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  1. #1

    Day 5, hoping I didn't make a mistake...

    Oh boy, this is going to be a long haul.

    I'm a single guy, age 50, still harbor dreams of getting married and having kids. I'm on Day 5 of Invisalign, and the thought of trying to kiss anyone new with these on (or even with just the 10 knobs glued to my teeth) is daunting.

    I've got a long way to go: 43 (!) lower trays (x 2 weeks), 27 upper trays (x 2 weeks).

    If I keep them in while eating I can move it up to 10 days instead of 14. But still, that's a LONG way to go. 14 months minimum (if I eat wearing them), up to 20 months (if I don't, or if I can't for fear of root damage).

    What I didn't know is that eating with the trays in I just don't taste the food (and the trays are awkward to chew with), so it's not pleasant.

    The glued-bumps feel horrible on my teeth -- like cheese-fondue-from-hell that won't go away.

    I'm a professor, so I need to speak publicly. With the trays in I make whistling noises, or need to slurp the spit away from my teeth. (They fit fine, just...) It's hard to enunciate.

    I already have a canker-sore from where the tray flared out -- I'll have to file/cut this away on each of the 43 trays, over time.

    I paid a lot of money up front, had one lower-tooth removed to make room (severe crowding in lowers).

    I could switch over to old-style metal (or ceramic) braces, I suppose -- though I'm not sure they'd be any better.

    *sigh* In short, it seems worse than I expected. :-(

    I was reasonably happy before with my crooked smile, even if some other folks didn't like it.

    I told myself I'd wait one month (2-3 trays), and reassess.

    Is it common to have these second-thoughts, buyer's remorse?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Blog Entries
    Hi LiamK-

    Welcome to the Boards, and congrats on your bracing! Coming from a fellow adult bracee (I'm 42, and just got mine on 3 weeks ago), your concerns/doubts are absolutely normal. It really is a huge change, and like you said, you've grown accustomed to your teeth/smile for all these years. I'm sure you will run into a few "roadblocks" along the way: trying to schedule your eating; the occasional slight "lisp" you may have; soreness where the trays rub the inside of your mouth, and just general discomfort from time to time. I had an immediate "Oh crap!" moment when I first saw just the brackets on... and have had a few along the way, especially when it comes to eating and getting food stuck everywhere. (I wasn't aware you were able to eat with your trays in. I thought you had to take them out. Or, do you have the option?)

    Just remember why you did this in the first place: To better yourself. Most of us adults have postponed our orthodontic treatment for one reason or another (mine was that my folks couldn't afford it), and now we're finally able to do something important for ourselves.

    I absolutely love mine!! I got metal brackets, mostly due to their affordability, but ended up really liking how they look. I just had a tooth extracted this morning to make room for my teeth to move over, and that caused one of my moments of "What did I get myself into?"

    Trust me, those moments will pass. And I wouldn't worry about your social life - anyone worth being with will not have an issue with your braces.

    Good luck!!!


    P.S. You might want to consider taking pics to document your progress. A bunch of us here have blogs where we're doing just that, and it's a lot of fun. :)

  3. At age 36 (and having been in braces for a little over a week now), the most difficult things are speaking and the excess saliva. But remember, it *always* seems worse to you than it does a third party. You intimately know how you talk and what your mouth feels like. Most other people don't.

    I teach 9th graders, and I had several say to me "weren't you going to get braces?" I don't know if they're being nice, but they're shocked when I grin wide and already have them. I talk a *lot* for a living too, and I'm slowly getting used to them.

    With invisalign, I'm sure taking them out for eating is preferred, and I've read horror stories about discoloring and general yuckiness if you don't.

    Good luck, and hang in there!

  4. #4
    Welcome, Liam,

    You are certainly NOT the only Invisalign user to have buyer's remorse. For the first few days, I hated them. I rarely use the word hate, but, yep, that's what I felt. After a week, I occasionally forgot about them much to my surprise, and within a few more weeks, the whole thing was second nature.

