After all of the turmoil from losing my Invisalign when on holiday I was absolutely terrified about going to see my orthodontist. Not because he is particularly fearsome or because I thought he would lecture me- he’s a pretty laid back kind of guy fortunately, but because I thought he would tell me that I had done irreparable damage to my treatment.
The good news is that after a quick five minute check around my mouth he told me that actually, everything is perfectly on track!… Now, the thing is, don’t try this at home kids. That title you just read? It isn’t me nagging you. It’s me nagging myself. The only thing that stands between you and great teeth if you have Invisalign is compliance, and whilst I have generally been reasonably compliant with the need to wear my braces 22 hours a day, the holiday episode was not good. Not good at all. So don’t take my lack of Invisalign compliance as a sign it won’t hurt your teeth to wear them a bit less either.
So, in the interests of doing the right thing I would like to point out here that losing your Invisalign braces and having to skip two aligners isn’t just stupid, it’s really really stupid. I could easily have messed up much of the good work that has so far been done with my teeth. Invisalign compliance is everything and the difference between and average and great result with Invisalign braces. According to my orthodontist I am very fortunate not to have caused myself a lot more problems and put my treatment back by months. I think what saved me is that fact that although I skipped directly from set 5 to set 8 on my lower teeth, I actually wore set 8 full time for over a month whilst on holiday, only whipping them out occasionally to overindulge in red wine and other holiday extravagances. That month of enforced wear without being able to change my aligner seems to be what really gave my teeth time to settle down into their shiny, new, much shifted positions. Nonetheless, don’t do it!
As for my upper arch, regular readers may remember that I had just finished treatment on my upper teeth and was wearing my upper 6 aligner (before I lost it…) as a retainer. Having moved back to aligner number 5 as a substitute to the lost number 6 my orthodontist says that there is little point in re-ordering #6. Apparently, the movement from one aligner will be only 0.1mm whereas the cost to replace the lost tray will be the rather grand sum of $150. I’m trusting his judgement on this one and as far as I can tell my teeth still look as good as they did….
At this point I am free to get my crown done and finish my upper teeth. Having spent so much time and effort getting to this point I really want to find the best dentist possible to complete my smile, so I have been on the hunt for a great cosmetic dentist to do the job. If you know of one in Brisbane, Australia please let me know via the comments form. I am looking for someone that can make natural looking crowns that will match my other teeth perfectly, who will reshape my gum to make my gumline more symmetrical and someone that will put up with my endless questions and abject terror. Not much to ask is it?
Meanwhile, whilst I hunt for the right dentist I am planning to use nitewhite again now that my upper attachments have been taken off. I want my teeth to be as white as possible before I get the crown as once it’s in place I can’t whiten again or my teeth won’t match.
Longtime readers will remember that I whitened my teeth very successfully at the start of my treatment, but after almost two years they are looking a little yellow again and really need a touch up. ( I was naive enough to think that whitening was permanent, but apparently not) Whitening is so addictive that I’m hoping I won’t be tempted to overdo it and end up looking like Anthony Wiggle!
(Apologies to those of you without children- suffice to say he’s a toddler superstar with highly over bleached, glow in the dark teeth)
I’ll leave you with a picture of my teeth as they are today. Hopefully this is the last time they will be photographed with the ugly crown to the left of my front upper teeth still in place. Despite how terrified I am about the process of renewing it I am really looking forward to seeing how my teeth look with a new, natural looking crown.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and thank you to everyone that leaves me such encouraging comments. It really does help to have all the comments and advice from everyone else going through the same process.