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Should I Get Invisible Aligners?

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I started wearing Invisalign April 2018 and I am expected to be finished with my treatment by November 2018.

My Journey to Straighter, Healthier Teeth

I was never really self-conscious about my teeth because I only had two teeth on the top row that were noticeably crooked. My bottom teeth, on the other hand, were pretty crowded but luckily I hadn’t developed any cavities from this issue. While my teeth never really bothered me, I always figured that I wanted to get them fixed at some point. Every time I went to the dentist they would tell me my insurance wouldn’t cover it and I would be paying around 5,000 to 6,000 dollars so, of course I didn’t have the funds for it.

I searched for alternatives to Invisalign like Smile Direct Club and I even considered the traditional wire braces but I couldn’t see myself wearing them for however long I would need them. Like always, though, I would research and I would be immediately put off by prices and horror stories I would find on blogs or videos.

Finally, after years of dentists telling me the same thing, my insurance changed and it would finally cover most of the cost. It was still more than I wanted to pay but we can’t get everything for free, right? And so began my journey to straighter and healthier teeth.

Before

Before

After

After

Invisalign Cost and Time

The first thing I looked at, as most of us do, is the cost. Since Invisalign braces are clear aligners they’re going to be pricier than wire braces. Like I mentioned before, the cost without insurance was around 5,000 to 6,000 dollars but with my insurance I only had to pay around 2,400. The price may also vary depending on how crooked you’re teeth are and how many trays you’ll need to fix them. Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that I didn’t pay it all at once. I paid the down payment and then 10 monthly payments after that but if you have the funds for it you can certainly pay it all at once.

The first appointment after you decide that you want the Invisalign is routine. You get molds made of your teeth which are sent and made into a 3D video of how your teeth will move at each step. I got my video about 3 weeks after I had the molds made and then I waited 2 more weeks to actually receive the aligners. So overall, it took about a month from my first appointment to actually get the aligners.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Now the best thing about having invisible aligners is that they are quite unnoticeable especially after your teeth move into the correct place.
  • My teeth weren’t too crooked so I only felt discomfort the first few days after wearing them and practically nothing after that until I changed them again.
  • The amount of time I have to wear Invisalign is shorter than what I would’ve had with traditional braces.
  • I don’t have to worry about food getting stuck in my braces because I’m not wearing them when I eat.
  • If I’m not happy with the end results they will send me new trays to correct whatever I’m not happy with.
  • If helps you lose weight by making you eat less since you get annoyed about brushing your teeth constantly. (At least for me it did!)
  • The constant brushing and flossing really makes your teeth healthier.

Cons

  • Invisalign aligners are expensive compared to other options. Luckily, mine was mostly paid by my insurance otherwise I probably wouldn’t have considered it.
  • For my teeth, they added attachments, also called buttons, which are little bumps on your teeth that help push the crooked teeth into place. They are a bit noticeable and uncomfortable at first but they are the same color as your teeth. They don’t come off but I did notice more food getting stuck on them than anything else.
  • Speaking of noticeable, sometimes saliva collects inside the tray and it looks like air bubbles on your teeth. Also, it’s a little gross when you take the aligners off and saliva involuntarily comes out of your mouth.
  • You have to change them every two weeks. For those of us who are extremely busy all the time, it could be hard to keep track. (My solution was to write the date I was supposed to change them on the bag they come in)
  • You have to wear them at least 22 hours a day. Now this is probably the most difficult part about having invisible aligners because that means that you have to find the time to properly clean your teeth after each meal and you may not always have the time or place to do so.
  • The first few months were extremely uncomfortable because the trays would cut my tongue and my inner lips but as my teeth moved to their correct position, the pain went away. I also filed down the sharp edges as directed by my dentist.
  • Aside from my mouth being cut up, my lips got extremely dry and I first thought that it was because of the aligners but I realized it was from the constant brushing. The tooth paste would dry out my lips.
  • If you’re not properly taking care of your teeth, you will get cavities.
  • Lastly, you can’t randomly eat during the day and you can only drink water because any other liquid will stain or damage the trays.

Alternatives

Like I mentioned before, I didn’t want to wear wire braces which were less expensive at around 4,000 dollars. They were visible, I would have to wear them for longer, and I didn't have time for constant visits to the dentist. It just wasn't the best option for me.

I also looked for information about Smile Direct Club which had the most attractive price at 2,000 dollars but I thought I would have a better experience with Invisalign. I also asked my dentist about Smile Direct Club and she told me that it may take multiple tries for the molds (made at home) to be accepted because they needed to be done a certain way. The trays sent from Smile Direct Club are also quite large and they tend to go all the way up to your gums which you would need to file down. In my opinion, it just seemed easier to go with my dentist but she never discouraged me if I wanted to try Smile Direct Club.

Tips for Wearing Invisalign

  • Try your absolute best to always properly clean your teeth before putting your Invisalign back on. This is extremely important if you don’t want to get cavities.
  • If, for whatever reason you can’t brush your teeth and you do put them back on, you need to brush your teeth as soon as you possibly can and clean the trays, as well.
  • One of the most important things is to remember to floss. More than once a day would be extremely beneficial.
  • Do not drink or eat anything but water when you are wearing the aligners!
  • If possible, try to eat less processed and sugary foods like sticky candies, chocolates, sodas, and juices.

Speak to your dentist if you have any questions, concerns, or discomfort. This is the main reason I chose Invisalign because I had my dentist to help me through the process. I hope that this article will help someone figure out if Invisalign is for them or not and best of luck if you do get them!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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