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Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:04 am
by Beemur
So I thought I would keep a bit of a journal here to keep track of myself, I'm all over the place usually so I easily lose track of things and it would be nice to keep a 'journal' to kind of update every now and then :D

I am a 24 years old and started my invisalign on the 10th of April this year. I've hated my teeth ever since I can remember. I remember going to the dentist when I was 11 and he told me I would need jaw surgery and referred me to an orthodontist. Well, my mum was a single mother looking after my brother and I so orthodontic money wasn't exactly just floating around haha. I remember bugging her for ages for me to go see the ortho, until I got old enough to realize that they cost a lot of money and I stopped pestering, I didn't want her to feel bad for thinking I was sad about my teeth. Fast forward to 24 year old me who is fortunate to be in a position to have savings for fixing my teeth!
I have significant anterior upper and lower crowding, my left upper canine tooth is up really high, I have class III malocclusion and my right and left premolars have a bad crossbite going on.

So I ended up getting to my orthodontist appointment on the 27th of Feburary after all these years and I was pleasantly surprised. He told me that of course to fix the class III malocclusion and crossbite of my back molars I would need the S.A.M.E procedure, but he said he wouldn't recommend it because I have no other jaw problems or anything apart from my crowded teeth and it just wouldn't be worth it if all I wanted was a nice straight smile, which is all I wanted, my bite is completely fine to me to be honest, I never have problems with it. Then he shocked me by telling me I would be a candidate for Invisalign, which is what I wanted but didn't think I would be able to. He said he would be able to straighten and widen my upper teeth without any extractions but he wasn't so sure on the lower and warned me that two premolars were possible or one central incisor. The clincheck came back and I went in on the 27th of march. He confirmed no extractions on top and said he could get away with just the one central incisor on the bottom if I didn't mind not having the bottom symmetry and I was all for it, the less teeth out the better, I had a massive fear of teeth extraction changing my face but he explained everything to me and why it would be a great option.

I booked in to get my lower left central incisor out on the 31st of March. I went in, very panicked because I have a fear of dentists haha. It went very well, I should add that I also had a Mesiodens tooth out, it was an extra tooth that was growing behind my two front teeth on my upper arch. It was quick and painless. recovery went well. I then got worried that my gap was going to move quickly and my aligners wouldn't fit when they came in, as my appointment to go in and get my aligners wasn't until the 28th of April. So on the 6th of April I called my Ortho and explained my worries, he then told me that it definitely wasn't going to be a problem because they were about to call me later that day and let me know my aligners had come in already! I was so shocked, it had only been 10 days since he approved the clincheck.

The 10th of April was my aligner appointment. I have 35 trays top and bottom, 18 attachments, expected treatment time is 24 months. I have struggled the past few days getting them in and out a bit and one of my attachments came off and is getting replaced next Tuesday (the 18th). But apart from that, it's been an interesting, positive experience.

I hate that I can't snack now, so that's driving me nuts, I've started eating so much food at meal times it's insane. My front teeth are very very tender but I can still eat anything really as long as I can break it up into smaller bits, I know that with time I will be able to bite into things again haha.

I plan on adding some before pictures as soon as I upload them to my laptop, so I'll get those going in a couple of days hopefully. But yeah, I just thought it would be nice to have a little place to come and keep track of myself. I'm more than happy to talk to anyone about anything they're curious about or going through :BigGrin:

Re: Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:58 pm
by LisaK
Thanks for posting. Sounds like you and I have the same issues with our teeth. I just got my braces on about a month ago. I'd like to stay I touch and hear your journey.

Re: Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:30 pm
by Beemur
Hey, LisaK! Oh it's always quite exciting finding someone who has similar issues and has started treatment around the same time as you. I will definitely keep updating about my journey. How long is your treatment supposed to last? :)

Re: Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:59 pm
by Beemur
Just a quick update guys!

I'm now on day 8 of my aligners, they are definitely not tight anymore and my actual teeth have no pain at all, that left after 3-4 days. What I am finding, is that my gums are so sore from flossing so much! I floss after all my main meals which is 3 times a day and I used to only floss once a day so I guess that's why my gums are hating me. I went and got two of my attachments put back on today, they came off the day after they were put on but because of the easter holidays I couldn't get in to replace them until today. I was having major issues with the aligners rubbing on the insides of my mouth, I couldn't even speak one day because of it. I filed off the sharp edges and then rubbed on some orthodontic wax until the skin healed up and I was all good in about 2 days time. The lip skin that sits on my front teeth does get chapped really easy now and hurts but it can be controlled with lip balm.
I'm definitely getting better at taking them off, I thought I would be awful at it for a long time but I think my teeth did a lot of the shifting in the first few days and now the aligners are easier to take out and put in. I still can't bite down on firm things, but that might also be because my lower right central incisor has been tender since the left central incisor was removed, the ortho said once my teeth move around on the bottom it will feel like normal again haha. I was someone who strictly waited 30 mins before brushing my teeth after I ate, but I've kind of had to throw that out the window a bit. I wait as long as I can, which is usually between 10-20 minutes and my orthodontist said to swish water in my mouth a few times before I brush, apparently this helps haha.

