I started my Invisalign treatment in October 20 and I am now 12 weeks into my 20 week plan and I wanted to share some tips.
My Invisalign trays are changed once a week and I have a dental check up and collect my next set of 4 trays every month. This has worked very well so far and I really cannot believe I am already using week 12.
I can see an incredible difference so far and I am so looking forward to the final result. It makes wearing the trays for AT LEAST 22 hours a day worth it. In fairness with the way everything has worked out, considering all the Covid related madness, I probably couldn’t have chosen a better time to go through the treatment. For a start I pretty much haven’t been out and about at all apart from a few times during OCT/NOV when we could actually physically go into somewhere to eat food. So I do feel I have been less restricted than most people having this treatment in what would be considered ‘normal’ times!
Saying that, wearing these buggers for 22 hours a day is a real feat. You would think that 2 hours a day for eating and drinking is plenty. I mean it should be. But bloody hell it goes quickly. You are told not to eat or drink anything other than cold water with them in, so in fairness it’s helped me to cut down on the amount of coffee I would normally drink in day. So silver linings and all that.
As my teeth were incredibly crooked to start with I found that changing over to the new weekly tray would take a bit of fiddling around. For me they just didn’t just ‘click’ into place. Don’t get me started on the gag reflex issue when I struggled to get a new bottom trays. However, once they’d been worn throughout the night they did get a little easier as the week went on.
Anyway, for anyone who is thinking about Invisalign treatment I wanted to share some tips that you might find useful.
Tips for Invisalign treatment
1 Set a countdown timer on your phone, especially in the early days. You will be absolutely amazed at how quickly that 2 hours of time throughout the day that you can have the trays out to eat or drink will go! Forget sitting for 20 minutes savouring that first morning coffee……….you will learn to drink it down quick. As the weeks go on you will get better at judging the time and it really isn’t going to matter if you go over the time every so often. However, just remember the more you can stick to wearing them AT LEAST 22 hours a day the better your treatment will go to plan and the less delay or disruption you will have.
2 Change your trays in the evening before bed on the changeover days and take some ibuprofen to help with the initial adjustment discomfort. Obviously on the days you have your dental visits that will be done at the appointment which could be at any time of the day. But when you have control over it leave it until before you head to bed.
3 Make yourself a travel kit to use at work or when you go out ( once all the Covid madness is over!). I luckily work from home so don’t need it there. But I did set up a kit to leave in one of my kitchen cupboards so I didn’t have to go upstairs every time I needed to clean my gnashers and put the trays back in. Believe me as you get used to them they are out and in like no ones business. But on those occasions I did go out to eat, having the little travel kit was invaluable. You will need……….a folding travel toothbrush, a travel mouth wash and mini toothpaste. Leave your tray case in the kit too and you will never have to worry if you have forgotten anything. Just pop the kit in your bag and you’re good to go.
4 Although you’re advised NOT to drink any hot drinks while you are wearing the trays as they could get distorted with the heat, I found drinking WARM water quite soothing on the first day or two of new trays. Having the water not hot enough to distort the trays but warm enough to feel soothing definitely helped with changeover discomfort. If you cannot stomach plain warm water try adding a slice of lemon.
5 They discolour VERY quickly even though you don’t wear them when you’re eating and drinking. I know its ridiculous. Anyway be warned anything tomato based will stain them with a yellowy tinge. So lasagne, bolognaise, curries and soups and your coffee will all help to stain them slightly……..even if you clean your teeth every time you eat or drink. You will get some cleaning crystals in your Invisalign kit at the very start of your treatment. But when you need more buy them off Amazon or similar as they will be a lot cheaper!
6 Buy the ‘Chewies’ that look like little mini swim noodles that kids use in the pool! Chewing these for a minute or so will help to mould the trays fully into place without damaging or mis shaping them. I use these mainly at night after I’ve had my evening cuppa and so I know they will be fully in place overnight. This is the longest stretch you will wear them without disruption so its worth the extra effort. The more you use these to secure the trays fully into the right place the better your treatment will work. Again you can buy these really cheaply off Amazon.
7 Book your dental appointments ahead of time if you can and if they will allow it. I found that because of all the Covid restrictions at the moment dental surgery’s are not at full patient capacity. Therefore, before you leave book your next appointment. Make sure you’ve already worked out the next tray due date before going as this will help counteract any delays. I found at my dentist they would always book it as a calendar month ‘date’ rather than the next changeover tray date. I always tried to get it as close as I could to the tray changeover date so I did not have any unnecessary delays getting my next 4 weeks worth.
Lets face it, its a big commitment you’re making to wear them for as long as you have to, without having any unnecessary delays. The poor receptionist probably hates me. However, its a lot of money to pay out and its private treatment, so you know…………….you’re within your rights to at least ask! I went from starting on a Wednesday, to my next appointment being a Thursday, to going back to a Wednesday again and now my appointment this week is on Thursday. They had originally given me a date next week which would have meant wearing the last tray for almost 2 weeks. It seems trivial matter but it does help so that you actually remember to change your trays on the right days. Especially at the moment with the Groundhog Day feel over lockdown.
I am due this week for my next appointment to get my trays for weeks 13-16. I do however, have to have one of my top teeth ‘shaved’ to help with movement. Yes this is as horrendous as it implies.
I won’t go into the traumatic first appointment I had. An appointment that was supposed to be 40 minutes (which I didn’t know) and ended up being 1 hr 20! I kid you not. I was not prepped for the ‘shaving’ teeth thing and then we had incredible trouble fitting the lower tray. Honestly I was so traumatised after this appointment and felt like I had been beaten up the next day thanks to my Fibro! Anyway, deep breaths and moving on.
So, these are just a few tips for Invisalign treatment if you are due to start or are thinking about having it done. My cousin was very helpful before I started mine, as she had hers done within the last few years, so thank you to her for the travel kit idea.
If you are thinking about taking the plunge with Invisalign you can check out my intro post which covers details of what to expect on the first few appointments before you can actually start your treatment.
If you are researching into Invisalign and have any questions at all please feel free to ask.