Invisalign Clear Braces: Part 3 – the first brace

Yesterday I finally got to start my journey towards straighter teeth for real, when I picked up the very first of the Invisalign clear braces I’ll be wearing for the next six or seven months!

I was feeling both excited and a bit daunted as I drove to the appointment. On the one hand, this is something I’ve wanted to do for years, so finally getting started was a great thing for me. On the other hand, Invisalign does represent a big commitment on my part, both financially and in terms of the lifestyle changes I’ll have to make to adapt to it, and although I’d spent hours reading other people’s experiences, you never really know what it’s going to be like for you until you actually try it.

So far, though, I’m pleased to report that that I’ve been really impressed with the aligner. First of all, it really is invisible – or almost invisible, anyway. Mr Dollface didn’t actually believe I was wearing it when I came back from my appointment, and has to look really closely to be able to see it even now. I’ve also had no problem speaking normally with it in, which is a relief, because some people find they lisp a little for the first couple of days of each new tray. (With that said, I currently only have a brace for my lower teeth only. I’ll be getting one for my top teeth at my next appointment, and I have a feeling that may be a little harder to adapt to, especially given that I’ll be wearing two at that point!

In terms of how it feels, well, it’s a bit odd. It’s not painful, but you are aware that there’s essentially a foreign body in your mouth, and that takes a bit of adapting to, as does the process of inserting and removing it. Removing the aligner is the hardest part: to start with it took me a couple of minutes each time, and I’d start to worry that it would never come off, but since then I’ve managed to get used to it, and can snap it on and off within a few seconds.

The only slight discomfort I feel comes when I remove the aligner. My teeth feel fine while it’s on, but when I take it off to eat, or to clean my teeth, the teeth do feel a bit achy, almost as if I’d been clenching my jaw really tightly, and had suddenly relaxed it. They also hurt a little when I eat anything too hard, and my dentist tells me it’s not unusual for them to feel a little “wobbly” with some of the later braces: not looking forward to that!

Other than that, I’m managing fine with it so far. As I said in my last post, the brace needs to be removed to eat, and to drink anything other than water. This is a bit of a challenge for me because I’m a caffeine addict, but so far I’m managing to cope by only drinking coffee when the brace is out, anyway. On the plus side, it’s already cut down any snacking I might be tempted to do: we had a party on Saturday night and the house is still full of leftover party food, but I haven’t been able to eat any of it because I don’t want to remove the brace to snack. (You can obviously remove it if you want to, but it’s best to keep it in for at least 22 hours per day for the fastest results.)

So far, then, so good: roll on the end of the year, though, when I’ll hopefully have perfectly straight teeth, and no braces!