Invisalign update: my mom gets her aligners

My most recent appointment in my Invisalign journey was on July 22nd. It was my appointment to receive my first set of aligners. I was excited and a little nervous about this appointment. What if the aligners would not fit my mouth? What if the doctor decided I was too difficult to fit or improve? (I know my teeth are more crooked than most, and my doctor described my case as a challenge.) What if I couldn’t get them in and out? What if they hurt my mouth too much? All those things went through my mind as I drove to the office.

As always, the office was pleasant and welcoming when I arrived. I was called back to the lab within 15 minutes of my arrival. When I went back to the lab and sat in the chair, a tech came to me with a box containing my first pair of aligners. She explained that I was receiving just my first two aligners that day. I wear them for two weeks each. In one month I would return to receive the other aligners, have my progress checked, and have some kind of "grips" attached to most of my teeth. Those are to help keep the aligners as tight as possible, since there is much movement needed in order to straighten my teeth.

She helped me put in my first set of aligners. She also had me remove them and put them back in. In her words, "We don’t want a customer going home with the aligners in their mouth and then calling us to say they can’t get them out to eat!" The practice of removing and placing the aligners was very helpful.

The last thing the tech told me was to take a pain reliever as needed because my mouth would hurt for a day or two. I was thinking, " These don’t hurt at all! How silly to take Tylenol." I’d forgotten that I took my migraine pain pills before leaving home, just in case I had to lean back in a dental chair; leaning back too far will bring on a migraine. When the migraine pill wore off 4 hours later, I could feel the slight ache in my mouth and understood why she told all patients to take a pain reliever.

Still, I have not felt the need to take any pain medication for the aligners. I find that my mouth aches only when I take out the aligners and start chewing food. My mouth also aches slightly for the first 10 minutes I put the aligners back in. Most of the time, I don’t really notice them anymore. For the first two days, I felt a few small sore spots on my gums or inner lips where the aligner was rubbing a spot. That only lasted about 4 days.

Putting in the alingers and taking them out are a bit of a challenge for me. They are very tight and my mouth is very small for putting fingers in all the way to my molars. But I’ve managed and it is getting easier as time goes on. The aligners feer less tight after a week. However . . . I will put in new aligners in 7 days and they will be very tight again. That is the point: keep those aligners moving the teeth!