Hi friends! Two weeks ago I took a step that I have been wanting to take for months and began my Invisalign journey. Before you call me crazy, let me explain. Growing up I did have quite a bit of orthodontic work. I wore metal braces for two years and a palatal expander to widen my then narrow palate. I still remember my mom using the “key” to screw the appliance. The pressure on my upper molars was hardly bearable!
Post braces, I was provided plastic retainers that I wore nightly (and religiously) until they fell into the paws of Tucker about three years ago. I’d grown lazy and though I knew I needed to replace them, I never did.
Now 30, I’ve noticed a significant shift in my bottom teeth. The crowding seemingly occurring overnight! As things worsened, I began experiencing pain (not to be confused with soreness). So much, that at times it made me nauseous. Knowing how much my parents had invested in corrective dental work, this was something I wanted to resolve while in its very early stages. That’s when I scheduled a consultation with Dr. Valeriano. From the very moment I walked in to the office, I felt like the entire staff cared and would take great care of me. They empathized with my situation, and agreed that things would only worsen if not correctly treated.
Dr. Valeriano, a certified Invisalign Premier Provider, felt confident that Invisalign would be the best treatment option for me. For those less familiar, Invisalign uses custom molded clear trays to move your teeth to the ideal position. They’re removable, so compliance is important!
Each set of clear aligners are to be worn one to two weeks, as prescribed by your orthodontist. So each time you change your aligners, you’re getting measurably closer to your final result. The day I began my treatment, tiny clear attachments were placed on specific teeth – both upper and lower. These attachments are tooth colored acrylic that are bonded to specific teeth to help achieve optimal movement. Think of it as tiny hooks that help “lock” the aligners in place. They are painless and hardly noticeable when the clear aligners are removed.
My first set of Invisalign aligners understandably felt a bit odd. A minor lisp is also something that I think is almost unavoidable at the start. Let’s face it, you’ve got a foreign object in your mouth – your teeth shackled in plastic – and even though the material is thin, you just need time to adjust. But, please, don’t let this discourage you!
Patients are encouraged to wear their aligners 20-22 hours a day for best results, only removing them to eat and/ or drink. Obviously water and clear liquids are fine. After eating, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth well before replacing your aligners. I have a tiny bottle of mouth wash in my purse that makes it easier to eat out!
Having had braces, I can say that Invisalign has been a different experience. While I am not limited in the kinds of food I can eat, my eating habits have changed. I was a grazer before, eating little and often. I’ve jokingly said that having Invisalign is like a built-in diet, haha. My treatment plan should take roughly 24 weeks, give or take. If you are considering Invisalign, myself or the staff at Dr. Valeriano’s office are happy to answer any questions you may have. Any questions regarding pricing, insurance and payment can all be answered in a complimentary consultation!
I can’t recommend Dr. Valeriano and his team enough – I’ll update you here in a few months on how the treatment is going. So far, so good! Overall, I am very satisfied with the results.