Invisalign: Don’t get bit

By  | February 14, 2015 |  Comments | Filed under: Body & Beauty

I want good teeth. Maybe you want world peace or vegan dogs that don’t taste like gasoline. Wait, I want those things too, but first, I want awesome teeth.

Let’s not get crazy and go for Chiclets or Joe Biden levels of teeth stardom. I just want normal ones that don’t stack against each other like loose books. Once I got a tooth got knocked out when I was a kid, so I kind of looked like Alfred E. Newman for awhile. Maybe I have some kind of deep complex that can only be solved with a beer spa. Instead, I chose Invisalign.

If you’re thinking about going the Invisalign route, let me save you some surprises. You probably know by now that Invisalign starts with impressions of your teeth. They administer a shovel full of goop in your mouth which sets in a  few seconds. If you lack much of a gag reflex like me, [dirty joke/too lazy] it’s not so bad. Then you get series of plastic trays that look like clear dentures. You swap them out every two weeks until you have the teeth you want. Hint: Invisalign ain’t magic.

Things you need to know about Invisalign before you start:

#1. There are THREE price points to Invisalign, so don’t get suckered into thinking there are only two.

The day my dentist snapped the first Invisalign tray into my mouth wasn’t the greatest day of my life. I didn’t know it yet from the comfort of the dental chair, gazing into the ET-shaped lamp hovering over my mouth, but things were about to crash for my family.

That night, as I sank into the couch, feeling sorry for myself and my aching jaw, my husband walked in the door to tell me he was out of a job. We were also freshly out $3,800 for the Invisalign, a detail I didn’t feel like mentioning about my day. It was six weeks before Christmas and it was about to snow. Wah.

Now that I’ve painted myself as Tiny Tim, you can stop feeling sorry for me because my husband got a new job immediately. Yay! Wait. It was 2,000 miles away in L.A.  The good news was I left Chicago right before a raging blizzard, the bad news was my teeth were still wonky on my last Invisalign tray and now I suddenly lived in a place where not having veneers is like not wearing pants.

In an ideal world, my dentist could have done refinements or I could have gotten a new dentist to take over the refinements. Instead, I got suckered.

To make a long story very short, I ended up finding out through a new dentist (who contacted Invisalign on my behalf) that my Chicago dentist has signed me up for an “Express Five” package, charged me for the 10-tray package and pocked the difference. I could have written a Yelp and named this crappy Chicago dentist by name, but I’m just not into Google retribution.

I’ll spare you the shit storm that ensued, but just be aware. Invasalign has a cheap package, a 10-tray package for around $3800 and an 11+ tray package for more severe cases and you CAN switch dentists in the middle of treatment if the one you start with deserves poop mail.

Lesson: Don’t get suckered into the wrong package

#2. The first tray hurts!

It hurts so good because you know something is happening, but still.

You know how you can’t decide if your hangovers are worse after 30 or if they were always that bad but you didn’t notice because you used to sleep on a futon and wear five-inch-heels until dawn? Maybe nothing was comfortable back then, so your hangovers just didn’t stand out. Logic! That was my debate the first night I got my Invisalign. My previous foray into orthodontics had ended in 9th grade so my memories are fuzzy if braces hurt as bad as these new barnacles vice-gripping my jaw.

The good news is Invisalign is only painful for a few days of your treatment package. I’m probably totally making this up, but it seems like once your teeth start moving, they get some kind of momentum and just go with the flow for the subsequent trays. Or maybe my teeth got Stockholm Syndrome.

Lesson: Take Ibuprofen before putting in your first tray.

#3. Wear the suckers.

Paying for Invisalign and not wearing the trays is like all those times you bought gym equipment and then it sat in your garage. I almost like the idea of braces better because you can’t take them out “just for awhile” or lose them for 12 hours while you’re cleaning or forget to put them in after you drank a bottle of wine. If you don’t think you’ll wear them, and trust me, they are annoying as f*ck, then don’t bother.

#4. No, you may not sneak a sip of tea with them in.

They will turn brown and you will look like you are wearing reverse-Photoshop on your face until its time to graduate to the next tray. I very stupidly drank a green smoothie with my Invisalign in once and looked like a gremlin for two days. No, they do not wash out.

Lesson: Don’t be me, people.  

If you have money to burn, a high pain tolerance, will stick with something annoying and not do dumb things, Invisalign might make your teeth look okay. Proceed!

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 1.34.03 PM

This is the look I’m going for.


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