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Invisalign - issues?

MarilynMarilyn 3696 replies124 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
My dentist has finally recommended Invisalign since my teeth have been shifting - one bottom tooth now has a tendency to bite the inside of my mouth and also is rubbing away on an upper tooth, which will therefore eventually start chipping and breaking. So it's finally become a functional need. I don't need an orthodontist; my dentist has lots of experience with the level of correction I need.

I've read all the older threads here I can find and think that I should be OK with this process. I did have regular braces when I was young. At the end I can even use the retainer trays to do tooth whitening, which would be nice. I wouldn't go through with this just for looks but straight white teeth would be a nice bonus. I'm also prepared to use pain killers as needed; that will be nice for my painful feet too :).

My only caveat is how much it affects dining out and parties and such. We do go out for the occasional lunch and dinner. We also go to happy hours, and parties which can go for hours, including ongoing food. How have you coped with such occasions? Put the aligners in and out throughout an extended social period? Take toothbrush along or just do some rinsing? Realize there will be days you don't hit the 22 hours of wearing? Go for the benefit of eating less?

Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Replies to: Invisalign - issues?

  • anomanderanomander 1670 replies4 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I did a course of invisaligns last year (actually a different brand, one of their competitors). IIRC the goal was around 18 hours, not 22. Basically you get 1-2 hour breaks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It put a big damper on my in-between meal snacking!

    For social events you can show up with them on, visit the bathroom to take them out when it’s time to eat, then slip them back on if it’s going to be more than a couple hours before you leave. It can be a little odd talking with them - I feel like I slur a little bit, but nobody ever commented on it to me.

    I just hand rinse and rub them with my fingers under running water (after washing my hands with soap) when I take them out. I’ll sometimes hit them with the electric toothbrush, but I’m not too picky about it.

    The most important days to me to get the most hours in were the first 2-3. That’s when the most movement happens. After that it’s probably ok if you have to cheat a bit one day and have a longer break for a social event. In terms of pain it was significantly less painful than braces. A little tenderness chewing the first day or two of new trays, but I doubt you’d even need advil or tylenol.

    Be fanatical with flossing and also consider a mouthwash if you don’t already. The trays reduce saliva to the gums which helps bacteria grow.
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  • bookwormbookworm 8870 replies72 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Oh dear. I go for the imaging this Friday I never had to wear braces, but my bottom teeth have shifted foreword and I’m chipping front teeth. Orthodontist says a year. I make my living talking to people, So I can’t imagine slurring or lisping Please, tell me why is ahead. Maybe I shouldn’t go this route and just lose the 1200 deposit
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  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1185 replies2 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @bookworm my daughter got used to them quickly. I don’t think you’ll have noticeable problems talking.
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  • dentmom4dentmom4 1325 replies4 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The first few days are the hardest when beginning invisalign. As your mouth adjusts to the feel of the trays, you won’t notice much change as you move though the sequence of trays. Same with slurring and lisping—won’t be much more than a week. You take them out to eat, but you can use a straw to sip liquids if needed. Most people won’t notice that you are wearing the trays unless they are just a few inches away. Most people never need any pain meds beyond an occasional Advil.

    You clean the trays with a soft toothbrush and regular toothpaste every time you take them out to eat. They can collect a lot of “slime” just by being in your mouth for long periods of time. Be meticulous about brushing and flossing. Mouthwash isn’t needed; only use one that is alcohol-free.

    I did Invisalign years ago when it first came out. The technique has changed for the better. I am prone to canker sores and I spent a lot of time adjusting my trays to keep from rubbing my gums. The material is now thinner and more finely polished. I spend a lot of my day talking to patients and never did I feel that my speech was affected by the trays. I also had no pain that needed medication. I liked the result for the most part, but had to stop the trays after the 19 sets due to the canker sores, and finished with 4 months of spring-loaded retainers. I’m considering doing it again because I’ve had some relapse. I had a hard time with the retainers long-term.

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  • bookwormbookworm 8870 replies72 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Ah, dentmom, I so appreciate your experience. It is hard for me, as a daughter of. Dentist, to undergo this treatment in late 60’s . Everything would have been free when I was a child, now it is a big expense. I’m worried about how it will effect my work. You went thru 19 trays, I can only imagine.

    When my son needed braces, we interviewed 5 orthodontists. I should say my dad did the questioning. My dad loved coming to the appointments, cuz the dentist would show him what he was doing with each patient. My dad was happy to spend hours with this man.

