Set 26 Invisalign Braces – Happy New Year!

I intended to follow the old English saying “start as you mean to go on” this year with my Invisalign Braces. So far, not so good.

In fact, not only did I pass midnight on New Year’s Eve without my braces in my mouth, I woke up with them on my bedside table on January the first. Not a great start.

This is actually a first for me. Although I am generally pretty poor in complying with the 22 hours a day Invisalign requirement (I average more like 20ish I think) I have never, ever left my aligners out overnight before! In fact, I’ve never even come close. Whilst I confess that I had consumed rather more alcohol than I might normally and that might have had something to do with it I am still amazed that I managed to go to bed and sleep the whole night (well, OK 1am to 9am!) without realising that something was missing. It took me less than 30 seconds to work out that my aligners weren’t in when I woke up, and a quick glance at my bedside table confirmed what I had suspected. Nonetheless despite my pounding head and the waves of nausea that let me know that I had drunk more than I have in many, many years I was still surprised that I had been drunk enough to forget my braces. I had thought that I was on autopilot these days when it comes to putting them in before bed. Obviously not!

I visited my orthodontist this week for my regular six weekly appointment and in a fit of raging guilt told him that I had a confession to make. He stood there, eyebrows raised expectantly with an expression I haven’t seen anybody wear since I left school, whilst I nervously weighed up whether or not to admit the whole sorry truth. However, I needn’t have worried. After admitting that I had left my braces out for a whole night he did nothing but snort, give a dismissive guffaw and tell me “That’s not a confession!” Apparently the girl in before me had left hers out for several days over Christmas and had to go back two aligners just to get them back in her mouth. So I picked the right time to confess I guess!

Despite me being so remiss all seems to be going reasonably well. I had 9 upper refinements (on top of my original 17 aligners) which consisted of 6 refinements and 3 over-corrections. I have now completed my first 6 refinements and I think there is still a little way to go before my teeth are absolutely finished on the top. My orthodontist told me that this is fairly standard; in fact most people who need refinements need to use the over-corrections. Over-corrections are given by Invisalign because those particular teeth proved stubborn to move the first time around and apparently they then usually remain resistant throughout treatment. For this reason he has told me to wear my next two upper over-corrections and he will then review my teeth again to see whether we are satisfied with the final positioning.

My bottom arch is now on aligner 26/34 and whilst I can see great progress my orthodontist is not convinced that there will be sufficient room after another 8 aligners to get my bottom wonky tooth (which you can see here on my clincheck) in to place. I am cautiously hopeful that he is wrong, but we shall see. If there isn’t enough room by number 34 we will have to do refinements (additional aligners) for the bottom row too. Funnily enough on my clincheck it always looked like there would be plenty of room long before the end and as my teeth seem to be tracking perfectly I am surprised that there isn’t. As my orthodontist has told me repeatedly the clincheck is only a guide, not gospel. Having read numerous other patients Invisalign stories I know that that is the truth. It seems that it doesn’t pay to get too wedded to the final result that the clincheck shows, it’s a useful estimate but nothing more.

There is no massive progress since the last Invisalign pictures that I posted ( you can see the highlights in the sidebar on the right) so I won’t post more now, but I’ll take more after these two over-correction uppers so you can give me your verdict on my upper arch. I think that I could do with a little more widening of my molars, but maybe the over-corrections will take care of that, we shall see. In the meantime I intend to try and make up for the misdemeanours of New Year’s Eve by being especially compliant in January. We shall see how long that lasts! At the very least I am happy that one year into treatment I am still loving my Invisalign.. Watch this space!

12 thoughts on “Set 26 Invisalign Braces – Happy New Year!”

  1. Hi Kitty, I’m so pleased to hear that you have finished and that you are so thrilled with your new smile! I remember you emailing me earlier in the treatment… Like you I wish I had done this many years ago, but of course Invisalign wasn’t around then so it would have been a very different proposition.

    Anyway, congratulations on your new smile! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and commenting on here. When I get messages like this it makes me feel that the whole blogging process had been worthwhile. Thanks again Kitty. Good luck with you retention and enjoy your new smile.

