Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

If you want to share the detailed saga of your braces story, this is the place to do it. You can use this forum as a braces journal, editing and updating your posts as your treatment goes on. Remember to also visit the main ArchWired.com site for additional stories from other readers!

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Trickycoolj
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#1 Post by Trickycoolj » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:06 pm

Started my adventure in what could be my Phase 2 treatment 5 weeks ago, at age 30. Been feeling a little lonely in the adventure since I'm using Invisalign and no one around me on a regular basis is even in traditional braces let alone Invisalign. So I've been lurking here a bit and totally inspired to post my story and commiserate about brushing teeth in weird places. :-*

I had my first round of ortho at age 9. Luckily our family dentist told my mom to get me to the ortho ASAP or I would have to have extractions like she did. She was adamant that she wanted me to keep all my teeth and had no idea the key was to start early while the jaw was growing. Go mom! A million points to her! I was banded up in 3rd grade with 4 brackets on top, a purple bite plate for 2 months (with a stern warning if I so much as ate one bite without it in I would wear it an extra month, and I did go 3 months for an almond!), and then headgear at night once the bite plate was done. Braces in 3rd grade were super cool, it was grown up, you got to leave school early for adjustments. Definitely opposite of most people's experience in high school. After a year everything was removed and I was given a purple hawley retainer that instead of a wire across my front teeth it had two hooks that stretched an elastic across my front teeth. My only guess is that since I still had baby teeth this "soft" retainer allowed my adult teeth to come in. Eventually it went to nights and by 6th grade at an adjustment the assistant took my retainer and said, congratulations you're done until your adult teeth finish coming in. Then we'll see you for full brackets top and bottom! Uh what? In high school no way! At this point my mom pointed out we had exhausted my ortho benefit and another $5k was not in the cards. She had just gone back to work but didn't feel comfortable swapping me to her new insurance (though now dual coverage is totally common oh well!) eventually my parents divorced, I was very serious at playing the oboe and I never wanted braces again. Especially watching friends suffer in junior high and high school getting extractions and being banded up for years. My canines didn't come in right but from straight on you can't tell too much, I figured it'd be my signature smile like Kirsten Dunst or Julia Styles.

During college my wisdom teeth decided to all be impacted or only poke up a single corner half way out. After having my dentist repeatedly ask "you're sure your not having pain? Here I'll write a referral for removal anyway, it's on file" I started teething and having pain. Dang she was right. Got those suckers out paid with some of my extra savings after tuition was paid. Adult lesson number one: How to call the insurance company for pre approval and coverage info.

By the end of college I developed bruxism, as one hygienist noted it looked like someone took a belt sander to my teeth. Gee thanks. Got a night guard a week before graduating and getting kicked off mom's insurance.

Fast forward a few more years in my mid 20s I was working in consulting and trying to grow my career. I wanted braces, after all my mom did say if I ever wanted my full set top and bottom I could pay for them with my own insurance when I had my own job. Except that job didn't have ortho for adults. :| I had a colleague in Invisalign at the time, a much older version maybe before attachments? I thought it was brilliant. Finally got the nerve to get a consultation, and I was told brackets for 1.5-2 years or combo Invisalign since it couldn't twist and rotate my canines. Now shaking my fist at my old retired ortho from the 1990s. It was $6-8k. I had no coverage, rent and a car payment. Totally didn't happen.

5 years later I now have an amazing perfectionist of a dentist. At my cleaning before Christmas somehow we got on the topic of retainer colors. I think I asked if I could have a neon green night guard like Seahawks QB Russel Wilson's mouth guard. (She said no.) They mentioned they still had their old retainers. I said mine was taken away. They said that was odd. I explained I only had phase 1 and was expected to go back and never did. Dentist puts the chair back down. Bite down, bite here, bite again. Yeah, you know I do Invisalign right? Uh no...... We could finish this up easy. Might not get those canines exactly perfect but we can get everything much better! Really......??? I'll have the receptionist write up a quote for it. Think about it. I watched a ton of YouTube videos and called the next day as soon as they opened. Too bad they didn't have an appointment for impressions until after Christmas. My new job has adult ortho coverage and is picking up half and I make more now so payments are totally manageable. I'm totally going for it.

I waited from January until March for my trays to finally arrive. I was nervously waiting to be called back and my new BFF hygienist asked if the doctor told me how many trays I had. No... Well the receptionist's trays came back with like 24 trays, so a year. She really didn't tell you yet? No..... (Ohgodohgod) 35 trays, that's like 18 months. Whaaaaaaat? I pictured a year at most. Apparently I had a lot more going on in there.

