I got my ducks in a row and have an appointment to kick off the (expensive) process to correct my teeth. I did decide to pursue Invisalign treatment; my case can be treated with conventional braces faster and cheaper, but the hassle isn’t worth it to me. Smile Direct Club never got back to me, but did spam the shit out of me with marketing pleas. I have since unsubscribed.
I’m excited and thrilled to be finally pursuing this, but it isn’t without nerves. After all, it is a big investment. It will be physically uncomfortable. It is also at least eighteen months of my life that I will be shackled to a fairly inflexible routine. I can handle routine.
The Invisalign Routine
For Invisalign and other clear aligner systems to be effective, they need to be worn for as much of our 24-hour day as possible. Literature varies slightly but conventional advice, including that from my orthodontist, indicates that 20-22 hours per day of wear is necessary.
The only time(s) the clear aligners should be out is when you are eating and drinking or when you are brushing and flossing. When you brush or floss, you need to brush and rinse your aligners as well to keep them clean.
After my treatment, I will have a retainer to make sure things don’t revert to their old ways.
Not all Bad
The routine sounds challenging, but it isn’t all bad. Aside from straight teeth, I expect to get a lot out of it:
Less random snacking or, “grazing.”
Because eating ANYTHING requires that I remove my trays then brush and floss before I put them back in, snacking cannot be a mindless activity. Time-wise, snacking will be expensive!
Eating Better (in general)
Since I won’t really be able to snack unless I’m prepared to spend five minutes after the fact, I need to eat better! I need to eat nutritious things that will stick with me and keep me from feeling empty, longer.
Drinking anything other than water subjects you to the same cleaning protocol as eating. I already drink a lot of water, which is good – but I’ll basically need to limit myself to having non-water beverages with meals.
Next, I schedule an appointment with my orthodontist to take a 3D scan of my mouth. That scan is then sent to Invisalign. My provider works with Invisalign to develop a treatment plan that is returned as a digital time-lapse. I’ll then go back and approve it with my doctor. Once approved, they get to making trays and I get them a few weeks later.
My goal is to keep this blog updated with my treatment progress. Neither my orthodontist nor Invisalign know that I am a blogger or that I intend to document this process. There’s no incentive for me to document this beyond my own amusement.