As of the publishing of this post, I’m on set number four. While I realised right before I started that my teeth had fixed themselves enough after the “metal in my face” phase that I really didn’t need Invisalign, I decided to go ahead with it. Not only had I wanted straighter teeth when I was a teenager, despite always getting compliments on my “perfect” teeth anyway, but I figured I had already started the process and should go all the way with it. I’d rather not look back a couple years from now realising “if I had done it, my teeth would be 100% straight by now.”
I’ve only just begun, but there are some pros and cons I’d like to discuss.
Pro: Straighter Teeth Without Braces
This is obvious, and I don’t think I need to expand on it.
Pro: Less Likely to Eat Too Much
I have to wear my aligners for twenty-two hours a day. That’s a total of two hours I have for eating, drinking something that could potentially harm the aligners (hot tea, coffee stains, etc.), and brushing my teeth. It makes me less likely to randomly snack throughout the day, or continue to snack for longer periods of time.
Cons: More Likely to Eat Too Much
There are days when the two-hour window has the opposite effect. I eat four meals a day (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner), so I only have half an hour each meal to eat, drink, and brush my teeth. (Yes, I have to brush my teeth every time so food doesn’t get trapped under the aligners and cause other dental problems.) Sometimes it makes me feel rushed, and for some reason some sort of survival instinct kicks in that has me eat as much as I can so I don’t get hungry before the next meal (which never ever happens in the first place). This usually happens because with the rushed feeling I don’t always give myself time to stop and think about whether or not I actually need more food.
This is especially an issue when cookies are involved. 😕
Cons: I Can Haz Coffee?
You may have picked up on the fact that this was going to be a con when I first mentioned coffee in the second “pro.” I never feel like I actually need coffee anyway, but I’ve averaged on maybe two cups per week since I started. I’m pretty sure I had none during the first set (worn for three weeks), and maybe one cup during my trip to Chicago when I was at the end of wearing set two. I never felt any kind of withdrawals, but definitely have experienced some “*disappointed sigh* maybe another day…” I have since stopped caring about the heat (in the rare cases I drink hot coffee) and the staining qualities, because not only did I never have those problems with my retainer during Metal In My Face (or I very easily removed the discolouration), but even if they do get misshapen somehow I can just move on to the next set.
Cons: Initial Pain/Discomfort
I mean, yeah, this comes with braces as well, whether you just got them in or just got them tightened. The first couple sets hurt enough for a day or two that I had to take some aspirin to keep me off the couch. However:
Pro: You Really Get Used to It
As I’m typing out this pro, I literally just put in a new set about three hours ago. I only still feel a bit of pressure in a couple of my lower teeth. I wouldn’t even describe it as discomfort, let alone pain. It gets easier so quickly.
I’m sure I will discover more pros and cons as I continue the process, and hopefully lose some of these listed cons. We’ll see how this goes.