After two years in Invisalign I can safely say that I thought I was pretty much the world expert in swiftly removing my braces. Not only could I whip them out one handed, I could do it with my eyes shut, upside down and with my left hand tied behind my back… or so I thought.
The last few days though, I have discovered that there is one tool that I have been using; one that I took entirely for granted and without which, removing your Invisalign is a fraught, tear stained, frustrating, frantic, claustrophobia inducing ordeal.
Ladies and gentlemen… I give you… the opposable thumb….
That sorry mess you see in the picture? That my dear readers is the thumb of my right hand. Sore, infected, inflamed, impossible to bend and therefore entirely useless as an Invisalign removing tool. Thanks to a course of very strong antibiotics it is starting to improve…but it still hurts. A lot.
I’d like to tell you that it was a snake bite, wrestling a crocodile, or some other such adventure that many outside Australia assume form the fabric of our daily lives. Sadly, the truth is somewhat less exotic. My sore thumb is, in reality, a consequence of ‘a terrible cheese grater incident ‘ Need I say more? Devilishly dangerous things, cheese graters….
I know, I know, I have another thumb. But here’s the thing. It turns out that although I am a fiend at removing my aligners with my right hand, with my left, I am entirely useless. Whatever the little action is that I have so painstakingly perfected with my right hand, I simply can’t do it with the left.
The good news is, however, for those of you that have just started wearing Invisalign, that I can share that the key to quick and easy removal is all in the thumb. I believe, judging by the amount of pain when I try and do it at the moment, that my technique has been based entirely on hooking my right thumbnail under the edge of the aligner and flicking it up before grasping it with my hand and pulling it off.
On a much happier note, my teeth are looking good. I still haven’t had the top crown replaced. Primarily for the want of the (deep breaths) $3500 that the first dentist I found wanted to charge me. For one crown. However, I have now found another dentist whose quote is “only” $1600 and who my orthodontist recommends so I am currently steeling myself to put myself through that. You’ll be the first to know.
As you can probably tell from the pictures below my teeth are still improving, little by little. The gap into which my funky lower tooth will hopefully slide is getting closer and closer to being ready- not long to go now until we can start trying to move it in. After two years I’m so used to my Invisalign that I really don’t notice them any more; the difficulty that I face now is that because my teeth already look good from the front and all the action is at the back, it’s harder to find the motivation to wear them as many hours as I should. The photo of my teeth pre Invisalign, and the fear of going back there helps though. It really helps.
On a final note, I’m sorry that it has been so long since my last post. What with Christmas, and then the huge floods we had in Brisbane in January (my house wasn’t flooded thankfully, although my neighbours weren’t so lucky) as well as the fact that I am currently studying full time as well as doing the usual parenting stuff means that I have been a little overstretched. I have lots to share with you though, so I promise to be far more prolific over the next few months! It’s nice to be back….