Are you thinking of getting Invisalign or braces? Here’s a list of things I wish I knew before getting Invisalign – an Invisalign review of sorts. I hope it helps with your decision and answer any questions you might have, whether you’re still thinking about getting them or just started your aligner journey! I’ve even included before & after pictures, despite those shots not being flattering at all – a sacrifice purely for informative purposes!
What It’s Like To Have Invisalign
I finally bit the bullet and got Invisalign! And no, this isn’t a sponsored post. I’m now 16 weeks in, and anyone who has been on a zoom call with me lately got the inside scoop. I figured if we’re all going to be social distancing in quarantine, now is the perfect time to make the leap and check it off the list!
There were quite a few things I wish I knew before getting Invisalign, so I decided to put a blog together with all the details! Here’s the low-down:
Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting Invisalign
How Painful Is Invisalign?
Does Invisalign hurt? Honestly yes – for me anyway, but only for the first 4 days. Then my mouth/teeth got used to it. I saw others say it wasn’t so bad or only hurt for a few hours. I’m sure everyone is different, but I was on round-the-clock Tylenol for 4 days straight and it did hurt to take out or put the aligners in, eat, or brush my teeth during that time. It was also cutting into the inside of my lips for a few days (sanding down with a nail file or wax for braces helps with this). It’s worth noting that I started Invisalign the week of Thanksgiving which is a national eating holiday, so please learn from me and do not do this!
It really did get a lot better after the 4th day though, and when I switched to the second tray it fit a lot better stopped hurting. I change trays every 2 weeks, and sometimes my teeth are slightly sore for the first day or two, but not real pain.
Why did you get it if your teeth are straight?
Only my top teeth are straight! You just never see my bottom teeth in pictures. My bottom teeth have been starting to crowd for a few years now, which became uncomfortable and would only continue to get worse over time. Note: You will need top and bottom aligners even if you are just looking to straighten one side.
How Much Does Invisalign Cost?
It’s way more than I was expecting ($5,000+). My original dental plan didn’t cover it, but after some research I found that if you go up to a pro dental plan they cover a good portion of it, and for a negligible difference in cost (protip!).
How many hours a day do you have to wear Invisalign?
You need to wear Invisalign at least 22 hours per day, every day 😭 Yes, even while you sleep! You only take them out to eat or drink anything other than cold water. I highly recommend downloading the Invisalign app which helps you keep track of how long they’re out each day (with a stopwatch feature). It also reminds you when to put the new trays in, and compares before and after pictures in a handy gallery.
What Are Chewies?
Chewies are basically a tool for teething which is so funny. After putting your aligners in, you bite down on the chewies for a few minutes to help the aligners set all the way & help relieve any soreness! They’re a really important part of the whole process. I found this great chewies set on Amazon with different flavors!
I also got these great MoveMints which do the job just as well, while leaving you with fresh breath!
How Long Do You Have To Wear Invisalign?
Just 7 months for me! The average time is 2 years so I got lucky there. Hopefully should have them off by late May!
Do You Have To Wear A Retainer After Invisalign?
Yes you have to wear a retainer for a while after aligners. Apparently they say people tend to wear them much more as adults since this time around we’re paying for them, unlike when we were little when our parents paid for braces 😂
How do you take aligners in and out?
You’ll need your finger nails to take out aligners a few times per day, so don’t expect to get manicures while you have Invisalign.
How Long Does It Take For Invisalign to Feel Normal?
Mine felt slightly more comfortable after the first 4 days, but it felt much more normal when I switched to my second tray after 2 weeks. I personally feel like the second tray just fit much better.
What Can You Eat & Drink With Invisalign?
You have to take out your Invisalign trays to eat or drink anything other than cold water, and brush/floss every time you eat. That’s the most annoying part, but your teeth become sparkling clean & pearly white real quick which is nice!
What’s the “Invisalign Diet”? Does Invisalign Make You Lose Weight?
I didn’t realize there’s something unofficially called the “Invisalign diet,” because you can’t really snack anymore without the annoying part of taking them out, brushing, flossing etc. You have to leave in the aligner trays on for 22+ hours per day. If you take 30 minutes for breakfast, 30 minutes for lunch, and an hour for dinner, that’s your 2 hours already!
I seem to have gotten around this by accidentally eating more while they’re out, since I know I won’t want to take them out later. Basically like winter hibernation 😂
Does Invisalign Give You A Lisp?
Yes! I totally had a lisp for the first two weeks of Invisalign (especially when I made an “s” sound). People say it goes away when you get used to it, but I feel like mine went away as soon as I switched to the second tray since it fit a lot better.
How do you clean aligners?
You can clean them with a tooth brush every time before putting them back in. You can also soak them in this great Retainer Brite for a deeper clean every day or so.
What Are Attachments?
Attachments are tiny tooth-colored buttons which are temporarily glued to your teeth before starting Invisalign. They help anchor the aligners and move your teeth in the right direction. They felt weird at first, almost as if you had food on your teeth that you can’t move, but you get used to them really quickly. They said I would have a few attachments, but they ended up putting on 15 so that was more than I was expecting.
Pro tip: Make sure you brush immediately after eating and drinking, since I read they can turn to a non-tooth color really quickly which would look super weird on your teeth!
Can You See Invisalign In Photos?
They’re super clear and you can’t really see them in photos! I even did a 4 hour branding shoot with Jessie Wyman Photography with a high resolution camera and they turned out great! Here’s a close-up headshot from the shoot so you can see:
Invisalign Before & After Photos
Here’s my progress so far (top = the 1st day in November 2020; bottom = March 9, 2021). You can see how much straighter the bottom teeth are here, and I’m only just past the midpoint of my aligner trays (8 of 14).
Despite this list of things I wish I knew before getting Invisalign, I’m definitely glad I got it. My bottom teeth are already a lot more straight and they’re not uncomfortable anymore. Though the constant brushing and flossing is annoying, my teeth are looking better than ever from it. In the end it will all be worth it for a straight, comfortable smile!
Do you have any other questions about Invisalign?
Let me know in the comments below!
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