My Experience with Invisalign – 15 Things You Should Know

September 26, 2017

I started my Invisalign treatment in April 2017. I had a fairly noticeable gap between my front teeth that I always wanted to fix. I knew it was going to be expensive but I finally bit the bullet and saw an orthodontist. I’m only 5 months in and already I’m loving the results and my confidence has soared. I still have a ways to go but being able to notice a difference is so exciting!

Here are some tips and information that I’ve learned along the way!

1. Impressions

Your orthodontist will take impressions of your teeth. For mine, they used a full metal arch with a putty-like material. You bite down into the putty and leave it there for 3-4 minutes to harden. The hygienist then has to pry it off of your teeth. Don’t be surprised if they have to repeat this process a few times – the impressions need to be perfect!

These impressions are what they sent to the Invisalign company. It takes a few weeks for them to make your actual trays. They will then ship your trays back to your orthodontist.

2. Cement Attachments

Once your trays are ready, your orthodontist will put cement-like attachments onto your teeth. These attachments are what your trays clip onto. You should hear them snap into place. It varies from person to person as far as which teeth these attachments go on. I have 7 on my top teeth and 3 on my bottom. Once you’re finished with your treatment, they take the attachments off.

3. Sanding Between Teeth

Depending on your situation, your orthodontist might have to sand in between your teeth. If your teeth are too close together, they will not move properly. Sanding allows your teeth to move. They use something that looks like a nail filer and feels like sandpaper. I’m not going to sugarcoat this – this part sucks.

4. Will My Teeth Be Sore?

My teeth are normally sore for up to three days after putting in a new tray. Some weeks were worse and some weeks were better.

5. How Often Do I Change My Trays?

I change my trays every 10 days to 2 weeks. This varies from person to person.

6. How Do I Eat With Them?

When your trays are in, the only thing you can have is water. If you drink or eat anything else, you need to remove your trays.

7. Do I Have to Brush After Eating?

I brush after everything. I also floss after nearly everything as well. I’m paranoid about staining my teeth so I make sure to brush often.

8. Reminding Friends and Family

I’m constantly reminding people that I have my trays in. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to turn down food and explain that I have my trays in. Your parents, your significant other, your friends…. they will all forget at one point or another ?

9. How Many Hours Per Day Are They In?

You can have your trays out for 4 hours maximum per day. The Invisalign company suggests only 2 but that was difficult for me!

10. Don’t Throw Your Trays Away!

There is always the possibility that you might have to backtrack and return to a previous stage. I was supposed to go to Tray 13 but my bottom teeth weren’t moving. I had to go back to Tray 9 and wear that one for an additional 2 weeks. Thank goodness I kept them!

11. How Do I Keep My Trays Clean?

If your trays are getting a whitish film on them, it’s calcium buildup. To clean them, I use my regular toothbrush and toothpaste and scrub them clean.

12. The Tray Holders

You will get a blue and a red tray holder. Invisalign states that the blue one is for your current stage and the red one is for the previous stage. I don’t do this. I put my old trays back in their original packaging and I keep one tray holder in my bathroom and one in my purse.

13. How Often Will I Need to See the Orthodontist?

I normally go to the orthodontist every 4 to 6 weeks. At these visits, they check to make sure your teeth are tracking properly and that you’re ready to move onto the next few stages. This is also the time when they’ll sand in between your teeth if necessary.

14. What’s It Like Taking Them Out in Public?

I was very self-conscious for the first few months when I was out in public. Pulling out your saliva-covered trays isn’t exactly the cutest thing in the world. If I was out at a restaurant, I would excuse myself, head to the bathroom, and remove my trays in private. Now, I’ve become more comfortable and I just take them out at the table while still trying to be discreet.

15. Brushing in Public

There will most likely be a time when you need to brush your teeth in public and it can feel a little weird. Private, individual restrooms are a godsend for Invisalign-wearers.

Additional Pieces of Info:

The majority of Invisalign consultations are free!

If you lose a set, see your orthodontist as soon as possible!

People usually don’t notice I have Invisalign unless I tell them.