Another two months have passed since my previous Invisalign update. We went back to our dentist for our first 12-week check up in early September, stayed at a hotel for three nights for my CPA exam and started our 16th Invisalign tray several days ago.
Things progressed in the way they should according to our dentists. Eric rarely had any discomfort while I had several minor headaches when I put a new tray in.
Our 12-Week Check-Up At The Dentist
At our last Invisalign appointment (appointment #3), we were only provided with 12 trays. The reason being we were supposed to come back at the end of our last tray. Since our dentist is an hour drive away from us, Eric had to make sure he can take the morning off work to make the appointment work (I was on study leave). As a result, our appointment didn’t line up perfectly with our trays so both Eric and I wore our 12th tray longer than a week.
Eric and I had our back-to-back appointments with our dentist. For some reasons, I thought it was going to be a longer appointment than what it ended up being. All our dentist did was put our new tray (13th) in to see if it fit. If it didn’t, it would mean that our teeth weren’t moving the way they were supposed to. So, I guess a short appointment meant good news!
Before we left, we also scheduled our next appointment after another 12 trays. For Eric, since his treatment is only 26-week long, it means he would be almost done then. My treatment is 50 + 20 weeks (I believe the 20 weeks are what they call the refinement period) so I will be 1/3 of the way done.
I Wore My Tray Longer Than A Week To Line Up With My Exam
Before I even started my first Invisalign tray, I knew I had to make sure I will not be in pain during my 3-day exam in September. My exams were 4 to 5 hours long each day so I wanted to be in the best physical state. Even though I haven’t experienced any pain caused by my tray, I still got minor headaches whenever I put in a new tray. So, to minimize any potential discomfort, I made sure the tray I will be wearing during those three days would be an ‘old’ tray. From my experience so far, the soreness (if any) usually disappeared by the third or fourth day when the minor headache would only last half a day. By making sure my tray would be worn for at least 4 days before my exam ensured no soreness or headache. At the end, my plan worked (but I got cramps, opps)!
Traveling Is Going to Be A Little Bit Inconvenient With Invisalign
Normally, the most common time we ate out would be right after work. We would take off our trays just before we ate and put them back on when we get home. Since we rarely stay out after dinner, our routine was predictable: head out for dinner, come home, floss, brush & shower before putting our trays back on.
For my exam, Eric and I stayed at a hotel for three-night. Even though it wasn’t an actual vacation, we still treated it sort of like one. We ate out and walked around for a little bit before we called it a night. The change in our schedule messed up our regular routine. Until then, there was no need for us to floss and brush our teeth outside (e.g., at a restaurant). However, our mini staycation got me thinking that if we were to travel as we normally would (e.g., leave the hotel in the morning and return at night), we must floss and brush out teeth outside.
I also thought about the inconvenience of taking our trays off multiple times a day if we travel somewhere where we would dine in and snack multiple times a day (e.g., Japan).
This made me thankful for starting Invisalign during the year when we didn’t plan on travelling because of COVID and my exam (I almost used up all my vacation).
I Continued to Drink Non-Black Coffee Which Stained My Tray & Teeth
I am not supposed to drink anything but water with my trays in. In the beginning, I tried to switch to black coffee which contained no sugar (because dairy does). I drank black coffee for a couple of years before switching back to coffee with non-dairy creamer (oat milk is my current go-to) few years ago. That did not last long as I missed creamer in my coffee too much. I also enjoyed sipping my coffee for hours so I simply failed at giving that up.
The staining of the tray didn’t really bother me as I switched them weekly. I have noticed the increased staining of my teeth from drinking coffee with my Invisalign tray on (because it sort of acted like a trap). I asked the dental hygienist at my last check-up whether I can get whitening done and she recommended waiting till my Invisalign journey is over.
Overall, Invisalign is still a relatively hassle-free and pain-free experience for us. Do I miss drinking and eating whenever I want without worrying about when I can floss and brush? Yes. However, I think it will be worth the effort in exchange for a nice set of teeth and a proper bite (since we had bite issues). I am also very thankful for my insurance covering almost half of it because it is really expensive (~$6000 CAD for each of us).