What Invisalign is Like: My Experience with Clear Alignment Therapy

Our treatment coordinator Bella shares her experience with Invisalign to help you better understand what the whole process is like.

Bella with her Invisalign aligner tray

Bella with her Invisalign aligner tray

“If this was the end result, I’d be happy,” Bella says of the progress her teeth have made after only two months of using Invisalign. Bella started her treatment in October, hoping to straighten some teeth that had moved since the last time she did alignment therapy.

“This isn’t my first time using Invisalign,” Bella admitted. The first time, she didn’t use the retainer after finishing treatment, and her teeth shifted.

Our teeth are always shifting due to a variety of different forces, such as swallowing, grinding, and even lip biting. Alignment therapies like braces or Invisalign shift our teeth into a straight position by applying consistent pressure on them over the time.

How does Invisalign work?

Day 1 with Dr. Koh and Dental Assistant Maria

Day 1 with Dr. Koh and Dental Assistant Maria

Invisalign uses clear trays similar to teeth-whitening trays that are made out of a thermoplastic material. When you start treatment, you get your first set of trays, each one slightly different, that you change every 1-2 weeks, depending on the doctor’s recommendation. With each tray, your teeth get closer and closer to the final desired positioning. 

“I didn’t feel any pain with the trays,” explained Bella. “My teeth would be a bit sore at first when I would take them off in the morning to have breakfast, but that’s just the first day or so of using a new tray.”

New Technology Makes It Fast and Easy

bellainvisalign3

Dr. Koh uses a curing light to bond the buttons

Bella also noticed that technology had improved since the last time she used the Invisalign. “The iTero scan that they use to take the mold is so much easier and faster than the old way with the molds,” she noted.

The iTero Intraoral Digital Scanner takes a high quality 3D image of your mouth that serves as the impression to make the trays. The impression is created in minutes, and then sent to Invisalign where they create each individual aligner tray and any buttons that may need to be used to move the teeth. Buttons are tiny composite resin knobs that are placed on some teeth to help the aligner trays do their job. 

“The buttons are weird at first, and it feels like you have something stuck in your tooth, but now I don’t notice them.” Bella noted.

Eating, Talking, and Brushing with Invisalign

invisalign1

Invisalign aligner trays

Since the trays come out when you eat, but the buttons stay on, she has noticed that sometimes food gets stuck on her teeth, but she’s found a solution: “I like to go into a bathroom to put my trays on and off, and I’ve gotten into the habit of brushing my teeth before I put the tray back in, which was an unexpected perk of doing this.”

There were also some things that she thought might happen, but haven’t. “I don’t spit at people,” she says, “and in the beginning my speech was a little affected, but now hardly at all.”

Has she been good about keeping the trays in for the full 22 hours each day? “It was tough when I went on vacation for a few days, and I didn’t really wear them enough–it was just that I was always eating!” But besides that, she is still on track to finish on time–a mere 3 months.

“I change my aligners every Wednesday,” which is one time a week rather than two. While not everyone’s treatment can be this accelerated, Bella is happy that she qualified and that her treatment is going by quickly.

“I already notice that it’s much easier to floss, and I don’t bite my cheeks like I used to because of the position of my molars,” she beams, flashing an already straighter smile.

To talk to Bella about her experience, or to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Jain to see if Invisalign is for you, give us a call at 201-501-8282.