I will attach some pics, they are bad quality pictures and my lips are super dry from having my mouth open for all the attachments to be put on but they are the only ones I have on my laptop at the moment, these are from the first day I had my invisalign. I have been taking daily or every second daily pictures so I can keep track of any progress!

Re: Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:59 am
by Beemur
Another update quickly!

By day 12 of my first aligners I was able to bite down on things again with my front teeth, so I didn't have to cut food up anymore haha. What I thought was strange, was that my aligners became non-tight and non-painful from about day 4 onward but at day 10 they became sore and tight again in certain teeth, still don't know why that is because I've been wearing them for 22 hours a day and done everything instructed so I guess it was normal haha.
I ran into an issue today though! I am a big teeth clencher in my sleep, can't help it and I've always done it. I was scared of it breaking my aligners but my ortho said I should be fine. Then this morning I woke up and as per usual my teeth were clenched together and I noticed that the side of my upper aligner at my first molar was cracked. It's sunday here so I didn't think I would get a hold of anyone at my orthodontist office but I was relieved to find that my treatment coordinator answered her phone and she said it would be fine to put my second set of aligners in tonight instead of tomorrow.
So, I've got my second set in now, they are quite tight but not really too painful, definitely don't need any pain medication.
I definitely feel a difference in one of my teeth, it's not visible to my eye but I feel a difference with my tongue, so that's interesting to feel a difference after just one set of aligners, even if I can't actually see it haha.
I'll update again this week :heart:

Re: Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:20 pm
by Beemur
update: I definitely had soooooo much pain and trouble getting my second set of aligners off of my bottom teeth the past few days. Maybe even a little more pain than what my first ones were. I feel a lot of movement in my upper left central incisor but I know that that one has to move a little for my canine to come down on that side. I have had a couple of slip ups, I work really long days so I'm always quite tired at the end of a 13-14 hour work day and I've noticed on the really tired days I will accidentally sip my can of pepsi max or something with my aligners in. I always catch myself though and drink water straight away and luckily the few times I've done it has been close to when I was going to brush my teeth anyway, so it hasn't sat in my aligners staining them haha. A lady from my work showed me the effects of drinking coke every day with her aligners in! wow, she was towards the end of her 2 weeks and her aligners had a brown/orange stain to them from drinking just one can of coke a day, but then again she said she drinks it after lunch and doesn't brush her teeth again until dinner 4-5 hours later so that probably doesn't help haha. I will definitely put up some progress pics in the next couple of weeks, not too much going on though, just noticing some gaps opening up at the moment :thumbsup:

Re: Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Mon May 08, 2017 5:59 am
by Beemur
Time for another update! Been super busy with work so two weeks just flew by this time!
I put my third set of aligners in last night, the amount of pain I woke up with today was the most amount I have had so far. Getting them out is a struggle just like the first couple of days of the last sets I've had, but a bit easier than set number 2. After the first few days of the new trays in, the pain seems to get much better and you can eat normally so I'm looking forward to 48 hours being over so I can bite into things again haha. Some people have asked me things like oh can you smoke with them, drink alcohol and stuff like that. My orthodontist said to stick to clear liquids that aren't hot and if it's anything but water, try and brush within a few hours of doing so. So I guess if you drink clear alcohol like spirits, you should be good for a couple of hours so don't stress. He said smoking stains them, he has had a few patients come in and asked how to stop them going yellow because retainer cleaner/denture cleaner isn't working and then they tell him they smoke, he said most of the time no amount of soaking will get cigarette stains out so I guess if you enjoy a cigarette or few and don't want yellow aligners then invisalign would probably get really annoying for you. I'm boring and straight edge and don't drink or smoke but I think it's handy to know that kind of thing. I've been taking pictures every few days just so I can put them all together at the end and have a time lapse kind of thing. I'll upload some more pics once I'm done with this set, I can only see a subtle change in my teeth but they feel very different to me. I think it's because my arches are so narrow so I feel every little thing that is different. :heart:

Re: Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Mon May 08, 2017 1:33 pm
by tillybrace
welcome to the bracket club,

Re: Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 12:01 pm
by Beemur
Thanks for the replies, guys! I am excited with my progress too, I'm excited to upload some more pictures soon, hopefully everyone else can see the progress I can, some days I think I'm just imagining it :D

