My Invisalign Tips

It’s been over 2 years since I started wearing Invisalign, and now that I’m in the retainer phase (which I will be at from here on out), I figured I should share my top tips. Some are pretty obvious, but others I learned the hard way.

  1. Seriously, wear your aligners. Like, whenever you’re not consuming things other than water, wear them. They recommend 22 hours per day, so try to stick as close to that as possible. You’re already paying a ton for this treatment, so why not get the best and quickest results instead of farting around and complaining about having this amazing opportunity to improve your smile? Snarky? Sure. Truthful? You’re darn tootin’.Duh Napolean Dynamite
  2. Brush and floss your teeth [and brush your aligners!] at least twice per day. I mean, this is just what the American Dental Association recommends, but many people still don’t follow these suggestions. I never flossed (except the day of dental appointments) until I had Invisalign. And even then, I honestly couldn’t floss with the ribbon floss; my fingers just don’t work that way and I can’t unhinge my jaw like a snake in order to reach my molars. So I tried floss picks and my life has been changed. Seriously, try them out.
    • Note: Now, I may have been a bit excessive in brushing and flossing literally after every meal before putting my aligners back in. But you know what? I came out of this experience with only one teeny tiny cavity that was caused by my tooth having a little crevice in it. It wasn’t between my teeth because I let food and gunk build up while my aligners encapsulated said gunk and bacteria harvested and rotted my teeth. If brushing your teeth is not a plausible option in a certain setting or situation, eat an apple or chew some sugar free gum before putting your aligners in. Don’t just not put them back in because you can’t brush and/or floss [see tip #1].happy tooth smile
  3. Following step #2, bring a small baggie with a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and your aligner case with you everywhere. This way you’re ready post-meal to at least try to keep your mouth healthy and clean. I kept a kit in my bag during grad school, then in my drawer at work so I was always prepared.toothbrush kit
  4. Only drink water with your aligners in. For real. And, whatever you do, DO NOT try to chew or even just have gum in your mouth with your aligners in. Seriously, this will not be good when (not if, when) the gum gets adhered to your aligners and gets stuck everywhere. Trust me. Not worth it.No drink, food, gum
  5. When inserting your aligners, make sure to really push them on your teeth. It’s not enough to just get them on, make sure they are on as snuggly as possible. I think this is part of the reason my aligners became so ill-fitting [see picture below] as my wedding approached; I was putting them on, but never really pushed them as securely as I should’ve. Luckily, they just rescanned my teeth after my wedding and got me a new set of aligners, but this is not a quick process and will set your treatment time back.Ill fitting aligners
  6. Just hang in there for the first day or so of new aligners. They used to give me headaches because of the pressure they put on my teeth. And yes, it may feel like you’re about to rip your teeth out when you take a fairly new set out before eating and whatnot. Your teeth aren’t going anywhere. Trust me, it’ll hurt for a bit, but the benefits will be greater than the pain. So just pop a Tylenol and focus on something else. Maybe have a dance party to take your mind off of the discomfort.You can do it waterboy gif
  7. Glass attachments (for your aligners to grip) and metal buttons (for rubber bands) pop off. You will probably swallow them. It’s okay. They initially put on more glass attachments than necessary because the chance of them falling off is high. It’s an easy process for them to put on a new metal button. It won’t ruin your treatment, just call your orthodontist, let them know this happened, and they’ll schedule you to come in within a day or so to pop a new one on. Which brings me to tip #7…Invisalign metal button glass attachment Toronto Braces
  8. Choose an orthodontist that you like and trust, but also one that is nearby. You don’t want to have to travel so far just for a small metal button to be put on in under 3 minutes. Trust me. When I moved from the Upper West Side to Long Island to Brooklyn, my orthodontist’s office remained in Midtown. Luckily, when I was in LI, I still worked in Brooklyn, so I would schedule appointments right after work or over long breaks because 2 hours is just not worth the trip.

Alright, I think those are my top tips when wearing Invisalign. If I think of any more, I’ll definitely chuck them in here. And if you have any, please leave a comment to share!

My Invisalign Journey (7): Quick Update

Go to my Invisalign page to check out all posts on this journey!

I just wanted to give an update because the metal button on my left side has come off twice since my last post! It’s pretty frustrating when I have to make an “emergency” (AKA unexpected and I need it within the next couple days to keep my progress on track) appointment to fix the same problem. Multiple times!

I don’t know whether it has to do with the way I put in or take out my aligners each time. Maybe they rub on the left side and wear the bonding material down. Maybe there’s pressure put on it or something, causing it to pop off. Who knows?

The first time it happened, I had only had the metal buttons for about 4 weeks. The popping off occurred at some point between the time before dinner when I took my aligners out and after dinner. So I’m not 100% sure, but I think I may have swallowed it while eating my cheeseburger.

I went in after work the next day and my usual technician, Dee, put in another one. I don’t know if she was aware, but she ended up putting a larger button on than the original one. This one had a small hook to hold the rubber band in place, compared to the other one which was a a simple metal piece that stuck out a bit to hold the rubber band on.

Now, exactly 2 months after the original buttons had been attached, my left button fell off while I was sleeping! I woke up in the middle of the night feeling something moving around in my mouth, and sure enough my button popped off. Luckily (but potentially not!) because it was a bit bigger I didn’t swallow it, and the rubber band was still attached because of the way the hook holds it in place.

So I made an appointment for tomorrow afternoon to get this fixed. I will bring the button since I was able to save it, and I’m kind of curious to see whether she wants to use the same one or whether she’ll want to use a small one like on my right side.

Overall, I’m still seeing progress in my teeth; the gaps are still widening, but my teeth are also becoming straighter. As mentioned in my last post, I have also noticed that the glass attachments have been getting stained and discolored. It’s probably from drinking coffee every day, but I brush and floss my teeth after every stinking thing I eat or drink, so I don’t know why they’ve become so discolored. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the whitening treatment before my wedding!