I think the title of this post makes it pretty obvious what we are talking about today – Invisalign! While I was weighing the pros and cons of getting Invisalign, and I read a ton of helpful reviews online. Today I decided to add my decision making process to the bunch!
As a bit of background, I had braces as a kid from fourth – seventh grade (I even wore headgear at night. How cute). My parents graciously paid for my braces, and I enjoyed very straight teeth for a number of years. Then sometime in college I stopped wearing my retainers and I noticed that my teeth began to shift around a bit. I remember trying to put my retainers on one night after not wearing them for a couple of months, and they didn’t even fit anymore. Woops. At that point I threw them in a drawer and didn’t think about them for a while. Then a few years ago Jack found them and chewed them up, so that was the end of that.
I have one tooth on the bottom of my mouth that’s been pretty crooked for a while now, but since it’s on the bottom it doesn’t bother me too much. Then I started noticing that I had a tooth up top that was crooked too, and it was starting to push on my front right tooth.
Just a quick note here: I am fully aware that I have beautiful, mostly straight teeth (thanks, mom and dad). I get that most of you probably won’t even really see what I’m talking about here, but it’s something that was bothering me and I noticed. As I always say, do what makes YOU happy.
Oh hello. Sorry for that.
Anyway. I started seeing a few pictures of myself where my crooked front tooth was noticeable (to me). Still it wasn’t bothering me too much, but I was annoyed by it more and more.
Then during my last trip to the dentist, my dentist mentioned Invisalign. She used her high-tech camera to show me that my crooked teeth are actually pretty dirty because the angle makes them so much harder to clean. She told me that mostly my teeth were fine, but if I wasn’t careful those teeth could start to decay one day from not getting cleaned properly. I am an everyday flosser with a heavy-duty electric toothbrush, so seeing all that grossness was horrifying. I’m still not sure that was enough to convince me to look into Invisalign, but then she mentioned that if I got it now I could probably qualify for the cheaper and faster Invisalign Express, but if I waited too long I would miss that window. She also told me my teeth would likely continue to move and get more crooked, so the longer I waited the more I would pay and more time it would take.
While all of this was going on, Fabio’s brother-in-law Alex graduated from dental school and became a practicing dentist. He was always offering to see us and help us out with dental work, so I tentatively asked him if he could offer any family discount on Invisalign. Being the amazing guy that he is, he said yes!
I figured this was a sign that I should suck it up and get Invisalign now before my teeth move more/I no longer qualify for Invisalign Express/Alex changes jobs and can’t get me a discount/etc. etc. Back in May I visited Alex for my fitting, and then a couple of weeks ago I headed back to pick up my Invisalign!
So far everything has been great, and I don’t think it’s too noticeable even though I have 11 (!!!) of the little attachments on my teeth. I figured you guys might have some questions, so here are some basics:
- Cost: I’m sure the cost of Invisalign varies a lot, but from my research Invisalign typically costs around $5000. Mine is significantly cheaper since a) I was able to qualify for Invisalign Express and b) Alex generously offered me a family discount. Some insurance companies help cover this cost (don’t think mine will, but we will find out) and you can always talk to your dentist/orthodontist about payment plans.
- Wearing: I am supposed to wear my liners 22 hours a day and only take them out when I eat or drink. On weekdays this is really easy, but it’s proving to be a bit more difficult on weekends when I have parties/weddings/all-these-plans-that-never-stop etc. 😉
- Eating/Drinking: I can eat everything I ate before, but my teeth were a little sensitive on the first day or two so I stuck to softer foods. I have to take the liners out when I eat or drink anything other than water. So far this has really helped cut down my gum-chewing habit which is probably good but also sad. 🙁 I <3 gum.
- Cleaning: I clean my liners with a toothbrush, hot water, and soap (no toothpaste). I brush my teeth after every meal and after any especially sticky snacks. If I don’t have a toothbrush nearby I swish water around in my mouth.
- Timeline: I have 10 liners and will be done with the whole process at the end of November. Woohoo! FYI I got Invisalign Express 10, which is slightly more intense than Invisalign Express 5, so it’s a good thing I didn’t wait any longer! The timeline is different for everyone depending on how much straightening they need.
So there you have it! Just a little update for anyone else out there who may be curious about the Invisalign process.
For the Maryland locals, Alex did a fantastic job and I can’t recommend his services enough! He works in Severna Park, MD, and I would happy to refer anyone who is interested in seeing him!
Question of the day: Have you ever had braces? Do you have any other questions about Invisalign?