The first few days on Invisalign

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Getting Invisalign is life-changing in two ways.

First, there’s the permanent effect of having a more beautiful smile, although that comes after the treatment is done.

What’s more immediately life-changing is the fact that you’ll have to make a few adjustments to your lifestyle while undergoing treatment.

Before I begin to share my experience, here are two things I need to introduce:

Attachments. These are tiny tooth-coloured blocks bonded onto the teeth at the start of the treatment. They provide the grip for aligners to move the teeth.

 

Attachments

 

Aligners are the invisible braces in the Invisalign treatment.

 

Invisalign

 

These two things are going to live with me for the next one year (maybe nine months if I’m very diligent) and I have to adapt my life around them.

 

Now, my initial experience.

 

Day 1

I spent more than an hour at the clinic having the attachments glued to my teeth and then going through a practical session learning how to wear and remove the aligners.

When it was all done, my mouth felt distressed with all the extra guests in the house. It felt strange and uncomfortable. And I worried about taking the aligners off on my own when I had to eat next.

The first thing I did was look in the mirror and smile. I was really surprised at how inconspicuous it was. No one would be able to tell I was wearing anything in my mouth unless they were like 10 inches from my face and studying my teeth whenever I smiled too widely.

 

Invisalign
The amazing invisibility of Invisalign

 

I couldn’t stop salivating. Dr Poon said that was going to last a few days. She also gave me three strong painkillers, each supposed to work an entire day. She said the tightness would hurt four hours later.

So I went home and braced myself. When it was dinner time, I sat in front of the mirror and started picking at my aligners. You can’t possibly imagine how tough it is to remove them until you’ve tried it yourself. I certainly wasn’t prepared for it to be that tough even though Dr Poon had repeatedly warned me about it.

“Don’t get a manicure,” she said, “You will definitely break your nails.”

She also said it would take about 10 minutes to remove it in the beginning.

She was almost right. I took eight minutes and broke one nail and almost got into a panic when one side came out and the other side refused to, so it was just dangling halfway in and out.

They are definitely not like dentures, which you can pull in and out as you please. They have a life of their own and will cling on for dear life.

I trimmed my nails shorter after that and told myself I was just going to have one meal a day for the rest of the year.

 

Short nails

 

Eating was a task. The attachments made me feel like I constantly had food stuck in front of my teeth. The inside of my left cheek had gotten swollen and I kept biting it when eating, causing it to bleed a bit.

The clinic had anticipated that. They had given me ulcer cream.

Later in the night, it still didn’t hurt or feel the slightest bit tight. I just felt uncomfortable and my jaws felt tired from not being able to close my teeth together fully.

 

Day 2

I woke up the next day and still didn’t feel any pain like I was expecting to. Worried that it wasn’t working as it should be and I might be wearing the aligners for nothing, I rang up the clinic to ask. They said it’s normal.

I had my first meal of the day in the early afternoon. This time, it only took me three minutes to remove the aligners. What an achievement. A few teeth hurt in the process because the aligners pushed against them quite forcefully as they were being yanked out.

At this point of time, I think the teeth are beginning to become sensitive from having started their journey to their newly assigned place in life.

I ate quickly and put the aligners back on. Teeth and gums hurt when snapping the aligners on. Really hurt. So I took a painkiller (which had a mildly drowsy effect) and then went to sleep for eight hours, waking up at midnight.

Sleeping was a luxury because then I didn’t need to feel the discomfort. I didn’t like the feeling of my teeth being trapped in a case. My gums itched all over. My jaws were still tired. I was swallowing saliva every five seconds. My ulcers were annoying me.

The only thing I expected to have which I didn’t actually have was pain. I guess the painkiller took care of that.

 

Getting Invisalign

 

Day 3

My jaws stopped feeling tired, having acclimatised to their new position. The aligners felt slightly thinner (this is purely psychological, as the body adapts). There was only very slight pain whenever I removed the aligners, and a stronger pain when I snapped them back on, but at a level at which I didn’t even consider taking a painkiller. The pain would go away very quickly on its own.

The only thing that bugged me were itchy gums and saliva. My gums drove me crazy and I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I just sat there and swallowed saliva most of the day, tried to dissociate myself from my gums.

I ate two meals.

The first meal, I still kept biting that swollen bit in my cheek, so I chose to eat ice cream for my second meal.

Ice cream is great. It numbs the itchy gums, doesn’t require any painful chewing, fills you up and is delicious!

 

Sheylara
Wearing Invisalign.

 

Day 4

That’s today. I’m beginning to believe that I can eventually get used to this. The aligners feel even thinner today, my gums itch less and saliva production is almost at a normal level. The pain of removing and putting on the aligners is insignificant and I only bit the swollen cheek once today.

