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.
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.
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.
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!