Are you thinking of getting Invisalign?
Here are a few things I think you should know if you are considering it. As an Invisalign patient, I definitely learnt a few things along the way. I thought it would be valuable to share 10 things you should know before getting Invisalign.
1. It takes commitment
To get the best results, Dr El Jabouri recommended wearing my aligners 22 hours a day. I did find this challenging in the first couple of days after getting Invisalign, as I enjoy eating and an active social life.
However, I very quickly got the hang of it and it became part of my daily routine. This being said, it does take commitment, you have to be consistent with your treatment to get the best results and avoid any delays in your treatment.
2. There might be some discomfort
I can’t say that getting Invisalign treatment was painful, but there was some discomfort to start. Whenever I changed my aligners, particularly early on in the treatment when my teeth where getting used to moving this would feel like a moderate amount of pressure on my teeth.
This did subside as my teeth began to move, however this is to be expected with every change of aligner. Additionally, in the first week my first aligner did rub the underside of my tongue. This also subsided and I did not have any issue with rubbing of the aligners after the few days of my treatment.
3. You will need to carry a tooth brush
It is really important to keep your teeth and aligners clean. You won’t regret carrying a toothbrush/floss and mouthwash in your bag with you to work or on a night out.
It may not be the most glamorous of accessories but its key to avoiding having food in your aligners. Additionally it will also help keep your teeth and gums healthy during your treatment.
4. You can still enjoy an active social life
Don’t worry, you don’t need to become a hermit crab once you’ve started your Invisalign treatment. I still enjoyed a a drink or two along the way. My best advice would be to find a clear beverage that you enjoy and stick with that, if its clear- then you can keep your aligners in. If I wanted to venture outside of clear liquids, I’d take my aligners out to drink and save up some time during the day to allow myself the freedom to do so.
5. Take care of your aligners
You will likely be changing your aligners every 7-14 days. This goes really quickly, however if you don’t look after them you can damage the aligners or your teeth. Cleaning your aligners is really important, the last thing you want is for them to become a breeding ground for bacteria. However, be careful while cleaning them. Hot water can alter the shape of your aligners affect your results, so keep it lukewarm at most to ensure you don’t do them any damage.
6. The Invisalign diet
I didn’t realise how often I snacked until I had to structure my day and eating pattern around my aligners. I started to snack less to avoid brushing my teeth 6 or 7 times a day. It was easiest to split the time without the aligners 30 mins for breakfast, 30 mins for lunch and hour in evening. It definitely changed my eating habits, however I still had a snack, night or meal out when I needed one. I just had to make sure I compensated for it throughout the day to avoid delaying my treatment.
7. You will see results fairly quickly
I started to notice changes within the first few aligners, which was pretty exciting. My treatment was 14 Aligners and lasted around 4 months although it can take longer.
8. You might need attachments
You might not know what either of these things are, but they might be used during your treatment to help give you the best results. Attachments are small dots of dental bonding (the thing white fillings are made of) which are placed on your teeth with a custom template provided by Invisalign. These help to anchor the aligner and apply the pressure in the desired direction to help with the alignment of your teeth. Don’t worry, its pain free and they are removed at the end of your treatment.
9. You’ll need to wear a retainer after treatment.
That’s right, you’ll need to be committed to wearing a retainer after treatment to ensure you keep your results. I opted for a bonded retainer which is a thin strip behind my teeth which helps to keep them aligned. However if a fixed retainer isn’t for you, there are options for a removable retainer too.
10. Be Prepared
Lastly, the best advice I can give you is to be prepared. Always having a travel kit for my tooth brush and aligners, preparing my food before hand and planning my days really helped me to stay on track with my treatment.
Getting Invisalign was a big decision, but it has definitely been worth it. I have seen great results in a short period of time. If you are thinking about getting Invisalign, I would recommend coming in to see an Invisalign specialist to get assessed and see what Invisalign can do for you.