Part 5 in an Actual Patient Story About Using Invisalign
If you are brand new to wearing Invisalign aligners, and all you want to do is give up, just keep wearing them! — an Invisalign patient
The day I received my Invisalign aligners was fairly straightforward. Here was the basic program:
- Get the Propel treatment.
- Get the attachments placed on my teeth.
- Get the Invisalign trays.
- Get some information on how to wear them.
- Go home.
- Practice talking while wearing Invisalign in the privacy of my own home.
I drove home from my appointment still almost completely numb from the Propel treatment. I did not want to see, talk or interact with anyone but the dog for the rest of the day. Yet a few hours later, when I finally got home after an unexpected detour to help out a friend, I had a visitor. That visitor was pain!
Treating Pain After Propel
There is aspirin pain, acetaminophen pain and ibuprofen pain, and we typically know which analgesic to take for different situations. The discomfort in my mouth that night was calling for ibuprofen. In fact, it was screaming for it! But because I had the Propel treatment, neither ibuprofen nor aspirin were an option. Propel works because of the inflammatory response it creates in the jaw, and any product designed to reduce inflammation was not advised for three months. So, I popped a couple acetaminophens. That did nothing! So, I took half a pain pill left over from a prior invasive surgery. That worked! Fortunately, I only needed to do that a few times as I adjusted to the discomfort.
Staining My Aligners Yellow
The next days were spent getting used to wearing Invisalign. A friend had warned me not to eat curry with Invisalign on, because the aligners would get stained yellow. What did I do on my second day? I went to an Oktoberfest celebration and ate French fries with mustard. Unfortunately, the ingredient that makes curry yellow also makes mustard yellow, and that’s turmeric! So right off the bat, I had yellow-stained “clear” liners.
Why was I eating with my liners in the first place? There were two reasons. My dentist told me that eating with them could actually help push my teeth into their proper position. Secondly, taking them out in a public bathroom was still new to me, so I opted to eat my fries with the liners in place. But from that point forward, I had to look ahead with anticipation to changing out my stained aligners with new ones. So I spent eight of my first ten Invisalign days with “yellow” teeth.
Orthodontic Procedures Can Be Difficult, Even With Invisalign
The next several days were rough. I wish I could say it didn’t hurt, but I won’t lie. My teeth were sore. I wish I could say the aligners were easy to get off and on, but removing Invisalign in the privacy of my own bathroom was difficult. Dealing with them in a public bathroom was a whole other matter.
Speaking Positively About Invisalign
Fortunately, the thing I worried about most was never an issue for me. Although I was certain it would take a long time to talk normally with Invisalign, (I really feared having a lisp), I never actually experienced any speech problems. The upper and lower aligners fit so snugly against my teeth that there has been no break-in period for speaking clearly.
Advice for Beginning Invisalign
If you are brand new to wearing Invisalign aligners, and they hurt and it seems awkward and all you want to do is give up, just keep wearing them! Keep it up, because although Invisalign is not “instant magic,” your teeth soon move in the right direction and it all becomes worth it. Stay tuned for my continued adventures and mishaps and learn the real Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to being a successful Invisalign patient.