth were ultra shiny. Even when I had my attachments put on a week later, I couldn't believe how well they blended in with my natural teeth colour. Unless you get close up and look at my teeth side on, you honestly can't even tell that I have little bonded bits on my teeth. When it comes to wearing my trays, there are only two noticeable bubbles where they really highlight the fact that there's something on my teeth but other than that, they really aren't obvious in the slightest. If I haven't told someone I have aligners in, they wouldn't have even guessed that I did. Obviously this will differ on a case to case basis but don't expect them to be completely invisible or as prominent as regular braces either.

So there are some of the things that I would consider before getting Invisalign.

Have you ever had braces or Invisalign? If so, what did you do to make having them that bit easier? Or are you thinking about getting Invisalign at some stage? And would you like to see how my Invisalign treatment progresses and how much my teeth change?


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