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Time to Straighten Up

As of this morning, I am officially on week 2 of my Invisalign treatment.

But, Liz, you might say ... you have a gorgeous smile already. Yes, yes (tongue in cheek). But the fact is, I actually have a few teeth that are starting to turn sideways, one in particular that is slowly sliding behind another tooth. So while things aren't bad now, they would continue to get worse, so this is sort of a nip-it-in-the-bud approach.

Also, since I'm doing this before things go downhill, it'll take less time for me to straighten everything up than if I waited and then I should be able to just maintain.

In addition to the tooth movement, I was also having a minor bite issue where, because of my shifting teeth, I wasn't getting good closure in one spot, which as you may guess, hampers eating somewhat.

At any rate, considering how much Invisaligns normally cost, even though it's expensive, I am getting a GOOD deal, after the discount my dentist was running, plus what my insurance will reimburse me.

The other good news is that I have only a 32-week plan. I was told it could be over a year, so 8 months is fantastic news!

This is how it works.

For 32 weeks, I wear Invisalign trays. Every 2 weeks, I switch out to the next set to continue moving my teeth in the appropriate direction. I get 3 sets (so, 6 weeks' worth) of trays at a time. Every 5 weeks, I check in with my ortho assistant so she can make sure everything is looking good and give me my next few sets of Invisaligns.

At the end of the program, I get a retainer. Which, from what she showed me, is not like the retainer I remember my friends having when I was younger. It really just looks like another set of Invisaligns, but it's a harder material. If I remember correctly, I'll wear it 24/7 for about a month and then it will just be a nighttime gig after that.

One thing I never realized until I did this myself is that you don't just pop in the plastic trays over your teeth. I also had little hard plastic dots glued to about 10 my teeth. Sort of the idea of how they glue brackets onto your teeth if you're getting traditional braces, but these are small and enamel-colored, and the trays slide over them.

They're basically anchors to help encourage certain teeth to move the way they're supposed to. So the look isn't entirely smooth, but still not very noticeable.

This is how my first week went.

Day 1: NOOOOO!!!! Why did I decide to this? This is the worst! I actually paid someone to make me lisp when I talk and coat my teeth in plastic (except for when I eat and brush) and make me self-conscious? Why would I do that? I think I'm dying... *sniffle*

Day 2: Ugghhh, my teeth are so sore. I don't want to eat anything. Eight months of this?! I can't stop thinking about the little ridge of plastic rubbing the inside of my upper lip. Why, God, why??

Day 3: Why did she tell me I would get really good at taking the trays out? I'm not ever going to be good at this. This is so frustrating! Do I really sound as weird when I talk to you as I do in my head?

Day 4: I think my teeth are hurting a little less. Maybe I'll survive. Maybe.

Day 5: Okay, I have Invisaligns. I'm not thrilled, but I'm getting used to the fact that this is my life now.

Day 6: Not so bad. I can probably manage this.

Day 7: One week done! Why did I think this was so horrible? It's not that big a deal.

Sort of like the 7 stages of grief. I imagine that on day 15, though, when I have to start the next set of trays, that I'll revert to Day 1 sentiments and sore teeth. LOL.

One other item of note. The good thing about Invisaligns, other than the fact that they're less noticeable than braces, is that since I can take them out, I have no restrictions on what types of food I can eat. Also, between occasionally having sore teeth and the fact that I'm supposed to wear them 22 hours a day, I really don't snack anymore. (Because technically, even though I can eat with them in, why would I want to? At least, that's how I feel.) So ... inadvertent weight loss program?

Anyway, just thought I'd share since it's a big thing I'm doing. Come March, my teeth better be perfect!

Copyright 2004-2021 Elizabeth Shiver