Invisalign Update: Half Way!

I am on tray 9 of my Invisalign braces already! Time has flown. The first few weeks seemed to take forever to pass, but now that Invisalign is part of my routine the weeks are whizzing by.

I thought I’d share a photo update of how we’re doing because it took ages for me to notice any real movement in my teeth, but when I look at the difference now I can see they really have changed a lot.

Here’s my teeth, in braces, when I first got them:

And here are my teeth today:

Invisalign half way

Looking at them like this I can see just how much they have improved. I love it!

You can see a slight gap on both of these trays around my teeth. The first tray was really painful and it took a while before I could fit it close to my teeth. This tray (number 9 of 17), has been almost as bad as the first one. I find when I change trays – every two weeks – that there is a bit of tenderness and soreness for the first 48 hours or so.

Tray 9 must be doing something big though because I woke up after changing into it before bed and my whole face seemed to hurt. I’m on day 2 now, but I still can’t push it down onto my teeth fully because they are so sore. They were actually a bit loose yesterday when I tentatively prodded them after dinner, which freaked me out slightly. It’ll ease in over the next couple of days and they should stop wobbling then (I hope!).

I have been in braces for just over three months now, and overall it has been fine. I do worry a lot about oral hygiene and brushing and flossing multiple times a day is now totally normal for me. I still feel them there, especially when I smile, and I don’t think I’ll ever not notice them. But they aren’t too obtrusive and so far I have been pleased with the results.

I’ll update again nearer the end, which should be around the end of October.

Invisalign Update and Doing It!

Two part post:


Invisalign is going okay. I switched to my second tray last Thursday. I was nervous, wondering if I would have five days of horrendous pain again, but it was fine. Some tooth tenderness for the first two days, but no headaches (or crying, ha!).

I am concerned that my teeth are looking really brown. Especially the ones with the attachments on. I drink a couple of cups of decaf tea a day, and have since I was a teenager, so I have two theories:

1. My enamel is more porous from all the cleaning and brushing and is absorbing the stains from tea.

2. The plastic is somehow discolouring my teeth.

Every Invisalign comes with free whitening, which makes me wonder if they don’t know that this happens to a lot of people? I didn’t read about it anywhere. I will ask the dentist when I go in for my checkup on Friday.

Doing it!

I am so fed up of having a post-baby body. I’m 43, so now I have a post-baby, middle-aged and getting-older-rapidly body and it just makes me feel so depressed when I look in the mirror. I know I am comparitively slim, but I am so self-conscious of the flabby tummy and the thighs that are far weightier than they used to be.

It shocks me daily how freaking old and tired I look. I should have started running again by now as I’m running the Great South in October, but the weather has been bloody awful (the daffodils are out and we’ve just had two days of snow – it is insane at time of year for it to be so cold).

It’s time I started. I was also thinking about how I have successfully weathered two and a half weeks of no snacking and hardly any junk food simply because I have braces in, so why don’t I build on that? I don’t have to go through all the crappy withdrawal and cravings at the start like usual – I could dive headfirst into a really healthy eating plan and hopefully see some real changes.

I thought that stopping snacking would see my weight drop a little, but no such luck. My body is clinging on to that fat like nobody’s business, so obviously just cutting out sugar and alcohol isn’t enough (that alone is totally unfair and depressing – sometimes I feel like how far do I have to go to see the changes I want to see?).


I’m waiting for confirmation from my Dad that he can have the kids in 8.5 weeks for a 10k run in his village that I have done before. It’ll mean couch to 10k in 8 weeks and some serious commitment to better eating but I think I am ready to do this. I don’t want to feel and look this way for the rest of my life – and lets face it, it’s only going to get worse.

My plan is something along the lines of:

1. Three super nutritious, balanced meals a day

2. One green juice/smoothie per day

3. Follow a beginners/returners 8 week running plan and include hills on my route

4. Ensure I do some form of strength training at least once a week

5. Set up an 8 week, weekly reward schedule for congratulatory (non-food) treats

6. Join an online bootcamp for support

7. Measure progress weekly

8. Blog weekly for eight weeks to stay accountable (obviously!)

I think, for me, the shorter term the goal is, the more likely I am to achieve it. I get distracted and side-tracked in life so easily. Can I stay focused for 8 weeks I wonder?

If I actually see results it will be easier – that is half the battle for me. I so rarely see any change worth commenting on. I think the only way my body will respond is total immersion, all variables at once. Otherwise the impact is so small so then I give up because it leaves me feeling it’s not worth it, which has happened over and over and over again…

I think I’m going to go for it. All in. See if I can actually see some real changes for once.

Invisalign Days 4-5

Day 4

I think I hit rock bottom on day 4.

Day 4 was the day when I actually contemplated going back to the dentist, handing in my braces and asking them to remove all the attachments off my teeth so I could live a normal, pain free life again.

