My Invisalign Journey : Six Month Update

Carol Dunlop, a patient of Atlanta dentist Dr. Brenda Paulen, updates her personal Invisalign treatment:

I really can’t believe it’s been 6 months since I got my Invisalign installed! When I went in for my last appointment, Karen, the office manager, said that she could actually see a difference. I was thrilled. To tell the truth, I thought I could see changes myself, but it’s hard to tell. Even if I look in the mirror and try to turn sideways, I really can’t see well enough. Just imagine me trying to look in the mirror sideways is bringing a smile to your face I know. But you would do the same thing if you were in my position.

Here is a comparison photo, what do you think? Remember when I first got them put in, I couldn’t even close my mouth. That was pretty strange, but gradually, that is changing.

I digress; anyway, I told Dr. Paulen that I’m really “noticing” the Invisalign aligner trays now. There were always slightly noticeable, but since she shortened the amount of time between changing them out from 14 days to 10 days, its’ like I could really, really tell that they are there. I did that for about a month, but then she became concerned and upped me to 12 days between changes. I’ll have to let you know how that goes.
What I meant by noticing them is that my gums were becoming sore and that wasn’t happening before. But it should be better now that the timing is stretched out a bit.

My Chewing seemed Off

I also told Dr. Paulen and Terrance that when I chew, my teeth feel funny. Sort of like they are just missing meeting together when I bite down. Terrance informed me that they had to add a piece to help my teeth be able to move into place better. He explains it in this video.

Great Check up!

Although I had a little issue with chewing, my visit with Jasmin, the hygienist, proved to be very exhilarating because I got a Thumbs up for doing my flossing and brushing homework. I floss every day, sometimes ad much as 3 times, as I said in my last update because I want to keep food particles from getting in between my teeth and my aligner trays.
But also because I have been wearing Invisalign and my teeth have actually been moving. She said that the cleaning was much easier.

A Little Scolding

Everything was going really well… until I had a little chat with Dr. Paulen. She was concerned about seeing me out and about and I didn’t have in my Invisalign.

Ok allow me to explain: I think over the last couple months I have seen Dr. Paulen out socially 3 or 4 times. And she always catches me either when I have JUST removed my Invisalign braces or as I am walking into an event without them on. This is how I see it, if I am going to an event where I am going to be eating and drinking most of the night, I don’t wear them because it is just too much to take them in and out, in and out. And especially if my husband is there and I try to sneak and do it, he hates that! LOL. The other thing is once I am at a meeting where we will be eating, but not at the beginning of it, I will keep the aligner trays in until the last moment, then excuse myself and take them out. When I tell you she is like a Ninja waiting for me to appear without them….Well, let’s just say in each instance there she was. But I honestly do wear them the recommended time, 22 hours a day, the rest of the time. It’s just those few times that she happened to be there. Isn’t that always the way?

So now that we have that out in the open, I can continue on my journey. Everything that you really want involves compromise, commitment and sacrifice. I decided to go on this journey because I wanted beautiful, straight teeth—which is something that I’ve never had. I‘ve watched other people and really and truly envied their beautiful smile, which showcased those awesome, straight teeth and now I’m getting some of my own.

Most of the time it’s pretty exciting, like when Jasmin says I’m doing great and to keep up the good work. And when someone I haven’t seen in a month or so notices the difference in the way my smile looks, its all worth it.

The hard part comes in when you have to remember to put the aligner trays back in after you eat or having to sneak away at an event to take them out so you can eat. It’s really a conscious decision to take them out, keep your mouth clean and put them back in consistently. But now that I’m half-way through the journey, I know I can continue on to the end. I know it will be worth it.

Until the next update….