My experience with Invisalign

Let me start by saying that this is in no way sponsored by Invisalign. I did pay for the treatment out of my own pocket (and dad’s) and I in no way force you to do the same as there are other less expensive ways to go about fixing your teeth. I also am so sorry about the quality of the BEFORE photo, as I had no idea at the time that I’d want to talk about it on here and so didn’t think of getting better photos taken to show the change. 

Growing up, I had badly crooked bottom teeth. My upper teeth have always been pretty straight, but the lower ones were just pushing forward (I have a small jaw) and ended up almost creating two rows of teeth. So I had braces. Not fun when you’re young, especially when you have to keep them for years. I remember being absolutely terrified of my orthodontist, not only because what she did hurt me, but because every time I went I was given bad news. For example, I had to get not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 teeth taken out at once to make space in my mouth, I had to get the tiny skin between my upper lip and my gums literally cut out, I had to get painful tools put into my mouth to get better results,… plus she was mean. That might have been because I have always been a big baby when it comes to the dentist – who knows – but I just remember her being mean. Thank god I never had to get my wisdom teeth taken out, they just never came down. After a few years (I want to say 4?), I finally had the beautiful smile everyone dreams off. Until I lost my retainer and things went to s***.

Fast forward to many years later, and my lower teeth had shifted back to their “original” position. After going through the trauma of many years of painful braces (and many years of food stuck in my teeth because of them), let me tell you I was NOT pleased. Not only had my teeth shifted back, one of them started poking up and hitting my upper teeth every time I ate or spoke – and that hurt like hell. I was embarrassed by my mouth, was in pain, and just plain upset my orthodontist never said I should have one of those metal bars put in the back of my teeth to keep them straight! I mean, doesn’t everyone have one of those?!

So I did my research online and found out about Invisalign. In case you aren’t familiar with them, Invisalign are aligners you put on that will force your teeth to move to a new position. They are invisible (hence the name), and you can take them off anytime you want.

It took me a long time (2 years) before deciding to do it and convincing my dad to help me out – because yes it is costly $$$$.
I went to a dental office downtown and had a consultation with the dentist in charge of Invisalign, who assured me that I was a perfect candidate for them. I think there is no limit to what Invisalign can do (I have seen some pretty incredible before/after photos), but I was worried that considering I already had braces and my teeth had shifted back, it meant I was prone to having the same issue again and therefore couldn’t have Invisalign. I don’t know how that even came to my mind, but you know that feeling when you really want something and you are trying to prepare yourself for the worst? Yeah that was basically it. 

FYI: I am aware my case was minor compared to others, or that this might seem superficial to some (after all, this could be considered plastic surgery without the surgery part). But to me, this was a massive insecurity and made me feel unhealthy. Considering the fact that I had already gone through the process with braces, I just wanted to have the smile I dreamed off once and for all.

BEFORE

I was told it would take about 10 Invisalign sets to straighten my teeth, and you change sets every 2 weeks: so basically 20 weeks total. I put on the first set – holy that was PAINFUL – at the end of September 2016. The reason for the pain is because your teeth aren’t willing to move voluntarily, and so when you force them to move even the slightest they aren’t happy. There’s no blood or anything like that, your mouth is just really sore and tender for the first day when switching to a new set. To my surprise, I had to wear aligners on my upper teeth too, which were already straight! My dentist told me that it actually makes a lot of sense since my lower teeth would be moving, my upper teeth would have to move too to fit with the new position of the lower ones when I close my mouth! I mean duh, Marie.
I was told to wear them a minimum of 22h per day, taking them off only when eating and brushing my teeth. Considering I was taking photos for a living (still am) I also took them off when I was in front of the camera, not because they would have shown but just because I felt more comfortable without them on.

10 sets later, I was told I needed another 10 sets of “refinement” aligners (making for a total of 40 weeks in total). My teeth had almost completely moved back to where I wanted them to be, but there were still some minor changes that needed to be done to have that perfect smile. I’m not going to lie, at that point I was wearing them about 15h a day. I wore them every night, and whenever I was home. But any time I left the house I would just take them off. I personally didn’t see a difference having them a few hours less in my mouth, and stuck to my schedule of switching to a new set every two weeks (keep in mind this is my experience and I am not recommending to do as I did, so please stick to your dentist’s advice for best results!)

If you look closely on the photo below, you’ll see that I had tiny attachments on my lower teeth. Those are to help the aligners grab onto your teeth better. I asked not to have any on the top ones since they barely needed to move, and because it would have been obvious when I talked or in photos. Don’t worry, they are taken off when you’re done the treatment! I did still need to get my teeth “shaved” to allow for them to move, hence the spaces you can see in between them.

AFTER

It’s been almost a full year since I finished my Invisalign treatment, and I could not be happier! 40 weeks might have seemed like a lifetime when I started, but it went by so fast I couldn’t believe it when I had my final visit and got to take the attachments out! I still sleep with the last set of aligners on every single night to prevent my teeth from moving back (and really notice it if I miss a night). I receive compliments on my smile and my teeth all the time, and to be honest I still catch myself in the mirror thinking “DANG GIRL these pearly white look GUD”. 

Invisalign is expensive. Not going to lie, it did set me back a few hundred $$ every month, but seeing the result I would have paid twice as much without thinking twice about it. If you have ever thought about getting them, or wondered if they were better than braces, I highly encourage you to go talk to your dentist and see if this option is available because I am on cloud 9 from my experience. Some days were painful (the set switching days), most of the time I wasn’t able to tell if there was any change between the first day and the current day, I did break one of my sets and had to wait a few weeks to get it redone,… but for someone who loves to smile (and eat) as much as I do, my only regret is not having it done sooner!

 

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4 Comments

  • Lara Vogler

    Loved reading about your experience! Since I’m doing Invisalign right now I’m always curious to see how it went for others. I’m about halfway through now and can’t wait to see my results ☺️☺️

    • Marie

      It is life changing! I can’t wait for you to be done with it!

  • JessBRB

    Omg I have the same problem!! I’m just waiting to be done with school so I can get a well paying job and pay to get my teeth fixed! Your experience makes me want to get them even more now! Thanks for sharing, I’m glad you’re loving your new smile! 🙂

    • Marie

      Oh yay I am so happy this is making you want to take the plunge even more! Wishing you the prettiest smile!