They got me set up with my 14 attachments and 2 spots of IPR and my first trays all at once. It was a lot to handle. I watched everything I could find online. I ordered cleaning supplies early. Got a cheap sonicare for work. But nothing prepared me for how hard it was to get them out to eat the next day. So many panicky what have I done moments. 18 months. No more nursing coffee all morning. No nursing microbrews over movie night. Forever awkwardness at restaurants. These were nothing like all the you tubers that just pop them in and out one handed!! I have giant bricks for attachments on my upper canines like fangs.

I've embraced it now, but I still have those panicky moments, how am I going to last that long? What if I have to have refinements? Add on 24/7 retainers for a few more months. It'll be 2017 I bet. I occasionally wonder if I should have seen an ortho again maybe brackets would be faster, but in the city they charge small fortunes. Seattle is getting so expensive for everything. I wouldn't have felt too weird in brackets at my current job since it's a manufacturing setting but I'm a project manager so I host a lot of meetings and conference calls so Invisalign still seemed less distracting. I just hope I don't become one of those Invisalign nightmare stories. I don't think so, my dentist is such a perfectionist in all her work (she redid a filling because the floss didn't "pop") of course all her perfectly tight fillings are about to get totally IPR'd! I'm in tray 3 and so far things are moving, the black triangle in my front teeth that I've had for 20 years is slowly getting bigger as my teeth pull apart!

Excited to have found a place where I can ramble about this stuff. My friends aren't in the ortho program and are probably sick of the teeth talk.

Emmtee
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:20 am

Re: Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#2 Post by Emmtee » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:28 am

Congratulations on starting again :) glad you're already seeing some progress.

Amanda88
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:43 pm

Re: Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#3 Post by Amanda88 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:39 am

Congrats on starting your journey! This is a great place to chat and vent about all things ortho. I know my friends and family are sick of hearing about braces too, so it's nice to have an alternative outlet! Good luck, can't wait to hear about progress!

Trickycoolj
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#4 Post by Trickycoolj » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:30 pm

Thanks for the encouragement! Can't wait to post some pics once I'm allowed! Might start a separate blog too. :)

Oh man tonight on the way home I grabbed teriyaki to go and I totally wanted to reach in and eat a potsticker at a really long red light. Oh wait Invisalign. Bummer! Smelled so good after a long work day!

Trickycoolj
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#5 Post by Trickycoolj » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:36 pm

Went in for my first 6 week checkup yesterday! Dentist could already see movement! It's so slight I can barely tell unless I use my magnifying makeup mirror but my bottom incisors have all spread apart enough that there's no contact, the floss doesn't "pop" anymore. Actually that's happening on top too. Had to switch over to superfloss which I've NEVER been able to get in. So 6 weeks in they're all definitely moving. The dentist remarked when she said they were moving perfectly she said I'm always one of her compliant patients. 8) While we were waiting for her to come over I opened tray 6 to see what kinds of changes are in store with this next batch. My assistant BFF (who's name I still don't know and I regret not asking much earlier!) asked if I wanted to see my last tray, #35... UM YES OF COURSE! I never saw one of those fancy clincheck animations like I've seen from other people online. I suspect that's up to the dentist's discretion, it mitigates promises and expectations. I get it, I'm in project management I do the same thing. When we opened #35 (which actually they had already previously opened) it was unbelievable. My bottom teeth were perfectly straight, you could draw a perfect arch, like a perfect y=x^2 parabola around the edges of my bottom teeth. My upper canines were perfectly up and down in line instead of pointing forward, my upper laterals were both pulled down flush with the centrals.... I still almost cry thinking about what the results will be. Next time I'll try and remember to ask if I can take a picture of them. I'll be in for both a cleaning and tray swap so it'll be most the afternoon. I also found out my next IPR is at tray 9 on one tooth so probably not until the following appointment. Definitely still feeling kind of :Mind Blown: after seeing that last tray. Definitely extra motivated now! And especially encouraged since my teeth are tracking well up to now in tray 4. Oh! I also started a blog, which I need to fill out with yesterday's discoveries and a back post for Trays 1-3: lineupwithme.blogspot.com

Trickycoolj
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#6 Post by Trickycoolj » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:26 pm

Yay so I wrote a new blog post with some before pics so now I can link them!

