My first week of Invisalign flew by; I’m already on my second tray and a lot has happened.
First Tray – Tuesday, July 25
I went to the orthodontist’s office after work. An orthodontic technician came over showed me my trays and went over some of the minutia like:
- Keeping trays you’re done with so you have back ups if anything happens to your current tray
- Cleaning your tray(s)
- Teaching me how to insert and remove them
- Teaching me how to use Chewies
Then, the orthodontist came over and examined the fit, made sure I was good to go. We went back over my ClinCheck – by tray 25 (of 40) I should have what appears (compared to now!) to be straight teeth.
I was surprised to find, however, a space for the tooth I just had extracted. They offered to add something to it so that spot appeared to have a tooth, but since it is clear, the gap is tiny, and my lower teeth don’t show when I speak, I opted out of it. The spot for tooth 26 is there in my first through third trays, then is absent starting the fourth. It makes sense to me to have it extracted before starting treatment, but I’m not entirely sure I understand why there is a tooth-shaped space for it in the trays.
First Week with Invisalign
The first (half) day was not uncomfortable whatsoever. Here’s what happened on the first day:
- I had an instant lisp. It wasn’t extreme. Words like, “Success,” were the worst, but still clear enough for anyone to understand. “S,” sounds were by far the worst. “Th,” was only slightly impacted.
- Because something is in your mouth that is not your teeth or tongue, your body thinks, “Oh! I should prepare to facilitate eating and digestion.” As a result, it ramps up saliva production. This is a little awkward and annoying at first, but it’s only excessive for about a day.
- We went out for dinner that day; I removed my trays to eat, which wasn’t hard. I brushed and flossed before we left and had them back in.
- Drinking water with them seemed weird – not hard, not just different.
- I slept just fine!
My lisp had improved over the prior day but I found myself apologizing to coworkers for it. Some noticed, but didn’t think it was bad or distracting. One colleague had me go through a list of words in hopes it would (funnily) exacerbate my lisp, but I even managed to nail, “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” so he left, disappointed. I intentionally blocked off my calendar to avoid meetings in case it was a struggle. I ultimately decided that it wasn’t necessary.
Had some discomfort by the end of the day because the rear edge of the tray was irritating the underside of my tongue when I spoke. I popped them out and gently filed the sharp area blunt, washed them, then reinserted. Voila!
I initially thought that eating at restaurants would be challenging and that lunch with my cohort during the work week. As it happens, the impact shall be minimal – I will want to refrain from places that take a long time since I need to get my trays back in ASAP but that’s pretty much it. The BAD thing is that there is no discreet way to remove your trays short of going to a private area to do so. Popping them out at the table is fairly obvious and weird. Fortunately, neither my husband nor the coworkers I eat lunch with during the week give a damn.
When I removed them to eat, I could tell that they were slightly different. Not visibly different, but when I’d bite into things my teeth didn’t come together the same way they did.
Lisp was, by leaps and bounds, better. I’ve figured out what I need to do to speak around them for soft sounds like
Had some additional discomfort, but unlike the previous day’s. Again, this was related to soft tissue rather than the discomfort of the shifting itself – so I popped some Dentek dental wax over the spots causing the tenderness – perfect!
Days Four through Seven
Some days I used wax on the aforementioned places, some days I didn’t. There wasn’t much discomfort.
For the duration, I averaged one hour and forty-five minutes without them – so I’m doing better than the Invisalign-recommended 22 hour per day minimum (and my orthodontist’s recommended 20 hour per day minimum). I have not yet exceeded two hours out. We ate out a lot, so I dealt with flossing and brushing in restaurants. Some restaurant restrooms are better suited to this than others.
I inserted my second tray right before bed on Monday night. I felt some pretty serious pressure on my upper left and lower left incisor. I took and ibuprofen and was able to get right to sleep.
The next day, I could still feel some pressure, but I wouldn’t call it painful. I skipped breakfast for fear of the tray being uncomfortable to remove and ate a larger lunch to compensate. Up through yesterday, the trays were more difficult to remove and still uncomfortable to reinsert (boo) – plus I needed to rely on my Chewies more to get them snugly seated once I reinserted. Not bad, just tedious. I count myself lucky so far.
The Bottom Line
I’m happy that my first week with Invisalign wasn’t bad! I know that once I get my attachments, however, things will be less comfortable. I’m ready!