Don’t forget to read the first two parts of this series!
I first started my initial Invisalign treatment back in 2011 and I just finished refinements in June of 2014. I can’t believe it’s been that long! It’s been tough but I’m glad it’s finally over. The constant brushing and flossing was becoming very tedious and annoying. Imagine doing that everyday for three years! Not fun! As I mentioned before, if you think you won’t be diligent with all the brushing and flossing, I would reconsider choosing Invisalign or be prepared to deal with all the responsibilities. To be honest, my Invisalign experience has been full of ups and downs. I was careless and didn’t wear my retainers for the maximum 22 hours a day. Sometimes I would not wear them the whole day! I don’t recommend doing that by the way. My orthodontist probably frowned upon that! Anyway, I’d like to share my final thoughts with you! Away we go!
What to expect: I’ll say once, I’ll say it again! You will be brushing and flossing constantly! After every meal you should brush and floss before putting back your retainers in. You should wear your retainers for the majority of the day, about 22 hours. Do not eat or drink anything besides cool water when you are wearing your retainers. I usually take them off right before a meal, just so I’m wearing them as long as I possibly can. The huge plus is that you get to eat whatever you want, unlike with braces. Also, expect to be visiting your orthodontist often. Every few weeks you’ll need to visit your orthodontist to see if your teeth are moving properly.
What may happen: Attachments! You may need to get attachments aka buttons on your teeth. These attachments/bumps help anchor the retainers to your teeth; so the retainers can move your teeth around more effectively. No worries, they make the attachments match the shade of your teeth. Also, you might have to backtrack a bit. Which makes it important to keep your past retainers, just in case you’ll need them. Finally, you may need to have refinements. Refinements are made when you decide that your smile isn’t as great as you would like after your initial treatment. It’s like fine-tuning! In my case, I had also gotten epoxy placed on two on my front teeth, so it would line up with the rest of my teeth. That definitely cost me extra! But, it was much cheaper than veneers, which would cost me $1,200 per tooth!!!
What happens when you’re done: Yay! Congrats, you’ve made it through! If you had attachments your orthodontist will buff them off. Then your orthodontist will make sure your bite is lining up properly; shaving down the teeth so everything fits well. After all that, you’ll get impressions done for your Vivera retainers. These retainers are worn for the first three months just like your Invisalign retainers. Once the three months are up, you’ll only need to wear them at night. These Vivera retainers get kind of gross after a while. Thankfully, when they give you the Vivera retainers, you’ll also receive packets of cleaning crystals.
Enough with words! Here are pictures of my progression!
I honestly can’t believe my teeth looked like this before!
After my initial Invisalign treatment! About a year and half later.
Well, that’s my experience in a nutshell! If you want more information on go ahead and check out the first two posts of my Invisalign journey!
If you live in SoCal, then I’d like to suggest my orthodontist! He’s awesome and very patient!
Martin C. Courtney, DDS
18907 Nordhoff Street, Suite 38
Northridge, CA 91324