Another update real quick; I am now 3 days into my 4th set of aligners. I've found that consistently my bottoms are very painful to remove for the first 2-3 days, and my tops are on one side, where my high left canine is. My ortho warned me of that though and said it will get easier with tray changes as they get straighter. I had someone ask me if it affects kissing today! I had heard that it could be a problem before I got my trays but I definitely have not noticed one little bit. My partner of 5 years says he can't even remotely notice a difference, so we're all good there :wink:
I definitely know what people mean now when they say you eventually forget you have them in. It's gotten to that point for me, it's weird to explain because obviously you know something is there or you'll have moments of pressure pain some days but you really do just get used to them I guess. I have no lisp still at all so that helps with forgetting that they're there haha.
My gums have calmed down now also, I mentioned in a previous post that my gums were hating me for all the flossing I was doing after being slack for so many years haha. But yeah they have calmed down now and don't hurt, except on the first few days of a new tray.
Mouthwash has become my best friend, I never really used to use mouthwash but since getting invisalign my routine is religiously brush, floss, mouthwash. I really enjoy the freshness, I think it tastes fresh for so long because some of the leftover mouthwash gets trapped in the aligners, super fresh feeling haha.
An unexpected negative is so much weightloss. I used to eat a lot, all the time. If I wasn't busy with my hands at work or home, there was food in them ready for me to eat :lol: I did have to go to the doctor last week because I was feeling very very tired compared to usual and he weighed me and said he would like my BMI to be a bit higher and said he was sure that my tiredness is coming from sudden weightloss. I'm at a bit of a loss though now to be honest, I was always trying to cram as much food as I could into my meals, I was even adding butter to my vegetables like my mum does when she cooks and I would still end up hungry. I'm trying to get my BMI back up to around 20-21 where it was before I started Invisalign and I honestly have no idea how to up my calorie intake. I already eat the same size meals as my partner, so I'm very full. I add fats like avacados and lots of carbs to meals. The only thing that people keep suggesting to me is those high calorie drinks you can buy that have heaps of vitamins in them so I bought some on Saturday and drink two a day so hopefully I stop feeling so drained. I work at an airport and am always on my feet which is a bit unfortunate when you're trying to retain energy. Fingers crossed it's just my body freaking out a bit at the sudden diet change and it will eventually adapt to the not-so-constant intake of food.
My next appointment is in just under two weeks and I will get my next four trays. I have to ask about when I'm getting my elastics, because I sadly know I am getting them haha. I'm also sure he mentioned IPR, but I could be just imagining that and thinking the worst, IPR scares me.

Oh one more thing before I go, a few people asked me recently why I opted for Invisalign. The answer is, because it was available. I have no problem at all with traditional braces and wouldn't have cared at all if I had to get them. The only reason really that I wanted invisalign before I went in was because it just amazes me that plastic aligners can straighten your teeth. I guess I thought it would be cool to experience it first hand, it's definitely interesting that's for sure. But yeah, my 14 year old cousin asked me if I was biased against his metal braces :lol: Absolutely not, I always look at people with any teeth straightening device on their teeth and think Oooh you're going to have beautiful straight teeth soon you lucky thing, I've never understood the bad stigma behind braces, it's something that's making your smile straight, definitely something to be excited about, not ashamed :)

Re: Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 1:01 pm
by BlondeCam
Congratulations and agree on the stigma ... I don't get it! I think we are lucky to be getting our gorgeous smiles on. Cheers

Re: Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 2:01 pm
by KellyGreen
Beemur wrote:I always look at people with any teeth straightening device on their teeth and think Oooh you're going to have beautiful straight teeth soon you lucky thing, I've never understood the bad stigma behind braces, it's something that's making your smile straight, definitely something to be excited about, not ashamed :)
So much this.

The stigma comes from whiny teenagers who can't appreciate their parents' good dental insurance plans. Braced adults, who never had that opportunity, appreciate them more. :D

Re: Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 6:57 pm
by BlondeCam
Ha! #truth :lol:

Re: Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:44 pm
by Beemur
I totally agree guys, and yeah the stigma probably does stem from whiny people who don't realize how lucky they are to be getting straight teeth! I would have loved my mum to able to afford to straighten my teeth! haha.

I have a little update!
I went for my appointment on the 5th of June. They said my teeth are tracking nicely and I can now change my aligners every 10 days! I was really excited about that, they were hoping for every 7 days but they think my upper left canine is still too high at the moment. My next appointment isn't until mid August and they gave me 7 sets of aligners until then. I find it really helpful that my orthodontist really listens to me and understands how busy I am and gives me so many trays at once, I usually leave for work before sunrise and get home after sunset so it doesn't leave much room for appointments :lol:
I have been taking lots and lots of pictures so I will find the clearest and most recent ones and upload them hopefully when I get home tonight, my little incisor extraction gap is getting smaller so that's exciting for me haha.
I still definitely find myself getting a bit hungry but my weightloss has stalled, so I'm feeling much better about that and definitely have more energy since I started drinking these protein things with my meals.
But yeah, so far Invisalign has treated me well, I really don't think I have any complaints. I go through a ton more toothpaste now so maybe that's a downside haha.

