Set 5 of my Invisalign braces and a sore throat

I almost decided not to switch to these Invisalign trays on the basis that I have a seriously sore throat. But. But. But. The ever nagging little voice in my head that thinks that my teeth will end up going back 5 stages if I don’t complete this thing properly keeps telling me that I need to follow all the instructions exactly to the letter, so switch I did. I figured that the panadol would probably help my throat too, right?

I have read all over the invisalign braces forums that you should switch your aligners at night. The reasoning behind this is that by morning the pressure on your teeth will be reduced, and that they will be easier to remove.
For me, though, there are two reasons why this doesn’t work. Firstly, I actually like the pressure- somehow it makes it real that my teeth are moving and that this isn’t just some crazy torture device that I am inflicting on myself. Secondly, and yes, I know this is sad, I like having 2 days a fortnight where I can’t snack! As a confirmed snack addict Lord knows my body needs this regular reduction in calories, so I see it as a positive that getting my trays out is something of an ordeal for the first couple of days.
I had the usual excitement taking these aligners out of the packet. I’m not sure what it is that I am expecting when I unwrap them- that these will be the ones that will suddenly transform my teeth?- but I always get that tragic little flutter. I also got my set #1 braces out, and have taken some pictures to compare. Personally I’m not sure that there is any visible difference, maybe it is too soon, but if you can see any please let me know. I feel that there should be some simply because on 5/17 my top arch is almost a third of the way through treatment.
I have looked at my clincheck videos which definitely show some movement by this point, but on the aligners and on my teeth I just can’t spot it. Perhaps it is like watching your children grow. You don’t see it happening at the time, it is only later looking back at old pictures that you can see the difference.
Even if there is nothing to actually see I can definitely feel the movement happening. The majority of it is in my two front teeth and in the area where the stray tooth is growing over the bottom of my mouth. It is certainly pressure as opposed to pain though.
These are my comparison pictures. I have noticed that set #1 have started to discolour (and whiff!)  in storage so from now on I am sterilising all my old aligners before putting them away.

The left aligner is number one, the right is number 5. Please let me know if you can see anything different about them!
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4th Set Of Invisalign Braces

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.Charles Darwin
Well, Darwin would be proud of me this week. Not only have I managed to get used to my new Invisalign attachments, I have almost forgotten they are there. Which isn’t to say that I like them, of course, rather that I am learning to live with them in all their visible glory.

Set 3 were diabolical to remove, but now, three weeks into my life with attachments my Invisalign aligners are almost as easy to remove as they were before the dreaded buttons were put on. I can whip them out fairly quickly, and regularly do it surreptitiously in public eating places all over Brisbane. Nobody seems to notice, or perhaps they are just too polite to stare, in which case I am eternally grateful to them. I have still have the problem of my attachments catching occasionally on the side of my cheeks when the aligners are out of my mouth, but even that problem is diminishing as my cheeks toughen up.
Set 4 were tight at first, particularly on my front teeth which were tender for the first 24-36 hours, but not so tender that I couldn’t eat. It was the kind of tender that I have actually come to almost enjoy as I know that it means that my teeth are moving towards their new improved positions! I had some trouble with a sharp edge in place that had never rubbed before, but 24 hours and some sly manoeuvres with a nail file sorted out that problem.

I find now, and yes, it is somewhat pathetic, that I get a little bit excited as changeover day approaches. In the second week of wearing an aligner I get that feeling you have in a job when you have already given your notice. You are just marking time and going through the motions, mentally you have already moved on. I can now understand why people try to speed up their Invisalign treatment time by cutting the time of wearing each aligner to 10 days. It is tempting. You know what though? After $6300 dollars, and all that it has taken to get here, it is not that tempting.

Bring on aligner no. 5….

Diet coke, flouride and Invisalign braces…

I’m not sure whether I have been living under a rock all my life, or whether I just don’t watch enough TV but it seems that I have missed out on something fairly important when it comes to this braces thing.
Since I had children I have got rid of almost all the vices in my life- smoking, staying out all night partying, you know the kind of stuff. So much so, that lately I have been considering the possibility of cultivating some new ones…  One habit that I haven’t managed to kick though, is a serious diet coke habit. Before you say it, yes I know it is the devil’s drink and probably carcinogenic and all that stuff, I understand and appreciate all of it, but the problem is…it tastes gooooood. So, Invisalign braces or not, I have kept to my several glasses a day routine, taking my aligners out, glugging down a quick hit, brushing (not always flossing because it is only a drink, right?) and then putting my aligners straight back in. Bad. Bad. Bad.

However, yesterday, thanks to the good people at the braces review forum, it has come to my attention that I am probably seriously damaging my teeth. ( I mean more than I thought I was by drinking the brown stuff)  Apparently there is a Tv advert at the moment that tells you that after fizzy drinks you shouldn’t brush for 30 minutes as you may actually remove enamel from your teeth. Instead it is far better to swish with water, wait 30 minutes and then brush.

How did I miss this? I’m a busy mother with a pretty hectic life, and I’ve never been a daytime tv kind of gal, but I can’t believe that I have missed it completely. Apparently, asking around, it seems that it is common knowledge though, so maybe I’m just not as well informed as I thought about all matters dental.

Every child is proffered dire warnings by their parents and holds forever in their mind the urban myth of a tooth dissolving in a glass of coke overnight, so I can believe that drinking it could soften the enamel- it sounds plausible. So what happens if I don’t brush for half an hour? Should I put my aligners back in and effectively create the glass/tooth circumstances within my aligners? Should I keep the aligners out for half an hour after every drink? Should I just. Gulp. Give it up?
So, what to do? I think, on balance, my crohns disease in mind, I’m just going to have to bite the bullet and go cold turkey, or at the VERY least limit my consumption to meal times. Having recently given up coffee the lack of caffeine is going to be a serious problem, but I’ll ease myself in with a gentle weaning program and let you know how I go…
If anybody has any alternative suggestions that might allow me to keep drinking the bad stuff please let me know…I don’t have much fun left!
On a brighter note, it was also suggested to me that I should use a flouride rinse whilst using Invisalign. I have bought one, and will use it for the next month until I see my orthodontist, when I will question him on the pros and cons. He certainly didn’t suggest it, but it seems other people’s ortho’s have, so I’m willing to give it a go.
As a quick post script, there is an interesting table on drinks that eat teeth here: