Invisalign Update

Aiming to correct my teeth - Invisalign

Note: Although there are a TON of content creators with Invisalign sponsorship deals, I am not one of them. I’m too small to be of notice, ha! I plunked down a few thousand dollars of my own hard-earned money from my fabulous day job for this. Writing the check made me cringe – so don’t worry! No rose-colored lenses here; expect nothing short of brutal honesty of this process. Any affiliate links are my usual Amazon or Shopstyle links which you can reference the side bar regarding my policy towards. :)

On the 27th, I went back to my orthodontist to review my ClinCheck. ClinCheck is Invisalign’s digital treatment plan; a provider (orthodontist) logs in to their web application to review and approve the planned course of treatment. Since then, I’ve been trying to get into the habit of brushing and flossing after each meal in advance of my huge lifestyle change becoming mandatory. I’m not at my target compliance yet; if I’m not by the time I get my trays, I shall suffer the, “growing pains,” and adhere anyway.

On Adherence to the Care Protocols

I’ve seen forums and commentary from Invisalign patients who ‘fessed up to an overall lax approach to the care protocols. I’ve seen tales of people drinking coffee (or worse, soda!) with the aligners in, not brushing after eating, or not wearing them at least 20 hours per day and I can’t help but (silently, to myself) shout, “WHY?! What on earth is wrong with you!?”

Braces in general are expensive. Invisalign tends to be (but isn’t always) more expensive. I cannot fathom why you would spend thousands of dollars trying to correct a particular issue and then just opt out of the protocols that are critical to not only its success but to your health. I’m not saying people need to be perfect 100% of the time – that isn’t realistic; life happens, etc. But I am saying two things:

You aren’t the magical exception to the rule – your teeth aren’t the special snowflakes that can ignore your doctor’s guidance when it is convenient for you and still achieve the forecast results.

You spent lots of money on this. By doing whatever the hell you feel like during the process, you’re saying, “I don’t care about what happens to these thousands of dollars!” Which, hey, your money – but what a charmed life one must live to callously throw away something like that.

Okay, rant over.

Before My First Aligners

Before I get my first set of trays, I have to get a single extraction. My idiot jaw is too small for all the teeth I have, alas. To make space, correct my lower midline, and a whole bunch of other stuff, tooth 26 will be coming out on July 22. Here’s a diagram; teeth 17-32 are the lower teeth.

In my case, tooth 26 is rude and juts forward in front of its neighbors, 27 and 25 and causes 27 to be slightly turned. As a result of its extroverted nature, it has some gum recession – so it’s a perfect candidate to GTFO.

Juggling

From my understanding, some Invisalign providers are able to offer in-house extractions if/when they are necessary. Mine does not, so it was on me to coordinate appointments. I had a narrow 2-4 day between appointments window to adhere to; fortunately, I lucked out on scheduling.

Time for Trays

After the extraction, I have a few days for the extraction site to calm down and stop profusely bleeding and being a jerk. For my case, my orthodontist advised my that my appointments needed to be about 2-4 days apart to make sure that a) I had some time to recover but b) Not too much time so that my teeth did not move unfavorably. Then, on July 25, I get my first set of Invisalign trays from my orthodontist. At that point, I’ll learn how to care for my trays, best practices, and all that jazz.

What’s Next?

A month later, in August, I go back to the orthodontist to have attachments applied. Attachments are little tooth-colored nubs that help the aligners snap into place; they help the tray provide more leverage which facilitates teeth moving. I have … a bunch of them. I haven’t received my own copy of my ClinCheck yet (Yes! They can send you one!) and I can’t remember how many I have in my future. I do know, however, that my orthodontist did not place them on my two front teeth so it’d be less obvious that I had weird buttons on my teeth.

Kit Update

I added another item to my Invisalign Purse Kit – this little $1> Nalgene bottle holds my mouthwash! It was super cheap and I love it. I also picked up this fragrance free, dye-free Method soap because I’ve seen it recommended for trays. If for some reason my orthodontist recommends I not use it, hey – I have some fragrance free hand soap now!

