Remember when I said I’d be back soon to talk more about Invisilign? Yea, well, I hope you weren’t holding your breath… I’m basically an Invisilign genius at this point (10 months into treatment), so I thought I’d share some answers to (what I would assume are) frequently asked Invisilign questions.
Q: Just how invisible are these “invisible trays (aka aligners)?”
A: Not at all invisible. They are clear and everyone you meet will know you’re wearing them. Most people will be nice enough not to ask you about them though. Compared to metal braces, sure, they’re invisible…
Q: How much does Invisilign cost?
A: About the same amount as regular braces. Most places will charge you around $5,000. I have pretty great insurance and adult orthodontics is covered so that helped bring down the cost for me. The cost is the same regardless of your treatment time. Warning – the initial cost doesn’t include the retainer (but more on that later).
Q. How long does the Invisilign treatment take?
A: It really does vary person to person depending on the amount of movement your teeth need. I thought my treatment was going to take 10 months, but it will actually be about 14 months when it’s all said and done.
Q: How many hours a day do you have to wear the aligners?
A: My orthodontist recommend 20 hours per day. Pretty much only enough time to take them out for meals. I don’t wear mine when I run any distance longer than 5 miles because I like to use fuel or drink Gatorade. The great thing about Invisilign is that if you don’t get your full 20 hours in, you can take the time onto the end! A prime example or this for me was Thanksgiving. I took my aligners out when we sat down for lunch and didn’t put them back in until that night. I added an extra day to that set of trays and didn’t have any problems.
Q: What are attachments?
A: Attachments are small tooth colored bumps that are glued to your teeth and are guaranteed to freak out your significant other when he/she goes in for a smooch. Their purpose is to help move your teeth into place. The aligners are built with bumps to fit your attachments and pull your teeth. Truthfully, you hardly notice them. I had mine glued on during our engagement pictures and you cannot tell (I did take my aligners out for the photo shoot though).
Q: How painful is it?
A: It depends. The Boy considers me to be a bit of a wuss when it comes to pain and I survived. My orthodontist recommended that I always put in a new set of trays at night right before I went to bed. Your mouth will be sore the first day you have a new set of trays in, but you’ll survive. I always made sure to pack soup for lunch on that first day because no way was I chomping on a carrot!
Q: Can you eat with your aligners in?
A: No. This is actually became a fantastic diet mechanism…especially in meetings at work! Since I didn’t want to awkwardly remove my “teeth” in front of my boss, I had to steer clear of treats. I do have some fantastically awkward stories of situations where I’ve been out to eat and realized that, as the food was being delivered, my “teeth” were still in. I was super embarrassed the first time, but I got over that quickly. I’m not the first person who’s had to remove an aligner/retainer to eat!
Q: Can you drink with your aligners in?
A: Yes – but use a straw! Those clear plastic trays can very easily be dyed the color of your Gatorade! TRUST ME ON THIS ONE. I spent more money on straws during my treatment than I have my entire life!
Q: Do you have to brush and floss before you put your trays back in?
A: According to my dentist – yes. Food can get trapped between your teeth and your trays and that’s how cavities are born. I went out 10 months ago and bought a toothbrush and toothpaste to keep at my desk for an after lunch brush….
That picture was taken yesterday…
I did not even come close to listening to this rule. I’m a pro at taking a nice swoosh of whatever beverage I’m drinking after lunch to clear any residue and then I pop those bad boys back in my mouth. We’re all busy…do what you can…and always take your dentist’s advice over mine.
Q: How do you clean your aligners?
A: Just like dentures :) Seriously – my orthodontist told me I could skip the “special Invisilign cleaning solution” and head down to Walgreens for some Efferdent tablets. I soak mine for an hour a day. I also brush them twice a day with this awesome mini-toothbrush thingy that my mom gave me. I also carry mints…because by day 14 those puppies can be smelling a little weird…
Q: Will I have to wear a retainer?
A: Yes. Yes you will...but probably only at night. Your teeth can continue to move for all of your adult life. If you want to take full advantage of that $5K you spent, you better wear your retainers!
Q: Will my friends and family make fun of me?
A: Yes – they will. My teeth and I have been at the receiving end of jokes MANY times in the last 10 months. It’s a good thing I love those goons!
What Other Invisilign Questions Do You Have?