I have turned a significant corner in my Invisalign treatment. The lower retainers have now finished, and i now have 8 weeks left of the upper retainers to go. The last of the lower retainers remains in situ, and i now regularly change the uppers every 2 weeks as before. Derek gave me the option of installing a permanent retainer on the lowers, this is a metal bar on the inside of the teeth which no-one will know is there, but i decided to leave this until I have finished the full course of treatment. After the uppers have finished, we will then reassess whether any further treatment is needed. Derek tells me, I do have the option of continuing with more aligners at the end if i am not happy with the result, free of charge.
I really have noticed an amazing change in my teeth especially the”twisted” uppers that were always bothering me. I have noticed a minute “triangle” that has appeared between the 2 front teeth. Derek warned me of this. I can only describe it as about the size of a pin head, only noticeable when the light is behind it.
Work on the discoloration of my teeth has started in a very simple format. I add a small amount of whitening gel to my trays every other night and leave in overnight. I would suggest that every other night is sufficient as it can make your teeth quite sensitive the following day. The days I don’t use it I replace with Sensodyne and leave that in instead. This works well for me. The teeth have taken to the whitening gel very nicely and have changed shade.
I would like to write about the “politics” of Invisalign for a moment. This being, not the company itself but the actual treatment of your teeth. When I made this decision I was totally confident in what I was doing and why I was doing it. You will, however, come across people with very different views on what you are doing. I have managed to narrow it down to these groups…
The Family… Almost every member of your family will say that you do not need it doing; they almost feel guilty that you dislike your teeth. At one point you would have thought I was having every single tooth removed and having nothing replaced.
The Intrigued. Have almost certainly looked into it Invisalign themselves, and are very interested in the whole procedure. Derek’s next customer.
The Jealous/ intrigued. Have also looked into the treatment but are too nervous to proceed, or cannot afford it.
The Condemnation… Complete disrespect for what you are doing, and look at you and think, what a complete waste of time and money.
The believers. The people who realise that you would not go to this effort, without having a good reason (usual brothers in law!)
- I can no longer “Mexican whistle”. I have embarrassingly tried to recall my dog with a non-effective ” ssplargghhsst”. He didn’t come back…I am hoping this will return when I am free of aligners.
- Whenever you try and do a stealth removal of the aligners, the whole room will go quiet, followed by you wrestling with your jaw bone, a pop and a splutter. The noise is like nothing else known to man. Every single person stares and thinks, “what is that bloke doing to his face?!”
- I am now wearing 32 inch waist trousers again!! waahooo! Now going to dust off my white clingy t-shirt and black leather jacket. I’m 18 again!
Snug. Tight-fitting. Doing their job. No, not Kylie Minogue’s hot pants, but my new Invisalign retainers! My apologies for the delay since my last blog, i have been sunning myself in the Algarve, pretending to be Cliff Richard with my newish teeth, speedos and linen shirt. The weather was a little offish, but not enough to dampen spirits or the local ”vino tinto” for that matter.
Just to fill you in, my visits to the surgery are now further apart, where i visit and Derek checks everything and gives me my new trays. Firstly i had 4 weeks worth(2 sets) but now i am on 6 weeks worth of trays( 3 sets), so this means i will not be visiting for another month.
So whats been happening? i have just continued with my procedure, spacing my meals to suit the removal of the trays. It had really worked well for me, but as my friend Lucy van Staden advised, i am starting to get quite efficient at speedy removal, to allow for the odd treat. To put things simply, i have been snacking occasionally in between. This has no affect on the trays. Every single set i have put in, have been incredibly well made and fit perfectly. Once again, on Friday i put in my new trays and got that strangely satisfying “snug” feeling. Uncomfortable at first, but after 20 minutes the ache subdues. This uncomfortableness reassures you that the trays are pushing/puling those teeth extra gently into the required position. I love it! I have definitely noticed that both lower and upper teeth have moved considerably, to which i am really pleased.
My wife is bored of my Invisalign prowess…Whenever people ask me what the procedure involves, she looks at me, rolls her eyes and says “ oh no, here we go again!”. I do not care, for i am proud to be the ambassador of the white teeth wonder. I feel like Angelina Jolie working for Unicef. i will not however, be having the surgery’s coordinates tattooed on my arm. Love the Facebook updates Derek!!!
Apologies for the short absence… I went into the surgery last week, to see Derek and to see how my Invisalign treatment was going. I sat in the immaculately clean waiting room and picked up “Esquire” magazine. I then instantly realised I was probably a third as cool as I thought I was and I cannot afford a £1000 briefcase. The waiting room is like a small WH Smith with every conceivable magazine worth reading.
I progressed upstairs and stared at Derek’s ”Belmont” lamp. It doesn’t matter how many times I read the name on the lamp, I then read it another 25 times. I felt like Tom Hanks and his ”Wilson” ball.
Derek continued on with some more “intercontinental filing” or something that sounds like that… I am getting used to this now, but it can be quite uncomfortable in the tight areas between the teeth. After this visit the filing stops for a while, so i need not revisit for a month now. Quite sad really, the practice is a lovely place to just gather your thoughts and realise how cool you could be… (re: Esquire magazine).
On leaving, Derek hands me my two new sets of aligners, like the dental Santa Claus of Ipswich. Gleefully I accept them and carry them away like my two newborn babies downstairs. Secretly I feel that Derek likes the power he has over us Invisalign patients, we crave our next set of aligners to progress this wonderful and exciting treatment!
I have a little bit of soreness as usual with the new set, usually on the teeth that are doing the most “work”.Invisalign top tip: when removing the trays, i find that alternating the removal side stops the trays from warping. Too much removal in the same place has stretched the plastic and can lead to some small amount of play.
I am off to Portugal for a week, will update soon, any questions, please forward to me via the practice.
Best Regards Mike
One of the biggest things i have noticed is my diet. I never realised how many teas, coffees, soft drinks and snacks i eat and drink all day! These have all stopped because i have a system in place, where i remove the braces to eat every six hours. Breakfast at 6 am, braces back in at 6.30am… lunch at 12 pm, braces back in at 12.30pm…This seems to work well for me. I occasionally have a hot drink at 9am, but i have cut back on all snacks and teas – that requires me to remove the braces. I also cannot finish off juicy morsels left over by 3 children, and every meal seems to taste much nicer! so far i have lost 3 pounds since Friday! unbelievable! I would like to add, this is a bonus, not my intention, so i will keep this to myself from now on.
It has come to me that 6 months of this will be a huge commitment on my behalf, something you readers may want to consider. I feel great for it, but if you love your food, think carefully. I prepare to be ripped for this summer!! Soreness in front lower teeth has now gone, and i have now controlled my dribble much better.
I am starting to get into a real routine now, which suits me fine. I carry some sugar-free mints to take away the stale taste sometimes and drink water in between. Will update shortly…….
OMG! I have woken up to see Barry Gibb looking back at me in the mirror!! Not quite. I have now had the braces in for one whole day. How do I feel? Well, honestly the drooling is no better, my wife keeps asking me to say “Invisalign braces” as she thinks it sounds funny with my new impediment. Couldn’t they have called it something else?! cruel joke, Invisalign directors!! One of the stoppers has come off, no big probs, as Derek has fitted one in 10 minutes…Back to normal…
The braces really are just what they are, the only thing i am struggling with at the moment, is thinking about them. You know they are there, but i am constantly feeling, touching and thinking about them. Probably the same as when a person has their ears pierced, maybe? Still slight discomfort in front lower teeth on the removal of aligners.