An Inside View

I thought I would share a couple of thoughts on this late evening.

When I began this process on 03rd November as I recall, I was extremely diligent. I would aim to wear my trays for the maximum possible duration, leaving them out only for eating. Alas, you soon realise that this cannot and does not last! Familiarity breeds contempt as they say and, in my case at least, I have had some pretty resentful days with my trays being in, out, in, out, in….yawn (you get the picture?).

But I realised that this situation isn’t at all so bad. Let me reassure any of you out there either considering this course of treatment or going through it like me that the dedication you believe to be necessary at the start is not really so. Certainly, you will need to wear the trays throughout the day but I can tell you that my trays can sit out for quite long periods for no apparent reason. An hour here or there just because….well, I feel like it. Dinner out means trays out for three-to-four hours – again, no problem! By the morning all feels and looks normal. The tracking between trays seems fine too and each new tray goes in with little difficulty (maybe a single days bedding in time but that’s all!)

And then there’s the cleaning regime. Like before, at the outset cleaning was regimented and thorough. Straight away, after every meal. Flossing too most times. But now, it can sometimes be a very quick brush over (no toothpaste) and trays back in. That way I get to snack more which is altogether more normal than the three meals a day when you begin. I’d say my teeth get at least a three to four thorough cleans with toothpaste every day now. I’m just not doing eight times anymore – again, there have been no problems and no, I’m not in the least bit worried of all my teeth falling out from decay! The longest period between proper cleans is only a few hours.

So there you have it folks – I guess that Invisalign (and your dentist) will cover themselves against all known claims by giving you chapter and verse in how to use the system but it really can be quite flexible which ultimately is testament to its brilliance! Bye for now!


Day 122 of 156….Tray 14

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Time is rolling by! Tray 14 now. Not much to report other than to reiterate some earlier themes. One observation – Before you start this process your expectations will be fairly reasonable. You want straight teeth, maybe a shade or … Continue reading

I Need a Moan!

Ok, I need a moan and swear!!

*** *** Invisalign you annoying ***** things!

Some of you may recall that I struggled with clencing in the early stages of my treatment. Well it’s sort of returned of late but I’ve been managing to cope OK. I think I just get on with things in a resigned sort of way these days. But the other day, while my teeth and braces were having a momentary clenching battle, the bottom set of aligners sort of skidded off the top set and…arrgh!! – straight through my tongue! Proper pain! On coming around from the shock my trays filled up with blood like a boxer’s gum shield followed by the customanry spit in to the sink. WOWZERS!

So, Seconds out….round two earlier today – once again straight through my unhealed tongue! I could have passed out but beat the count and stayed on my feet.

Seconds out, round three. 15 minutes ago I was floored again! As I type I am am really struggling but somehow getting this down is my kind of short term therapy to take my mind of the big sting!

Problem is I can’t throw the towel in – I have to keep suffering! This is not plain sailing folks!!

Day 103 of 156….Tray 12

Tray 12…and counting I tell you.

I think I am getting less impressed as I close in on the first stop date, which is scheduled for the 28th March.

I’ve just started tray 12 and while my teeth are a wholesale improvement they are some way off my Hollywood smile. Fisrt, I am disappointed that my teeth will not go any lighter / whiter. They seem stuck at a tad under the shade of my crown, which is OK, just not where I had hoped they would be. I think my teeth are the type that will not whiten that well. The colour is important because come the 28th March I will be getting a new crown and I need to have my teeth settled on a shade I know I can mainatin moving forward otherwise the crown will always look odd and a Simon Cowell set of veneers will be the only way forward (Noooo! I hear you all cry!)

Second, looking back at my clincheck, there seem to be some rear molars that are not scheduled to move and I fear these will have to move out during refinements to get a broader smile. This could take a while!

Third, generally, now that my teeth have been revealed for the first proper time in my life, the overall shape is a tad irregular. I will discuss this with Paul and apparently he can do some contouring to imporove this. The third canines need some refinement too from the original filling work that was done.

