Tuesday, 17 February 2015

My Invisalign Journey

I wanted to write a truthful and honest account of my experience so far, this is not all sweetness and light. I tell it how it is, and that's not to say I am trying to bad mouth Invislign at all, I just believe that sometimes it can be sugar coated and the patients are not always told about the uncomfortable side of the treatment. But as they say, no pain, no gain!

I have never been all that happy with my teeth, when I was a child it was discovered that I had my adult canine compacted in the palette of my mouth so my baby tooth remained in position. On the other side I had a wonky tooth, so I was bothered by the way it all looked when I smile.

The worst news was that at some point my baby tooth would fall out and I would be left with a gap too small to fit an adult sized implant,  so I was faced with a difficult and expensive decision. I would need to have the compacted tooth removed surgically and undergo treatment with braces to make the gap around the baby tooth bigger and straighten the rest of my teeth.


I am currently undergoing invisalign and my treatment plan is 7 months long. I honestly can't wait for the 7 months to be over, my first couple of days with my first aligner in were frustrating. I couldn't speak normally and the aligners were chaffing the inside of my mouth making it very sore. I was so conscious of the aligners all of the time and found it very hard having a foreign body in my mouth. My mouth is always so dry no matter how much water I drink.

Even taking the aligners out provided me with no respite, because the attachments on my teeth were very sharp and made it hard to eat, they rubbed the inside of my lip raw whilst trying to chew and speak.

I am now 4 weeks in and on my third aligner and things are a little easier, the biggest problem I have found is the 22 hour optimal wear idea. 2 hours per day to eat and clean your teeth disappears very quickly and I often find myself way over the ideal time frame. One morning I timed how long it took me to eat some toast and drink a coffee and it was 22 minutes! So imagine then adding on the time to eat lunch, brush your teeth, eat dinner brush your teeth, drink a sugary drink, brush your teeth. Before you know it you have had the aligner out for way over 2 hours!

A few things you should know before you get invisalign:

It's a huge commitment, they need to be in your mouth all day every day for months, taking them out for long periods of time will only derail your treatment.

You have to be prepared to carry a toothbrush and toothpaste everywhere,  and always need access to a sink after eating because you need to brush your teeth or you'll get cavities

2 hours in a day for eating and drinking is very little,  if you are a continual snacker then you'll need to think long and hard about whether you will be able to cut the habit.

It's a massive pain in the arse to have to take your aligners out for every cup of coffee you want to drink, don't under estimate how annoying that can be. I only lasted 2 weeks before I started drinking with them in, plus you haven't a hope in hell of achieving 22 hours per day if you take them out to drink as well as eat.

They will make your mouth sore, they will rub your tongue, cheeks, gums and lips at some point. You will probably get ulcers as well, if you're a cry baby then these are not for you.

If you think you can handle all of that then go ahead and get invisalign, I have learnt to tolerate them and keep my eye on the prize. Make sure you can be committed to the cause because it's a lot of money to waste if you can't.

And because the secrecy with how much it all costs drove me crazy when I was researching Invisalign a few years ago I will tell you that I have gone with Invisalign Lite, which is a shorter version with less trays and on average takes 6-9 months depending on how much movement your teeth need, I have paid £2500, if I had needed the full version the cost would have been £4000.


My advice would be to have a couple of consultations at least, the first dentist I went to, made no mention of Invisalign Lite to me and told me the cost would be £4300. I then went for a second consultation where they were a lot more straight forward and gave me the cost for both and explained the difference and let me decide what I wanted to do.

For most people this is a large sum of money and you want to be sure you are being given the correct information before you hand over your cash.


  1. I got my Invisalign last month, I used to have braces that made my teeth nice then it started to move again and I slowly lost my confidence.

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