    Am I still bummed at times about the lifestyle change? Indeed. But as I see progress, I am so very glad I made this decision. I had braces as a teenager and did not want to go through this whole process again, but I am glad I have started this journey. I swear it gets MUCH easier after a short time!

    A word of advice, however. You really should NEVER consume anything other than water while wearing the aligners. Not only does that ruin the dining experience, but you risk decay. What a shame it would be to go through treatment only to end up with a mouth full of cavities! Also, the key to Invisalign is not the number of days so much as the number of hours each tray is worn. You should shoot for 20-22 hours daily for a goal of 300 or so hours per set of trays.

    If you are having trouble with a rough spot on a tray and it is a problem with the next set, ask your ortho to take care of filing it for you. The trays should never rub or hurt your tissue. If you are dealing with a sore now, cover the spot on the tray with wax while the sore heals, and rinse with salt water to speed the healing.

    Don't hesitate to ask more questions as needed! We are here to support you! Hang in there! :thumb:

  5. #5
    Thank you all so much for your prompt and encouraging words -- catgyrl/Cathy, leannaaker, Phantom Muse -- it's remarkable how much difference it makes to read your feedback, and so quickly.

    Taking pics and a blog is a good idea. Will be interesting to compare the pics to the animated gif the ortho/Invisalign created, which in theory maps out the expected future progress.

    On eating, I know the conventional wisdom was to always take them out. But my ortho is a top Invisalign practitioner (I forget the name they use, but he's in their top tier, is an ortho med-school professor, lectures on Invisalign, charges a small fortune, etc.). And he says the new thinking is that it goes faster if you keep them in while eating -- just remove briefly after eating and brush teeth & trays. But yeah, with the gross factor (sludge stuck in the gaps) and the loss-of-taste factor I suspect I'll do a mix.

    I am worried about cavities -- old habits die hard, and I'm someone who sips on a coffee or juice all day long. (I don't eat junk food, I'm not overweight.) Of course it would be better not to, to avoid cavities. But he says that at least brushing a few times a day will interrupt the buildup of plaque that leads to cavities. Sometimes life has trade-offs.

    Thank you for affirmation that I'm not the only one who has second-thoughts! :-#) That's really encouraging to hear that you went from outright hatred to acceptance.

    >(mine was that my folks couldn't afford it)<
    Mine was some of that, and some my Mom's idealism that what's important is a person's character/soul. (Yes, Mom, thanks, but I like the frosting on cakes, too... ;-) )

    Since I never had braces as a kid (doh! what was I thinking?!), I have nothing to compare Invisalign to.

    I hadn't heard the 300 hours/trays, that's a good milestone. I have nail-files, cuticle scissors and wax, and will trim/protect spots that rub.

    Good to hear from another teacher, about the saliva, speech (especially sibilant consonants -- isn't that a good word! :-) ), etc. You're probably right that others don't notice as much as we do. I think it's the mental distraction that bothers me -- it throws off my own thought process. But I guess I'll get used to it!

    >I had an immediate "Oh crap!" moment when I first saw just the brackets on<
    For me it was when I felt the Invisalign bumps with my tongue -- "blech, what's that sticking to my teeth; get it off!!" -- they feel more obtrusive than I was, um, braced for. :-)

    I had one lower tooth extracted as well, so there's no going back, really...

    >I wouldn't worry about your social life - anyone worth being with will not have an issue with your braces.<
    Thanks. In the long-run, we know this. But dating is often made up of random short-run moments...