So all in all things are OK but I fear I’m only about half way to be honest. Coming up is an appointment on 28th March for a temp crown, impressions and some contouring work, then a revisit on the 11th April for my new crown, then more impressions followed by a four week wait for refinements to arrive. Then a course of refinements which could be anything from 1-10 more trays (yawn!)

We’ll see!

Day 78 of 156…half way!

Wow – half way. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun. It also flies when you’re not, at least it does when you’re in Invisalign treatment! (It’s not that bad really!)

I really can’t believe that I’m half way through – on original estimates anyhow. I mustn’t forget that there will be some delay at the end for both my new crown and the refinements which may add up to another three more months or so. By then though I’ll have pretty good teeth and be smiling in abundance so who cares!! As I’ve always said it’s all good.

So how have things been you ask? Since I last updated the teeth have moved considerably and from all angles. The pain has been ok. A little than others on a few trays but in general, surprisingly good. There is some tooth wobble(!) which is still disconcerting but normal I’m told! The annoyance is still pretty high and I do get fed up with them from time to time (daily actually!). My compliance has leveled off at a fairly regular 20 hours per day with lots of short breaks for snacks, tea and restbite. There are moments, usually mid afternoon when they drive me absolute nuts! I simply have to remove for a good 20 mins and reset things – mentally too. (Sorry to my Doc – I just can’t manage the 22 hours I was getting at the beginning! Although having said that the trays fit well enough each time with little fuss so it seems the teeth are getting long enough (I hope!)) One thing is for sure and that is I am living every moment with Invisalign – no fire and forget here!

I’ve been back to see Paul today for my first proper appointmernt since starting the treatment. As ever Paul was on-time and ready for me. Always the Pro! He said he was pleased with the way my teeth were tracking and everything was going great. So on course which was a relief. You hear all sorts of stories about mid-term corrections. He then did some work to change my two grey filings on my lower arch to white ones – yeah! No more grey filings for me….well almost! In the end Paul decided to remove a small top section only and cover with porcelain but the result has left some grey still so I’ll have to discuss further and maybe go again? – we’ll see. It’s no problem though. I’m told that the white fillings are just as durable these days so, other than cost, there is no reason not to have them wouldn’t you say?

I’ve continued with the whitening and my teeth have whitened by a shade or two but the results are nothing to write home about. My teeth have caught up with the colour of my crown, which was set when I was aged 22 so I’ve managed to reverse a few years, lose some yellowing and get a fairly consisitent colour. They look fine TBH although I had hoped they would go a tad whiter than the crown so that I could change the crown to match at the end. Sadly not, but I’m not too bothered. You also have to be careful not to over-do the cosmetics with this type of work. Straightening, bleaching, contouring, filing and filling – there’s always a danger of ending up with the all-American, Simon Cowell (is that a contradiction?) look which I think looks stupid personally and is certainly not a goal of mine.

Onwards then, and all downhill from here as they say. Tray number 10 in a few days time. New crown by the 11th April and refinements to follow – Zipping along! I’m pretty happy all things considered. Pictures to follow.

Till next time.

Day 36 of 156…tray 5 (25% complete)

Time has rolled on and it’s time for tray 5, which is a quarter of the way there! Gone quickly I think. (Pictures of tray 6 though as I couldn’t be bothered with a new post!)

Things are OK in general. Not brilliant but OK. That might be as good as it ever gets. Having plastic in your mouth 24/7 is not particularly fun. Tray 3 was really annoying as was tray 4. My compliance went down the pan as I was constantly removing the aligners to re-seat. I lost at least an hour each day fiddling about so I’m probably down to 20-21 hours per day (which is still OK…just!) My clenching has returned somewhat too which is not good. I put it down to the fact that now the initial euphoria of getting started has passed, I am into the tiresome routine that is Invisalign. Only at this stage there is very little (if anything) to show for it. No noticeable tooth movement – just toothache for the first four days out of every ten. Come on teeth! If all things are equal aren’t you supposed to have moved at least 25% of the way by now?Things seem slow to say the least.

