Health · Healthy Lifestyle · Invisalign · Life · Orthodontist · self care · Teeth

Invisalign Update: Treatment Completed!!

Hey hey friends! Happy Thursday to you! I hope your week is going amazing.

Today is a very special day because it is my youngest nephew Enzo’s 3rd birthday! I don’t know where the time has gone, but he is no longer a baby (but will always be to me) and it is crazy to me! How in the world was he born three whole years ago when it feels like just yesterday I was going to the hospital with my Daddy to meet my new nephew!?! Time goes by so fast.

Anyways, I am feeling so happy today because I AM INVISALIGN FREE!!! Yes friends, I no longer have Invisalign after just a short two and a half months.

I figured I would share a blog post about my treatment journey with you all, and answer some common questions I’ve gotten from readers and friends since I have now COMPLETED my treatment!! Woo!!

You can find my first Invisalign Treatment blog post here where I wrote about my thoughts in the beginning, my week 3 update here, and my week 8 update here.

What treatment did I get?
The Invisalign Treatment that I was given was the Express 10, which meant I was given 10 trays to change out every 10 days for the first 6 weeks, and every 7 days for the final 4 weeks. My orthodontist told me that I was able to switch out the trays every 7 days for the final 6 trays to speed up my treatment time. This made me both excited but nervous because I didn’t really see “that” much improvement in my teeth at that point (just 6 weeks in) and the thought of being done in 4 weeks made me nervous. But, since my orthodontist had faith that these final trays will “really do their job” and move my teeth, I trusted him and believed that my teeth would move.

Did I get both top and bottom aligner trays?
Yes! I didn’t know they offered top or bottom…so I went into it just getting the full treatment of top and bottom Invisalign aligner trays.

Why did I get them?
I’ve been self conscious about my teeth for years now. The front top teeth were really my main concern. Somehow it seemed like my bite was crooked and one side of my jaw was higher or lower than the other, causing my two front teeth to be completely different lengths. My bottom teeth weren’t really that much of a concern to me but they weren’t perfectly straight either. But like I said, my main concern was the top of my teeth and how my bite was.

Did it hurt?
As you may remember (and may have read in my last blog posts about my treatment), I was so excited to start my treatment, but that quickly diminished when the process was way more intrusive, and painful than I was expecting and it was pretty uncomfortable. What was painful about that whole process was the filing my orthodontist had to do in between a couple teeth because they were too tight together…ummm yeah, that was pretty painful. Other than the filing, the placement of the attachments didn’t hurt it was just kind of uncomfortable to have to keep my mouth open while they took a blow dryer looking thing to my mouth to dry it out as much as possible and put the (sour) glue on my teeth before placing the attachments. I had no idea this was the process in the beginning, but my orthodontist said that they usually don’t place the attachments on teeth until after a couple trays in, but since I was doing an express version I was going FULL SPEED AHEAD. Haha. Other than the filing, the only other pain I have felt during my treatment was the irritation of the trays rubbing against the inside of my gums during the first few days, which only lasted about 3-4 days. The “pain” I felt on my teeth during my treatment wasn’t so much really bad pain but more like a discomfort and sometimes would make it painful to bite down on hard foods with my front teeth due to my teeth moving.

How much did it cost?
Okay, so I searched Google for this answer even before calling my orthodontist office for a consult, and the results made me feel a bit discouraged because the results said anywhere from $3,500-$8,000. And honey, let me tell you something, I truthfully wasn’t wiling to pay over $5,000 for this unless a miracle would happen and I had won the lottery. Haha. No but really, I knew Invisalign was expensive so I thought giving myself a “budget” would help me in making the decision to start the treatment or not. Well, the Lord was definitely looking out for me the day I went in for my consultation (as he is always) because my orthodontist floored me with the price he gave me. I paid around $2,000 for my Invisalign Express 10 treatment. Now please, I have no idea if my doctor was just being super helpful to me because I had gone to him for braces, but I was SO thankful that it was this low.