Without further ado here's my official before pics:
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For good measure, here's why I had Phase I treatment when I was 9:
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And did you know attachments glow in a black light??
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1993: 4 top brackets, bite plate, lower lingual arch, head gear
2004: 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed
2007: night guard for bruxism headaches
March 2015: Invisalign 35 trays
August 2016: Invisalign 9 trays
http://lineupwithme.blogspot.com/

Trickycoolj
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#7 Post by Trickycoolj » Sun May 03, 2015 8:32 pm

You know you have Invisalign when: you notice a homeowner being interviewed on an HGTV renovation show has shiny plastic looking teeth and a faint lisp so you pause the DVR and check for attachments. Bingo! Invisalign! :lol:
Image

1993: 4 top brackets, bite plate, lower lingual arch, head gear
2004: 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed
2007: night guard for bruxism headaches
March 2015: Invisalign 35 trays
August 2016: Invisalign 9 trays
http://lineupwithme.blogspot.com/

Trickycoolj
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#8 Post by Trickycoolj » Tue May 26, 2015 11:11 am

I'm on tray 6. Lost another attachment over Memorial Day weekend. Not sure when but I noticed after going to a BBQ that involved lots of in-outs of the trays as things came off the grill throughout the evening. I also got Costco sized chips and salsa maybe the tortilla chips knocked it off I don't know. I have 14 attachments on 11 teeth. The latest culprit is the front of two attachments on my upper right first premolar. I have no idea how they'll put it back since my attachment template is based off of tray 1 and now I'm in tray 6. How does that even work?

I'm just super frustrated with Invisalign after the holiday weekend and dealing with it and having yet another attachment issue and I'm only 1/6th the way done with my treatment.

Braces 1, Invisalign 0
Image

1993: 4 top brackets, bite plate, lower lingual arch, head gear
2004: 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed
2007: night guard for bruxism headaches
March 2015: Invisalign 35 trays
August 2016: Invisalign 9 trays
http://lineupwithme.blogspot.com/

Trickycoolj
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#9 Post by Trickycoolj » Tue May 26, 2015 6:04 pm

Even though my next official appointment for trays and a cleaning is next weekend Dr T came and checked out my progress today. She's so excited and enthusiastic it's infectious. She reassured me there's tons of movement already and she's excited to see my problem canine moving, time will tell if it will rotate as much as it needs. But she reminded me how much she loves how compliant of a patient I am so results will be awesome if I stay compliant. She did decide to do some IPR early between my two front teeth to help them move a bit more and reduce the black triangle I've had since I was 10. There goes that party trick of squirting water out my black triangle across the room! My hygienist BFF gave me trays 7-9 even though I'll be in next week. She's getting married and won't be in when I visit. She's so adorable I was glad I could wish her well!
Image

1993: 4 top brackets, bite plate, lower lingual arch, head gear
2004: 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed
2007: night guard for bruxism headaches
March 2015: Invisalign 35 trays
August 2016: Invisalign 9 trays
http://lineupwithme.blogspot.com/

AnnB550
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:49 pm

Re: Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#10 Post by AnnB550 » Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:29 am

How are things going for you? Are you seeing improvement yet? Did you talk to your ortho about Acceledent ? Hope all is well.
Keep smiling!!
Annb550

Image

lajlak
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:18 am

Re: Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#11 Post by lajlak » Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:48 am

You are right, it is never too late :)

Good luck with your progress, keep us posted.

Trickycoolj
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#12 Post by Trickycoolj » Tue May 17, 2016 11:41 am

Wow. Invisalign becomes such a normal part of your life and is so uneventful/gradual you really do forget about it. I only really have pain on days 2-4 after a tray change. Oddly not in the first 24 hours like everyone says. I have broken off tons of attachments. I have really unfortunately prominent attachments on my canines so I absolutely cannot do a one handed tray removal or I will take off attachments. Actually my attachments go all the way back to my 2nd pre molar on one upper side and those are doubles on both pre molars so they really grip the tray on that side. It's ok my dentist is always able to fit me in. She seems to frequently have a new assistant so I'm always the Guinea pig on having a lesson on how to put on attachments. Most of them get it really fast. One girl put too much in the molds and had to trim down the excess every time. Luckily she doesn't seem to work there any longer. (Why is it that every dentist I've seen they seem to go through assistants/hygienists so quickly?)

My dentist has been very pleased and almost giddy about my progress. Her consulting ortho was not confident that my one very rotated canine would rotate down but it has cooperated very well! It was so weird when it finally slipped off my lateral incisor and I could feel the back of the tooth with my tongue for the first time since it grew in when I was 11. That's 20 years. That's also unfortunately 20 years of surface wear on the wrong surface so it's not exactly the usual shape. I know I'll have some shaping done at the end.