June 2017 Favorites

June 2017 Favorites

June 2017 Favorites
1. Drunk Elephant C-Firma, $80 / 2. Lotion Saver Bottle Couplers, $4
3. Takeya Cold Brew Pitcher, $20 / 4. Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion, $19 / 5. Sonicare FlexCare Whitening Edition, varies

Year is half over. I just celebrated a birthday. ‘Murica just celebrated its own. I will have my first set of Invisalign trays before the end of the month. Hallelujah.

Btw, is anyone else like, “Get off my lawn and stay out of my damn hydrangeas,” when it comes to fireworks? No one was physically on my lawn, and I don’t have hydrangeas – but I am exhausted today because don’t you know it is ‘Murica’s birthday until (at least) 2AM on July 5? Sigh.

Read moreJune 2017 Favorites

Saving Money On Beauty Products – I Forgot!

Week before last, I shared the ways I like to save on beauty. I forgot a key way! Using ever last possible bit of product is a fantastic way to get more mileage out of your products and avoid repurchasing as soon.

Get the Last Drop

A set of Lotion Saver bottle couplers cost me $3.99 at The Container Store, or a dollar more on Amazon. Especially since my shampoo of choice is prestige, I prefer to get every last bit. This set has three options – large to large, small to small, and small to large to decant any (reasonable) bottle into another. These are great for moving product from a large container to a travel-sized one, or for combining the end of a container into a new one.

These are great for soaps, lotions, shampoos, and plenty of other viscous products that are a pain to move to other containers. They’re great for dish soap too!

Get the Scoop

Likewise, beauty spatulas are a great way to scoop the last of a product. Today, I don’t do this simply because I don’t run into much use for it, myself. If I used more products that I ran into issues with, I’d go for it, though!

The Bottom Line

Have you ever sliced open a seemingly-spent tube of primer or sunscreen? There tends to be a disappointing amount left!

Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion

Mario Badescu Buffering LotionMario Badescu Buffering Lotion, $19

I broke my No Buy again. Just days before the weekend-long event that caused me to miss a few posts, I had a cystic blemish begin to form (thanks, cycle). This was perhaps the most painful one I’d ever experienced and I decided I could.not.take.it.

But What to Do?

Fortunately, my wax specialist happened to mention recent success with Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion for this purpose. She suffers cystic blemishes too and reported that this stuff is nigh-miraculous. Recalling this conversation, I consulted the internet – her experience isn’t unique. The next day, I stopped in Ulta and grabbed a bottle of it and used some of my reward points to soften the blow of the infraction.

Read moreMario Badescu Buffering Lotion

Invisalign X-Rays and 3D Scans

On Monday, I mentioned regular content was returning next week. I have an Invisalign update for now – so here’s this for today, then we’ll be post-less on Friday, then back on Monday.

A week ago, I went in for my Invisalign X-Rays and 3D oral scan that are used by my orthodontist and Invisalign to develop my treatment plan. X-Rays were taken like any are, but the scanner – man, if you appreciate technology, this thing is neat.

Instead of taking impressions with a weird goo that you bite into for a couple minutes (which I would have had to do, had I opted for SmileDirectClub), my 3D scan was taken via an iTero Element intraoral imaging device. A tech uses a small wand to take high-resolution scans of your mouth; it then assembles them into a 3D rendering of your mouth. It is weird and awesome all at once. I haven’t had issues with impressions before, but apparently using the scanner is better for people who have gagging issues.

My orthodontist says based on experience, my case will run about 18 months, require a single extraction, and require attachments. Attachments are small, tooth-colored nubs that they will affix to certain teeth to facilitate the process. The clear aligners will fit over the nubs. Patients report varying degrees of visibility of them; regardless, I’m fairly unconcerned. Most people in my life, including people I work with, know that I’m pursuing this. I’m not embarrassed by that much.

I return to the practice in about two weeks to review my ClinCheck – that’s what Invisalign calls the progression of their treatment plan. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to get a head-start on adjusting my eating and drinking habits to support my soon-to-be-restricted eating and drinking regimen.

In support of that, I’ve started assembling a purse-friendly care kit. Because I 1) work and 2) can’t just eat breakfast and dinner and still be a reasonable human being, at least five meals a week take place away from home. I need to be prepared.

Read moreInvisalign X-Rays and 3D Scans