After 8 hours of Invisalign wearing (well, to be honest about 6 hours because I took them out to go out to dinner) I think I am bearing up fairly well…. Although my husband who has borne the brunt of my constant chatter and whinging about them all day, might beg to differ!
The fitting appointment was much swifter than I expected. The orthodontist fitted them, checked he was happy, told me how many trays (17 upper and 34 lower) I have and how many buttons or attachments (five) and then left his assistant to run me through the ins and outs of caring for them. Fortunately she has them in herself at the moment, so she gave me a pretty realistic overview of how easily or otherwise they fit into your life, including letting it slip that she takes hers out from 6-9.30pm each night so she can drink!!
The first moment that they went in they felt incredibly tight, not painful exactly, but an unpleasant feeling of pressure that almost seemed unbearable, and made me feel strangely claustrophobic. My first thought was simply that I can’t do this. However within the space of two minutes or so it started to ease, and didn’t feel nearly as bad. There was still a persistent pressure, but it wasn’t painful or intolerable.
The assistant got me to take them on and off for her, which wasn’t too hard at that point. It seems to be a case of hooking the backs with your thumbnails and then working your way around. If you have very short nails I would advise growing your thumbnails a bit before your first fitting as it really does seem to help. I got all the care information from her too. I have to change them every 2 weeks, and can only take them out to eat. Whilst they are in I can have water and nothing else. (Even white wine is banned apparently, I did check!!)
The Invisalign leaflet they gave me tells me that they should be in 22 hours a day although she told me that hers are only in 18 most days. With the amount I am paying I think I’ll try and get closer to the 22. They didn’t show me my clincheck there, however they did give me a dvd to watch at home, I’ll try and work out how to post it tomorrow. Funnily enough my top teeth don’t look that bad to begin with on the clincheck, although in real life I think they look awful!
My husband and 2 daughters aged 7 & 5 picked me up from the appointment, and within 10 seconds my 7 year old told me that she could see them and that my teeth look “too shiny”. My 5 year old said that she couldn’t see them, so I turned and bared my teeth for her… at which point she screamed! I’m not sure whether it was a result of my expression or the Invisalign, I’m hoping the former.
My husband seemed pleasantly surprised. Apparently he had thought that there would be a wire involved somewhere, despite my having shown him all the literature. Just shows how much attention he pays to what I’m telling him!
I am pretty happy with how they look. They do make your teeth look unnaturally shiny, and a little bigger somehow, but they are nothing compared to traditional train track braces. I’m don’t think that anybody who didn’t know you very well would really notice anything different at all.
After the appointment I took myself off to the January sales for a distraction, but there were just so many mirrors and I couldn’t stop myself from peering at them every 20 metres, baring my teeth, so I gave up and went home.
My appointment was at 11.20am and by 2pm I was starving so I knew I had to get them out. The bottom ones came out fairly easily, but the top ones were really hard to get out. They seemed to get stuck at the front where my crown is, and I was convinced I was going to pull the whole crown out, but after a couple of minutes of painful tugging I managed to remove them.
For dinner we went out to a local restaurant and I decided to remove them in the car before we went in. Again, the bottoms weren’t too much trouble but the tops were really hard. My husband and kids were all watching, and I was getting increasingly frustrated and almost panicky that I would never get them out, but in the end I got there by working backwards and forwards along the upper row with my thumbnails.
There hasn’t been much real pain today. I did take one paracetamol at 12 and another about 5pm but that was more than enough. Funnily enough, the only real pain has been for the first 10 minutes after I take the trays out to eat. My teeth feel very, very sensitive and tender to bite down on, almost like biting down on a tooth that has a toothache. It goes away remarkably quickly though and they feel perfectly normal within 15 minutes.
Whilst they are in my mouth there is no pain of which to speak, more a strange feeling of pressure. The only other thing is that you feel as if you can’t shut your teeth properly. If you have ever had that feeling after a filling where your teeth don’t feel like they are able to bite together properly, the feeling of the trays on your teeth is similar.
I’m feeling very optimistic about it all after the first day. The only real problem has been removal of the trays, and hopefully that should ease in the next day or so as they get a little bit looser. I’ll let you know..
As a postscript my husband just walked over as I finished typing the above, peered at my teeth and declared that you can’t even see them at all. Bingo.
Update Aug 09 See how easy a day is after a few months wear!
If you’re struggling to remove your Invisalign, read this post!