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  • Writer's pictureNatasha

Starting My Invisalign Journey (Pt 1- The Beginning)

So I’ve finally got round to writing this nearly 7 months after starting my initial journey. And truth be told, I’m pretty terrified of the dentist, but here I am attending appointments every month...because this is adult life and here I am adulting. I’ll break it down into 2/3 parts- so if this is something you’re thinking about, interested in or just want to hear more about, I hope this has the answers you’re looking for.

So let’s backtrack to July 2020 (ish). I’ve always really disliked my smile and how it had changed from when I was a teenager. I had previously worn braces as a teen, and as a result of neglecting my retainer, my smile had completely changed.

At this point, I had begun researching Invisalign on and off for about 18 months. When the first lockdown hit, my stress levels were sky high and as a result, I had started grinding and clenching my teeth at night (sexy I know), and it was beginning to cause me migraines. I had begun reading about solutions in relation to this, and when a night guard popped up, I thought... hmm I wonder if I could kill 2 birds with 1 stone?

I began contacting various different dentists for advice- some by recommendation, some by research. I’m notorious for reading reviews and first hand experiences, so after doing my own internal vetting process (it’s that deep), it came down to two practices.

If I’m being honest, I didn’t go in looking for Invisalign, but I had wanted lingual braces, (which are fixed braces placed at the back of your teeth), because I wanted them to be as discreet as possible. Both dentists I contacted instantly explained why they don’t offer these, and why they aren’t as effective. As a big foodie, I wasn’t sure Invisalign would be for me, but I had nothing to lose from going to a consultation.

The level of service I had received from Dr Rhishi Patel was second to none, and I knew that Vogue Dental Care was the place to put my trust in. If you’re from Bedfordshire, you will no doubt know about Rhishi & Vogue Dental Care. It is a modern, welcoming and high quality dental practice.

Now like I said earlier, it’s an understatement to say I’m not a fan of the dentist. I had braces as a kid and the experience had semi scarred me. The fact that I was doing this out of my own free will, had my anxiety through the roof. In fact, if I’m keeping it real, my anxiety was so bad on the day of my 1st appointment, that whilst driving to the Practice, I actually called to cancel my appointment. When no one answered the call, I saw it as a sign and thankfully forced myself to go ahead.

Rhishi made me feel at ease straight away, explaining how Invisalign worked, and took into consideration my lifestyle, my vision and how my teeth affected my confidence. I felt really well informed and then we moved on to an examination and a scan of my smile.

To ensure you’re eligible for Invisalign, you will have x-rays and a small examination. I’m not sure why when I open my mouth, my brain instantly thinks, “Can he see into my soul,” (lol I’m an idiot I know), but the whole process was straight forward and pain free.

In addition, slyly, I think I’d been working myself up over those gross moulds that make you gag, (if you know, you know), and when I was told that they can now scan your teeth (yes to 2020 technology!), my brain was ALL kinds of thankful.

After seeing what my smile could look like, I was stopping everything within me from shouting “take my money,” there and then, and I knew that Invisalign was the way forward for me. It was discreet, allowed me the flexibility to remove them for the odd occasion, and would actually work really well whilst wfh, especially during the lockdown.

After being told I was eligible for the treatment, it was time to start weighing up the options. The thing I liked most from the get go, is that I didn’t feel pressured at any time to make a decision. I think I had about 3/4 appointments before officially signing the papers to start the process.

I always knew I’d need someone who is a perfectionist and knows their shit through and through, and Rhishi’s reviews, knowledge & a glimpse at his Insta page, tells you everything that you need to know. I honestly cannot recommend him enough.

There’s no hiding the fact that Invisalign is an investment, both financially and a lifestyle change, and it’s not one to take lightly. It’s a commitment and one that you have to be willing to work towards. I knew where my head was at, and I had no doubt that it was the right decision and time for me.

I had to wait a few weeks before receiving my first set of trays- typically you receive 4 weeks worth and then return to your dentist to receive your next four, and so on. It allows your dentist to check on the movement and the fit of your aligners.

During the wait, I was researching and watching as many videos as I could, on what to expect. Now this is a disclaimer, (I’m no expert and everyone’s journey is different), but do not be drawn into buying everything people talk about, and also remember that everyone’s pain threshold is different.

I vividly remember an Amazon delivery arriving with outie tools (to help remove your aligners), chewies (to help fit your new aligners into place), and travel toothbrushes (sis was in a lockdown wfh- who did I think I was?!) It’s laughable now, but I honestly only ever used the chewies twice in my first two weeks of starting Invisalign. Don’t spend your pennies unless you know you need to.

Everyone has a different experience, but my first week was absolutely fine and so much better than I expected. I had 8 attachments (tooth coloured), which weren’t visible at all, and I was changing my trays weekly. I had some sensitivity and mild pain at first, but it wasn’t ever unbearable, and the worst of it was definitely my lisp. I mean trying to explain I have a sausage dog with a lisp, is my personal highlight of this whole experience.

I had no trouble removing my aligners and popping them back in, and it just became second nature very quickly. I always pop my new aligner in at night (as recommended), so that I can sleep through the initial discomfort.

The biggest burden is honestly brushing my teeth 100x a day and realising how much of a slow eater I am (it’s no joke). Metal straws will become your best friend and snacking will become non existent when you become too lazy to brush your teeth after every drink and snack.

My journey was originally meant to be 15 weeks, but I decided to continue with refinements. (That’s a story for next time).

I think the best and worst part of this journey so far, has been slowly overcoming my anxiety of the dentist, and seeing how there’s a new change to my smile each week.

I can’t wait to wear my new smile with confidence once this journey has finished. For anyone thinking of starting theirs, go and have a consultation, because you literally have nothing to lose. I think it’s amazing what it can do for your confidence. It makes me so excited to think about smiling in pictures again, for the first time, in over 10 years.

After all, the best accessory you can wear is your smile.

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