On a slightly different topic, I am a keen participant in sport and exercise regularly. Initially, I was a tad concerned they would interfere with my exercise regimes but so far so good. Running 10km is do-able. My mouth gets a little dry and if running any further I would have to think of a different strategy but otherwise, OK. You just have to remember more water when you stop. Swimming is fine though – plenty there to keep swilling with! That’s the thing with Invisalign – you’re always having to remember something. It does change your lifestyle. Thank goodness it’s only for 5 months. Hats off to all you guys that can do it for 12-18 months (or more in some cases!)

So my summary to date: Seems I can live with them and I don’t hate them….but no (!) I definitely don’t love them!

Moving off-topic again, I have read that Invisalign is good for dieters. There are numerous accounts from people (mainly women) losing uber pounds from not snacking throughout the day. A win-win for them at least! I, on the other hand, have put four pounds ON! WHAT! Seriously annoying! In my case, I find that when I do remove the trays for meals, I gorge like there’s no tomorrow, stuffing my face with all manner of things. I go sweet to savoury to sweet and back to savoury with the strangest of combos. I can come in from my day and before dinner / supper (which is probably only an hour or two away) I can easily scoff some decent proportions of breakfast cereal, chocolate, biscuits, bananas and peanuts. In fact anything so long as it’s food! Well, life would be boring if we were all the same.

Day 11 of 156…tray two

If you’re wondering why my target has fallen from 170 days to 156, I emailed my ortho on Friday to report that the tray 1 was getting looser and seemed to have done its job. I was advised that change of trays can be initiated anytime between days 8 to 10 depending on whether the trays begin to feel passive, which mine certainly did. So, I have calculated my total time based on nine-day cycles, instead of the original ten, throwing in a few extra days for good measure….so now my target is 156 days(!) of which I have now served eleven. Fab!

I know many of you out there will be on anything between 10-14 day change cycles. I think you just have to trust your ortho and ask questions of him if you’re unsure. I know Paul is considered one of the (if not THE!) leading practitioner of Invisalign in the UK and does 000’s of cases. I trust his judgment implicitly. He also told me that the 14 days is often factored in by orthos due to periods of likely non-compliance. He was not concerned for me as I am a super-compliant 22 hours/per day patient! (…so far anyhow!)

So how about my progress….

I changed my trays yesterday but did so before going to bed, so almost two days ago now. One word comes to mind (well two actually but only one is printable)…….*&@**”  TIGHT!!! Get it? Wow, these things are so much tighter than tray 1, almost as if the lab was easing you in gently! Yesterday was pretty painful and I needed a couple of doses of Ibuprofen to get through. Removal and replacement was hellish. The teeth seemed painful and tender. Eating hurts on day 1 that’s for sure. Getting the trays back in hurts too but once in, as before, things settle down. I’m pleased to say that today (day 2) things are better although there is still discomfort. By day 4 things will be fine I’m sure. I can’t say I have noticed any real difference as yet. Even flossing is just as hard as before. Too early, I sense.

The whitening is coming along. I have done about 7 sessions now and there is a noticeable difference although by no means significant. Some people’s teeth respond better than others and maybe mine just don’t respond that well to this type of product? My ortho says that everyone comments in the the same way as we forget what colour they were to start with (which makes sense I suppose). Anyhow, I have posted some update pictures here so take a look for yourself.

Bye for now!


Day 5 of 170…whitening!

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Hi Folks, I thought I would give you a brief update on my Invisalign treatment. Things have settled down loads since days 1/2. Tolerance has increased tenfold. I wouldn’t say that the trays feel normal in my mouth (perhaps they … Continue reading


Day 2 of 170…on my way!

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…I awoke this morning to my new (albeit temporary) life with braces. I actually kept them in this morning until the very last minute when I needed to eat my breakfast. They were not too bad after a nights sleep. … Continue reading


Day 1 of 170…on your marks!

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I’ve been back to Paul today for the inaugural fitting of my first trays. Ooo, the excitement! My first concern is whether I’ll actually make it. Last time I had an unfortunate encounter with the RAC (it all ended well … Continue reading