Could I eat anything I wanted?
Yes! You can eat and drink whatever you want, but you have to take your aligner trays out before (besides water). However, like I said, some foods were painful for me to chew; like apples..I had to cut them up into tiny baby pieces because biting into them with my front teeth was too painful. Also, just to note too, since you must take them out before you eat, I found myself skipping snacks (I usually have one small snack during the day) sometimes because I didn’t want the hassle of having to take them out, and then brush my teeth/the aligner trays before putting them back in, etc. It wasn’t an issue for me because I am not big on snacks or anything so I didn’t mind it, but I can imagine if you are someone who has snacks throughout the day it would be kind of tough.

How often did I have to wear the aligner trays?
I was told by my doctor to wear my Invisalign at least 21 hours a day. Which was totally realistic if you are someone like me and have three meals a day and like to take your time while eating your foods. My doctor also told me that if Michael and I were going out for the night or something I could leave my aligner trays at home and not even worry about them. I did this twice (once for his birthday dinner and the other was for Valentine’s day dinner), and each was for about 2 hours. As you can see, my doctor wasn’t hounding me/pressuring me or anything on the exact amount of hours I should wear them, but he did stress that I should be wearing them as much as I can and they only work if I wear them. I am so happy he didn’t pound a number into my head and say something like I absolutely “HAD” to wear them for 21 hours or “else my teeth wouldn’t move” because I probably could have gotten a little obsessive about it and counted the minutes and seconds I had to keep them in. Haha.

How to keep them clean?
I was told that I could use retainer cleaner as well as brushing them with my toothbrush and toothpaste. However, I didn’t use the retainer cleaner as often as I brushed them because that lowered the amount of time of me having the trays in my mouth since they would have to soak in the cleaner, so I did this maybe 2-3 times a week. I did brush them with toothpaste every single time I brushed my teeth when I took the trays out/put them back in, when I woke up in the morning, and before I went to bed at night. So basically I brushed them 5 to 6 times a day (same as my teeth). I was concerned about the aligner trays and teeth discoloring but I had no issues with that whatsoever, and Michael even told me last night that my teeth are so white they are “blinding”. (Score!)

Did I talk different?
YES. Holy moly yes. Some aligner trays were fine and some made my speech very bad. I would say that the last couple trays were the worst, I never found myself getting used to it and didn’t speak normal at all. I would try so hard to avoid anything with the letter S in it…my Dad joked the other day and say “She sells seashells by the seashore” HA! Funny. I did not attempt that, my friends.

Are my teeth sensitive now?
No, not at all! My teeth feel great! It was a little uncomfortable when I was getting the attachments off yesterday at the orthodontist because my doctor like drilled them off and it was kind of cold (not to mention smelt so disgusting), but my teeth feel like new and are so smooth!

Now what?
My orthodontist told me that I had some options: I could get impressions for a regular retainer, or I could get scans for an Invisalign retainer (it is called Vivera I believe). BUT seeing as how I am such a BABY when it comes to anything I don’t like, I told my doctor I reeeeeally don’t want to do the impressions for regular retainers because 1. I hate that stuff, 2. I have really bad memories, and 3. Did I mention I hate that stuff?? Of course my orthodontist office knows me well and knows that when I say I hate something, I mean it. And because my doctor would give me a retainer whereas I would have to pay for the Invisalign retainers (he said about $440), he told me that for now I can wear my final Invisalign aligner tray at night until my next appointment (which is in 5 weeks) where we can discuss my options again. I am going to have to psych myself up into doing the impressions because I don’t want my teeth to move again and it would kind of be not smart of me to pay that much for retainers, but hey! Anything to avoid those gross impression molds.

Am I happy? Was it worth it?
Yes and yes! But to be honest I don’t know if I will ever be completely happy with my teeth (or anything about myself for that matter)…but that is a topic for another day. In terms of my teeth moving, they absolutely have moved and it is crazy just how much in these past two and a half months!

My final thoughts
I am so happy I actually took the leap months ago and started the treatment because fixing my teeth has been something I have been wanting to do for years. If you are at all on the fence about getting Invisalign treatment for yourself (and can afford the price tag) I would HIGHLY recommend…the annoying things about it (awful speech with some aligner trays, some discomfort, having to take them out before you eat, etc.) doesn’t last long and doesn’t even compare to the agony of braces.

And now, here are some pictures I took of myself throughout my treatment! 😉

Before treatment & Weeks 1-4

Weeks 5-9

Weeks 10-The End!

Have you ever thought of getting Invisalign or braces?

I hope you have a wonderful day! Xoxo

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