Getting Started with Invisalign

After almost four months of wearing an expander*, I’m finally ready to switch to my Invisalign aligners!

Last month I had trays made and this month, I got my first set of aligners.

When I went in to try them out, the orthodontist had me put them in myself. I was able to pop them on immediately, without any trouble, and was able to pop them off as well. He congratulated me profusely on this as the guy in the chair next to me was practicing for half an hour before he got the hang of it. Check me out. I’m an Invisalign savant!

I wasn’t sure I’d get used to the aligners. They felt a little weird for the first our or two I was wearing them. Not uncomfortable weird but weird in that I cannot close my bite completely and well… it’s just something there. After a week of wearing them however, it feels pretty normal. I go for hours at a time, forgetting they are there. And then I get hungry and remember! Oh yeah! I have to take them out so I can eat.

Some of the things I worried about prior to getting the aligners:

1. Would my teeth ache?

The answer is yes. But far less than with the expander retainer I wore beforehand. I felt nothing on the first day and then a dull ache on the second and third that I imagine is not unlike how people feel when they get their braces tightened. It was a two tylenol ache, not a three motrin one. In other words, just a minor distraction.

2. Would I have bad breath?

My daughter has told me horror stories about a kid in her school who is using Invisalign. To be fair this kid is reportedly breaking every rule of Invisalign usage. He eats with them in! Onion sandwiches! But it’s cautionary tale enough to give me a bit of the woogie about my oral hygiene. I’m brushing after every meal, sticking to clear sugar free liquids and brushing the aligners a few times a day too. I purchased extra toothbrushes and travel cases for my purses. So far, my family assures me I don’t have monster breath. On the plus side, my teeth have never been cleaner.

3. Would I look weird?

Most people don’t see the aligners until I get all up in their face and point them out to them. This cracked me up last weekend when I was at a local event and came across a booth for Invisalign. I smiled at them as they tried to sell me on the merits of Invisalign and they kept talking. Finally I tapped my teeth and we all had a good laugh and I scored another toothbrush and travel toothpaste (free!) for another one of my bags.

I have 23 sets of aligners to wear. This translates roughly to a year of treatment. My orthodontist gave me a little sneak peek of what my teeth would look like by showing me the last set of aligners. The difference was amazing. For sure I will be saving the first and last set to compare.

For now I leave you with this rather candid shot from when I left the orthodontist’s office. Can you see my Invisalign? Can you picture what my smile will look like a year from now?

* Expanders are not part of the Invisalign regimen. I opted for one to correct a narrow palette and shorten my overall treatment time. I will now drive over that expander retainer with my car. It was not fun to wear. Invisalign is way more comfy.

I am a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board. I have been compensated for my participation in this program. All opinions are my own.



  1. Debbieshell says

    I wore conventional braces for 4 years…I know the 4 ibuprofen ache! It was worth it though…don’t think Invisalign would have worked for me..

    Breath tip…denture cleaning tablets work wonders on retainers. When you are done with the full treatment, talk to me about retainers.


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