Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tray 3

Ok....before I get into everything for Tray 3, I want to apologize for how long this post will be. I have a lot of info to add this week along with lots of pictures. Now, with that being said, we can get into the good stuff. I went into my appointment and got a couple of things done to my teeth. I got my teeth shaved a little more. It hurt this time just because every now and then the assistant shaving my teeth would get my gums with the strip, which cut them up a little. So when I got home and brushed my teeth, there was a good amount of bleeding and I couldn't really floss. But it's 2 days later and they are feeling much better. I also got my attachments at this appointment (well some of them anyway). I got 4 of them for now and around Tray 11, I will have 1 or 2 taken off and a couple put on different teeth. They advised me in the beginning to switch trays at night, but obviously I couldn't do that with this tray. Since I got the attachments, Tray 2 would not have fit, so I needed to switch to Tray 3 after the appointment. As far as the attachments being visible, they really aren't that big of a deal. When I have the trays off, I can't see the attachments at all. I have to look super close and at just the right angle to see them. However, with the trays on, they are a little more noticeable. Not a whole ton, but yes they are more visible than when the trays are off. I wasn't really sure how the attachments really help the movement so I did a little research. Apparently, the attachments will help the teeth they are on move a little more quickly and easily and make movements that the trays alone can't do. I also wanted to explain the process of how they put my attachments on. The assistant first took Tray 3 out of its little invisalign bag. She then filled the bumps on the tray with some opaque gooey substance. Then she put the tray on my teeth and had me bite down on a cotton ball to hold it in place. She let it sit for about 30 seconds then brought out this little handheld light and shined the light on the attachments while the tray was still on. This hardened the substance. We did all of this again for the bottom tray. Then she had me try to take off the trays just to make sure that I could do it. Before I even tried, I knew I was going to have a difficult time because the trays were extremely tight. The bottom tray was a little difficult compared to the first 2 trays, but the top tray was just ridiculous. I sat there for about 5 minutes struggling to get it off. Eventually I did when the assistant told me to try to pull it down and out at the same time. That was basically all we did at the appointment. She showed me the video to see what movements happened with the first 2 trays. They pretty much moved my premolars out a tiny bit to widen my smile. The real movements that will straighten out my teeth will start with this tray so I am pretty excited to look after a few more trays and see if I can notice a difference. Here are a few pictures from different angles to show that the attachments are not visible from all angles and distances.



Hopefully you can tell from these pictures that the attachments aren't really a big problem (in my opinion). They do bring up a huge problem for me in regards to the pain though. The next morning after I got the attachments, I didn't even want to brush my teeth because I didn't want to have to take off the trays. I could tell from the second I woke up that my teeth were going to hurt, and boy did they. When I finally worked up the courage to take them off, it was very painful. The teeth with the attachments hurt so much and I could barely brush my teeth because the pressure from the brush made them hurt even more. I tried eating a pickle with my sandwich for lunch and had to just use my back teeth because there was no way I could use my front ones.  I ended up taking a nap for a good part of the day so I wouldn't have to feel the pain. But that is the reason I waited an extra day before I posted this info. Today, they do still hurt, but not anywhere near as much as yesterday. The trays are also a little easier to remove.Hopefully I didn't scare anyone with my painful experience from the first day and you can just remember that the second day will be much better.

I did want to post a picture of the strip that is used to shave my teeth.
As you can see, it's just a small little strip similar to sand paper. It's paper-thin so it doesn't leave a huge gap. I was given the strips because the assistant told me that I can shave my own teeth from now on (just the front ones). She said once a week, check to make sure there is space between my teeth. I have to slide the strip between 2 teeth. If it slides in and out with no problems, then I don't have to shave those teeth. But, if there is a little friction, then I need to just floss with it. I would need to shave both teeth until there's no more friction. The assistant told me to just try it on my own, but that if I'm not comfortable doing it then I can just have them do it at the appointments. I haven't tried it yet because it's not time but I don't think it should be too hard. Well...that's it for this post. I tried not to leave anything out but if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

End of Tray 2

It's that time again - another post. I get my next 2 trays tomorrow (3 and 4) and my attachments as well. Like I said before, I will be posting pics of my teeth after every other tray is completed, so roughly once a month. I also wanted to post some pics before I get the attachments that way when I do get them, I can post again and compare. This tray wasn't anything different from the first. It is much more comfortable than the first few days and much easier to get off. The bottom tray is very easy. Taking off the top tray still gives me a little trouble on the front teeth, but it has gotten easier. I am a little nervous about taking off the trays when I get the attachments since I've heard they make removal even more difficult. Since I don't have much to report this week I'll just post my pictures. I took some with the trays on and off. Some pictures may be a little off because it's actually pretty difficult to hold a mirror stable and hold a camera stable at just the right angle and look at the mirror to make sure it's clear and take the picture. But I tried.