I will hopefully get those pics up tonight, if not I will on the weekend :D :heart:

Re: Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:39 pm
by zhenleeinSG
Hi Beemur,

Glad to read your Invisalign journey. Looking forward to knowing more about the results and of course to see the before and after photos.

Re: Finally fixing my teeth.

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:48 am
by Beemur
Wow guys! I can't believe how long it's been since I updated! I've been so busy, I actually got a promotion at work (Yay!) but it meant much more travelling than I was doing originally so I haven't had much time to myself at all.

I don't know where to begin, my teeth are so different now. I think it's been 7 months of Invisalign now and that big gap I had from my left lower central incisor is long gone, the gap is completely closed up and the entire bottom arch is almost completely straightened out.
My upper arch; I had a lot of crowding and that left canine that was really high. The canine is almost all the way down now and the lateral incisor next to it is nearly out from behind my front tooth. The entire upper arch from the premolars all the way to the front is so much wider than what it was, I honestly can't believe how much invisalign has managed to widen the area.
I've realised from looking at my older posts that I never even got around to putting up some update pics, I'll move some onto this laptop and I might put together a little time line thing.
After tray 9 I was allowed to change them every 10 days and as of tray 17 I was allowed to change them every 7 days, I'm currently on tray 22.

Now, any issues I've had? Just a couple. My ortho warned me that my high canine would start causing some non-tracking trouble at some point in his opinion and sure enough, at tray 15 there started to appear a little gap between the tooth and the aligner. I religiously wear my aligners 22 hours a day, sometimes 21 and a half hours if I'm eating slowly and just chilling, but that's rare. I also chew my chewies every single time I put the aligners back in my mouth. So I was really disappointed that I couldn't do anything myself to prevent it from happening.
So I went in to get my check up at aligner 17 and my ortho decided to give me an elastic to bring this tooth down, he said it was far too small of a fault to waste a midcourse correction on when he knew how to fix it. So I have to have that on for 7 weeks, I've had it on for a few weeks now and I get to stop wearing it on December 11th. It was extremely painful the first few days, I felt like it was ripping my tooth out. But sure enough, the pain calmed down the more I had it on and now when I change my aligners it's just normal slight pain like it was before I had the elastic. The elastic is annoying and visible when I speak to people but it's not a bother, when I have to speak to my higher up bosses or something I just unhook it and it's fine, my ortho said if I find myself unhooking it lots to just make sure I have it on at night every night at least. The tooth fits perfectly in the aligners now in just three weeks of using it so it's definitely doing it's job.

Brushing and flossing and mouth washing are just routine now. I have the same routine every day pretty much. Take them out, eat, wait 10-15 minutes after eating, brush my teeth, floss and then mouthwash. I rinse my aligners in cold water before putting them back in throughout the day and then every night after dinner I fill a glass with cold water, put a denture cleaning tablet in there and put my aligners in it. It's worked perfectly with all 22 aligners so far, I've never had a single stain and they have never felt dirty or smelt weird in the whole 7 months. The only reason I wait 10-15 minutes after I eat to brush my teeth is because I have extremely sensitive teeth and my ortho said just to make sure my enamel stays top notch, wait a bit before brushing.

Overall, I'm extremely happy with how my invisalign is going. To be honest I was a little sceptical and thought it might not work for me but it's going great. I had heard so many good things about my orthodontist, he's won so many awards for his Invisalign work and is often a special guest speaker at Invisalign conferences so I figured if I was going to give it a shot, he's probably the right guy.
I think my advice for people getting invisalign is that you make sure you go with a good provider. There's no point spending thousands on something if the person doing it isn't up to the job. Don't be afraid to ask questions at your first meeting. I had so many questions, but some that I really needed to ask that were bothering me:
Like what happens if this doesn't work? Do we keep going with refinements until they're straight? Do I get traditional braces if invisalign doesn't work and is that included in the price? How many midcourse corrections are included in the price? What happens if I don't want extractions, is the treatment still possible? What if I get a cavity or something while I have my invisalign, will that affect the fit of the aligners? Can I switch to traditional braces at no extra charge if I decide I can no longer deal with invisalign?
They probably seem like really normal basic questions but 3 more people in my life have recently gotten invisalign and they said once they got in there they forgot everything they were going to ask, so maybe it's a good idea to write them down in your phone or something and remember, if your ortho seems annoyed or doesn't answer questions clearly it's probably an alarm bell, choose someone else.
Even though I can get traditional braces free of charge if the outcome of my invisalign isn't great, my ortho said he has never had to do them, so fingers crossed I won't need more brace time after these.

Well that's it for this update, sorry it was so long. I will set myself a reminder to get the pics happening! :-#)