  2. I finished my invisalign express and 1 set of refinements, and every tray, every minute was worth it. 20 trays total. Your blog has been an inspiration to me and I thank you! I thought that at age 60, it wouldn’t make that much difference and I was so mistaken! My smile is very bright, very straight, and I have no problem wearing my retainers, which I do no matter what. I also had my teeth whitened for the maximum effect! My only regret was that I waited so long!

  3. haha, you’re so funny. I’ve left my aligners out overnight once as well (took out my aligners for my wedding and left them at my parents’ house) and the dull ache it caused for the next few hours was more than enough to discourage me from ever doing it again.

    Glad to see you are still blogging (so many of the others that started out at the same time as us are finished – I’m so jealous!) and that your treatment is going well. I am still plugging along with tray 7/23 refinements at the moment. Take care.

  4. Hi there,
    My overjet was apparently between 8-9mm when I started treatment. I think it is down to more like 3-4 currently and improving every day.

    I think for me the most important thing was finding a suitably experienced Invisalign orthodontist. Is your orthodontist very experienced in Invisalign? If not then perhaps you should also seek other opinions. i had several before I started treatment.

    Thanks for reading, good luck with making your decision. I don’t have a single regret about choosing Invisalign.

  5. Hey, I’m still debating between getting invisalign or braces but you’re before and after pics are definitely swaying my opinion. I had braces as a kid so my teeth are not in that bad a shape despite some crookedness and overcrowding due to not wearing my retainer. For aesthetic purposes an orthodontist told me Invisalign would work. I do have a pretty bad overbite though and she doesn’t believe it will help with this. how many mm was your overbite when u started treatment?

  6. Only found your blog today. Verrrrry informative. Am due to start a 30-tray treatment on 25th February so was looking for experiences – particularly about attachments as I’m to have some on my 2 front teeth and am feeling a bit nervous (vain?) about this. However, your pics and words make me feel it’s all worth it.

  7. Hi please put pics of your teeth when you started and your teeth now. i would like to see the arch expansion. im getting mine in 3 weeks and i cant wait. i think your teeth have improved alot in the nov pics.

  8. Hi Rich,
    Thanks for the message and thank you so much for pointing out that my archives weren’t working, hopefully it is fixed now… please let me know if you still can’t see them.

    I have a very experienced orthodontist, some of the others said too that this couldn’t be done, but my ortho reckons that he can now do almost anything with Invisalign that he can with normal braces.

    I had 17 upper and 34 lower trays, plus 6 extra upper refinements so far. Those weren’t for the expansion, more because I had a front tooth that didn’t quite rotate enough (and is still being a little stubborn)I wore each one for 2 weeks so I am a year in thus far. Much of that time was spent on the fact that I need to make room for a tooth on the bottom that grows out of line with the others and it needs a lot of space to move into place.

    I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever about Invisalign, and would have no hesitation in recommending it with the proviso that I would only go with an experienced provider, and also that I prefer an orthodontist to a dentist.

    Thanks again for reading.

  9. Disregard the question, my computer was acting up before. I see your course was 17 trays. That’s not too bad, hope i can get away with as few.


  10. Hello and happy New Year! Your teeth are looking great – the expansion of your upper arch is nothing short of amazing!

    My case is somewhat similar to yours in that I need to have my arch expanded. Though not as extreme as yours was, my arch is constricted, my teeth definitely don’t fill out my smile and the back ones seem to fade away when viewed front on. I’m lucky in that i don’t have any crowding issue, or rotated teeth. So, i’m hoping my case will be pretty straight forward – start in Feb.

    I’ve been a little concerned about how well invisalign would be at expanding the arch – one dentist told me it can’t be done with invisalign, only traditional braces. My current dentist, who has a lot of exp. with invisalign disagrees. The differing opinions have left me confused. And I haven’t seen too many cases where an arch expansion was done to any great degree. But, i’m very thankful to come across your blog and see you’ve achieved fantastic results doing exactly that! It is a great relief to know that i won’t be wasting many thousands of dollars. So thank you for the information!

    I can’t view some of your older archieved stuff so, don’t have your complete history. And was wondering how many trays (and how long per tray) did it take to expand your arch? Just trying to get a feel for what i’m in for.

    Thanks again for the blog!

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