Speaking of, tomorrow I change to tray 32 out of 35! I got my last 5 sets so I wouldn't have to go back. My dentist knows I'm super compliant so she wasn't worried giving me 31-35 in one go. My next appointment is a cleaning, attachment removal, and decision time on refinements/retainers. I can see a few spots that I would like to try refinements on. One canine still needs to rotate to the left a bit now that it's rotated almost 90 degrees down. One lateral incisor needs to come down further, there's always been a gap in the tray under it so I suspect there must have been a bubble in the mold there. My back teeth also don't touch when I bite without trays. I didn't have an open bite before. I've heard there's some settling that usually needs to happen after trays are off and my dentist doesn't seem too concerned and always mentions I have X trays left give it time.

Now let's see if I can remember how to post pics...
Image

1993: 4 top brackets, bite plate, lower lingual arch, head gear
2004: 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed
2007: night guard for bruxism headaches
March 2015: Invisalign 35 trays
August 2016: Invisalign 9 trays
http://lineupwithme.blogspot.com/

Trickycoolj
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#13 Post by Trickycoolj » Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:30 pm

Started tray 35/35 on June 28th, 2016. On July 12th I had my cleaning and Invisalign appointment. The dentist took off all my attachments and examined my teeth thoroughly. I pointed out that there was a straggler on my bottom incisors that needed to just slip forward to line up with the others, that my canines despite moving a TON and defying everyone's expectations could be a little more symetrical, and that my back teeth didn't touch. Actually my canines are the only teeth that make contact which makes my jaw rather sore. It also makes it very difficult to eat soft foods (cooked veggies) or foods that are stringy, have a rind (think the edge of lunch meat), or thick skins because they're too skinny for my back teeth to bite down and break them up. I have to cut up things like bratwurst or pepperoni sticks and beef jerky and still have to spit out a ton of pieces that I just can't chew small enough to swallow. Nearly choked on bubble tea since I couldn't break up the boba. My favorite was a starbucks bacon breakfast sandwich, I choked on the edge of the bacon while driving and had to do the finger swipe method (like you do on a choking baby) to get it out and flung it out the car window. Not cool. I asked about evening out some of the edges of my teeth as well. Since I was/am a clencher/grinder some of my teeth were worn flat in their crooked position, meaning they had an uneven appearance when straightened. She took mercy on my front teeth and evened out one of the baby tooth bumps that never wore down since it never touched anything but said she'd do the rest at the end of treatment since you can't predict where they will end. So the assistant got me all set up with molds. Same procedure as always. Flavorless and gross. I had hopes I wouldn't need much for refinement, just pull down some of my back teeth and just move the bottom one in the front a hair and I'd be good to go.

Thought I'd have the refinements by August. Well here we are August 29th. I've been wearing Tray 35/35 since June 28th, that's two months. My tray has significantly yellowed even though I clean them really well with either The cleaner that starts with the letter P that has been used in spam posts, so it's censored. tablets or Dr Bronners Peppermint soap and an ultrasonic bath daily. My top tray has spider webs of cracks radiating from the back of the canines where my bottom canines crunch into the tray. One crack is radiating from that point around to the front of the canine between it and the next tooth over. The section above my canine attachment bubble is also cracked down to the attachment point since I no longer have attachments filling the bubbles. The other upper canine has a rough patch where I've now worn through layers of the tray material. I never had a tray look so tattered in my whole treatment. I called the dentist last week to mention the cracks are growing and she says to keep wearing them they're keeping everything in place. Ok... my top tray has zero resistance when I put it on. The bottom one still clicks in audibly even though I don't have attachments. Clearly the top attachments had been anchoring the tray in some way.

More often than not in the last 3 weeks I've been waking up with jaw pain related headaches. My rear molars are sore. The temple in front of my ear on one side all the way up to my scalp is sore on those days. Everything is so tense since my back teeth can't relax. One day I got out my old night guard and wished it still fit so I could get some relief at night.

