I received a nice testimonial from one of my Invisalign patients, Sarah - she has been on Invisalign for the past 4 months. Her experience is very valuable and provides real insight into what patients can expect when they are on the treatment. Without further ado, here it is:
I always thought I would get my bottom teeth fixed "eventually" but never got around to it. My teeth are very tight and shred through dental floss, even the shred-proof kind. It was an annoyance, but not a big deal because most people don't look at your bottom teeth. However, I was starting to have some other problems, and found out that by straightening my teeth I could clean them more easily and prevent further problems down the road. I work long hours and have a very busy schedule, so the thought of braces just sounded too inconvenient, not to mention painful. Starting Invisalign has allowed me to take care of my health while not interfering with my other responsibilities.
Some tips from me:
- Starting Invisalign: If you can, pick a time when you're less busy to start. It's easier to get used to the aligners if you can relax and take your time. The aligners can cause some soreness, but it isn't too bad and goes away after the first couple of days. Learning to pop the trays in and out is tricky at first, but I got the hang of it quickly. You will feel some tightness when you switch trays, but just for a day or two. I like to switch them at night to sleep through some of this.
- Cleaning: I carry a travel toothbrush and toothpaste with me, and a special opaque water bottle (full of mouthwash) on my desk at work to keep my aligners clean when I'm out and about. I use denture cleaning tablets when I'm at home. Taking out your aligners in public is a personal preference. I still don't like to but will discreetly if I have to. I've talked to others who have no problems with this. You'll find what works for you.
- Keeping track of your aligners: I wear eyeglasses, and think of my aligners in the same way. I always make sure to have them with or near me when I'm not wearing them. It's easy to lose track of the case(s) but I try to keep a backup small ziploc bag in my purse or something with me just in case. You will be warned when you start not to wrap them in a napkin because they are easy to throw away accidentally. I didn't believe this at first, but it's true! When I'm in a pinch and absolutely have to do this, I will wrap them and put them in my pocket or purse which helps.
- Paying for Invisalign: I was able to use a payment plan and my employer's flexible health spending account (FSA) to make paying for Invisalign easier. Check with your health insurance and employer to see what your options are.
- "Good" side effects: Since you can't eat while wearing the aligners, it makes it easier to drink more water and pass up on food you shouldn't be eating anyway. It makes you think about what's worth taking them out for. If you bite your nails, you can't do that when wearing the aligners. It does make it harder if you ever "bite" open a bag of chips etc. but so far it hasn't been a big problem for me.