We are following one woman's story as she tells us about her experience with Invisalign in an effort to take you step-by-step through the experience. Kristen, pictured here, with her husband (who also had braces as an adult with Dr. Holt) decided to get Invisalign as an adult to straighten her teeth and improve her bite.
Recently, I had a dentist appt to get my teeth cleaned and had all good reports. No cavities and gums look great! I guess there are advantages to brushing and flossing so many times in a day. I also had my first check up with Dr. Holt at 7 weeks. They checked the fitting of my invisalign, and looked at my teeth compared to the corresponding week on the initial scans that were taken. This allows him to see if my teeth are moving as predicted. Dr Holt and I talked about the process going forward. I will finish out the trays that I have ( total of 14) and come back to see him near the 14th week. Another scan will be taken of my teeth at that time and I will stay in tray 14 for about 3 weeks while I wait for the next set of aligners to come in.
Thanksgiving was just a few days ago and this was the first time that I took my aligners out for an extended period. I had them out for about 5-6 hours. At the end of the evening, the inside of my cheek was pretty irritated due to the “buttons” that are on my teeth. The buttons had rubbed against my cheek while talking and chewing. Once I put the aligners back in that helped to ease the pain on the inside of my cheek but it has taken several days to completely heal.
So what made me decide to get invisalign? Well…. I had braces as a kid and at one point had beautiful, straight teeth. Once I was finished with my braces I got plastic retainers for the top and bottom but don’t recall hearing about the importance of wearing the retainer. My teenage brain must have tuned that part out! As a result, I think I was pretty quick to stop wearing the retainers.
Through the years I have had my share of cavities. I have 2 crowns, 1 root canal and multiple fillings. Despite taking better than average care of my teeth, cavities regularly show up on my routine xrays at my dental cleanings. As I have gotten older I have tried to improve the health of my teeth in order to prevent cavities by making sure I have both good nutrition and tooth care. I have gotten to the point where I finally found a good pattern with brushing, flossing and rinsing that translated to less cavities.
As I have been paying more attention to how I care for my teeth I have noticed shifting of my teeth that has progressively gotten worse. My bite no longer was aligned and I had some occasional discomfort and tension on the right side of my jaw because I seemed to be chewing mostly on the right side. This began to concern me as I thought about the long term health of my teeth and gums. It only makes sense to me that if my jaw and teeth are not lined up optimally it may result in uneven wear and tear on my teeth, gums and jaw.
I am a physical therapist and pilates instructor and I work in close proximity with people all day. I want to have my best smile and I want to take care of my teeth now and prevent problems in the future. This is why I chose to do Invisalign.
I have finished my first set of trays and have been in the 14th week tray for 2 weeks. I had a follow up appt with Dr Holt today to look at my progress. Overall, he is very pleased with my progress thus far. Dr Holt said that I can now switch to “retainer mode”, which means that I only need to wear the invisalign at night since we are just holding the teeth in position at this time. He took another scan of my teeth and I will wait another 4-6 weeks to get my next set of aligners. I have to say it is a welcome break to be able to go without wearing the invisalign in the day.
The last 6 weeks I have been in the 14th week retainer and I have enjoyed having the freedom to eat and drink when I want without having to brush and floss throughout the day. I am surprised that my teeth did not shift back at all despite cutting back to only nighttime wear. I picked up the 12 new trays today.. At my appointment, I was fitted with the first tray without any problems.
I have noticed a spot between my last 2 teeth that has a filling and seems to be a food trap. I asked Dr Harris if I should get the filling redone at this time but she advised me that I should wait until I am done with this set of trays as my teeth may close together more and I may not need to get the filling redone. Well, here we go with the next stage of this journey….