Steve took the children out and I just went back to bed. I wasn’t tired enough to sleep, so I lay there for two hours feeling the aching in my teeth and feeling utterly, ridiculously sorry for myself. The fact that I couldn’t console myself with a trip to Costa or a large bar of chocolate was probably more difficult to deal with than the pain to be honest. I had not realised how much my entire day revolves around food and drink. I am a constant grazer. I lurch from cup of tea, to snack, to cup of tea, to snack, all day long. Since taking my aligners in and out hurts, and brushing and flossing my teeth takes longer than eating a chocolate bar in the first place, it just isn’t worth it to snack any more and that has left me totally bereft of my number one daily activity: eating.

In the end, I did drag myself out of bed, and I did some housework, and I felt a little bit better. But not much. Day 4 was horrible.

Day 5

Thankfully, I seem to have bounced a little bit from the hard landing yesterday. Today I have felt a bit more positive and my teeth have finally not hurt quite as much. Taking the braces in and out is now fiddly and uncomfortable rather than something that makes me cry. The not snacking has settled into something very challenging rather than the be all and end all. I got loads of work done today and had a reasonable amount of patience with the children, so things are really on the up.

I am getting the most horrendous headaches between meals, but I actually think this is nothing to do with Invisalign and much more to do with the fact that I’m not eating anything sweet. I find it quite amusing that straightening my teeth has inadvertently been the thing, after trying everything else, that has forced me to give up my dreadful eating habits and actually consume three normal meals a day. Who would have guessed? I swear, if I’d known, I’d have done this years ago.

It’s the oddest thing. I eat breakfast, and then there is a gap of 5 hours ahead of me where I don’t need to think about food and drink (I only drink water with them in). 5 hours! I used to think all my time was taken up with the children, but you know I think 50% of it was taken up with making tea, drinking tea, thinking about making tea, thinking about eating chocolate or a biscuit, eating chocolate and biscuits and making biscuits.

No wonder I never got anything done.

Invisalign Day 3

I will probably drop the daily updates for Invisalign after today and switch to summaries.

Today was better. I only really had discomfort until lunchtime. For some reason, once I put them back in after lunch the pain got so much worse – more like yesterday. I did manage on one set of painkillers today though, so things are looking up.

I’m kind of getting the hang of removing the top brace, but the bottom one is a bastard to remove. It inevitably ends up with me bent over the kitchen counter (like gravity is going to help), drooling heavily onto a sheet of kitchen towel, mouth wide open, fingers inside, with the brace semi-detached while I cringe with pain and struggle to get the front part to release my teeth.

Anyway! Here’s a pic of how they look in all their glory:

Top and bottom, whipping those toothy-pegs into shape in no time, apparently. I still can’t quite believe that my teeth are going to move when they have looked this way for so many years…

Invisalign Day 2

Another snow day with all the children at home today. By 9am we’d already spent an hour in the garden having a snowball fight and playing. The rest of the day was pretty hellish.

Not being able to ease the strain of parenting with constant snacking, chocolate and cups of tea is tough. Plus, my teeth hurt. They really hurt. The first thing I did on waking was take two paracetamol. I’ve had four more since. The last time I took 6 painkillers in one day I was in labour.

And today’s removal and replacement for breakfast, lunch and dinner made me cry, literally. It actually feels like my teeth are going to come out when I take out my aligners. Putting them back in is just pain and more pain. Once they have snapped on or off the pain eases, but it’s just awful during. And eating hurts because my teeth are so tender I can’t chew properly. And my bite has already gone all skewed so my teeth don’t seem to meet properly at the moment.

Moan, moan, moan.

It’s not all bad

On the plus side, I am drinking loads of water (to ease the dry mouth), and eating three sustaining and balanced meals so that (god forbid!) I don’t need to snack on anything. I’ve tried to work out if I can manage on two meals a day, but I don’t think I can last that long without food. Invisalign may actually help me lose the last few kilos of baby weight. I’m super paranoid about consuming anything sugary and it eating away my teeth under the brace if I don’t manage to clean it all away, so sweets and treats have been totally out of the question.

My mouth doesn’t feel so full today. I have noticed that my speech is slightly affected now and again, but probably not enough that anyone would notice.

Attachment crazy

I counted my attachments – I have 18. Nine on top and nine on the bottom. Why I have so many I don’t know.

I haven’t had much trouble with rubbing/scratching. There are a couple of spots I keep putting wax on, but nothing unmanageable.

All in all it’s really just the sore teeth that are bothering me today. And the gum around one of my back molars hurts when I brush my teeth – not sure if this is from bacteria/infection or the aligners. I’ve used mouthwash and brushed it carefully.

I am really tired. Looking after the three kiddos has been so tough whilst in pain and not eating or drinking as usual. I’m really just looking forward to bedtime. Sorry for a dry, rambling post, I’ll try and inject some more enthusiasm into the next one.

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