Last year, about the time I turned 30, I decided I wanted to focus a little more on myself. I’ve always been pretty low maintenance when it comes to fashion, makeup, hair, etc. But with a new decade and my pregnancy/childbirth days behind me, I found that I could put a little more emphasis on myself. One of the first orders of business was my teeth. There was nothing glaringly wrong with them, but I had a little spacing here, a little crowding there, and as a newly 30-year-old woman, I just wanted to make a few changes.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Didn’t her parents put her in braces as a teenager? And the answer is yes they did. Did I also stop wearing my retainer after college, get my wisdom teeth out as an adult, and continue on to have FOUR pregnancies? Also, yes. And in my very professional opinion, all of those things contributed to my teeth shifting a bit over the last 10 years or so.
As I started researching options, I knew that I didn’t really want traditional braces. So I started researching Invisalign, which ended up being the most appealing option to me. After a consultation, I ended up being a good candidate for Invisalign, and so at the beginning of this year, I started my treatment. About 3 weeks ago, I wrapped up my treatment and now I just have to wear my retainers at night and you can bet I am going to be doing that to avoid another repeat in 10 years!
Invisalign Pros & Cons
*Before I start, these are my thoughts on the process. I’m not going to get into prices or treatment length or other specifics because those vary so much from person to person. I will say, my dental insurance covered about fifty percent and a consultation for Invisalign should be free at most providers.
To begin, you have your teeth scanned, and then a few weeks later, you have a set of trays that you change out once a week for a certain number of weeks. This continues until your treatment is over.
- Almost invisible. One major perk with Invisalign is that they are clear, so when you are wearing them it’s pretty hard to notice unless someone is up close to you. That was a major selling point to me.
- Less painful. Having had traditional braces and remembering the pain and sensitivity of movement, I was pleasantly surprised that I only really experienced sensitivity on the first day of a new tray. I would say the discomfort level for my entire experience was very minimal.
- Can be quicker. My treatment took less than one year. As I said before, everyone is different, so your treatment may take longer, but wearing your Invisalign consistently and following the protocol will help significantly!
- Minimal effort. Besides the flossing and brushing (addressed in my con list), I found having Invisalign to be easy and it did not interfere much with my overall life.
Cons (I actually wouldn’t label these as cons, more as inconveniences)
- You have to be consistent. It is really important to consistently wear your Invisalign for the correct amount of time per day (mine was 18-22 hours/day). So unless you are eating or drinking something other than water, you should be wearing them.
- Brushing/Flossing. I did NOT want a mouthful of cavities, so I flossed and brushed after eating or drinking anything before I put my Invisalign back in. This meant I was brushing and flossing sometimes 5-7 times a day! Now that I don’t wear Invisalign during the day, I find myself wanting to brush more during the day because my teeth don’t feel as clean.
- Scheduling when you eat. This sounds funny, but I kind of had to schedule when I was going to eat and determine if there was a place to brush and floss after. It helped with mindless eating though, because I had to really decide if I wanted to eat because I knew I would also be brushing and flossing.
- Possibility of sores/cuts. Invisalign is plastic and sometimes I ran into the issues of getting sores or cuts in my mouth if a tray rubbed the wrong way. This only happened a few times, but it was definitely annoying when it did.
- It also can affect your speech, just the slightest bit. And after a while you get used to it and adjust.
Overall, I loved my experience with Invisalign and would definitely recommend it if straightening your teeth is something you are interested in! I can say that I definitely smile with a little more confidence these days.