The dentist said she approved my treatment two weeks ago and reasonably expected the trays to arrive last week. Must be busy season at the invisalign factory in the summer getting kids all set up while school is out. My initial trays took 8 weeks because it was January and everyone starts using their new insurance benefits, so I thought summer might be faster. Guess not. Maybe they melted in the mail. Who knows. I love my dentist, shes a total perfectionist and really loves what she does, but lately I've been wishing I went to an ortho so I could just opt for brackets at this point. Maybe I'll change my mind and be more positive when the refinements come in and I can get this show back on the road but right now I feel like 2 months have been wasted. I turn 32 soon. So much for being done by my birthday.
Image

1993: 4 top brackets, bite plate, lower lingual arch, head gear
2004: 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed
2007: night guard for bruxism headaches
March 2015: Invisalign 35 trays
August 2016: Invisalign 9 trays
http://lineupwithme.blogspot.com/

Trickycoolj
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#14 Post by Trickycoolj » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:51 am

Finally got my refinements 2 months later. The dentist got notification they shipped on 8/18. Turns out they arrived, an assistant picked them up, put them in the back room and told NO ONE. I was so afraid to call/text and bug the office for a 3rd time about an Invisalign update, and I'm glad I did because the dentist looked up the tracking and figured out they were in office! When I got in she apologized profusely and informed me that was the last straw in a long line of incidents with that assistant and she had been let go the day before. WOW. My dentist is a perfectionist and she doesn't tolerate less than that. They were scrambling to keep up with the schedule down a person in their small practice, the new person starts after Labor Day.

She handed my trays and its' a set of 9! THANK GOD. I was bracing (no pun) for 20-30 and plotted it out on a calendar to see how much longer I'd be encased in plastic and attachments. What a relief to hear I only had 9! Next completion target is 1/3/17. Bummer that assistant hid my trays I might have finished before Christmas/New Years but the office would probably be on break then anyway. I would up with another 10 attachments. 3 of 4 canines have attachments. My left canines top and bottom have doubles, and I think the upper right has an intrusion attachment. Honestly I wish I knew what the attachment types did, just because I'm technical and curious how the shapes/forces move the teeth. My dentist doesn't show the clincheck in an effort to mediate expectations. I always have to remind them I've been a consultant and project manager, it's my job to mitigate expectations too, I get that moving teeth is not going to be exactly how the software simulates it. I generally take the last appointment of the day so maybe if they're not busy next time I'll ask. Clincheck is not on the workstation computers and only on the doctor's computer so it usually requires her to go log in separately. I hope that whatever is happening in the next 9 trays helps my back teeth come back together. The attachments seem to be all in the front again so I'm not sure how that helps my back teeth but I'm going to try and trust the process. Hard after going through 18 months of treatment and having a glaring open bite in the back. Her ortho that she works with was shocked Invisalign completely moved my canines but was surprised that other things that were expected to move, didn't. Makes me wonder what didn't end up working out. I'm glad to hear they sat side by side to work on it together going back and forth with invisalign. Just hope I don't end up one of those multi year cases or giving up and paying for brackets out of pocket somewhere. 18 more weeks.
Image

1993: 4 top brackets, bite plate, lower lingual arch, head gear
2004: 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed
2007: night guard for bruxism headaches
March 2015: Invisalign 35 trays
August 2016: Invisalign 9 trays
http://lineupwithme.blogspot.com/

Trickycoolj
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Phase 2 at 30, never too late.

#15 Post by Trickycoolj » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:41 pm

21 months and 3 weeks. Today is the last day of 9/9 refinements and I'm back to the dentist. Either way I'll get attachments off. I still don't feel like my posterior teeth are making contact completely. One side made a little progress but the other side doesn't feel right. I recently referred a colleague to my dentist and when the colleague asked about Invisalign the Dentist sent her to an ortho since she was borderline. Dentist admitted I would be the last borderline case she would try to tackle because it's taking so long. She knows I'm a super compliant patient and I know she's really good at her craft but I think my case was probably not within her capacity. I wish I had gone to additional consults. I'm not sure whether I'm being hyper picky about the bite in the back since Invisalign does throw off your bite sensation when you first take it out for eating/cleaning or if there's still really contact issues in the back. I guess I need to be really adamant that we examine the bite carefully before opting for retainers. I just want to be freaking done with this. My expectation was a year tops. The receptionist that started at the same time as me was done in less than a year. Had there been any anticipation of this taking more than a year in Invisalign I would have opted for brackets from day one. Just really mixed on this. In no way mad at my provider and don't want to offend but not sure how to broach whether we can accomplish this case or if I need to be handed off elsewhere.... ugh.
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1993: 4 top brackets, bite plate, lower lingual arch, head gear
2004: 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed
2007: night guard for bruxism headaches
March 2015: Invisalign 35 trays
August 2016: Invisalign 9 trays
http://lineupwithme.blogspot.com/

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