Top Arch:

Bottom Arch:

Front View:

Side Views:

Front View with Trays:

Sorry if there are too many pics but I really wanted lots of angles. Obviously there aren't any visually noticeable changes yet, but I didn't expect there to be anyway. I will post again very soon when I get the attachments and I will definitely include pictures.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tray 2 Update

I'm now about halfway into tray 2 so I just wanted to make an update. The top tray is still very tight, especially on the front teeth and my nails are very short so that makes it even harder to get it off. The bottom tray is pretty comfortable. A few of my teeth are a little tender now. They aren't as sore as the very first day I ever wore the first tray, but they do hurt a bit when I take them off and put them back on. Nothing too exciting has happened so I don't have much to say this week. I would like to point out that nobody has noticed that I wear the trays (as far as I know). I volunteer quite a bit and meets lots of people and nobody has mentioned them. Although I really wouldn't expect them to say anything even  if they did notice the trays since I don't even know these people. My personal opinion is that the trays are not very noticeable. When I look in the mirror, I can't even tell there is anything on my teeth unless I get really close and look. And I actually know I have them on so I doubt if someone who doesn't know about them would notice. We'll see how my teeth look after I get my attachments and I will make sure to add a post with lots of pictures.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tray 2

It's the start of Tray 2 of 31 and week 3 of 62. I was very surprised this morning when I took off the trays to brush my teeth. I put them on last night and was expecting my teeth to hurt this morning like they had with the first trays. But they didn't hurt at all. They are very tight and there is lots of pressure so I know they are moving my teeth, but I was actually a little disappointed there wasn't even a little bit of pain. I guess I figured that the pain would show they are working. Once again, the top tray is very difficult to get off and I'm scared it's going to crack, especially because when I took my first top tray off for the last time, I did notice it had a very tiny crack, but nothing major and luckily I was already changing to the next tray. I've gotten pretty used to wearing the trays and I hardly even notice when they are on. I can tell the difference when they are on or off but there really isn't anymore discomfort when I have them on. I was very worried that people would notice them when I first started with tray 1 and I was very self conscious when talking. But now they don't even cross my mind when I'm talking because I've gotten so used to having them on. We'll see if I still feel that way after I get the attachments. I don't think they are going to be too noticeable but in my mind they will probably be screaming "Hey everybody look at me!" I've still been pretty diligent about frequently brushing my teeth and the trays and also flossing. It's only been 2 weeks so hopefully I can keep this up. I will probably take pictures of my teeth after I finish with this 2nd set of trays because the movements are so minor with each tray that there aren't any noticeable changes yet. Maybe after 2 trays I will be able to see a little bit of a difference. I kind of doubt it but I will take pictures anyway so I can keep track and be able to look back at the end of treatment and see the process from month to month. I will make sure to post again if anything exciting happens.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


A few days ago I asked my ortho's assistant that is handling my case to send me the ClinCheck video that shows the attachments that I will be getting on my next visit at the end of the month (July 28th). I will be getting a total of 6 attachments, however, they will not all be placed on my teeth at once. The most that I will have on at once is 4 and I will end treatment with 3. My orthodontist is trying to focus on moving just a few teeth at a time so when one tooth that will have an attachment is done moving, it will be taken off and another attachment will be placed on a different tooth that still needs to be moved. I was hoping to get away from attachments, but I guess I can't complain. In my opinion, they're definitely better than having metal across all of my teeth. I figured I don't really smile much or show my teeth when I talk anyway so it won't be much of a change. So here is the video that I was sent. It's not very big but you can still see which teeth will have attachments and when they come on and off.