    My son’s orthodontist had a young man working with him. This man is now in his 60’s, and has a younger man ith him. This young man is “my” orthodontist. So weird
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  • Momof3kidzMomof3kidz 109 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I am on my final set of trays of Invisalign. I really have not had much issue and I talk all day at work. It took a few days to get accustomed to it but other than that it is not a big deal. I would not say that I was ever in pain more than just a little uncomfortable especially biting into sandwiches. I decided to use Acceledent which cuts the treatment time in half. I have had a total of 51 trays so that would have been about 2 years without the Accellendent. I could not be more happy with the results.
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  • Midwest67Midwest67 2961 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    No issues that cannot be managed. Love them. So much better experience than traditional braces.

    I use an App called Tray Minder to keep track of the time I take my aligners out to eat or drink something other than water.

    I had dry mouth and trouble speaking clearly for maybe a week or two? and then I adjusted.

    I love being able to floss normally.
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  • janjmomjanjmom 357 replies10 threadsRegistered User Member
    I purchased a small travel toothbrush which has a small carrying case that doubles as the handle. I carried that and a small sample size toothpaste in my purse so I could brush after meals whenever I was away from home. It was no big deal. Like everyone else, I found the first few days were annoying, plus when they added the “buttons” on my teeth. But having the “buttons” removed was the worst! I hated the sound and the vibration and it definitely triggered a migraine!! Overall I’m not sorry I did Invisalign, but I’m not sure I could tolerate it again, so I’m obsessive about wearing the retainers every night so that my teeth don’t shift back! (And, yes, I had braces as a teenager but my teeth had shifted to the point where it became an issue - this wasn’t a cosmetic decision.)
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  • Aug2019Aug2019 201 replies15 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My S (18) just finished a year with Invisalign and got retainers yesterday that he'll use for less and less time over the next few months. He was in two community theater plays during the year and was able to wear his trays without it impacting his speech. The change in his teeth in the one year has been truly amazing. OP - I think you should go for it! The first few days may be a time of adjustment but based on our experience, nothing that you can't handle.
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  • atomomatomom 4654 replies41 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I had braces as a teenager. My lower teeth gradually shifted until they were quite crooked again. My general dentist had a special on Invisalign and I found that my insurance would cover part of it, so I signed up. I know this is not recommended, but I only wore the aligners at night throughout my treatment, which was about 11 mo. It worked for me. 5 years after I finished the treatment, I still wear my retainer nightly and my teeth are still straight. If I were you, I would just not wear the aligners when taking it out/putting back in would be a problem--like when you eat out, etc. I wouldn't worry so much about hitting the 22 hours.
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  • MarilynMarilyn 3696 replies124 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Unfortunately I don't have dental insurance and my dentist isn't cheap. But my teeth had a lot of surpirse issues when we moved here that the old dentist didn't identify and now I'm all caught up and Look Ma No Cavities. Her $5500 fee seems to be within the normal (full price) range.
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  • mom2andmom2and 2820 replies19 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Do you have to wear retainers for years after the Invisalign? My kids were not good about wearing retainers after braces and their teeth shifted back.
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  • Acadia2023Acadia2023 29 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @mom2and - I mentioned above that my teen S just finished a year of trays and now will wear retainers for ~ 6mos. He wears them all the time for 2 months, then for about 12 hours a day for 2 months, and finally just when he's sleeping. His speech isn't impacted and he said the retainers are comfortable. (He's happy to have the 'brackets' off his teeth - and his teeth look great!)
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  • Midwest67Midwest67 2961 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I skipped wearing my trays (aligners) one full day + half a day when I went on a backpacking workshop.

    The trays were very tight when I popped them back in. I won’t do that again.

    I had braces as a teen in the Old Days when retainers forever was not a thing.

    Of course, over the next 40 years, my teeth shifted & began to criss cross.

    I feel like I won the lottery bc a dear old friend of mine was able to secure a deal with an orthodontist friend of his and I’m getting treatment at a very low price.

    Otherwise, I’d never be able to part with the money. It’s only been four months and the change is obvious. I’m so so happy & grateful.

    In addition to floss, toothpaste, travel toothbrush, travel mouthwash, I carry a small water tight container with 50/50 water & hydrogen peroxide. I’ve found the trays stay cleaner if I don’t let them dry out. For meals, I pop them out and put them in the solution.

    Floss, brush, pop them back in. My teeth and gums have never been cleaner with all this flossing and brushing.