It takes only a minute for me to remove the aligners now, although I still hate doing it and try to put off eating as long as I possibly can. I also still don’t like the feeling of the attachments in front of my teeth while eating.

But, looking forward, what’s going to be challenging is caring for my teeth and aligners when eating out. I’d have to remove them and put them on in a public restroom. I’d have to brush my teeth in public. And I’d have to take care not to have too long meals so that I won’t have to have the aligners out for two long.

The recommend duration of wearing them is 20-22 hours a day, so that means you can spend two to four hours a day eating and cleaning your teeth. You have to brush your teeth each time before putting the aligners back on.

The best thing about all this is that I’m going to be healthier. Sure, I’ll become skinnier than I can technically afford to be, what with trying to eat as little as possible, but it does mean I’ll be healthier because I eat junk food most of the time, anyway, and my body can certainly do with less junk.

When doing Invisalign, you stop snacking because it’s just not worth going through the hassle of removing the aligners and brushing your teeth just for a little snack. Plus you want to wear them as long as possible every day so that your treatment can be over faster.

And that’s all good, right?

I’ve read online that many girls actually get Invisalign as a weight loss tool. Haha. I think it’s a really good deal. You get a slim figure and a beautiful smile at the end of your treatment.

For this, I have Neuglow Dental and Dr Poon to thank!

Neuglow Dental sponsors my Invisalign treatment and Dr Poon is my awesome orthodontist, very patient and kind, taking the time to explain everything properly.

 

Neuglow Dental

 

Dr Poon

 

Will do an Invisalign FAQ next time so ask now if you have any questions!

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36 thoughts on “The first few days on Invisalign

  1. how much is it?
    im thinking of getting bracers since i saw this im not
    sure which to get 。。。
    any idea wat r the pro and cons of both ??

  2. @Songtian: The cost varies greatly for different people, depending on how severe your case is, but the average is about 8K. Hmm, I’ll find out more about the pros and cons comparing traditional braces and mention it in my next post. :)

    @Addy: Oh yeah, forgot to mention that, lol. I did talk with a funny, bubbly lisp in the first three days, but right now, almost going back to normal I think. :P

  3. Your teeth look perfect…why are you using Invisalign? Was it recommended by your dentist for a reason?

  4. i’ve got a significant gap between 2 of my teeth at the side, and over the years (I don’t know if it’s coz of how I floss), my teeth seemed to have moved so that there is now a small gap between my 2 front teeth, which is very ugly! Is Invisalign possible for that?
    Lol, OK, u’re not an orthodontist but just trying my luck!

  5. @Numby: Go for a consultation! If you never do, you’ll always wonder. :P

    @Ospray: Yeah, I realise my teeth look okay from some angles. But my front teeth are really too big and jutting out at the side. And bottom teeth are a bit crooked. You can see better in the pictures here. :)

    @tstar: Oh, definitely. :) I’ve seen Dr Poon’s case photos where she’s closed gaps with Invisalign. :)

  6. not sure if you’ll still read this but anyway, is it possible to do it only for the top or bottom row of the teeth? this sounds weird but yeah D:

  7. Hi

    I just started invisalign and your first few days journal was great.
    I would like to know where you are at in the treatment and any other information or issues that happened along the way.
    Yes, the first four days were similar experience to yours.

  8. Thank you so much! I’m on my first day of the “invisalign journey” and i was freaked out about the gums pain. Also, i wanted to know if your tongue hurts when you talk? Because for me it is a bit uncomfortable! Thank you so much for your story! Really helps me to figure out of i’m crazy or not!

  9. Hi Kasandra,

    It does get easier as time goes by, so hang in there! I don’t remember about my tongue hurting . All I remember is that I got ulcers occasionally and that hurt, of course. There were also a few sets of aligners in the middle of the treatment that were painful when put on the first time, because they move the teeth a bit more, so it might be handy to keep some painkillers around. (But that was just me. I know people who didn’t experience that.)

    But mostly, looking back now, the most “horrible” thing about the whole process was the inconvenience of eating, especially when you’re outside. But the year or so will be over before you know it and then you’re done. Good luck with your treatment! :)

  10. hi,
    i actually just got invisalign almost two weeks ago but for my first tray i was never given attachments. My next visit is when i’m getting them on.. is there a reason for this?

  11. Hi Arthur, I’m not an orthodontist so I can’t say for sure, but I know that attachments are necessary to move teeth a certain way. Some people need more and some people need fewer. Also, I know people who do invisalign and never need to have attachments ever. So it could be that your first set don’t require attachments to move your teeth to a position that your treatment requires.