I also wanted to talk about my first tray now that it's almost time to switch to tray #2. I will be making the switch Thursday night. I just want to review my experience with the first tray so I'll probably repeat a few things I've already mentioned in previous posts so I apologize if it seems redundant. Ok....well the trays were very tight when I first put them on. They were somewhat uncomfortable but it really helped to put them on at night. The next morning I had quite a bit of trouble getting the top tray off but it hasn't broken and it's almost time to switch so I doubt it will. When I took the trays off that morning there were a few of my teeth that hurt a lot, but only right when I would take the trays off and put them back on. I ate softer foods for the first couple of days, which, as an added bonus, has probably helped with my diet. A few days into the 2 weeks, my teeth didn't hurt at all anymore. When I have the trays in, I can tell they are there, but not in a painful way. I just feel them there but it's not really distracting or anything. After I eat and put the trays back in, I feel more pressure but that feeling goes away after a few minutes and my teeth adjust to having them back in. I'm really looking forward to putting the next trays on. I'm a little worried about the pain for the first day or two, but in my mind it's a good pain. It lets me know the trays are actually working and my teeth are really moving. I'm off to eat sushi and will post again after I start tray 2.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tray 1: Day 2

Ok, Ok. I know in my last post I said it would be a few days before my next one, but I just wanted to post again today so I could explain the major change since yesterday. When I woke up this morning and took the trays off to clean them, I was anticipating a lot of pain like the previous day, but it didn't hurt at all. They are so much more comfortable than yesterday. I can still feel pressure, but it's nowhere near the level it was on the first day. They are also much easier to get on and off. The top tray still gives me a little bit of a struggle but I don't feel like I'm going to break it anymore. It just takes a little extra force to get it off compared to the bottom tray that pops off very easily. I also wanted to include some pictures of the trays. I will give a couple of different angles of them and one picture will be of my teeth with the trays on so you can see just how clear they are.

Top Tray:

Bottom Tray:

Both Trays:

Trays On My Teeth:

Sorry these aren't the best pictures. I can't seem to find my actual camera so I took these using my phone. I did want to mention that I had to file the inside edge of the bottom tray where the tip of my tongue rubs against it. My tongue was starting to get a little sore from rubbing on it. All I did was take a small nail file and made the edge less sharp and it feels much better. That will be it for today and I will post again if anything changes.

Friday, July 1, 2011

First Day...

Before I get into how the day went, I forgot to mention on my last post that I got my teeth shaved when I went in to pick up the trays. It really wasn't bad at all. There was no pain and it only took about ten minutes. They used the a strip that's a little like sand paper. It was about 3 inches long and half a centimeter wide and was very thin.  They used motions similar to flossing and shaved just enough so that my teeth weren't so tightly packed together. There aren't any gaps, but when I brushed my teeth last night and looked at them in the mirror I did notice it. The way I would describe it is that I looked, saw a dark line in the crease between 2 teeth. I almost thought it was a small piece of a hair right there in the crease but then I remembered about the shaving. So it really isn't noticeable. Now.....onto today's experience.

I woke up, felt that my teeth had adjusted a little better to the trays, and took them off to get ready for school. I'm not going to teeth hurt - a lot. Not all of my teeth. Just a few. I'm assuming they hurt so much because they are the teeth that this tray will be moving. The teeth that hurt the worst were: the left front 3 on the bottom, and the right front 3 on the top. They only hurt for about a minute or 2 after I took them off and right when I put them back on. I'm eating foods that don't require too much chewing or any foods that are hard because that would probably be very painful. I get really nervous that I might break the top tray because it is pretty difficult to get it off of the front teeth, so hopefully it'll be ok. I try to be very careful with it since a new tray will cost another $100.

I'm trying to get myself into a routine. The girl that was helping me at the appointment yesterday told me it's very important to make sure you get a routine down early in the process to make the best of it. I (hopefully) will be soaking the trays in polident in the mornings when I get ready, put them in, take them out for lunch, eat, brush the trays and my teeth, put them back in, take them out for a snack, brush them and my teeth again, leave them in, take them out for dinner, brush them and my teeth again, leave them in until bedtime when I will brush them and my teeth again for the last time of the day, and leave them in for the night. It is quite a hassle, but it's 100% worth it to avoid getting a cavity. I've never had one and don't ever want one.

One thing that has been helping with the pain (aside from pills) are the aligner chewies. They are little cylinders made out of a firm foam material. They are supposed to help make sure the trays are sitting well on your teeth. They are also supposed to help loosen the ligaments of the teeth and make the straightening process more efficient. I find that they relieve a lot f pressure too. I was advised to use the chewies for 10 minutes a day. These 10 minutes don't have to be all at once as long as the total time throughout the day adds to 10. I use them when I'm just watching tv or surfing the web. Well, that's it for day 1. I'll post again with more info and probably some pics of the trays in a few days.