As my Timehop reminded me, one year ago today, I started on my Invisalign journey with my initial consultation. After years of being told by dentists that I needed braces and should really consider them, I finally found myself in a place where I was able to do so.
For the record, it’s not that I never wanted braces, but orthodontics are, well, expensive. Not everyone can afford them and they can certainly be seen as a luxury! A few years ago, I got a price quote on Invisalign from my dentist (who only does Invisalign, not regular braces) and I was flabbergasted at the number. Turns out if you’re over a certain age (for me, it was 25), your insurance may not cover any orthodontic care.
At any rate, over the last year, I found myself financially in a position where I was able to do this, thanks to my dad’s estate after he passed away. And I decided to commit myself to it. A year ago, I had my consultation. I started my first tray on June 7, 2018.
Right now, I’m on tray 21 of 28 and I can honestly say it’s one of the best things I’ve done for myself. It’s already helped my dental hygiene, in that my teeth are getting into the right spots and are easier to take care of, and will continue to do so in the future. It’s also doing wonders for my self-esteem, as I’m trying to learn how to smile with teeth.
A few years ago, you wouldn’t have caught me dead posting a photo of me smiling with teeth, at least not on purpose. Now, I’m making a conscious effort to smile with teeth in person and in photos and to get more used to it! I feel like my teeth look great, and I’m not even done with my treatment. It’s been a huge boost for me and although it came with a hefty price tag ($4500), it’s been worth it so far.
Initially, it did take some getting used to. The aligners felt tight and stiff and awkward, as if they didn’t belong in my mouth. Over time, it’s gotten a lot easier. Starting a new tray is always a little tough, but that’s the point – your mouth isn’t in the correct spots to fit into it yet, and over the course of two weeks, you’ll get there. But overall? Little to no pain. A little discomfort now and then. And getting accustomed to removing the aligners when you want to eat has been easy – even in public. At the beginning, I forced myself to go to the bathroom to remove them, as if they were a dirty little secret. Now? Pfft. I don’t care.
I’ve been switching trays every 2 weeks, and doing a deep clean of the tray in the middle, with cleaning crystals. Of course, regularly washing them out after eating is important too, as well as brushing your teeth regularly – something I’m admittedly still working on improving at! I always keep a case on me for storage; and always save the last tray of aligners just in case you lose your current ones.
Right now, I’m in a bit of a holding pattern. I tried going into tray 22, and things just weren’t quite where they need to be. Actually, not “things.” Just one darn tooth, a canine that hasn’t come down as much as we’d hoped. It’s hard not to feel like this is a little bit of a setback, but honestly – it’s okay. Teeth are like freaking bones, after all, and moving them is a big process! It’s not supposed to be easy.
At any rate, I’ve had nothing but a positive experience thus far with Invisalign. I’m already excited to smile at myself in the mirror and I honestly can’t wait to see what things look like in a few months when I’m done with tray 28. I swear, this is not a sponsored post. But if you’re looking into Invisalign, I hope you’ve found this information helpful and will consider it! It’s an investment in yourself, your health and your future.