I hate my teeth. It started in middle school. I was playing softball with my girl scout troupe and I was at bat. The pitch seemed to be “on the inside” and I was so proud of myself for not flinching. So I stood, waiting for it to be called a ball… but that’s not what happened. The ball actually hit the bat, just above my hands and ricocheted into my mouth. Just like a movie, something felt immediately “bad” and I spit out a tooth. It actually knocked out my eyetooth. My mom and I both thought that it was an adult tooth and it was gone forever and we had really bad/no dental insurance, so I didn’t go to the dentist. Fast forward almost 4 years and the tooth started coming in, but since it had been so long, the other teeth had been moving forward and closed up most of the gap so that tooth started growing in over the other teeth. I talked to the dentist and asked if they’d pull it but was told by many dentists over the years that the eyetooth is important and they’d pull a tooth behind it and then put me in braces and move the rogue tooth into place. Yeah.. still no dental insurance and it wasn’t going to be cheap.
Fast forward about 35 years and I recently lost the tooth they said they’d need to pull to get my eyetooth back in position. On top of that.. over the years a lot of my teeth have shifted and they’re crowded and overlapping but I still have really crappy dental insurance.
This is where smiledirectclub comes in. After seeing a lot of ads, I signed up. I made my appointment at a Smile Shop and got my scan done (one of many promotions they run, the scan was free and they gave me a teeth whitening kit). From there, they notified me that a dentist had reviewed my scans, that my aligners were being designed, then crafted, polished and finally shipped. The box arrived!!
One thing that’s really cool is that on my smiledirectclub dashboard, they have a video of how my smile is going to change over the length of my aligner journal. I’m excited.
Thanksgiving evening, I opened the box, read all the instructions, and put in my first pair of aligners. I won’t lie, it was hard to get them in at first.. they were pretty tight. They rubbed in a few places. The instructions said I could use a simple nail file to help. I did.. it’s surprising how little filing makes the difference between discomfort and comfort.. so if you get aligners and you want to file them.. DON’T go crazy filing away for 5 minutes LOL… file a little.. try them on.. file a little more if necessary. The instructions do say that should cover some of your gums… it really does need to grip something and if you file them down too much.. you’re going to have a hard time getting them out.. and probably keeping them effective. I didn’t have any trouble sleeping in them, but honestly, having something in your mouth is weird and my mouth was watering. I was sure I was going to drool in my sleep. I didn’t 🙂
After a couple of days, they’re getting looser. They go in and out really easily now. And a week later, it’s time to put in the next pair. I’ve been counting down the days, but I also get text and email reminders. The next pair is REALLY tight. I had a hard time getting them in, but I did it. I wore them all night and the next morning they were really hard to get out, so I used the aligner removal thingamabob to help for the first time. After about a day and a half, they’re coming out much easier now. I only take them out 4 times a day.. in the morning to brush my teeth and 3 meals a day (where I also brush my teeth and floss as much as I can). I did soak the first pair in vinegar and baking soda, but I invested in some invisaligner safe retainer cleaning. Even though I wash and brush them every time I remove them, it’s still good to give them a good cleaning. You can easily do this while you’re eating.
The 3rd pair of aligners is worn for 2 weeks. This pair fit beautifully right out of the package. I wish they all fit like this pair. Overall, the fit does change from pair to pair. Trim and file them when necessary for comfort.
They are effectively braces. They will be uncomfortable at times. Especially the first couple of days of a new pair.
I had read a LOT of reviews before signing up and one of the biggest complaints was broken aligners. I never had any issues with any of mine. Every pair seemed very durable. When they were really tight it felt like my teeth would break before the aligner would LOL I didn’t break any teeth either)
Month 2: Definitely a little more movement
My teeth are by no means “perfect” but, I did wait over 30 years to straighten them so they’re worn down very unevenly. Overall, I am very happy with the result and I wish I had done it long ago.