    Target brand denture cleaner is an economical choice for the morning soak and clean while I enjoy my coffee. Some brands are wildly over-priced.
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  • MarilynMarilyn 3696 replies124 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    OK, my teeth will rule my life for a year. No more lingering over morning coffee for hours while on my iPad, got it :(. I regularly rinse with hydrogen peroxide to control lichen planus on my gums so that should help control germs. I do have dry mouth so will have to deal with that. It won’t be as bad as the three months with a broken ankle or DH’s full year recovery from rotator cuff surgery.
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  • bookwormbookworm 8870 replies72 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    OMG. This is sounding worse and worse. All the time to keep trays clean. And I sip decaf coffee all morning, and that will be a no-no?

    No one told me about all this when it signed the contract
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  • MarilynMarilyn 3696 replies124 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I’m wondering if I sip iced coffee through a straw, will it bypass the aligners and avoid staining? Maybe just the last couple of days before changing to a new one. How about Mai Tais? Inquiring minds want to know.

    I read someone’s blog that said she had to stop wearing lipstick because it got on the plastic. One of the questions for my dentist. I’m putting together a random list of questions but if my other choice is destroyed front teeth, really no choice, is it.
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  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 4166 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Related question sort of, anyone tried the Smile Direct Club? My daughter lives in a city where they have an office (or whatever they call it). Seems so much less expensive than Invisalign. She/we never provided braces because when evaluated twice as a teen the recommendation was to wait until she stopped growing before intervention. (Or pay for braces twice!). While in college no time to address it conveniently. She also plays a number of woodwind instruments, primary flute, at a very advanced level. So the ability to take out the alighners is appealing to her.
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  • dentmom4dentmom4 1325 replies4 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You can sip iced coffee through a straw. I also figured out how to drink coffee from a cup without causing staining, but you really can’t linger all morning with a cup.

    Smile Direct is basically DIY Invisalign. The problem is you sign up for a year, take your own impressions, and they send you the trays. Then you have to sign up again if you weren’t completed. Teeth are not tools or machines, no precision parts. What do you do when an issue arises? Without the supervision of a dentist, you can’t tell when something is going wrong, or when you perhaps figure it out, you’ve got damage. You also don’t know the specifics of your orthodontic problem and whether it can be corrected adequately with Smile Direct. Anecdote: one of my patients started it (against my advice) and after her year was more messed than when she started because she really wasn’t a candidate for Invisalign in the first place. She is now in traditional ortho and just finished her first year, with another year to go.

    Another anecdote: my hygienist also has had Invisalign. 10 trays in she started having an issue with a tooth she broke 20 years ago. I asked for a consultation with her orthodontist and the 3 of us reviewed her scans and decided to back off the original 35 trays to avoid any damage to this tooth. She was rescanned and the trays redone, plus pushed back 2 months to let this tooth move at half pace. How do you as the Smile Direct patient know what is really happening to your teeth, gums, bone structure, and occlusion (bite)?

    So, I just looked up SD, and they do have “shops”. 30 minute visit and you are scanned. The trays are shipped to your home. If you don’t live near a shop, they send you the materials to take impressions. Supposedly an orthodontist or dentist looks at your scan or impressions, and decides if you are a candidate for aligners. You are assigned a dentist who checks in with you every 90 days. Their site says complete in 6 months, but that is hard to believe unless you don’t need much done.
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  • kjofkwkjofkw 762 replies91 threadsRegistered User Member
    I had Invisalign as an older adult. Took far longer than I expected (3 years!). I had braces as a teen, but the teeth shifted a lot as an adult. Guess they were much worse than normal. Some surprises for me:
    - The “nibs” (used to hold the trays in place) were placed on my front teeth. VERY noticeable. Talk to your dentist/ortho about were these will be located.
    - They had to use rubber bands on metal nibs for a significant time (like you often see with regular braces). Not fun. Dental wax helped me.
    - The ortho had to shave part of my teeth, evidently to prevent gaps along the gum line. I was uncomfortable with losing enamel, but my regular dentist did not see it as a problem.
    - I didn’t have any problems speaking. I noticed a difference, but no one else did.
    - Didn’t lose any weight (dang).
    - When the process is complete, you typically need permanent metal retainers (or your teeth will just shift back over time). I choose not to do that. I have issues with tartar buildup, so future cleanings would be much more difficult. My ortho was able to order a set of 20, that I will wear for the rest of my life at night – or at least for the next 20 years.
    - I was advised to soak the maintenance trays in hydrogen peroxide during the day. It keeps them clean, and prevents yellowing. Wish I would have known that for the regular trays. They can get gross by the end of the 2 week period.
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