The Unwanted Side Effects of Invisalign

In honor of being half way through my Invisalign experience, I thought I would write about the pros and cons, in case you, too, might be considering Invisalign as a cure for what ails your teeth.

Here it goes:

1.  I sort of look like I’m wearing a mouth guard all the time.
2.  I still get the feeling that people are staring at my mouth when I talk, and I think I’ve pretty much confirmed that I’m right.
3.  It is mildly annoying to have plastic aligners in my mouth 24/7.  Oh, who am I kidding?  It’s mildly annoying to have plastic aligners in my mouth 18/7.  They stay out for, at least, two hours after every meal, especially after breakfast, lest I have to quickly down three cups of coffee in an effort to get my teeth brushed and ready for the aligners. Three cups of coffee in a short amount of time, not unthinkable, but it would seriously mess with my morning routine, and don’t mess with my morning routine! Apply this same logic to my weekend wine.
4.  If I have to brush my teeth ONE MORE TIME, I might just shoot myself, or my super sonic toothbrush, but if I want to eat, and I do, then I must keep on brushing, which means brushing the aligners, too.  I never thought I could hate brushing my teeth. Alas, I do.
5.  I have to visit the orthodontist every six weeks, which my significant other finds very disruptive to his work routine.  Whatever.  His significant other finds it very disruptive to her routine, as well, since she has to break from her morning routine (see above), to get to her standing eight a.m. appointment that she makes, to keep her significant other happy.  Did you get all that?
6.  It’s expensive.
7.  I have to take out those nasty aligners (my daughter calls them my teeth) every morning and soak them in denture solution.
8.  My daughter thinks I have false teeth.
9.  Plastic aligners pretty much put an end to any spontaneous kissing.  My husband loves me, but not that much.
10.  One more thing for me to lose.
11.  No free samples at Wegmans, unless I want to go hide in the corner and perform a maneuver that is akin to someone taking their dentures out (see number 8).  Again, apply this logic to birthday cake at kids’ parties and wine tasting at Wegmans.
12. And the latest, unwanted side effect, eating more, which counters an early pro, weight loss, which occurred when I stopped snacking because it was such a pain the ass to take the aligners out and brush my teeth.  But, now that I’ve become a pro at taking the aligners out, and my teeth aren’t hurting anymore, food is back in my life.  Specifically things like tortilla chips and Doritos, foods which, previously, were too painful to eat.  On bad days, almost all foods used to hurt my very sensitive, recovering teeth.  Sensitive from all the night grinding (see children), recovering from all the fillings that somehow, after religiously visiting the dentist every six months, cropped up in last two years.  (I had to throw my dental hygiene habits in there, I can’t let you think that I don’t take care of my teeth.  I swear, I brush and floss daily.  Really, I do.)

So, that’s it.  Now that Invisalign, just like my awesome orthodontist assured me, has helped my teeth get the rest they so badly needed (while moving them into proper position, of course), I can now eat again.  Lucky for me, unlucky for my waist line.

Now, the pros:
1.  My teeth don’t hurt anymore.

10 thoughts on “The Unwanted Side Effects of Invisalign

  1. #7 made me laugh outloud. I got here Googling around for help with my first week/tray on Invisalign – I am trying to figure out the source of some serious headaches. I got a good laugh from this and some memories of growing up with Wegmans! Nice work on this blog.

  2. A love this blog! I was laughing real loud! So funny, but at the same time painfully true. I’m in my 3rd week and tray #2. #4 is super annoying, so # 12 I’m leaving out snacks as well. Still hoping for the positive effect of a weight loss, though. # 3 I stuff my face and down 2 cups of coffee in the morning all at once, so I don’t have to go through the double brush routine again: brush the aligners, brush my teeth, floss and clean tongue. #2 yes, they do stare, some can’t take their eyes off of it. It must be fascinating, I feel like I have dentures that are so obvious and they make me feel disabled. For me, the first few days were HELL. I could only hope it was going to get better. I had mouth sores galore. Because of that, I kept tasting blood in my mouth all the time. Had to use dental wax, otherwise I wouldn’t have survived. Then throbbing intense headache (non-stop). When I took out the aligners I could barely bite, it was so painful that I felt every bite as pain. All that said, by the end of the second week all the immediate side effects were gone. Now I’m only left with the clenched jaw effect. This might take longer, though. Every night I wake up and find myself squeezing and grinding my jaws, sometimes so hard that I’m afraid I’ll break a tooth. I have a long way to go still, but can’t wait to be done with it. And, yes, it is very expensive #6.

    • Thanks for reading and good luck! I am in the retainer phase and I just wear them at night (though I think I’m supposed to wearing them around the clock). I’m glad I did it and I bet you will be too. Have fun brushing.

  3. OMG I can relate. A con you obviously don’t suffer with but I do is constant dry mouth which leads to oh so fabulous breath. Now, I own a store and am approached regularly for advice. I try to forget that my lips are sticking out like I”m Goldie Hawn in First Wife’s Club and focus on the fact that people think I have an accent (and, yes, are asking where I am from), and notcie that not only does my breath smell poorly but I constantly suck on my teeth due to the ever present dry mouth I now have. I keep telling people that I am just a couple of months, 5 bottles of Juviderm and 25 pounds away from being a shade of my gorgeous 30 year old self. Yee Haw Ladies!!

  4. Hi! I just found your site via a google search. I’m new to invisalign treatment.I was single when I started my treatment and now I’m terrified to kiss someone new with a mouth full of plastic. I noticed you said invisalign killed spontaneous kissing, is it really terrible/awkward with the trays in? Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated!

  5. Hi. I just started my Invisalign treatment about a month ago. Just started tray 3 of 35 today. I was wondering if you had any issues with cavities while using Invisalign? I spotted several new cavities as I was transitioning from tray 2 to 3 and wonder if it’s because of the Invisalign trays blocking out saliva.


  6. I’m on week 16 out of 24. It’s been a long road and in the beginning the edges of the trays really irritated my tongue. I found the best way to resolve that issue was to smooth the sharp edge with a 1/4″ round file I bought at home depot. I’d say that was the biggest downside. While painful, the first few days were nothing like I had imagined (based on what I read online). The other big con are the “attachments”, mainly because 2 of them are kind of pointy and the way my teeth come together I occasionally pinch the inside of my upper lip when eating. The biggest pro is having the 1/8″ gap between my front 2 upper teeth completely closed (with 8 trays to go). The other big pro is that I smile a lot more now and I don’t try to hide my teeth in pictures.
    As for the maintenance thing, I’m bad… sometimes really bad. There have been a few 12/12 days because I “lost” them on that funky granite countertop in my kitchen; or left them next to the bathroom sink and went to work without them. Overall I am wearing them 18-20 hours a day. As for brushing my teeth – yes – twice daily at a minimum (after breakfast and after dinner). But during the day (at work), I rinse often but I rarely brush because neither sink in my office is conducive to brush, rinse & swish.

  7. Hi. Thanks for the blog. I’m considering it now. So after all that, would you have gone with braces instead? Or would you do it all over again?

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