    Again, thanks for your answers, your support, your encouragement to ask more questions, to hang in there, etc. -- it really does make a big difference. Thank you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Blog Entries
    One more thing regarding dating: my coworker told me the other day, "When are you going to get a boyfriend? I guess not for another two years." I told her "Why, just because I have braces? I happen to think I look cute!" There are tons of people here who have spouses or significant others who are very much still attracted to them. Would you pass up talking to an attractive woman because she had braces? Don't worry, everything will work out just fine. :-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Blog Entries
    Hi and welcome Liam and here's to you adjusting to talking with your aligners in. For most people it does take a couple of weeks, but it will happen! :wave:

    We are very clear with our patients to never put anything into their mouths other than water while wearing aligners. This is a directive from the makers of the invisalign aligners, plus it's the same rule with all removable appliances. Eating with removable appliances means you risk smell issues, hygiene issues and you are putting your teeth at huge risk if you are allowing food residue to be held against your teeth by the aligners.

    It's also important not too move the teeth too quickly, as this can result in permanent damage being done to the roots of the teeth. You might want to google root reabsorption to read about the need to prgress slowly for the best health of your teeth.

    I reckon you should tell your ortho about the 'annoying' bit on your aligner, as they should be corrected for you. You pay a lot of money for this treatment and although we get our patients to file a tray if it's their current one and it's got a rough piece on it, if we find any more of their trays are like this, we get them fixed.

    Good luck with your treatment and please ask questions ... as you can see from the replies ... we love questions!

    Here's to your treatment going smoothly! :thumb:
    After 5 years, 11 months and two days of stainless steel brackets ... my teeth now have upper and lower bonded, gold wire, retainers and removable clear retainers!

  8. Yes on the sibilant consonants. Nice to have a fellow "geek" on here, and I say that lovingly. :-)

    You will adjust.....I promise. :-)

  9. #9
    You poor thing, braces do take some getting used to don't they? I remember it did take me a while to get used to them and I lost half a stone in the first month as I just couldn't eat anything. Wierdly now though, that seems a long time ago and I almost can't imagine life without them? I'm not quite the eternal optimist like Cathy (she's very much in love with hers!) but overall, I really don't mind them anymore. You will get to this stage too!

    As for 'impressing the laydeees' just show them your best disco moves, that should distract them from the the dribbling and spitting. My husband says he thinks mine are cute (but then he has to say that as he's afraid I may carry out my threat of shredding his lips next time I kiss him!)

    Seriously though, it all seems impossible now but you will quickly get used to how to do things and, at least with Invasalign, most people won't even know they are there. Good luck.

    Ceramic upper, metal lower for a total of 17 months. :D

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Blog Entries
    Quote Originally Posted by Brace Face View Post
    I'm not quite the eternal optimist like Cathy (she's very much in love with hers!)
    LOL!! Cathy is a bit strange, isn't she? :D It's not that I'm really in love with them, but the fact that I had anticipated the very worst (that I'd be in excruciating pain, addicted to painkillers, and that they'd look absolutely horrendous on me), and it ended up being none of the above. Sure, it's a pain in the rear to clean them after every meal, but I think of it this way: My hygienist and dentist are going to be super happy with me when I show up for my next cleaning in June. I normally have a ton of tartar buildup by this time, but now it's not nearly as bad.

    Chin up!! :thumb:

  11. #11
    Cathy, you are always upbeat and cheerful and it's very refreshing and encouraging! You go girly. Hope that 'gap' isn't giving you too much grief, you may not have an addiction to pain killers but you are on a very slippery slope to a dependency to salt rinses! :)

    Ceramic upper, metal lower for a total of 17 months. :D

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Blog Entries
    Thank you! :)

    You 'aint lying about the salt water addiction! I'm sure I've used more salt for rinses in a couple of weeks than I do when I use it on my food (which is rarely). It really is very soothing. I also took Sunny's advice and picked up a small syringe so I can make sure the "gap" gets thoroughly cleaned out. I almost don't notice the gap, except for a small twinge of pain, and I think that's just from the novocaine injection site. I think it's healing very well. I wonder how much it has to heal before they can extend my wire across the gap and back to my last 2 bracketed molars? I'll find out on Thursday when I get my molar band.



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