  12. I got my first tray of Invisalign about 3 hours ago. It was so easy and pain-free. The worst part was having him sand down the space between some teeth so they would have somewhere to to when they move. Other than that, I hope the rest of the treatment will be as easy and pain-free. But, my teeth sure do itch. I hope that goes away soon.

  13. Hi! Your article describes exactly how I feel. i’m on day 2 and it truly sucks. I actually went for a run with my dog just so I could forget about how uncomfortable my mouth feels. Your article gave me hope. i”m so glad i found your blog!

  14. Thank you for posting! I got invisalign yesterday and unfortunately my dentist is not quite as awesome as yours. He didn’t prepare me for discomfort in the least, so you can imagine my evening and morning with them. Bummer to put it lightly. I’ll check back to see your progress and what else I can expect.

    THANKS AGAIN :)

  15. Thanks so much for this info. I got Invisalign yesterday! My biggest thing is trying to ignore all this plastic in my mouth and I feel like my mouth and lies are dry! I was really shocked when the dentist shaved in between my teeth! I have barely eaten today as I am prolonging having to wrestle them from my mouth!

  16. I just found this blog. Thanks so much for all of your detailed info regarding the process. I just got my 1st set of trays today and OUCHIE my mouth hurts. I am salivating too so it’s good to know this is normal, LOL. My ortho did not offer pain killers but I sure wish he did b/c this really hurts (though he did tell me it was going to be painful). I am just taking Advil and hoping that the pain will subside in a few days.

  17. I recently got Invisalign. I’m glad I could relate to you so much. I’m so glad the pain only takes a few days to subside. This journal was amazing and very useful. I just wanted to scream ” I know!” when I was reading your journal.😄

  18. Hi,

    I just started wearing invisalign 4 days ago. the first teo days, It was really painful and talking has become an issue. Sores began to form but I soothed out the surfaces and invested on Wax! The pain has finally subsided to only when I take it off and on when eating (thats become a challenge too) but my main concern is the constant itching of my gums and urge to bite on my invisalign while wearing them. Is there any treatment or mouth wash I can do to help the itchy gums???? Please any advice I would appreciate! Btw did your lips go away after getting use to it or did you have exercises to help the process?

  19. This was really helpful. I just got Invisalign three days ago and my dentist definitely didn’t prepare me for anything. He never explained the pain or how to clean the aligners…all things that are very important to know.

    I’m on day three and I’m still having a lot of pain when I put the aligners on or take them off. Does that pain go away? I’ve heard from friends that the pain never goes away and that it becomes worse when you switch trays.

  20. Hi. Is anyone afraid that when you remove the aligners it would pull caps or bridges out? I am freaked out about this!!!! I am only on day three!

  21. I’m really glad you shared this! I see your post is from 2011- but it most certainly helps me today! I’m on my 2nd day of Invisalign treatment- and my gums itch terribly! It feels good to know I’m not the only one- AND that I’m actually snacking way less because it just isn’t worth it 😩 I have travel toothpaste floss brush kit that I carry now for all of my out in public moments. Thank you so much for sharing this!!

  22. I’m on day two and I have mouth sores where some of the attachments are. It hurts to talk. Ugh. Hoping this pain will go away soon.

  23. Thankyou so much for sharing – it has been really good to read. I am on day 2 and I am so fed up. I can hardly get the trays off and when I do it hurts so much and then hurts again when I put them back on – I had Ipr and those teeth are so sore and sensitive when I brush. I cannot eat as I am so sore and I have awful blisters, cuts and sores in my mouth. Fed up!! I keep telling myself the end result will be worth it xx

  24. I have just seen the comment above my previous one – Linda, you are about a month ahead of me judging by the date you posted – please help me feel more positive!! How long did the sores etc last and when were you able to eat normally?

    I have attachments on nearly all of my upper teeth and some of my lowers – maybe this makes it worse x

  25. Thank you for this blog. It gives me a little hope.. I am on my 3rd day and it still hurts when I take the aligners off for the meal break. It hurts for atleast 10 minutes. After I put them back on, it hurts for another 10 minutes. I am really hoping and praying hard that this pain subsides. It is getting very difficult to eat. But I am looking at the positive side. I have already cut down on my coffee intake.. lolz. Dont have the courage to take the aligners out and put them back on just for a coffee. On a different note, my gums dont hurt and have not been itchy right from the beginning..

  26. Hey there, I just got invisalign about four days ago. In an hour it will have been four days. But like you, I had the saliva issue too, and it is still far from normal! Do you think it will get better?

  27. @Leah: Don’t worry. I’m sure things will settle soon and you will sometimes even forget it’s there. I guess it’s diferent for everyone so it takes different lengths of time to get used to it!

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