I have been getting a LOT of questions about my Invisalign on Instagram and I figured it would be beneficial to do an update here.
I’ll do a before/after once I’m all the way done but sharing my improved smile so far!
How much longer do you have?
I am still going… I’m on my second batch of trays and I think I’ll end up doing another batch after my next appointment in September. When I started the orthodontist figured I would be done by the end of the year. I’m about five and half months into the treatment.
How much was it? Is it worth it?
I think around $6k. Getting my permanent retainer removed was 1,000% worth it. I wish I had done that a lot sooner slash never gotten it. (My new orthodontist said they rarely do it anymore because they usually end up causing more trouble than benefits over time.) As for the Invisalign… I think the price is pretty personal, but I’d say I found it to be worth it.
Why did you start?
I had regular braces throughout middle school and then did a round of Invisalign in high school after a growth spurt. Every night I wore retainers. Until college… I grind my teeth a lot while I sleep and I was constantly cracking my retainers. In college, I didn’t bother replacing them and I saw some movement of my teeth in my early twenties, but nothing crazy. Then last year, I could feel that my permanent retainer felt “off.” I wasn’t sure if it was broken or what, but made an appointment to have it removed at an orthodontist here in NJ. He confirmed it was compromised and had bent. So my teeth were shifting to follow the “new” path of the broken retainer and would continue to do so since the retainer moved easily once compromised. He convinced me Invisalign to get my teeth back in shape and I just went for it.
(Let me add here… I always hated that permanent retainer and eating is SO MUCH EASIER without it!)
Why did you do Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club?
Because I had stuff in my mouth (i.e. the permanent retainer), I couldn’t do Smile Direct Club. I considered doing it for my bottom teeth only about four years ago, but found out that they charge you the same price regardless of doing it for both top and bottom or just one. (Which I found ridiculous on principle.) Ultimately, I’m VERY glad I didn’t do it then because a lot of horror stories came out about SDC and these direct to consumer trays causing serious issues since you’re not really under the care of an ortho. I have zero affiliation with my orthodontist or Invisalign just as an FYI. As an informed consumer though, doing Invisalign THROUGH a reputable orthodontist is the only way to go in my opinion. I’d rather do it right the first time.
Did you get the attachments glued to your teeth?
No… honestly, I refused them. I watch this one Youtube channel where a girl had gone to get Invisalign and she had no idea about the attachments until it was done. I made it clear from the get-go that I wanted to at least try the trays at first without attachments and if I absolutely needed them later then okay. It was absolutely an aesthetic decision and Invisalign is more effective and faster with them, so keep that in mind.
Is it painful?
Okay so the first week was absolutely horrible. My mouth was in so much pain and I was having middle school flashbacks of getting new braces. I almost quit because I kept thinking if it was going to be this painful every new tray I didn’t think it was worth it. The second tray/week was about half as painful… and then every week since has been completely fine. I start new trays before I go to bed and I think that helps since I’m sleeping through the “new” feeling.
I don’t have regrets getting Invisalign at all, but I did realize something halfway through that I wish I had known/caught earlier. My first round of trays (I think there were 13, so the first three months), the trays were kind of loose. It had been 15 years since I did it last so I had no idea what they were supposed to feel like. The biggest red flags for me was how easily my saliva was getting trapped in the trays and they were kind of “bouncy” when I bit down. I had SUPER dry lips and had a habit of biting down on the trays for the satisfying bounce back. Then I went in to get re-scanned for my next batch and it was a night and day difference. Immediately the fit felt better. Where before it felt like I always had something in my mouth, I could WAY more easily forget the trays were even in because they were so flush against my teeth.
Back in 2005 when I got Invisalign for the first time, you had impressions of your teeth taken with a mold and nasty tasting goop. Technology has changed a lot and now it’s a digital wand. I don’t think the first scan was as accurate as the second and it made a difference. I don’t think it affected the shifting of my teeth, but it did affect my experience. Had we not been in quarantine, I think the orthodontist would have been able to catch this sooner, but I couldn’t go in for months for checkups since everything was shut down. Not the end of the world, but just highlighting this in case one of you guys start and aren’t sure if they’re fitting correctly.